House Tour: Roy and Jen's Professional DIY

House Tour: Roy and Jen's Professional DIY

Jill Slater
Feb 25, 2009

Name: Roy, Jen and Gabriel (infant)
Location: Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Size: 815 sqft. 2-bdrm co-op
Years lived in: 4


Jen and Roy share an architecture firm and know that their own home should project their tastes and talents. While they were enthusiastic about creating a showcase, they also wanted to take time to make thoughtful choices. So, they lived here for a couple of years before partaking in a major renovation.

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After learning the apartment's sunlight patterns throughout the day, they decided to knock down the walls of the front bedroom and create a very perforated room. The walls are actually shelves. They allow in light and sounds but hide Jen and Roy's son's toys.

To keep down costs, Roy and Jen took on demolition, electrical rewiring, basic plumbing work, metal trim work, the ventian plastering of the bathroom walls, and simple construction and installation projects. They knew their limits and hired/(bartered with) trade professionals when necessary. Roy and Jen were also not afraid to make use of Ikea products to fill in the gaps.

This is an apartment that feels incredibly spacious, light, and well thought out. As architects, Roy and Jen clearly had no fear of gutting the space and starting all over again. While the planning and approval process took over a year, the renovation only took 4 months to complete. They have the talent and they gave themselves the luxury of time to do it right!

AT Survey
Style: modern/simple/clean
Inspiration: The path of the sun throughout the day (we lived in the apartment prior to renovating. The sun flowing through the south-facing window in the flexible space gave us the idea to enclose the room with an open bookshelf.)
Favorite Element:: The flexibility. By subdividing the master bedroom into a bedroom + nursery, we were able to free up the second bedroom to use as a flexible space. We use it (currently) as a playroom/ yoga room/ TV room/ guest room (most often for Gabriel's grandparents). It allows us to keep the toy mess out of sight. In the past we have used the spaces differently. The big open kitchen where Roy will teach Gabriel to cook. Jen's is the bookshelves, where she can keep an eye on Gabriel (also good for peek-a-boo).
Biggest Challenge: The biggest architectural/ construction challenge was moving the kitchen and finding a way to route the pipes. The biggest design challenge was to design for a child we didn't yet have.
What Friends Say: Our neighbors say that this apartment doesn't look like it is in the same building as theirs. Our friends (most of whom are parents) really love the way it works. Our parents love having a room of their own.
Biggest Embarrassment: Some of the craftsmanship (the D.I.Y. stuff)
Proudest DIY: The bathroom door. It is extremely heavy. One of our friends made the handle as a housewarming present.
Biggest Indulgence: The David Weeks chandelier and the Jean Prouve light
Best Advice: Hire an architect. A good one.
Dream Source: BDDW in Soho. Although we don't have anything from there and probably never will.
Real Source: Ikea

Living Room:
Couch - IKEA
Dining Table - DWR
Chandelier - David Weeks
Light fixture: Jean Prouve
Bookshelves: Custom (Bear Woodworking)
Rugs: FLOR tile
Art: all by friends and family
Coffee Table: Roy Leone Original
Living Room Chairs: Eames

Cabinets - IKEA
Butcher Block - Hardwood Lumber Co (placed on top of restaurant supply adapted stainless steel table)
Appliances: Jenn Air

Arm light fixture: David Weeks
Bed: West Elm

Bathroom door's sliding mechanism - barn door tracks from McMaster Carr


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