Wednesday, August 31, 2011

When Floorplans Make Sense

When I was in elementary school I developed an obsession with architecture and floor plans. I loved looking at them and drawing them. After an archaeologist, an architect was the 2nd profession I wanted to have - that is until I learned how much math was involved!

Anyway, I still have an interest in architecture and interior design, and while we're in the midst of looking at larger apartments to move into this fall, I cannot understand some of the counter intuitive floor plans/layouts I continue to encounter in NYC.

Our current floor plan is pretty well thought out despite it being a railroad apartment. I like how the bedroom is on the opposite end of the living room/kitchen. That way if one of us needs to be on a call or need quiet while the other wants to watch TV or listen to music, we can each have the privacy we need. I also like the ample closet space - Nia's room (what used to be the office) has a huge closet. It's nearly a walk-in.

Here's our current floor plan:

Our current building is new construction, and I find that while I can appreciate some attributes of older city apartments I love the amenities that new construction provide.

Here's a list of the hybrid old/new features that my ideal apartment would have:
  • Windows (that actually open!) in the kitchen and bathroom
  • Hardwood floors
  • Walk-in-closet (at least 1)
  • Separate dining room (not in the same room as the TV)
  • In-unit washer and dryer (2 of the 3 apartments I've lived in have had this!)
  • Stainless steel appliances including dishwasher
I've come across a few NYC floor plans that have some of the elements I like:

I love how the two bedrooms are on either side of the living room

Photo credit

It's not on list of requirements, but the one "nice-to-have" thing that is missing from the above floor plans is outdoor space. We have two outdoor spaces at our current apartment and while the one in the front off our bedroom is too narrow to use, we really like the one in the back, off the living room.

Here's another; I love all the windows, the double sink in the master bathroom and the separate dining and living rooms:

Photo Credit
This 2 bedroom is huge -  nearly 1,500 square feet; that window in the kitchen is great, but I'd want the 2nd bedroom on the opposite side of the apartment:

Photo Credit

We saw a brand new 3 bedroom apartment last weekend that would save us a substantial amount of money AND is LEED certified which is a cool bonus, but while it doesn't have a washer/dryer in the unit, the other amenities (including an onsite gym, huge playground and daycare) more than make up for it.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but we'll know soon if we get it. For now I'm going to be Pinning away with ideas for our new apartment.  It would be so nice for Nia to have a proper bedroom with an actual door (instead of curtains) and to also have a guest room/office.

We'll see . . .

What are some floor plan elements you like to see when apartment/house hunting?


  1. Apartment hunting in NYC must be so frustrating. I think i would love to see large bedrooms and lots of windows and a spacious living area upstairs in my future sister has one and i love it. it allows for the family to spend time both upstairs and downstairs! happy apartment hunting!

  2. When looking for a place to live, I like spacious rooms. A large closet is important to me, but not a necessity....yet. In my dream home, I want a large separate space for dining but we aren't there yet. ;) Having a washer/dryer is nice to have too! I could go on and on. Renting is annoying, but I am not too picky right now. However, buying a house is a totally different list. Good luck!