Welcome to Design Brooklyn, an occasional column featuring Brooklyn interiors, both residential and commercial. The column is written by Anne Hellman, with photographs by Michel Arnaud. They blog at Design Brooklyn and have a book of the same name coming out in October from Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. You can preorder copies here.

Although the owners of this 1850s carriage house in Brooklyn Heights finished major renovations in 2009 in time for their wedding, they have been perfecting it ever since. With the help of Baxt Ingui Architects, the couple transformed what had been a hasty renovation job by a developer into an elegant and open multilevel home.

Because the brownstone on the exterior of the building matches that of Grace Church across the street (one of Brooklyn’s great landmarks, built in 1854), the owners surmise that the house not only dates from the decade but also served as a carriage house for the church until it was turned into an apartment building in 1919. In excavating the perimeter, they found evidence that the ground floor had been used as a parking garage while the floor above housed tenants. Milk bottles from 1918 and 1919 were found in the earth, and the couple display these on a windowsill as decoration.