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Simple Moves Make a Big Difference

A duplex in an elegant Clinton Hill townhouse gets tweaked every so slightly.

The living room. Photo: Alan Tansey
The living room. Photo: Alan Tansey

Sometimes a developer will take a hands-off approach with a glorious piece of architecture, but they still leave fingerprints. That was the case here when a curator and her husband first spied this stately duplex on a quiet street in Clinton Hill. It was pretty spectacular, with 11.5-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, marble fireplace, and dental moldings in perfect shape. Still, changes were in order, as seen above on the parlor floor in the living room, where architects Kit and Philipp von Dalwig put down a new floor of Madera Flatlands in seven-inch engineered wide planks. The painting over the fireplace is by Math Bass and the double portrait to the left is by Beauford Delaney. The coffee table is an artwork by New York–based artist Jessi Reaves.

Another view into the living room, with its Matter Made Arca single-tier chandelier and pair of leather-and-steel chairs from Design Within Reach. The windows throughout the duplex have been replaced with Dependable Windows, using Marvin in the front and Weather Shield on the garden side of the house. Photo: Alan Tansey
“Our goals were to bring in light!” Kit von Dalwig says. “As usual, we take the approach to rethink the quality of space and find some simpler moves to bring more value and spatial quality to the home.” One addition to that end was the arched window, seen here, in the open dining/kitchen. It gives “more depth and perspective out,” Kit says. The five different pendants hanging over the dining table are by designer Julia Jessen. Photo: Alan Tansey
The kitchen island and cabinetry are also new and from Reform, which makes custom fronts for Ikea cabinets. Photo: Alan Tansey
“We reorganized the garden level,” Kit says. “We moved the master bedroom to the rear and enlarged one window towards the yard [seen here].” They also eliminated one window just under the deck stair, not seen here. “This refocused the master bedroom to the better viewpoint.” The storage along the walls doesn’t impose on the space. Photo: Alan Tansey
A dose of jazzy pattern elevates the space in a small bathroom. This wonderful mix is Dzek Marmoreal with tadelakt wall surrounding the tub, adding a touch of whimsical elegance to complete the now-perfect home for the happy owners. Photo: Alan Tansey

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An Elegant Duplex Where Simple Moves Made a Big Difference