Camilla Gale and Zach Aarons had never lived in a stand-alone house before 2007. So when the two Manhattan-born then-20-somethings—who had grown up in apartment buildings their entire lives—made the move to Brooklyn and bought a brownstone, a renovation was the last thing on their minds. “We needed to really spend some time to understand how we would be living here,” explains Aarons.
The couple was content with the fact that their 19th-century Italianate house was a block from Fort Greene Park and a short walk from Gale’s former fashion boutique, Thistle & Clover. Fast-forward to having a few kids (Rhyse, 9, Wes, 5, and Margot, 2) and, suddenly, the pokey downstairs layout and lack of storage or natural light no longer made sense. Not to mention that a painting made out of bubblegum, a gift from Aarons’s mother that hung on the top floor under a skylight, had melted in the summer heat. If nothing else, they urgently needed central air.
A Secret Water Closet
The couple tasked Alan Barlis and Liza Paredes of BarlisWedlick with the remodel and, from the moment they first walked in, one thing was clear: The powder room that blocked