Room for Improvement

A Carrie Bradshaw closet and a bathroom to call one's own: New Yorkers' apartment wishes

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When you ask New Yorkers to list their desires for an apartment upgrade, they often don't know where to start. But the five we spoke to this week hit on some perennial peeves: a lack of a washer/dryer, a too-small closet and an out-of-date kitchen. But the Bushwick resident whose neighbors use his bathroom? Well, that guy's on his own.

  • Wanting an illegal washer/dryer It’s amazing to me the fact that I can’t have a washer/dryer. It is so unreasonable, that buildings in this city should be built in a way that prevents owners from adding the most standard appliances to their homes. Why don’t buildings make the necessary improvements to the pipes? Are they waiting for all the pipes to burst first before making changes? The pipes probably will, from all the illegal washers there are in this building. I know of at least three apartments that have them. - Nina, Upper West Side
  • Small is beautiful My apartment is very small and dark. I’ve only been here a few months and haven’t gotten used to it yet but I really like how small it is! It’s cozy and I love to figure out ways to use a space efficiently. I spend a lot of time studying the space, figuring out how I would rework this studio so that it makes sense, has storage, and maximizes the light! I’d keep the size, and redo the whole apartment and make the space work double for me! - Julie, Midtown West
  • Splitting a bathroom with the neighbors Well, my apartment is really, really affordable. But there’s a catch: I share a bathroom, which is in “my” apartment, with the people who live across the hall. So it’s my space, but they have a key. We’re in a brownstone that I think the owner just put walls into and didn’t bother changing the plumbing. The apartment is spacious and easily has two bedrooms. I think he makes a killing collecting double rent but is still too cheap to put in a second bathroom. Thank god my "bath-roommies" are awesome people. I love them! It’s like having cool roommates, I guess. But still, I wouldn’t mind a different set up. - Micah, Bushwick
  • Longing for Carrie's closet I would love to create more storage in my apartment. … My clothes are distributed all around the apartment because my room barely fits my stuff. So my dresses and coats are in the hallway closet. My shoes are in my ottomans. Shirts and pants barely fit in my dresser. I’m seriously debated putting my sweaters in the oven, like Carrie from Sex and the City. Actually, I’d kill for her closet space. - Katarina, Morningside Heights
  • Sprucing up the kitchen I’d love to update my kitchen! It doesn’t need a gut renovation, just some tweaking. More counter space, and I want to get rid of the open shelves they put on the windows. It was like this when we moved in, and we liked it then. But three years later and it’s looking tired. I don’t like the cabinetry. Looks cheap. And the counter around the sink is damaged due to water sitting on it. I’d love a new refrigerator, too. A counter depth one that doesn’t stick out so that we bump our arms against it all the time. - Jarred, Harlem

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