Awesome Attics: Inside the ‘Other Penthouses’ of New York City

April 30, 2015

New York City is abuzz with penthouse talk, whether it’s the $100M blockbuster sale at One57, the unbelievable $150M ask for the topper at the Sony Building, or if it’s all the chatter around just how much more folks are willing to pay to have these two letters in their address: PH. While we love playing the game “If I had the money…” as much the next person, we thought before we start daydreaming too far out of our financial means—or cursing the system altogether—that we’d pay homage to the city’s “other penthouses,” the ones far closer in reach. Okay, so they’re really just tiny attics or additions, but what each of these little spaces lacks in floor area, they certainly make up in character. Check out some of the coolest, cutest and just downright amazing attic spaces we’ve dug up ahead!

meatpacking district attic apartment, nyc attic apartmentsTop image by Andrea Sparacio via Apartment Therapy, gallery images by Elizabeth Johnson

A Tiny Attic Apartment in the Meatpacking District 

The West Village certainly has its allure, but this adorable attic apartment in the Meatpacking District is like something out of a Jean Luc Godard film set in Paris. Couple Nick and Lizzie Johnson moved from London to New York in 2012 and looked long and hard for the right space to start their new chapter. What they found was a tiny, old attic space with sloped ceilings and dark corners. But with a taste for minimal living and European design sensibilities—and let’s overlook those generous skylights—they were able to create a sunny and cozy home with tons of charm. You can see more of the space on Apartment Therapy >>

Studio Modh architecture, brooklyn heights apartments, brooklyn heights conversions, brooklyn heights servants quarters, tiny nyc apartments, ingenious nyc apartments, ingenious nyc apartment conversions, cute nyc apartments, cool nyc apartmentsImages courtesy of Studio Modh

Former Servants’ Quarters Get New Life as a Light-Filled Apartment 

Back in the day, in even the most luxurious of homes, servant sleeping quarters weren’t much more than musty attics lacking in light. Though the top floor of this landmarked Brooklyn Heights mansion probably hasn’t seen a feather duster in decades, this lovely topper is anything but dim and damp. Studio Modh Archtecture was hired to transform the space to suit the needs of today’s New Yorker, and what they created was a modern attic apartment filled with light. Learn more about this home in our feature here >>

651 washington street, nyc attics, attic apartmentsImages courtesy of Douglas Elliman

A West Village Federal Rowhouse with a Surprise Attic 

Shelves lined with Goosebumps and Hardy Boys books, the spot where you kissed a girl for the first time…this incredible attic space above a rowhouse is what exactly what boyhood dreams are made of. Though once cobweb-laden, a renovation a decade ago turned this 1920s West Village townhouse into an updated family home complete with not one, but two sunny attic rooms. The homeowners also used the unusual angles to their benefit, playing with paint colors and built-ins to make for the ultimate kid-space. Check out the rest of this historic house here >>

Adelphi Street b/w Willoughby and Dekalb Avenues, Gothic Revival former place of worship, modern bathroomImages courtesy of Ideal Properties

An Attic Studio with Ethereal Windows in Fort Greene ↑

If we knew the church attic hid a gem of a room like the one seen here, we might have been more inclined to attend Sunday service. This cool space is actually a studio sitting atop a former church built in a Gothic Revival-style, and the lucky guy or gal who lives here gets to enjoy an epic window, exposed brick, vaulted ceilings, ebonized wood floors and an arched doorway. Last we heard, it was renting for $2,995 per month. More on this transcendent space here >>

bed-stuy brownstone attic apartment, bed-stuy brownstone, attic apartment, nyc attic apartment, brooklyn attic apartmentImages courtesy of Airbnb

A Brownstone Attic Apartment in Historic Bed-Stuy

This wonderful attic apartment is perched above a historic Bed-Stuy brownstone and looks out onto the area’s storied streets and lush trees. White walls adorned with original paintings and minimal furnishings keep it from feeling too compact. But best of all, in addition to its quirky two bedrooms, there’s a cozy little dining room that’s led guests call the space their “own little kingdom.” Yep, you can actually stay the night in this Brooklyn beaut! Check out the space on Airbnb here >>

Robert Luntz, Joseph Tanney, Resolution: 4 Architecture, RE4A, Union Square Apartment, NYC Design, NYC LoftImage courtesy of Resolution: 4 Architecture, gallery images © 6sqft

A Cozy Family Room Made of Glass Tops This Union Square Loft 

We love the work of Resolution: 4 Architecture here at 6sqft. Their mix of modern design and family-friendly functionality makes their homes truly unique, and this loft renovation on 14th Street is no exception. In addition to plenty of playful details like rooms with glass skylights revealing what’s pitter-pattering above, a wonderful A-framed solarium crown gives way to the perfect place for the family to convene. See the rest of this Union Square Loft in our feature here >>

Police Building Loft, Centre Street, RAADImages courtesy of RAAD Studio

An Arresting Dome Room in the Heart of Little Italy ↑

Although this particular “attic” errs more on the side of luxury, it was just too unique a space for us to pass up. Located in the former police headquarters located at 240 Centre Street, RAAD Studio recently redesigned an incredible home boasting a stunning arched original wood ceiling in the home’s master bedroom. The enormous space, made even bigger by the extra ceiling height, is a mash of design details—including nautical style windows notched out of the impressive canopy, wedge-shaped skylights, and open wooden shelving and built-ins—that magically come together to create an arresting space. Check out the rest of this unbelievable home here >>


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