Nancy’s New Kitchen


WHEN I PHOTOGRAPHED my friend Nancy’s house in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, for a Brownstone Voyeur post last spring, I scrupulously avoided the kitchen. At the time, it was badly in need of a re-do, not befitting the rest of her elaborately detailed 1870s row house.


With the help of a contractor friend, she has now succeeded in creating a warm, inviting kitchen that blends with the architecture of the house and reflects the antique look of her decorating — a look that harks generally back to the Arts and Crafts era. Nancy has a serious collection of vintage copperware, so she went with a deep, hammered copper sink bought on eBay, and a gooseneck faucet in a similar finish from Rowe & Perrins.

Several decorative tiles bought in Amsterdam — some from the 1920s, others 1960s re-issues of earlier patterns — are set in a backsplash of celadon-green crackled glass tile. The spectacular light fixture above the new granite counter, which is a deep brown laced with coppery tones, was also found in Amsterdam, shipped here in parts, and reassembled.



Off-white wood cabinets and a matching island, from Lowe’s, have vertical grooves that suggest period-appropriate wainscotting. Nancy even found hammered copper cabinet handles at Gracious Home to tie things together.

About cara

I blog (for fun) here at casaCARA, and write (for money) about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites.
This entry was posted in BROOKLYN, BROWNSTONE DECORATING, INTERIOR DESIGN, OLD-HOUSE MAKEOVERS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Nancy’s New Kitchen

  1. Ruth in Amsterdam says:

    Wow! I am full of admiration for this kitchen and for the detailed choices
    that make it “sing.”

    Full disclosure: I was with Nancy when she showed me the hanging lamp in a small Amsterdam shop crammed with vintage light fixtures. That she could spot it amidst the clutter was already impressive. That she got it packed up in such a way that she could carry the damn thing back to Brooklyn on the plane was awesome. Nothing stops the maven when she’s on a roll.

    The tiles are also evidence of this. Each one has a story; each one took
    a while to find. They are very special, and placing them on the backsplash adds silent testimony to the craft of making practical objects artfully.

    Well-done Nancy, thank you Cara for your wonderful eye.

  2. cara says:

    So great to hear from you, Ruth in Amsterdam:-) This kitchen does indeed have a very strong Amsterdam connection. Isn’t it wonderful that you’re able to get a look at it through the magic of technology?

  3. Jim says:

    Beautiful result with your kitchen Nancy. It is not an ‘overbuild’ US kitchen and shows great respect for the house. Congratulations!

    I like the new tiles you selected to background these old ones. That is tricky since the finishes are so different on new tiles. It is a tricky match and you nailed that.

    I also like the vertical lines on the cabinets and the smaller island with some clearance on the window side.

    The two fixtures — the overhead lamp and the faucets – set it all off wonderful.

    Go Nancy !!

  4. ruth in Amsterdam says:

    Hey Cara. Don’t know that it’s the technology that’s magic. It’s you using
    it well and the content you feature that is magic in my book. Keep it up.

  5. Terry Kearns says:

    Nice. Cool ceilings. Glad I looked at your first post showing other room. It looks like it can withstand hard family living. I don’t fear that I’d mess something up in there.

  6. Adrienne says:

    Lovely, classic and refined……..I’ll take it!

  7. Nancy says:

    Thanks Cara, for writing such a nice piece about my lovely new kitchen And thanks to the rest of you for your appreciation of my aesthetic!

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