Yes, you heard that right–the architects characterized this East Williamsburg townhouse renovation as having “a mullet strategy” of a “business/historically correct approach in the front and a party/modern attitude toward the back.” The architects, BFDO, were tasked with restoring the facade of a historic wood frame house, while also modernizing and expanding it. The result? A pleasing blend of older historic details with a brightness and openness not often on display in a Brooklyn townhouse.
Photo courtesy of BFDO Architects
Brooklyn townhouses aren’t exactly known for their light-filled, modern interiors. But BFDO Architects (aka Barker Freeman Architects) had the opportunity to completely re-imagine this 20-foot wood-frame home, which came with a four-foot-wide side yard as well as front and rear extensions. The goal: bring in light wherever possible and bring textures to the exterior and interior in the forms of natural wood, gray tones, and graphic tile patterns. The firm “selectively carved and expanded” each room, adding skylights and window walls to create a super bright, super open house that welcomes you inside.
Barker Freeman Design Office got creative with this townhouse renovation in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn by taking the interior structural columns of the home and transforming them into bookshelves. The result was a win for architect Alexandra Barker’s book-loving clients Gayle Forman, a prolific author of young-adult books, and Nick Tucker, her musician-librarian husband. Barker told Brownstoner that the shelving system is essentially a “low-cost design feature.” And she noted, “They add visual interest using something most people already have.” But that was only one element in an overhaul that modernized the main floor of this historic 20-foot-wide wood frame house.
Making room for growing families is not as easy as it sounds in a city like New York, especially not without making a sacrifice or two when it comes to space. That was exactly what the owners of this lofty Brooklyn apartment wanted to avoid when they enlisted the architects at Barker Freeman to add an extra bedroom.
Row after row of wood-framed houses fill the quaint, tree-lined streets of Brooklyn’s Windsor Park neighborhood. Many are decades old and like this cozy home on Reeve Place, require a bit of a face-lift after many years of wear and tear.
In 2013, the owners enlisted the architects at Brooklyn’s Barker Freeman Design Office to give the semi-detached house a makeover, complete with a brand new wood-paneled exterior.