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Open vs closed & split bedrooms vs bundled bedrooms (Two Fifty West 81st interior rendering (Two Fifty West 81st Street rendering via Stribling)
Residential floor plan configurations change over time. They evolve with emerging building technologies and the ways families work, play and live together. Although they may change more slowly than other residential design trends, developers have to keep their layouts relevant for the market’s needs.

The two most distinctive floor plan options are open versus traditional closed layouts and split bedrooms versus bundled bedrooms.

Jed Lewin, a broker at Triplemint, says, “Open floor plans are here to stay. They maximize space, they are cheaper for developers to build and they increase flow. They just make so much more sense.”

Lisa Chajet, an agent at Warburg Realty, concurs saying, “People don’t use the traditional dining room anymore. Most of those rooms are being combined and converted into open kitchens, making a great suburban space, or creating a half-walled den, which is a room that is used every day, versus the traditional dining room.”

The split bedroom layout has two or more bedrooms on opposite sides of an apartment, with public spaces like living rooms and kitchens in between. The bundled layout has all the bedrooms together creating a distinct division of public versus private. Lewin says, “We’re seeing a lot of split wing two bedrooms where the bedrooms are separated by a living space which makes more privacy for both bedrooms. The master suite becomes a private oasis, which is very nice.”

Most new developments are not wedded to either split or bundled bedrooms; they often offer both options. But, older buildings, like the 1920s classic sixes found on the Upper East and West sides, the bedrooms are almost always bundled away from the public space, often with a gallery and/or hallway between them.

Open Floor Plans

Open floor plans have few, if any, obstructions between the kitchen, family room, and eating spaces. Those plans, where the flow of movement and light are totally unobstructed, were made possible by advances in engineering reducing the need for as many load-bearing walls.
15 Hudson Yards renderings (Corcoran)
Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, Fifteen Hudson Yards offers a collection of 285 one- to four-bedroom condominium residences across five distinct residence types. Unit #64E, with its wall of windows surrounding a combined kitchen, dining and family room, is a great example of a new, open floor plan. Listed for $7,515,000, this unit also splits the bedrooms offering the most privacy for each bedroom.
Unit 64E floor plan
An example of the open plan with a more traditional feel can be found at Two Fifty West 81st Street, the newest residential condominium on the Upper West Side developed by Alchemy Properties and designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects. Unit 8B, a four bedroom three-and-a-half bath offered at $6,850,000, has an open traditional yet modern kitchen, master suite that runs the width of the building and a flexible fourth bedroom off the living room that can easily be converted to a den.
Two Fifty West 81st interior rendering (Stribling)
Unit 8B floor plan

Floor Plans Offering Distinct Rooms

The other option is a floor plan with more distinct, separate rooms, bringing back living rooms and dining rooms, to recreate the lifestyle of a bygone era. Robert A.M Stern is to be the leader of this space, with such opulent homes in 20 East End Avenue and 15 Central Park West. These stately apartments evoke a time when each room had a specific function of its own.
20 East End Avenue's dining room (Corcoran)
Unit 7C floor plan
Unit 7C at 20 East End, asking $11,995,000, offers a distinctly separate dining room (pictured above), living room and kitchen. Stern designed the spaces so they could be distinct, private rooms, each with their own function.

Beth Benalloul, the Corcoran listing broker, said of 20 East End, “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback about the building in and of itself. Buyers really love the rooms’ large scale, the ceiling heights, size and the more traditional floor plate of the apartments. The market is really trending back to the more traditional floor plan.”

Floor Plans with Bundled Bedrooms/Private Spaces

Some floor plans split bedrooms and others bundle them but most new developments offer some of each type.

Designed by architect Michel Abboud, 45 Park Place creates distinct public and private spaces. You'll find bundled bedrooms but this floor plan offers a bit more privacy (like the split bedrooms) because the units take up entire floors and place the bedrooms on two sides of the unit, while still keeping them away from the public spaces.
These three-bedroom, full-floor units feature master suites thoughtfully designed for the master to be facing east for sunrises and the living room facing west for sunsets.
3-bedroom floor plans in 45 Park Place
Located in the heart of NoMad, The NOMA is a boutique collection of fifty-five condominium residences developed by Alchemy Properties and designed by FXCollaborative that offers split and bundled bedrooms.
15B, or B-Lines, in The Noma are two-bedroom open living concepts with Bauhaus inspired windows that separate public and private space.
B-line floor plans in The Noma
Unit 3E, or E Lines, are two-bedrooms where the bedrooms are split with the kitchen, living room, and dining room in between.
Unit 3E (Alchemy Properties)
Unit 3E floor plan
In the end, the 20 East End Avenue’s penthouse blends the open and traditional plans by creating separate, distinct spaces but also provided oversized pocket doors that can open almost the entire wall from one room into the next. This grand $39.5 million home has the flexibility to be configured to degrees of openness based on the owner’s specific needs. Benalloul said, “We imagine the buyer of this penthouse will have large parties so they can open the large pocket doors and let the guests overflow in the gallery and other public spaces.”
Contributing Writer Michelle Sinclair Colman Michelle writes children's books and also writes articles about architecture, design and real estate. Those two passions came together in Michelle's first children's book, "Urban Babies Wear Black." Michelle has a Master's degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and a Master's degree in the Cities Program from the London School of Economics.
Spacious 1 Bedrooms with outdoor space and in-residence w/d View Property
Steps from Hudson Yards, this residential experience is curated with world-class amenities, exemplary style and a level of convenience you have to experience to believe. Now leasing studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom homes. View Property
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