Family Home Renovation in Brooklyn

written by:
photos by:
January 28, 2011
Originally published in We Love New York
as
A House Grows in Brooklyn

For most homeowners, the goal of renovating is to transform an existing space into an idealized domicile. Few couples, however, include both the architect whose training can precipitate a vision and the professional critic whose career is staked on evaluating the work of architects. No pressure!

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  The exposed ceiling beams and inserted steel framing system are visible in the lower level, where Lange and Dixon relax with their son Paul.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    The exposed ceiling beams and inserted steel framing system are visible in the lower level, where Lange and Dixon relax with their son Paul. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  From the street, Lange and Dixon’s renovated row house is notable for double-hung windows restored to their 19th-century height.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    From the street, Lange and Dixon’s renovated row house is notable for double-hung windows restored to their 19th-century height. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Facing the front facade on the English basement level, a sectional of Dixon’s design punctuates the otherwise neutral hues with a stately purple. The lamp is a double-suspension Tolomeo from Artemide. The reupholstered Thonet chair lends balance to the room through its own asymmetry.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Facing the front facade on the English basement level, a sectional of Dixon’s design punctuates the otherwise neutral hues with a stately purple. The lamp is a double-suspension Tolomeo from Artemide. The reupholstered Thonet chair lends balance to the room through its own asymmetry. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Brightened by light from the backyard, the built-in credenzas and kitchen cabinetry are by JKK Woodcraft. A Kartell FL/Y pendant lamp bridges the glass and wood details.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Brightened by light from the backyard, the built-in credenzas and kitchen cabinetry are by JKK Woodcraft. A Kartell FL/Y pendant lamp bridges the glass and wood details. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Lange’s collection of vintage Heath cups and saucers, Jasper Morrison White Moon dinnerware for Rosenthal, and Simon Pearce handblown goblets fill the overhead kitchen cabinets, which are accessible from either side of the counter. The yellow backsplash is back-painted glass.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Lange’s collection of vintage Heath cups and saucers, Jasper Morrison White Moon dinnerware for Rosenthal, and Simon Pearce handblown goblets fill the overhead kitchen cabinets, which are accessible from either side of the counter. The yellow backsplash is back-painted glass. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Lange reads the newspaper in a vintage Pierre Paulin Little Tulip chair for Artifort.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Lange reads the newspaper in a vintage Pierre Paulin Little Tulip chair for Artifort. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  On the parlor level, the pigmented plaster walls eschew the finish of paint. A modest reveal between the ceiling plane and the walls ingeniously accommodates a concealed picture rail that runs the perimeter of the room. The 1968 painting above the sofa is by op-artist Julian Stanczak.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    On the parlor level, the pigmented plaster walls eschew the finish of paint. A modest reveal between the ceiling plane and the walls ingeniously accommodates a concealed picture rail that runs the perimeter of the room. The 1968 painting above the sofa is by op-artist Julian Stanczak. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  The exposed steel beams delineate access areas from the rooms. The staircase system and fireplaces were fabricated by Wesley Martel.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    The exposed steel beams delineate access areas from the rooms. The staircase system and fireplaces were fabricated by Wesley Martel. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Artwork hangs above the built-in storage in the English basement.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Artwork hangs above the built-in storage in the English basement. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Lange’s predilection for vintage design punctuates the space. The office level includes a cozy guest room with a mid-century Heywood Wakefield-esque dresser serving as a bedside table.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Lange’s predilection for vintage design punctuates the space. The office level includes a cozy guest room with a mid-century Heywood Wakefield-esque dresser serving as a bedside table. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  From the previous owners, Lange spied several key pieces of vintage furniture, including two rare George Nelson Thin Edge dressers for Herman Miller.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    From the previous owners, Lange spied several key pieces of vintage furniture, including two rare George Nelson Thin Edge dressers for Herman Miller. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Dixon inspects a drawing in the couple’s shared office on the home’s top floor. The space features a sloping ceiling that rises to ten feet at one end. The new wood of the inserted ceiling counterpoints the vintage pumpkin pine floorboards underfoot.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Dixon inspects a drawing in the couple’s shared office on the home’s top floor. The space features a sloping ceiling that rises to ten feet at one end. The new wood of the inserted ceiling counterpoints the vintage pumpkin pine floorboards underfoot. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Lange and Dixon opted to use wood for surfaces, such as the ceiling here, where it isn't generally employed.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Lange and Dixon opted to use wood for surfaces, such as the ceiling here, where it isn't generally employed. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Among Lange's ephemera is a poster designed by her grandfather John Scotford Jr. for Dartmouth's skiway. Another copy is available here: internationalposter.com.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Among Lange's ephemera is a poster designed by her grandfather John Scotford Jr. for Dartmouth's skiway. Another copy is available here: internationalposter.com. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  By the door, shoes get organized on a built-in by JKK Woodcraft.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    By the door, shoes get organized on a built-in by JKK Woodcraft. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  A fridge clad in cork provides a decidedly warm touch to the kitchen.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    A fridge clad in cork provides a decidedly warm touch to the kitchen. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  An icy-blue Kartell FL/Y pendant light adds a distinctly contemporary touch to the rustic English basement level.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    An icy-blue Kartell FL/Y pendant light adds a distinctly contemporary touch to the rustic English basement level. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Family pictures and a letterpress poster by Lange's mother, designer Martha Scotford, adorn a textile covered panel.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Family pictures and a letterpress poster by Lange's mother, designer Martha Scotford, adorn a textile covered panel. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  On the top level of the brownstone, where the couple raised the ceiling to ten feet, architect Mark Dixon takes a ladder up to the roof.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    On the top level of the brownstone, where the couple raised the ceiling to ten feet, architect Mark Dixon takes a ladder up to the roof. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  A quartet of Jasper Morrison Air Chairs for Magis provide outdoor seating.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    A quartet of Jasper Morrison Air Chairs for Magis provide outdoor seating. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Paul finds a hiding place amongst the bedroom built-ins.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Paul finds a hiding place amongst the bedroom built-ins. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  A small Eames Wire-base table provides the perfect dining space for son, Paul.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    A small Eames Wire-base table provides the perfect dining space for son, Paul. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Paul spreads out his toys on a rug from Pottery Barn.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Paul spreads out his toys on a rug from Pottery Barn. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  The 1968 painting above the sofa is by op-artist Julian Stanczak. The concealed picture rail from which it hangs runs the perimeter of the room.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    The 1968 painting above the sofa is by op-artist Julian Stanczak. The concealed picture rail from which it hangs runs the perimeter of the room. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  The exposed steel framing system is visible on the parlor floor, where Dixon and Paul share a laugh.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    The exposed steel framing system is visible on the parlor floor, where Dixon and Paul share a laugh. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  On the parlor level, the distinctive pigmented plaster walls eschews the finish of paint.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    On the parlor level, the distinctive pigmented plaster walls eschews the finish of paint. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Paul Rudolph, Eero Saarinen, Corbu, and Paul Rand account for a dose of the couple's reading material.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Paul Rudolph, Eero Saarinen, Corbu, and Paul Rand account for a dose of the couple's reading material. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Green Heath tile, with their signature unevenness, provide a warm touch to the modern space. A cut-out in the glass allows the bather to dial in the right temperature on the Kohler fixture before stepping into the shower.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Green Heath tile, with their signature unevenness, provide a warm touch to the modern space. A cut-out in the glass allows the bather to dial in the right temperature on the Kohler fixture before stepping into the shower. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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