Installation In Focus: Willow Street

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We wanted the space to be a balance of contrasts, open and airy yet respectful of the rooms expected in townhouse living; modern lines and materials, but respecting the character of the house and neighborhood; natural but polished; unique and creative, yet timeless and universal.
— Damian Zunino, Studio DB
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Transformation In Brooklyn Heights

Well known for its tree-lined streets and well-preserved antebellum townhouses, Brooklyn Heights is one of New York City’s most charming neighborhoods. At the very heart of this historic district is the 1834 brownstone on the corner of Willow and Middagh Street. Originally built in a Greek Revival Style, 15 Willow once belonged to the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor but, in 2016, was transformed into a single-family residence — a transformation that required a nuanced balance of innovation and preservation. The development and design team behind the renovation at 15 Willow Street project was Studio DB, led by the firm’s husband-and-wife principals Damian and Britt Zunino.

Damian explains how, as the team endeavored to modernize the 6,400-square-foot, five-bedroom townhouse, their goal was to create a balance of contrasts. “We wanted the space to be open and airy, yet respectful of the kind of interiors expected in townhouse living, [with] modern lines and materials that honored the historic character of both the house and the neighborhood.”

The choice of flooring was central to the architects’ goal of honoring the past while simultaneously integrating modern lines and materials. “We had a vision of how we wanted the floors to feel, so we reached out to The Hudson Company at the very beginning of the process. There was a specific walnut floor we were looking for — we wanted something that felt natural but still had a lot of character, and we knew The Hudson Company could produce this kind of flooring for us.”

Through close collaboration with the Studio DB team, The Hudson Company custom-milled 3,000 square feet of 5” Walnut plank and 1,000 square feet of 5” Herringbone plank for the project.“The new floors feel light but still raw,” Zunino says. “The finish brings a timeless, polished aesthetic to the house’s interior.”

The installation profile originally appeared in The Hudson Company Journal, Volume 2. Read more or learn how to get your physical copy of The Journal here.

Installation in Focus: Private Residence, Brooklyn, NY

All photos by  Evan Joseph . Used with kind permission.

All photos by Evan Joseph. Used with kind permission.

Reclaimed Heart Pine for a Bespoke Brooklyn home

This year, The Hudson Company was proud to provide 2,000 square feet of ¾” x 7” Reclaimed Heart Pine [New Face] and 1,600 square feet of ¾” x 4” x 24” Reclaimed Heart Pine Herringbone [New Face] to this stunning Brooklyn townhouse project. This source material for this project was reclaimed from the New York City area (some of which was salvaged from a nearby Domino Sugar factory that had recently been decommissioned). All of the reclaimed wood flooring was site finished.

A well-crafted labor of love

According to Jeff Lorenz, one of the project's principals, the use of natural-tone woods was a central design goal, 'We set out to create a very natural, warm feeling home. We used a lot of wood between our floors and extensive millwork package. With both, we tried to showcase the materials natural beauty by keeping stains and finishes to an absolute minimum.' Unlike a typical 'owner-driven' design program, this residential development, designed by architect Will Corcoran, was built in anticipation of a future tenant. 'This home was a true labor of love,' says Lorenz, 'we set out to build our dream home in the hopes that the end user would appreciate the extensive material sourcing and craftsmanship.'

From the very beginning, sustainable material sourcing was important to the project. 'We are located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn,' explains Lorenz, 'and one of the neighborhoods most iconic buildings is the Domino Sugar factory. When we learned that we could incorporate material salvaged from such an historic place we knew we had to do it. People's reaction to this part of the project has been truly remarkable.'

A Successful Partnership, An Impressive Result

When all was said and done, the finished home was a profound success - the result of the dedication of numerous creative teams and craftspeople; from the design to the intricate tile and iron work to the beautiful Henrybuilt cabinetry. According to Lorenz, a successful collaboration with The Hudson Company was also a central part of what helped bring the project together, 'Working with Hudson was a great experience; when we came up a bit short of flooring material, they turned around what we needed in no time. When we decided we wanted to make a special 1" x 1" baseboard out of the same flooring material, The Hudson Company milled it down, no problems.'

Now that the project is finished, the only question that we have is, 'when can we move in?'

You can learn more about Reclaimed Heart Pine here or get a quote for your next project hereAll photos by Evan Joseph, used with kind permission.

All photos by  Evan Joseph . Used with kind permission.

All photos by Evan Joseph. Used with kind permission.