Custom carpentry modernized an apartment making it clutter-free and footwear-forward
Project: Match an entire apartment to a previous renovation and build dream shoe storage in Hell’s Kitchen
Before: When Matthew, the managing director of a fashion advertising agency, bought his apartment in 2012, only half of it had gone through a renovation. A few elements, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and floors, were in the present. Everything else stood sadly in the past. The old radiators stuck out like sore thumbs. So did the sliding doors of the storage closets. Then Matthew had the sartorial problem of 87 pairs of shoes stacked up against a wall in the one-bedroom co-op. “I really wanted to bring the entire apartment up to a modern, minimalist, clutter-free design,” said Matthew.
After: Much of the design was done from scratch, so Matthew worked closely with his design/build Sweeten contractor. “We literally went through twenty design options for the shoe closet alone,” Matthew said. But the outcome was worth it. The shoe storage is designed to Matthew’s shoe size, which is a nine. There is room for 90 pairs, including his favorites, Common Projects Blush sneakers and black Gucci loafers. The radiator in the living space is hidden under a desk where Matthew can sit for breakfast by the window. In the bedroom, a dressing bench, flanked by custom storage, covers up the other radiator. The remaining closet doors were replaced to match the wood veneer of the shoe storage. Each door has hidden hardware and pops open when it is pushed, eliminating the need for handles.
As the renovation evolved, the Sweeten contractor also installed a hidden storage unit next to the laundry to utilize every inch of space in the 790-square-foot apartment. They also encouraged Matthew to replace the window trimmings to match the custom carpentry. “We did one window first and I loved it, so we just did every window,” Matthew said.
Bonus: Matthew has a strong affection for the color orange. Its presence in his renovation was a must. “I wanted it in there but didn’t want it to be obnoxious,” he said. After bouncing around various options of visibility, Matthew settled on adding it to the inside of his shoe closet. “You have to open the closet and pull out a drawer, but I see it every day,” he said.
Style finds: Custom desk (in mirror reflection): Room and Board. White desk chair (in mirror reflection): Design Within Reach. Orange desk lamp (in mirror reflection): ABC Home. Cabinetry and carpentry: custom. Custom bench in the living room: Room and Board. Kitchen counter stools in chocolate: Design Within Reach.
For more storage inspiration, check out Lauren’s studio and custom closet that boasts a sizable shoe collection (although not as impressive as 87 pairs).
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