Big Ideas for Small Spaces
Kitchen shown in 410 Maple Mocha Glaze
Raissa Katona Bennett, noted Broadway actress and cabaret star, isn't just being dramatic when she says that she loves the way her Waypoint® remodel turned out. Working with designer Kittie Lonsdale of Lifestyle Space Design, she and her husband transformed their condo from a dated, uninspired dwelling into a fabulous living space.
Raissa and her husband, Dr. Garrett Bennett, almost passed on the purchase of theIr Tudor City condo in Manhattan, until they realized that they were not buying the dated cabinetry and chopped-up floor plan, or the kitchen with the tiniest stove they'd ever seen in their lives, but they were investing in a fabulous penthouse location with picture windows, amazing views, balconies and natural light.
They agreed that an inspired remodel could create a Midtown home that was perfect for their way of life.
With that, they began to imagine a space ideal for entertaining family, friends and cast members while looking out on the expanse of the East River as ships sailed by. They envisioned an open space that could accommodate Raissa's grand piano and concerts against the backdrop of the city, while guests sipped champagne and enjoyed stunning views of the new Freedom Tower and the Chrysler building. This space would no doubt need some serious creativity, a modified floor plan and inventive storage to make it comfortable for both living and entertaining.
It wasn't long after purchasing the property that the Bennetts contacted Kittie Lonsdale, a New York City interior designer, with a vision. In collaboration, they arrived at a floor plan that opened up the space—now joining the partitioned off kitchen to the main living area. This open floor plan allowed Raissa and Garrett to participate in their parties, even if they had to keep an eye on hot hors d’oeuvre or details in the kitchen.
Together, they chose a door style and finish that exuded warmth and could unify the space. Waypoint’s 410 Maple Mocha Glaze was perfect. In the kitchen, floor to ceiling cabinetry and creamy granite composite counters made a beautiful statement. An island on wheels could be pulled out to serve guests or could comfortably seat four for a casual meal. Glass inserts on both sides of cabinetry above the counter let the light stream in to a now vibrant kitchen.
There wasn't a nook or cranny missed for storage, when important organization products were specified for the kitchen. Concealed trash and recycling bins, a vertical filler spice rack, wine-glass racks, floor-to-ceiling deep roll-out trays, pot and pan organizers, pantry storage with swing-out doors, kitchen and dining utensil organization dividers—all made this kitchen as functional as it is beautiful.
A huge picture window spanned the main living space. Beneath it, as is typical in the city, were unsightly radiant steam-heat units. Thanks to Waypoint's flexible cabinetry depths and construction options, dual purpose covers were designed that allowed for proper release of heat into the room, concealed by beautiful cabinetry for maximum storage. The top was finished in a beautiful quartz composite and some comfy pillows. It has turned out to be one of Raissa's favorite places in her home, where she curls up with a book and a breathtaking view of the city.
A combination wet bar and gallery area was stunning when it was completed. A 16-foot stretch of Waypoint® cabinetry, also in Maple Mocha Glaze, was designed to accommodate wine and glass storage with plenty of surface space suitable for the most discriminating bartender. This installation was also created to proudly display some of Garrett's art collection, which includes some quite notable original Dalí pieces.
The remodel of this Tudor City apartment transformed the bedroom and office areas into living spaces that became ultra-functional. A divider, or partition, was conceived to separate the bedroom from the office area using cabinetry in Waypoint’s beautiful 720 Maple Honey finish. This partition was very carefully conceived and allowed for plenty of storage on both sides. Opposite the newly created bedroom wall was a narrow office space for Raissa's professional dealings when not on stage. Again, every bit of the office space was utilized brilliantly for filing cabinets, printers, fax machines and a work station that really worked.
The creative use of cabinetry, moldings, hardware and functional storage, combined with a newly opened-up, dramatic view of Manhattan, makes this home a show stopper. In a recent Tudor City “Green House Tour”, over 225 people visited various homes in the neighborhood and agreed that, even though the Bennett's penthouse did not have the most square feet, it had the most impact with its impressive use of space and stunning views. It's an excellent example of how smaller spaces can have a big impact on day-to-day life and entertaining. Today, it's a joy for Raissa and Garrett to host gatherings and bask in the rave reviews. Whether it's a special family holiday gathering or a cast party, Tudor City Place in New York City is indeed the place to be!
About the designer
Lifestyle Living Space Design
New York, New York
Specializing in Manhattan apartment renovations, maximizing functionality and creating gracious living spaces.