When architect Keith Burns went to renovate a Brooklyn brownstone for himself and his wife, Lauren Snyder, owner of The Primary Essentials design shops, he didn't have the usual restrictions from a client. Instead, the constraints on the project came from the building itself. The home (which Burns notes was previously uninhabitable) is located in a historic district, so he had limitations as to what could be changed. The main goals: increase the amount of natural light and make the home more energy efficient.
Inside, a pale palette lets the natural materials take center stage. "I like using natural materials as a way to add tone and texture to a space instead of using applied materials like paint," Burns told Hunker. "I tried to balance the materials in each space and locate them to play off of each other." The transformed brownstone, which also includes a separate garden apartment for a lucky tenant, manages to respect the original structure, while making it livable for today.