Close

Beneath the Surface: A Railroad Apartment in Manhattan with a Surprising Amount of Storage

Hallway in Chelsea Apartment by BoND, Photo by Eric Petschek

Here’s a story that doesn’t, at first glance, look like a storage story at all. In fact, when I first saw the photos of the bright apartment in New York City’s West Chelsea neighborhood (coincidentally, not too far from my own place), it seemed like a renovation story: When two Israeli-born architects, Noam Dvir and Daniel Rauchwerger of BoND, acquired the circa-1910, 520-square-foot apartment, it was situated like a typical cramped New York flat, with a railroad layout and a walled-off kitchen and bathroom in the center of the apartment that didn’t get any light. They transformed it by relocating the kitchen and bathroom along one wall, and added high/low design elements: custom marble and a sheet of stainless steel made at a workshop in Chinatown, tall glass partition walls and a hacked Ikea kitchen.

Then I emailed the architects, and they pulled back the curtain—or rather opened the cabinets—with gifs that revealed just how much storage they’d fit in (see below). Turns out, the apartment exemplifies the best kind of organization: interiors so simple, quiet, and artful that you don’t know how much ingenious storage is just beneath the quiet surface. Take a look.

Photography by Eric Petschek.

Living Room in Chelsea Apartment by BoND, Photo by Eric Petschek
Above: The front living area, now brighter, and with minimal furnishings that emphasize the height of the ceilings. A coffee table on wheels allows for flexibility in the small space.
Living Room in Chelsea Apartment by BoND, Photo by Eric Petschek
Above: Dvir and Rauchwerger outfitted a side wall with Vitsoe shelving, which keeps books neatly corralled but still on display. (Note the periodical-style shelf in the middle that lets artful covers face outwards; see Trend Alert: 11 Periodical-Style Shelves for Design Book Lovers.)
Living Room in Chelsea Apartment by BoND, Photo by Eric Petschek
Above: Looking back toward the newly-situated walk-through kitchen and the bedroom beyond. The duo situated the planks of the wood floor lengthwise, rather than across the width of the apartment, to emphasize the length.
Hallway in Chelsea Apartment by BoND, Photo by Eric Petschek
Above: The architects opted to move all of the utilities and appliances for both the bathroom and kitchen to one side of the apartment. It’s a simple concept, but it means that instead of being boxed-in and dark, the kitchen is now a bright walk-through area, with appliances on one side and place to hang art on the other. To add to the open feeling, Dvir and Rauchwerger replaced the solid wall going into the bedroom with a glass partition, which can be covered with a curtain for privacy.
Kitchen Storage in Chelsea Apartment by BoND, Photo by Eric Petschek
Above: Behind the kitchen’s quiet design, the “hacked” Ikea cabinets are kitted out with a huge amount of hidden storage, from partitioned utensil and knife drawers (at left) to pullout trash and recycling bins (under the sink) to a concealed utility closet (complete with hooks on the door, for hanging mops) made to look like the fridge alongside.
Bathroom in Chelsea Apartment by BoND, Photo by Eric Petschek
Above: In the bathroom, an inset niche corrals shower essentials. Note also how the continuous flooring and wall tiles throughout make the room feel bigger and more cohesive.
Bedroom in Chelsea Apartment by BoND, Photo by Eric Petschek
Above: The peaceful bedroom in the back of the apartment is kept simple, with simple furnishings, minimal window dressings, and light colors. In lieu of a bookshelf, a few titles are stacked neatly beside a chair.
Bedroom in Chelsea Apartment by BoND, Photo by Eric Petschek
Above: Note how the duo forwent nightstands in favor of discreet wall-mounted lights.
Closet in Chelsea Apartment by BoND, Photo by Eric Petschek
Above: A wardrobe alongside the bed looks sleek when closed. Without so much as door pulls, it looks more like a wall than something to be opened.
Closet in Chelsea Apartment by BoND, Photo by Eric Petschek
Above: But, once again, a sleek surface hides storage in plain sight: Inside, the efficient closets take advantage of the full floor-to-ceiling height. (Note the stools hidden in the upper left corner, for extra seating.)

The Plans

BoND Chelsea Apartment Plan Before
Above: The apartment before work began, with the walled-off kitchen and bathroom smack in the middle of the apartment.
BoND Chelsea Apartment Plan After
Above: The apartment now, with a more open design. (Storage not pictured.)

More small apartments with surprising amounts of storage:

No more results!

Haven't found what you are looking for? Try seaching!