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Narrow Brooklyn Townhouse Gets Sleek Revamp for Family of Four

The redbrick house is just 12 feet wide

For homeowners, buying a historic home can be an occasion for celebrating the house's original details with a renovation that enhances them, while helping update the space for modern life.

That's just what happened at this three-story (plus basement) 19th-century brick townhouse in Brooklyn, which was given a fresh revamp by local firm Barker Freeman Design Office (BFDO). The house, just 12 feet wide, provided cozy quarters for its clients, a couple with two children, and so the architects set about opening up the interiors and retaining original details—like exposed-brick walls and wood floors—where they could.

A sunny, open living room and kitchen on the first floor are joined via wood-and-steel staircase to the second (master suite) and third (kids' bedrooms) floors. The architects also added a two-story extension on the rear of the house, creating a second-level terrace with a spiral stair that leads to the backyard below.

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