This New York home is smack dab in the middle of a close-knit row of homes in the Park Slope area of Brooklyn. Since existing houses on either side allow for restricted sun exposure, the owners of the townhouse desired to bring as much light in as possible.
Architect Ben Herzog opened up the space, using light colours, widening doors and rooms and streamlining the design of the home. Since it was built at the turn of the 20th century, Herzog wished to conserve the personality of the home, but eliminated a few details to give the home a clean and timeless look.
Although many of the original details of this home were down, a number of the existing work was left in the kitchen and the living area. The brick on this particular wall from the kitchen and dining area is in the home’s authentic chimney. But it had a lot of work, therefore some old-fashioned was patched in. The molded ceiling is actually made out of tin, and can be from the original structure.
Table: Antique, Twin Fires Barn
Chairs: Antique, located at Harwinton Antiques Fair
Pendant: Flos Romeo Moon S2
Herzog designed conventional kitchen cabinetry to fit in with the home’s authentic decor. Inset doors, beaded face framing and butt hinges all pay tribute to a previous style.
Island counter: Walnut
Backsplash: Subway tile out of Ann Sacks
A space between the kitchen and the living area also serves as a desk niche for the couple. Herzog set up a custom bulletin board from Forbo on the rear wall of this desk, which can be practical and provides a sense of depth to the small space.
Although it’s bolder than the rest of the home, the customers were totally on board with this paneled bamboo market. “I think it’s a somewhat modern, clean, but hot touch which counter-balances the conventional components,” says Herzog. The walls in this space are paneled with 10-inch-wide rift cut bamboo in a blue/gray.
Herzog set up a brand new wood-burning fireplace in the living area. The fireplace is made from very traditional stuff — slate and marble — but still has a very simple and classic design. The rich hardwood flooring, which extend out of the kitchen to the living space, are hand-planed 8-inch-wide antique wood.
Another intricately molded tin ceiling was preserved within this very long living area. Initially, this space was even more narrow, making it feel much more like a hallway than the living area. Herzog had the rear wall opened up a long time to provide additional room. The transitional niche between the living area and kitchen helped open up the space also.
Chair: Room & Board
Coffee table: ABC Carpet & Home
This opening was widened to give the narrow living space a much more balanced sense of proportion. The project’s builder, John Kemp Construction, substituted the crown molding on the ceiling, and also cut out and reattached each the tin with exquisite care so that it would seem as though the room was always the size.
Chandelier: Canopy Designs, ABC Carpet & Home
The customers already possessed all the artwork in the home, and it was a natural fit for the project’s fresh feel. While the carved newel on the staircase is original, the rest of the staircase was taken out and replaced with bamboo. Some of the original door casings didn’t quite fit with the brand new, clean look of the home, so those were substituted also.
The guest bathroom on the home’s most important floor is one of Herzog’s favourite rooms in the home. The gray-blue Moroccan echoes exactly the same subtle hue of the oak from the niche between the living area and the kitchen.
Vanity: Shutter Vanity, Restoration Hardware
Tile: Moroccan Mesh-Mounted Mosaic Field, Walker Zanger
The upstairs of the home holds three bedrooms, two baths and a laundry area. It required quite a bit of spatial planning, but Herzog was able to fit everything upstairs comfortably. This children’s nursery is on the smaller side, but more space really isn’t necessary.
The customers were very concerned with the home’s layout, finding a lot of the materials and products for the home on their own.
“It was an odd situation because both members of the couple were at virtually every layout and site assembly,” Herzog says.
An outside deck on the rear of the home was made out of Ipe wood and placed on sleepers. A high railing keeps it safe for little ones, but still keeps the space open to the backyard.
Outdoor sofa: Crate & Barrel
All photography by Marco Valencia
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