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House Call: Elizabeth Roberts in Brooklyn


House Call: Elizabeth Roberts in Brooklyn

February 7, 2011

New York-based designer Elizabeth Roberts grew up in Mill Valley, studied architecture at Berkeley, earned a masters in historic preservation at Columbia, and worked in the offices of William Turnbull in Northern California and Beyer Blinder Belle in New York before setting up her own practice. Roberts recently renovated an Italianate brownstone in Clinton Hill (“the poshest neighborhood in Brooklyn in the late 1880s,” she says), which she gutted and redesigned to encompass a six-bedroom residence for her family along with a two-bedroom rental unit. To see more of her work, go to Elizabeth Roberts Design.

N.B. For sourcing ideas, consult Trade Secrets: Elizabeth Roberts Fixtures & Fittings.

Above: The elegant brownstone facade of Roberts’ 1860s home in Brooklyn.

Above: The entryway features the original marble floor and a new slim radiator from Governale.

Above: Roberts dyed the original battered floors using a mix of half dark mocha and half black and painted the stairs and balusters in high-gloss floor paint.

Above: In the dining room, Roberts carved out a niche from a blocked-up fireplace to accommodate a Tuscan grill from the Gardener in Berkeley.

Above: Roberts widened the opening between the hallway and the living room to create a loftlike space.

Above: Roberts installed a Glass Cluster Chandelier from Generate in the dining area.

Above: An oak Big Sur Table with bench from Crate & Barrel stands up to the rigors of family life.

Above: The countertops and kitchen shelf are made from sealed, glass-reinforced poured concrete (“because the material is reinforced, you can achieve slimmer proportions,” Roberts says). The backsplash is made from marble tile that Roberts sourced from Craig’s List. The Kosing cabinet knobs are from Ikea (“They were $1.99 for a six-pack and were meant to be a placeholder, but I’ve grown to like them”).

Above: The simple bed is from Ikea and the striped throw is from Missoni; the pale blue double sconce by Brooklyn-based David Weeks came from a sample sale. The side chair is a thrift store find upholstered in pinstriped men’s suiting material from a Lower East Side fabric store.

Above: Roberts found the adhesive letters by Les Nouveaux Enlumineurs at The Collection in Paris. The retro-styled Roberts Radio from the UK can be sourced from Anthropologie.

Above: The midnight blue Simone Linen Pillow Covers are from Area.

Above: The slipper chair is covered in indigo resist-dyed mudcloth from Bola International Boutique on West 125th Street. “The narrow shelf over the tub looks custom because it’s extra long, but it’s actually a Ribba picture ledge from Ikea mounted upside down,” Roberts says.

Above: In the guest bath, Roberts used a Pedestal Lavatory Top sink by Marc Newson for Porcher paired with a Speakman faucet. The floor is 1-by-2-inch statuary marble tiles with gray grout, and the matte subway tile is from American Olean.

Above: The washer and dryer are from LG.

Above: In the children’s bath, Roberts used simple penny round tiles, which she ran up the plumbing wall. The tub is original to the house (Roberts had it resurfaced) and the sink is by Duravit.

Elizabeth Roberts is well practised at renovating Brooklyn townhouses; see A Brownstone in Brooklyn, Reborn for more.

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