Sustainability Guided Every Decision at this Town House Remodel in Harlem
David Alan Basche and Alysia Reiner are actors that split their time between New York and Los Angeles, where they each work on films and television (he currently appears on The Exes, she has a recurring role as Fig on Orange Is the New Black). In 2005 the pair purchased a dilapidated, abandoned town house in Harlem, empty save for a lot of debris and a generous sprinkling of crack pipes. "We gutted it and did all the exterior repairs first for about six months, then the interior," David recalls. "Builder Nick Moons and architect Hannah Purdy were involved from day one, and they came up with the concept of dividing the space into two different long, rectangular halves on each floor—one side in slate, where we would walk, cook, and store things, and the other in bamboo, where we would sleep, work, and play. Anytime Alysia and I were not filming or on stage we were intimately involved with the renovation process."
They moved in two years later and soon, their daughter Liv was born. But as she got older it became evident that they could make better use of her 144-square-foot bedroom, as well as a few of the other spaces. Again they turned to Purdy and Moons.
A specific focus on sustainability guided every detail of the project. As David explains: "We’ve always been conscious of the environment, but after becoming parents, we realized even more that it’s our obligation to leave the planet a better place than we found it. So we decided that our new home should have less chemicals, and more recycled and reusable materials, minimal carbon impact, and extreme energy efficiency." Their determination has paid off, as the family now enjoys a bedroom for Liv that has a custom play space, an attractive wood-clad wall on the landing, a maximized first floor with a refurbished kitchen and outdoor space, and a third-floor master bedroom suite with an updated bathroom. In addition to their revitalized home, David and Alysia are proud that Liv has picked up on their passion: "Now," says David, "she teaches us about being green."