While Victorian homes can often feel formal, with dark wood, grand staircases, and traditional details, architect Megan Prime of JAM Architecture made sure this Brooklyn home was anything but old-fashioned. "The client wanted to keep the overall feel of the Victorian architecture while inserting modern amenities," says Prime. The firm reworked the layout of the upper, creating a proper master suite for the clients — a couple with three young children — and improving the proportions of the other rooms. "The client came to us thinking she needed to do an addition to the house to achieve an ensuite master bathroom/bedroom," says Prime. "Given the challenges of adding on to a historical property we looked for other ways to reconfigure the existing house to achieve the same goal."
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Throughout the renovation, the team was careful to preserve the architectural details. "We re-used doors, hardware and moldings wherever possible," the architect says. "The existing moldings were carefully removed, saved, and reinstalled in various new locations, creating an effect that things had always been that way." Prime also added lots of storage, from bookshelves and closets built into the third floors eves to a bench with drawers in the foyer.
For the interiors, they brought in contemporary art and plenty of midcentury furnishings. "We wanted to achieve a layered and eclectic look with the Victorian architecture as the backdrop and the furnishings and lighting bringing in more color, texture, and different time periods of design." The mix creates a lively and fun atmosphere that's perfect for the young family.
The living room is a mix of vintage classics, such as the Eames lounge chair and ottoman from DWR, and playful art, such as the portrait by Romina Ressia. "The art is all from contemporary artists, some with nods to the past via the subject matter like the girl blowing bubble gum in the living room or the X-ray photos of the antique dishes in the dining room," says Prime.
"In the bathroom we played around with a lot of color options for the custom mosaic floor but kept gravitating towards the green and yellow tiles — they seemed to fit the house best," says Prime of the floor by Heritage Tile. Medicine cabinets from RH and Schoolhouse sconces hang above the custom marble-topped vanity.