Park Slope Brooklyn -- Brownstone Interior Design by Ensemble Architecture

Owned by a single family for a century, this Gilded Age townhouse near Prospect Park came into modern times with nearly all its original detail preserved.

That’s not to say the new homeowners didn’t have work to do. First they hired Red Hook-based MADE Architecture to, among other things, design new bathroom layouts as well as a new layout and cabinetry for the garden-level kitchen, and to bring the intact but timeworn woodwork to a high level of polish.

Then in came Ensemble Architecture to choose furnishings and finishes, including floor and wall tiles, light fixtures, countertops, plumbing fixtures, wallpaper and paint colors. The Gowanus-based studio, which was founded in 1998 by Elizabeth Roberts and now comprises 13 architects and designers, recently expanded its interiors department. (more…)

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…)

Presented By Brownstoner Services.

This series highlights the expertise of Brownstoner's Services Pros.

If you don’t have much experience with cork flooring, you might have the wrong idea about what it looks like. No one is suggesting you cover your floor with an Office Max bulletin board. And it certainly won’t resemble your sister-in-law’s DIY wine cork art.

Cork flooring can look like your typical solid wood floor. But is it the right choice for your home? Read on for the surprising pros and cons of cork. (more…)

Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn David Stark

Photo by Claudia Uribe for New York Magazine

After more than 40 move-in-ready apartments failed to entice event designer David Stark and his husband — the performer and artist Migguel Anggelo — the pair finally settled on a 1,500-square-foot Brooklyn Heights apartment, according to a recent feature in New York Magazine. The corner unit had great light and great views. But unlike its new owners, the home was bland and boring.

So Stark and Anggelo enlisted designer Jane Schulak — founder of design advocacy group Culture Lab Detroit — and the Red Hook-based creative studio MADE to transform the home into a showstopper. (more…)

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…)

Donate Clothes Brooklyn

One of the major barriers to getting rid of stuff is that it’s not always easy to figure out what the heck to do with it all.

If you throw away reusable items, you’re being wasteful. If you stick your things out on the curb with a “Free! No Bedbugs!” sign, there’s a chance the landlord or super will get mad — and an even bigger chance that nobody will believe that the stuff is, indeed, safe to take (making you both wasteful and a litterer), so that’s out.

The ethical and logical action to take with reusable items is obviously to donate it all, and we want to make that as easy as possible for you. Below is some information to help make donation easy, complete with contact information for who can come pick up your items and briefs on what each charity wants and where they are.

What are your favorite donation spots? Together, we can get this done right while clearing the way for a deep-clean in the spring. (more…)


A gut renovation opened up this now loft-like Williamsburg home. Photo by Ensemble Architecture

Renovating a house can be one of those bank-account-draining experiences that make a designer shoe habit or dining in three-star restaurants look cheap in comparison.

But how much does it cost — or should it cost — to renovate a home? Some believe a top-shelf Brooklyn townhouse renovation costs at least $1 million. But there’s also a vocal subset who hold fast to the idea that almost any house can be renovated for $200,000 — or less.

Who’s right? Read on to find out. (more…)


Photo by Emily Gilbert for Arlington Place Bed and Breakfast

Along with the Nets, fixies, Patrick Stewart, and hydroponic kale, Brooklyn has fireplaces. Amazing fireplaces. The kind of mantels that could inspire a move — if you don’t live here already. Here are 15 we can’t stop dreaming about. (more…)