Perhaps only a couple that loves Halloween so much they had a Halloween-themed wedding would consider painting their living and dining rooms, ceilings included, near-black.
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“They were up for something different, and wanted kind of a mysterious quality throughout the house,” said Manhattan-based interior designer Tamara Eaton, who supplied all-new décor around the same time the four-story townhouse was being renovated by Brooklyn-based CWB Architects. “The parlor is dark and dramatic, but also warm and all-encompassing.”
Beyond the parlor floor, in contrast, the rooms are predominantly white, with bursts of color. Light-colored flooring throughout the house also offsets the dusky quality of the parlor level.
Clean lines and modernity prevail in the venturesome furnishings, which Eaton sourced from a variety of places, including local artists, chic showrooms and online resources, notably the behemoth antiques website 1stdibs.
Eaton was involved from the get-go with the interior architecture, deciding how to treat the original woodwork details, what to repurpose and where to add more. Of the woodwork on the parlor floor, she said, “The execution of the carving was not on a very high level for that time. We had no problem painting it.”
The general contractor, Pilaster, Inc., did extensive custom millwork throughout the house.
White walls in the front hall make entering the dark-hued parlor an even more dramatic experience.
The unusual bulbous newel post is original to the house, as are the wainscoting and carved trim around the door opening. The hefty crown moldings and baseboards are new.
Along with the walls and ceiling, much of the woodwork got a coat of Deep Space, a Benjamin Moore color.
Sophisticated vintage Italian furnishings in the parlor include a sofa by mid-century designer Ico Parisi and wing chairs by Paola Buffa, both found on 1stdibs.com, a coffee table by D.C.-based designer Jonah Takagi and a shaggy yellow ottoman from ABC Carpet and Home.
The Murano glass chandeliers came from Stellar Union, a store in Southampton, N.Y.
A Photoshopped ‘fantasy forest’ collage by artist Ysabel LeMay hangs above a leather-wrapped console from BDDW in the dining room. Chairs found on 1stdibs, each seat covered in a different botanical-print fabric, surround a slab table from Brooklyn’s From the Source.
Thirty-foot-long pale oak floorboards on the parlor level came from the high-end flooring supplier Dinesen.
Glazed white brick creates texture on the kitchen wall in lieu of upper cabinets.
The unusual patinated brass stove hood is a custom piece inspired by the brass fittings on the Lacanche range. It was jointly conceived by Eaton and the architects. “We had an ‘aha’ moment that it should be huge and brass and custom and asymmetrical,” Eaton recalled. The fabricator was Brooklyn-based 4th State Metals.
The brass faucet came from Waterworks. Danby marble from Vermont clads the counters.
The hutch, which the clients found in London, is “an artifact inserted into a modern space,” Eaton said. It’s surrounded by a solid wall of white powder-coated custom cabinetry that hides the fridge and contains pantry storage.
Painting the inside of the hutch a dark color enhances the shapes of white pottery gleaned mostly from Etsy sellers.
While the architects were opening up the back wall and outfitting it with glass doors leading out to the garden, Eaton “made a hard push for a glass rail and brass cap” on the new stair traversing the space between the parlor and garden levels.
A blue banquette lines one wall of the family room under the stairs.
The sitting room of the second-floor master suite contains an Adrian Pearsall wing chair found on 1stdibs and a Montauk sofa. The modern fireplace treatment was conceived by the architects.
Tamara Eaton designed the kidney-shaped desk in a corner of the master sitting room.
The rusted clawfoot tub in an alcove off the master bedroom is from Moon River Chattel, a longtime Williamsburg salvage business, now closed.
A custom walnut vanity in the master bath supports a custom-cut sink of Danby marble. The walls and shower are clad in the same material.
Swiss cross floor tile came from Ann Sacks, the two round mirrors from BDDW.
A guest bedroom on the garden level is distinguished by silhouette wallpaper from Osborne & Little.
[Photos by Francis Dzikowski / OTTO]
The Insider is Brownstoner’s in-depth look at a notable interior design/renovation project, by design journalist Cara Greenberg. Find it here Thursday mornings.
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