With unobstructed Greenwich Village views in three directions, the client had long been happy in his one-bedroom apartment. But after ten years, and newly married, he desperately needed more space.
When the studio next door became available, he bought it (plus part of the exterior hallway), and commissioned a complete makeover - a great opportunity to enhance the attributes of both apartments, and to create an integrated contemporary design combining function, comfort, and strong visual appeal.
The challenge: his wife loved vibrant colors, and he envisioned a more sedate palette.
We built a new entrance by combining the foyers of both apartments, with a large mirror to double its actual size.
A new, custom wraparound wood wall began in the foyer, turned a corner, and continued all the way to the living room to further unify the two apartments.
Although custom-designed to resemble a piece of furniture, it also masked a closet, storage area, and electrical systems, as well as a huge drainpipe (something of a surprise) which had been hidden in the previous closet and would now remain hidden.
A frosted glass door was installed to admit light, while ensuring privacy between the new master bedroom suite and the living area.
To emphasize the larger dimensions of the expanded apartment, we demolished several walls to create a large loft-like space for dining and entertaining.
The wall between the original living room and the old bedroom was replaced by a Lualdi sliding door that could be narrowed to the sofa's width or extended to separate the study for use as a guest room.
The guest bathroom featured Bisazza tile and Agape cabinets; in the master bath, immaculate limestone walls surrounded a quartzite monolith to separate the vanity area from the Jacuzzi.
The interiors were enhanced by three custom designed pieces: a new low wall unit, coffee table, and dining table. Finally, the ceilings were reconfigured: when newly uncovered beams were different sizes, we constructed a soffit to widen the space and to support the sliding door.
While the vacancy in the studio next door was a brilliant stroke of luck for the client, our expansion and redesign allowed him the best of both worlds: remaining in a neighborhood and a building he loved, and vastly increasing the attractiveness and value of his space.
We reconciled the couple's disparate visual preferences, and the story has a very happy ending.
Architect/ Designer: Giusi Mastro