What would one of Brooklyn’s leading architects do with a Warren Place Mews townhouse, those iconic but small Gothic workingmen’s cottages built by Alfred Tredway White in 1879? Three stories high but narrow and only two rooms deep, the houses challenge any designer to find space for an adequate number of bathrooms without sacrificing bedrooms or parlors. We’ve also never seen one with any original finishes or even a mantel.
Everyone wants one but no one can figure out what to do with them.
Architect Elizabeth Roberts is known for her modern-meets-traditional renovations of Brooklyn brownstones. In this case, documented in a New York Times story, she restored some of the historic charm with an old-fashioned wood staircase with turned spindles and two salvage marble mantels.
She squeezed in two bedrooms and two bathrooms, although we’re not quite sure how since the article doesn’t include a floor plan.
Most remarkable — and something for other homeowners to consider — is the trick of turning a powder room, big enough for only sink and toilet, into a shower with full-room waterproofing and shower apparatus on the wall and overhead.
She also maximized storage with built-in bookcases big enough to hold the owners’ record collection and record player.
We’re guessing room for a full size bathroom on the top floor was carved out of the second bedroom and the top of the stair.
The renovation cost $550,000. Click through to the New York Times story for photos. What do you think of the design? Would you adapt any of these ideas in your own space?
Spies Like Us [NY Times]
Photo by Corcoran