The Insider: Cobble Hill Condo Reimagined With Custom Stair and Organic-Feeling Decor

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The befores and afters say it all. From a dreary, dated duplex with an awkward spiral stair, Brooklyn-based designer Jennifer Levy of CAV Design crafted a custom home for a family of four, with great attention to detail.

She replaced the standard-issue metal spiral stair with a much more usable and easier-on-the-eyes wood staircase, brought two dowdy bathrooms into the 21st century, incorporated new storage on the upper level to make up for closets sacrificed on the lower, and chose wall colors, materials and furnishings in keeping with the organic feel her clients wanted.

In a former factory building converted to condos in the 1980s, the 1,080-square-foot apartment is comprised of an open-plan living room/dining room/kitchen (the latter not part of this project) plus a powder room on the lower level, with two bedrooms and a full bath above.

Besides the increased functionality of a new staircase, the homeowners were after “something contemporary, clean and unified, incorporating organic elements,” said Levy, a former photographer who segued into interior design after studying at Parsons, forming her company in 2006. “What they had didn’t have a whole lot of character. They wanted more of a statement,” and to bring “an outside feeling indoors.”

Cobble Hill Brooklyn Duplex Renovation Jennifer Levy CAV Design

In the living area, artwork produced by Levy herself echoes the teal green wall on other side of the room. “We wanted something eye-catching that would wrap the corner of the room and bring life into it,” she said.

The taupe wall paint is from the Benjamin Moore Aura Line. The sectional sleeper sofa, in Soft Suede microfiber, is from from Mitchell Gold. Natural linen window treatments came from The Shade Store.

Cobble Hill Brooklyn Duplex Renovation Jennifer Levy CAV Design

Cobble Hill Brooklyn Duplex Renovation Jennifer Levy CAV Design

Dining area before and after. A wall painted Benjamin Moore Sea Star, from the company’s Aura line, sets the space apart.

The three-light “Bubbles” pendant is by Sonneman, the solid wood table and chairs from ABC Carpet & Home.

Cobble Hill Brooklyn Duplex Renovation Jennifer Levy CAV Design

To surround the working gas fireplace, Levy chose a slate tile with a slight metallic quality from Artistic Tile.

The mantel of reclaimed wood was “a way to warm up the place and give it a little patina,” she said.

Cobble Hill Brooklyn Duplex Renovation Jennifer Levy CAV Design

A mini home office tucked in a corner to the left of the fireplace has a drop-down desktop that makes fast work of decluttering, and file storage below.

Cobble Hill Brooklyn Duplex Renovation Jennifer Levy CAV Design

Cobble Hill Brooklyn Duplex Renovation Jennifer Levy CAV Design

Staircase before and after. Storage lost on the lower level was replaced, some of it nested under the new staircase on the upper level.

Cobble Hill Brooklyn Duplex Renovation Jennifer Levy CAV Design

Cobble Hill Brooklyn Duplex Renovation Jennifer Levy CAV Design

Levy worked with architect Skip Boling to design the new staircase, which was fabricated of oak and stainless steel, with a cable rail system. “We worked hard to make it feel open and create a graphic profile” while keeping to code, she said.

Cobble Hill Brooklyn Duplex Renovation Jennifer Levy CAV Design

Cobble Hill Brooklyn Duplex Renovation Jennifer Levy CAV Design

Powder room before and after, above. A Tolix Marais stool from Design Within Reach, cut to accommodate plumbing, became a base for a small vessel sink in the downstairs powder/laundry room.

A maple panel door was hung with box stall hardware from Audobon Hardware to save space.

The floor is exterior-grade porcelain tile from Cancos Tile, the faucet from Kohler.

Cobble Hill Brooklyn Duplex Renovation Jennifer Levy CAV Design

The upstairs bathroom was enlarged to accommodate a walk-in shower, both physically, into an extra foot of unused space discovered behind the righthand wall, and visually, with a frameless shower door and mirrored wall. Cancos Tile supplied the floor and wall tile, Artistic Tile the decorative trim.

[Photos by Jennifer Levy]

The Insider is Brownstoner’s in-depth look at a notable interior design/renovation project, by design journalist Cara Greenberg. The stories are original to Brownstoner; the photos may have been published before.

Got a project to propose for The Insider? Contact Cara at caramia447 [at] gmail [dot] com.

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