Is Your Townhouse Too Big?


    Earlier this week the Observer ran a story about a Manhattan couple who realized that their five-story townhouse was too big for them. Art dealer Otto Naumann told the Observer: “I realized I hadn’t been up to my library in six months. My wife pointed out that neither of us had been to the parlor in the last three.” The addition of an elevator only made things worse as they were able to skip some floors entirely.

    It’s a very un-New York problem. Few people have the luxury of complaining about too much space. But it got us thinking about how we use the space in these homes. Brownstones, even the wider ones, are vertical in nature, and, as the article points out, people often avoid going up and down stairs when they can. Said an architect in the story: “We have a client in Carroll Gardens who is very concerned with how many footsteps it will take to go from the garden to the top level. It’s constant topic of conversation—how can we make it more efficient? But it’s not a hospital. It’s a house.”  Does anyone else have this problem—any rooms you haven’t seen in a month or two?

    Photo by Chris Shiflett

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