Brownstoner’s Top 10 Insiders of 2018


    It was another year of inspiring design with deep dives into renovation projects across the borough. Every week Brownstoner’s Cara Greenberg gave us a tour of a finished project with details on layout decisions, finishes and interior design in spaces from apartments to townhouses.

    Below, click through to find the top 10 Insider columns of the past year and see if your favorite made the list.

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Platt Dana Brooklyn Heights

    Photo by Joe Kitchen

    10. The Insider: Massive Gut Reno, Two-Story Addition Beefs Up Classic Brooklyn Heights Townhouse

    “Blowing out” the solid back wall of a 19th century row house and replacing it with an expanse of glass is one of the most frequent requests local architects get from their 21st century clients. It’s a way to infuse vast amounts of light into darkish interiors.

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn EG Projects Boerum Hill

    Photo by Edward Caruso

    9. The Insider: New Four-Story Addition Expands and Brightens Growing Family’s Boerum Hill Townhouse

    After more than a decade in their vintage townhouse, its owners were ready for a big renovation push that would give them the large eat-in kitchen and additional space they craved for their growing family.

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn SGVA Park Slope

    Photo by Andrew Rugge

    8. The Insider: Architect Shifts Floor Levels in Park Slope Townhouse to Suit a Modern Family

    Like many people familiar with four-story townhouse living, Amy Shakespeare’s clients, a couple with two young children, “wanted to solve the problem of living on multiple floors,” said the architect, who is a principal of Park Slope-based Shakespeare, Gordon, Vlado: Architects (SGVA). (The project was completed when the firm was called Redtop Architects.)

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Mercer Interior Park Slope

    Photo by Emily Gilbert

    7. The Insider: Park Slope Railroad Apartment Redo Delivers Serene Vibe, Farmhouse-Style Kitchen

    One of the owners of a vintage row house, which had long been a down-at-the-heels rental building, chose the bright top floor as a home for herself and her two children. She hired Warwick, N.Y.-based designer Elizabeth Aurandt of Mercer Interior to help turn the two-bedroom, railroad-style apartment into a more comfortable, polished space reflective of her life as an artist and educator.

    Interior Design Ideas Ben Herzog Park Slope

    Photo by Brett Beyer

    6. The Insider: In Major Gut, Petite South Slope Wood Frame Gains Bright, Open Interior, Tons of Storage

    This 16-foot-wide wood frame house was cramped and sagging, with sad vinyl siding, when it first came to the attention of South Slope-based Ben Herzog Architect (BHA). The 14-person firm, founded in 2009, expanded in 2014 to include a full-service interior design department.

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn BFDO Park Slope

    Photo by Lesley Unruh

    5. The Insider: Architect Reconfigures Art-Filled Park Slope Townhouse With Fresh, Unfussy Style

    After a decade of living in a lower duplex with two rental units above, these homeowners decided it was time to take over more of their townhouse. So they called on architect Alexandra Barker of Gowanus-based Barker Freeman Design to create a triplex for their family of four, plus a garden rental.

    interior design brooklyn cwb

    Photo by Rachael Stollar

    4. The Insider: Stylist-Turned-Designer Creates Chic But Family-Friendly Interior in Boerum Hill

    A three-story row house gained an extra floor and a mansard roof in the hands of Dumbo-based CWB Architects, which gut-renovated the building for a couple with two tween-age kids. “It was in terrible, falling-down shape,” said architect Brendan Coburn of CWB. “It’s not in a landmarks district, but we treated it like a landmarks job,” down to re-created wood trim and plaster ceiling moldings that are very close to the 19th century originals.

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Hayley Moynihan Bed Stuy

    Photo by Harry Dutton

    3. The Insider: Bed Stuy Brownstone Reno Smoothly Blends Original Detail with Modern Elements

    In three years of row house renovation, Hayley Moynihan went through just about every trial and tribulation a novice can endure, including a change of contractors partway through and half a winter spent in an unheated rental apartment.

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Elizabeth Roberts Fort Greene

    Photo by Dustin Aksland

    2. The Insider: Fort Greene Townhouse Opens Up With Three-Story Addition

    Sometimes, in the renovation of a dilapidated vintage row house, when no original details remain, the interior is given a spare contemporary treatment.

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Lauren Wills Fort Greene

    Photo by Jeff Anzulewicz

    1. The Insider: Suddenly Single Designer Redecorates Her Fort Greene Rental for a Fresh Start

    When interior designer Lauren Wills’ significant other moved out of their shared apartment mid-lease, her rent instantly doubled. But because she loved the sunny, loft-like space on the top floor of an older multi-unit building, she decided to stay and make it work.

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