Room for Improvement

New Yorkers dream of kitchen overhauls, a second bathroom and ... less space?

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Kitchen remodels, gut bathroom renos and more storage space. This week, five New Yorkers let us in on their real estate daydreams. Their gripes include all the classics, except one!

  • Cabinets of horror I would love to redo the kitchen. Actually, the whole apartment, because it’s just not in great condition. But the kitchen is atrocious. The cabinets are so ugly and tall and also really cheap engineered wood stuff. They almost look like office cabinets. And for some reason the previous owners built them really high up on the walls. I can barely reach the first shelf! There was just no thought whatsoever put into ergonomics and space planning this kitchen.  - Roan, Harlem
  • On your watermark, get set, go! I really need to completely gut renovate the bathroom. An elderly lady lived and died in this apartment, and I guess she just couldn’t keep up with the maintenance of the place. The tile work has been patched up so many times, the bathroom walls look like a tile shop sample wall. The faucet in the sink and the tub both leak, and have left water marks on the porcelain. I’d love to keep the old tub, but it needs serious renovating, too! The only good thing is that the yucky bathroom has motivated me to go to the gym more--to use their showers! - Nicki, Hamilton Heights
  • The storage dilemma We really need to do something about the storage situation in this place. Currently, there is none. We have an Ikea open storage system for clothes, and Ikea shelves for everything else--books, shoes, etc.--and we’re tired of it. I’d love some built-in closets and bookshelves. We don’t have a lot of stuff, but with everything stored in the open--or behind curtains--the place looks cluttered and disorganized. - Shane, Upper West Side
  • The second bath requirement We need a second bathroom desperately. At least for now our two girls can still share a bedroom. But one bathroom has really become a problem of storage and time management. It’s hard enough when there is just the four of us, but there are frequent playdates and sleepovers. And of course, there are visiting relatives who stay overnight or longer. Frankly--and sadly as well--I think we’ve outgrown our lovely, formerly spacious apartment! - Meriem, Morningside Heights
  • …The thing you almost never hear You know, this is going to sound really weird, but we almost have too much space! We have two bedrooms--my boyfriend and I took over the lease when my roommate moved out--and there’s tons of storage in all the rooms. We have a huge eat-in-kitchen and living room and the long hallway makes the apartment feel even larger. The price isn’t bad, but we rarely use the second bedroom. And half the closets are empty--crazy right? It’s a lot to clean, too. I’d say we should move to find an even cheaper place that is smaller, if that’s possible. But something tells me we might live to regret that decision one day. - Nancy, Inwood

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