An Urban Sanctuary
A long real-estate search ended when architects Ed and Barbara Parker found this two-bedroom in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood. “We knew immediately that we wanted it,” Ed recalls. The apartment’s long, thin layout was a challenge, but, he says, some original nineteenth-century details overcame that drawback. The picture-frame moldings were still intact, and a wall of windows facing an alleyway (rather than another building) let in lots of natural light.
Adding their own design touches, the couple knew that they could transform the 900-square-foot space into a bright and airy urban sanctuary. They kept the furnishings minimal and modern to contrast with the older, more traditional bones of the apartment. The couple stores their eclectic vinyl collection in a USM Haller media cabinet in pure white, whose clean, crisp lines juxtapose the picture-frame molding behind it. The walls and flooring are painted a bright white to emphasize the rooms’ architectural qualities. “People really react to how white the house is when they see it for the first time,” Barbara says. “Some people think it’s weird, some people think it’s too stark. But a lot of people also associate it with a country home.”
She and her husband also regard the apartment and its surrounding neighborhood that way – as a refuge from the hubbub of Manhattan, where Ed works as a principal at 1100 Architect and Barbara is an associate at Perkins Eastman Architects. “A reason why we like to live in Brooklyn is because there’s that physical separation that helps us make that transition to calming ourselves down and regenerating,” Ed says. “It’s a mini vacation every time I come home.”
It’s a mini vacation every time I come home.”