Livin' Large

Small spaces need a little help feeling better. While renovating his condo, this homeowner discovered all the tricks.

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Sansone chose a premium laminate flooring in Santos mahogany, with reddish tones that complement the marble floor in the kitchen. Tom Sansone learned a lot from living in a 6,000-square-foot home. First and foremost, he figured out he didn’t need that much space, that he could live quite happily with less.

When he moved on to a new place, a 1,000-square-foot condominium in Wilmington, he brought only four pieces of furniture with him: a large cherry bookcase, a highboy dresser, a four-poster bed and a rolltop desk.

“Everything else, I gave away,” he says.

After Sansone winnowed out the possessions he didn’t need or want from the amenities he truly cared about, he was left with a clear list of priorities.

The jewelry table is a reproduction from the House of Spencer. Photograph by John LewisAt the top of the list was a gourmet kitchen with such indulgences as a Sub-Zero refrigerator—“I absolutely had to have it”—and a professional-style stainless steel range.

He also required a sitting room large enough to watch football games with friends, a small, casual dining area, a bedroom with a view of the city skyline and a mid-size master bath. Add an open-air balcony and a few well-outfitted closets and Sansone was home.

Attaining the polished, masculine vibe he wanted required extensive renovations. He turned to his neighbor, contractor John Piazza, to take on the job of transforming a plain vanilla box into a jewel case sparkling with interesting architectural details.

The first step was to open up the condo by removing a large section of wall that separated the kitchen from the living room.

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