year in review

Curbed’s Most-Read Great Rooms Stories of 2023

Photo: Wendy Goodman, Sean Davidson, Michael Moran, The Steven Cohen Team of Douglas Elliman, Annie Schlechter, William Jess Laird

Wendy Goodman is not just on the hunt for good taste. In rustling up the subjects of her column, she is looking for interesting people who live strikingly individual, sometimes peculiar, often inspiring New York City lives. The most-read of her columns this year tell these human stories of whimsy (see: Ellen van Dusen’s mosaic-tiled Bed-Stuy backyard), fantasy (Charles Renfro’s Fire Island Pines beach house), practicality (the couple who turned a decaying Bohemian garret into a sleek modern home), and compromise (the sisters who share a Lefferts Gardens townhouse they renovated).


The Soho Loft ‘Bad Paintings’ Bought

Photo: Jason Schmidt

Artist Neil Jenney paid just $36,000 for this 11,000-square-foot space in 1973. It was “completely unlivable.” Read the story …


Making the Garden Grow in Bed-Stuy

Photo: Annie Schlechter/B)annieschlechter 2023

Real-estate broker JC Garcia-Lavin and his partner, stylist George Fesser, had a barren backyard when they bought their house in 2019. The garden they planted is anything but that. Read the story …


The Entirely Affordable, Cheerfully Modernist El Borinquen in the Bronx

Photo: Michael Moran

The architect Alexander Gorlin is a modernist, and his firm’s El Borinquen Residence, an affordable- and supportive-housing development in the Bronx, draws on those vibrant mid-century traditions. Read the story …


Floating Bedrooms in a Williamsburg Loft

Photo: Alan Tansy

Matt Spangler wasn’t sure he wanted to move from Soho to Brooklyn until he walked through this space on the top floor of the former Esquire Shoe Polish factory in Williamsburg. He asked architect Keith Burns for more space and light. Read the story…


Push and Pull on a Park Avenue Co-op Renovation

Photo: William Jess Laird

Interior designer Olivia Song worked with a couple whose aesthetics were “polar opposites.” Read the story …


Charles Renfro’s Fire Island Beach House Feels Like a Stage

Photo: Annie Schlechter

Architect Charles Renfro bought the simple first house Horace Gifford designed on Fire Island and added only outdoor rooms. Read the story …


The Sisters Who Share a Townhouse in Prospect–Lefferts Gardens

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Zoë Wendel moved into her sister’s three-story house to help with renovations. She made this floor entirely her own. Read the story …


From a Decaying Bohemian Skylit Garret to a Modern Home

Photo: The Steven Cohen Team of Douglas Elliman

Kay Lee and Jonathan Chong were beguiled by the crumbling walk-up on West 11th Street. But then they had to live in it. Read the story …


Ellen Van Dusen’s Big Backyard Mosaic in Bed-Stuy

Photo: Sean Davidson

Thirty friends pitched in on Ellen Van Dusen’s big Bed-Stuy mosaic. “It felt like a quilting group.” Read the story …


A Studio Fit For Two

Photo: William Jess Laird

Kristoffer Cusick, an actor, and his husband, Dan Hickle, bought their West Village co-op a decade ago as a pied-à-terre. But then they decided to live in it. Read the story …

Curbed’s Most-Read Great Rooms Stories of 2023