All posts by Emily Nonko

Emily is a Brooklyn-based writer who has covered New York City real estate, architecture and design for Brownstoner, The Wall Street Journal, Dwell and other publications. You can follow her on Twitter @EmilyNonko.

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Cool Listings, Interiors, Williamsburg

At the Sophia Lofts, a bakery warehouse in Williamsburg converted to 11 apartments in 2007, you could pick up this one-bedroom condo for $995,000. (It last sold in 2009 for $555,000.) For a hair less than $1 million the pad offers one bedroom, lots of exposed brick, wood beam ceilings, and those big warehouse windows. Although the apartment still has a bit of warehouse grittiness left to it, spaces like the bathroom and kitchen were modernized, while plenty of shelving was added to hold the owner’s quirky collection of stuff.

Right this way for more of the interior

Featured Story

Features, film, History, Urban Design

One of the most iconic battles to decide the fate of New York City was waged, in the 1950s and ’60s, by Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses. He, a Parks Commissioner turned power broker, was known for his aggressive urban renewal projects, tearing tenements down to build higher, denser housing. She, often dismissed as a housewife, emerged as his most vocal critic—not to mention a skilled organizer with the ability to stop some of Moses’ most ambitious plans.

A new documentary, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, takes a close look at the groundbreaking work of Jane Jacobs and its importance in our urbanizing world today. Matt Tyrnauer, the director behind Valentino: The Last Emperor, compiled footage of both Jacobs and Moses alongside 1950s and ’60s New York, which is paired with voiceovers of Marissa Tomei and Vincent D’Onofrio as the battling duo. Experts in urban planning—everyone from Paul Goldberger to Robert A.M. Stern—also discuss Jacobs’ massive influence on housing policy and urban planning, as the film makes a convincing argument that Jacobs’ planning philosophies are needed now more than ever.

Read our review of the film

Cool Listings, Financial District, Interiors

This two-bedroom Financial District condo is owned by Rishi Bali, co-founder with his sister of the yoga apparel and lifestyle company YogaSmoga. (The two grew up near yoga ashrams in northern India.) This is not only a unique apartment, located in the Downtown by Starck development at 15 Broad Street, it’s also a unique listing. The apartment sale includes all the furnishings, meaning customized pieces from designers like Poltrona Frau, Philippe Starck, and Mooi. There are even more perks, like customized built-ins and a custom in-home audio and video system. After Bali purchased the pad in 2006 for $875,695, it’s now listed for $1.7 million.

Take a look

Cool Listings, Interiors, Red Hook

This three-family brick townhouse comes from Brooklyn’s waterfront neighborhood of Red Hook. The area is known for its striking views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, and the listing promises those same views from the top floor of this home, located at 371 Van Brunt Street. Add in tin ceilings and fireplaces throughout the lower levels, and the historic property, now on the market for $2.5M, is sure to charm.

Time to check it out

Cool Listings, Interiors, yorkville

Yorkville has long been considered one of Manhattan’s more affordable uptown neighborhoods–although that’s been changing in recent years–but here’s a neighborhood pad that’s not priced too high. For $695,000 you’ll get a one-bedroom duplex within the historic brownstone at 421 East 84th Street. The upper floor boasts two large windows and a wood burning fireplace, while the lower level has enough space to fit a king-sized bed and other furniture. Plus, it’s located just a few blocks away from the new Second Avenue subway station at 86th Street.

More photos this way

Cool Listings, Financial District, Interiors

This FiDi duplex was designed to impress. Location within a historic brick townhouse at 150 Beekman Street, the interior of the apartment has been completely modernized. You might say the apartment offers the best of both worlds: cobblestone streets and a historic facade, as well as a modern, open layout with luxury finishes throughout the interior. For five bedrooms, four bathrooms and 3,232 square feet, it is now asking $5.795 million.

Take a deeper look

Cobble Hill, Cool Listings, Interiors

This may be a traditional Brooklyn brownstone on the outside, but the duplex rental occupying its parlor and garden floors looks as modern as it gets. The home, located at 284 Warren Street in Cobble Hill, underwent a gut renovation in 2007 and has been occupied by the same owner ever since. They’re now renting out the bottom two floors for $8,500 a month, and any new renter is going to like one thing in particular, especially with summer coming up–a double-height wall of glass that frames the private, stone-paved backyard.

This way for a tour

Cool Listings, Interiors, Tribeca

Inside this massive Tribeca penthouse you’ve got custom marble, bronze and mahogany details, not to mention light fixtures crafted by a Steampunk designer. The spectacular pad spans two floors over 5,100 square feet and holds four bedrooms and six bathrooms. Outside, over 2,500 square feet, there’s a fully irrigated and planted terrace, as well as a roof deck complete with an outdoor kitchen and heated infinity pool. Simply put: anywhere you go at this penthouse apartment, now asking $21 million at the Tribeca condo 169 Hudson Street, you will be impressed.

So see the rest of the space

Cool Listings, Interiors, Upper East Side

This is a prime Upper East Side location if we’ve ever seen one: the three-bedroom co-op at 1016 Fifth Avenue is located directly across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art with unobstructed views. After a full renovation the apartment has hit the market for $5.495 million. (It last sold in 2011 for $3.35 million.) It’s undeniably luxurious, and not just because of the location. The apartment is only one of two when you exit the elevator, and the interior is flanked with columns, built-in bookcases, a fireplace and much more.

Take a look

Boerum Hill, Cool Listings, Interiors

433 Pacific Street, Boerum Hill townhouse, Brooklyn brownstone real estate

If you love the historic aesthetic of the Brooklyn brownstone, this Boerum Hill duplex will charm you. It’s located on the top two floors of 433 Pacific Street, a 19th century rowhouse that’s well intact. Any renter willing to pay $6,100 a month will have the benefit of living alongside two working fireplaces with marble mantlepieces, refinsihed original wide-plank floors and the original moldings. The listing says the space boasts “wonderful character,” and we can’t disagree.

Take the interior tour

Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Upstate

“A century’s worth of historical appeal” is how the listing describes this unique property upstate, located at 636 Bedford Road in the town of North Castle. Indeed, this structure was built in 1900 and originally served as a school house (h/t CIRCA). In 1980 it was expanded and renovated without taking away any of that century-old character. Details like six-inch oak flooring and exposed beams from a Brooklyn shipyard distinguish the property, and it doesn’t hurt that it sits on almost an acre of land. The price, of course, is what you might pay for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan: $855,000.

Don’t miss this property tour

Cool Listings, Interiors, Tribeca

You would expect the apartment of an art gallery owner to look stunning, and this Tribeca condo does not dissapoint. It’s owned by Taymour Grahne, founder of the local Taymour Grahne Gallery. He paid $2.7 million for the two-bedroom pad at 8 Warren Street back in 2011, and now it’s asking $3.5 million. The interior, of course, has some great artwork alongside a simple, paired-down design that compliments the exposed brick and high ceilings.

Get the grand tour

Featured Story

Design, Features, Interviews, More Top Stories, People

Paula Scher is one of the most recognizable names in the design world, considered legendary in the industry for creating the identities of major New York institutions. Scher moved to New York in the 1970s to begin her design career and got her start in the music industry. As art director for CBS, she designed around 150 albums a year and produced numerous ads and posters. Her record covers include everything from the Rolling Stones’ Still Life to Leonard Bernstein’s Stravinky, four of which were recognized with Grammy nominations. As a record designer, Scher was credited with reviving historical typefaces and design styles—and typefaces still play heavily in her work today.

Scher left Atlantic Records to begin her own design firm in 1982, and in 1991 she joined her current firm, Pentagram, as the company’s first female principal. Although Pentagram is an international design company, its New York office is behind the identities of some of the city’s most beloved establishments. It was at Pentagram Scher established her reputation as a New York designer who created unique, lasting identities.

more with Paula Scher here

Cool Listings, Interiors, Williamsburg

This multi-family townhouse in Williamsburg, at 455 Grand Street, offers a buyer plenty of opportunities to get creative. It is currently configured with a ground floor commercial space, a basement recording studio, an owners loft, and rental apartments above. The listing suggests it could be transformed into a massive single-family property, or the zoning even allows you to build an extra floor. The current home, however, is full of cool details, like glass walls, lots of exposed brick and a floating staircase that leads you to a sleeping loft.

Take a look

Cool Listings, Interiors, Murray Hill

You can do a lot with 330 square feet, and for proof, look no further than this studio apartment at 45 Tudor City Place, one of the co-ops that makes up Tudor City in Murray Hill. The unit has just hit the market for an appealing price tag of $364,000. It’s a corner studio with exposures to the south and west and views over Tudor City Park. Large closets and a murphy bed help with storage, while high ceilings and the large, original windows provide extra breathing room.

See more right this way

Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Interiors, Murray Hill

You could now own a piece of New York presidential history for $4.9 million. The Federalist-style townhouse at 150 East 38th Street, in Murray Hill, was once called home by President Martin Van Buren. This is, without a doubt, one of the most unique properties in New York–besides the presidential ownership, ironwork frames the entryway, a squat structure connected to the four-story townhouse. It was built in 1857, altered in 1935, and then restored in the early 2000s. The interior will bring you back in time, with fireplaces, wood paneling and coffered ceilings.

Don’t miss the interior tour

Cool Listings, Harlem, Interiors

This Harlem townhouse is one of a kind, thanks to a recent renovation. Located at 363 West 120th Street–just a half block from Morningside Park–the historic property was configured into an owner’s triplex with a rental duplex below. While some interior details like the original tile and woodwork were integrated with the design, the overall aesthetic feels more modern, with bold additions like steel doors, recessed lighting and a super sleek kitchen. The unique finished product is now on the market asking $4.5 million.

Time to take a look

Cool Listings, Interiors, Upper West Side 

Here’s a chance to live right off Central Park West without spending a fortune. This fun, colorful studio has hit the market for $575,000 at The Park Royal, an Upper West Side co-op just a half block from the park. The building, of course, boasts a 24-hour concierge and doorman, and the studio isn’t too shabby, either. A wide arched doorway provides separate living spaces and the kitchen was smartly packed away into an alcove. Some creative design allows for a little extra space to spread out, as well.

Peek inside

Cool Listings, Interiors, Williamsburg

Gritty artist loft this is not–a high-end renovation for this pad in the Mill Building, located at 85-101 North 3rd Street in Williamsburg, left it feeling more like a luxury condo. (The $3.75 million price tag, too, befits a luxury listing.) While the former warehouse’s exposed wood ceiling beams remain, new additions include a fancy kitchen with marble finishes, custom push button light switches throughout, and a sleek, glass-walled office space.

Check it out

Brooklyn, Cool Listings, Interiors

Water lovers should fall in love with this freestanding home up for sale in Mill Basin, a neighborhood of South Brooklyn. Located at 2406 National Drive, it is directly off a deck with access to a boat slip, jet ski ramp and storage room. On top of that, the home has its very own built-in pool and hot tub. The 3,048-square-foot house, which holds a total of three bedrooms and two-and-two-half bathrooms, is now on the market for $2.395 million.

Read more

Cobble Hill, Cool Listings, Interiors

401 Hicks Street in Cobble Hill was originally St. Peters Church and Academy, built in 1858. In 2005, like a lot of churches around Brooklyn, the historic structure went residential. Now, this two-bedroom condo is up for sale here and you wouldn’t necessarily guess it’s located inside a former church. The unit lacks details like stained glass–which you often see in church conversions–and it’s got a fun, modern aesthetic that feels more “Brooklyn” than “house of worship.” It’s asking $1.525 million.

Take a look

Cool Listings, East Village, Interiors

This prewar co-op at 315 East 12th Street, in the East Village, has no shortage of charming apartments: here’s a one bedroom with an outdoor terrace perfect for a barbecue, and here’s another, cozier one-bedroom apartment that hit the market for $535,000 a few months ago. The latest apartment from the building to hit the market is this unit currently configured as a one bedroom with enough space for a second. With a wall of exposed brick and massive windows, it’s up for grabs asking $985,000.

Take a look

Bed Stuy, Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Interiors

You pretty much step back in time walking into this Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone, located in the eastern portion of the neighborhood at 538 Decatur Street. It is an 1895 Renaissance Revival, bay-fronted brownstone that is 18 feet wide with three stories and a two-story extension. When the listing brags that the interior boasts an “astonishing wealth of original detail” they aren’t kidding–everything from carved fireplace mantles to oak pocket doors to beveled glass. The home even has its original “speaking tubes,” which the original owners would have used to call to servants working on the garden floor of the home.

You must see this historic interior

Cool Listings, Interiors, Park Slope

The listing calls this apartment a “gateway to a modern version of Narnia”–and it’s hard not to agree. A designer has decked it out with bold colors, quirky additions like a built-in swing and a sculptural wall paneling made of walnut, even a hidden door that leads to a bedroom. It’s like something out of a fantasy novel, if that novel took place in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The apartment comes from the Park Pavilion Condominiums development, at 372 15th Street. For 1,451 square feet of surprising, offbeat interiors, it’ll cost just under $2 million.

You’ve got to see the inside

Cool Listings, Upper East Side

This two-bedroom co-op occupies the parlor and garden floors of 4 East 82nd Street, a stately Carnegie Hill mansion. Despite a recent renovation, the apartment still boasts details from the past: original wood paneling, an impressive marble mantle and the original, leaded French casement windows. New additions include a chef’s kitchen, which leads to a terrace and the apartment’s private garden.

Take a look

Cool Listings, Interiors, Park Slope

A renovation for this Park Slope co-op left it in lovely condition. The lofty floorplan–which boasts 18-foot ceilings–was taken full advantage of, getting customized floor-to-ceiling bookshelves with a library ladder. Huge windows bring in light, and the upper level of the apartment holds a large master bedroom and office space that looks down onto the living area below. The pad last sold in 2008, for $980,270, and now it’s on the market for $1.65 million.

Check it out

Bronx, Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Interiors

The historic mansions of Riverdale never fail to impress, and this gem is no exception. Built in 1899 and known as the Esmeralda, the home has maintained many of its historic details over the years. Throughout formal dining and living areas, as well as all nine bedrooms, you’ll find finishes like hardwood flooring, oak doors, wood-beamed ceilings and fireplaces. The property also comes with an impressive degree of privacy, as you enter through a long, gated driveway. For this level of exclusivity and historic charm, the price tag is $4.129 million.

Take the grand tour

Cool Listings, East Village, Interiors

This furnished rental at 527 East 12th Street in the East Village is downright dreamy. The exposed brick has been painted white and the walls are lined with greenery. It’s a studio but has enough space to fit a large bed, couch and office nook. And if you like the decor you’re in luck–this apartment comes fully furnished and it’s now asking $3,200 a month.

See more of the studio space

Celebrities, Cool Listings, Tribeca

This three-bedroom Tribeca condo at 250 West Street definitely looks fit for a music producer, so it’s no surprise this is the home of famous music industry executive Sylvia Rhone. Born and raised in Harlem, Rhone moved downtown after making her name in the business and purchased this pad for $4.3 million in 2013. The apartment boasts 2,500 square feet of space, with a joint living and dining room that looks out onto the Hudson River, and it can now be yours for $6.695 million.

Take a peek

Cool Listings, Interiors, Midtown East

This is a picturesque apartment from a picturesque building, the Art Deco co-op 444 East 52nd Street. The Beekman apartment in question belongs to the fashion photographer Paul Sinclaire, who purchased it in 2014 for $1.35 million. After being listed on the market last year without finding a buyer, it’s once again up for grabs at a price of $2.195 million.

Time for a tour

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