Small changes make a big impact in this historic brownstone remodel.

Located in Brooklyn Heights, New York, this landmarked brownstone remodel and addition created extra square footage for a growing family and beautifully re-connected the home to its back garden. The project may have been small, but its impact on the family and home was enormous.

Designed by Ben Herzog of Ben Herzog Architect, the 14-foot-deep addition off the back of the home was inspired by historic tearooms once common to townhomes such as this one. These were bright high-ceilinged spaces on the parlor level intended for entertaining. And even though Herzog was designing a kitchen and not a sitting room per se, he wanted to use light and glass to create an inviting, light-filled space for the family.

“I kind of treated the windows on the back as one big opening, almost like a carriage house or big garage,” Herzog explained. “Just one punched opening in the brick.”

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Large Marvin Ultimate Casement windows on the parlor level connect the home visually to the backyard garden, and fill the remodeled kitchen with warm natural light. Light that also spills into the core of the home, thanks to the large Marvin windows. In the garden level nursery, a Marvin Ultimate Swinging French Door pulls in light and opens wide to unite interior and exterior living spaces. Herzog turned the stairway leading from the parlor level down to the nursery to sneak in a coat closet, further maximizing the functionality of the home and the impact of the remodel.

While the addition is relatively small, the limited scope of the project allowed Herzog to give the small details his full attention and design a thoughtful plan that honored the needs of his client as well as the brownstone’s history.

“What’s nice about a little project like this one is you can focus a lot on the tiny details,” Herzog said.

To help create the historic tearoom look he had envisioned, Herzog framed the new Marvin windows and doors with black acetylated wood. The material lends the property a certain timelessness and historic charm. An ornate black handrail on the stairway leading from the kitchen to the garden is another small detail that enhances the addition’s historic aesthetic.

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The result is a remodel that pays equal respect to the client’s desire for light-filled, contemporary living spaces as it does to preserving the historic aesthetics and character of the building.

“I think Marvin is great for these landmark projects we work on,” Herzog said. “They’re one of the few that make historically accurate giant wood windows.”

The Brooklyn Heights Remodel project was the Best Remodel/Addition winner in the 2018 Marvin Architects Challenge.

Project Highlights:
Name: Brooklyn Heights Addition
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Architect: Ben Herzog
Firm: Ben Herzog Architect

Products Used:
Marvin Ultimate Casement
Marvin Ultimate Swinging French Door

Posted by:The Marvin Family of Brands

The Marvin Companies is a third- and fourth-generation, family-owned and operated business, headquartered in Warroad, Minn. with more than 5,200 employees across 10 cities throughout the United States. The Marvin Family of Brands represents Marvin's fenestration portfolio, which includes Marvin Windows and Doors and its handcrafted wood and wood clad products that are made to order; Integrity Windows and Doors, which pioneered the fiberglass window category with the introduction of its patented Ultrex® fiberglass material; and Infinity Replacement Windows, which offers homeowners a premier line of Ultrex replacement windows with distinctive design. Marvin and its Family of Brands are distributed nationally through a network of independent dealers and are also exported internationally. Visit to learn more.

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