Samantha Orley’s Manhattan apartment is a living advertisement for small but super transformative design projects. Everyone loves a gut renovation. The horrifying before photos! The dramatic reveal! But the reality is, little changes can be just as powerful. Samantha, the founder of interior design firm Stoop, never even considered the former; the layout of the ground-floor duplex, which she shares with her husband, Matthew, and their son, Malcolm, was already solid and the prewar architectural details gorgeous. That’s not to say there weren’t a few few spots that needed some TLC, though . . .
The stairwell: When Samantha and Matthew first saw the apartment, the staircase was absurdly narrow – half the width of a normal one – and the “coat closet” wedged next to it couldn’t even fit a hanger. They worked with a contractor to completely open up the stairwell, widen the steps a bit, and tuck a fully-functioning storage space underneath. Given it’s one of the first spots you see when you enter the apartment, Samantha decided to create mini entryway with a Menu wall table. Thanks to its unique creased top, it takes up a fraction of the space a console would.