BROWNSTONE VOYEUR is a joint project of casaCARA and Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn. Look for it every Thursday on both sites.
THIS HAS BEEN MY comfortable home away from home for the past two weeks. It’s my dear friend Nancy’s brick row house in Boerum Hill, and it’s classic.
Built around 1870, the house retains many of those coveted Victorian “details,” including spectacular plaster work in the dining room (painted an historic blue-gray), original pocket doors with etched glass, an over-the-top pier mirror, right, between the front parlor windows, a black marble mantel in Eastlake style, long four-over-four parlor windows, and wood floors so old and thin if they’re sanded one more time they’ll turn to sawdust.
Nancy bought the house in 1987 – it was the first house she looked at – and furnished it with a mix of found and inherited antiques. Particularly intriguing (and sort of useful) is the piece she calls “the chest of 1,000 drawers,” a cabinet used for fittings by a jewelry maker. It had been left in her previous home, a loft on Fulton Street in Manhattan.
All the paintings on the wall are the work of David Fisch, a close friend of Nancy’s, who died in 1993.
Nancy travels frequently to Amsterdam, and there’s something of a European feeling about the place, I’ve always thought – the velvet textile used as a tablecloth in the dining room, the collection of old copperware on display throughout, the enormous glass-fronted cabinets full of art books.
I could live here quite happily. Oh, right – I have been.