A Brooklyn Brownstone Renovation Aims to Make Modern Finishes Kid-Friendly

When a lawyer and a dance professor came across a brownstone in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, they imagined that it would be the ideal place to raise their two young children — that is, after a full renovation was complete. The building had previously been split into four distinct apartments, and the entire structure was in need of repairs. Thankfully, Elizabeth Roberts and her eponymous firm looked at these tasks as blessings rather than headaches. "Because the house needed to be gutted, we seized the opportunity to create an open floor plan," Roberts said, noting that the owners didn't want to do a period restoration. "Only a few original details, like the fireplaces and staircase, were salvageable anyway, so historical references were kept to a minimum." Once the new layout of the four-bedroom home was finished, the team filled it with items that were in keeping with a modern, clean aesthetic. But even then, Roberts made sure that everything in the house was kid-friendly. Like her clients, she kept the two sons in mind.

living room
8 Photos
credit: Dustin Aksland

A pendant light by Circa lighting hangs above the front door, which leads into a living room filled a couch by interior designer Pete Lentz. Optimum Windows bring in light from the street.

dining room
credit: Dustin Aksland

Vintage Thonet dining chairs surround a table supplied by Pete Lentz, who also provided the chandelier. A DSW Eames chair sits in the corner.

credit: Dustin Aksland

Norman Counter chairs line up against a Calacatta Gold counter in the kitchen, with Circa Lighting pendants hanging overhead. Wood-Mode Cabinets stand opposite the island.

credit: Dustin Aksland

Reclaimed wood from old tobacco farms was installed by BABA in the hallway, and Farrow & Ball's "Purbeck Stone" covers the stair guardrails.

credit: Dustin Aksland

Honed Carrara marble in a hexagon mosaic spreads across the bathroom floor and underneath a Waterworks Savoy tub painted in Farrow & Ball's "Light Blue."

kid bedroom
credit: Dustin Aksland

DSR Eames chairs stand at opposite ends of the cheerful kids room.

credit: Dustin Aksland

Benjamin Moore's "Cloud White" — the same shade used throughout most of the property — is also part of this bedroom. A vintage lounge chair and a Eliot Meier light oppose the bed.

credit: Dustin Aksland

Belden bricks are the defining characteristic of the back of the house, which opens to a private yard.