Name: Patty and Chris
Location: Astor Place/Union Square
Size: 2000 sqft
Favorite: The ceilings, the windows, and the good bones.
Patty and Chris moved in three years ago to what was once a candle factory, but what had since been overly adorned by a previous owner during the late 70's/early 80's. Instead of appreciating the apartment for what it is—a formerly industrial brick building with huge windows and brick walls with arches over each window, high ceilings and lots of space—the former dwellers tried to eek out an Italian villa in the middle of the Village.
As we know, this was the way of the 1980's — to build up and add busy-ness. And now, 20 years later, renovators and interior decorators across the city are doing their best to break down and strip away all those seemingly superfluous flourishes. Patty loves the apartment and believes it has "good bones." Her goal, then, is to expose as much of those bones as possible and let it's natural beauty shine through.
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The good thing about Patty being a full time business school student during their first year and a half in the apartment is that she didn't have time to tackle the space and Chris was indifferent. They were able to live in what felt like a rental and learn to understand the intricacies of their immediate environment—what worked and what didn't. As a result, the major, impending, renovation consists of thoughtful and tactical interventions.
Phase 1, late last year included upgrading all the windows to Argon double pane glass with wood on inside and cladding on the outside and that help to enhance temperature control in the apartment; painting the master bedroom; removing crown molding and a fake fireplace in the front room; and fully renovating the kitchen and bathroom. The remainder of the apartment will get its facelift starting next month in what is likely to be a 3-month process.
Tenets of Patty's approach are to remove any and all falsified arches in the apartment, to create efficient storage space, to minimize detailing, and to integrate sustainable building practices wherever possible including refinishing the floor instead of replacing it, keeping the ceiling fans to counteract the summer heat, using better insulated windows, buying vintage furniture instead of new furniture, and buying low-flush toilets and Energy Star appliances.
Jack, the space designer who helped with the kitchen
Angela Okajima, ceramicist and potter who did the white sculpture on the wall next to the hutch.
Sean, raku potter who did the pottery above Patty's desk.
Penine Art and Antiques who supplied the unfinished chairs in the front room.