High cost of city living got you down? Want more privacy than sleeping on a friend’s couch might afford? Friends, it’s time to consider building yourself a pod. It sounds crazy, but it’s exactly what illustrator Peter Berkowitz did earlier this month.
“I was wanting to live with a friend,” he explained to Uproxx, “and we were thinking about getting a two-bedroom apartment together, but that’s incredibly expensive here.” Here, being San Francisco, where the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment is nearly $3,500/month.
So Berkowitz got creative. Inspired by Japanese capsule hotels, he came up with the idea of building his own capsule bedroom. “Many people have apartments with the space/capacity to house another person but choose not to because there isn’t an attractive way to do so,” he wrote on his website last week. “Temporary partitions offer poor privacy, especially in terms of sound. They also tend to ruin whatever room they’re in—you’re less likely to use your living room if it doubles as a bedroom.”
Berkowitz’s 8’ x 3.5’ x 4.5’ pod cost him $1,300 total to build. Averaged in with the $400/month that he now pays to rent out space for his pod in a three-bedroom house with four roommates, his cost per month of living in the pod is $508/month (if he stays for a year). Definitely an improvement for a living situation that he says doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all.
“I think it sounds a little bit crazier than it actually feels… I still have full use of a perfectly nice apartment. All it means is that when I’m in my bedroom, I have to be on top of my bed.”
And from his pictures, it does look quite cozy, with LED lighting and a skylight above giving him the ability to read from anywhere within his twin-sized bedroom. He even has a small book shelf against the back wall, which houses a fan for ventilation and a small plant. “It’s a lot of plywood, but I’ve just tried to make it as comfortable and as nice as possible.”
Berkowitz’s pod even addresses the question of wardrobe space, as well. “There’s storage for all my clothes and a couple of bags behind my backboard,” he explained. Everything else, he keeps in a suitcase—after subletting for the past several months, he’s used to living light.
Intrigued? Ready to save money on rent and build your own bed-sized pod? Berkowitz is happy to help out. “I’d love to work with you on building a suitable pod for whatever space/needs you have at a very, very, very reasonable price,” he wrote on his website, explaining that he’s not interested in making money, but in getting good at building pods.” He’s already started receiving emails from people moving to the Bay Area who want cheap housing.
As for his own pod, there’s only one thing he would do differently next time around: “I probably would make it a bit taller,” he said. “The space that’s above the pod is already out of use, so there’s no real harm or additional cost to the living room if you try to make it a little higher.” Apparently, right now, putting pants on is a bit of a task for Berkowitz. Surely a small price to pay for such a big cut in rent.