Her requirements were a bit unique, requiring a large soaking tub, a substantial walk-in closet area and built-in storage, this fashionista requirements and priorities shaped this unique apartment in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, NY.
While not exactly how I would have approached this layout, her desires were adamant, a very large bedroom and storage for clothing, an open kitchen and dining area connected to the back yard, and a resulting smallish living area. The bathroom would also be ample, with a large jacuzzi type tub, vanity and walk-in shower. She got what she wanted, from a different Architect, calling me in to fix it all since the living room was small and dark and the entire apartment seemed cluttered and disorganized.
Yet unfortunately she was unable to let go of the existing layout and listen to reason. For her, she compartmentalized every little thing she envisioned and saw that they were built, here, and there, until each piece was completed, but then didn’t understand why her apartment wasn’t spectacular.
For us, the solutions were clear and despite our efforts to explain the direction she should take the apartment her stubbornness and closed-minded nature left no room for actual changes. At one point I thought to myself, then what does she expect me to do, wave a magic wand and make it all make sense?
So where did she go wrong? It starts with the kitchen, in her mind it had to be connected to the backyard, and had to be of a certain size and had to have a peninsula. This sets off the rest of the apartment including a dining area that is for some reason surrounded by floor to ceiling cabinetry, and thus pushing the living room into the building and away from direct daylight. So now our homeowner spends most of her days in a dark, tiny and hard to furnish living space.
This brings us to the oversized bathroom, straight from a 1980’s photo of what bathrooms should look like. Instead of her spending a little more money to move the plumbing stack and thus both the bathroom and kitchen to an interior location, she stuffed it adjacent to the kitchen which only resulted in the living room getting smaller.
And then there’s the bedroom, located on the front of the residence no doubt the noise generated by street traffic has a psychological effect on making this person’s life feel even more chaotic. Even the extra large dressing area doesn’t align with its own closets. This hodgepodge of a layout is what happens when there is poor direction from a leader, the Architect, who is willing to go along with whatever a client says, even if it has long lasting psychological effects and it clearly had for this client.
If anything, this layout shows what can go wrong with a client. The rear wall overlooking the backyard garden should have had her largest living space, a great room. Off this room should have been the kitchen, making the great room feel larger. The Bedroom should have had new windows to thwart any noise and the closet and dressing area should have been integrated with the bathroom. The design should have been ordered and expansive instead of compartmentalized and chaotic, reflecting the nature of the client’s own persona and the thing she’s trying to expel, chaos in her life.