Brooklyn

Brooklyn Brownstone Project Updates

 

brooklyn door before and after

From this…to this!

You may recall some posts from last year about numerous projects I was working on in a Brooklyn brownstone, including this door restoration. While the house will be professionally photographed soon, I got to stop by this weekend so I can’t resist showing you some quick updates. The front door has been returned to its 19th century glory but as beautiful as the outside now is, the interior of the entryway may very well have become the favorite room in the house. The new front doors added significant space but it is the Farrow & Ball Ringwold wallpaper in green and the black and white marble floor that have dressed it up to scream elegant welcome.

brooklyn entry farrow ball ringwold

The two are such divinely perfect partners that the young daughters of the house have taken to having tea parties in here – wouldn’t you? There is still an antique art deco iron coat rack to go in and while the marble is eminently durable and we don’t want to hide any of it, we need a simple entry mat for bad weather.

brooklyn entry farrow ball ringwold

Some of you may be scratching your head recalling we had originally planned for encaustic tiles on the floor. In the end, the marble was more sensitive to the period and design of the house. I found a better use for the encaustic tiles anyway, as you can see below!

brooklyn kitchen encaustic tile

The kitchen renovation at the brownstone is almost finished and looking stunning. If you recall the Sheila Bridges kitchen, shown below, that served as the original inspiration, we are very close, but the dark woods and rich colors elsewhere in the house demanded some pattern and color complexity be added to all the white. Enter encaustic tile backsplash!

Final painting and window treatments still to come, but the counter-depth refrigerator, farmhouse sink and paneled dishwasher make all the difference. Peek back here to compare. Other final choices included white macoubas quartzite for the counters (which is reading gray in these photos although it is white in person), the single lever Perrin & Rowe faucet, with sprayer and water filter, which really is easy to use and a budget choice with the Barclays fireclay sink. Links to the original posts on these decisions can be found at the bottom of the post.

brooklyn kitchen encaustic tiles

Speaking of Sheila Bridges, be sure to check out another luminescent brownstone she has designed in Harlem in the new June issue of Elle Decor.

Sheila Bridges ED June 2014 brownstone

Sheila Bridges dining room harlem brownstone ED June 2014

And on the wallpaper front, my client has generously offered to give me the leftover F & B Ringwold to line the back of my china cabinet at the beach. It would look great, or I might use this roll of Osborne & Little wallpaper, recently discovered in my stash from a project from almost 20 years ago. Trellis and quatrefoils – two of my favorite things still – on a soft blue-green background.

Osborne & Little wallpaper trellis quatrefoil

Sorry for the general quietness these last weeks. Between the launch of the new blog format, the Great.ly launch – don’t forget to check over there regularly as I am adding to my boutique all the time – and this whirlwind trip to the USA, I have been utterly exhausted. Next week I’ll be giving you an update on my settling in here in Doha, including some of the decorating challenges we expats face. But I am super pumped to be headed to the beach in just 10 days!

Related Posts:
A New Entryway in Brooklyn…Door Change and Encaustic Tile
Late Night Design Epiphanies
Form Versus Function…White Marble Countertops? Really?
Form Versus Function…Inset or Overlay Cabinet Doors?
Form Versus Function…A Farmhouse Sink and That Perrin & Rowe Bridge Mixer Faucet
Brownstone Kitchen Inspiration From Sheila Bridges

Shop Talk…Finds For a Cause at Fork + Pencil

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IMG_3158On Bergen Street between Smith and Court Streets, hidden up a few stairs and behind a nondescript door, lies one of my favorite Brooklyn antique shops, Fork + Pencil. It is not the flagship location – which is right around the corner on Court Street – instead it is the newer warehouse store, focusing on furniture and artwork. And theoretically, it is not actually an antiques shop, but officially a consignment shop. The mix is eclectic, but there is always something interesting to be found. What makes the place special is the owner Alex and its mission – all profits after expenses go to charity. While this is good unto itself, I think it creates a unique shopping experience and better quality merchandise gets consigned there – people like to see their goods doing good.

The main floor is always a mix of large items with accessory displays covering every horizontal surface, artwork and mirrors on all the walls and chandeliers hanging everywhere. Eras and styles are all jumbled together in a highly enjoyable smorgasbord.

fork and pencil 1

Intriguing arched shelving unit mounted on a console table.

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Mid-century mixes with colonial.

fork and pencil 2

Such a variety of lamps, like the pottery one above and this book stack one below…

stack of books lamp

…and this nicely miss-matched pair of cobalt bottles can be found everywhere.

cobalt blue glass bottle lamps

One of F + P’s specialties is porcelain and pottery. Lots of Staffordshire, Asian ceramics, like the big Imari bowl here, lustreware, Sevres and other French porcelain, and the list goes on.

fork and pencil imari

A favorite find is this giant polychrome transferware bowl. Birds and blossoms in the same place!

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Their other great strength is art – etchings, engravings and all kinds of small works on paper, priced so well as to be worth more even than just their frames.

fork and pencil rose

Loved these antique carriage prints. Very Georgette Heyer!

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The basement is more of an adventure than the upstairs and usually looks something like this, but there are always treasures to be unearthed with a little effort.

fork and pencil basement

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A case in point – it doesn’t get better than this – a George Smith standard armchair found nestled in a back corner…

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…and now nestling right here. Fresh from a Southampton estate, that chair lists for somewhere in the $6000 range new and even on sale rings up around $4000. Planning to re-cover it, but for now it looks great.

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The artwork finds have been outstanding, including this Brooklyn view with its charming French mat and the small Chinese gouache below.

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And an art triple play over just 2 visits yielded these…

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…and this…

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…and these…

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…which mixed with this new offering from Dash & Albert, the Garden Path runner, and some beautiful antique lace curtains, has created an instantly decorated laundry room for about $500.

Garden Path Dash Albert hooked rug

There is a nice article about Alex and the founding of the stores in the South Brooklyn Post. And the original store around the corner is well worth checking out – many of the valuable “smalls” end up there.

Fork + Pencil
Warehouse: 18 Bergen Street
Main Store: 221a Court Street
Brooklyn New York 11201
718 488 8855  |  info@forkandpencil.com
Tuesday – Sunday 11 – 7

Brooklyn Belle from Hilary Robertson and Alastair McCowan

The New York Times recently featured the apartment of British expats Hilary Robertson and Alastair McCowan in Brooklyn, laden with great repurposed objects in the softest of palettes. Robertson is a stylist who has worked with the furniture company Ochre and their secondary line Canvas among others, and the Ochre influence is clearly seen in this space. She even took their fantastic Chesterfield in the living room in lieu of payment for a job.

Elsewhere the couple has been ingenious with inexpensive found objects. The light fixture is a $2 trash can spray painted white and a vintage pool measuring board hangs between the windows.

Robertson is clearly a magpie and shells, glass bottles and vintage chocolate molds are gathered on this side console. A woman after my own heart!

Robertson marries old metal bases and marble tops to make consoles and will sell these in her new Brooklyn shop, Mrs. Robertson. I think this would make a great kitchen island in my beach house.

McCowan collects vintage mirrors and they are used like jewelry throughout the space. This series of arches has me humming.

The chairs were spruced up with paint, shoe polish and stapled on muslin upholstery. They look fresh from les puces, but were actually bought at Brimfield.

In a typical brownstone layout, the rooms are an enfilade and the bedroom would actually have been the back parlour.

Remember I called her a magpie? Love this!

The bedroom has another great “chandelier” – a birdcage in this case.

More mirrors on the mantle. Reminds me of these I just saw. Great to see others are addicted to aged silvered glass.

I have found numerous amazing clothing forms here in the markets. One of these days I’ll get to a post on them!

While the parlour floor is all light, bright and frothy, the English basement below has the usual brownstone drawbacks of low ceilings and minimal light. Rather than fight it, they embraced it, painting the room in chalkboard paint. It turns the mirror collection in here to sparkling jewels while also disguising the irregularities of the walls and making them disappear. Camille just posted on a similar trick in the kitchen.

I love it all! What about you?

All photos by Trevor Tondro for The New York Times. The article is here and more photos here.

Related Posts:
The Magpie Gene…Vintage Kimono and Judyth van Amringe
Shrine Sale Scorcher…Vintage Mirrors on an Extremely Hot Day
So Long Summer…Vignettes and Views Around the House
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…Vintage Etched and Engraved Plateaus
Pale & Interesting…More Mirrors From Dave Coote and Atlanta Bartlett
Perfectly Pale…Megan Morton’s Australian Home
More Pale Grey From Abroad

Tokyo Jinja

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