After purchasing a lower-level brownstone in the Clinton Hill / Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, a young family set about making the home their own. The property had been spruced up by the seller, however the homeowners wanted to bring more light into both levels of the 1,930-square-foot residence and revamp the garden-level layout to better suit their needs. The couple were introduced to Philipp and Kit von Dalwig of vonDalwig Architecture through mutual friends, and they hired the firm for an extensive renovation.
The two-bedroom, two-bath home had a traditional floor plan: a parlor floor entrance with the living room at the front, and an open-plan dining room/kitchen toward the rear. The bedrooms were situated downstairs on the garden level, and there was also a cellar and a backyard space—however the entire home lacked access to natural light. “For a short-ish brownstone, this north-south facing house was relatively dark, even with the tall ceilings at the parlor level,” says Kit.
The firm’s first task was to bring more light into the lower-level duplex. “We reorganized the garden level, moving the master bedroom to the rear and creating a cool hallway behind a set of bathrooms,” Kit shares. The hallway connects the two garden-level bedrooms while providing additional closet space and serving as a buffer zone.
The master bedroom had two small windows, which vonDalwig Architecture chose to rework. They eliminated a window that looked out under the deck and enlarged the window that faced the backyard, refocusing the space on a much better view.On the parlor level, the firm inserted a brand-new kitchen and tall wardrobe cabinets from the Danish design brand, Reform. The refreshed space has a clean, minimalist look and organization in spades.
VonDalwig Architecture also carved out a new arched window between two floor-to-ceiling windows—and they matching the period details to make it look as if it has always been there. The window provides a greater connection with the outdoors and streams additional natural light throughout the home.
Kit lists this feature as her favorite part of the renovation: “The new arched window opens up the kitchen and the entire floor, giving the room more depth and perspective.” Not to mention, a stunning view.