The three-story brick townhouse had been occupied for decades by the same owner when a young international couple bought the building — and lived in it for just one month before having to relocate to Europe.
“The contractor was just finishing touch-ups when they packed and were gone,” said Kanan Vyas Prasse of Prospect Heights-based Kananshree Interiors, who carried out an extensive renovation that vastly improved the flow from room to room, brought in more light and air and added a brand new kitchen and 1.5 new baths.
The house, now rented out, was badly worn but structurally sound. “The bones were OK, and we upgraded the mechanicals to a degree, but it was shy of a gut,” Prasse said. “It was just really run down, and the kitchen wasn’t functional at all.”
A fair amount of original detail remained, including some doors, flooring, baseboards and the central staircase, whose century-old woodwork just needed fresh paint.
“We were respectful of the Old World details, but when we couldn’t keep them, we made the additions modern, clean and non-fussy,” said Prasse, who has an architecture degree from CEPT University in Ahmedabad, India, and a Masters in Design from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute. Her 15-year practice includes houses, apartments, stores and restaurants, many in Manhattan.
The house is just 17 feet wide on the inside but doesn’t feel tight, with newly enlarged openings from room to room and taller-than-normal French doors from Anderson leading out to the garden.
The main level comprises a living room at the front, dining room in the middle and kitchen in a rear extension, plus a new powder room. There are three bedrooms and a new bath on the floor above, with the lower level used for guests.
The GC was Queens-based IntraBuild Construction.
New insulated windows greatly increased the house’s energy efficiency and soundproofing.
Making the arched opening into the front room both wider and higher gave the entry area a bit more grandeur.
The original oak inner door was retained, with its beveled glass restored. The vintage oak floorboards, laid on a diagonal, were salvageable in the front hall and parlor.
The existing oak treads on the intact central staircase just needed sanding, and the woodwork re-painting.
Prasse sectioned off a 3.5-foot-wide swath of the dining area with a new wall to create space for a half bath, laundry and storage. There’s a washer-dryer behind the double doors in the photo above. Another door leads to the new powder room.
The hanging light came from West Elm.
A pleasing variety of textures, including exposed painted brick, handmade backsplash tiles from Clé and bold patterned floor tile, also from Clé, give the kitchen character.
The new kitchen is in the 9-foot-by-15-foot extension that housed the previous kitchen, with appliances arrayed along opposite walls. A doorway leading out to the garden was replaced with a window over the sink. (Access to the garden is now through new French doors in the dining area.)
Another West Elm fixture illuminates the stairwell.
A vessel sink is mounted on a butcher block counter in the new powder room, with gold-colored fixtures from Kohler‘s Purist Collection.
Blue porcelain floor tiles from Mission Stone and Tile stand out in the master bath. Faucets and bath hardware from Kohler’s Purist line are Prasse’s go-to for their clean modern design.
The deep wall color is Polo Blue by Benjamin Moore.
A Duravit toilet, IKEA vanity and sink and West Elm lights round out the room.
[Photos by Tobias Prasse]
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