Designing With Space in Mind

What You Need to Think About for Any Size Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home and as such we all want it to be a reflection of our personality—a space that is uniquely ours, one that is functional and beautiful in form. To that extent, before renovating your space, it is important to identify the layout of your kitchen. Is it a galley kitchen? A spacious, open format? A horseshoe? To some degree, the layout will dictate certain design details that you will want to add to make your kitchen more efficient—and, of course, more stylish.

No matter what kind of kitchen you have, it is important to identify its layout so you can effectively add design details to make the most of your space.

The Galley Kitchen



Galley kitchens may traditionally be small, but they can pack a big style punch. It is essential that you plan out all the details of the design in order to ensure that you use the space you have to its maximum potential. To add more surface area, think about utilizing a kitchen cart—not only can it act as another kitchen cabinet but can be an additional spot to use when cooking.

Open Floor Plan Kitchen


This is one of the most popular layouts for kitchens today. Usually marked by an island and an expansive eating area, an open floor plan gives you an opportunity to make a grand statement. The island itself is probably the most compelling design element in the space. Use it for wine storage in addition to pots and pans and other kitchen necessities. Functionality-wise, it is a great place to add a sink and even a microwave. Other stylish statements to consider are pendant lights—a good way to introduce your personal style.

The Pullman Kitchen


The Pullman kitchen format is most commonly found in studios or lofts. Whereas galley kitchens have two walls of cabinets that run parallel to each other, the Pullman kitchen is characterized by one wall of cabinets (and occasionally base cabinets on another). Out of necessity, it is the ultimate space saver. Utility meets style when you add elements that are not only fashionable but also functional.

Horseshoe Layout


Known also as a “U-shaped” space, the Horseshoe kitchen has three walls, allowing for a good amount of counter space and cabinetry. A side-by-side refrigerator both maximizes the space and increases functionality as most of today’s appliances come equipped with technologies that greatly enhance efficiency.

When 2-Become-1


Soaring over 70 stories above New York City’s Upper West Side sits a “Five Star Living™” luxury apartment with panoramic views of Central Park and the Hudson River. By combining two apartments, the renovated space now boast over 5,400 sq. feet along with unparalleled amenities in a much sought-after Manhattan address; 80 Columbus Circle at The Time Warner Center.

To accommodate visiting friends and relatives, a partition was needed to temporarily divide the space into two separate living quarters. The Modernfold Acousti-Seal 932 provided the privacy and acoustic sound barrier required.

Challenge: The challenge was to integrate the panels with the apartment’s existing design and architecture.

Solution: Capital Craftsmen, a New York general contractor specializing in high-end residential construction, built custom mullions and mirror inserts for the Acousti-Seal panels perfectly matching the distinctive window frames. The mirror inserts creates an optical illusion of infinite windows, and extends natural light into the space with stunning cityscape views. The results are quite impressive, and it now serves as a sophisticated room divider with a custom-built recessed side panel that neatly conceals the stacked edges when not in use.dsc_6498



Gray has become a go-to neutral for designers, thanks to its ability to bring sophistication and character to a space while keeping the mood tranquil. The soft shade particularly shines in the living room, as it allows art, furnishings, and other accents to take center stage. Whether it’s a relaxing Hamptons beach house or a modern Manhattan apartment, gray fits with any style of architecture and decor.

Here are a few living spaces from our portfolio exemplifying the gray backdrop. Maybe you will find the right shade for your next design project in this collection of inspiring rooms.




Renovating a Bathroom? Tips to Save..



New bathrooms come with a price. A mid-range bathroom renovation in NYC – replacing all the fixtures and tile – will run for about $25,000. A higher end renovation – changing the layout, adding heated flooring – would bump up that cost to nearly $75,000. With that said, there are still ways to keep costs down when renovating a bathroom.


Tile installation is already labor intensive and purchasing large quantities of tile could skyrocket your costs. Top NYC interior designers suggest using tile only in the shower. A simple subway tile could go a long way. Another alternative; instead of using border tile, you can substitute with aluminium trim to hid unglazed tile edges.


Why pay for an entire slab of granite when all you need is a small piece to cover the top of a vanity? Stone fabricators sell remnants of slabs for those in need of small quantities. Certain stores and online sites sell overstocked and/or discontinued lines for as much as 80% off.


A mirror adds style to the space and opens up a wide choice of price options. You can also go as big as the room will support, so the space ends up looking bigger and more grand.


Some material may cost less to purchase but cost more to install. Tile for example is labor intensive. An alternative would be wall panels. Overall, panels cost more, but they take less time to install therefore leading to an overall cheaper route that tile.


Even the most premeditated renovation can spawn some regrets in the aftermath. And when you’re paying NYC prices, that’s definitely something you want to avoid if you can. Start by asking each of the professionals involved in your project to point out aspects that may bear rethinking.  If you are able to explain why a client’s idea may not be the best, 99 out of 100 times they will appreciate you for it. If you have a contractor that is always a  ‘yes man’, then sometimes it’s a red flag to stay away.” You should also run your plans by a real estate broker, who can point out mistakes that could potentially hurt you upon resale.

According to experts, here are six of the most common faux pas in the world of New York City apartment remodels –

1. Getting rid of the bathtub

If your apartment has just one bath tub, converting it into a walk-in shower may not be the best idea. Walk-in showers are not appealing to those families with children. Where will the baby get a bath? A more logical approach would be removing your shower curtain and adding a glass shower door instead. A glass enclosure gives off the feeling of a walk-in shower.

2. Installing modern flooring in a prewar apartment

If you own a prewar apartment, installing a bamboo floor or another modern alternative could be a mistake when it comes to resale. Although attractive and durable, staying true to the architectural details of the building may be best. If your oak or maple floors are in poor condition and cannot be salvaged, replace them with the same type of wood or something comparable. Stay away from pre-finished, engineered, or other materials like stone or tile either. These could depreciate the overall value of your apartment since many potential buyers are looking for prewar apartments with character and close-to original detailing.

3. Eliminating closets

Removing a closet in order to gain space in a bathroom or bedroom may seem like a good idea, but only if your apartment already has other closets. Often the apartments that are the easiest to live in and sell quickly are those with abundant close space. More living space seems appealing, however, buyers tend to desire storage and closet space. An uncluttered living area will go further than a bedroom with a few extra feet.

4. Ungainly tile

An 18″x 18″ tile in a stylish bathroom in a Home Depot or Lowe’s display (where the bath models may be made for suburbia) doesn’t mean it will work for your city space. Selecting a tile size that’s too large for a small apartment kitchen or bathroom could be a costly and messy error to fix. Buy a few sample tiles and lay them out on your floor to get a sense of scale and proportion. Hiring a designer could also help with selections while steering you in the right direction. He or she will not only suggest the appropriate size and material, but can draw the tile to scale on a floor plan so you can get an idea of what it will look like before the installation.

5. Turning a two-bedroom into a one-bedroom 

One of the most common renovation mistakes committed by New York apartment owners is removing a wall to enlarge a room–but losing a bedroom. It may look great on paper, but in reality, if you give up a room, be prepared to rebuild the wall before putting the apartment on the market, or it will be classified as a one-bedroom instead of a two-bedroom. This could mean two things: a more limited group of potential buyers and a lower asking price.

6. Combine two apartments in one awkward layout

Combining two apartment units may seem like no big deal, but a seamless transition is far from easy. More often than not, combining apartments results in an awkward layout with aspects many buyers will object to, like having to walk through a kitchen to get to the bedrooms, a bathroom in the wrong place, or all of the above and then some. Trying to recoup the investment of the two apartments plus the renovation cost is way more than the market can bear. With that, you also now have a maintenance bill covering two units making a resale almost impossible.