Custom built sliding doors open up a small space – in NYC.

A wall tear-down and custom treatments add more options for living and entertaining in a 450-square-foot apartment.
Justin Venk was still in grad school for interior design when Amanda Bresler bought an apartment in his building in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. When Bresler, who works for the company that makes Sweet Revenge liqueur, saw Venk’s apartment, she fell in love with his style and asked him to take charge of remodeling her place.
So Venk spent a year attending class during the day and working on Bresler’s less-than-450-square-foot apartment at night. It took so long because Venk did all the work himself, including ripping off Sheetrock to expose a brick wall, building custom furniture and shelves, designing and building light fixtures, and removing a wall to open the living room to the alcove bedroom.

Project at a Glance
Who lives here: Amanda Bresler, SVP for Maurice Cooper & Company
Location: Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City
Size: 450 square feet; one bedroom (known as an alcove bedroom)
Previous owners had covered the brick wall with drywall and had painted the space a muted yellow.

AFTER: Venk removed the drywall to expose the brick. He then painted the walls, ceiling and trim in Behr’s Gallery White. “I use it a lot. It’s a nice, softer white with a little bit of gray in it. I find it pops pretty nice without being overly superwhite,” he says.

He then designed and built the wood shelves and the lighting fixture. He also worked with Bresler to select furniture pieces that fit with the youthful, entertaining vibe she was going for.

The large artwork over the fireplace was semicommissioned from artist Victor Spinelli, who has a large portfolio of photographs that he paints on top of. Venk and Bresler selected this photograph and a pink paint color for Spinelli to use so it would complement the fabrics and pillows in the room.

A wall previously closed off the bedroom from the living room. “You went through a pocket door and basically dove into bed, like on ship,” Venk says.



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