The clients, an artist, poet and professor and her husband, a poet and administrator, purchased a row house in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, where they wanted to find interesting ways to bring color and light in and to create spaces for each of them to live and work and to display their extensive collection of art and books. The design brief also called for special accommodations for their two shy but inquisitive cats to be able to navigate through small and high places and escape from unexpected guests. The layout was configured as an open, airy twenty by fifty foot by ten foot tall primary living space on the parlor floor lined on one side by a full-length bookshelf, art wall, and cat circulation and lounge space. Shelves project to create steps for the cats to climb up to a continuous open ledge where they can observe activities from a high vantage point. Trap doors allow the cats access to rooms above at either end of the house. Inset in the shelf wall is an art piece designed by the owner: a diorama of a living room concealed behind a front door painted to match the front door of the house. Other recesses house the owners’ collection of hand sculptures and a series of rubik’s cubes recovered with cloud images also designed by the owner. The surface is punctuated by blocks of Benjamin Moore’s Melon Popsicle in the shelf niches. At the center, a skylight brings light all the way past the second floor down to the level of the living space.
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