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Interiorssneak peeks

A Split-Level Gem Where Two styles Have Become One

by Garrett Fleming

When most homeowners start to look for a new abode, it’s all about location, location, location. It makes sense. Buying a home is a big investment, so where it stands isn’t something to take lightly. But when you love every corner of your city as much as LUSITANO1143’s founder Carlos João Parreira and his partner Greg do, location takes a backseat to finding a gem you can make your own.

Nearly two years ago, these New Yorkers decided to leave the rent race and find a spot to call their own. When they did, Carlos and Greg expanded their search well beyond the Tribeca stomping grounds they were so familiar with. No borough was off-limits, and no apartment was outside of their consideration. They were looking for outdoor space, a place that would let them combine their styles, and a spot to settle down with their two pets. In the end, a stand-out, split-level apartment situated in one of Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s old cheesecake factories proved to be the perfect option for the pair.

The sleek – yet casual – apartment boasts private, outdoor space and three stories worth of renovations. When all was said and done, the biggest undertaking proved to be re-outfittting the kitchen. It took over 20 trips to IKEA to finish up the space! The pair loves entertaining, though, so renovating the social hub of their home was worth it. Now, guests are greeted by a marble waterfall countertop and streamlined, white cabinetry. When the entertaining is done, it’s now easier than ever for Carlos and Greg to plop down in bed thanks to another of their renovations. The previous owners had a simple ladder leading to their suite, but the full staircase Carlos and Greg installed is much more to the pair’s liking.

While the overhaul was challenging, the changes have proven to be the perfect backdrop for worldly accessories from Carlos’ Portuguese upbringing and Greg’s stint in the UK. The combination of their collections gives the space the dash of personality they’d always wanted in a home. “Our favorite spaces have always been those that reflected the people that lived there, those that made us want to have a cocktail with the [owners],” the couple tells us. I think you’ll agree after taking a peek inside their Brooklyn space that Carlos and Greg have created such a home as that. Anyone would be lucky to sip on a cocktail while soaking up this pretty apartment. Until that day comes, you can virtually visit this stylish set’s first home together after the jump. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Carlos João Parreira

A Split-Level Gem Where Two styles Have Become One, Design*Sponge
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On their third date, Carlos and Greg went to a flea market where Greg longingly admired this fun tiger print. In a sneakily-romantic move, Carlos snagged the 70s-era, Polish piece for Greg for his birthday. The black-and-white pieces around it were put together by Greg's sister.
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Carlos (right) brings Portuguese decor to the masses through his shop LUSITANO1143, and Greg (left) is a strategist at a media company. They've shared this Williamsburg home for nearly two years.
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An astronaut print by Michael Kagan greets you at the top of the stairs.
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The mezzanine holds the living room, its curtain strategically hiding an eyesore of a door that leads to an outdoor hallway. The coffee table came all the way from storage in the UK. It used to live in Greg's apartment there. The velvet sofas are Cobble Hill by ABC Home.
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Guests rarely get a chance to enjoy sitting in this Jonathan Adler chair. It's Puppy the cat's favorite spot, and the critter rarely leaves it. Beyond the chair you can see a peek at the stairs. The pair simply couldn't live with the ladder the previous owners had installed, so they gutted the space. Carlos and Greg used three shades of the same Benjamin Moore grey -- "Pigeon Gray," "Tundra" and "Dior Gray" -- to add some visual interest to the new staircase. At the top of it sits their bedroom.
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Above Carlos and Greg's bed hangs a pair of bullfighter prints by Happy Menocal. "We love that [it brings] a little tongue in cheek in[to] the bedroom!" the couple tells us.
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Carlos and Greg painted their room's walls a tone darker than they typically would have, but they dig how the Benjamin Moore "Dior Gray" color makes the room feel "warm and comfortable." Oftentimes, they'll snuggle into their Macy's sofa and Jonathan Adler pillows with a good book. They like how "extravagant" it feels to have a sofa in the bedroom.
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The TV sitting area is on the first floor and tucked under the apartment's staircase amongst Carlos' collection of cookbooks. Above it hangs pieces that are both inspirational and sentimental. "The swallows -- from A Vida Portuguesa -- on the wall are Portuguese tradition. Everyone there has them in their house. Swallows mate for life, so they’re a symbol of family and harmony," Carlos tells us. The white console is from CB2, and the stairs are painted in Benjamin Moore "Onyx."
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The kitchen got a complete makeover after these two moved in. Now a waterfall countertop lets Greg and Carlos prepare a cocktail for guests right as they walk in the door. While many homeowners would've found the pillar to be an eyesore and would've removed it, Carlos and Greg love how its original charm pays homage to the building's earliest days.
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Resilient stone from Prestige Marble & Granite Inc. was a must as Carlos is always in the kitchen cooking up something swell. It took the couple 25 trips to get all of the marble's accompanying IKEA elements. Stores simply couldn't keep the SEKTION collection in stock. In the end, though, the pair couldn't be happier that they weathered the storm and held out. The IKEA elements are amplified by hardware from The Home Depot, and a tap from Brizo.
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As a surprise, Carlos had this portrait of Greg's grandparents blown up and mounted for him. It hangs above the couple's favorite piece -- the dining room's vintage record player. The room -- which is open to the kitchen -- ends up being the hub of most of the couple's parties.
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When you enter the apartment, the first thing you see is the dining room and guest bedroom. Puppy the cat is a scratcher, so this distressed, West Elm rug was a great option for the family. Her pawing only makes it look more lived in and loved.
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Vintage posters advertising some of Greg's favorite films adorn the walls of the guest bedroom. "He has a soft spot for Angela Lansbury and Julie Andrews," Carlos tells us. He and Greg host guests at least once a month. That being said, the nightstand is always stocked with toiletries and guides to the city.
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The building used to be an old cheesecake factory but was converted to apartments in 2007.

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