They Were Looking for a Place With an Elevator. They Found a Lot More.

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On Location

For 1 Brooklyn couple, an online hunt for elevator buildings turned up thing they had nary thought they wanted: a single-family home.

Tim McKeough

Nov. 2, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET

Like galore buyers, Lilly Burns and Tony Hernandez acceptable immoderate parameters to constrictive their online hunt erstwhile they began looking for an flat successful Brooklyn successful aboriginal 2018. In particular, “Our hunt was successful elevator buildings only,” said Ms. Burns, 34, a girl of the filmmaker Ken Burns, who, on with Mr. Hernandez, 46, is simply a spouse successful Jax Media, a tv and movie accumulation institution that has worked connected shows similar “Russian Doll,” “Emily successful Paris” and “Search Party.”

What the mates didn’t expect was that their hunt would besides crook up single-family homes with elevators.

“We were not reasoning we wanted to unrecorded successful a townhouse,” Ms. Burns said. But erstwhile they discovered a listing for a recently constructed location successful Boerum Hill — with 5,000 quadrate feet, 4 stories and its ain elevator — they began to entertain the option.

“It was genuinely an mishap of the hunt settings,” she said.


Lilly Burns and Tony Hernandez, present  expecting their 3rd  child, bought a caller   townhouse with an elevator successful  Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, and hired D2 Interieurs to personalize it.
Credit...Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

After seeing the location successful person, determination was nary turning back. “We came and looked astatine it, and it was conscionable a small spot undeniable successful presumption of lifestyle,” she said, peculiarly arsenic she and Mr. Hernandez had plans to grow their family. (They present person 2 children — Jax, 12, and Lou, 2 — and Ms. Burns is expecting again.) “As idiosyncratic who has lived successful the metropolis for a truly agelong time, it had these benignant of inconceivable elements, similar a parking space, a backyard, each these windows, this immense abstraction and this elephantine basement.”

The mates bought it that March for astir $5.9 million. While they loved the architecture of the space, which includes a eating country with a conception of solid flooring that allows sunlight from skylights to flood the basement media room, they wanted to marque definite the interiors had personality. So earlier moving in, they brought successful Denise Davies, of D2 Interieurs, a plan steadfast based successful Weston, Conn.

Ms. Burns and Mr. Hernandez had met Ms. Davies a mates of years earlier, erstwhile they commissioned D2 to plan their state location successful Redding, Conn. During that project, they were impressed with Ms. Davies’s quality to divine their consciousness of benignant with small guidance, delivering a turnkey location with each past propulsion pillow successful place.

“With the Connecticut project, we were truthful engaged with enactment that we conscionable made each decisions implicit email,” Ms. Burns said. “She is astonishing astatine managing, sending options, overseeing it all, making each the close decisions and serving arsenic a proxy.”

For the couple’s Brooklyn home, Ms. Burns told Ms. Davies that they were hoping for a somewhat Parisian vibe, with modern furnishings acceptable disconnected by classical architectural details. And they wanted each country to consciousness highly comfortable.


Credit...Jane Beiles for The New York Times

As Ms. Davies said, “We truly wanted it to look similar everything had been determination for a while, not similar a brand-spanking-new townhouse that conscionable went up.”

For character, Ms. Davies added touches similar trompe l’oeil wallpaper resembling three-dimensional wood to the ceiling of the entranceway hall, and a slate backsplash on with unfastened wood shelves to the kitchen. She besides lined the walls of the elevator with colorful geometric Kravet wallpaper for a blast of pattern.

For comfort, and to promote casual household hangouts, she designed a heavy built-in sofa for 1 broadside of the kitchen. In the media room, she installed an tremendous customized sectional akin to the 1 she enactment successful the couple’s Connecticut house, due to the fact that she already knew they loved it.

Then she added galore pieces from section designers and manufacturers, including Well pendants by Allied Maker supra the room island, and Circuit sconces from Apparatus and a Modo chandelier from Roll & Hill successful the surviving room.

Ms. Burns and Mr. Hernandez brought their ain eclectic creation postulation to the mix, which includes pieces by Henri Matisse and a enactment by Alia Shawkat, the prima of “Search Party.”

Compared with the colorful, high-energy vibe of the different rooms, the couple’s chamber feels calm, with a palette of off-whites and pink-y taupe. “We were hoping to make a maestro that felt similar a edifice room,” Ms. Burns said. “My hubby and I some emotion to enactment successful hotels, and whenever we question for enactment that’s a existent positive of the experience.”


Credit...Jane Beiles for The New York Times

Most of the enactment was completed successful a fewer months, earlier the household moved successful during the summertime of 2018, though Ms. Davies continued to fine-tune and adhd finishing touches until the extremity of that year. In total, Ms. Burns and Mr. Hernandez spent astir $500,000 connected the interior design.

Now they are thrilled with the townhouse they didn’t cognize they wanted — arsenic good arsenic the elevator that helped them find it.

“This brainsick elevator is thing we wouldn’t person ever thought we would privation oregon need, but someway usage each the time,” Ms. Burns said, particularly for schlepping laundry and luggage. “Never underestimate your laziness.”

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