A functional and modern family home
Ever since our construction visits at the end of last year, we’ve been anticipating our return to Ditmas Park to see this completed first floor gut renovation, built by a Sweeten member. The 1000 sqft, Brownstone home had not been updated in 40 years before AMC was brought in to transform the heavily compartmentalized living spaces of the first floor into an open, functional, and modern family home. The team at AMC had their work cut out for them, beginning with asbestos abatement and structural reinforcing which was necessary to create the new, open plan. They also relocated plumbing, updated electrical, and integrated a new HVAC system before moving onto the modern finishes we see now.
Before the renovation, the first floor was broken into tiny compartments, some of which had no natural light. The homeowners worked with architect & new tS member, Slavica Novak Nikolic R.A. of Urban Bond Creative, to create a layout that works much better with their lifestyle; the open plan is ideal for entertaining and for keeping the family connected, even when working on separate things.
In addition to the floor plan, the interior finishes were long overdue for an upgrade, which we can see quite easily in the kitchen & dining areas.
Here’s a view from the former kitchen on our first visit during demolition. Once the non-load-bearing walls had been removed, we could already start to picture an open, modern home!
And here’s that same view now! In huge contrast to the cramped feeling of before, the first floor is now almost completely open. We love how the kitchen ceiling really seems to float overhead without any apparent vertical structure. Variations in ceiling height — where soffits have been used to conceal mechanical systems — also help to accentuate this lightness.
The new dining area features a clever built-in buffet using ikea cabinetry — ikea’s Ramsjo system lets you alternate solid & glass face panels, which works surprisingly well here to create the feeling of a custom unit. White walls here and throughout the space are painted in Benjamin Moore’s china white.
The buffet’s solid-panel ramsjo cabinets continue into the kitchen, along with caesarstone countertops in ‘pure white.’ A wood top for the island adds a bit of warmth to the space — and interestingly, this red wood, called African Padauk, will transition over time to a darker, purple/brown color due to light exposure. Niches built into the wall for display are another subtle but unique detail, adding even more originality to the space.
Next to the kitchen, this bathroom came as a pleasant surprise — it’s so fresh, with its modern fixtures, hardwood floors, and big pops of color & pattern. Bright red paint was custom matched to this awesome Brooklyn-themed toilet wallpaper, designed by Beastie Boy Mike D & Revolver NY, and printed & sold by our friends at Flavorpaper in Brooklyn.
The entry foyer received plenty of updates as well — one of the best is the custom milled front door which turned out beautifully! Underfoot, new white oak flooring runs throughout the whole first floor.
Looking back through the living space from the office — it’s so difficult now to imagine this space chopped into so many separate rooms!
For these happy homeowners, we’re sure it feels great to relax in their much improved home!
Many thanks to Alan Bowes & his team at AMC, Slavica Nikolic, and to homeowners Sarah & Mike.
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