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Designing a Modern Home Inside an Old Brooklyn Brownstone

After a decade working for New York City firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, Brent Allen Buck was ready for a change of pace. In 2015, Buck struck out on his own to launch Buck Projects, headquartered in the Brooklyn brownstone he renovated on nights and weekends over the course of two years. That home, whose renovation process Buck will outline in the first ever Renovation Diary series for Curbed, serves as his home base and design laboratory, as well as a backdrop to a complete set of teak pepper mills by Danish modernist Jens Quistgaard. Follow along over the next eight weeks as Buck details the highs, lows, joys, and travails of home renovation. Last week, the hunt for a brownstone. And now, designing a dream home.

Since I was trained as a modern architect, the design of a late-19th-century brownstone in Prospect Heights posed a unique challenge for me. My wife and I wanted the house to become a home for our family, a container for our life. The architecture would allow objects and personalities to come forward. We envisioned rooms brought to life by the things we collect: modern furniture, art, vintage rugs, books, and unusual objects. The effect would be layered, full of light and warmth.

First, they sketched it out >>