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Required Reading: A Look Inside ‘Workstead: Interiors of Beauty and Necessity’

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Required Reading: A Look Inside ‘Workstead: Interiors of Beauty and Necessity’

October 22, 2021

Stained-glass windows, a turret, a pool: You’d be forgiven for thinking this historic Colonial Revival house, redone by Workstead, was anywhere but New York City, but you’d be mistaken. Surprising but true: It’s located in Prospect Park South in Brooklyn, updated with care by principal Ryan Mahoney and the Brooklyn- and Hudson-based team.

The project is also a highlight of the studio’s first monograph, Workstead: Interiors of Beauty and Necessity, out this month from Rizzoli, which chronicles Workstead’s first 10 years. (We’ve been admirers for just about as long: Our first post on the firm, way back in 2012, began: “If we were betting on the next breakout star in design, we’d put some money on Workstead.”)

A decade later, join us for an inside look at this historic Brooklyn house, one of 10 iconic interiors featured in the book.

Photography by Matthew Williams from Workstead: Interiors of Beauty and Necessity.

the three story house required careful updating. mahoney and the workstead team 9
Above: The three-story house required careful updating. Mahoney and the Workstead team approached the project with three priorities: preserving the house’s historic details, adding fine millwork, and a encouraging a sense of escape and nature, even in the middle of Brooklyn.
a chandelier by brooklyn based plaster artisan stephen antonson hangs in the en 10
Above: A chandelier by Brooklyn-based plaster artisan Stephen Antonson hangs in the entryway.
the mudroom features a pastoral mural (actually wallpaper by gracie, purveyors  11
Above: The mudroom features a pastoral mural (actually wallpaper by Gracie, purveyors of hand-painted designs since 1898) and a vintage clock.
shades of green—a nod to nature—are a recurring theme throughout the projec 12
Above: Shades of green—a nod to nature—are a recurring theme throughout the project.
built in window seats make use of the large curved windows. 13
Above: Built-in window seats make use of the large curved windows.
an original copper mantel depicts a maritime scene; hanging above is a lithogra 14
Above: An original copper mantel depicts a maritime scene; hanging above is a lithograph by Canadian American artist Philip Guston.
a playful addition: the workstead team sourced a pingpong table from bddw to do 15
Above: A playful addition: The Workstead team sourced a pingpong table from BDDW to double as the dining table; the net is simply removed when it’s time for meals. (Another pingpong-table-as-table we love? An Architect’s Own Playful but Serene 19th-Century House in Rome.)
the kitchen is fitted with cabinets by brooklyn based woodworker markus bartens 16
Above: The kitchen is fitted with cabinets by Brooklyn-based woodworker Markus Bartenschlager, a wide blue island, and terracotta floor tiles for a subtle color-blocking effect.
a round bank of windows is fitted with an eating nook with a wrap around bench. 17
Above: A round bank of windows is fitted with an eating nook with a wrap-around bench. (Also spotted: taper candles in bright, surprising hues, a design detail of the moment.)
a powder room highlights the homeowner&#8\2\17;s proclivity for all things  18
Above: A powder room highlights the homeowner’s proclivity for all things vintage.
the library is painted in a deeper hue: farrow & ball&#8\2\17;s studio  19
Above: The library is painted in a deeper hue: Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green. Look closely and you’ll see carved wooden birds adorning the built-in shelves. The flora-patterned sofa is by Neri&Hu.
a study in textures: the layered, eclectic but neutral main bedroom. 20
Above: A study in textures: the layered, eclectic but neutral main bedroom.
the main bathroom is painted in farrow & ball&#8\2\17;s ammonite. among 21
Above: The main bathroom is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Ammonite. Among the details: a clawfoot tub, a hinoki bath mat, and a framed photograph by Hiroshi Sugimoto.
out to the pool. 22
Above: Out to the pool.

Workstead: Interiors of Beauty and Necessity is now available from Rizzoli; it’s $59.80 via Bookshop.

For more by Workstead, see:

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