The Brookside Renovation Series – “Styling The Home”

When we last checked in with the Brookside Renovation Project, home renovators and restorers Tom Larkin and Cody Brown were in the beginning stages of bringing a lovely old Brookside beauty back to life.  The home, unchanged in over 50 years, was in desperate need of a makeover and Tom and Cody were poised at the ready to tackle the project to bring the stately residence up to par for today’s homeowners.

Photo: Anna Petrow

After several months of extensive renovations (think stripping the home to the studs) the home is almost ready for it’s big reveal and to open it’s doors to welcome in a new generation of residents.

I recently sat down with Cody Brown to discuss how he approached the design and style in this renovation project.  It always intrigues me when one walks into a home that is in obvious need of a refresh how they choose to proceed.  Do you skew contemporary, or stick with traditional?  Maybe you want cozy, or perhaps you like open space.  When you are tasked with a complete remodel what dictates your design process?

Cody pulled back the design curtain to walk us through his thought process for this project.  I am also including some pictures to give you a peek at some of the changes and to demonstrate the direction in which this home has taken, but only just a peek!  The full reveal will be coming very soon!

Color samples are tested before refinishing the original hardwoods throughout the home.

Cody Brown is a modernist at heart, “every home I do I want to modernize,” he said, “but as this house came to life I pulled back from modern and went more traditional.”  He explained that he always starts a home with a plan but, oftentimes, he ends up editing on the fly based on how the renovations proceed.  Cody also credits his crew for their skill with making changes at a moments notice.  “It’s all a part of the process.  We try to find that balance between function and fun in our design,” he said.

In this home, Tom and Cody’s crew removed hundreds of feet of original moldings prior to demolition.  These moldings were carefully labeled and all were restored in the final project.  Little touches such as this began shaping Cody’s design approach.  “These old moldings are so good,” he said, “I would use more moldings if I could.”  This was one of the factors that shaped the design towards modern traditional.

Original moldings were restored and replaced to maintain the historical integrity of the home.

The home has undergone major changes in terms of construction.  “In this home we removed so many walls that it seemed natural to keep our color palette white on white,” he said, “we then warmed it up with grey and warm wood tones to keep it cozy and warm.  The house feels like it needs to be cozy.” Cody said that maintaining a neutral base color palette allowed for some creativity when choosing fixtures.  “We had fun with the fixtures,” he said, “I always have to have my modern brass but we mixed in some sleek matte black too.  It all came together so well.”

Matte black and brass kitchen faucet.

Butcher block counters add warmth in the new kitchen design. Matte black and brass fixtures complement the new color scheme.

The newly spruced-up mudroom entrance features statement lighting.

Sleek matte black fixtures complement the cool whites and greys in an upstairs bath.

The well maintained home allowed for many items to be incorporated into the current design.  Original doors remain with classic glass doorknobs.

“A huge brick chimney ran straight through the center of the house,” Cody explained, “did we cover that up? No. It’s on full display.”

Indeed, Tom and Cody have worked tirelessly to maintain the historical charm of this home while modernizing it for the way we live today.  The smallest details have not bee overlooked. “We wanted a classic look in the master bathroom, but with a modern edge,” Cody said, “so we chose classic white subway tile but with a beveled edge to give that modern spin.  We also used a gorgeous contemporary tile mosaic in the second floor bath but chose a soft blue color to color to blend with the traditional color scheme.”

The care and attention to detail is evident as you walk through the home.  The new blends so seamlessly with the old that one would have a very hard time guessing what is original and what is not.

“This home has so much light,” Cody said, “My hope is that we have brought in layers to create warmth and compliment the modern elements.  I love this house.”

I have a feeling you are going to love it too.

Keep following along as we come to the big reveal!  You won’t want to miss this transformation and, who knows, maybe this could be your next home!


P.S.-The home is still in construction mode, so please disregard any “messiness” seen in pics.  That will all magically disappear when the house is done!




All photos and content are created by Courtney Payne unless otherwise credited.

1 Comment

  1. Sandra P Haynie, Louisiana
    October 29, 2018 / 8:09 pm

    I saw this house before renovations started. What an undertaking!

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