NYers get creative to transform closets into novel amenities

Space increasingly being converted into an extra bedroom, workspace or bar

TRD New York /
Nov.November 11, 2016 09:28 AM

Tiny apartments and the need for more space have given birth to a cottage industry of squeezing every last square foot out of any hutch or hovel.

The newest trend in home design is for New Yorkers to convert closets to into extra bedrooms, workspaces or even cocktail bars.

“I see the closet as a bedroom all the time,” said Compass broker Abigail Palanca, who is working with a Windsor Terrace family who converted an extra closet to a bedroom for their 7-year-old son. “It’s definitely the new normal.”

Priya Patel and her husband, Jesse Soleil, converted the windowed closet of the master bedroom in their three-bedroom townhouse as their family grew.

They moved their off-season wardrobes into storage, added furniture from Ikea and installed pocket doors, the New York Times reported.

The family is considering selling the house they bought in 2005 for $750,000 and moving to Manhattan. The home is listed for sale at $1.8 million.

“People have been coming in and saying, ‘Only in New York!’” Patel said.

Her broker is in on the trend too. Palanca turned a walk-in closet in Her Windsor Terrace home into a room for her son so he would not have to share one with his siblings.

“It’s bought me a little more time in a neighborhood that I love,” she said.

Others have turned closets into workspaces or recording studios.

Yi Tyng Tan and her husband, Maxime Balay, turned a closet under the staircase in their Upper West Side one-bedroom loft into a “Mad Men”-inspired cocktail bar. Balay, who is from outside Paris, said it reminds him of home.

“Amongst our American friends, it’s very rare that people welcome other people into their homes. It’s probably specific to New York because apartments are so small,” Balay said. “But in France bringing people to your place is a must-do. It’s a different mind-set. The bar facilitates that.” [NYT] – Rich Bockmann


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