Name: Gitesh and Thomas
Location: Murray Hill (or "NoMad": North of Madison Square Park)
Size: 1150 square feet one-bedroom
Years lived in: 6 months
"Whenever I move, I'm always rushing around trying to make it feel like home," explains Thomas. To do this, Thomas, who has been collecting art for the past 20 years, puts up as much as he can, as soon as possible.
Thomas and Gitesh knew when they bought their fixer-upper pre-war apartment, that their priority would be to change and "fix" as little as possible. They both appreciated the original layout, molding, flooring, and windows so their focus was strictly limited to painting the walls, replacing all the old wiring, and adding all new lighting. Because they both knew they wanted to respect the architect Stanford White's original intent to the greatest extent possible, doing a full renovation and putting together the space was not difficult for Thomas and Gitesh.
Much of the furniture came with Gitesh and Thomas from their former townhouse in Washington DC. The remaining challenges were choosing accessories they both liked and being around to oversee the contractors. Unfortunately, unlike the rest of the apartment, the kitchen they inherited was not original to the building's construction. Gitesh and Thomas decided to do a full gut renovation with modern conveniences in a classic setting.
The apartment's character and incredible charm is a direct result of Thomas and Gitesh's commitment to, and recognition, of the apartment's great bones. Stay tuned for the next phase, when Gitesh and Thomas append the neighboring one-bedroom apartment to create a three-bedroom home for themselves. None of the existing work will be disturbed other than the entrance hallway wall. If the end result looks anything like this first phase, it will be no less than grand.
Apartment Therapy Survey
Building is a 9-story 1890's Stanford White-designed coop. Originally designed as ½-floor apartments of 2500-3000 square feet, the building today is a sub-divided collection of studios, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units.
Classic, grand pre-war details.
Original windows (hardware and blown glass panes) + original wood floors.
I think the biggest challenge was the decision to keep the original windows—full of character, but also a bit on the noisy side and hard to maintain.
What Friends Say:
Surprised that we can comfortably fit back in a 1BR apartment after living in a full rowhouse previously.
The fireplace doesn't work because the chimney has been closed and the process of getting the 3 tenants above me to agree/pay to reopen it will take a long time. And now that we're starting the process of combining the neighboring unit with our own, I sort of regret not just getting it all done at once.
Custom wood shelves (we didn't construct them, but we designed them based on ones we saw for 3x more $$$ at DWR)
Viking commercial appliances
Don't settle for an easy place when searching to buy an apartment. Avoid the matching shoebox condos (rule of thumb – don't live in an apartment that looks like your neighbors!). NYC is full of charming fixer-upper gems waiting for you to make your own.
I buy a lot at ABC, but almost all of it comes from the 4th floor. Some of the great, original stuff on floors 2 and 3 is mostly out of range for now.
- • Appliances by Viking
• Entrance table by Restoration Hardware
• Paints by Benjamin Moore
• Sectional sofa by ABC Home
• King bed frame by ABC Home
• Bedroom dresser by Room & Board
• Lighting by Schoolhouse Electrics
• Kitchen table and chairs by Room & Board
• Bathroom fixtures by Restoration Hardware
• Dining table, coffee table and other antique items sourced by "Good Wood" in Washington DC
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