A historical townhouse in New York City gets a modern interior design makeover

A historical townhouse in New York City gets a modern interior design makeover

Although it is common practice for design exhibitions to be short-lived, the latest collaboration in New York City between three Brooklyn-based design practices even pushes that to the limit. Earlier this summer, furniture studio Coil + Drift and rug company Cold Picnic created a temporary environment within a six floor, 19th century townhouse in the borough’s Prospect Heights neighbourhood, which fellow Brooklynite Hatchet Design Build had just renovated.

Thoroughly gutted, with several original features such as original carpentry, staircases, walnut pocket doors and fireplaces being meticulously restored, the historical townhouse was carefully brought into contemporary times. Split into a two family home, the landmarked property boasts several custom, built-in elements by Good Dog Rosie fabrication studio that helps to bring both past and present together.

‘[This was] an exercise in tactical restoration,’ says Zach Rockhill, Hatchet Design Build’s principle. ‘Preserving the most striking details that give the home its undeniable character, while introducing the infrastructure and amenities that will ensure that same character will endure for another century more.’

Coil + Drift interior design project

Inside apartments designed by furniture studio Coil + Drift and rug company Cold Picnic. Photography: Nicolas Calcott

To really inject a feeling of home, Hatchet invited Coil + Drift and Cold Picnic to each style one of the apartments and bring them to life. Coil + Drift founder John Sorensen-Jolink recalls, ‘a member of [Hatchet’s] team reached out as we were prototyping [our] new collection and asked if I’d be interested in styling a townhouse using our new pieces. We did a walk-through and I knew that our design languages would live well together. The space was also really beautiful and it would be a perfect place to show our latest work.’

Deciding that it would be more fun to work together on the whole house, Sorensen-Jolink and Cold Picnic’s Phoebe Sung created an environment that effortlessly flowed from room to room. ‘We wanted the objects to feel displayed and also for the architecture to be featured’, says Sorensen-Jolink. ‘Phoebe and I have worked together before and knew that our objects lived well together. Cold Picnic’s rugs and quilts bring color and asymmetric curves that compliment Coil + Drift’s material-forward and sculptural, symmetrical designs.’

He adds, ‘I was personally drawn to the parlour living room and kitchen, so I knew I wanted to lead the design of those spaces, and Phoebe had amazing ideas for the den and rooftop deck. The rest of the spaces we developed concepts together and then allowed ourselves to make changes in the moment.’

Immortalised in these images by photographer Nicolas Calcott, the results of the joint effort powerfully showcase Brooklyn design in both its past and present states. §

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