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A Light-filled Brooklyn Home (+ thoughts on open-plan living)

Does this home may look familiar to you? It was featured on Apartment Therapy’s Re-Nest blog and later was picked up by the Nate Berkus show, but I somehow missed it and only recently came across this lovely, light-filled home. It really takes my breath away, both the aesthetics of the space and the thought, care, and hard work that homeowners Lyndsay Caleo and Fitzhugh Karol put into making it green and chic. Much of the furniture was built by the couple themselves out of reclaimed or salvaged materials, including that drop dead gorgeous dining table – wow, right?

I love the repurposed sliding barn door, loft bedroom, and all of the built-in shelving. Lyndsay and Fitzhugh blended their own work with vintage finds, filling in with a few new pieces and inexpensive basics from Ikea. Something I really admire is how they were able to pull the bits and pieces together over time yet always keep an overall vision in mind, so the end effect is neat & pulled-together. No small feat!

In their Re-Nest interview, the couple said they were inspired by Scandinavian summer cottages – I can totally feel it, can’t you? In fact, if I didn’t already know this was located in Brooklyn, I would never have guessed! The lofty ceilings and huge walls of windows let the light pour in, and the all-white floors and walls really make the most of it. The whole space is under 1400 sq/ft, but I would much rather live here than in a larger house that was broken up into lots of tiny, dark rooms!

I would love an open-plan home (and wouldn’t mind a bit if it was on the small side), but I do need some private space and would not feel comfortable in a full-on open loft. And while it may seem like a splurge to build custom shelving or closets, when you are working with a small space  where everything is on display, storage can be even more important than furniture – so I would definitely follow Lyndsay and Fitzhugh’s example and take the time and effort to get that part of the design just right.

What about you, how do you feel about open-plan living spaces? Would this feel livable to you or would you rather have a large home with many smaller rooms? It seems to me that in a larger home with lots of little nooks and crannies, much of the space can go unused – many of the older homes here in New England are like that, with fusty little formal living rooms, dens, sitting rooms, etc. Is that common where you live, too? But then again, I can see the appeal of a home with lots of beautiful little jewel-like rooms. Which would you prefer?

(all images Liz Vidyarthi except 1st image, by Emily Gilbert)

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{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Cassie January 24, 2011, 12:51 pm

    As much as I can admire and see the beauty in this home, I myself love my separate rooms. Here in England most houses do have everything split up, of course newly built homes are open plan but traditionally the English do the small cosy room.
    Cassie´s last [type] ..Much Love Monday – Spring Collection

  • Lauren January 24, 2011, 3:54 pm

    Wow I love those bookshelves!


  • Traveling Mama January 25, 2011, 2:42 am

    This definitely feels Scandinavian and even the way they decorate with IKEA, high end, and handmade is very Danish. I couldn’t wait to get into an open plan space, but I have to admit that when we moved into our current apartment it was a huge adjustment. By Danish standards our 1300 sq ft apartment is huge, especially since it has three bedrooms and two baths, but to me it feel soooo small! It’s basically one big room with three bedrooms off the living room. Now that we have been here for a few months we have gotten used to it, but every now and then I am tempted to lust after hallways and more walls!
    Traveling Mama´s last [type] ..for the romantic heart

  • Anne January 25, 2011, 12:06 pm

    I love the Lindsay & Fitzhugh look — lots of white, very clean, with textured furniture, rugs, doors, etc. Personally, I tend to hang out in one space. I like it to be medium sized so it is a little cozy. I also love lots of light — like L & F have. But I too need a small cozy space of my own for retreat, where I can close the door. So I like one medium sized open space with individual enclosed bedrooms or an enclosed library or computer area. I have that now with a combo living and dining room that open onto the kitchen. I am about to paint and carpet my little house (1088 sq. ft.) and am thinking of trying to get the white white look. I hope that white carpets won’t be too hard to keep clean. My neighbor says to get polyester carpets because they clean easily. And she turned me on to “Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover.” It is incredible. It absolutely works on stains I couldn’t get out, or that would disappear for a week or so then come back. Plus it is non-toxic, and free of VOCs, CFC and petroleum. The website is http://www.folex.net. And I don’t work for them! Thank you Laura for this awesome post!

    • Lolalina January 25, 2011, 12:16 pm

      Anne – I agree, I think my ideal home would have an open living/dining/kitchen area + private bedrooms and a cozy office/library. And thanks SO much for the info on the non-toxic carpet cleaner, I have been needing something just like that!! xoxo Laura

  • bein good to me February 2, 2011, 8:13 pm

    I can’t get over that sliding barn door! So creative and it looks amazing.
    bein good to me´s last [type] ..taking school seriously

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