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Weekend Spotlight: Combining Two New York Studio Apartments

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Weekend Spotlight: Combining Two New York Studio Apartments

July 19, 2014

This weekend we turn the spotlight on New York architect Lauren Rubin, a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory, who recently doubled her clients’ living quarters by combining two studio apartments in a 1930s Art Deco building on the Upper West Side. Many of the original architectural features–including leaded glass windows, basket-weave parquet floors, tiling in the bathroom and kitchen, and a sunken living room–were still in place. Rubin’s brief was to join the two spaces while saving as much of the Art Deco detail and charm as possible. Her results: a skillful intertwining of the existing with a new, modern aesthetic.

Photography by Alyssa Kirsten.

Lauren Rubin Upper West Side NY Kitchen Remodelista 02

Above: Rubin created an open kitchen into the original sunken living room by removing a wall of what was previously a galley kitchen.

Lauren Rubin Upper West Side NY Kitchen Remodelista 01

Above: In the kitchen, white subway tiles hark back to New York in the thirties. See Remodeling 101: White Tile Pattern Glossary for other ways to use white subway tiles.

Lauren Rubin Upper West Side NY Living Area Remodelista 01

Above: An Eames Lounge Chair anchors a light-filled corner. The leaded glass windows were scraped, repaired, and painted.

Lauren Rubin Upper West Side NY Living Area Remodelista 02

Above: A gray feature wall in the living room displays art en masse.

Lauren Rubin Upper West Side NY Kitchen Remodelista 03

Above: Rubin inserted storage around the frame of the door to the master bedroom. The aged basket-weave parquet floors were in fragile condition and could only take a light sanding. Rubin then selected a dark stain to hide nail heads and imperfections caused by wear and tear. 

Lauren Rubin Upper West Side NY Bathroom Remodelista 01

Above: In the master bath, white hexagonal marble floor tiles and white subway tiles reference bathroom detailing in the neighborhood’s “prewar buildings”–those built before World War II.

Lauren Rubin Upper West Side NY Bathroom Remodelista 02

Above: Rubin used small marble subway tiles to create a wainscot that wraps around the bathroom.

Before Photos

Lauren Rubin Upper West Side NY Before Remodelista 01

Above L and R: The original kitchen and bathroom.

Lauren Rubin Upper West Side NY Before Remodelista 02

Above L: Another view of the old kitchen. Above R: The sunken living room was previously used as a bedroom. 

Lauren Rubin Upper West Side NY Plan Remodelista 02

Above: The floor plan details how Rubin combined two studios into a two-bedroom, 1,069-square-foot apartment.

Lauren Rubin Upper West Side NY Before Plan Remodelista

Above: The existing conditions plan shows the two studios before they were joined.

For more New York living, see A New York Flat with a Glamorous View and The Architect Is In: Making the Most of Your Floor Plan. And on Gardenista, we’re quite taken with The Spirit of Provence in a Walled Belgian Garden.

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