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Polishing a Brooklyn Brownstone With Natural Materials

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 this summer as Buck details the highs, lows, joys, and travails of home renovation.

By June of 2014, the brownstone renovation had come a long way. Walls: framed. Systems: installed. Kitchen and millwork: underway. The construction team was now hard at work wrapping up the material finish details, including the flooring, countertops, doorknobs, and exterior work. While those elements represent a modest percentage of the overall project, the finishes comprise the majority of what is seen and touched in the completed house—and the overall perception of the finished project.

We tried, where possible, to favor natural materials. We sought out those with variations and imperfections that would reveal themselves upon closer look—materials with nuance that may not be apparent at first glance. And beyond just thinking about how all of these things would look, I wanted to focus on their tactility, how they would feel.

Polished marble and stripping handrails, oh my! >>