New York architect Christopher Kitterman is no stranger to small spaces. As the principal of STADT Architecture, he recently reworked a narrow triplex that was featured in our November 2016 issue. But a recent project proved more personal: the renovation of his 450-square-foot apartment in Manhattan's Gramercy neighborhood.
Get the Dwell Newsletter
Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.
The tight quarters proved challenging when trying to create a logical layout. A bathroom at the center of the space cut off the living area, which had previously been dominated by a bed.
To make sense of the space, Kitterman used the existing architecture as a guide. The back of the apartment, where a 12-foot-high ceiling leads to a small terrace, would become the main living room, while shorter 8.5-feet-tall ceilings would cover the kitchen and dining area and convertible bedroom. To pull it all together, Kitterman opted for a bright neutral color palette and walnut herringbone floors from LV Wood.
Creating a new space for sleeping was equally important. Rather than giving over valuable square footage to a bed, Kitterman chose a queen-size Murphy bed system from Häfele that can be hidden behind a curtain during the day. When it's time to drop the bed at night, the curtain slides aside to cover the home's entrance, creating a cozy sense of privacy.
By placing the bed near the entrance of the apartment, Kitterman was able to leave an open space for a dining table—with room for eight—off of the new galley kitchen, which now gets plenty of natural light thanks to the reconfigured layout.