Wall Street Journal - A Space for Kidding Around

This full-floor loft in the Flatiron area is the epitome of ‘kid friendly’ with a large playroom that houses an indoor swing, a climbing wall in one of the bedrooms and lots of open space. —Corrie Driebusch

When Stephen Maharam and his wife first saw the full-floor Flatiron co-op, he said they liked the ‘bones’ but wanted to put on their own signature. The couple purchased the loft in 2007 for $5.325 million, according to property records, and spent the next seven months renovating.

Mr. Maharam said he and his wife, both of whom have backgrounds in interior design, had a quick sense of what they wanted to do with the space. He said they replaced or revamped about two-thirds of the apartment, from redoing nearly all the finishes to adding built-in furniture.

The children’s rooms are all painted white on the walls, but each child was allowed to select their own color accent for the ceiling.

The couple installed a colorful climbing wall in their son’s bedroom, inspired by a rock-climbing class Mr. Maharam and his son took at Chelsea Piers. A toy car track around one of his daughter’s rooms, shown here, remained from the previous owner.

A big part of the renovation was adding in built-in shelving units, Mr. Maharam said. ‘They established a great amount of storage and also show off elements we’ve collected over time,’ he said.

The entry way had been simply two white walls. ‘We didn’t want it to feel like a dead area when you walked in, so we put in a black and white photo wall,’ Mr. Maharam said. Bookshelves are on the other wall.

‘There’s an amazing moment of solitude, watching the world come to life outside the window,’ Mr. Maharam said of seeing the sun rise in his home. ‘You see big apartments but for whatever reasons they’re only lit on both ends. This expanse is filled with light.’

The apartment occupies the entire floor and it gets light from all sides, including above: There is a skylight in the playroom, shown here.

As part of the renovation, Mr. Maharam and his wife put in new flooring for the roof deck, a gazebo and barbecue. ‘It’s fantastic up here to have dinner at night and look at the Empire State Building,’ he said.

Mr. Maharam said he and his wife have inflated an eight-foot circular pool on the roof. His children have also used their tricycles and two-wheel scooters on the deck. ‘To see the kids be able to run around is one of the biggest luxuries of all,’ Mr. Maharam said.

The office off of the dining room can be transformed into a guest bedroom thanks to a Murphy bed.

There is an extra office area off of the playroom.

Despite loving the 4,500-square-foot apartment, Mr. Maharam said he and his wife are ready to dive into a new ‘project’. They plan to remain in Manhattan.

The five-bedroom, four-bathroom apartment at 109 West 26th St. was listed in January by Jonathan Isaacs and Steven Ganz at Aligned Real Estate for $7.895 million.

View original article at wsj.com