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Architect’s Chelsea Two-Bedroom With Custom Everything (Down to the Electrical Outlets) Asks $1.25M

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The meticulously renovated apartment features a huge living room with a wall of built-in bookshelves.

Living room with a wall of bookshelves, chairs, a sofa, dining table, and red kitchen in the back. François Dischinger

Price: $1,250,000
Specs: 2 beds, 1 bath, 755 square feet
Street view: A one-way street lined with linden, pin oak, and ginkgo trees, as well as townhouses and five-to-seven-story buildings with façades ranging from red, white, and gray brick to brownstone and limestone
Closest train: A/C/E at 23rd Street and 1/2 at 23rd Street
5-minute walking radius: Momoya, Socarrat Paella Bar, Gristedes, Foragers Market, Westville, Whole Foods


After architect Matthew Schnepf and enterprise designer Munawar Ahmed purchased this prewar third-floor apartment at 234 West 21st Street in 2007, they spent a year renovating the space down to a level of detail that really only happens when designers work on their own homes. The revamp included eye-catching features like ruby-red kitchen cabinets, bamboo panels in the hallway, and unglazed porcelain penny tile in the bathroom, in addition to some that were more subtle and meant to ease day-to-day life, like dimmable lights, hidden storage, concealed power outlets, and acoustic floors and ceilings.

An entrance hallway with sliding bamboo doors leads to two bedrooms and a bathroom. Then comes the open kitchen, dining area, and living room, an unusually large space (to make it possible, they knocked down walls and installed structural beams) that the couple says is big enough to host 40 guests. Lit by three street-facing windows, this living area has a wall of white-painted brick on one side and a wall of custom shelving with adjustable brackets and built-in bookends on the other. Those bookshelves, plus the custom walnut cabinet under the windows and the Danish pendant light over the dining table, are included in the sale. In the kitchen, there are marble countertops, stainless-steel appliances from Sub-Zero, Miele, and Electrolux, as well as overhead lighting and undercounter task lighting.

When it came to selling their home of 12 years, the couple, whose playful upstate retreat we featured in May, is once again going for everything bespoke. They’ve listed the apartment without a broker and created a website detailing how they’ve designed and used each part of the home, including plenty of close-up shots of various fixtures and finishes. Take a look here.

A dining table with six white chairs.
The dining area is shown here with a six-person table that can comfortably expand to seat eight.
François Dischinger
A close-up view of red kitchen cabinets, marble counters, and a stainless-steel fridge.
No eyesores here: The kitchen contains concealed pull-out tray for trash and recycling, plus power outlets hidden under the upper cabinets.
Maud Frisenfeldt
Hallway with sliding bamboo doors.
The hallway features bamboo paneling and sliding doors leading to the bedrooms.
François Dischinger
A view of the dining table with a red kitchen in the back.
All the windows in the unit have been refurbished.
François Dischinger
White built-in bookshelves and gray cabinets.
The custom built-in bookshelves in the living room are included in the sale; sale of the gray USM storage system can be negotiated.
Maud Frisenfeldt
A rocking chair near a window.
The custom walnut shelf (included in the sale) sits under street-facing windows.
Maud Frisenfeldt
A floorplan showing a long hallway with two bedrooms, a bathroom, and kitchen, opening up to a large dining and living area.