Timothy’s Sun-Filled Brooklyn Brownstone

Timothy’s Sun-Filled Brooklyn Brownstone

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Fabienne Ayina
Jul 22, 2015
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

Name: Timothy
Location: Bed-Stuy; Brooklyn, NY
Size: 1,680 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years; Owned

A home with global flair doesn't necessarily have to mean a visually noisy space or an overwhelming, over-the-top collection of knick-knacks. Nomad-inspired homes can be tidy and effortless, and I can tell you that after this house tour you'll want to book an around-the-world ticket to source beautiful material and wander in some faraway markets. Tim’s beautiful refuge is located in the heart of Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn, NY. He is a restless globetrotter and hat collector, and his home is an endlessly evolving space.

(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

The beauty of being an Apartment Therapy house tour contributor is having the privilege to enter people’s private space. It is a surprise, a thrill, and always an honor. Sometimes you know what you are getting into and other times you are going on a blind date. The latter is my favorite, of course. An uncharted land is unfolding before my eyes. I discover, uncover, sniff an unknown place, just as you are, except I’m not in the comfort of my couch- but who cares, the excitement is the same.

Nested in two levels of wooden floors, the newly-renovated and mostly open space has plenty of room and light to grow peace, love, and green plants. Timothy is a landscape designer and the proud owner of The Organic Gardener, a Brooklyn-based landscape design firm. If we take a closer look, we can see his indoor-outdoor aesthetic, with precious materials and elements of nature bleeding into the design of his own duplex. While it might be tricky to mix and match international souvenirs, vintage finds, and modern furniture with a Zen approach, Timothy’s home shows how to embrace it all.

First things first: to style and decorate your home with a relaxing feel, you have to love thinking outside of the box and experimenting with textures that you would not have guessed were perfect with each other. An adventurous mind is required.

Open spaces offer a modern approach to living that glamorous bohemian life but they can be challenging to decorate. Timothy’s top floor shows perfectly how to balance and define kitchen, living, and dining room within the same space by using contrasting and opposite textures to define the space: marble and wood, woven and sleek, new and old, light and dark.

The Italian marble in the dining area floor brings a sophisticated touch to the laid-back atmosphere. The compact kitchen is a soft symphony of muted tones with its teal closet doors keeping the space fresh and joyous.

A few of Timothy’s favorite art pieces from William Buchina are proudly leaning against the wall as an improvised gallery. And, of course, the skylights are the most striking features, offering an abundance of natural light to the top floor and making the space different every hour of the day.

How about those plastic fantastic orange 50s Italian chairs scored at the Brooklyn Flea! They look perfect displayed around a reclaimed door reincarnated as a table. Isn’t it a smart way to reinvent the rustic diner party? I just want to invite a few of my friends over, impressed them with my Caprese salad, and open a bottle of rosé.

Now take a look at the Nordic-inspired sauna-style bathroom. It is simple but elegant, with a perfect love affair between the gray matte Moroccan tiles and the blond Swedish wood. An unexpected woven Berber rug warms up the space and creates a beautiful bathroom retreat.

It’s all in the details, as they say.

The bedroom door is an interesting piece, offering privacy while allowing light to permeate the airy interior. The room is itself a constant work-in-progress, depending on Tim’s mood or last expedition.

Overall, this chic refuge hidden in Bed-Stuy is all about, light, contrast, and balance. So, if you feel torn between adopting the KonMari method and keeping your collections of travel souvenirs, I will suggest this simple and wise alternative: find a world in between or blame it on Rio!

(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: International Explorer and Enthusiast. Markets and Souks.

Inspiration: Scandinavian craftsmanship. Jamaican Reggae recording studios , Berber Tribe, yurts, exotically located beach houses. Daily life in New York and views of New York from rooftops.

Favorite Element: Handmade pieces and art (radiator covers / credenza / rugs / art / original exposed ceiling and beams), original mahogany staircase.

Biggest Challenge: Modernizing a 162 year old structure. Creating a gentle environment in a hectic New York City.

What Friends Say: Looks/feels like a nomadic temple. Peaceful and clean!

Biggest Embarrassment: Life is about mistakes. Can't be embarrassed.

Proudest DIY: The actual purchase of the home!

Biggest Indulgence: Custom built components / Italian marble / Miele vacuum.

Best Advice: Take your time and be patient. Live in a space for no less than 8 seasons to start personalizing. The structure speaks listen and respect its story. In urban setting place your bedrooms closer to where morning birds chirp.

Dream Sources: My son Marcel / traveling abroad / ocean / lush plant foliage and long flights / well designed boutique hotels.

Resources

(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

BEDROOM

  • Art: by David Nadal
  • White cow rug: Rio de Janeiro
  • Hats: from around the world
  • Bedding: West Elm
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)
LIVING ROOM
  • Sofa: DWR
  • Walnut credenza: designed and made by Timothy
  • Maple and stainless steel radiator covers : made by Timothy
  • Wicker and stainless steel chairs: Brooklyn Stoop Sale Fort Green
  • Art: William Buchina

(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)
DINING AREA
  • Dining chairs: 50s Italian from Brooklyn Flea
  • Dining table: Restoration Hardware reclaimed door

(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

KITCHEN

  • Kitchen island: designed and fabricated locally by Timothy
  • Kitchen cabinet: designed and fabricated locally by Timothy
  • Turkish rug: Brooklyn Flea
  • Hardware: Kohl sinks and faucet
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

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Thanks, Timothy!

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