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A Soulful, Timeless Apartment by Studio Dorion in Brooklyn Heights

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A Soulful, Timeless Apartment by Studio Dorion in Brooklyn Heights

November 7, 2022

We recently came across—and admired—the work of Peter Dolkas and Michelle Ficker of Studio Dorion at the Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse.

Today we’re taking a tour of Dolkas’ former apartment on Willow Street in Brooklyn Heights (he’s since moved on to another neighborhood in Brooklyn). “Michelle and I met when we were both at Billy Cotton, working on interior design projects,” he says. “We’ve worked together for five years; all over the New York area, and also in Litchfield County; we just finished a project in Philadelphia as well.”

We especially like Dolkas’ own Brooklyn Heights project, which is full of clever (and economical) touches. Located in a five-story 1890s building that was a hotel at one point, the apartment has an Old World feel, with stained glass windows and original bathroom. “I lived there for three or four months before I did anything; the main renovation was the kitchen, which was from the 1980s. My goal was to simplify the bones and to create an interior that felt appropriate to the building.”

Photography by Peter Dolkas.

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Above: Dolkas papered the entryway in period-appropriate Willow Bough wallpaper by William Morris. The entry rug is a vintage Moroccan rug from Etsy. The jute rug is from RugsUSA. “I was going for a rush matting look,” he says.
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Above: “The minimalist mantel is Sheetrock that’s been painted; the previous fireplace was nothing special, so this was an easy solution” Dolkas says. “The walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Slipper Satin, and the  trim color is Lime White. I got the mirror at auction and painted the frame matte black.”
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Above: Dolkas found the Georgian book cabinet at a Doyle auction. The Frits Henningson coffee table is also an auction find, and the upholstered sofa is from Showplace Antiques in NYC, covered in a cotton velvet from a wholesaler in the fabric district.
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Above: The unlacquered Hurricane Candle Sconce was designed by Dolkas and is available to order ($350) directly from his studio. “The table came from a job I did with Billy Cotton, and the marbled table lamp is from Housing Works.”
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Above: Dolkas hung a row of vintage Dunster agateware plates adjacent to the mirror.
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Above: An oversize Noguchi Akari lantern provides a focal point in the dining corner. Dolkas propped a live edge coffee table top in the corner; “It looks kind of like a surfboard,” he says.
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Above: Dolkas inherited the Royal Copenhagen Blue Fluted china collection from his grandmother.
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Above: The kitchen countertop is sealed butcher block; the island is topped with a Carrara marble slab Dolkus inherited from a project. The backsplash tiles are undecorated blanks from Regts Delft Tiles, a Dutch firm that specializes in antique tiles. The cabinetry is painted Lime White from Farrow & Ball and the  Pewter Mission Metal Drawer Pulls are from Rejuvenation.
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Above: The stained butcher block counters add a nautical note.
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Above: Custom cabinetry conceals the refrigerator and freezer. Throughout the apartment, Dolkas replaced the light switches from House of Antique Hardware.
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Above: A clip-on Tolomeo Lamp adds additional illumination and a note of modernity. The heavyweight Belgian bed cover is from John Derian, and the overhead lantern is from Jamali Garden (“it was like $5, Dolkas says).
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Above: Dolkas found the antique chest at auction. Area rugs from Paula Rubinstein. The walls are painted with Farrow & Ball’s Treron.
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Above: Opposite the dining table is a corner niche with a built-in bookshelf. Dolkas found the table lamp at an LA vintage shop.
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Above: In the bathroom, Dolkas kept things simple. “I retiled the room with inexpensive subway tiles from Nemo, and added  a striped duster skirt to the original sink. The Framed Medicine Cabinet is from Restoration Hardware.

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