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Collection by Sarah Akkoush

Ever Dream of Taking Over Your Neighbor’s Apartment?

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Patience pays off when a Brooklyn family expands into the open unit beneath theirs.

When a duplex directly below them became available, Brooklyn residents Alex Kagan and Susan Hashemi jumped on the opportunity to acquire much needed additional space for their growing family. The couple originally moved to Brooklyn’s historic Cobble Hill in 1999 in a rental just a block away from their now permanent residence. They knew the neighborhood was special, and laid down roots in an apartment that was once a 1922 school building, and subsequently converted to condominiums in the '80s. But the addition of two kids meant space was tight for the family. Through a stroke of good luck, the apartment directly beneath them became available, and the couple acquired it with the intention of integrating the two units vertically. Together with Bangia Agostinho Architecture, they were combined to create an open 2,300-square-foot residence, preserving historic details of the old schoolhouse in the process.

In the sleek kitchen, the white Ikea cabinet uppers seem to disappear into the wall, while the bases get a distinctive...
The kitchen island, illuminated by Flos Smithfield ceiling lamp, faces the steel entry stair, framed through a window.
Although the two apartments were stacked vertically, their individual systems and layout were quite different.
The switchback stairs create a circulation pattern that, according to Bangia, is "noticeably different than what you...
The second-floor master bedroom, originally a science classroom, is now the owners' favorite parts of the home.
The ensuite master bathroom features Ann Sacks slate floor tile, contrasted with white Carrara marble that wraps the...
On the second floor, the sliding door to one of the kids’ bedrooms lies flush with a cork-wrapped wall.
In the kids’ bath, Ann Sacks slate tile is again used on the floor, while Heath tile in a more playful Mango hue makes...
The spacious living room is another of the owners’ favorite spaces.
The living room leads to a private outdoor patio.
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