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Location: Brooklyn, New York
The Skinny: A recently renovated parlor-floor apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with a stellar wall of built-in shelves that caught the eye of Curbed NY last week, was put on the market in mid-November for $1,495,000. The couple that owns the place bought it in March of 2012 for $880,000, and worked with a contractor to bring its less-than-desirable features up to snuff, after "living in it for a bit to get a feel for the flow, and what it might be missing," says Jason, who works in advertising.
In the combined living and dining room, the touch-ups were mainly cosmetic; taking down some "pretty awful wallpaper" and repainting the walls, cleaning and hand-rubbing the African mahogany doors, door-frames, shelves, and fireplaces with oil. The original stained glass in the front window of the home, which was built in the 1880s, was "more black than colorful" when they first moved in, so they enlisted a local stained-glass specialist to restore damaged sections with comparable pieces from the period.
The work on the home from the foyer back (floor-plan here) went a bit deeper. In the foyer, they replaced a wall of shabby closet doors with new ones, and installed a new shelving system inside. In the entryway, they hung a pair of factory lights found at an antique store in Amsterdam. They tried to keep new elements, like the white subway tiles in the gut-remodeled kitchen, from calling too much attention to themselves, occasionally having to rein in the more exuberant ideas of their contractor. But for light fixtures, "we just really picked out things we liked, and that were functional, too," says Jessica, a freelance graphic designer and photographer who also runs a stationery company. This was their first such project, and she took the reins, having had experience working as an unofficial interior designer for friends.
The kitchen, second bedroom, bathroom, and office (not pictured) at the back of the apartment are part of an addition to the building. Like the kitchen, the bathroom was gut-remodeled, while elsewhere, "crappy doors from Home Depot" were replaced with taller ones, to take advantage of the 12-to-14-foot ceilings. Maintenance is $1,050 a month, but the mortgage on the co-op will be paid off in the fall, after which the owners say they expect that figure to drop.