Collection by Diana Budds

Space Saving Renovation in Brooklyn

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A renovation in Brooklyn proves that the secret to living in compact quarters lies in the details.

Like many apartments in early 20th-century row houses, architect Philip Ryan’s Brooklyn abode was the epitome of spatial inefficiency. “You were constantly running into doors,” he says. An early renovation goal of Ryan’s was to reconfigure the 580-square-foot apartment’s geometry: “I wanted two linear rooms: one zone for cooking and eating and another for living and sleeping.” He removed interior walls and crafted a hallway spanning the length of the residence to increase the flow of light and air throughout. “Even when you’re in these relatively tight areas, the eye doesn’t focus on the smaller moments—you’re getting borrowed views from the other rooms, making the space feel more generous,” he says

Architect Philip Ryan placed fluorescent bulbs that mimic daylight in the ceiling alcove of his Brooklyn apartment.
In the bathroom and throughout the apartment, Ryan kept lines as pure as possible by designing built-in storage alcoves.
Restricting storage to a monolithic bank of bookshelves and cabinets cuts down on furniture clutter.
The same philosophy inspired the quirky window- sill flowerpot recess.
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