Little House in Brooklyn

By on March 23, 2018 Home Decor

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The owners of this 11-foot-wide row house in Brooklyn were faced with a problem that many young families in New York eventually confront: the possibility of sacrificing location for space. After living in the house for eight years, the pair – an architect and jewelry designer – chose to expand to make room for their two growing children and remain in the Brooklyn neighborhood they had come to admire.

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The original 2-story, the 1000 SF home was completely gutted and extended to 4 levels by adding a bedroom suite above and digging a new urban mudroom below. The narrowness of the house required the design to make effective yet frugal use of space; every inch was important. Precise positioning of walls, doors, and windows was crucial as each floor was planned to serve a purpose.

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The lowest level serves as a new entry, storage, laundry, and mechanical area; the first floor is a continuous public space with living, dining, kitchen, and library opening to gardens in the front and back; the second contains two kids’ bedrooms along with a 2-sink bathroom; while the topmost level holds the master suite with a sleeping area, bathroom, balcony, and terrace. A slender steel stair repositioned on the south side party wall connects the house vertically and draws more light, air, and views into the building.

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Materials throughout the home are modest, natural, and unassuming: the rawness of unfinished steel and character-grade walnut is juxtaposed with the simple refinement of honed Carrara marble and matte ceramic hex tiles. The result is a home that is not just larger, but livelier – filled with the possibility to do more and stay longer in a city that requires its residents to be resourceful and inventive. Photography by Rafael Gamo, Matthew Williams

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