Room for Improvement

Fancy windows, concrete floors and antique furniture: New Yorkers' apartment wish lists

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New furniture, new paint, new address! Five New Yorkers share their city living woes and tell us what they'd do about it, if only they could:

  • Out with the new, in with the old: I would love some new furniture. Everything in my apartment comes from Ikea, and I’m tired of it. Or, at least some new Ikea furniture that doesn’t have square, blond faux wood legs. My place is like a badly designed showroom. I wish I had some old pieces to mix in, but I can't afford vintage furniture just yet! - Marianne, Morningside Heights
  • A bathroom for grownups: I’d love a second bathroom because with four people it’s really hard to get ready in the morning. I’m tired of sharing space with my kids, 8-year-old, rambunctious twins! I’d like an adult bathroom, where I can take long, quiet showers without somebody knocking on the door, asking if they can pee real quick. But sadly, it’s not in the budget at all right now! - Joni, Harlem
  • Going "rugged": The floors in our loft squeak like crazy! It wakes the baby from naps. We want to have the flooring replaced. Or, better yet, maybe just rip up the flooring and leave the concrete floor bare. I love the look of polished concrete. Our apartment is so hot year round that I don't think the floor would be too cold. Besides, there's always rugs! Concrete floors would be a great excuse to buy lots of rugs. I love rugs! - Rachel, Brooklyn
  • New paint, new outlook: If there is one thing this place needs it’s a good paint job all over the apartment. It’s just plain white all over the apartment, but it’s yellowing. What’s more, the trim is painted in flat paint! Who does that? Every smudge sticks to it, and you can’t even clean it properly! We’re already talking to the landlord about a deal: we’ll do the painting, in colors we all approve of, and he’ll reduce the rent for the next six months. I don’t even really care about the reduced rent, as long as he agrees to pay for all the materials. - Michael, Harlem
  • Noise of mythological proportions: My apartment is really, really loud. The sirens, the people talking, every roar of a car or bus. The worst are the flatbed trucks that rattle through our streets when their load bangs around their trailers, it’s like Zeus’ thunder has struck our block. My pet parakeets are a ball of stress and so am I! I need to move, because I can't afford those fancy city windows! - Mel, Bronx

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