A Garret Transformed

A Garret Transformed

Jill Slater
Apr 28, 2010

Location: West Village
Size: 300 square feet studio
Years lived in: 3

After a couple of years of hanging out in a 1970's studio alcove in a 5-floor walk-up, the owner of this apartment called an architect for help. While he didn't have that much to work with, in terms of budget or space, he made up for it with some serious art and a strong vision.

He knew he wanted sleek lines, a floor with character, a few white walls for his art, and as much open space as a 300 square foot floor plan could provide. Lastly, the owner likes to cook but was non-negotiable on a kitchen that encroached on his living space — at all!

So, the architects and the contractor worked very hard to make use of every square inch that wasn't active floor area. They built up usable surfaces, primarily out of the existing awkward spaces that were casualties of a pitched roof.

The massive skylight, ample sun access, and great views of the west village's hideaway gardens make the five flight walk up much more tolerable. And the slate painted wood creates a striking contrast to the stark white walls. Using one material for all the doors and shelving unifies the space as opposed to cluttering it. The apartment's nearly blinding brightness is a welcome anecdote to the rickety staircase and dark and musty hallways that define the rest of the building. But this home stands on its own, like a well tailored suit.

Apartment Therapy Survey
Style: Simplicity.

Inspiration: Minimalism with quality workmanship but limited financial investment.

Favorite Element: The reclaimed floorboards from a nearby building. They are a natural fit albeit revisionist history.

Biggest Challenge: Making the floor level so the shelving would line up perfectly along the ceiling.

What Friends Say: It's open and airy, and a breath of fresh air after making their way through the rest of the building which feels like a dusty bed and breakfast.

Biggest Embarrassment: Winding the guests who have to climb up 5 significant flights of stairs to visit me.

Proudest DIY: Redesigning the kitchen to be much smaller than anyone thought possible.

Biggest Indulgence: Gaggenau Oven

Best Advice: Don't be put off by an ugly looking apartment when shopping around. Transformation is just around the bend.

Dream Source: Venice Biennale

For more details on the kitchen in this amazing gem of a studio, check out An Ultra Sleek Ultra Micro Kitchen.

Images: Jill Slater

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