A Pristine Prospect Heights Townhouse Deftly Harmonizes Old With New
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A Pristine Prospect Heights Townhouse Deftly Harmonizes Old With New

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By Melissa Dalton
Hatchet Design Build restored this home's historic details—and then brought in modern treatments to sow stylistic tension.

It’s the stated mission of Brooklyn–based Hatchet Design Build to "work within the preexisting and contingent fabric of New York." They did just that for the 2017 gut renovation of this 19th-century townhouse, which had seen a lot of wear over the years. 

Hatchet Design Build fabricated missing components to complete the casework around a bay window.

Hatchet Design Build fabricated missing components to complete the casework around a bay window.

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The firm also widened the room and raised the ceilings. A coat of bright white paint modernizes the historic details.

The firm also widened the room and raised the ceilings. A coat of bright white paint modernizes the historic details.

The firm, which consists of an in-house design team, licensed contractors, and a custom fabrication studio, removed and repaired many of the historic decorative elements, then painstakingly reinstalled them. Modern rugs and furnishings provided by Cold Picnic, Coil + Drift, and Home Union complete the picture.

The original wood floors were too far gone and had to be replaced. The designers opted for a classic chevron pattern in white oak. A vintage Mies Van der Rohe chair sits next to a Ren side table in ebony ash wood by Coil + Drift.

The original wood floors were too far gone and had to be replaced. The designers opted for a classic chevron pattern in white oak. A vintage Mies Van der Rohe chair sits next to a Ren side table in ebony ash wood by Coil + Drift.

A drop-down door in Coil + Drift’s Rex credenza reveals a mirrored compartment ideal for barware display and storage.

A drop-down door in Coil + Drift’s Rex credenza reveals a mirrored compartment ideal for barware display and storage.

It was "an exercise in tactical restoration," said Hatchet’s principal Zach Rockhill. "Preserving the most striking historical details that give the home its undeniable character, while introducing contemporary design intent as well as infrastructure and amenities that will ensure that that same character will endure for another century more."

Modern lighting, including Ross Gardam's Polar wall lamp, provides contrast with the historic architecture.

Modern lighting, including Ross Gardam's Polar wall lamp, provides contrast with the historic architecture.

In the dining room, a Cirrus double pendant hangs over a Soren dining set, both from Coil + Drift.

In the dining room, a Cirrus double pendant hangs over a Soren dining set, both from Coil + Drift.

Hatchet Design Build took a more modern approach with the kitchen while still drawing from the traditional palette. The grain-matched walnut kitchen cabinets echo the walnut pocket doors elsewhere.

Hatchet Design Build took a more modern approach with the kitchen while still drawing from the traditional palette. The grain-matched walnut kitchen cabinets echo the walnut pocket doors elsewhere.

A Cold Picnic rug and Coil + Drift mirror warm up a restored fireplace relocated from the basement.

A Cold Picnic rug and Coil + Drift mirror warm up a restored fireplace relocated from the basement.

Shop the Look
Rejuvenation Brice Medium Planter
Rejuvenation Brice Medium Planter
The ceramic Brice Planter offers an elegant option for displaying your favorite plants.
Coil + Drift June Mirror
Coil + Drift June Mirror
Concentric circles carved into the walnut wood of the June Mirror creates a stunning sculptural pattern both modern and reminiscent of glamorous 1970’s decor.
Knoll Cesca Side Chair - Cane
Knoll Cesca Side Chair - Cane
Three years after designing his iconic Wassily Chair, which is believed to be the first bent tubular steel chair design, Marcel Breuer created the Cesca Chair (1928).
A second modern kitchen with cabinetry by Good Dog Rosie slots seamlessly into the historic shell.

A second modern kitchen with cabinetry by Good Dog Rosie slots seamlessly into the historic shell.

Linen storage is tucked under the stairs.

Linen storage is tucked under the stairs.

A closet features sleek built-in storage.

A closet features sleek built-in storage.

A custom white oak vanity and medicine cabinet adorn marble walls in the bathroom.

A custom white oak vanity and medicine cabinet adorn marble walls in the bathroom.

The firm also created a rooftop patio tucked behind the exterior cornice parapet. The rug is by Cold Picnic.

The firm also created a rooftop patio tucked behind the exterior cornice parapet. The rug is by Cold Picnic.

Related Reading: 7 Brooklyn Row House Renovations 

Project Credits:

Builder: Hatchet Design Build / @hatchetdesignbuild

Structural Engineer: Christian Martos

Cabinetry Design and Installation: Good Dog Rosie

Furniture Stylist: John Sorenson-Jolink of Coil + Drift / @coilanddrift

Textile Stylist: Phoebe Sung of Cold Picnic

Additional furnishings: Home Union