A bold renovation turns an outdated apartment in Manhattan into a light and bright home.
"Prior to the renovation, the space felt dark, closed off, and very dated," state Christine Stucker and James Veal, principals of design firm and architecture studio, Stewart-Schafer. As the team behind both the redesign and renovation of this prewar apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Stucker and Veal were eager to help the homeowners realize the full potential of their home.
The goal of the project, which lasted a little over five months concept to completion, was to create a modern home designed for living and entertaining. The result is a stunning apartment that balances smart, functional design with a warm, inviting aesthetic.
Originally built in 1925, the three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom apartment had "a lot of dead zones" and was comprised of "small, cramped, poorly-lit rooms" according to Stucker. The "disconnected design," choppy layout, and dark color palette caused the 2,000-square-foot apartment to feel cramped, despite the unit's ample square footage.
The Stewart-Schafer team set out to open up the floor plan and create a more cohesive aesthetic throughout the space. As the homeowners are a young couple who love to cook and entertain, the renovation also focused on maximizing the home's common spaces.
The "Before" kitchen lacked cohesion and felt dated, according to Veal and Stucker. Removing dead zones and improving functionality were two major problems the Stewart-Schafer team wanted to solve for the homeowners.
The renovated kitchen is an elegant balance of clean lines and luxurious finishes. Knowing that the homeowners are avid cooks, wine lovers, and entertainers, the Stewart-Schafer team used smart design to increase functionality and maximize space.
Highlights of the new kitchen include custom cabinetry, a custom marble countertop with an inset drying rack, built-in chopping boards and storage—"so nothing needs to live on the counter"—two wine fridges, a larger panel-ready refrigerator, and an additional refrigerator drawer.
They also slightly reduced the size of a spare bedroom to increase the size of the kitchen and added a storage closet to hide appliances.
"The simplicity of the kitchen really allows the luxurious materials to shine."
Before: Living Room
After: Living Room
While the "Before" living areas lacked flow or a cohesive aesthetic, the "After" living room is tailored and welcoming, with ample seating and streamlined storage solutions.
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Before: Master Bedroom
By removing carpeting, repainting, and layering on bold, custom light fixtures, the Stewart-Schafer team was able to take the master bedroom from dull and drab to bright and modern.