Small Wonder

This spacious Chelsea studio makes a loft bed seem downright adult

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Often, the idea of a loft bed conjures up images of grungy risers with no headspace, and a rickety ladder that looks too treacherous to climb down in the middle of the night. For the more grownup version, however, we'd direct you to this $492,000 co-op studio in Chelsea, which has a proper set of stairs (with storage underneath) leading up to its loft, as well as a reasonable amount of space to move around, and plenty of natural light:

The lofted bed means there's plenty of room for seating in the main living area, which also includes exposed brick and a decorative mantel:

The kitchen has been recently renovated, and includes granite countertops, though it appears there may only be room for a half-sized refrigerator, so you'll want to scope it out in person. And while the blue patterned backsplash might not be to everyone's tastes, we think it's a nice change of pace from cookie-cutter kitchen design. The listing notes that the bathroom has been renovated and includes both a window and a tub, but it isn't pictured here, so again, something worth scoping out when you pay the place a visit.

As for the building, you'll be on the 4th floor of a walk-up, but there's a laundry room, live-in super, free storage space, and on the practical side, the option to sublet after two years, assuming the board approves you. The upside to living a few floors up is that you'll have easy access to the building's brand new renovated sun deck, complete with planters, tables, chairs, and impressive Manhattan skyline views:

The maintenance charges clock in at just $562/month, a relative bargain compared to the monthlies in many Manhattan co-op buildings. And with a location just a couple of blocks for the 23rd Street C and E station, you'll be spared the long, windy walk to the west side that often comes hand-in-hand with a Chelsea address.