A Landmarked Park Slope Brownstone Awakens with Vibrant Color

1st Street Brownstone

When Samantha and Jonah Arcade and their two daughters outgrew their previous Brooklyn, NY apartment of six years, they never imagined they’d find room to breathe in a brownstone that was just 12 feet wide on each floor. But with Tirzah, 8, and Delaney, 4, a 1,000-square-foot home “wasn’t cutting it,” Sam admits. So about nine months ago, the family of four took a chance on a 1901 landmarked brownstone in need of a full renovation — from top to bottom, all four floors.

“We’d been searching for a home in Park Slope for what seemed like forever,” she says. “At one point we tried to buy a big house with friends and split it in half, but it got very complicated very quickly. About that time I said to Jonah, ‘we just need a little house, where are the little houses?’ When we saw our house we both said: ‘it is definitely little!’ But compared to what we were used to, even though it’s only 12 feet wide it really is a lot of house. On top of that, it has a lot of original detail, gorgeous ceiling moldings, original stained glass. I’m sure I was staring at those pretty windows while ignoring words like ‘complete electrical/plumbing updates,’ [and] ‘mechanical redo’.”

To tackle the overhaul, Sam, a creative director at an ad agency, and Jonah, a securities regulator, enlisted the help of architect Sarah Jacoby to helm the 2,400-square-foot transformation. The long list of renovations included enlarging the home’s garden level, adding a guest suite with a new bathroom and laundry room, adding a new kitchen to the parlor level, opening up the living room wall to expose the central staircase, and designing an updated master suite with ensuite bathroom, among other changes.

“While the renovation added many new features and opened up several spaces to create a better flow, the design was simultaneously careful not to overwhelm or compromise the spirit of the historic features,” Sarah says.

“The goal all along was to figure out how to make the house feel as wide as possible while preserving as much as possible,” Sam echoes. “The original details are actually quite grand, so we wanted to show them off as much as possible. Removing the wall between the front parlor and the original library (now kitchen) transformed the whole house. It exposed the central staircase which deserves to be seen. And Sarah’s design truly maximizes every square inch of space there is.”

While Sarah reconfigured the space to make it work for the family while honoring its past, she and Sam worked in tandem to infuse the home with energizing colors and other eye-catching design elements. Take a spin through the whole tour to see how color and history interplay harmoniously to give the Arcade family the space they need in the neighborhood they love. —Kelli

Photography by Ty Cole

Image above: “We are lucky that only a few families lived here before us, which is pretty [remarkable] considering she’s not a young house — part of the demo included removing gas lamp infrastructure,” Sam says. “And while we’re not the first family in Brooklyn looking to maximize square footage, when you’re working with just 12 feet across it takes on a whole new meaning.” By opening up the stair wall, Sarah was able to elongate the home’s design and make the space feel much larger. Chairs upholstered by Studio Four in their teal Jackie fabric, with Flock‘s Northmore Minor Teal fabric on the back. 

from Design*Sponge http://www.designsponge.com/2017/04/a-landmarked-park-slope-brownstone-awakens-with-vibrant-color.html

Elevating Plates: 13 Creative Plate Wall Displays


I love a plate wall. Great plates feel like works of art to me, so elevating (literally and figuratively) them to the level of traditional wall art has always felt right. I love when plate walls are simple and traditional and follow standard symmetrical shapes (we have two in our home, below), but I’ve loved seeing the way modern designers and homeowners have turned the tradition on its head by embracing more whimsical wall designs and mixing in everyday plates and other objects. Today I’m celebrating 13 of my favorite, from minimal monochrome designs like the one above to patterned neon styles. xo, grace

Image above: I love the way this minimal plate wall adds just the right amount of detail to this monochrome kitchen. Photo by Benjamin Moore. Below: We have two plate walls in our home upstate. This one is a mix of platters and plates handed down to us from both of our families. 



Kelly Wearstler‘s design for The Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica has one of my favorite plate walls of all time. The dark blue/grey paint lets simple white plates shine.

Boligreportage fra Lisa Grues hjem i Fiolstræde.

Lisa Grue’s home contains not one but two (see below) plate wall displays.

Boligreportage fra Lisa Grues hjem i Fiolstræde.


Rebecca’s pale grey mantel works nicely with her collection of pastel plates.


This Salt Lake City home uses a soft grey wall as a backdrop for a collection of vintage plates.


This Laguna Beach hotel uses blue and white plates to play off of the room’s blue and white tiles.


This Polish home artfully combines traditional and modern ceramics.


This Texas home‘s plate wall adds pattern and detail to the dining room’s minimal feel.


Amy Merrick’s Brooklyn home has one of my favorite plate walls of all time: a celebration of Blue Willow (and Blue Willow-style) plates.


Elisabeth Dunker’s home has a soft blue and white plate wall display that matches the home’s pastel tones and mixes new and vintage plates.


Last but not least, Lisa Congdon’s old SF apartment was the plate wall that launched a thousand more plate walls. I love the artful flow of the plates.

from Design*Sponge http://www.designsponge.com/2017/04/elevating-plates-12-creative-plate-wall-displays.html

Design from A to Z: H is for Hoods

Design From A to Z on Design*Sponge

We’ve all burned something while cooking at one time or another. The kitchen fills with smoke and you wish that you had something to take care of the smoke for you — like a trusty exhaust hood. While hoods are certainly functional, they can also be a focal point of the kitchen and architecturally beautiful in their own right.

From wood to concrete to aluminum, hoods can range in material and designers and homeowners alike have shown creative ways to dress up this very useful kitchen element. Here are some of our favorite hoods from previous home tours if you’re thinking up ways to outfit your own. —Erin

from Design*Sponge http://www.designsponge.com/2017/04/design-from-a-to-z-h-is-for-hoods.html

new & noteworthy.

carol mini print from heart beats club. / sfgirlbybay

1. loved this movie, so i need the carol mini print from heart beats club.

i may have gotten a little wacky with this round of new & noteworthy, but hey what’s life without a little frivolity now and then? not that any of these fine objets d’art don’t serve some urgent purpose or another? fluffy pink artwork, girls in trees, beach blankets — it’s all very important stuff. do read on.

new & noteworthy items. / sfgirlbybay

2. i find just the cover of taschen’s albert frey book divine, but i’d look inside, wouldn’t you? On a visit to Palm Springs, the architect fell under the desert spell and spent the rest of his career nurturing the consonance of architecture and nature; 3. pool party!!!! you need a beach towel if you’re going and this one will make a big splash; 4. what in the world, you may ask, would i do with a sweet ceramic green cone? well, you’d hang your baubles upon it, that’s what; 5. shaped a little bit like something from the deep blue sea, thus i give you the ‘Shelly’ Round Velvet Pillow. you’re welcome.

black and white spotted shopper from hansel from basel. / sfgirlbybay

6. i love me some hansel from basel, and back by popular demand — you couldn’t get enough of their black spotted shopper so here it is, in all its glory, with two new friends, cobalt, and fuchsia.

new & noteworthy accessories and decor. / sfgirlbybay

7. artist Leah Reena Goren’s quirky Bathers Art Print is just what we all need to remind ourselves it’s time to hit the beach, girlfriends!; 8. That’s right: women in trees — a book of vintage photographs discovered on flea market excursions alerted collector Jochen Raiss to this phenomenon, which was remarkably popular between the 1920s and 1950s yet never made into a book—until now. who knew?; 9. okay, maybe not wacky but necessary: this black tote was woven by hand in a small village of Orneta in Northeastern Poland, a region famous for crafting the highest quality string bags. so we need one; 10. put a pompom on it. well, if you do i’m likely to be a sucker for you, pretty pink Diya Spotted Fringe Pillow.

Mikkel Throw designed by Kristine Five Melvær. / sfgirlbybaywary meyers soap. / sfgirlbybay

11. wow, how i love the Mikkel Throw designed by Kristine Five Melvær. those pretty colors just speak for themselves and they say “wrap me up!”; 12. who wouldn’t love to take a bath with some pink champagne soap from that dynamic design duo, wary meyers? no one!.

from sfgirlbybay http://www.sfgirlbybay.com/2017/04/26/new-noteworthy-5/

Garden & Home Blog Awards In Berlin

Hello! Are you thinking a lot about plants and gardening at moment? How about fresh flowers? Well, this weekend, I’ll be in Berlin for the Garden & Home Blog Award event sponsored by Blumen 1000 Gute Gründe, Tesa, Toom Baumarkt, Venso Ecosolutions, Siena Garden, Mein schöner Garten magazine from Burda, Amano Group and Visit Finland, all in conjunction with the big garden show – IGA Berlin 2017.

I can’t wait to meet the many garden and home bloggers attending and to present the winning blog in the “Best Blog Design” category (see all of the finalists here).

I’ve been working hard behind-the-scenes as part of the jury for the past several months and now it’s time to go and award our winners! So Bonny & Kleid, The Nina Edition OR Dekotopia will win in the category that I’ve been selected to present. I wish you three the best of luck, along with the other finalists in all of our categories.

Garden & Home Blog Awards In Berlin

Garden & Home Blog Awards In Berlin

Garden & Home Blog Awards In Berlin

Garden & Home Blog Awards In Berlin

Garden & Home Blog Awards In Berlin

Garden & Home Blog Awards In Berlin

It will be so good to be back in Berlin for a few days, I’m taking the train Saturday morning and returning Sunday night so while it’s only a quick trip, I will definitely be out and about and sharing my less than 48-hour adventure on @decor8 Instagram – which by the way, I recently passed 100k followers – I am very excited about that! So if you would like to follow me to see what I’m seeing in Berlin, you are more than welcome to travel along. I’ll include some IG Stories just for you, too!

Thank you Simone, Julia und Friederike from PRACHTSTERN for including me in this wonderful and meaningful event for bloggers.

(Photos: Blumen’s DIY page)

The post Garden & Home Blog Awards In Berlin appeared first on decor8.

from decor8 http://decor8blog.com/2017/04/26/garden-home-blog-awards-berlin/

A Home in Rural Mississippi, Built Like An Art Gallery

Image above: Photography display hallway. Photographers include Adam Shemper, Walter Neill, Mary Ellen Mark, Sebastiao Selgado

Nestled down a country road, past oak trees, off the road and out of view from anyone passing by, sits a home built from the ground up, for and by homeowners and artists, Vivian and Walter Neill. Also on the large, wooded property is the blacksmith studio of homeowner Walter, a full chicken coop, and the art gallery that the Neill’s run together, Treehouse Gallery.

“Always interested in the arts, we had early careers in the restaurant and plumbing businesses,” Vivian shares. “We married and settled in Oxford, MS in 1999 where we began our art careers and business in earnest. We are developing a sort of arts compound where we live, work and promote regional artists. We have taken our time reclaiming the acreage we acquired and look forward to the coming additions/evolution, including a sculpture garden in the field outside our home.” The arts compound she’s referring to is the rural art gallery she and Walter opened three years ago, sitting off the ground in a treehouse-like setting, aptly named The Treehouse Gallery, just 200 yards from their home. The gallery, as well as their home, houses a lot of their own art, too. Walter is an artist/blacksmith and Vivian is a painter and block printer.

On the process of building their home, Vivian said, “The construction only took about one and half years, but the house site and design decisions took much longer. In the meantime, we sold our [previous] home in Oxford, MS and renovated the basement of the home already on the property, into an apartment and lived onsite while we developed our ideas for our home. The gallery apartment now serves as guest quarters and an Airbnb location. We finally settled on the old homestead site, but first had to remove dilapidated tenant shacks… Near the house is an old well that was hand dug by the first family on this property. One of the previous homeowners visits on occasion, and recently we learned he was a 12-year-old boy when he helped his grandfather hand dig the 30-foot well.”

Vivian continues, “We wanted a floor plan that opened to the outdoors as much as possible. A place to showcase the art we collect in an inviting, user/dog-friendly space. A place to casually entertain guests while we cook. We chose a Danish dining table/chairs to maximize our view of the fields behind our house that will one day include more sculptures.” The Neill’s worked with architect firm, Howorth & Associates to see their vision to fruition.

I hope you enjoy this peek into the art-inspired Neill home as much as I have. —Erin

Photography by Don Feitel


Image above: Vivian and Walter’s photography display hallway. Photographers include Adam Shemper, Walter Neill, Mary Ellen Mark, Sebastiao Selgado.

from Design*Sponge http://www.designsponge.com/2017/04/a-home-in-rural-mississippi-built-like-an-art-gallery.html

finally, a grown up closet.

california closets makeover. / sfgirlbybay

never in my life have i ever had a walk-in closet. but now i can at long last say i finally do. i think most of us would like the luxury and the practicality of actually being able to see the clothes you’d like to put on your back, and previous to this, i was working with a closet that was added on to the house and not in a good way — at all. it was dark and tiny, and i could never find anything and it made getting dressed kind of painful with the sea of black i wear (also, where the hell is that other shoe!?!). but with my remodel i partnered with california closets for a designer discount and it has made my world a much better place.

my walk-in closet makeover. / sfgirlbybaygrown up closet makeover with california closets. / sfgirlbybayin-closet jewelry organization. / sfgirlbybaywalk-in closet with milk glass pendant lamp. / sfgirlbybay

i worked with their in-house designer cara carrasco who came out to the house, measured, assessed my wardrobe and then sat down with me and her laptop to create the perfect closet for me. she was so quick, efficient and smart about the design that i felt instantly at ease and excited about the california closet we were creating. there are all kinds of details you can choose from like finishes, hardware, and drawers and she offered some great solutions for me. it took about 3-4 weeks for the installation date and then that was a real pleasure, too. rarely have i had such a positive experience when it came to delivery (i live up two very steep sets of outside staircases and hear a lot of grumbling) but the installation process was perfection, and the gentlemen so professional and nice.

scraf drawer in my walk-in closet. / sfgirlbybayin-clsoet accessory organization. / sfgirlbybayvintage bamboo clothing hangers. / sfgirlbybaywalk-in closet shoe storage. / sfgirlbybay

we added details like the two drawers (one for my scarf collection, and one for socks and undergarments), loads of shoe slots, and based on the kind of clothes i have, one section for long dresses and pants, and 4 sections for shorter pieces like tops, sweaters, and jackets. and then a ton of shelves for all my t-shirts and accessories. they even added this sweet little pull-put hanger which is quite handy for steaming my clothes before heading out.

west elm rod with s-hooks for accessory storage. / sfgirlbybaywalk-in closet design details. / sfgirlbybayblack glass door with white knob in walk-in closet. / sfgirlbybay

i added a few personal touches like the vintage bamboo hangers, accordion mirror in the window and all my jewelry boxes. and i added the milk glass pendant lamp from shades of light, a fun mixed media bikini print from artist dorothy shain, and for more accessories like purses, scarves and necklaces i added west elm’s Industrial Pipe Adjustable Rod. i couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out, and essentially just want to play dress up all day in here. thank you, california closets — it’s been a pleasure!

jewelry display in walk-in closet. / sfgirlbybay  fashion accessories on display in walk-in closet. / sfgirlbybay black and white bikini painting by dorothy shain. / sfgirlbybay clothing on display in my new walk-in closet. / sfgirlbybay

• all photos by lily glass for sfgirlbybay.

This is post in trade discount with california closets and all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep sfgirlbybay going with fresh content every day.

from sfgirlbybay http://www.sfgirlbybay.com/2017/04/25/finally-a-grown-up-closet/