Brownstone Renovation for Growing Family

An outdated Brooklyn brownstone needed help to accommodate the changing lifestyle of a young, growing family. Susana Simonpietri of Chango & Co. used layers of different materials, strategic built-ins and well-placed mirrors to create more storage and light in a building defined by its limited availability of both.
Formal Living Room With Custom Made Mirrors

Formal Living Room With Custom Made Mirrors

Inspired by the Blue Hare above the mantel, a color scheme of burnt orange and light blue decorates the room. A duo of custom-made mirrors works to brighten up the space by reflecting the natural light.

Photo by: Ball & Albanese

Ball & Albanese

When it comes to New York City architecture, many people dream of soaring penthouses on Park Avenue, but Chango & Co. designer Susana Simonpietri is forever in awe of the more understated brownstones of Brooklyn.

Simonpietri believes that by restoring a brownstone to its former glory, it’s like taking time to remember the city as it used to be. So that’s exactly what she did for this brownstone.

Designing for a couple with plans to expand their young family, Simonpietri took a dark, cavernous space and transformed it into a mix of its original character and its new owners.

They were a great combination of classic elegance and relaxed modernity
Creative Director Susana Simonpietri

With only a single wall of windows in a very long room, light was sparse in the living space. Thanks to the help of two custom-made mirrors, the whole living space now glistens with light.

"I am still in awe of the giant mirrors in the living room and how they transformed that room for the better," Simonpietri says of the space.

Park Slope Brownstone Entry

Like the brownstone itself, this small vestibule is charmingly old-school with a lot of history.

Photo By: Ball & Albanese

Bright Foyer With Dark Wood Stair Railing

Clean white wainscoting offsets the dark hardwood floors and stair rails in this entry. A stunning gold mirror and some fresh flowers are there to greet guests on their way in.

Entry Staircase With Custom Wainscoting

Deep hardwood floors contrast the light walls and custom wainscoting in this beautiful entry.

Entry Leads Into Formal Living Room

The bright formal living room welcomes guests as soon as they enter this brownstone, setting the tone for the rest of the home.

Formal Living Room With Custom Made Mirrors

Inspired by the Blue Hare above the mantel, a color scheme of burnt orange and light blue decorates the room. A duo of custom-made mirrors works to brighten up the space by reflecting the natural light.

Custom Mirrors in Pale Blue Living Room

Large mirrors in the living room help to make the space feel like it continues in width and allow light to bounce through the room. "I am still in awe of the giant mirrors in the living room and how they transformed that room for the better," says designer Susana Simponpietri.

Soft Blue Dining Room With Sputnik Glass Chandelier

Custom built-ins of white wood, mirrored backs and a marble top were added in the dining room creating ample storage space. A vintage Sputnik glass chandelier hangs above the dining table with a mix of bench seating, simple orange chairs and neutral slipcovered armchairs.

Vintage Sputnik Chandeliers in Living and Dining Room

Two vintage sputnik chandeliers hang over the living and dining room. With an organic shape which feels open and airy both on and off, these glass pieces fit perfectly with the home's aesthetic.

Powder Room With Graphic Pink Wallpaper

Graphic wallpaper and an elegant mirror create a stylish powder room with a vibrant personality.

Dreamy Master Bedroom With Custom Built-Ins

The dreamy blue master bedroom features custom mirrored built-ins, crisp white linens and a soothing paint palette.

Custom Upholstered Headboard in Master Bedroom

A custom upholstered headboard pairs with crisp white linens, complementing the soothing blue walls in this master bedroom.

Photo By: Ball & Albanese

Custom Headboard in Blue Master Bedroom

A simple palette with small, romantic details like the herringbone throw and vase of white roses makes this master bedroom feel relaxing and inviting.

Soothing Blue Master Bedroom with Custom Upholstered White Headboard

A custom upholstered headboard pairs with crisp white linens, complementing the blue walls in this master bedroom. A marble fireplace and custom mirrored built-ins make this a true retreat.

Beveled Mirror Built-Ins in Master Bedroom

These beautiful built-ins were custom made with beveled mirrors to help reflect the natural light and make the space appear bigger. They also provide the linear storage the master suite was missing.

Blue Master Bath with Marble Flooring

Artwork is prominently featured in this soothing blue master bath with marble flooring and chrome hardware.

Cozy Sitting Room with Marble Fireplace

Library lights spotlight object art and beloved books on custom built-in shelving. The cool blue tones of the room flow from the art piece above the marble fireplace mantle.

Cool Blue Living Room With Marble Fireplace

Library lights spotlight object art and beloved books in the family room while a marble fireplace offers the perfect excuse to sit and relax. Cool blue tones flow from the piece above the mantle, inspiring this laid-back palette.

Custom Built-Ins in Blue Family Room

Custom built-ins offer storage for the client's collection of art books and sculptures. A tufted sofa and blue club chairs provide comfortable seating around the marble fireplace.

Eclectic Home Office With Tufted Chairs & Exposed Brick

Inspired by the classic character of this brownstone, designer Susana Simonpietri decided on an old-school, minimal look for this home office with a view.

Pale Pink Nursery With Feathered Chandelier

A pale pink palette with some brighter accessories will allow this small nursery to transform easily with time. Small touches like the feathered chandelier, pastel drapes and romantic roses keep a feminine feel.

Chic, Understated Gallery Wall in Girl's Nursery

A simple gallery wall adorns the space above the crib in this girl's nursery. Accessories are fun feminine but will adapt well as she grows.

Photo By: Ball & Albanese

Simonpietri styled the color palette around the couple’s own artwork. Two special pieces adorn the living room and den mantels, inspiring a stream of cool tones throughout the home.

With the main living area behind them, only the master bedroom was left to complete. The walls are washed in a cool blue, mirrored in the custom built-ins to open up the room. While the palette remains simple, layers of fabric and material built on each other to enhance the room’s size.

The idea of layering seemed perfect to Simonpietri at the project’s start, but once the renovation began her nerves set in. As the project got underway, it reinforced Simonpietri’s faith in herself and her intuition as layers of design came together perfectly.

“At times we wondered if it would all be too much, but it was interesting to see how all those well-placed layers provide a perfect balance of fullness and richness,” Simonpietri says. “What I learned is to trust my intuition always, and to not be afraid of mixing it up as much as my imagination tells me to.”

To re-create this look, Simonpietri suggests choosing a light wall color and then playing with the accessories. A patterned pillow or lively lamp is just what a room needs to inject personality. She also mentions using a consistent style of furnishings to make the home fluid.

“The same drapery fabric was used for all public spaces, as well as similar lighting fixtures, and the same floor and ceiling moldings were used throughout the entire home,” she says.

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Chango & Co.
chango.co 793-A Willoughby Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11206 718-455-2000