viola park

by Grace Bonney

Have you ever had one of those dreams that was so perfect, it’s just heartbreaking to wake up and realize it wasn’t real? Last night, I had this incredibly vivid dream about an apartment we’re going to see today. In my dream, this so-so Greenpoint apartment turned into a beautiful, rambling treehouse home that had sunny bedrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows that louvered open sideways to let a soft cross breeze sweep across each room. The tiny porch turned into a breezy, Wisteria-covered oasis where we hosted parties and sat at night to watch the sun set. I’m pretty sure that apartment exists only in my head and pretty much nowhere in Brooklyn, but in my dream, it was absolutely beautiful.

So I’m preparing myself for reality when we head up there to check it out today. But one thing that stuck with me from the dream that I might be able to carry with me to an actual new apartment was a clean, modern kitchen. In my dream, we had this awesome kitchen with bamboo cabinets and colorful drawer-fronts, and when I checked my email this morning, I saw basically the spitting image of my dream kitchen in these designs from Viola Park. A sister company to Henrybuilt, Viola Park recently launched an LA showroom along with a line of kitchen islands that can be purchased independently or as part of a larger package. Each island comes with a built-in storage system for storing food and little pivoting boxes for utensils. Basically, it’s the perfect unit for a renter who can’t build a custom kitchen in their space. If you’ve already got a great space and just need something new in the kitchen, check out Viola Park’s collection right here. And, if you happen to have an amazing treehouse apartment in Brooklyn that you’d like someone to take off your hands, well, you know who to call . . . xo, grace

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  • Now looking at our new kitchen plan from another perspective – We live in an open plan house and have so much of our stuff on wheels, its really so practical. We’ll be putting in a new kitchen soon and I hadn’t thought about its mobile components but its a wonderful idea. Especially when we change our minds so often about how a space should work .. or doesn’t. Thanks for posting!

  • My husband, little girl, and I live in a small flat. Every few months I dream of finding an extra room we didn’t realise we had. Like your dream, mine are so vivid. The best room I ‘discovered’ was a japanese style spa bathroom which was massive. I like having these dreams because they feel magical, but it is dissapointing to wake up to the same tiny space. I’ll have to keep dreaming- at least until the UK economy sorts it self out.

  • @ Karen
    Me too! I dream of finding new rooms all the time. The best was an undiscovered, massive, light-filled, already converted attic that came with lovely wooden beams and white couches. And the other night I dreamt I discovered a massive hallway that I never knew we had. I love and hate the dreams in equal measures!

  • Grace–why don’t you move to Savannah? no really, why not?! couldn’t you run D*S anywhere? Don’t get me wrong…new york is NEW YORK…but Savannah?? Pretty awesome. hahaha, sorry…don’t let my impulsive need for huge change sway you too much ;)

  • Hehe, a treehouse grows in Brooklyn
    (sorry I just couldn’t help myself)
    But yes, I once dreamt that I opened the pantry door to find this lovely sunlit room with beautiful built-in wooden bookcases and a backdoor that seemed to lead to the Spanish countryside.

  • When I was in the midst of viewing potential apartments (in the greenpoint/williamsburg area) last spring I had repeated dreams of finding cavernous rooms in my tiny apartment. The weird thing was that they were never decorated in my style – they were usually very formal libraries with lots of dark leather and wood. In the dream I was always wondering why I was living in 300sq ft while this one room was well over 1000. Now that I’m in a great new apartment, these dreams have completely stopped! Good luck to you in your search!

  • Must be a new york kind of dream. I have been there! There’s also the recurring dreams about my teeny tiny lower east side apartment I lived in years ago – that I still have the lease, and I forget that I can go there, and that I never knew it has 4 extra bedrooms! And a huge kitchen! And a gigantic back deck!

  • grace, i woke up from a vivid dream in which two park benches served as headboard and footboard on which my boxspring and mattress rested. i’ve been looking for a new bed for a while and i think my dreams are trying to help.

    hope your kitchen will be as happy as you hope for. <3

  • HenryBuilt and Viola Park are based in Seattle, where I live. HB is way, way out of my price range (sadly) but when I decided to renovate my master bathroom last spring, I contacted VP about whether they could turn their kitchen cabs into a bathroom vanity. By the time I got around to the actual renovation a few months later, they had just launched a line of vanities — mine was actually the first off the line, and it’s gorgeous! Bamboo and turquoise, it’s fabulous and literally makes me happy every time I see it. (I also had a great local carpenter build me a storage and laundry unit to match, which was installed directly across the bathroom from the VP vanity. Lame or brilliant? You decide.)

  • Yes!! We’re installing a VP kitchen into our dream house and we are so. so. so. excited. They’re a tad pricier than we thought, but the quality is insane and so much more affordable than Henrybuilt.

  • Do you like Green Point? Me my kid-o and husband are relocating to Brooklyn from Toronto and are trying to figure out what neighbourhood would be best!


  • we installed a viola park kitchen in our pak slope apt last spring and absolutely love it. i honestly cannot even remember what our old kitchen looked like – i have blocked it out!

  • We are in the final design stage for our Viola Park kitchen, and are very happy with the people there, the process, and the value (yes, a tad more than we expected, but they are completely upfront with the pricing and will work with your budget). I have devoted several posts on my blog to the VP kitchen, which will be one component of our mid-century modern update to our split foyer home here on Long Island. http://purcellart.wordpress.com.