The Insider: Rethinking a Carroll Gardens Brownstone for the 21st C.




I DIG THE AUDACITY of Tamara Eaton‘s interior design for this no-compromises reno in Carroll Gardens: a five-story overhaul of a decrepit brownstone by Brooklyn’s CWB Architects, complete with elevator, new roof deck, and lots more (the homeowner’s quote from when I first wrote about this project for New York Cottages and Gardens magazine: “We took it down to the studs, and then we had to replace the studs”). Below, the front parlor nods to formality and tradition with billowy curtains and a crystal chandelier, but over the fireplace hangs digital-age art by contemporary artist Wayne Gonzalez. The furniture mix includes antique Chinese chairs, a yellow leather barrel chair, an Empire style love seat, and a flying-saucer coffee table. To see the rest of the building as it appeared on Brownstoner, go here. 

The Insider: Gloss and Glamour in Park Slope


My recently re-inaugurated column for, the behemoth Brooklyn real-estate website, looks at how up-and-coming designer Tamara Eaton freshens up an exceptional Victorian brownstone, on the purchase of which the new homeowners had already blown their budget, with little more than paint and wallpaper. To read all about it, go here. 

The Insider: Small & Stylish in Carroll Gardens

IT’S THE END OF AN ERA: my last Thursday design column for the Brooklyn real-estate website Brownstoner,The Insider, went up this morning.

I saved one of my favorites for last: the 600-square-foot apartment of my friend Robert Farrell, an interior designer, whose careful choices and knowing mix of the modern and the antique have served him well in this very space for a decade-and-a-half. You can read all about it here.

The Outsider: Private Woodland in Carroll Gardens

INTERIOR DESIGNER Robert Farrell re-made his Brooklyn backyard with dense plantings of small trees and shade-tolerant perennials.

It’s the subject of my column today on

Read all about it by clicking this link.

The Insider: Green Agenda in Carroll Gardens

THIS c.1900 BROOKLYN ROW HOUSE is about as green as you can get without being LEED-certified. The DUMBO architecture firm Delson or Sherman took on the job of converting the three-unit house, which had had the same owner for 50 years, into a single-family residence.

The building is chock full of sustainable strategies, including radiant heat flooring, solar water heating, spray foam insulation, a high-efficiency boiler, and a whole-house fan. Daylight is maximized by enormous skylights, as well as the replacement of one-third of the back wall, left, with expanses of glass. Materials were re-purposed whenever possible, even the little ‘Juliet’ balconies at the rear of the house, which are segments of the original fire escape.

It’s now utterly sleek and modern, which aroused a furor today on Brownstoner, with comments flying pro and con. Go here to see and read it all.