The Romanesque Revival-style brownstone at 722 Decatur Street in Ocean Hill isn’t your typical flip. Renovated by a developer, the two-family has been given a modern, all-white, retro-futuristic, space-age mod overhaul that is the signature of artist, designer and author Virginie Sommet, whose similarly outfitted townhouse has been featured in New York Magazine’s Design Hunting and the 2019 Bed Stuy house tour.
Part of a row built circa 1895, the 18-foot-wide house retains its brownstone facade that mixes rough-cut and smooth sections, ornamental iron rails and original cornice. The windows and door have been modernized, and the yard finished in red pavers.
The inside is loft like and almost completely white. The parlor level is completely open front to back except for custom glass-enclosed wood stairs inserted through the volume. The pale oak floors have been whitewashed, and exposed brick walls are painted white. Track lighting and slot diffusers for air conditioning create an abstract composition on the ceiling.
The rear kitchen is outfitted with Sommet’s trademark — figuratively and literally — custom rounded cabinets made in Brooklyn, plus an island in the middle. Sliding doors lead to a terrace with steps down to a landscaped garden with a grassy area, horizontal wood fence, raised wood deck and paved patio.
The house, which last sold for in 2018 for $850,000, before the recent renovation, is configured as a three-bedroom duplex over a two-bedroom garden-level simplex. It has five outdoor spaces, including a roof deck, Juliet balcony, terrace, backyard and private terrace for the garden level unit.
On the top floor, the master suite has the glass-enclosed Juliet balcony and sliding glass doors. The listing says there’s a double dressing room, and the bathroom has skylights and is fashioned in a matching all-white manner, with custom cabinets and a glass-enclosed shower. The bathroom faucets are stainless steel, as are door handles.
There are two more bedrooms on this level and a laundry closet with a washer and dryer. The roof deck is tiled in gray, and the garden unit is all-white also.
Since 2015, Sommet has designed more than 25 houses for developers and private clients. You’ll have to get a copy of Sommet’s 2008 “Only in New York, Darling!”–combining memoir, reportage, and poetry–to find out more about the philosophy behind her all-white approach.
Listed by Sigalit Hazor of Massada Home Sales, the home is asking $1.79 million.
[Photos by Kiritin Beyer]
- Find Your Dream Home in Brooklyn and Beyond With the New Brownstoner Real Estate
- Affordable Housing Lottery Opens for Two Units in Ocean Hill for $899 a Month
- Lottery Opens for 25 Affordable Co-Op Units in Ocean Hill, Starting at $212K