12 Days of BIA


This holiday season, we're highlighting some of our favorite festive projects with the 12 Days of BIA!

Day 1: Brooklyn Heights Charmer

We are starting with a charming Brooklyn Heights project. The 1840s Gothic Revival home is a rarity in Brownstone Brooklyn, and it came to us a relic of times past. Much of its historic charm was still in place - down to the 170-year-old weight and chain windows. Our goals included respecting the rare, original historic detail while modernizing the house.

In order to increase the size of the kitchen, we shifted the structural bearing wall between the dining room and kitchen, carefully preserving and relocating historic crown molding, floor borders, and French doors.

Photography: Peter Peirce, Inc.

Day 2: Cobble Hill Carriage House

A freestanding Cobble Hill Carriage house, dating back to 1841, was a rare opportunity for us to repurpose the building while respecting its history. Throughout the building's life, it had been used as a carriage house and an auto repair shop. Then, it became a residential building heavy on cozy, cabinlike details.

We restored the original façade by adding a large barn door to the front of the home. On the interior, an open concept main floor provides a comfy place to entertain. When the barn doors are open, they look out onto the large front garden.

Photography: Peter Peirce

Day 3: Classic Design on the Upper West Side

We truly enjoyed collaborating with Yolanda Brown and Infinity Construction for this Upper West Side townhouse. The challenge in this project was to create a better flow between spaces while respecting and restoring the intact details. The resulting parlor floor has clearly defined spaces that flow comfortably, creating an inviting and cohesive place to entertain.

Day 4: Upper West Side Passive Brownstone

Our renovation of this Upper West Side brownstone became the first Certified LEED for Home Platinum and the first Certified Passive House in Manhattan. We collaborated with Taffera Fine Building and Finishes to reinstall the previously removed stoop and restore all of the missing Renaissance Revival façade details.

Collaboration with BIA Interiors included sourcing materials that would work well with Passive House and LEED standards while creating a warm and inviting home for the family and their large art and antiquities collection.

Photography: Peter Peirce

Day 5: Connecticut Country Home

In the early 1980s, this Connecticut farmer's cottage was one of our firm's earliest projects. Decades later, its owners came back to us for a second renovation. Over the years the family had grown, so our design goals included altering the layout to accommodate overnight guests and increase living space. A small addition acts as an entryway for the three families who share the home.

We were inspired by our client, a professor of choreography, when designing the Dancer's Stair leading from the entryway into the main living space. The spindles dance on reclaimed maple stair treads, sourced from a tree that had been removed on the property years prior.

Photography: Peter Peirce

Day 6: Carroll Gardens Passive House

Sometimes it's what we remove that makes the biggest difference. In this Carroll Gardens Passive House, removing the rear 10 feet of the parlor floor unlocked new possibilities for the narrow townhome. The new double height space allowed for open communication between the garden and parlor floors and allowed natural light to pour into the previously dark garden level kitchen and dining area.

A large rooftop addition provided more space for family living. We carefully designed the addition's mansard and dormers to match the character of the neighborhood.

Photography: Peter Peirce

Day 7: Columbia Heights Brownstone

This project was special because it is among the few townhouses across the Brooklyn Heights Promenade that remained a single-family home throughout its life. Our design goals included emphasizing the vibrant character of our clients, respecting the original character of the building, and incorporating an elevator shaft without interrupting the living and entertainment spaces. The existing main staircase was pulled away from the exterior wall to accommodate an elevator shaft. To mimic natural light in the new stairwell, we recreated the historic window and added a daylight-mimicking light behind it.

Photography: Peter Peirce

Day 8: Brooklyn Heights Elegance

This Brooklyn Heights home came to us with much historic detail, including intricate plaster moldings, intact. Collaboration between clients, BIA Interiors, TPG Construction, and our team allowed us to make the most of the historic home.

We re-imagined classic details like dark hardwood and marble floors, a dramatic fireplace and vintage chandelier, and large arched doorways. Integrating these features with sleek, modern furnishings and cabinetry elevated the formal living room and kitchen. These spaces became the perfect backdrop for the client's beautiful art collection.

Photography: Peter Peirce

Day 9: Cedar Home in Greenpoint

This wood-framed, freestanding house sits just outside a Landmarked District in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and came to us in disrepair. Along with much structural reinforcement, our design strategy included integrating old and new elements into the house. Achieving this created a highly functional home without wiping the building's history.

One of the most dramatic changes we made to the home was removal of the siding, replacing it with new clear cedar to whether naturally with age. We uncovered original masonry when we opened up the walls, a surprise we incorporated into the double-height foyer.

Photography: Adam Kane Macchia

Day 10: Carroll Gardens Townhome

In this Carroll Gardens project, shifting heights on the different levels on the garden and parlor floors created dynamic, interesting spaces. Lowering the rear parlor floorplate allowed for open communication between the kitchen/dining area, living room above, and den below. The lowest level went from a dark, separated space with a low ceiling to one of the most dynamic areas of the home. More to come on this project, as we have recently re-renovated!

Photography: Peter Peirce

Day 11: Eclectic Clinton Hill Rowhome

We wanted to give this narrow Clinton Hill Gold Coast rowhome the graciousness of the wider houses in the neighborhood. The home had most recently housed students, making it a blank canvas to personalize the interior spaces.

Our clients are heavily involved in the arts and were extremely receptive to a vibrant character that made for a lively renovation. Working closely with interior designer Indigo & Ochre, and drawing inspiration from our clients' love of the arts, we were able to push the envelope. The resulting interior spaces are welcoming and come to life.

Photography: Adam Kane Macchia

Day 12: Brooklyn Heights Passive House

This Passive Brooklyn Brownstone was a fun collaboration with Pat Starr Design, our clients, and Taffera Fine Building & Finishes.

The clients wanted open spaces which connected and communicated well with each other. They also wanted interior and exterior spaces to flow effortlessly. Paneling, sculptural molding details, and sleep furnishings create a peaceful home.

Photography: John Muggenborg