Apartments in NYC are known to be a little… different. From low-ceilings to awkward layouts, your home’s quirks can be a stumbling block when it’s time to sell. The little annoyances you’ve gotten used to can be off-putting to potential buyers. Many of them can’t be changed outright, but we’ve got some creative tips (via NY Times) to downplay them without breaking the bank.
If you’ve got low ceilings, your goal is to create an optical illusion. White, white paint makes any room feel larger. Longer, higher window dressings add height. And in contrast, furniture with a low profile will give the impression that they’re in a larger room.
Using a lighter shade of paint on the ceilings than the walls tends to draw the eye upward and make the ceiling look higher. “Use flat, not semigloss, on the crown molding, in the same shade as the ceiling,” recommends Pat Christodoulou, who stages for-sale homes in Connecticut and New York. “This gives you an uninterrupted perspective, which results in visually raising the ceiling.”
Room With(out) a View
It’s a New York cliche, something from a sitcom. The leading character strides to the window, throws back the drapes to take in the view, a gasps at the splendor of… a brick wall. Or an air well.
Hints of bright, cheery color will please the eye and brighten the room. You can choose from decorative window films to camouflage the view while letting in light. Or you can get creative with lighting placement.
“At a window that faced an alleyway or brick wall, we’ve had success with placing a fixture with a florescent daylight bulb behind the curtain… It gives the illusion of natural sunlight.”
Or you can block the view, while capturing available light.
Deanna Kory, an associate broker at the Corcoran Group, recommends white shutters or white wooden Venetian blinds with one- to two-inch slats. “Any light that hits the windows will be reflected favorably and create a lighter feeling within the apartment,” she said.
When it comes to the window itself, there are multiple options. You can purchase inexpensive window film in anything from translucent to color-patterned, or you can have the actual glass etched or frosted.
The Layout Is Just… Weird
Some apartments just don’t flow. Oddly placed bathrooms, inconvenient stairways, confusing layouts, all of these are common annoyances. Consider re-imagining your floor plan. Some have had great success with this.
To help potential buyers picture her vision, she drafted a new floor plan… “I made sure to only show the listing by appointment,” she added. “This way I could control the narrative and envisioning process.”
The Streets of New York
Not that there’s anything wrong with them. But a ground floor apartment facing the street can be a tough sell.
For ground-floor homes, especially those with bars on the windows, Anna Kahn, an associate broker at Halstead Property, recommends installing window boxes. “Live flowers add color and take away from the starkness of the grates,” she said.
Even with the little oddities of New York City apartments, you can play up your home’s best features while minimizing any quirky qualities. You just need to get creative.