Real Estate

They Dreamed of a Bigger Apartment. Little by Little, It Came True.


Complaining about cramped quarters is common practice for most people who live in apartments. But sometimes you don’t have to move to find a little extra space.

That’s what Lauren and Michael Stein discovered.

In 2012, they paid $895,000 for a two-bedroom co-op apartment in Midtown Manhattan that a previous owner had already expanded, by blowing out a wall between a small one-bedroom and a studio.

“They were combined, but not really done well,” said Ms. Stein, 40, a sales director at a social media company, noting that the apartments had been attached without reconfiguring the floor plan. But after she and Mr. Stein, 44, a mortgage banker, made a few cosmetic changes, the space was good enough for them.

That is, until they started having children. “Then it was your typical, ‘Oh, this space is tight,’” she said. “But we had made friends in the building and community, and didn’t want to leave the building.”

After nearly a year of negotiating, the couple received permission to make the cut and gut renovate the combined space. Upstairs, in the old studio, they created a primary suite with a dressing room and a desk area in front of a glass wall overlooking the staircase. Downstairs, they remodeled their old apartment to include a small living-and-dining room, a new kitchen and two bedrooms for their children, Chase, now 8, and Parker, 6. Construction took about six months and cost roughly $940,000.

After moving back in, the Steins were pleased. But when the pandemic struck and one of their next-door neighbors decided to sell a one-bedroom unit, they knew it was an opportunity for something better. Now they could add more space, which would allow them to create a generous living room, a proper dining space and a playroom.

They bought their neighbor’s apartment for $627,500 in October 2020 and got to work. But this time, they decided to do things a little differently.

Shortly before buying the apartment next door, the Steins had worked with Jennifer Hunter, an interior designer, on remodeling their Hamptons home, and the interiors of that house were so appealing and reflective of their personalities that they began to find their city apartment lacking.

So for their second renovation, they asked Ms. Hunter to be part of the team. “I wanted it to be fun, edgy and colorful,” Ms. Stein said of the apartment. “I was like, ‘Bring it all to life, Jen. Otherwise, the apartment is going to be a great space that just kind of falls flat.’”

But Ms. Hunter was determined not to repeat the same decorative approach in the city. “It was different, because the Hamptons was very beachy and casual,” she said. The Steins are energetic people who love art and fashion, and their urban home needed to reflect those things with bolder colors and patterns.


Sahred From Source link Real Estate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *