Montgomery Place Townhouse
Montgomery Place Townhouse
The townhouse at 45 Montgomery Place is a short distance from the western edge of Prospect Park. Like other properties in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope, the home possesses an air of historical significance. Deciding how best to preserve its original details, amid a plan to fully modernize it, is where this renovation began.
Built in 1898 by the architecture firm Babb, Cook & Willard, the house graces the street with a limestone and brick exterior. A staircase from the sidewalk leads up to the main floor, where the front door opens to reveal an expansive common area comprised of what was once four separate spaces. Walls came down, but the original moldings were left intact and replicated where necessary to create a bright, airy room that balances history and modernity.
The home’s original herringbone wood floors were also replicated with warm-toned, double-wide wood planks. The fireplaces were preserved, as was the spiral staircase, now in a dramatic shade of jet black. The light fixtures strike a contemporary note with geometric designs and metallic finishes, while the furnishings blend graceful curves with soft textures and introduce a palette of neutrals punctuated with bright pops of yellow.
The decision to open up the first floor provided the principle upon which the renovation would proceed. That is, the design would be contextual, blending elements of the traditional, transitional and contemporary. For instance, the staircase’s original banister would be preserved, winding its way past a clean-lined brass sconce crafted using time-honored methods and juxtaposing the wholly modern furniture. This synergy manifested both within the details of each space and from room to room. The dining room, an oval-shaped room located at the back of the newly opened-up first floor, kept its walls and still serves its earliest intended function. This room’s design stands in stark relief to the light-filled common space with its black moldings, dark floral wallpaper and eggplant velvet dining chairs.
Downstairs on the garden level, the main kitchen features white cabinetry and coordinating stone countertops that add a traditional backdrop for the stainless steel appliances and gleaming silvertone fixtures. This floor also includes a cozy sitting room in a color scheme of neutrals and pastels, as well as this home’s only wood-burning fireplace. Outside, the garden area features tiers of lush greenery dripping over wood paneling. An outdoor kitchen, dining table and lounge area create a luxurious al fresco living space.
On the second floor, the master bedroom is designed with a soothing palette of mauve, taupe and beige. This tranquil space features preserved moldings, as does the original closet leading to the master bath. A second master closet was added by converting an adjoining bedroom, sealing off its door to the hallway and outfitting it with dark blue cabinetry custom-made to coordinate with the home’s existing woodwork. The guest bedroom on this floor, like all bedrooms in this home, features authentic moldings offset by modern furnishings.
The third floor features whimsically decorated children’s bedrooms and a playroom outfitted with a climbing wall and a built-in playhouse, as well as an office, nanny’s room, and laundry room.
The home’s original interior design scheme didn’t quite survive more than 100 years of different owners, which allowed for an open-ended interpretation of how exactly to update the structure. Now, it balances an esteem for the past with needs of modern living.