When one couple started renovating the brownstone they bought in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood, they had big goals. They were determined to preserve as many of the home's historic details as possible, open up the space, and add light and color — all while staying within a limited budget. To help them turn the run-down brownstone into a dream home, they hired architect Alexandra Barker, principal of Barker Associates Architecture Office, who has plenty of experience updating homes in the borough, including this bright and airy row house. Barker started by constructing a new, window-lined extension to replace an older addition, and expanding the stairwell opening and skylight to flood the interior with natural light.
She also helped the couple decide where to save and where to splurge. IKEA cabinets were outfitted with custom fronts for a sleek but budget-friendly look in the kitchen and rear living room. They chose to invest in walnut floors, marble countertops, and eye-catching light fixtures. Barker used a palette of neutral grays accented with bright, colorful elements, such as sunny yellow tile in the entry, cherry red barstools in the kitchen, and vibrant blue shelving in the study room. The finished space is open and modern, and hits everything on the couple's list.