This article provides the top three ways to capitalize on the experience of your apartment when you plan to gut renovate.

Pre-war Apartment Opportunities

Pre-war and pre-pre-war homes were designed for life with different needs. Their room size and large windows are great, but their closets are commonly inaccessible, the corridors are long and narrow, and their entertaining rooms are designed to be very separate. At AKA, these characteristics are strategic opportunities to maximize space in a gut renovation. With added storage space, we incorporate these spaces into reconceived rooms that feel natural and gracious.

Before: a dark corridor adjacent to a dining room. After: A widened room with a seating area and desk, the dining table is just out of the frame.

Space Is Your Open Floor Area

We make entertaining rooms bigger when we strategically remove walls. We call the Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, and Foyer your “entertaining rooms.” We combine the living spaces adjacent to the entertaining rooms. Our renovations create more usable floor space per square foot.

Better Storage Gives You More Open Space

The main focus of our renovation is storage. For example, we install closets and cabinetry where you need them and in the appropriate size and shape. Our renovation process creates better open space by creating better storage.

Before: A closet and around the corner; a door to the foyer in the distance. After: book case and storage wraps a corner; a nearby pocket door opens to the foyer.

Better Flow Creates A Feeling Of Expansiveness

How you move through the rooms of your apartment impacts how large it feels; the more ways you have to travel from one room to another, the larger the space appears. In addition, when you see more of your apartment from any one position, you perceive a more expansive space. Furthermore, increasing views out of your windows will make your apartment feel better-lit and better connected to the outdoors. All of these adjustments must be balanced with maintaining the individuality of each room to retain the experience of a classic-six or any pre-war home.

Spacious room with walls removed between the Dining Room and the Kitchen, and the corner window is paired with the Kitchen window to double the light

Higher quality space is more enjoyable

As part of the renovation process at AKA, We make your home feel more spacious. We rethink door locations, especially in your entertaining spaces, to create more visibility between rooms. We help you enjoy the space in your home by making each room more visible. Our clients love the feeling of expansiveness we create; it is an intangible asset that increases the value of their gut renovation beyond a kitchen remodel or a bathroom renovation.

Increased views throughout the apartment through connected Entertaining Rooms and strategically shifting the door openings around the Foyer

Moving Forward:

Seek expansiveness, it increases the value of a gut renovation beyond the money spent on a kitchen remodel or a bathroom renovation. Your project is about the experience, not square footage.

What are your top 3 gut renovation strategies for pre-war and pre-pre-war NYC homes? Add them in the comments below! 

Do you have questions about strategies for maximizing your space? Contact us, and we may include the answer in a future article!

About Us:

At AKA, we specialize in transforming homes to increase light views and experience; we focus on our clients’ delight!

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Allegra Kochman

Allegra Kochman

About the Author

Allegra has a BA with Honors from Dartmouth College and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University. She aims to write straightforward and practical content for those who want to gut renovate their homes.