NY House Tour: Duncan’s Hip Pad with Potential

Name: Duncan
Location: Lower Murray Hill
Apartment Size: 800 sqft.
Favorite: “Having a balcony to step outside on (and to make people smoke on) is nice”

3-24-tourbutton2005.jpgDuncan designs with great hesitancy, as he is afraid of (real estate) commitment. He is one of the lucky few to successfully negotiate a legal inheritance of an affordable New York City apartment. His grandparents moved to California, and he got their stake in a Mitchell Lama building. The building might go private but either way, he has possession of a one-bedroom coop in a doorman building…

If Duncan did decide to commit, you can tell he would do a great job. Even in his half-hearted efforts of the past couple of years, the apartment has a great style, provocative yet pragmatic.

It is ultra-hip while simultaneously revealing the history of the building and his family. The apartment still boasts a linoleum floor more reminiscent of a hospital lobby than an ad-executive’s dining room. But Duncan put down a wonderfully indulgent white shag run in the living room that makes you forget what lies underneath.

There are artifacts salvaged from Duncan’s grandfather’s machine collections, as well he and Duncan’s grandmother’s 60’s era furniture purchases.

Duncan has made it his policy to line the walls of the large living/dining area with hand-made creations, art produced by himself or friends that brings a very personal feel to the space. This human intervention is set off well by Duncan’s preference for commercial based furniture such as the work table and 6 office chairs that fill the formal dining area.

He has designed with an in-flow of guests in mind, making the living room as comfortable as possible. The priority is to foster an arrangement where people are able to talk to one another, but also watch Duncan’s new flat screen TV, if so inclined.

Duncan’s daydreams for the apartment include knocking down half the kitchen wall to create an island and a visual connection to the living space and the outdoor balcony. He’d like to use bamboo to redo the floors because it “looks cool and is an easily renewable wood.”

He has great ideas and just needs a bit of a push to make them a reality.

Originally Posted August 17th, 2005
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