02/08/16 11:00am

Park Slope Brooklyn -- Brownstone Interior Design by Jennifer Morris

This classic four-story Park Slope brownstone had been updated by its previous owner, a contractor, who had “already done the big stuff — the kitchen, air conditioning, a security system,” said Jennifer Morris of JMorris Design, a Brooklyn-based interior design studio specializing in finishes and furnishings.

So Morris was able to forget about the function and focus on the fun. Her goal was to create something “textured and expressive.”

“The parlor floor was very much intact,” Morris said, with elaborate original woodwork, mantels and delicate plaster decoration on the ceilings and on friezes running along the top of the 12-foot-high walls. But the plasterwork had been “gunked up” over the years and was hardly pristine. (more…)

01/28/16 11:39am

Sunset Park Brooklyn — Parlor Floor Renovation by Alexandra Barker

After a renovation she did appeared on Brownstoner three years ago, local architect Alexandra Barker of Barker Freeman “got a ton of work,” she said. “That was a brick row house in Windsor Terrace where I opened up the rear façade. People began calling and saying, ‘I want to open up the rear wall!'”

Here, for a two-story Sunset Park wood-frame house, built around 1910, she did it again — a little differently this time. (more…)

01/21/16 11:00am

Dumbo Brooklyn -- Apartment Interior Design by Sheep and Stone

“I didn’t have to try too hard with this apartment,” said interior designer Sheena Murphy of Sheep + Stone about the 650-square-foot, one-bedroom rental that was her starter home when she and her husband moved to New York from the West Coast. “The view of the bridge is a showstopper, and there was nothing I could do to prevent that from happening, except close the drapes.”

The main challenge she faced was satisfying her own need for “layers and comfort” with her husband’s tendency toward minimalism. Murphy, originally from Hertfordshire, England, hews more traditional. “I love a collected-over-time feel,” she said. “I grew up in Victorian homes with lots of chintz and layering.” Her spouse, on the other hand “would have an entirely white box.”

This balancing act was accomplished primarily through use of neutrals — grays, beiges, black and white — for the furnishings, and a pared-down selection of accessories to bring in color and texture. (more…)

01/14/16 11:00am

Fort Greene Brooklyn -- Brownstone Interior Design by David Kaplan

Ornate plaster moldings painted yellow-green are something you don’t see every day, but interior designer David Kaplan went all out with color in decorating this circa-1900 Fort Greene brownstone for a young family. “I’ll do neutral or monochromatic schemes for more timid clients, but I really had a good time here,” the Manhattan-based designer said. (more…)

01/07/16 11:00am

Red Hook Brooklyn Townhouse Renovation by Rafe Churchill

Four brick walls with some remnants of floor joists and staircases — that’s all that was left of a 25-by-50-foot three-story building on Coffey Street, erected in the 1860s by the Atlantic Dock Company as workers’ housing.

“You couldn’t even walk around in most of it,” recalled architect Rafe Churchill, who was hired to help the building’s new owners convert the two upper floors into a home for their family of four, with a rental unit beneath. “We had to use a ladder to get up to the second floor.” (more…)

12/31/15 11:15am

Brooklyn Heights Townhouse Renovation by Lorraine Bonaventura

This classic 1850s brick row house — one of five identical structures on a North Heights block — was quite a gem even before its extensive renovation.

In the hands of the same family for 70 years, until it was bought by a couple of British ex-pats in the art business, it had suffered decades of benign neglect.

Beyond that, “it hadn’t been touched, it hadn’t been chopped up, and the details, although needing a lot of work, were somewhat intact,” said Brooklyn Heights–based architect Lorraine Bonaventura, who was hired to make the house sparkle again. (more…)

12/10/15 11:00am

South Slope Brooklyn -- Townhouse Renovation

There’s great design freedom on a block where early-20th-century multi-families are mixed with recent condominiums constructed in what Park Slope-based architect Jeff Etelamaki of Etelamaki Architecture calls “McModern” style. “The lack of uniformity presented an opportunity for a bold façade design,” as he put it — and the lack of interior detail provided a clear path to the light-filled, modern home his clients wanted. (more…)

12/03/15 11:00am

Gowanus Brooklyn Wood Frame House Renovation

The owners of this late-19th-century two-story wood-frame were ready to abandon their dream of adding square footage, after the first architect they consulted produced a design that would have been way beyond their budget.

But then they were introduced to Thomas Warnke, whose pared-down philosophy enabled the job to go forward at a price the couple could swallow. “I prefer clean and simple lines, not too many competing ideas in one project,” said Warnke, originally from Germany, who established his Brooklyn-based design practice, space4a, in 2007. (more…)