BROWNSTONE VOYEUR: Classic Modern in Cobble Hill

01-exterior1850s HOUSE, 1950s FURNISHINGS. Who would guess the combination could be so natural?

Brownstone Voyeur’s first foray finds us in Cobble Hill, at the home of interior designer Julia Mack and her husband John, an architect. They live on three floors with their son Jeremy, 14, daughter Alison, 11, and French bulldog, Trixie.

The Macks bought the ‘neglected dump’ in 2002 and spent a year upgrading the mechanicals. The 20’x40′ building had been used as rental apartments; the first order of business was pulling out four nasty kitchens and four baths.

Happily, the house’s original moldings, panel doors, wide-plank floors, and turned stair balusters were intact, along with a spectacular carved marble mantel in the front parlor.

 

Now, clean white walls form the backdrop for mid-20th century furniture classics. Some were handed down by Julia’s parents and grandparents; others are re-issues, many from Herman Miller for the Home.

Lots of items come from budget-friendly stores like Bo Concept (the living room credenza), Room & Board, and Modernica (the spacey ‘Ellipse’ chair).

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Love that shag rug! The quirky metal wall art, below, is made out of bedsprings.

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The vintage mahogany dining table and teak console, above, are perfectly sympatico with an  ultra-contemporary glass light fixture from Artemide. The paintings are by Cobble Hill neighbor Noel Yauch.

The kitchen, designed by the homeowners, is super-sleek. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets of book-matched walnut veneer provide a ton of storage.

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A curtain of nylon string on a hidden track divides the master bedroom from a dressing room carved out of the central core of the 2nd floor.

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The undulating plywood screen in the master bedroom is an Eames icon, the ’40s boudoir chair a family relic.

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The family/TV room is on the 2nd floor at the front of the house.

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That’s Jeremy, below, in Julia’s home office, which is painted an energizing red.

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The homeowners found the 1920s soaking tub in place when they bought the house. The double sinks are in the kids’ bathroom on the top floor.

Thanks for visiting. How does it feel to be a brownstone voyeur?

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About cara

I blog for fun at https://casacara.wordpress.com, and write about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites. My recently published posts and articles can be found here: https://casacara.wordpress.com/recent-articles/
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14 Responses to BROWNSTONE VOYEUR: Classic Modern in Cobble Hill

  1. Bill Harris says:

    Astonished at how well that ’50’s crap looked in your beautiful first edition of Brownstone Voyeur. A great addition!

  2. S.M. says:

    Perfect title. My secret passion. Liked your blog to begin with.

  3. As a fellow filed editor, we see so much that never gets published! What a waste! Thanks for letting us in on your scouting trips. Love this one! Someone missed the boat.

  4. cara says:

    And with so many shelter magazines folding, we blogger-slash-field editors have to pick up some of the slack!
    Thanks for your comment, Alecia.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I like the idea, but your pictures are not great. Need better light and more details.

  6. Carolyn says:

    Nice. I love that fireplace and the mirror above it. The kitchen and tv room not so much.

    What’s the source for the curtain of nylon string?

  7. cara says:

    Yeah, and I’m a little focus-challenged too. I need a better camera or have to learn to use the one I have. Thanks for reminding me to take more detail shots.

  8. cara says:

    The nylon curtain comes from Mxyplyzyk on Greenwich Ave in the Village. I didn’t source it initially because I was too rushed to check the spelling!

  9. Mrslimestone says:

    Wow, great space. Love to see how personal style can make such a huge difference even when the ‘bones’ are similar.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is that Hable fabric on the chair in the Family/TV room?

  11. brooklyn says:

    Cara,

    What a wonderful idea. I want a new house every day not every week. I am not the biggest fan of this decor but my curiousity was satiated big time! Give me more more more;)

  12. cara says:

    Gladly – what kind of decor DO you like?

  13. Anonymous2 says:

    Where did you get the kitchen cabinets??? I loving that!!!

  14. cara says:

    They’re custom; they were designed by the homeowners, Julia and John Mack.

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