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Pretty Super

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The super's unit was anything but in this Upper West side co-op, however architect Brad Zizmor saw potential in the apartment nobody could love. A re-imagined interior and gracious new outdoor space transformed this architectural blunder to boon.

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  The Zizmors' son plays in front of a living wall created by urban landscaper Kari Elwell Katzander of Mingo Design.  Photo by: Roland Bello
    The Zizmors' son plays in front of a living wall created by urban landscaper Kari Elwell Katzander of Mingo Design.

    Photo by: Roland Bello

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  The master bedroom has a custom ramp for the dachshund at the foot of the bed and an oversize birch-veneer pendant lamp. The bedside tables are actually CD cases affixed to the wall.  Photo by: Roland Bello
    The master bedroom has a custom ramp for the dachshund at the foot of the bed and an oversize birch-veneer pendant lamp. The bedside tables are actually CD cases affixed to the wall.

    Photo by: Roland Bello

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  Their son's bedroom features skillful use of ordinary birch-finished shelves from Ikea. The 1950s fiberglass shell chair is from Modernica.  Photo by: Roland Bello
    Their son's bedroom features skillful use of ordinary birch-finished shelves from Ikea. The 1950s fiberglass shell chair is from Modernica.

    Photo by: Roland Bello

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  The Zizmors didn't want to use curtains to screen their wide-open home from noisy neighbors. Instead, Kari Elwell Katzander of Mingo Design, an urban landscaper, created a living wall of wooden planters and English ivy that provides privacy without blocking light.  Photo by: Roland Bello
    The Zizmors didn't want to use curtains to screen their wide-open home from noisy neighbors. Instead, Kari Elwell Katzander of Mingo Design, an urban landscaper, created a living wall of wooden planters and English ivy that provides privacy without blocking light.

    Photo by: Roland Bello

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  The Zizmors installed a 16-foot-wide deck for playing and grilling, and lined it with hostas, Hollywood juniper, and bamboo.  Photo by: Roland Bello
    The Zizmors installed a 16-foot-wide deck for playing and grilling, and lined it with hostas, Hollywood juniper, and bamboo.

    Photo by: Roland Bello

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  An outdoor dining area is screened for privacy.  Photo by: Roland Bello
    An outdoor dining area is screened for privacy.

    Photo by: Roland Bello

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  Humble materials are used to good effect throughout the apartment. The bathroom contains ordinary rope lights concealed above the sinks. The tumbled slate mosaic tiles are by Artistic tile. All the wooden bathroom accessories were purchased from Ikea.  Photo by: Roland Bello
    Humble materials are used to good effect throughout the apartment. The bathroom contains ordinary rope lights concealed above the sinks. The tumbled slate mosaic tiles are by Artistic tile. All the wooden bathroom accessories were purchased from Ikea.

    Photo by: Roland Bello

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  The kitchen has a dining table of black American walnut designed by Brad. The pendant lights are by Ingo Maurer.  Photo by: Roland Bello
    The kitchen has a dining table of black American walnut designed by Brad. The pendant lights are by Ingo Maurer.

    Photo by: Roland Bello

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  Boxes of herbs and spider plants line one side of the patio.  Photo by: Roland Bello
    Boxes of herbs and spider plants line one side of the patio.

    Photo by: Roland Bello

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  The Zizmors extended their living room by installing an 8-by-15-foot sliding glass door, which leads to an outdoor dining area built six feet above the alley. To make the outdoors feel like it's part of the living room, and not a separate patio, they ran the same horizontal pattern of ipe wood slats from the indoors out.  Photo by: Roland Bello
    The Zizmors extended their living room by installing an 8-by-15-foot sliding glass door, which leads to an outdoor dining area built six feet above the alley. To make the outdoors feel like it's part of the living room, and not a separate patio, they ran the same horizontal pattern of ipe wood slats from the indoors out.

    Photo by: Roland Bello

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  Ingenuity can compensate for a modest budget. The Zizmors removed the base from a mid-priced leather couch from West Elm and inserted it in a custom armature made with walnut veneer.  Photo by: Roland Bello
    Ingenuity can compensate for a modest budget. The Zizmors removed the base from a mid-priced leather couch from West Elm and inserted it in a custom armature made with walnut veneer.

    Photo by: Roland Bello

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