That New Yorker dream of opening a secret door to a new suite became a reality for this young family. When the half-floor flat above their garden apartment became available, the dream space became a new wing for the parents. They got to keep their great location and beloved backyard, while we reimagined and combined the apartments.
The parents’ suite consists of a small sleeping room, a bathroom with marbled walls and a walk-in shower, and a sunny library with a wet bar and floor to ceiling bookcases. A rolling ladder reaches the highest books. By opting for cozy sleeping rooms in favor of larger common spaces, we packed three bedrooms and bathrooms into this duplex. The rear guest room doubles as a study and play space.
New whitewashed ash floorboards unify the two levels. We widened the opening in the rear masonry wall to bring natural light deep into the living room and open kitchen. The enlarged kitchen has durable quartzite counters and space for multiple cooks. At the entry, floor-to-ceiling closets hide coats, a stroller dock, and mudroom functions.
Carefully carving out ample storage so that living spaces could remain uncluttered, we tucked the washer and a large pull-out pantry behind lacquered panels under the new stair. Upstairs, an ipe slat wall defines the stairwell, screens the parents’ suite for privacy, and conceals a platform for bikes and sports gear.