Artist’s Home in Brooklyn
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to work on this amazing project in Brooklyn, designed by BW Architects. I was thrown the job of acting as a part project manager trying to get the remainder of the work wrapped up. The head contractor needed a little kick in the butt from the architecture firm I worked for, so they asked me to step in so our client would be happy and able to move in. The space was captivating. The minute I walked in, I knew if I ever built a home it would have nearly the same layout and decor as this one. Each week, I woke up excited to take three subways and the dreaded G train to Clinton Hill, just so I could stare at his cabinets filled with interesting trinkets and bookshelves decorated with scientific curiosities, not to mention drool over the layout. As I met with subcontractors and coordinated installations with the head carpenter, I imagined having coffee in a kitchen of 14′ tall ceilings. Even better was his art studio equipped with endless photography tools, a sliding wall, and beautiful skylights. I was proud to finish the project and put its completion on my resume. Below are some of the rooms and why I am still fantasizing about living in a space like this!
Photography Studio: The visible HVAC ductwork and a semi gloss concrete floor add the needed industrial feel for a workshop. The translucent doors separate the living area of the apartment, dividing work from play. A ceiling height sliding wall acts as a surface for artwork and other works in progress. Skylights add rich lighting to the room, and when the time comes, giant ladders are used to cover the skylights with blackout paper. This room inspires me to create and to work.
Kitchen: Stainless steel appliances, a butcher block island, white Corian countertops, and wood cabinets make this functioning kitchen the perfect area for whipping up enough food to host a fabulous dinner party on the giant dining room table.
Dining Room: Hanging pendant lights and recessed LEDs shine over the large wooden table that fully encompasses the dining area. A giant wall of windows extends from the living area through to the kitchen. The openness and height of the ceilings give this area of the house a grand and industrial feel. The use of wood and carpets add the soft edge. It is oversized and open, yet minimal, simple, and natural. I would want the same for the house I one day design and build.
Living Room / Office: It was never a problem when I had to wait for subcontractors who were running late. I would sit in the living room and stare at all of the oddities on the shelves. Fish skeletons, dead butterflies, earth minerals, old instruments, shells, ivory figurines. It was endless and I think this is where my love for these nature-made curiosities started. I remember at the time my eBay watch list multiplied by a factor of ten and became filled with old tusks, sea fans, boats in jars, rabbit skulls, old cameras, etc, etc. I was enamored by the beauty in the borderline morbid nature of the skulls. My other favorite part of this room was the hanging globe lamps. The different sized clusters reminded me of the planets scattered about the sky. Though they were very modern, they had an evolutionary aspect to them, almost like the science artifacts that were stored in the cabinets.
Backyard: When you live in New York, it is a luxury to have a balcony, let alone a backyard. With floor to ceiling windows, this backyard is lit up by the home giving it a reverse natural mood lighting. A giant tree gives the space life and shade removing the feeling that you are in a concrete jungle.
Staircase: The floating staircase descends into the dining room / living room area. This was always one of my favorite features. The stair treads are translucent and giant shades protect the space in the summer from the hot hot heat of the sun. This openness of the staircase adds to the openness of the first floor and omni-white keeps the area modern.
Master Bedroom / Bathroom: Natural bamboo floors match well with the natural wallpaper for a little change. Then, look at that walk through closet. I would love one of those to space out my miles of clothing. Through the closet is the bathroom. A teak landing houses both the giant freestanding tub and the open shower. Pair with the light green polished tile and Corian countertops and you have a beautifully organized master bathroom.
Children’s Bedroom / Bathroom: A colorful room for the kids can be transformed as they grow up into something more age appropriate.