Sometimes the most impactful renovations are those that you can't even really see. That is the case with this amazing Park Slope, Brooklyn townhouse that our very own Stylelist Fashion Editor, Christina Anderson and her husband Simon recently renovated for their young family. This intensive makeover included converting what was once a two-family building into a four-floor home and several much-needed updates to make the space both safe and efficient for the couple and their two children. And it doesn't look too shabby either, as you'll see in our house tour.
First comes first. Before the Andersons could spend time and energy on decorating their charming new home, which was built in 1890, they had to make some major structural changes. (The property was purchased from a woman who had lived there for sixty years and had done little in terms of modifications.) Not only was the backyard completely overgrown, the facade was coated in lead paint, which had to be carefully encapsulated and removed. Also, the home's electrical wires were cloth-wrapped, an outdated process that is a potential fire hazard. In addition, the plumbing had to be completely torn out and replaced, because it was originally installed with lead pipes. Needless to say, these were not cheap or quick fixes.
Besides for these necessary modifications, the Andersons made the bottom level, which was once a studio apartment with a separate entrance, into a sprawling playroom for the kids. They also turned the back mudroom into a proper powder room and ripped out linoleum floors. Seems like a lot of work, right? Well it definitely paid off. The Andersons were drawn to this home because of the amazing architectural features, and we can see why. All of the original wood and parquet flooring has been preserved, and there is mother-of-pearl inlay in a lot of the wood trim. There is even an original service dumbwaiter between the first and second floors.
When it came time for the interiors, Anderson was definitely not afraid of color and mixing contemporary pieces with more traditional elements. She said "I love color in my wardrobe and in my home. It brightens things up and makes a home original and individual." When we asked her where she got her decor inspiration she said, "You're going to laugh. Tori (Spelling) and Dean's house totally got me started with the old Hollywood glam theme." Her favorite parts include the guest room on the top floor because "it's like a jewel box with all the ornate wallpaper and the whimsical chandelier. I also love the powder room on the bottom floor. The wallpaper is silver with a fuchsia Phoenix. We found the mirror at a flea market and spray painted it white."
We can't get over her kids' rooms! When we asked about her decorating process she said: "My son's wallpaper is cowboys, but you can't se the detail unless you really look closely. His chandelier is Ikea--$25. It's definitely a statement piece. My daughter is a real girly girl. I found her chandelier at the Santa Monica flea market. Her wallpaper is Cole and Son from our previous home. They discontinued the pattern, but I had one roll left so we used it and framed it."
To us, this home looks perfect, but Anderson tells us there are still improvements they would like to do -- one day. They would love to put in new windows, central air conditioning, and re-do the kitchen eventually. But for now, their home is absolutely stunning, a great place for entertaining, for her kids to grow up and it definitely reflects its stylish owners. Click through the slideshow and let us know what you think in the comments below.