New York City

There's a trick to living in small spaces, explains designer Suchi Reddy, who crafted her own 375-square-foot Greenwich Village apartment like a “little ship: everything is built in, everything is white, and everything has to be in its place.” So when former gallerist Sara Meltzer, a single mom with 8-year-old twins, asked Reddy to renovate her 2,400-square-foot Tribeca loft within a tight budget—and an even tighter time frame—the resourceful principal of Reddymade Design used her own lifestyle as a guide.

Working with the existing floor plan—which included adequate mechanicals, electrical, and plumbing—Reddy focused on reproportioning the layout. She added room-dividing shelves in the bedrooms that blend with the unit's bleached-wood floors, upgraded the master bath, and painted the entire apartment white—a quiet palette for the client's eclectic mix of contemporary art and vintage 20th-century furnishings. She even revived a tired 30-square-foot powder room with a serviceable black mosaic floor by painting its badly patched ceiling in the same obsidian color and wrapping the walls in a playfully irreverent black-and-white “Sassy Toile” wall covering. The kitchen, however, needed a lot of work.

Open to the living room, “It was too small, and the refrigerator door was too big—it didn't open properly,” recalls Reddy. And though the other appliances were usable, the island was so shallow and far from the range and sink that it wasn't functional, while stained-wood cabinets with frosted glass insets, a tiled backsplash, and dark counters looked messy and dated.

Mindful of budget, the designer maintained the same footprint and swapped the cabinetry for a glossy white IKEA line, increasing storage in the 154-square-foot kitchen with an expanded island. She installed a durable fused-glass counter and backsplash, then replaced the 36-inch refrigerator with a shallow double-door, freezer-drawer model surfaced with chalkboard for the kids' schedule.

To chime with her client's sense of graphic style and color, as well as to create a subtle division between the kitchen and living areas when she entertains, Reddy inserted a red-gloss laminate bar into the island counter that glides in and out on casters. Thick chopping blocks fill the gap when it's extended. This friendly barrier also keeps guests out of the prep area when the cook needs to concentrate.

The job was delivered in about six weeks, on budget. “There is nothing special,” says Reddy. “It's just simple.” Simplicity is often the best policy.

Location: New York City

Completion Date: November 2012

Gross square footage: 2,400 sq.ft.

Total construction cost: $33,000


Owner: Sara Meltzer

Reddymade Design
80 W 3rd St, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
T: 212-625-2099
F: 212-898-0328

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Interior designer: Suchi Reddy - Principal , Jameela Derrick – intern; Kathryn Wise – intern.

Lighting: Robert Y. Witter at Eclipse Corp T: 212-213-3950 x 22

Acoustical: Dylan Marcus at T: 917-743-0259

General contractor: Ilan Telmont of Spearhead Builders T: 646-349-2999

Photographer(s): Antoine Bootz  T: 212-228-7500

CAD system, project management, or other software used: Autocad for all construction documents



Structural system
Sheetrock and wood

Windows: Existing

Glazing: Existing

Entrances: Existing

Wood doors: Existing

DP3 Series by Mockett hardware T: 800-523-1269

Other special hardware: N/A
Casters for rolling island: “CA32PA95T” by Mockett Hardware T: 800-523-1269

Interior finishes
Kitchen: “Akurum”in abstrakt white done by Ikea

Kitchen: Ikea

Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore

Solid surfacing:
Kitchen countertop and backsplash: White glass from SMC T:718-599-299

Floor and wall tile:
Powder Room
Floor Tiles: Existing
Wallpaper: “Sassy Toile” through Flavor Paper T: 718-422-0230

Stools at Island: Client’s own

Powder Room
Mirror: “Aviator Mirror” by Nigel Coates through Grey Area at:

“Multiple Spots” by WAC Lighting through Lites on West Soho T: 212-775-6363

Powder Room:
Sconce: Vintage 1950s Charlotte Perriand through Rewire Los Angeles T: 323-664-5254

Dimming System or other lighting controls: Lutron Maestro T: 800-588-7661

Gas Range: Existing Wolf
Vent Hood: Existing Wolf
Refridgerator: Liebherr with chalkboard panels through Drimmer’s A&B Appliances 718-338-3500

Faucet: Vigo Undermount through Vigo Industries T: (866) 591-7792

Vessel Sink and Drain: “Scola” through Duravit T: 770 -931-3575
Faucet: Existing