The designers behind The Brooklyn Home Company give everything they create a custom lookeven when that means dipping an old chandelier into a bucket of liquid rubber. Founded in 2006 by Bill Caleo, with his sister, metalworker Lyndsay Caleo, and her boyfriend, Fitzhugh Karol (both Rhode Island School of Design graduates), the firm brings an artistic sensibility to its projects. Made-to-order furniture has become one of the trio's signatures, but they also design beautiful spaces with a minimalist color palette (usually white walls and black and brown furniture), salvaged materials and a high-low mix that combines inexpensive pieces with their handcrafted work.
For Brooklyn Home, giving a bespoke look to any room can be as simple as adding a contrasting stripe of white lacquer paint to the legs of a wooden table, or as complex (and dangerous) as using a chain saw to make a counter support out of a tree trunk. "I thought about sculpture from a purely artistic angle for so long, but working with furniture made me think more about function," says Karol. "It's exciting to combine the two." thebrooklynhomecompany.com.
The Brooklyn Home Company’s Kitchen Details
It's made from reclaimed sapele wood, which is similar to mahogany but harder and more water-resistant. The designers cut a knife block into the wood on the table's far end.
Antique iron shelf brackets add to the Old World feel of the kitchen. Similar styles are available at Van Dyke's Restorers. vandykes.com.
Mixing an antique 1930s cast-iron sink (an online find) with something new, like American Standard's Amarilis Heritage faucet, is a Brooklyn Home trademark. From $275 for faucet; americanstandard-us.com.
Lyndsay chose a basic ticking-stripe fabric for the under-sink cabinet curtain. "Doors just made the kitchen look a little too polished," she says.
The Brooklyn Home Company’s Custom Pieces
Custom Piece: Island
The countertop is made from an L-shaped piece of salvaged oak; the support was carved from a tree trunk with a chain saw, then coated with white lacquer paint.
Karol made the plain dining table, then painted thick stripes of white lacquer on the legs for a striking contrast. The chairs are from Ikea and West Elm. Flat-backed Ikea Norvald chair, $70; ikea.com. Curved West Elm Windsor dining chair, $149; westelm.com.
The Brooklyn Home team added sleek built-in black cabinets, painted in Ralph Lauren Surrey, to contrast with the traditional white cake molding in this Brooklyn brownstone. For a pop of color, they coated a wire-frame chandelier in red liquid rubber. "I dipped it in four or five times to get a really drippy, oozy look," Karol says.
By using boards of different lengths, Karol created an interesting sawtooth effect on one end of a kitchen island. "It was just a subtle element, so you can see that this was handmade," he says.