This Brooklyn Home’s $175K Gut Reno Was More Like an “Archeological Dig”

published May 10, 2024

This Brooklyn Home’s $175K Gut Reno Was More Like an “Archeological Dig”

published May 10, 2024
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Designer Christina Salway, founder of the design company ElevenTwoEleven Design, and her husband, John Moskowitz, had their hands full when they bought this 2,800-square-foot, three-bedroom townhouse in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood.

Credit: Erin Little
What’s the one thing in your home that people always ask about? "Where’s your TV? (It’s hanging behind a painting in the living room.)"

“The house was a massive project, though it was more like an archeological dig than a full gut,” Christina begins. “The house had been occupied by multiple generations of one family for over 80 years, so the project was largely focused on returning the house to its original state.”

Credit: Erin Little
Define your personal home style in a few words: "Collected, curated, eclectic, playful, joyful, teetering on a little weird."

“When we purchased the house, the living room and dining room were both being used as bedrooms, and all of the ‘living spaces’ (kitchen, dining room, living room) were in the garden apartment,” Christina continues. “We spent the first month just removing everything — pulling down dated wood paneling, dropped foamboard ceilings, and shag carpets from the ’70s, pulling up layer upon layer of vinyl flooring from every corner of the house. We discovered reams of newspaper from the 1920s and ’40s underneath the vinyl flooring and linoleum carpet, which gives you an idea of how long it had been there.”

Credit: Erin Little

“But under all of that stuff, we knew there were beautiful prewar details: multiphase crown moldings, pocket doors, pressed tin ceilings, ornate ceiling medallions, marble fireplaces, original old growth pine floors — so we just had to dig everything out to reveal what was hiding in plain sight. We really renovated everything — the kitchen, the bathrooms, all of our bedrooms, the living room, dining room, pantry, hallways — it was all just covered in faux-wood paneling, shag carpet, dropped ceilings — we really had to dig it out,” Christina explains.

Credit: Erin Little

“We did a huge amount of the work ourselves — basically all of the demolition and removal of the old materials — and then really got started. We did all of the painting, most of the drywall and plaster repair, all of the tiling, stripping the fireplaces, stripping the banisters, wallpapering, you name it. … And then we called in the pros where we had to — for plumbing, electrical, and the kitchen and built-in cabinetry.” 

Credit: Erin Little

Christina has completed interior design projects around the world, in places like New York City, upstate New York, Maine, and France. She shares her home with her husband, John Moskowitz, 11-year old son Julian, and their blue-tick coon-hound mutt, named Henry. And when it comes to where and how the family spends time in the house, there’s a clear winner. “We spend so much time in our kitchen, which is funny because it’s the smallest room in the house, by a factor of two, at least. I often perch at the counter while John is cooking, or Julian will sit and do homework while I’m making breakfast … it truly is the heart of the home.” 


Credit: Erin Little


  • Dining Room — Farrow & Ball “Green Blue”
  • Living Room/Hallways — Farrow & Ball “All White”
  • Trim — Benjamin Moore “Revere Pewter”
  • Kitchen — Farrow & Ball “All White” 
  • Primary Bedroom — Farrow & Ball “All White”
  • Primary Bedroom Trim — Farrow & Ball “Oval Room” 
  • Guest Bedroom — Farrow & Ball “All White”
  • Guest Bedroom Trim — Farrow & Ball “Theresa’s Green” 
  • Julian’s Bedroom — Farrow & Ball “All White”
  • Julian’s Bedroom Trim — Sudbury Yellow 
  • Guest Bathroom — Farrow & Ball “Setting Plaster”
  • Primary Bathroom — Farrow & Ball “All White”
  • Upstairs Hallway — Farrow & Ball “All White”
  • Built-ins, Trim, Doors — Farrow & Ball “Setting Plaster”
Credit: Erin Little


  • Wallpaper — Vintage Checker
  • Light — Vintage School House
  • Red Arched Console — Vintage
Credit: Erin Little


  • Chesterfield Sofa — Facebook Marketplace
  • Armchair w/ Pierre Frey Fabric — Vintage
  • Chairs w/ Guy Goodfellow Striped Sacking Fabric — Antique
Credit: Erin Little


  • Farm House Table — Antique
  • Chairs — Antique
  • Hutch — Antique
  • Chandelier — Soho Home 
Credit: Erin Little


  • Island — Vintage
  • Stools — Vintage
Credit: Erin Little


  • Bedframe — Amazon
  • Fabric on Headboard — Kravet
  • Linens — Piglet In Bed
  • Light Fixture — Vault
  • Painted Dresser — Antique
  • Elephant Stools as Nightstands — Vintage
  • Sconces — Serena & Lily
Credit: Erin Little


  • Coffin Tub — Antique
  • Pedestal Sink — Antique
  • Shee Made Into a Shower Curtain by my Mom! — Piglet In Bed
  • Fabric on Vintage Slipper Chair — Rogers & Goffigon

Thank you for showing us your home, Christina!!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.