Penthouse Letters


Well, yesterday I got started on that penthouse, ripping out the cramped hallway and weird floor plan borrowed from the lower floors and circa 1963, that made the bedroom/bathroom area way too small and compartmentalized to match the 30-foot living room, generous kitchen and family room, and two balconies that make it special.  The owner told me, “I want it to look like a penthouse,” and having some experience in doing that, I know what he means.

Without the walls, as you can see, things start to look pretty spacious, but sadly the owners need to split this space to include such frippery as, well, closets, and at least a temporary guest area and office.  Before the demolition, no view at all was available from this perspective, and with our plans there will at least be better view corridors.  Another bonus is the relative paucity of wiring to be re-routed, but naturally the conduits emanating from the floor are exactly where we’d like to put in a double-door opening, so they will have to be moved.

This spot is where I see opportunity that has not been previously discussed, and where I plan to focus my pitch tonight when I meet the owners for a post-demo confab; the opening in the wall alongside the louvered door that provides access the the HVAC unit will be the new door to the guest room/office, but the closet on the right breaks off the view of this from the entry and kitchen.  I’m going to propose that we move the closet across the hall, along with the water heater in it, to line up the view corridors and shorten the halls in both the entry and hall, and provide a pretty door to look at when you walk in the front door.  Thus, the hall we are looking at remains the same width, but the closet is larger, and it will be possible to look at the west view from the kitchen and entry, which are both now stuck in darkness and enclosure.

Whatever happens, the leftmost of these small and dreary bathrooms will be expanded a couple feet outward, and if my suggestions fly the wall at the right rear will have two feet chopped off of it, and from here you would be able to see into the kitchen and entry through a door that will appear from the second-to-last stud near the right, through the relocated hall which would begin just slightly to the left of the outlet on the offending wall.

Both bathrooms will be tiled and fitted with more glamorous fixtures, the floors, except in the bedrooms themselves, will be bamboo, and much fancier lighting will be part of what makes this “a penthouse.”

More later on this CHNN station, and on CHNN News Overnight.

UPDATE: The owners approved ripping out and relocating the closet and water heater, as well as removing the rest of the dropped ceilings and framing to replace everything with solid, quiet wood framing rather than the brittle, rattly metal they have now.  It will be a lot nicer, and easier for me, but it is a hell of a lot of work and material volume to do on the 26th floor.  I took out all the drywall today, and I’ll take pictures when all the metal studs are out.


  1. Pedinska says:

    Looking forward to watching this progress!

    • cocktailhag says:

      Well, the owners approved yarding out the entry closet and relocating it, so I’ll have pictures of that tomorrow….. The next finished ones will be this weekend: my brother’s fancy new basement. The housewarming is Saturday, so we guess it will be done.