Archive | December, 2013

Drumroll please…top floor before and after

30 Dec

The top floor was originally a separate 1 1/2 bedroom apartment, with a kitchen, bathroom, living area, and the typical small bedroom with one window, larger bedroom with 2 windows combination that is so common in Brooklyn brownstones. We wanted to transform this space into 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a linen closet, a laundry area AND keep the required access to the roof. A tall order, but nothing brownstoneboy, a protractor, scientific calculator and some good old fashioned ingenuity couldn’t solve.

First, the two kids bedrooms, to be constructed from the small/larger bedroom duo. There are a few ways to tackle this issue:

1. Leave the walls as is, otherwise known as the “who’s your favorite child” solution.

2. Make a zig zag wall, leaving one room with two windows, but giving them effectively the same amount of floorspace. Each room would have a large nook for a desk or bed.  Had our architect not come up with a really great alternative, we would have gone this route

3. Make a diagonal central wall.  I can certainly see the appeal of this in a more modern renovation, but we’re just a little too traditional for that solution.

4. The “King Solomon” solution: splitting the baby right down the middle.

We chose door number 4 and are very happy we did.  Both rooms feel ample enough, they get an equal amount of light, and there’s a fun secret chat window that our kids can leave open or closed. The dividing wall is extra insulated, and there’s soundproof, weather-stripped push latch windows as a secondary inner window.  The exterior window remains untouched, and the new shutters we installed are left closed, so that you’d never notice the solution from the outside. Genius.  Thanks again to Ben Herzog for this brilliant solution!

So, without further ado:

TOP FLOOR Larger BEDROOM BEFORE:

Front bedroom

Perfectly usable front bedroom before. But, as I said, King Solomon solution would be employed.

 

TOP FLOOR LARGER BEDROOM AFTER:

Brownstonetoddlerboy’s room. He alternately loves and fears the stars. The split window is on the left. Color is Benjamin Moore Silvery Blue.

Note the effort to find a similar moulding and the work on the split window.  Another item makes this bedroom feel more spacious: both chimneys in the house were removed (note the chimney on the right hand side of this room). Neither had working fireplaces, so it made for less complicated room shapes to remove them altogether.  It certainly would have been nice to restore one of them, but budgets are what budgets are, and with no fancy mantel to hold on to, it seemed the better option.  Also, note how much higher the ceilings are in the after: there was actually an additional foot of space above the ceiling, so the front room ceiling height is now over 10 feet, making the smaller rooms feel far larger.

The shutters are new and were created by Devenco at www.shutterblinds.com. We highly, highly recommend them.  They are a great company and do beautiful work.

 

TOP FLOOR SMALLER BEDROOM BEFORE:

Smaller room used as an office before. Dark and really too compact to be used as a bedroom.

 

TOP FLOOR NURSERY AFTER:

Brownstonebabygirl’s room. Color is Golden Straw, same as the playroom.

 

TOP FLOOR HALLWAY BEFORE:

IMG_6060

Hallway before. Technically, the Kids’ Bathroom is where this hallway really was before, but it serves as a visual.

A view of the before hallway in the other direction. This was the tenant apartment kitchen before, now part of our master bedroom.

A view of the before hallway in the other direction. This was the tenant apartment kitchen before, now part of our master bedroom.

 

TOP FLOOR HALLWAY AFTER:

 

TOP FLOOR BATHROOM BEFORE:

Upstairs bathroom before.

Upstairs bathroom before. Standard tub shower configuration – nothing wrong with it, just not located where it needed to be.

 

KIDS’ BATHROOM AFTER: