The historic details in this parlor-basement duplex in a Landmarked brownstone in Fort Greene, Brooklyn were in fantastic condition. The preservation of the plasterwork on the parlor level, the working fireplaces, the existing parlor doors and trim, and the exposed beams in the lower level was the priority in the design approach to the project. The parlor floor layout was modified to open up the kitchen to the dining room but otherwise walls remained in their original locations. Increasing the amount of light and improving access to the rear yard was another priority for the parlor floor, so the rear windows were all changed to 9’ tall French doors with transoms that opened onto a balcony, which was created by extending the fire escape landing.
The original woodwork was sanded and repainted and the plaster ceiling was refinished with a semigloss paint to reflect light. The kitchen was painted to match the woodwork and to contrast with the light gray color of the walls. A Carrera marble slab counter and backsplash picks up the color of the walls. Downstairs, the bathrooms were relocated to create a master suite featuring the exposed beams that looks out onto the rear garden. In front, the child’s bedroom also preserves the beamed ceiling, and a bathroom opens onto the hallway. The stair was designed to fit with the historic details of the space.