#45 - James' “Try this at Home”

#45 - James' “Try this at Home”

Maxwell Ryan
Mar 26, 2006

Name: James
Location: New York, NY
Size: 608 s/f one bedroom

Favorite resource:

sample and warehouse sales. And Elfa closet shelving which doubled our storage capacity.

What inspired you?

To move to a neighborhood we love, we gave up a 900 SF apartment across town for this 600 SF perch. And while the broker's ad offered the promise of a Soho penthouse, what this place really was was a fairly claustrophobic-feeling and inefficient, cookie-cutter apt.

...But the potential to transform it seemed obvious, at least to me (most days). And it has been fun seeing the ways that knocking out a few steel doorframes and a new wall opening between the two main rooms has created more light and views and a dramatic new sense of space. We also added an amazing amount of hidden storage, as well as a nice showcase for favorite art photography. I encourage fellow shoe-box apartment owners to "try this at home."

Design Tip:

replacing standard height interior doors with doors on pivot hinges that extend from floor to ceiling makes your ceilings seem higher, adds a clean look, and gives the entire room a more generous feel.


Caption for "livingroomfacingwindow.jpg": Low-cost bookcases were painted charcoal to "disappear," and slide freely side to side on felt pads under a fixed window shelf; so the A/C unit is hidden in winter, the radiator in summer. This was repeated in the BR. Marcel Wanders sofa. I hope to add a Saarinen Womb Chair is on the LIV RM.

Caption for "LisaKeresziphotosatRightTVatLeft.jpg": When you enter the apartment, a pair of Lisa Kereszi prints really pop against a charcoal wall that used to sport a homely closet door. The dark wall and floors are offset by an all white kitchen. You then discover the burnt red plane of color that is a continuous wrap around the apartment's center wall. Knoll D'Urso table moves on casters when friends come for dinner.

Caption for "barndooratBRLIV.jpg": How could 36" change everything? Here a new three-foot wide opening did. The new passage along the bank of windows is a very simple yet high-impact change, bringing a sense of spaciousness and freedom of movement that was badly needed. The barn door I had made, mirrored on both sides and framed in wood, and is perfect for the BR dressing area (open or closed), and when closed creates privacy for overnight guests, or simply reflects Downtown and sunset views. The DWR bed was worth every penny! Foreground photo by Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz at one of the two new favorite desks.

Caption for "marblecounterandProuvechair.jpg": Staining the light honey colored parquet floor ebony made them disappear, and maybe added a bit of lux, too. Over the counter is a double exposure of the Brooklyn Bridge and Trade Towers by Joel Greenberg. Photos, including Kereszi's Governors Island bus stop image, on floating mount, are hung low to enhance the feeling of spaciousness.

Caption for "kitchen.jpg": The kitchen was completely reconfigured. The odd angle made an efficient layout tough, as did a low drop ceiling that served no purpose except to create an unhappy space. I paired IKEA cabinets with Carrera marble, and picked up all the appliances at sample sales at huge discount. The peninsula is extra wide to allow back to back base cabinets and comfortable bar seating.

OPTIONAL: "halltobath.jpg": All eight 6'8" steel door frames were removed and replaced with full-height doors on pivot hinges. 18" of ceiling height in the bath were reclaimed by removing a useless drop ceiling (don't be afraid to poke a few holes to see if this is an option)

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