Work from home NYC: Small-space buff Rae Lambert transforms her entryway into a pop-up office

May 12, 2020

Before-and-after photos Rae took of her pop-up entryway office

Last year, we visited the 400-square-foot Hell’s Kitchen studio of Rae Lambert and her husband Ryan. In addition to her career as a product marketer for tech companies, Rae runs the awesome blog Small Space, Big Taste, where she shares ideas about re-designing how to live, spend, eat, work and travel. So it comes as no surprise that Rae adapted quickly to quarantine lifestyle, which has forced Ryan to work from home as well. Ahead, Rae takes us on a virtual journey of how she transformed her entryway into a pop-up office, complete with both standing and sitting work stations and some lovely accessories. She also fills us in on what a typical day looks like now for her and Ryan and shares advice for other couples working from home together in a small space.

Since quarantine, what does a typical day look like in your apartment?
7:00 am – Wake up and brew Chemex coffee (filters have been tough to find!)
7:30 am – Do some personal writing/projects (I have a blog about small space living)
9:30 am – Go for a short walk around Hell’s Kitchen (with mask + gloves)
10:00 am – Start in on client work (I run a marketing agency)
1:00 pm – Make some lunch, do some yoga with the DownDog app, maybe get around to taking a shower
2:00 pm – More client work and a bunch of meetings (husband also has meetings much of the day)
6:00 pm – Make dinner + have more meetings (I have a lot of west coast clients)
8:00 pm – Jam on our instruments, play Minecraft or watch Downton Abbey

What’s your best piece of advice for couples quarantining in small spaces?

Share/synchronize your schedules: Each morning we look at our calendars and send each other an email of our meetings that day. That way I’m not loudly making lunch while he’s presenting to a big group on Zoom. We even took synching our schedules further and rearranged our work meetings (whenever possible) to designated times for work, meals, and connecting.

Remind each other 10 minutes before a call is starting: By reminding your new coworker when you have a call coming up (even if you emailed them that morning with your schedule), it gives them time to fix themselves a coffee or snack. Or, if they were also about to hop on an impromptu call, it gives you both time to figure something out (i.e. relocate to the bathroom or reschedule).

Be patient, gentle, and kind: Remember that no one living has ever been through something like this. It’s completely unprecedented and you might react in unexpected ways. Mood swings that are out of character are perfectly understandable right now. It’s not business as usual but you will get through it. Besides being safe and healthy, the next important thing is how we treat the people we care about. So go easy on yourself and others.

What’s the one thing you’re most looking forward to once this is all over?
Pulling some jeans on as soon as I wake up and heading to Culture Espresso to do some writing while I sip a cappuccino in a for-here mug. I desperately miss chatting with the baristas in the morning and the buzzy energy of the coffee shop.

You can see more about Rae’s work-from-home lifestyle and find details about the products she chose for her pop-up office here >>


Rae Lambert is on a mission to help you live a big life in a small space. Living and working from her 400 sq ft studio in Hell’s Kitchen, she blogs about re-designing how to live, spend, eat, work and travel on Small Space, Big Taste.
Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

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