19 November 2018

Brooklyn Heights Brownstone: The Kitchen and Dining Room

A Moorish style terracotta tile inspires a crisp black and white color scheme.
Vintage industrial pendants offset the traditional wooden bar stool and traditional cabinetry.
To modernize this Greek Revival brownstone, the original footprint was expanded in the rear of the building, which allowed for new oversized windows and doors. The large kitchen and dining area is now flooded with sunlight.

Where does the inspiration come from when designing a new kitchen? In the case of this 18 month renovation, it was a hand painted terracotta tile. The homeowners, who love to travel, fell in love with the idea of having a Moorish inspired tile, and we all agreed that it would make a stunning backsplash, particularly in a kitchen with oversized ceiling height. The tile colors led us to select Benjamin Moore’s Seapearl for the upper cabinets with After Midnight for the lower cabinets. A bold move, but once taken, felt like it had always been that way. The industrial pendants vintage from the Czech Republic were chosen for their unexpected industrial sensibility. All of the modern amenities of today are included in the updated kitchen, including a Lacanche range. The microwave and beverage refrigerator are hidden from view in the oversized island.


The kitchen came together just in the nick of time. Click play to take a mini tour.

The patterned tile was the driver for the design intent.

Hand painted terra cotta tiles are imperfect by nature. We love specifying materials with a natural, artisanal aesthetic. It adds instant character!

Once we landed on the hand painted tile, we started to scheme the rest of the materials. We recommended an indestructible gray quartzite material for the countertops, where most of the cooking prep takes place, and a beautiful oversized slab of calcatta gold for the island.  Have a look at the 3-D renderings we created to help imagine not only the scale of the space but also how each of the materials would work together.



All that changed from the original 3D rendering was the over island lighting.
Seeing the intended paint colors in action helped our client take the final leap.
Inspiration imagery used to help convey the impact of the Moorish backsplash tile.

One of the first items we purchased for the expanded space was a 19th Century French painted cabinet. We loved the antique glass in the doors, and saw it as an opportunity to showcase beautiful objects and bring warmth to what was (post renovation), a very large room. The height and grand scale balanced the tall kitchen cabinets on the opposite side of the room perfectly.

We paired a vintage pine table with reproduction distressed painted Windsor chairs. Custom seat cushions in black and white ticking add comfort and charm.
At the far end of the room, we added a casual seating area with a generous sized sofa.
Contemporary art, a 19th C French table and a Moroccan lamp work together to make a charming moment.

With such a large kitchen/dining area there was plenty of room for a soft seating area. A traditional bridgewater sofa upholstered in a geranium-red indoor/outdoor fabric helps define this space creating a cozy nook in an expansive room. Custom paper lamp shades trimmed in black subtly speak to the black and white color scheme of the kitchen. 

We commissioned our friend and artist Susan Hable to make the pen and ink drawings above the sofa. They’re so wonderfully livable.

For more about the design process for this project click here and here and go here to see the full project reveal.

— Lauren & Suzanne
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