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New Prospects

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A Brooklyn architect shows what a little elbow grease, a healthy dose of naïveté, and a decade can accomplish.

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  Sherman sits in front of his Prospect Heights home. The front door is made from etched Lexan bulletproof glass.  Photo by Dustin Aksland.
    Sherman sits in front of his Prospect Heights home. The front door is made from etched Lexan bulletproof glass. Photo by Dustin Aksland.
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    Photo by Dustin Aksland.
    Photo by Dustin Aksland.
  • 
  In the living room Daphne the dog keeps company with a Case Study Day Bed from Modernica, a LCM chair by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller, and a painting by the Brooklyn artist Joyce Kim.  Photo by Dustin Aksland.
    In the living room Daphne the dog keeps company with a Case Study Day Bed from Modernica, a LCM chair by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller, and a painting by the Brooklyn artist Joyce Kim. Photo by Dustin Aksland.
  • 
  Sherman’s friend Anna Chang prepares tea in the kitchen. The range is by Wolf. Walls are coated with parging, a type of concrete made with sand instead of gravel—-more typically used in an industrial context.  Photo by Dustin Aksland.
    Sherman’s friend Anna Chang prepares tea in the kitchen. The range is by Wolf. Walls are coated with parging, a type of concrete made with sand instead of gravel—-more typically used in an industrial context. Photo by Dustin Aksland.
  • 
  The dining area is bright and airy, thanks to the skylight-topped hole cut in the center of the structure. The ceiling is clad in cedar closet liner; the dining chairs and table base are from Ikea.  Photo by Dustin Aksland.
    The dining area is bright and airy, thanks to the skylight-topped hole cut in the center of the structure. The ceiling is clad in cedar closet liner; the dining chairs and table base are from Ikea. Photo by Dustin Aksland.
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  The tin panels lining the stairs are original to the house.  Photo by Dustin Aksland.
    The tin panels lining the stairs are original to the house. Photo by Dustin Aksland.
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  The copper-covered volume extends from the first floor, where it contains coat and shoe storage.  Photo by Dustin Aksland.
    The copper-covered volume extends from the first floor, where it contains coat and shoe storage. Photo by Dustin Aksland.
  • 
  Sherman chats with his neighbor Sakhawat Ullah, the mason who built his front stoop.  Photo by Dustin Aksland.
    Sherman chats with his neighbor Sakhawat Ullah, the mason who built his front stoop. Photo by Dustin Aksland.
  • 
  The copper-covered volume proceeds to the second floor, where it forms a storage wall in Sherman’s home office  Photo by Dustin Aksland.
    The copper-covered volume proceeds to the second floor, where it forms a storage wall in Sherman’s home office Photo by Dustin Aksland.
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  Closet Case
To consolidate most appliances and food storage, keep his compact kitchen looking neat, and save money on cabinets, Sherman built a closet into the kitchen wall (“Cabinets are expensive but closets are cheap,” he offers). Inside is a countertop, blackboard surface, toaster oven, garbage cans, magnetic knife rack, and plenty of shelves. When the doors are closed, the unit recedes from view.  Photo by Dustin Aksland.

    Closet Case

    To consolidate most appliances and food storage, keep his compact kitchen looking neat, and save money on cabinets, Sherman built a closet into the kitchen wall (“Cabinets are expensive but closets are cheap,” he offers). Inside is a countertop, blackboard surface, toaster oven, garbage cans, magnetic knife rack, and plenty of shelves. When the doors are closed, the unit recedes from view. Photo by Dustin Aksland.
  • 
   Seeing Double
To cover up his shoe-storage shelves, Sherman bought bamboo bead curtains from the Callaloo Company emblazoned with an image of the Madonna. He separated out every other strand to create two curtains from one, resulting 
in twinned pixelated images. The resulting pattern is “like a Chuck Close that everyone can afford,” says Sherman.  Photo by Dustin Aksland.

    Seeing Double

    To cover up his shoe-storage shelves, Sherman bought bamboo bead curtains from the Callaloo Company emblazoned with an image of the Madonna. He separated out every other strand to create two curtains from one, resulting in twinned pixelated images. The resulting pattern is “like a Chuck Close that everyone can afford,” says Sherman. Photo by Dustin Aksland.
  • 
  Green Thumb
Sherman’s back garden is a model of adaptive reuse: The path is made from rubble bricks and concrete dug up from the backyard and crushed, and the bench is made from reclaimed cast-iron panels and mahogany scraps left over from replacing the interior stair treads.  Photo by Dustin Aksland.

    Green Thumb

    Sherman’s back garden is a model of adaptive reuse: The path is made from rubble bricks and concrete dug up from the backyard and crushed, and the bench is made from reclaimed cast-iron panels and mahogany scraps left over from replacing the interior stair treads. Photo by Dustin Aksland.
  • 
  Sheer Genius
The master bedroom wall that faces the light well is made from a double layer of corrugated-plastic panels, with a sheet of vinyl from Canal Plastics Center sandwiched between them for translucency. The wall lets sunlight and moonlight into the room while still maintaining privacy.  Photo by Dustin Aksland.

    Sheer Genius

    The master bedroom wall that faces the light well is made from a double layer of corrugated-plastic panels, with a sheet of vinyl from Canal Plastics Center sandwiched between them for translucency. The wall lets sunlight and moonlight into the room while still maintaining privacy. Photo by Dustin Aksland.
  • 
  Now You Cedar
To make sure the light well over the dining area read as “a hole, rather than just a bending of the Sheetrock plane,” Sherman clad the first-floor ceiling in inexpensive tongue-and-groove cedar closet liner from Home Depot. Bonus: “I like the smell of cedar,” says Sherman, and now the house carries a faintly woodsy scent.  Photo by Dustin Aksland.

    Now You Cedar

    To make sure the light well over the dining area read as “a hole, rather than just a bending of the Sheetrock plane,” Sherman clad the first-floor ceiling in inexpensive tongue-and-groove cedar closet liner from Home Depot. Bonus: “I like the smell of cedar,” says Sherman, and now the house carries a faintly woodsy scent. Photo by Dustin Aksland.

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