Old Meets New in Workstead’s Brooklyn Interiors

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A peek at the developing portfolio of the structure studio Workstead reveals an inspired fusing of the contemporary and regular, attained by means of meticulous craftsmanship and relaxing shade palettes. The Gowanus-based firm has created a name for alone by combining modern finishes with historical specifics in assignments ranging in scale from a Boerum Hill townhouse to a Park Slope rental sophisticated fashioned out of a transformed 1920s clubhouse.

The popular intention for each project is to regard the historical things of a building’s interior and architecture though updating it through a modern day lens, stated founding spouse Stefanie Brechbuehler.

“We design and style 1-of-a-sort jobs that harmony natural beauty and requirement,” stated Brechbuehler, who met her associates, Ryan Mahoney and Robert Highsmith, at the Rhode Island School of Design and style.

A vintage chandelier in the type of a few stags hangs in the Prospect Park South library previously mentioned a Neri&Hu sectional. The millwork is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Library Green

“We were all experienced by the exact same people at RISD,” she explained. “One issue that snuck up on us is how a lot we revere historical past. We just want to restore the heritage to the most effective of our capability and weave in a little something that is fashionable.”

The organization was established by Brechbuehler and Highsmith in 2009. Mahoney joined a calendar year later.

“Our incredibly initially undertaking was an individual asking us to renovate a kitchen in a modest just one-bed room condominium,” she mentioned. “We were appropriate out of structure university. We went back to basic thoughts, like ‘what is a cabinet?’”

From there, the workforce went on to style residences and this kind of large-profile hotel initiatives as The Dewberry Charleston and Williamsburg’s Wythe Hotel. The company also founded a lighting enterprise that is primarily based in Hudson, N.Y.

Ten households designed by Workstead are featured in a new guide, “Workstead: Interiors of Attractiveness and Requirement,” printed by Rizzoli in Oct. Its a few Brooklyn projects consist of a stunning 6,500-sq.-foot property developed in Prospect Park South in 1905 by H.B. Moore.

workstead interior

In the Prospect Park South kitchen, an L-formed perform space designed from black locust wooden surrounds an island painted in Farrow & Ball’s Studio Inexperienced. “The former kitchen felt detached from the relaxation of the house,” Mahoney explained. “It also lacked a gracious entry from the yard. We came up with a plan that opened the kitchen up to the eating room, furnished a little breakfast nook in the sun, as very well as a mudroom major to a generous staircase framing the yard pool.”

“We wanted to rejoice the property — convey it back to its first grandeur, manage its quirkiness — when also building it purpose for a present day loved ones,” Mahoney said. “Over the years, sections of the residence had turn into chopped up. Significantly of our work was to bring the residence back with each other. We also labored carefully with our clients to be certain the quirkiness of the dwelling also reflected their household.”

The Colonial Revival residence was in disrepair and essential a comprehensive inside restoration. As perfectly as encouraging to pick out wallpapers and furnishings, the business advised on the swimming pool and an adjacent 13,000-sq.-foot garage with a glass doorway.

“It’s insane likely to that residence for the reason that it is so spacious and heat,” Brechbuehler explained. “It’s in no way ending. Even just renovating that staircase was a big enterprise.”

workstead interior

The Prospect Park South principal bedroom wears pale environmentally friendly wallpaper and a chandelier by Stephen Antonson. “We reworked the bedrooms on the next ground to develop a main suite,” Mahoney reported. “One smaller sized bed room turned the principal bath, a compact closet became the water closet, and an first tub became the dressing area.”

In Boerum Hill, a townhouse proprietor who later turned a repeat shopper collaborated with Workstead to personalize an inside ordered from a developer.

“There’s one thing pretty lovely that occurs when the partnership develops,” Brechbuehler claimed. “It’s like a small marriage. This was a consumer with impeccable taste who enjoys the process of style. He was pretty included in a way that not all clients are. He enjoys antiquing and integrating.”

Alternatively of preserving the townhouse’s off-the-shelf developer kitchen, the client requested Workstead to style and design a new kitchen area from scratch. The organization designed integrated handles for the beech cabinets that had been hand-planed into zig-zag styles. Each individual cupboard experienced to be the very same thickness at the prime and the exact same thickness at the bottom, generating the surface topographical.

workstead interior

The beech kitchen cupboards in a Boerum Hill townhouse have integrated handles that are hand-planed into zig-zag styles. The counter tops are Pietra Cardosa

“The wedge adjustments, based on how huge the drawer is, creating a type of movement,” Brechbuehler said. “We adore guidelines, so at the starting of any task, we give ourselves some specific guidelines and observe those people policies from commencing to conclusion. It sets the tone for the task.”

In Park Slope’s triangular Rosario Candela setting up on Plaza Avenue, a couple hired Workstead to produce storage and include individuality to their four-bedroom apartment. The designers refaced the “perfectly fine” present kitchen cupboards and painted the walls, moldings and millwork in a interesting gray by Farrow & Ball.

“The triangular flooring program is wild. We made a decision to bathe the overall condominium in this a single colour to simplify every thing and form of chill it out a little,” Brechbuehler reported. “Sometimes, we really feel like you can just about do a renovation just by portray.”

[Photos by Matthew Williams]

Editor’s notice: A variation of this story appeared in the Spring/Summer time 2022 situation of Brownstoner magazine.

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