Before & After: A Humdrum Home in Brooklyn Receives a Stylish Revamp

Add to
Like
Share
By Michele Koh Morollo
A generic Brooklyn brownstone is transformed into a bright and spacious home—idyllic for entertaining kids and adults alike.

When Mike and Laura Farah found out they were expecting their second child, they knew it was time to purchase a larger home. Having lived in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gardens for about a decade, they weren't ready to say goodbye to the familiar, so after viewing multiple properties, they ended up buying a 4,167-square-foot brownstone right across the road from their old home.

The couple liked the condition of the relatively new property, which was built in 2010, but felt it lacked the soulfulness of the other homes they had previously lived in. There were also certain aspects of the house that did not suit their current lifestyle, so they contacted Brooklyn architect Frederick Tang to help them alter their new space to better fit their needs and tastes. Scroll ahead to see the stunning transformation. 

Before:

Newsletter
Join the Daily Dose Mailing List

Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design

Before: the entry foyer.

Before: the entry foyer.

In 2016, Tang and his team began work on the townhouse, which he refers to as "a developer special," due to its generic finishes. Here, he saw the house as an opportunity to create something special from a blank slate, so he reorganized the floor plan to better suit the needs of the couple and their two sons, and added character to the property’s basic shell. 

Before: the living room and front door.

Before: the living room and front door.

Before: the original kitchen.

Before: the original kitchen.

After:

Wood hooks are by Muuto; leather-wrapped mirror by Jamie Young Company; entry bench by Mash Studios; and wall sconces by Park Studio LA. 

Wood hooks are by Muuto; leather-wrapped mirror by Jamie Young Company; entry bench by Mash Studios; and wall sconces by Park Studio LA. 

The original layout had a tiny living area in the front that wasn’t spacious enough to accommodate entertaining. To create more space, Tang converted the second floor into a larger living room. Here, chairs and sofa from All Modern; drapery and rug from West Elm; fireplace custom-finished in Venetian plaster; light fixture from Lambert et Fils. 

The original layout had a tiny living area in the front that wasn’t spacious enough to accommodate entertaining. To create more space, Tang converted the second floor into a larger living room. Here, chairs and sofa from All Modern; drapery and rug from West Elm; fireplace custom-finished in Venetian plaster; light fixture from Lambert et Fils. 

Kitchen stools from One Forty Three; steel and glass doors by A&S Steel Windows.

Kitchen stools from One Forty Three; steel and glass doors by A&S Steel Windows.

A mix of IKEA and custom walnut shelving; gray subway tile from Nemo Tile; and accessories from Food 52.   

A mix of IKEA and custom walnut shelving; gray subway tile from Nemo Tile; and accessories from Food 52.   

A zinc topped table from Restoration Hardware; lighting fixtures (wrapped in leather) from Pelle; painting on the wall is by Roman painter Giancarlino Benedetti Corcos; large scale wall weaving by Maeve Pacheco;  a mix of vintage pottery from Paul McCobb, Ben Seibel, and Eva Zeisel.

A zinc topped table from Restoration Hardware; lighting fixtures (wrapped in leather) from Pelle; painting on the wall is by Roman painter Giancarlino Benedetti Corcos; large scale wall weaving by Maeve Pacheco;  a mix of vintage pottery from Paul McCobb, Ben Seibel, and Eva Zeisel.

Custom walnut millwork by contractor; chairs by School Outfitters.  

Custom walnut millwork by contractor; chairs by School Outfitters.  

The master bedroom after the renovation. "Our solution was to move the entire master suite up to the top floor, which had previously been occupied by two guest rooms and a play space. This gave the couple’s suite more privacy, as well as access to the roof deck, which presents amazing views of Manhattan," explains Tang.

The master bedroom after the renovation. "Our solution was to move the entire master suite up to the top floor, which had previously been occupied by two guest rooms and a play space. This gave the couple’s suite more privacy, as well as access to the roof deck, which presents amazing views of Manhattan," explains Tang.

Removable wallpaper by Chasing Paper; leather butterfly chair from All Modern.

Removable wallpaper by Chasing Paper; leather butterfly chair from All Modern.

Light fixture from Allied Maker and Bocci; custom-made white oak "shutter" cabinets; plumbing fixtures by California Faucets. 

Light fixture from Allied Maker and Bocci; custom-made white oak "shutter" cabinets; plumbing fixtures by California Faucets. 

The space below the stairs was turned into a cheerful play area for the two boys. "We built an egg shaped 'nook' underneath the staircase, and filled it with soft ‘pebble’ pillows," adds Tang.

The space below the stairs was turned into a cheerful play area for the two boys. "We built an egg shaped 'nook' underneath the staircase, and filled it with soft ‘pebble’ pillows," adds Tang.

A look at the Floor Plan Drawing.

A look at the Floor Plan Drawing.

Have your own renovation to share? Read our submissions guidelines and tell us your story!

Project Credits:

Architecture and interior design: Frederick Tang Architecture PLLC; @fredericktangarchitecture

Builder: Home Evolution Construction

Structural engineering: Silman 

Stay Here in New York City