Manhattan Pre-War Apartment Renovation

ABOUT THIS PROJECT

For this Manhattan pre-war apartment renovation, the clients wanted to pay homage to the original historic details while mixing in contemporary touches. The apartment is a classic seven on the Upper West Side and was in estate condition, having been untouched in some 50-60 years, but the appealing address and architectural charm made this large-scale gut renovation worth the undertaking for the clients. At the same time, they were keen to utilize budget-conscious decisions where feasible. We worked closely to determine their design priorities and make practical recommendations without losing sight of aesthetic considerations, while also bringing to life their vision for a modernized home with nods to its pre-war roots.

Fun Fact: Our renovations added nearly $1 million in value to this apartment, which was listed in the New York Times!

DESIGNER
Avi Z.
LOCATION
Upper West Side, Manhattan
SQUARE FOOT
1650
DURATION
18 weeks

Design Details

The transitional aesthetic, which pairs classic choices with modern touches, is ideal for pre-war apartment renovations. In this kitchen renovation, in-set Shaker-style cabinets open and close flush with the frame instead of over it, a design feature of pre-war English-style kitchens. The champagne-colored pull handles offer a contemporary sense of contrast, while the matching quartz countertops and backsplash pull the look together. 

For the final touch, we built a breakfast nook into the kitchen area, opting for an open shelf along the sink instead of another hanging cabinet. The openness creates design cohesion between the kitchen and nook, enhancing the usability of both. Many of the upgrades, such as the crown and base moulding, are brand new, but crafted to be visually period-specific.

We also updated two bathrooms in this Manhattan pre-war apartment renovation. subway tiles with a modern twist bring a timeless New York sensibility, while the glass-paned shower and floating double vanity creates a spa-like atmosphere in one bathroom. In the other, large marble tiles visually animate the main floor, while penny tiles offer smaller-scale contrast in the shower.

Forgiving Flooring

The apartment received new floors in the kitchen, new tiles in the bathrooms, and refinished floors throughout the rest of the space. A darker stain was chosen for the refinishing, providing a nice contrast against the overall lighter tones throughout the apartment that’s also accurate for the pre-war period. 

The refinished flooring is one area where we were able to guide our clients toward a smarter use of budget, as refinishing existing floors is a fraction of the cost of putting in brand new ones. The dark stain was specifically selected for its forgiving nature, hiding the scratches and other wear-and-tear of 100 years spent lining an apartment floor.

From Pre-War to Modern Day

Virtually all pre-war renovations which have not been previously remodeled in any way share the need to replace outdated plumbing and electricity. To add to the undertaking, this particular Manhattan pre-war apartment renovation was also in estate condition, necessitating a complete redo of all plumbing and electrical. The original walls were also fairly damaged, requiring a great deal of skim coating. As usual, replacing plaster walls and dealing with the unpredictable effects of inconsistent or nonexistent upkeep were challenges par for the pre-war course in this renovation, allowing our expertise in New York’s pre-war properties to shine.

Some Highlights

  • In-set cabinets for a classic pre-war English kitchen look
  • Newly built-in areas, including a breakfast nook in the kitchen and custom closets
  • Recessed lights throughout the space
  • True gut renovation from estate condition, meaning almost everything was completely redone
  • The apartment’s amazing views of the Hudson River!

Thinking about a pre-war apartment renovation? Contact us today! We specialize in full renovations of New York spaces, from pre-war brownstones and apartments to condos and lofts. We’re experts in full gut renovations in which every inch of the space is updated and have the knowledge to navigate every step of the process, from filing permits and organizing schedules to sourcing custom pieces and building entirely new rooms. Work with Gallery as your design-and-build firm to benefit from our clear communication and start-to-finish approach.

BEFORE

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Our success stories

Forget about any horror story you have heard about contractors. Stop right here. This is the design-build contractor you want to HIRE. It was a breeze working with Aaron and Jonathan on our apartment combination project. We looked at quiet a few design-build companies and chose Gallery because of the great communication and the fact that they were able to manage material purchasing and product selection for us….They were honest, took responsibility and pride in their work.”
Zoe C
Upper West Side, Manhattan, NY.
I hired Gallery Kitchen & Bath after interviewing 3 or 4 other top rated companies. It was my first time dealing with contractors for a job this size so I was anxious, and my main criteria in gauging the companies was their ability to listen, communicate, and of course if they’re trustworthy…in retrospect, signing with with was the right decision and we are very happy with the results.
Vlad S.
Long Island City, Queens, NY.
After my wife and I purchased our West Village condo, we knew a renovation was first on our list of priorities. After a thorough search and meeting numerous firms, we found Gallery Kitchen and Bath and at Gallery we met Eli who from beginning was prepared to go above and beyond other contractors we met to make sure our vision came to fruition. From start to finish, Eli and team were hands on through the decision making process, carefully stepping us through our decisions and their implications.
Jonathan O.
West Village, Manhattan, NY.
From the start, we wanted a crew that could do full service (design and build). After looking at some other designs, we really liked what Gallery offered in way of aesthetics. Then, during the entire process, the team was all over it! Issues always come up, but it’s how these guys handled them that make me here writing a positive review. Can’t recommend them highly enough
Jason C
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY.
I enthusiastically recommend Gallery and especially our project manager Eli, who did a superb job renovating our once decrepit 2-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn Heights. The project involved a full kitchen and bathroom renovation, as well as new electrical, refinished floors, new doors, new baseboards, and some rearranged bedroom closets. What is more, when I have them the wrong paint color for my daughter’s bedroom, and the team started to paint that color, they got the paint I wanted and corrected the “mistake” (which has actually been my mistake) and didn’t charge me for that either. I’d choose them again 100 times over and definitely recommend them to anyone considering a similar project.
Jane M
Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, NY.
We interviewed about 8 different companies before hiring a contractor for our apartment renovations. We immediately clicked with Peter, our project manager, and although Gallery was not the cheapest option, we chose them based on their upfront billing format, high client reviews, and depth of knowledge after speaking with Peter and Aaron. We loved how it was a “one stop shop” and were paying one bill, up front. …Everything was very transparent and we could not be happier with the results! Our apartment looks exactly how we imagined. Thank you!!
Fiki K.
Gramercy Park, Manhattan, NY.
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