Size: 700 sqft.
Favorite element: That the apartment has one extra room
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Cedric is a gregarious fellow who founded and still organizes the US Air Guitar Championships when he's not being an ad exec., so when I heard that he had bought an apartment and renovated it, I really didn't know what to expect. I walked in, pleasantly surprised to find a very subtle space, dignified in a somewhat old-world sense...
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Cedric embarked on a rather large task with no prior experience. With the help of friends of friends who happen to be colorists, architects, and contractors, Cedric transformed what he referred to as "a dump" in 3 months.
At first the details kept him up at night and then he learned to enjoy it. In that he had a wonderful contractor, in whom he could trust, he never had to deal with all of the subcontractors involved. Now that the process is over, Cedric says, "I love my apartment. It is one of the most satisfying things I have done."
Cedric was intent on "preserving the old aspects" of his 1927 two bedroom apartment. So he skimmed all the walls, replacing some moldings to match the original, and restored the original floor and wall bathroom tiles. In the living room, however, he removed the upper molding that breaks up the wall in order to give a feeling of maximum expanse. It works! Minimizing the color palette also serves to emphasize the spaciousness of this 700 sq/ft apartment.
It was a thrill to witness Cedric's enthusiasm for his new apartment and for his poured concrete kitchen counter in particular. In fact Cedric had already amassed a small arsenal of home renovation humor that he was happy to share. "In the rest of the country on a Saturday afternoon, men are standing in their driveways waxing their cars, here in New York, the Chelsea boys are waxing their concrete countertops." (It is recommended that one wax concrete to increase shine and stave off cracking.)
Originally posted April 14th, 2005