We are excited to be working on a NYC Brownstone renovation at the moment. It is a pleasant departure from the corporate design work that fills a typical day. Immersing myself in the details of late 1860's Anglo-Italianate design is both fun and challenging at the same time. Brought in to help manage the project half-way through, my job has been to unravel the knots of all the previous vendor correspondence and polish off the skeleton set of plans left by the previous architect. Along the way existing site conditions and the challenge of helping the contractor keep on budget and on schedule are what have kept me and the project focused.
In general, as the design details develop, the key is to honor the existing details and add classic yet contemporary accents as we go. Working with high end consultants such as interior designers, millworkers, expeditors, and general contractors is key. This week we got a fireplace consultant on site to review the existing non-compliant fireboxes and set up a survey of the flues to see how much repair and upgrade works needs to be done to bring the seven existing fireplaces up to code and into the 21st century with gas starters and log sets that look original but function with ease.
Here is a photo of one of these original, hand-carved, marble fireplace surrounds. Isn't it beautiful?