Redesigning My New York City Apartment Kitchen

I'm about to start planning the kitchen in my NYC apartment. Join me, and fasten your seat belts!

Here's The Background

We (my husband, Steve, and I) own a one bedroom apartment (about 550-570 sf), which we bought 2 1/2 years ago on the upper west side of New York.  We're a 1/2 block from Central Park, the park location being the reason we bought the apartment, and enjoy the city tremendously. As we are just getting out of college paying years, home equity played a part in buying us this dream (my dream from when I was a very young girl.)

Our son recently attended college in the city and lives in the apartment now. He will be moving out in December (clean before you leave, please!) to start his next phase of life. Our life plan is to split our time between Long Island and the city, with more time in the city as time goes by, starting in December.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is 7x7.  While our existing kitchen is in good enough shape, we want to remove half of the wall which separates the living area from the kitchen, exposing one, large room. This is what is driving the project. It will be a snowball effect, and all materials will have to be replaced. Much more about the kitchen to come...

Here's The Conundrum 

Given the (small) square footage of the apartment, compared to how we're used to living in our fairly spacious suburban house on Long Island, I can see us wanting a larger apartment down the road. Could we afford a larger apartment? Not now. Down the road? Maybe, maybe NOT (the biggest reason for taking down the wall.) If we downsized our house on Long Island? Yes. Could we learn to live in 570 sf for extended periods of time? I would hope so, but I'm not entirely convinced. That's my honest answer. I can't know the answer to that right now.

The question of a larger apartment in our future is a significant one. This apartment will not be a pied a terre. We will spend lots of time there. I don't see it making sense to have a big house and a small apartment, if we end up spending equal time at each. Yet, if you were with us at breakfast on Sunday in the backyard, as we talked about this, in a private setting, surrounded by gorgeous, thick, woods and our large rose/perennial garden (which we enjoy working on together from spring to frost) you'd make an argument to keep the house and work around the small apartment. "If" is a pretty powerful word!

Look, these are all intrinsically "good" scenarios in the big picture, which ever way we go. We are very fortunate to have two homes in the first place. This conundrum is worthy of serious thought for us, but not worry. I am sure the answers will eventually reveal themselves to us!

The Paradox

Ah, that last sentence is said, oh, so casually, but it brings to mind one of the first questions I ask my clients...how long will you stay in the home (in our case, the apartment?) The answer is useful (if not necessary) in providing direction for spending and design decisions, going forward.

We don't know the answer to how long we will keep the apartment. That said, ultimately, we must decide if we design/spend for us or design/spend for the real estate market. In fact, we cannot move forward until we decide.

Updates will happen randomly. Sometimes days together, sometimes weeks apart. Seek out the category to keep up to date! Pictures are coming too!

Stay tuned! 

Posted on October 8, 2007 and filed under My NYC Apartment Kitchen Remodel.