Jordan and Barry of Brownstone Boys have been painstakingly renovating their historic Brooklyn brownstone since January 2019, and with every project, the 130-year-old beauty gets better and better. But their mid-century modern main bedroom, featuring floating shelves, custom closets and a bold bedroom accent wall, might be our favorite transformation yet.
The design aficionados, who also offer renovation project management services, have met their fair share of challenges in their new home, from permit issues to a leaky skylight. In the bedroom, they faced an issue that’s common in older homes: an awkward former fireplace.
The fireplace had been bricked up and covered long ago, but the bump-out remained and it made furniture placement near impossible. The wall where the chimney stuck out was the only logical spot for a bed, but the bump-out wasn’t centered, and it was too narrow. There was no option that didn’t lead to an awkward space somewhere.
“We taped out different size beds in every direction of the room,” Jordan and Barry said. “We were going to give up having a queen size bed, but we knew we deserved better!”
Finally, Barry came up with a genius solution: extending the bump-out to perfectly fit the width of their bed and narrow nightstands and create a bedroom accent wall focal point. The presence of a radiator meant they had to still leave a small niche on one side of the bump out so they used an old butcher block from Ikea to create floating shelves to fill the inset as a clever DIY hack. By embracing their architectural challenge, the pair ended up with a stunning accent wall and custom built-in shelves.
Of course, a space this special deserves the perfect paint color. Luckily, Barry and Jordan are “early planners”: They’d taken the Clare Color Genius quiz and ordered their swatches before they even started demolition on their home.
“Going paint shopping is so overwhelming with so many little sample cards,” Jordan and Barry noted. “We did the online test and it gave us Goodnight Moon and a few others that we would love. It made the decision easy and fun.”
While the rest of the brownstone’s palette is light and airy with mostly whites on the wall, Barry and Jordan knew that their bedroom accent wall idea would be the centerpiece of the room, and they had the deep shade of blue in mind immediately.
“We adhered the Goodnight Moon sample patch to the walls and just stared at it for days and days, and we knew it was the right color,” Barry said. “It has a dark blue grey that I love and it has a warm color that Jordan was attracted to.”
Though the alluring navy was the frontrunner, they opened their top two picks, Goodnight Moon and Deep Dive, up to an Instagram poll. The crowd on social media agreed: Goodnight Moon was the clear winner. Once the pair found their perfect buttery leather headboard, it was a done deal. The rest of the room was given a fresh coat of our perfect warm white, Whipped which keeps the space feeling airy and bright.
The main bedroom faces north and gets less sun than other rooms in the brownstone, but the Perfect Eggshell sheen lets the light bounce around — and Jordan and Barry are thrilled with the finished product.
“We wanted a retreat that had a different feeling than other rooms in the home and somewhere where we could unwind at the end of the day,” they said. “We intentionally put the room in the back of the building so the windows look out into the backyard with huge trees. We like to think of our room as The Treehouse because of the beautiful views of limbs and leaves!”