Out and About: 2 decorating styles worlds apart

(Flickr photo by Hennie Schaper)

The difference décor can make in an apartment is not always as graphic as in two co-ops that I visited on West End Avenue in the high 80s.

Although the one-bedroom units are in the same line separated merely by a number of floors, they present themselves as whole worlds apart.

The one that happens to be on the higher floor gripped me with its appeal.  The one on the lower floor repelled me, yet it wanted virtually nothing.

Sleek, spare and also inviting, the higher apartment was not decorated exactly to my taste.  But Continue reading

Out and About: You are where you eat

Perfect example of a poorly combined apartment.

“Dining room” surely is one of the most commonly abused labels in the world of real estate sales as the term relates to space in an apartment.

(Well, I have to admit that “walk-in closet” is one of several other strong contenders.  Sometimes, “bedroom” is as well.

“Dining room” sometimes refers to other spaces that are tucked into alcoves or other odd corners of a property.  Honest sellers and their brokers may refer to “dining area,” though I’d say the term is dishonestly used just because a small table can be jammed into foyer.

The floorplan above is for a combined apartment on West End Avenue in low 100s.  Although the co-op has been expensively gut renovated, it has been impossibly designed.

The combination just doesn’t work as currently configured.

The dining room doubles as a foyer, or, more accurately, Continue reading

Out and About: Get me outta here!

Do you wanna dance? Without the furniture, there’s plenty of room: That’s a grand piano at the far left and kitchen island near right.

Loved the apartment, hated the clutter.

This condo on a lower floor of a boutique building that is a stone’s throw from Lincoln Center in the mid 60s has a great deal going for it (though not views).

Among the pluses of this 1,586-sf unit are 10-feet-high ceilings, oversize windows, an elevator that opens directly into the apartment, terrific open kitchen with Viking, Pogenpohl and granite, small laundry room, and two lush baths that feature Italian marble, and plenty of closet space.  The living/dining room stretches 28 feet to the kitchen area and is 15.5 feet wide.

But oh Continue reading

Out and About: You can forget about the gym

On a clear day, you can. . . climb up forever.

Selling an apartment is hard enough these days.  Selling one in a building without elevators is a challenge that can be overwhelming.

The photo looking up from the bottom of the stairwell nicely illustrates the problem facing the broker (and, of course, the owner) of an apartment four full flights from the building’s vestibule, itself several steps up from the street in the low 100s between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues.

The broker tried to put the best face on her challenge.

She really likes the fact that there’s a little landing Continue reading

Out and About: Seller lives in Fantasyland.

Lincoln Center (Flickr photo by Stewart Morris)

He closed on the place only last May, when it was listed for $2.15 million.

There was a bidding war for the two-bedroom, two-terrace, two-bath penthouse in a Central Park block of the mid 60s, an area that is part of Lincoln Square.

Because of the so-called “war,” the current owner — who appears to be an advertising agency executive — paid $2.5 million for the co-op, which costs him $3,269 in maintenance a month.

But for undisclosed reasons relating to the seller’s inability to continue living in New York, according to the listing broker, the apartment went on the market again in early December with an asking price that boggles the mind. Continue reading

Out and About: Welcome to grandma’s place

Tastes do, after all, change.

I just had to share with you my photo (above) of the entrance of a classic six-room apartment in the mid 70s on a corner of Columbus Avenue.

“All the rooms looked like this,” the listing broker confessed, acknowledging that their wallpaper had been stripped off the others and a coat of white paint slapped on.  We agreed that the co-op must have been decorated Continue reading

Out and About: Studios built not only for sleeping

Central Park Studios, at 15 W. 67th St., is one building of several originally designed for artists on that block.

Rare is the individual who can resist the ineffable charm, halo of history and peerless patina of apartments created as studios for visual artists and musicians.  They exist predominantly, though not exclusively, on the Upper West Side.

Buildings created with artists in mind often feature some combination of soaring ceilings, leaded-glass windows, British overtones, ornamental woodwork and, naturally, great northern light.

I can think of such buildings on Central Park South, above Carnegie Hall and in the Lincoln Square area.

There is almost nothing like them, and that undoubtedly explains the premiums they normally command. Continue reading