Clinton Hill

This crumbling landmarked townhouse received a historically-correct facelift, but appearances can be deceiving: Inside, an eclectic modern design fused with old-world touches and Passive House efficiency brought this 19th Century home roaring back into the 21st Century.

After the shaky bones were shored up and re-structured, the boxy brownstone was livened up with an abundance of sensual curves. The oculus skylight embedded in custom plasterwork at the top of the house sends light cascading down a brand new elliptical stair and over hand-drawn plaster moldings.

A vibrant color palette makes even the most historic details—such as multi-piece passage and window trim--look anything but old hat. Even a code-required roof egress ladder is an opportunity to say it loud.