The Insider: Uber-Stylish Townhouse in Prospect Heights


    The Insider is Brownstoner’s weekly interior design and renovation column. It’s written by Cara Greenberg, also a contributing editor at the newly launched New York Cottages & Gardens, from which this post is adapted. Find it here every Thursday at 11:30AM.

    SO MANY BELOVED SHELTER MAGAZINES have folded in the past few years that it’s especially heartening when a new title arrives on the scene. This spring marks the inaugural issue of New York Cottages & Gardens, a sibling of the existing Hamptons Cottages & Gardens and Connecticut Cottages & Gardens (you can pick up a copy at the Brooklyn stores listed at the end of this post, or subscribe by clicking here).


    If you’re wondering what constitutes a New York “cottage,” editor-in-chief Kendell Cronstrom lays it out in his introductory letter: “Our brand’s notion of the term champions an overall contentment and satisfaction with where one lives,” he writes. Any housing type can qualify, “as long as the décor is good.”

    Certainly that describes the sophisticated 1870s brownstone belonging to Mariza Scotch, an accessories designer; Diery Prudent, a fitness trainer; and their 12-year-old daughter. Converted with meticulous attention to detail by Murdock Solon Architects from a 3-family to a single-family home, the house is sparely but stylishly furnished with pieces individually sourced from mostly local artisans and suppliers.

    Highlights include a professional-style cook’s kitchen and a backyard with a fitness system, designed by Prudent, that can be disassembled and stored away when garden parties are planned. The renovation contractor was Amaro Construction of Staten Island.

    See the house in all its chic glory after the jump.

    Photos: Tria Giovan

    Silk saris from India hang on the wall of the perfectly intact front parlor. The steel chairs are by Dutch designer Martin Visser.

    The oiled walnut and oxidized bronze ‘Fin’ table is by Brooklyn’s Selch & Co.

    The custom credenza is by Aris Paganakis, the custom daybed from Brooklyn furniture maker Tom Edmonds.


    Tom Edmonds also made the custom bed; the carved stand is from Journey Home in DUMBO.


    The sink in the master bath comes from Duravit; other plumbing fixtures from Barber Wilsons & Co, Ltd., of London.


    The hearth in the garden-level kitchen is well-used for grilling. Wide-plank birch flooring provides a warm contrast to the stainless steel cabinetry custom-made by Marlo Manufacturing of Boonton, NJ, normally a restaurant-supply company. The commercial-grade stove is Jade. Arne Jacobsen Ant chairs from Fritz Hansen.


    The backyard’s rectilinear landscape design is the work of Brooklyn’s  Foras Studio.


    Prudent’s ‘Fitnest’ can be disassembled and stored away under raised decking.


    Find a copy of New York Cottages & Gardens at these Brooklyn stores:

    ABC Stone
    234 Banker Street

    Abode New York
    179 Grand Street

    170 Seventh Avenue

    Baxter & Liebchen
    33 Jay Street

    Erie Basin
    388 Van Brunt Street

    Fabrica LLC
    619 Vanderbilt Avenue

    Haystack Home & Body
    130 Clinton St

    Home & Haven
    177 Smith St

    Modern Anthology
    68 Jay St

    Modest Designs
    326 Wythe Avenue

    Missed any installments of The Insider? Don’t fret. You can find them all right here.

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