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Modern, Loft-Style NYC Apartment Renovation on a Budget


laminate countertops &  cabinets create inexpensive luxury in loft-style kitchens 

The owners of this 1,500 square-foot, two-bedroom, 2.5 bath New York City apartment – located in Manhattan’s Upper West Side – aspired to improve the space’s interior to maximize future resale value. The gut renovation aimed to incorporate sleek interiors and alter the space’s layout to create a loft-like, open floor plan … all with a minimal budget.

The removal of two key elements – a wall enclosing a galley kitchen and window storage units, which blocked two feet of lower curtain wall glazing – were the starting point for the redesign. Low cabinetry and upper shelving flank the entrance to the master bedroom, providing a strong central axis for the space while also replacing the lost window seat storage. To balance out the symmetry, complementary kitchen and entertainment islands help to convey a clear “kitchen-dining-den-living” arrangement while also offering ample storage.

Inexpensive, laminate cabinets create a kitchen island in this open-concept apartment renovation.

The extensive millwork quickly became a major focal point, thereby influencing both the design as a whole and the bottom line. In search of dark tones to contrast with the bright white kitchen and entertainment islands, designer Alexander Butler first specified engineered wenge. Unable to make the numbers work within the budget parameters, different saw-cuts and wood species also were investigated. Cabinetmaker Dutchess Cabinets then recommended Formica® Laminate.

Bookshelves add storage & modern style on a modest budget.

“Not only did it have the aesthetic qualities we had wanted in terms of color, vertical graining and even texture – which perhaps impressed me the most – but it slashed the budget by two-thirds and allowed the integrity of the design as a whole to remain intact,” Butler shared.

Save money on a luxurious bedroom remodel with cabinets & bedframe from Formica.

This stunning high-rise renovation demonstrates that stylish design and a modest budget can go hand-in-hand. “The Smoky Brown Pear laminate provided us with the aesthetic and financial answer we were seeking, and I look forward to working with Formica and its product line again in the future,” Butler adds.

Project Location:  New York City, NY

Architecture: Alexander Butler | Design Services

Fabricator: Dutchess Cabinets

Photography: Elk Studios

Formica® Brand Products Specified:

Cabinetry, Shelving, Doors, Bed Frame: Formica® Standard Laminate 5488 Smoky Brown Pear

More multi-family design and renovation ideas can be found at



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