The windows/light and the "satisfaction of seeing your ideas materialize into something concrete"
Spend money on the right things!
Sarah has done everything right. She took a banal 60's era studio apartment with a great, green view and big windows and turned it into an appealing, retreat-like space...
The best thing she did was put up some walls. In a decade rife with people tearing down walls and opening things up, Sarah realized that she could capitalize her limited space by making a separate but inviting bedroom.
Sarah successfully proves the architectural/illusion based theory that if you move from a space with a lower ceiling height to one with a higher ceiling height, the latter will appear more grand.
Sarah, a British based journalist, moved to New York with only a suitcase. She bought this generously spaced, 500 sqft. condo along with one mattress, a TV-dinner stand/desk substitute and a plastic chair. She lived thusly for a year, imagining all the while the ideal layout for her surroundings.
Over time, Sarah created a "binder of inspiration," which she shared with me.
It contained magazine clippings as well as plans and measurements, each of which brought her closer to her apartment's final form. This notebook was a thing of beauty and precision heretofore unseen. After spending little more than a day making some rather impressive and detailed drawings, she called a contractor.
She personally found and purchased all the hardware, tiles, fixtures, and materials needed to reach her goals and amassed them on-site. Needless to say, said contractor was most pleased with this assignment. Sarah went so far as to stretch tape along imaginary lines on the floor to demarcate the location of each new wall for her bedroom.
The contractor was perhaps so shocked at the hassle-free nature of this job that he finished all the work in 6 weeks. Sarah was clearly rewarded for being prepared, knowing exactly what she wanted, providing all the necessary materials for the job, and getting a good reference.
She was left with no loose ends, no disappearing tricks on the part of the contractor, and no faulty work.
- Boca Grande in Soho took her measurements and material requests for a custom made dresser and commissioned it to be fabricated in India
- CasaMidy.com, an incredible source for Mexican inspired design including Sarah's oval silver mirror
- Building supply shops in Chelsea were a good source for the formica in Sarah's kitchen as well as the stainless steel backsplash behind her range
Originally posted on July 20th, 2005
The bedroom hideaway. Two walls were built where there were none. In the front wall, she created a 40" that serves as a wonderful frame for the space rather than a doorway with no door