Room for Improvement

Room for Improvement: Better windows, silent steam pipes & an end to couch dining

By Kelly Kreth  |
October 27, 2010 - 6:45AM

What’s the one thing you would change about your apartment if you could? Here’s what five New Yorkers have to say:

  • More air: My apartment only has two windows. Light isn't the problem--I have a great Southern exposure--but air circulation is terrible. Even when it is quite cool out I find myself having to run the air conditioning and fans. Also, my bathroom doesn't have a window in it at all which makes it steamy and damp all year round; it is hard to fully dry off after my shower without coming into the living area for a while. Not to mention that my bathroom is stifling in summer and makes the whole apartment feel quite humid. - Frank, television master controller, studio walkup rental, $1,415/per month
  • On-site laundry: I want a washer dryer! There’s no laundry room in my building and I hate laundromats; doing my wash in one takes too long, and I abhor having to wait for the machines. In addition, there aren't enough places in the neighborhood and the few that there are, close too early! Last wash 7:30? I thought NYC was the city that never slept! Well, laundromat owners do.-- Melissa, photgrapher, Park Slope 1BR rental, $1,700/mo
  • Silent pipes: I wish my building wasn't so old and that the steam pipes didn't rattle all winter long keeping me awake. --Boris, software engineer, Greenwich Village studio condo, $550K
  • New co-op board: I would change my co-op board which never gets voted out! -- Nancy, personal & professional assistant and organizer/business owner, East Village 1BR co-op, originally purchased in 1961 for $7,600 (!!)
  • Somewhere to eat besides the sofa: I would really like an eat-in kitchen. I have a narrow kitchen that can barely accommodate two adults working in it side by side. I have a great open wall in the kitchen that looks out into the living room. One would think it could be turned into a bar, but the space is so narrow, it can't fit stools. I seldom cook, but whenever I have people over and we eat, we have to do so over the coffee table while sitting on the couch. I'm very anal about my couch--a Pottery Barn chaise lounge I scoured Craigslist for for months--so I feel like I'm constantly nagging the people who eat on my couch about spills. When I'm home alone, I eat at my desk.

I'd save money by eating in more if I had a kitchen table. I know I would. --Amanda, writer, Harlem 1BR rental, $1,300 per month

 If you would like to tell Kelly the one thing you'd change about your apartment, and possibly appear in a future Room for Improvement, please email her at [email protected].


Kelly Kreth

Contributing writer

Contributing writer Kelly Kreth has been a freelance journalist, essayist, and columnist for more than two decades. Her real estate articles have appeared in The Real Deal, Luxury Listings, Our Town, and amNewYork. A long-time New York City renter who loves a good deal, Kreth currently lives in a coveted rent-stabilized apartment in a luxury building on the Upper East Side.

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