I love floor plans and studying room dimensions. Apartments have many qualities, but none more important than their floor plans. Prewar architecture places great emphasis on room proportions. The buildings of the 1920s point us towards certain standards for the size of rooms based on their specific purpose, and the furniture that function requires. Actually, the size of the people that wil be in the space has not shrunk, nor has the size of any of the furniture, kitchen appliances are larger, yet when looking at most of what passes for luxury construction today, the rooms have all shrunk. The only exception is the standardization of the 5 fixture Master Bathroom, and walk-in closet, these are improvements.
A typical prewar classic 6, 7, or 8 on the UES or UWS has a Living Room 20 feet (FT) to 22 FT long by 13 FT to 15 FT feet wide in. The Dining Room is anywhere from 18 FT to 21 FT long by 12 FT to 15 FT wide. They were rectangular, for optimal furniture placement. Smaller rooms than these do exist, but they are less common. The other rooms have more variety, and can be squarer. So it is better to think about square footage rather than length and width per se. The Master Bedrooms typically range from 200 square feet (SF) to 300 SF. Secondary Bedrooms range from 150 SF to 215 SF. Entry Foyers range from 40 SF to 200 SF. Kitchens from 80 SF to 200 SF, and the adjacent Butler’s Pantry 40 SF to 60 SF. The one or two Maid’s Rooms range from 60 SF to 70 SF. The low end of these numbers are minimums, the high end for more luxurious buildings.
The truly grand apartments are a different story. In these cases the casse, Living Rooms are at least 25 FT by 15 FT, Dining Rooms are at least 22 FT by 15 feet, or 345 SF. In the case of some of the grander buildings, Formal Dining Rooms were sometimes squarer in shape. Master Bedrooms are at least 350 SF, and secondary Bedrooms at lest 225 SF. Kitchens are 150 SF to 250 SF with large Butler’s Pantries, often 75 SF to as much as 250 SF. The Maid’s Rooms are 60 SF to 100 SF. The most palatial apartment Living Rooms usually maxed out at about 650 SF and the Dining Rooms at about 460 SF. The Library as a separate room (often a flexible Bedroom) ranges from 215 SF to as large as 375 SF.