Jesa’s Bay Ridge Cool

published Apr 14, 2014
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(Image credit: Jill Slater)

Name: Jesa
Location: Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York
Size: 2,000 square feet
Years lived in: 7 years; Owned

Jesa and her husband moved to Bay Ridge, a family-oriented neighborhood in southern Brooklyn not necessarily known for high style. So, it was with great surprise, that around the side of a purposely derelict facade (so as to not draw unwanted attention), I found a modern, and very cool, renovated home.

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Side/Main entrance to home. (Image credit: Jill Slater)
(Image credit: Jill Slater)

In contrast to the aluminum siding and stucco standards of all the neighbors, I was greeted by a redwood lined side porch and welcomed into a transformed home replete with large scale graffiti art, a chef’s kitchen, a spa-like master bathroom, and a dream of a hideaway bedroom. (The latter two of which were carved out of a formerly raw basement.)

Jesa says she ripped out and collected inspiring images for years prior to the renovation. She kept a robust idea folder at the ready for when the day came that she and her husband could invest in their own home.

This ground floor space was once a one-bedroom apartment. Jesa decided to convert the raw basement as a way to maintain the upstairs apartment as a rental property while creating a duplex for herself and her husband. The basement gets minimal natural light but is warmed by reclaimed wood that lines the ceilings and walls.

Jesa worked with an architect but sourced most of the materials herself to keep costs down. In fact, over the course of the year and a half long renovation, she went to great lengths to furnish this home. She found an Etsy artist to custom make the master bed, she drove to Vermont to pick up doors she saw on the website of a salvage yard, and she scoured the internet for someone to scout 1000 square feet of salvaged wood, just to name a few of her many efforts.

Jesa is a professional chef, and her husband likes to open his home to the larger graffiti artist community, so they do a lot of entertaining and now they have the space for it,. The guest bedrooms and the window treatments are works in progress but this already feels like a home you don’t ever want to leave.

(Image credit: Jill Slater)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Found structure and industrial.

Inspiration: Modern architecture mixed with found structure and industrial salvage.

Favorite Element: Master bathroom

Biggest Challenge: Choosing the staircase stain color to match the baseboard and other wood work.

What Friends Say: “Can’t believe this is the same house you lived in before. Love all the details!”

Biggest Embarrassment: Can’t really think of one.

Proudest DIY: The salvaged school doors as bathroom and closet door. (Jesa drove all the way to Vermont to pick them up from a salvage yard she found online and then discovered they wouldn’t fit on her car!)

Biggest Indulgence: Kitchen appliances and cabinetry

Best Advice: When working with designers, always ask for a variety of options with different price ranges. Then, when you narrow down your choices, try to source most of the materials on your own. You’ll be surprised how many options are out there. Take inspiration from all forms of constructions and buildings. We looked to a lot of old retail stores and restaurants for ideas.

Dream Sources: The Internet! Ebay and Pinterest to name a few.

(Image credit: Jill Slater)

Resources of Note:



  • Day bed sourced by Workstead (our architectural and interior designers)
  • Accent chair – vintage pc we bought at the Brooklyn Flea Market and had reupholstered
  • Pouf –
  • Antique Rugs – Sharktooth in Brooklyn, NY
  • Science stools – antiques bought at the Brimfield Antique fair in Brimfield, MA
  • Bookshelf – Frontgate
  • Circle hooks on wall- CB2
  • Light Fixture –Etsy


  • Table – Anthropologie
  • Chairs – Workstead
  • Gold Milk Can with bumper stickers – antique found on Ebay
  • Bar Cart – Workstead
  • Painting – commissioned by street artist “Solus



  • Headboard and Rug – custom design by Workstead, Sharktooth rug
  • Light fixtures – sourced by Workstead
  • Bed and bedside table – custom made by crafter on Etsy
(Image credit: Jill Slater)

Thanks, Jesa!

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