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University Place Apartment

After a young couple purchased an apartment in New York City's Greenwich Village, they turned to Matthew Miller of local firm StudioLAB to rescue its dark, closed-off interiors. The 800-square-foot apartment was divided into two 400-square-foot levels. The ground floor originally had a closed-off kitchen and a living-dining room, and the basement level housed the bedroom and bathroom. Miller opted to open up the plan and brighten all of the surfaces—flooring, walls, countertops—to breathe some life into the space. Though the changes are dramatic, Miller faced challenges due to the fact that this wasn't a total gut-renovation. "New York City apartments are very much like a puzzle," he says. "The plumbing doesn't move, you have to consider the HVAC, and there is a certain number of doors and windows you have to work with. It's not like a house where you have more leeway..." Tour the apartment in the slideshow.

The kitchen was originally long, narrow, and completely closed off from the rest of the apartment. Miller opened up the plan to create a more spacious feel.

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