Living life unconventionally is a daring move, but for 27-year-old Sampson Dahl, it’s just another day in the life. When his ex-girlfriend called the old laundromat he was considering as a potential new apartment “disgusting,” he saw the potential for a great live-work space. Now, after living in the former laundromat for two years, Dahl has created a space that is a reflection of his life philosophy and is a testament to the power of resourcefulness.
In 2019, Dahl found the former laundromat in Maspeth, Queens, in an online forum and moved in a month later. A former tenant had added a small kitchen that gave Dahl enough space to have a sink, stovetop, and toaster oven. His rent was $1750, and he paid two months’ rent up front and an $875 security deposit. In 2021, his rent went up to $1850, and on average, he pays $120 for electricity and $60 for the internet.
Dahl is in production design, so he was able to use free furniture after projects were done to decorate the space. He even made his own lofted bed for just $25. For Dahl, the best part of living in the former laundromat is the sense of community he gets from his neighbors, which reminds him of his childhood growing up on a commune in Texas. He’s even opened up his living space to others, and has a fridge and communal swing out front.
Dahl has the space divided into different areas like the “songwriting” and “piano station” as it’s meant to be a place where creativities can come together. Living in the former laundromat has taught him resourcefulness in a way he never knew before, and he hopes to move out and have it continue to be a collaborative studio space.
Sampson Dahl’s story is a testament to the power of resourcefulness and living life unconventionally. He has created a space that is a reflection of his life philosophy and is a reminder of the importance of community.