A Radiant Renovation Brightens Up a Dark Brooklyn Brownstone

A Radiant Renovation Brightens Up a Dark Brooklyn Brownstone

By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
VonDalwig Architecture fills a lower-level Brooklyn residence with light and garden views.

After purchasing a lower-level brownstone in the Clinton Hill / Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, a young family set about making the home their own. The property had been spruced up by the seller, however the homeowners wanted to bring more light into both levels of the 1,930-square-foot residence and revamp the garden-level layout to better suit their needs. The couple were introduced to Philipp and Kit von Dalwig of vonDalwig Architecture through mutual friends, and they hired the firm for an extensive renovation.

VonDalwig Architecture revitalized the parlor floor living room while preserving its original period details. Updates include new wide-plank light engineered wood flooring and Clé's Arc tiles, which add a graphic element to the interior of the decorative fireplace. 

A Matter Made Arch single-tier chandelier hangs from the tall ceiling in the living room. The 606 Universal Shelving System is from Visoe.

The two-bedroom, two-bath home had a traditional floor plan: a parlor floor entrance with the living room at the front, and an open-plan dining room/kitchen toward the rear. The bedrooms were situated downstairs on the garden level, and there was also a cellar and a backyard space—however the entire home lacked access to natural light. "For a short-ish brownstone, this north-south facing house was relatively dark, even with the tall ceilings at the parlor level," says Kit.

The new arched window brings light and views into the open-plan kitchen and dining area. Five colorful, geometric pendants designed by Jula Jessen for Schneid's Junit collection hangs over the dining table. 

The minimalist kitchen features Richlite countertops and IKEA PAX cabinets with Reform Basis fronts in matte white.  

The firm’s first task was to bring more light into the lower-level duplex. "We reorganized the garden level, moving the master bedroom to the rear and creating a cool hallway behind a set of bathrooms," Kit shares. The hallway connects the two garden-level bedrooms while providing additional closet space and serving as a buffer zone.

Upgrading an affordable IKEA kitchen with designer fronts and countertops from Reform helped keep the project on budget.

Wardrobe cabinets from Reform stand on either side of the fireplace, maximizing storage. 

The master bedroom had two small windows, which vonDalwig Architecture chose to rework. They eliminated a window that looked out under the deck and enlarged the window that faced the backyard, refocusing the space on a much better view.On the parlor level, the firm inserted a brand-new kitchen and tall wardrobe cabinets from the Danish design brand, Reform. The refreshed space has a clean, minimalist look and organization in spades.

A window in the garden-level master bedroom was enlarged, increasing the amount of natural light that enters the room. The built-in closets feature IKEA PAX components with custom fronts in matte white to match the walls.

The Nest storage bed from DWR provides even more storage space. 

VonDalwig Architecture also carved out a new arched window between two floor-to-ceiling windows—and they matching the period details to make it look as if it has always been there. The window provides a greater connection with the outdoors and streams additional natural light throughout the home.

Kit lists this feature as her favorite part of the renovation: "The new arched window opens up the kitchen and the entire floor, giving the room more depth and perspective." Not to mention, a stunning view.

Ceppo di Gre tiles from ABC Worldwide Stone give the master bath an elegant finish. 

Dzek Marmoreal flooring and tadelakt walls (a traditional Moroccan wall surfacing technique) surround the tub in the garden-level bathroom. 

House 22 parlor floor plan

House 22 garden-level floor plan. 

Related Reading:

10 Unbeatable Brownstone Renovations in Brooklyn

A 19th-Century Brooklyn Brownstone Is Saved From Utter Disrepair

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Philipp and Kit von Dalwig,  vonDalwig Architecture

Interior Design: vonDalwig Architecture

Building/General Contractor: HYM Construction

Save
Get the Renovations Newsletter

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

See a sample