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40 East 20th Street, #5/6, a duplex condo with 20-foot ceilings (Brown Harris Stevens) 40 East 20th Street, #5/6, a duplex condo with 20-foot ceilings (Brown Harris Stevens)
After turning away from the window to look at the view, the first thing anyone does upon visiting a New York City apartment is turn their attention to the interiors, where ceiling height plays a significant role. Bob Vila considers the standard ceiling height to be nine feet, but some apartment developers and designers are thinking much bigger than that. Industrial buildings are likely to feature super-high ceilings that get worked into residential conversions, and new construction condos are also incorporating double-height ceilings. In any setting, the highest ceilings are typically found on the highest floors and in the most expensive units.
Like many of real estate’s luxurious amenities, this is a matter of personal preference. High ceilings with exposed beams or ornate crown molding can be difficult to keep clean, which can make the tidiest apartment appear dingy. Even the less ornate present challenges when it comes to tasks like repairs, painting, or changing light bulbs. And at a time when energy costs are up, it should be noted that heating costs in these spaces can run almost as high as the ceilings.
However, the advantages to high ceilings are hard to overlook, especially when visiting this atmosphere. From a seasonal standpoint, residents of these apartments have room for taller Christmas trees than one would think possible for a New York City apartment. At any time of year, the ceiling height gives the rooms more space and a highly dramatic atmosphere. Finally, the rooms with soaring ceilings often come with correspondingly high windows, which flood the space with incredible natural light.

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