Family Duplex Apartment – NYC

  • In the entry, we removed an awkward closet from beneath the stairs, replacing it with floor to ceiling bookshelves, of which the curve complements that of the grand, sweeping staircase. Books were intentionally the first thing guests see when they enter the apartment. The small stool is 19th century Russian, tautly upholstered in patterned horsehair.

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For this family, moving from a Village loft to a prewar Upper East Side duplex, gracious shelving for their voluminous quantity of books, a baby grand piano and equally pleasant spaces for them to read aloud or play music as a family were a priority. The three bedroom, three bath duplex, in an apartment building constructed in about 1940, required gut renovation and significant architectural reconfiguration of rooms, including many more doorways. Details were added to spaces which had no moldings.

The terrace–arguably the apartment’s most advantageous feature, boasting full north to south views–was hampered by limited access through the dining room only. We created new access to the terrace from the living room, transforming its windows into doors. The new architectural communication between the two spaces added a sense of depth to the living room, while the terrace, with careful plantings and elegant outdoor furniture, was transformed into a luscious exterior space. Four trees create a virtual canopy over the table and chairs, and a small water feature adds a foreground of sparkling water.