Book Nook – Brooklyn, NY

Book Nook: A Family of bibliophiles 980-square foot corner Unit, on the top floor of a cooperative building in Brooklyns’ Windsor Terrace neigborhood

This project was crafted for a family of three, passionate bibliophiles.  What was a cramped and dated 1953 unit was opened up and then softened with over 85 linear feet of sinuous Baltic birch millwork that flows from the front door, into the kitchen, through the library, across the living room and into the hallway. The millwork encompasses the kitchen cabinets and banquette, a desk, extensive library shelving and reading benches, closet doors and a living room credenza.  Pegboards with a variety of wooden boxes can be constantly reconfigured, allowing the design to adapt to different needs of their growing book collection and eight year old son. 

 

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS

Tessa – Our original design called for a white refrigerator. When the white fridge arrived (I won’t name names) it did not live up to expectations or it’s claims of being “counter depth”. Unfortunately, at this point, all of the millwork had been built and installed and the opening left for the fridge was very specific. Ultimately, we switched to a panel ready fridge that was taller but the same width as the original.  As the new fridge made a very slow journey from Italy, we modified the cabinet over the fridge into a shorter open cubby that is perfect for wine and fabricated panels for the fridge face and chunky wooden handles that were in keeping with the ones we had already fabricated for the dishwasher. The wooden panel fridge and added wine rack ended up being stronger visually than the white fridge!

 

NEVER GROW OLD

Zeb – Speaking of the refridgerator… the new fridge was about a ½” too tall to fit in the building’s elevators and the client’s unit is on the 5th floor!  There’s nothing gracious about the ceiling heights in this building and the fridge had to go up the stairs, on a dolly, at an angle.  It ended up being a massive team effort to get the behemoth up 5 floors. There was much cajoling, cheering, brute force, sweat and swapping bodies out at each landing to make it happen. Thankfully, I’m still holding onto some of my youth!

 

TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK

Tessa – When we first dove into the design phase it wasn’t our intention to build the cabinetry in house. As we got further into the design there were several factors at play (including control issues) that convinced us to take on the build ourselves.  I like some curves and I wasn’t shy about incorporating them, but we hadn’t built truly curved millwork before!
Zeb – This is about the time Tessa exits stage left and I get to figure out the build! I hadn’t done that much homework since I was a teenager but I came out of this project with a complete education, a bunch of curved millwork, an arsenal of curve templates, and a pretty cool vacuum press.