Before & After: This Closed-Off, Dated NYC Apartment Opens Up
September is Transformation Month at Apartment Therapy! That means every day, we’re sharing a new before & after to show the power of transformations at home. Head over here to see them all!
Located on the Upper East Side in a building built in 1962, a 1,575-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom home has gotten quite the upgrade. This once-dingy home has since been totally transformed through clever hacks, a clean color scheme and sophisticated interiors.
The once-tight quarters, which included quirky floral (not-in-the-good-way) wallpaper on the bathroom and kitchen ceilings, beige walls and antiquated fixtures, is now a breath of fresh air with thoughtful vignettes and a minimal palette.
The clients “were very meticulous and diligent and they appreciated the level of detail that went into the design,” says Matt Roman of Hawkins Roman Architects.
The apartment had a fairly conventional layout, especially for a building from that era, but the clients “had a vision from the beginning of an entirely open floor plan for the living, dining and kitchen areas,” he says. But the building infrastructure made a fully open plan not feasible. Therefore, they created a custom millwork object in the main living spaces that was both architectural and practice and still provided an open feel.
Now, the living room features an entertainment center with built-in bookshelves on one side and part of the kitchen on the other. It’s a clever hack, which still gives the homeowners that openness they were looking for but allows for more privacy and differing ways to inhabit the space.
“It also plays with the concept of solid and void,” he says. “We think it’s important, even with more straight-forward renovations like this, to play because it heightens the space and the possibilities within it.”
The living room is sophisticated yet cozy, with a gorgeous white sectional from Lee Industries and chairs from Rejuvenation, while the kitchen features Caesarstone countertops, white subway tile backspace and Waterworks fixtures in unlacquered brass.
When it came to the couple’s master bedroom, Hawkins Roman created another custom fix, one which would provide added storage and use the buildings concrete columns to its advantage.
“One of the things we wanted to do was to clean up these typical architectural things and make them seem more purposeful,” he says.
The built-in window seat not only hides the radiator but enhances the views of the city across Third Avenue.
When it came to the master bathroom, the couple desired an industrial space that was also comfortable. Thus, Roman achieved this with a custom shower door, enclosed shelving in the shower and soft lighting.
In the foyer, Hawkins Roman produced another area, that much like the couple’s built-in reading nook in the master bedroom, felt carved-in to the original home.
“There was once a decorative screen separating the foyer but no real definition, “he says. “So, we cased the opening to produce this niche that also frames the view toward the bay window in the living room.”
Now, the couple has an area to take their coats off at the end of the day and admire the five lithographs on display.