What makes a house feel like home is how perfectly suited it is to your needs. For this row house in Brooklyn, the creative couple who live here wanted to find interesting ways to display their craft; art and books are at the forefront of the home’s design layout. The designers at the helm of this project, BFDO Architects, also placed an importance on finding interesting ways to bring in light and color.
The homeowners are poets. One is additionally an artist and professor, while her husband works as an administrator. But that’s not to forget about the inquisitive cats who also call this house home.
In between the bookshelves and display areas, these cats are given a large run of the house. Special accommodation allows for these curious cats to escape from unexpected guests, and navigate through small and high places. There are ledges for them to sit in cozy comfort with the couple, and a catwalk leading to upstairs levels of the house through cat flaps and trap doors.
It’s an airy open plan room, lined on one side with a tall bookshelf that stretches all the way to the dining area and kitchen. Cat circulation is provided, with an open ledge that allows them to observe from different vantage points.
The bookshelf recesses are given an accent color; Benjamin Moore’s Melon Popsicle. This saturated shade pairs nicely with the hues of the sofa and rug in the living room.
Additionally to books, the niches house sculptures and art pieces. One collection includes a series of Rubik’s Cubes redesigned by the owner to feature cloud images.
Were you curious about the baroque stylings of the coffee table? It’s an Eva Zeisel design from Design Within Reach, working perfectly in this room!
One of the walls features a living room diorama designed by the homeowner. It even features a pink door painted to match the front door of the house.
You can see that a skylight in the center of the room brings light all the way down and is reflected in the wall mirror. It comes through from the second floor and helps to open up the living space level.
A dining area and kitchen can be found to the furthest end of the house, screened by a functional wall that floats in the middle of the open apartment. The screen acts as a pivot between storage, basement and powder room access, and defines the media room seating area.
The kitchen is duly demarcated with tiles inset to the wood. Absolutely flooded with light from the back of the house, it creates a bright and cheerful setting for cooking and eating.
In the dining room you can see where this built in cabinet has been revived. Instead of ripping it out, it was given some love and a good polish becoming the centerpiece of the area. It’s a beautiful remnant of the house’s history and has been matched with the darker wood stain for the X-Rod dining table from Recycled Brooklyn. Overhead hangs the Foscarini Big Bang chandelier, and two smaller pendant lights from the now closed Nest.
Recycled materials were considered for the house wherever possible, such as keeping the existing wood-panel doors and doorknobs. Where previously there was a lot of heavily stained wood, dark doors and carpets in the hallway, now shows off the grain and calm of the original materials. For example, the pine flooring was sanded and refinished; it’s a striking component of the home and looks great. Skylights in many parts of the house make sure to keep it bright and clear.
Mermaid scale tiles shimmer in their gorgeous green hue. Adoration please for the clawfoot bathtub from Victoria + Albert.
The studio occupies the back half of the top floor and includes this custom designed “nest” giving the home owner a special place to think and write; somewhere concealed but bright and skylit. “The structure is formed from dimensional lumber and wood elements recycled from the house,” say the designers from BFDO Architects.
A balcony area in the window allows them to step outside and take quick breaks from work.
You can see here where one of the cat trap doors leads up to the bedroom. It allows the cats a chance to escape from the living room when it is too noisy, but gives the pet owners a chance to keep the cats out of the bedroom if they like!
Conversely, downstairs has been created to be “cat free”. The basement area has a living room that can accessed from the front. It also acts as a fitness room and workout space. A guest bedroom on the same level goes straight through to the rear yard.
The house manages to marry some of my favorite design elements. Colorful collections are given plenty of natural light. The rugs and furniture carefully balance the calm of the surroundings, while art adorns the walls and lifts the atmosphere. Cats are given the freedom to roam, while humans are given the chance to escape them! The BFDO Architects have revamped this house to give it a new lease of life.