A 150-year-old Apartment in Brooklyn Heights

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When I first started my apartment hunt, I immediately knew what would make me fall for a place — a vintage feel, white kitchen, and original details. After finding out that nearly all 12 of my potential properties had been rented before I even got to step foot inside, I took a walk around my favorite Chicago neighborhood to clear my head. On that very stroll, like a gift from a stork, my current one-bedroom on Fremont Street fell into my lap. There is was: a “For Rent” sign tied to a wrought-iron gate. What sold me on the place was not only the serendipitous story of finding it, but how the owners had maintained the charm of their building. 100-year-old moldings, built-in cabinetry and that all-white kitchen seemed to have been waiting, preserved, for me all along.

What frequently catches my eye is when homeowners not only preserve, but amplify, the original parts of a space. Charlie and Megan beautifully did just that after buying this 150-year-old apartment in Brooklyn Heights, NY. Originally, they were intrigued by the increase in square footage they would be getting, but upon closer inspection, the parlor floors, high ceilings, original fireplaces and moldings were what made the place irresistible. Charlie works in real estate and too often finds that new construction doesn’t even make an attempt at protecting the original elements of the “rich history of Brooklyn design and construction.” That being said, maintaining those elements in their home was of the utmost importance. Six weeks of cosmetic changes, including a new doorway, closet rebuilds and rewiring was all it took to bring the century-old place into the present day. Once you take a peek inside, I’m sure you’ll agree that they’ve done a great job crafting a fantastic backdrop for their covetable vintage collection. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Aaron Joseph

  1. Regine says:

    Where is the industrial end table next to the Chesterfield sofa from? My guess is it’s vintage, but thought I’d check. It’s wonderful and I can see it in different rooms of my house.

    1. Charlie says:

      Hey Regine – so glad you like it! We found it at a shop in Brooklyn called Journey (http://www.journeydumbo.com/). They have all sorts of beautiful things, although they’re straying more contemporary than vintage industrial at this point. Hope that helps though!

  2. sarah says:

    oh my GOD i am obsessed with this! what a beautiful, beautiful home. such a great use of the space, and so many artful, quirky details. i love it.

  3. Kelsey Dake says:

    I chuckled real hard at the subway sign story! I bought an Uptown 6 sign from the same gentleman on Houston, and had a very similar experience with people staring and asking as I carted it home.

  4. jen says:

    Beautiful space. I am compelled to be a grammar stickler here… I suggest ‘utmost’ is the word you are looking for, not ‘upmost’ . My intention is to help, not criticize as you’ve put together a lovely post otherwise. Grammar is of the utmost importance!

    1. Kelli Kehler says:

      Good catch! Can’t believe I missed that edit :) Thanks.

      1. Jen says:

        And thanks for your graciousness! It feels great to have a suggestion put into place. I practically feel famous.

  5. Catherine says:

    Where is the wallpaper in the kitchen from?! It’s gorgeous!

    1. Catherine says:

      Nevermind! I didn’t get to the next picture yet :P

  6. Margot says:

    That front room is a conundrum. It’s the entry, an office and a library by the looks of things with an awkward layout but nevertheless a lovely and important space. My only suggestion would be a couple of smallish vintage (leather) club chairs either side of the fireplace. That way it is a cosy sitting/reading area but also being an entry is like an inviting lobby in a hotel. Lovely home.

  7. Tina says:

    Well, with a space like that, anything could look good in there. Love the high ceilings, do not like the chalkboard backsplash.

  8. I love the architecture of this home – the high ceilings, large windows, arches. The light! It makes the space feel huge.

  9. Kamerhuren says:

    OMG. This is really beautiful.

  10. Jordan says:

    Absolutely lovely! It’s definitely a great mix of old and new – I especially love that light yellow chair in front of the vintage fireplace.

  11. Robert Stuart says:

    What is the wall color in the living room?

    1. Charlie says:

      Hey Robert – the walls are Alaskan Huskey, but the trim is White Dove (high gloss). Hope that helps…

  12. Miranda Shaw says:

    Vintage and cozy! Love it!

  13. Ellen R says:

    Ditto on Robert’s question – what is the wall color in the living room? Thanks!

  14. Lindsay says:

    Love everything about this – so creative!

  15. Tasha says:

    love it! where are the bedside table lamps from? i love the base(s) they don’t take up a lot of room on the table(s)

    1. Tasha says:

      and nevermind i clicked to the next page!

  16. Pamela says:

    That small industrial cabinet next to your sofa looks great, it was one of my favorites in the store, thanks for crediting Journey,
    Cheers Pam

  17. Such a apartment is really expensive but absolutely wonderful. I want to rent this house.


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