After a challending two-flat renovation, an ambitious couple takes another swing, transforming the building immediately next door into a stunning modern homes.
Joel Huffman of Vertu Architecture + Design’s main challenge? To create a flowing modern space in a vintage 1890 greystone footprint.
The couple, a well-known master sommelier and a luxury real estate professional, had just finished renovating a two-flat, an “often chaotic and unpredictable” process that left them with several “if we could do it again” moments. Undeterred, they jumped to purchase the building directly to the east when it was put on the market, determined to make the second time the charm. Their first move? Hiring architect and designer Joel Huffman (Vertu Architecture + Design), an acquaintance known for both his residential and commercial interiors work.
The home’s plan is organized around a new modern steel stair featuring a three-story-high solid white oak screen partition.
Huffman’s assignment was to build a modern space for the couple and their young son that would be a joy to entertain in.
To create a flowing, modern space in a vintage 1890 greystone two-flat footprint. Notes Huffman, “This was achieved by opening the main floor plan, connecting the three levels by introducing a new open stair and creating a wide operable folding glass door system to the rear yard."
A custom bookcase in the living room continues into the mudroom addition.
Huffman’s plan centers around a new modern steel staircase placed at the center of the building that features a dramatic three-story solid white oak screen partition. Across from the stair is a light, airy kitchen, which “becomes the heart of the residence” per Huffman. “A free-flowing yet subdivided first-floor space leads to the front dining room and to the rear living room, which contains a steel- faced wood-burning fireplace and a custom bookcase that continues into the mudroom addition.” Connecting the living space to the green space outside is a series of striking accordion-style patio doors. Sums up Huffman, “Through the use of well-proportioned spaces, a refined material palette and clean architectural details, the light- filled design achieves an overarching sense of serenity and tranquility for the owners.”
The light, airy kitchen is now the home’s focal point.
Gorgeous stained white oak rift-cut wood floors with matching staircase treads are complemented by the three-story stairwell screen in the same material; a showstopping Napoleon wood-burning fireplace boasts a hot rolled steel surround and hearth plate; and all five bathrooms are finished with exquisite handcut Rookwood tile.
The clients’ verdict? “We love our house; it works perfectly for our family. We have space for the grandparents to stay, a workout studio and a dedicated home office. The most satisfying times are when we get to entertain friends and family.”
Awash in neutral tones, the master bedroom suite also features a private deck.
Ukrainian Village Landmark District
ARCHITECTURE, INTERIOR DESIGN AND CUSTOM MILLWORK
Joel Huffman, Vertu Architecture + Design
Master shower and bathroom floor tile
CREATIVE WOOD CONCEPTS
Living room media cabinetry and mudroom cabinetry fabrication
Multiple chandeliers throughout home
Living room fireplace
Master shower ceiling and rear wall large-format tile
Cabinetry in kitchen, bath and dining room
Master shower wall tile
Photography by: Nathan Kirkman