Writer Anne Hellman and photographer Michel Arnaud, the creative minds behind Design Brooklyn, a blog that explores the borough through interior and architectural design, recently turned their attention to a house on one of Brooklyn's most charming streets, Grace Court Alley in Brooklyn Heights (h/t Brownstoner). The owners of 14 Grace Court Alley finished major renovations back in 2009, but Design Brooklyn notes they've been "perfecting" their house ever since. The carriage house dates to the early 1850s, and the brownstone facade matches the materials used in the landmark Grace Church just down the street. Baxt Ingui Architects led the renovation, restoring original details that were lost in "cheap" renovation by the previous owners.
The building functioned as a carriage house, likely for the church, until 1919, when it was converted into apartments. Even then, the ground floor was still used for vehicles; the architects found evidence of a parking garage while excavating the site. They also found early 20th century milk bottles that the owners now use as interior decorations.
Baxt Ingui, a firm very familiar with historic Brooklyn Heights, completely stripped the ground floor level to reveal original wood beam ceilings and unhewn brownstone walls, a rare feature even in older Brooklyn homes. The stone wall extends from the kitchen up into the master bathroom on the second floor. Also upstairs, Baxt Ingui restored the original wide-plank floors and wide arched windows. Modern touches include solid walnut countertops and cabinetry, slender skylights between ceiling beams, built-in bookshelves along the stairs, and a private rooftop garden.
You can see more photos of the house on the websites of Baxt Ingui and Design Brooklyn. Design Brooklyn also has a book by the same name coming out next month.
· The Many Lives of a Carriage House [Design Brooklyn via Brownstoner]
· Baxt Ingui Architects [official]