A Special (Warren) Place

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.33.02 AMGood Morning Lacquered Lifers. Do you have that street, or that house, that you walk by with regularity and dream that one day it could be yours? Such was the case for Brooklyn Heights residents Elspeth Benoit and David Bevan, who would walk their dogs past Warren Place in Cobble Hill and dream about a life there. When one of the eleven foot wide townhouses came on the market, the pair didn’t hesitate, and embarked on a space-maximizing renovation project on the 1000 square foot gem. Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.32.57 AMOf the forty-four townhouses, twenty-four of them face the courtyard garden (seen here). Built in 1878, these townhouses were commissioned by  American housing reformer and philanthropist Alfred Tredway White as workforce housing, after a visit to London wherein he determined that conditions for the workingman in New York were terrible. His goal in building Warren Place was to give workingmen, “the chance to live decently and to bring up their children to be decent men & women.” Today what remains is idyllic setting in one of New York’s most sought after neighborhoods. Live Decently? I would say so. Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.33.45 AMBenoit sourced many of the materials, like this tub,  from some of my favorite destinations – Demolition Depot & Olde Good ThingsScreen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.33.19 AMThe couple raised the fireplace off the floor so that you could see the fire from the table, also making it useful for open fire cooking. 
Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.33.15 AMScreen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.33.29 AMYou can see here in the kitchen where the couple maximized the space everywhere that they could, exposing beams and then dropping the ceiling in select locations to conceal ductwork, electrical etc. A project like this is a game of inches, a fact that this couple, who lived in a 325 square foot apartment prior to moving to Warren Place, were very aware of. Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.33.42 AMOnce just a powder room, it became a second bath when they waterproofed the entire room and added a rain shower head to the ceiling. This is something that Mr. B and I have always wanted to do in a home of our own. 
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For more photos, and the article, visit NYTimes.com

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