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February 27, 2015
The most populous of New York City's boroughs, and the second largest in area, Brooklyn has no shortage of inventive residential designs. And we're not just talking about the garden-variety exposed brick, subway tile, Edison bulb special.
Hicks Street Residence, Brooklyn

Ed Kopel, a Manhattan-based architect, tackled this gut renovation of a Brooklyn Heights apartment for a lawyer. The client, a bachelor when he embarked on the project, wound up married and a first-time father by the time the renovation work on the 1,250-square-foot apartment was completed in January 2013.

After leveling the sagging floors by “sistering” new joists to the existing ones, Kopel reconfigured the apartment from a cramped three-bedroom space into a more open and inviting space with just two bedrooms.

Originally appeared in A Transformative Apartment Renovation in Brooklyn
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Up on the ninth floor, their sober Neo sofa and chaise from DWR and classic Florence Knoll credenza are contrasted by more exotic accessories like Patrick Townsend’s Orbit chandelier and an offbeat white vase from Creative Growth, an Oakland, California,

A series of complex surgical procedures transformed a dreary prewar Park Slope apartment into a modern loft. “We built models and did perspective drawings,” says architect Joshua Pulver , “and lots of elevations.” First, they decided to eliminate the wall that divided the second bedroom from the living room to create an open living/dining/work space. The second big move was to transform the typically skinny New York apartment kitchen with the kind of high-end Italian system you’d normally find sitting in the middle of 5,000 square feet of open plan. Design move number three was to maximize the square footage of a typically compressed New York City bathroom, without benefit of any additional space.

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Originally appeared in Creative Renovation in Brooklyn
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OSB interior brooklyn loft

When opera singer Ainsley Ryan and Goldman Sachs VP Chris Showalter took over a fixer-upper loft in a former Ex-Lax factory in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, they decided to, quite literally, think outside the box. Forgoing standard wall-building bedroom construction, the couple gave free rein to Adam Hayes and Mark Kroeckel of Openshop|Studio, who devised a fluid, multifaceted freestanding structure sheathed in oriented strand board (OSB).

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Originally appeared in Hive Minded
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Jessica Helgerson Interior Design Brooklyn brownstone alcove stairs sofa upholstery

Portland-based studio Jessica Helgerson Interior Design rehauled a Fort Greene brownstone with furnishings and finishes in bold colors and tactile materials. In the basement lounge area under the stairs, a giant sofa is upholstered in 18 Peruvian blankets that JHID collected over several months. The paintings are by Heather Watkins, a Portland artist. The coffee table is custom design in solid fir, which adds a lighter counterpoint to the Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal paint used in the alcove.

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Originally appeared in A Color-Drenched Brooklyn Brownstone
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Brooklyn renovation exterior

Alex Gil and Claudia DeSimio created a duplex in a Williamsburg apartment building where they’d been renting for years in Brooklyn, New York, and set to work gutting the interior and adding a new rooftop addition clad in panels of Cor-Ten steel.

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Originally appeared in A Brooklyn Couple Rehabilitate a 19th-Century Duplex
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williamsburg renovation brown kitchen

When Helen Dealtry and Dan Barry found their dream home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, they were met with an almost blank canvas. The building, built between 1827 and 1845, was destroyed in a fire in 1995, damaging many of the original interior elements such as doors, moldings, and finishes. The couple sought help from Agencie Group architects and together they created a home that is both fit for contemporary living and respectful of the history of the row house. The stamped tin ceiling, fabricated by a local Brooklyn tinsmith, gives rich texture to the main floor. It's complemented by a sleek Henrybuilt kitchen and a Lacanche stove.

Originally appeared in Modern Brooklyn Row House Renovation
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Modern kitchen with Douglas-fir island and cabinets

In 2009, Dawn Casale and Dave Crofton faced a quandary: With the arrival of their son, Nate, they had outgrown their apartment in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. And though unwilling to stray far from nearby Boerum Hill, where they opened a boutique bakery, One Girl Cookies, in 2005, they were largely immune to the charms of the neighborhood’s brownstones, which they viewed as being long on period detail but short on light and space. The kitchen, which became the heart of the house is filled with handcrafted details. The island and cabinets, fashioned from remilled Douglas-fir beams salvaged from upstate New York, sport inexpensive drawers from Ikea. The Carrara marble for the sink surround also came from the firm’s warehouse, from a section of slab orphaned from an earlier commission. A Viking chimney wall hood tops a free-standing range by Bluestar.

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Originally appeared in The Brownstone Baked to Perfection
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rollout daybed for guests

In Vinegar Hill, architect Sarah Zames transforms two unremarkable apartments into one modern space full of color and texture. She carved out a small custom office area under the stairs that lead up to the roof. The cabinet under the built-in desk opens to reveal a fold-out bed for guests. 

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Originally appeared in Two Apartments Were Combined into This Inviting Brooklyn Home
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The Miner and Major experiment in New York

The Miner and a Major is an experiment in communal living and fantastical form. A New York story of creativity born from hardscrabble circumstance, the project grew out of the joint imagination of three architects with a limited budget. Located in Greenpoint, it took $4,000 and five months to kit out the loft space.

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Originally appeared in Communal Living on a Budget in Brooklyn
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Guest room with a floor-to-ceiling headboard

Over the course of ten years, working as his own general contractor and builder, Jeff Sherman transformed the scariest building on his block in Prospect Heights into a high-design home, all for about $100 per square foot. “I’m a little wary of the construction-on-a-dime myth trumpeted in the press,” says Sherman. “Construction is ridiculously expensive. But yeah, I wound up doing a house for next to nothing.” A copper-clad volume is a stand-out of the space and extends from the ground floor to the second-story bedroom.

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Originally appeared in New Prospects
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Hicks Street Residence, Brooklyn

Ed Kopel, a Manhattan-based architect, tackled this gut renovation of a Brooklyn Heights apartment for a lawyer. The client, a bachelor when he embarked on the project, wound up married and a first-time father by the time the renovation work on the 1,250-square-foot apartment was completed in January 2013.

After leveling the sagging floors by “sistering” new joists to the existing ones, Kopel reconfigured the apartment from a cramped three-bedroom space into a more open and inviting space with just two bedrooms.

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