Location: Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York
Size: 3000 square foot, 2-unit former carriage house. The upstairs is a 2 bedroom apartment for Kathleen, downstairs is a 1 bedroom rental apartment.
Years Lived In: 7 years
The painstakingly detailed renovation and transportive and exotic atmosphere are some of the first things you'll notice about Kathleen's masterpiece of a home. Inspired by the East's religions, concepts of space, and use of materials, Kathleen took a number of years to transform a sagging carriage house into a luxurious living space.
When Kathleen bought this building, it hadn't housed horses for many years. The building had fallen into disrepair, but Kathleen saw the bones of a beautifully crafted gem through the decrepitude. There are very few carriage houses left in New York City, so she jumped at the opportunity to put her Balinese spin on one! A consummate renovater and interior designer, Kathleen was not afraid to take on what, from any angle, was a massive gut and rebuild project.
The finished space is warm and luxurious in its fixtures, sustainable in its salvaged and renewable woods, and spiritually infused. Kathleen employs Tibetan sacred texts, feng shui, and Indian religious elements throughout. It was a pleasure to visit and hard to leave!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Style: 19th Century barn meets Bali.
Inspiration: Travels to Indonesia, and upstate New York barns I played in as a child. My travels in the East (Vietnam, Bali, Tibet) and particularly, my best friend's house in Hanoi. Homes there have a seamless transition from the indoors to the outdoors. The goal was to take the house back from a bad Pratt student rental to a beautiful barn with three levels of outdoor space. Everything was emptied, down to the original beams and brick walls. The focus is on natural materials — stone, wood, etc.
Favorite Element: The exposed beams.
Biggest Challenge: Waterproofing the house — we fully repointed the inside and outside brickwork.
What Friends Say: It is a beautiful place and a sanctuary. I never have problems getting house/dog sitters when I go away.
Biggest Embarrassment:: Almost knocking myself unconscious when I walked through a hayloft door to what is now the deck.
Proudest DIY: New iron stairs with Indonesian rosewood. Treads with Tibetan mantra stenciled on risers.
Biggest Indulgence: The limestone counter tops and 6 burner wolf stove,
Best Advice: Get quotes from several architects and contractors.
Dream Source/Resources: My friend Suzanne Lechts' gallery/home in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Salvage materials were used throughout — including doors, etc. Stairs and window details are rosewood, brought in from Sri Lanka via my dealer on the West Coast,
FRONT OF HOUSE/STAIRCASE
- • Black metal planters with bamboo trees: To extend entryway as a Feng Shui cure.
• Stairs to Second Floor: Sri Lankan rosewood stair treads, new metal stairway frame with a Feng Shui prayer (5 Tibetan sacred words) hand-painted on risers to bless house and
anyone who enters. It's a Feng Shui cure for the "proximity problem" where
the front door is too close to the stairs.
• Handrail to Third Floor: Balinese carved window shutters mounted on metal mounts. Early 20th C.
FIRST FLOOR APARTMENT
Originally a horse barn, with the original rings still on the walls where the horses were tied up. Later, it became a 4-car garage.
- • Entryway doors: 19th C. American pine pocket doors retrofitted with 19th C. Philippines storm shutters made with a grid of mother of pearl.
• Blue doors: Reclaimed doors 19th century from a Harlem brownstone that had burned down. Original blue paint, hardware matte nickel Baldwin
• Carrera farm house sink (800 lbs) carved from single marble block.
• Bamboo floors throughout
SECOND FLOOR GREEN GUEST BATHROOM
- • Wall Tile: Dunis studios, 6x6 Majolica tile, individually hand painted. Decorative tiles are a hand-rubbed terracotta tile.
• Wash Stand: Tucker Robbins custom Japanese style bench made of reclaimed 100 + year old wood
• Birdbath sink: Waterworks
• Philippine flooring that's hand hewn and ebonized.
- • Black doors throughout house are salvage doors from a 19th C. school house
in Redhook, Brooklyn, (8 ft x 36"). They were dipped to remove red paint and ebonized.
• Lights over kitchen island: Matte nickel Urban Archaeology cargo lights. Copied from nautical lights on ships where if the ship rocks, the lights freely sway and remain level.
• Beams throughout house: 1849 virgin pine beams, sandblasted.
• Red cabinet in kitchen: Ikea
• Stools: Kartell
• Stabbed Man Knife Holder in kitchen: Designed by Raffaele Ianelli/Amazon
• Coffee maker: Nespresso
THIRD FLOOR MASTER BATH
- • Waterworks Aero shower system with 1" shower head, sparge bars, steamroom, bench, skylight
• Sink: Double Urban Archaeology 5' Calacatta marble wash stand sink.
• Aero faucets from Waterworks
• Floors and walls: 24 x 24 white limestone, radiant heat floors
• Shower floor — scallop limestone mosaic
• Door to WC room: Indian Kama sutra door with relief carvings.
• Door knob: Balinese Buddha — hand posed in meditation mudra
- • Armoire is Tucker Robbins made in the Philippines.
(Images: Jill Slater)
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