When a young couple commissioned Jessica Helgerson Interior Design to furnish their recently-remodeled Fort Greene townhouse, the team jumped at the opportunity. The clients–pop art enthusiasts with a fondness for modern designs and bold hues–requested vibrant colors and a playful vibe. And that’s exactly what JHID, headed up by project manager Chelsie Lee, gave them.
We’ve featured the work of WE Design before, but here’s another one of their Brooklyn beauties that’s captured our attention. In a gut renovation of a historic brownstone, the architects brought a 19th century home right into the 21st by juxtaposing the old and the new and making way for spaces that are all about modern living.
“I want something with character.” This is definitely a line brokers hear all the time. And if their current character-seeking client is looking to move to brownstone Brooklyn, this $2.5 million Romanesque Revival rowhouse in Prospect Heights is the perfect place to satisfy their check list.
Located at 268 Prospect Place, the three-bedroom, 2,430-square-foot home was built by William L. Beers in 1899. It’s oozing with historic details, including six fireplaces, stained glass transom windows, moldings galore, a carved wood staircase, sand wood floors, original wainscoting, cornices, and shutters.
It’s that time again when everyone starts looking back on the year as it comes to a close, but it’s also the time to look ahead to the new year. We already know 2015 will bring a slew of new developments to the New York City skyline, and right on trend with that forecast, Bloomberg has reported that construction loans are up 24 percent in the city.
On-the-rise neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy and Harlem are being aided by the construction loan boom, especially for the renovation of multi-family buildings. The loans, often well over $1 million, are appealing for gentrifying areas because they usually require borrowers to only begin making interest payments once the renovation is complete. For example, a Clinton Hill resident secured a $800,000 construction loan to renovate a century-old multi-family brownstone and estimates that the value of the home will more than double to at least $2.2 million after the renovation.
Interior design buffs are undoubtedly familiar with J. Crew Creative Director Jenna Lyons’s former home; it was featured in countless magazines and blogs, hailed for its mix of traditional pieces with mid-century modern and pops of color. But in 2012, after a bidding war that included prospective buyers being asked to write personal essays, she sold the 19th century Park Slope pad for $4 million to Vince Clarke, founder of Depeche Mode, and his wife Tracy Martin, CEO of the Morbid Anatomy Museum. And needless to say, they gave the 4,000-square-foot home quite the overhaul, infusing it with a mix of historic styles and curious touches that could serve double duty in Martin’s taxidermy-filled museum.
The masterminds behind the transformation were Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, the founders of design firm Roman and Williams, who created a home that looks like it was furnished in the last century. Their goal was to embrace the home’s historic details while achieving an idiosyncratic and moody approach.
Nothing says the Upper West Side quite like images of quaint townhouses above sidewalks of tree-lined streets, and this beautiful brownstone up for sale fits right in. Located at 139 West 87th Street, the grand, recently restored property is in perfect move-in condition. The home includes approximately 4,000 square feet, 4-6 bedrooms and an abundance of luxurious and historic details. The current asking price for this classic piece of New York architecture is $8.75 million.
Bed-Stuy‘s most expensive single-family home has a set of new photos that gives us a closer look into the work that’s been put into bringing this storied home back to life. Designed by Montrose Morris and modeled after a Gilded Age Vanderbilt mansion along Fifth Avenue, this spectacular house known as ‘The Kelley Mansion’ was built for water meter magnate John Kelley in 1900. The mansion was a favorite hangout of Kelley’s pal President Grover Cleveland and has for the better part of its existence been affectionately referred to as the ‘Grand Dame’ of Hancock Street. The home fell into disrepair over the decades, but savior Claudia Moran, a retired ad exec, dedicated a great deal of her time and money restoring the mansion after buying it up for just $7,500 in the 1980s. It’s now selling for $6 million.
Brooklyn is changing fast and at the forefront of this is Bedford-Stuyvesant—or as it’s more commonly known, Bed-Stuy. Like most New York neighborhoods, Bed-Stuy has had its ups and downs, its most notable down being the 80s and 90s when crime and drugs were at a record high. But as hard as the times may have gotten, the neighborhood has maintained itself as one of the city’s most culturally significant. Bed-Stuy has long been home to one of the largest concentrations of African-Americans in New York, it boasts beautiful well-preserved architecture spanning countless styles and centuries, and of course, there is the neighborhood’s central role in the hip-hop movement.
Image © Sarah Ross via flickr cc.
Our Renovation Diary series follows 6sqft writer Michelle Cohen as she takes on the challenge of transforming her historic Clinton Hill townhouse into a site-sensitive modern home. In Part I she shared her experience of defining a plan of action and getting started and this week she takes on the all important task of choosing an architect.
One of the first steps in our renovation project was to hire an architect. The house is in a historic district, so we have to submit all alteration plans to the Landmarks Preservation Commission; we wanted to find someone who was very familiar with that process. We also wanted to find someone who was familiar with working on renovating old brownstones, and someone whose style we liked. Someone who comes with lots of good recommendations. And, not least of all, someone we could even close to afford. In our case he or she would be our main point person on the project, and, ostensibly, our advocate in any dispute that would occur later on.
Not only is this rare 1882 brownstone situated in the heart of one of New York City’s quintessential family-friendly neighborhoods, the home itself is perfectly suited for familial bonding of another kind – multigenerational living. With an owner’s triplex over a floor-through garden apartment, this lovely residence at 107 St. John’s Place in Park Slope speaks to the time-honored tradition of sharing space with extended family.
But if you’re not quite ready for the whole “Everybody Loves Raymond” scenario, having a sought-after income-producing rental is still a wonderful perk, and only one of the home’s many charms.