Living in New York City does not doom you to dwelling in a small, cookie-cutter apartment that screams boring. If you own your condo or co-op or are thinking about buying one in the Big Apple, take some inspiration from the following unique, beautiful spaces.

Wendy Sutter’s Kitchen

Wendy Sutter is a professional cellist and an avid foodie, so it stands to reason that an artistic soul like hers could not tolerate a boring, cramped kitchen. It started out as a landscape of hard white surfaces and neutral green walls — nothing to make you wish for a blindfold, but still short of fabulous.

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Wendy’s talented designer, Luke Mulvey, transformed the kitchen into a warm, welcoming space. By using tile, marble, and wood, along with ample natural light, he created a bright kitchen that is modern but not austere. Wendy’s affection for food, cooking, and beautiful things served as the basis for his design.

Bethenny Frankel’s Loft

Photo by Joe Standart for Traditional Home

TV reality star and author Bethenny Frankel has what you might call the ultimate luxurious NYC apartment — and it’s perfectly suited to her tastes. It wasn’t always like that, however. She recently renovated her three-bedroom, three-bathroom loft and turned it into her dream palace.

The process started with her inspiration book, where she collected ideas that appealed to her and excited her imagination. Her hired designers drew from that book. The result? A welcoming abode that uses a mix of neutral colors alongside pops of brightness (especially orange-red, her favorite color).

Perhaps the most impressive thing about this remodel is that a camera crew recorded the whole process for Bethenny’s Bravo TV show. Having those extra people around for the remodel posed a unique challenge for the designers and contractors.

Alison Macheras’ Osborne Abode

The Osborne Building is a stunning and historic piece of architecture, but when Alison Macheras inherited an apartment there, she found it was dark and outdated. She wanted to pay homage to the building’s Old World air while brightening up her apartment and making it a place she could truly love.

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A combination of light ceilings and warm colors work well with the building’s architecture, and the restored flooring gives a special dash of antique charm. The flooring in the entryway is particularly impressive, and Alison’s team made sure to ditch the carpet that covered this welcoming masterpiece.

The apartment had many old pieces of furniture when Alison inherited it, which her design team restored to their original luster.

Chris Kooluris’ Arcade

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Image via Flickr by Sam Howzit

Chris Kooluris is a 37-year-old man with a passion for gaming — a passion so intense that he decided to turn his simple, attractive bedroom into a classic arcade straight out of the 1980s. Now he hosts regular gaming sessions with his friends.

Unfortunately, remodels can sometimes take a toll on personal relationships, as Chris’ fiancé left him because of the remodel. The lesson? Just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should.

NYC is a city with limitless possibilities; life here doesn’t mean you’re condemned to dwell in a dull, yawn-inducing apartment. With a little design savvy, you can turn cramped and dull into absolutely fabulous.

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