Construction has started at 241 Carroll Street in Carroll Gardens, where a 25-foot-wide brownstone collapsed last summerPardon Me for Asking reported. DOB permits have been filed and a drawing of the new four-story (plus penthouse and cellar) townhouse is up. It was designed by Douglas Pulaski of Bricolage Art & Design. As you may recall, the unsupported side of the building crumbled and fell into the driveway of neighboring P.S. 58.

Photos by Katia Kelly of Pardon Me for Asking


The Insider, Brownstoner’s weekly look at how Brooklynites are renovating and decorating their homes, is written and produced by Cara Greenberg, a veteran design journalist and proud Brooklyn resident.

Hard as it may be to believe, ten years ago this immaculate 1873 brownstone on one of Clinton Hill’s most elegant blocks was chopped into six SRO [single room occupancy] units, sharing four kitchens between them. Its wood floors were so grimy no one knew they were parquet. Its imposing arched entry door had cardboard panes instead of glass. The sky was visible through holes in the top-floor ceiling.

When the current owners — a couple with two teenagers, who live on three of the four floors and rent out the garden level — bought the building in 2001 and embarked on a renovation, the house more than met them halfway. Behind the jerry-rigged kitchens, original detail lurked. The plaster crown moldings and hefty stair balusters were all there — in need of repair, but basically intact. Seven marble fireplace mantels remained. In the basement, they found all the house’s original panel doors. With the help of a master carpenter, plasterers, and other tradespeople, they put it all back together again.

The eclectic furnishings, strong on 20th century modernism, demonstrate how sympathetically clean-lined modern design can work against the more ornate splendors of 19th century row house architecture. Turkish rugs, African artifacts, found objects, and contemporary artworks round out the decor, making for a unique and lively mix.

Lots more photos and details on the jump.

Photos: Cara Greenberg


Welcome to The Insider, Brownstoner’s every-Thursday series exploring the creative ways we Brooklynites furnish and decorate our homes. The Insider is written and produced by Cara Greenberg, a design journalist who blogs at casaCARA: Old Houses for Fun and Profit.

Lauren Stern is a young interior designer who doesn’t like her personal space “uber-planned and perfectly matched,” though she’ll gladly go that route for clients who do. Her buzzwords for the apartment she shares with her husband of one year, Ori Schwartz, are “cozy, comfortable, warm” – a mix of things picked up on their travels, acquired from friends and relatives, or purchased from sources ranging from dusty warehouses to high-end to-the-trade-only vendors.

The 1,000-square-foot apartment, in a c.1900 brick row house deep in Carroll Gardens, is uncluttered and unpretentious, with furnishings and art arrayed against walls painted Benjamin Moore’s China White.

Details and photos on the jump.


Welcome to The Insider, Brownstoner’s Thursday series exploring how we furnish and decorate our homes here in the county of Kings. The Insider is produced and written by Cara Greenberg, a longtime Brooklyn resident and design journalist who blogs at casaCARA: Old Houses for Fun and Profit.

She loves color; he literally can’t see it. She came to the relationship with dark wood furniture and velvet upholstery; he’s a fan of mid-20th century design. When Tove Hermanson, a fashion culture writer and blogger, and Jeffrey Leib, a database consultant, both refugees from Manhattan, moved into their first shared apartment — a rented upper duplex in an 1850s Pacific Street brownstone — this was the unconventional result.

The living room is lavender, the dining room red, the kitchen orange, the bedroom green, and the study/guest room blue. “To me, it was important not to have white walls,” says Tove (pronounced Tova) in a masterpiece of understatement. “Jeffrey is color-blind, so we had to negotiate what he could see and what didn’t look hideous to him.” Their furnishings range from “industrial/do-it-yourself” and late Victoriana to Design Within Reach.

Details and photos on the jump.


Welcome to The Insider, Brownstoner’s every-Thursday series exploring how we furnish and decorate our homes here in the county of Kings. We cover the work of professionals and DIY-ers in every style, neighborhood, and housing type. The only unshakeable criteria: an abundance of creativity and a Brooklyn address.

Photo: Elizabeth Lippman

Sometimes an interior designer is called upon to work almost from scratch, and that’s what happened here. A single woman with an interest in art but few furnishings called Brooklyn-based designer Julia Mack for help decorating her rented 1BR brownstone floor-through. The one thing the client did have: a long 1960s sofa she’d bought for $75 at a Henry Street stoop sale. A few months later, Julia had pulled it all together, giving the modest apartment “strong basics, which can be supplemented with new art or vintage pieces as time goes on.”

Details and photos on the jump.