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NYC Prewar apartment Need Help - kitchen options in an odd space and limited $
Constance
September 18, 2012 in Design Dilemma
My Boyfriends living space is a combo of 3 apartments put together. We have limited money so we are doing the apartment that is currently not being used. We are going to turn it into a kitchen but none of the plans gives us a good area to eat in. We are a family of two and dont entertain much but would like to have that option. We also want to make sure it will have somm resale value. All help is appreciated
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Dytecture
This actually is a spacious sized apartment for New York standard. The option in the middle is what I would pick since it provides you with a continuous run of counter space with a nice area for a breakfast table in front of the window.
September 18, 2012 at 8:13pm        Thanked by Constance
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yvonnecmartin
I prefer the walls as in the first layout. This makes the living room and kitchen larger and the bedroom smaller. In this arrangement you would have room for a dining table (perhaps a drop-leaf) in the living room. You could even rearrange the den to make a dining room for big family occasions if you selected a table instead of a desk.

As to kitchens, I like the arrangement with the table by the window.
September 18, 2012 at 9:47pm        Thanked by Constance
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dbyang
You have too many corridors. The gallery you need to get to the rest of the apartment. But the corridor to the laundry is wasted space. If possible, I would move the laundry closer to the bedroom, where most of the laundry comes from, and delete the wall between the kitchen and laundry. That will give you many more options on the kitchen.
September 19, 2012 at 4:08am        Thanked by Constance
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Ben Herzog
I agree with dbyang. Try to expand the kitchen and take over the laundry 'corridor'. Creative cabinetry or a screenwall can effectively separate the kitchen from the powder room entrance. Scheme 3 is intriguing- built-in banquette takes up less space generally but the seating isn't open enough- no one would want to slide all the way around to the corner... Good luck! -Ben
September 27, 2012 at 6:23am      Thanked by Constance
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dbyang
Two entries into kitchen is always a good idea. Unlike most older NYC kitchens, you have the potential of making your kitchen into a gathering place. That would be nice if you ever needed to make the study into a second bedroom, so you can entertain in both the living space and ktchen.
I would also make the closet into a pantry again. That will free up more space in the kitchen. Then hang your coats in the gallery under the upper rows of bookshelves(upper half bookshelves, lower half coats). Just an idea.
September 27, 2012 at 7:33am      Thanked by Constance
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J.T. Design
Your Architect is doing a great job of helping you explore these difficult issues. Be very careful soliticing information here as it will only add to your confusion. Most don't understand that all the thick walls in this plan may contain vertical elements which cannot be moved and will lead you down a design idea path your designers cannot follow. They have given you many options already, and looks like they can work with your issues much better than any of us, who have not seen the original drawings or building.

Your Architects role is to weed out the bad ideas without even showing you, as this will only cloud the main issues of designing within your budget. Express your dislike of the various corridor and lack of openess issues with them, and listen carefully to what they tell you. If you feel they are not being honest then seek out other local professionals.
September 27, 2012 at 8:43am        Thanked by Constance
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2leftsocks
What a great apartment. (So jealous...) Nice plans, too - all of them. I'm most partial to the first layout. Galley kitchens are classic, wonderfully efficient designs. Everything is within easy reach, with few steps. (Just make sure there's enough space for two people to work comfortably & clearance to open the fridge & cupboard doors & still walk thru.) And the dining area is spacious, well lit & offers a nice view outside. The built-in seating wall - wonderful. (esp if the seats are hinged & open to store bulk food/kitchen items.) Just enough seating for two people & a guest or so. Also, having the laundry area & powder room closed off from the kitchen offers excellent privacy - something always appreciated by guests & homeowners. Whatever you decide, when investing in a serious, expensive redo, it's said, "Design for the way you live & not the way you want to live." Meaning, don't pour money into something you will not fully utilize. People's living & entertaining habits rarely change for the long term. So, if you live modestly & entertain only once or twice a year - don't overhaul your space to please others on those few & far between occasions. Rather, design for the way YOU live, every day. When you do have big gatherings, it's more cost efficient to purchase or rent a large folding table & comfortable, pretty folding chairs. Add a nice table cloth & set it up in the living room in front of the fireplace. Can't think of a nicer evening for you & your guests. (Re the laundry "corridor". If you line the long wall with shallow floor to ceiling built-in shelving or bookcases, eg. 8"-10" deep - you can maximize the space to it's best. Extra storage is always a plus.)
September 27, 2012 at 9:58am        Thanked by Constance
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Constance
I somehow deleted my comments – thanks Ben Herzog and dbyang
I am trying to envision how to hide the bathroom with creative cabinetry and not have so much wasted space.
Thanks JT - I like my architect (he actually told me to go here for ideas) I love most of the house but the kitchen perplexes me. I have never needed an architect so maybe I don't understand his role. Also I think I might not be as good at verbalizing my thoughts or ideas. I have been searching floor plans to see what to do with an odd space that does have pipes everywhere locations. During a prior experience I had several contractors with good ideas but found one who had a similar layout and came up with a great solution. I guess that is what I am hoping for.
2leftsocks - love the name and your wisdom. My boyfriends started this process when he planned to always live alone. So now we are living together and the use of space is different. He had never used his kitchen in 22 years; I love to cook. I want a space that is comfortable for two people where I can cook and store all the food I buy at Costco.
September 27, 2012 at 1:34pm   
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Constance
So this is my latest version of our apartment! Any thoughts? Still havent worked out the bathroom problem.
October 18, 2012 at 1:10pm   
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decoenthusiaste
One of my favorite apartments had a window counter in the kitchen overlooking Mass. Avenue in DC.. Since you don't entertain, I would consider a blend of #2, with all the counter space, and #3, with more counter space wrapping around. No table or banquette, just the window spot for eating. Then get a dual use coffee table that lowers for one use and raises to become a dining table.
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Adjustable Height Glass Coffee Table
November 13, 2012 at 8:12am        Thanked by Constance
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Constance
decoenthusiaste - you have great vision.

NYC10023 - is the second sketch more along the lines of what you were thinking?
November 17, 2012 at 2:16pm   
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judianna20
You have smart and talented people with you on this post. The only thing I can comment on is that I watch "Selling New York" once in awhile and you have a great investment here. Wow! Real estate has done well for us. Good job. Your future is secure.
November 17, 2012 at 2:25pm        Thanked by Constance
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ny10023
Here it is, don't know the exact dimensions of your space and plumbing - assumed that thick walls were not movable.
November 17, 2012 at 3:50pm      Thanked by Constance
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ny10023
Is that the only column in that space?
November 22, 2012 at 4:54pm      Thanked by Constance
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ny10023
I have erased all the columns in the space, why don't you put them back in so I know where the columns are. I have changed the shape of the 2nd bedroom to have the wall next to the window perpendicular to that window.
November 22, 2012 at 5:04pm      Thanked by Constance
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ny10023
I have erased all the columns in the space, why don't you put them back in so I know where the columns are. I have changed the shape of the 2nd bedroom to have the wall next to the window perpendicular to that window.
November 22, 2012 at 5:04pm      Thanked by Constance
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Constance
NYC 10023 Thanks for your help - my PC decided it no longer wanted to work. please see the bearing walls in red and the heaters A/C in yellow
November 26, 2012 at 2:58pm   
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Constance
This is our final - it was based on where we have the best light. Any design or fine tuning is appreciated.
March 11, 2013 at 8:00am     
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ny10023
I like it. Can you add washer/dryer?
March 11, 2013 at 9:45am     
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Constance
NY10023 - Thanks I was eally hoping for your input. We can I was thinking to add it to the pantry area. Any ideas?
March 11, 2013 at 10:34am   
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ny10023
Minor points: is there a way to reorient fixtures in the 3rd bathroom (off LR) so that it becomes the ensuite to the study, and the ensuite to the study becomes a powder room/laundry room?

If not, I suggest a pocket door for that bathroom off the LR.
March 11, 2013 at 11:08am      Thanked by Constance
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Constance
ny10023 - No, it would require major plumbing changes and the boyfriend hates that idea. The architect and I have been trying to convince him that it makes the most sense.
I agree about the pocket door, we are getting one in the bedroom. They are expensive but seem worth the cost. Ours is about 5K in the bedroom is that reasonable?
March 11, 2013 at 1:06pm   
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Constance
So we have narrowed the choices down. My big decision is whether to expand the kitchen into the master bedroom - bigger kitchen or larger master. Will the master be to small if I do this?
June 30, 2013 at 7:37am   
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Constance
We would not get rid of the bathroom in the living room
June 30, 2013 at 7:38am   
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FINNE Architects
I am not sure if I am looking at the most recent scheme, but I would comment that the kitchen looks too small in every scheme so far. The kitchen really is the heart of the apartment, so try to make it as big as you can!
June 30, 2013 at 3:12pm        Thanked by Constance
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Constance
Thanks FINNE I might try to expand the kitchen to fit the wall where the island sits.
July 27, 2013 at 10:23am   
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