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Millennial Transforms Upper East Side Pad With Dramatic, Tech-Friendly Renovation

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See how a 25-year-old transformed his drab Upper East Side apartment

Self-described millennial Daniel Sperling wanted to flex his know-how when he decided to fully renovate his 790 square foot Upper East Side apartment. The decision to carry out a renovation without the help of a general contractor may seem lofty to some, but to Sperling it was a next step; the 25-year-old works within his family's architectural millwork company, so being handy has always been a part of his life. The result of Sperling's efforts is a sleek apartment with convertible fixtures like a murphy bed and pull-down desk, and high-tech heating and lighting systems all installed on a relative budget.

To go easy on his pockets, Sperling tapped two good architect friends to help out, but in an interview he said that the renovation, factoring in the cost for a general contractor (Sperling didn't use one) and architect, came to $630 per square foot. The renovation wasn't only about saving dimes but also space. Sperling put pocket doors in wherever possible ("Every pocket door saves 10 square feet of floor space," he says.)

The renovation totally reconfigured the space, which had the typical, closed off post-war layout. Check out what the apartment looked like before the renovation, below.

To start, Sperling ripped out a wall that separated the kitchen from the living room. In the interest of saving space, Sperling decided to wall off the apartment's single bathroom from the living area, making it only accessible through the proper bedroom. He installed a murphy bed in the apartment's original dining space, as well as a desk that can fold up into the wall to create a multi-purpose nook that can either accommodate a roommate or visiting guests.

In the bedroom, Sterling designed a headboard that also serves as a room divider and provides storage. The headboard sections off part of the room as a walk through closet, and also opens on the side to reveal shoe storage. For a little bit of extra storage for seasonal items, Sperling installed a pull-down attic door he ordered off of Amazon into the ceiling.

The renovated apartment's most eye-catching aspect is its integrated technology. Sperling designed a motorized lift for a 60-inch TV that pops up out of the kitchen counter when the TV's in use, or recesses when not in use. The lift is finished on the back, so those in the kitchen aren't seeing a mess of wires. The bedroom has a similar pop-out TV.

As if that wasn't enough, the kitchen countertop also serves as a wireless charging station. The apartment has zoned LED lighting throughout that's controlled with an iPad, iPhone or Android device, and the shower is hooked up to a Kohler DTV system that makes sure the water is heated to its assigned temperature before turning on. The list continues

Take a look at the apartment, post reno.

Sperling says the experience has only set him up for exploring more renovations in the future. But for now, he calls the apartment home.


After and After: Here's how to get rid of those ugly before pics