Remarkably authentic, a renovated Clinton Hill townhouse—one of three in its row—exudes artful composure that contextualizes its past in present tense. By E.J. Kelley
The right remodel fits like a good pair of shoes — and au contraire to the motto of E.D. Burt, the Downtown Brooklyn cobbler whose owner once called this stately townhouse home, the best is not the cheapest.
But the superlative is just what you’ll find at 331 Washington Avenue, a pedigreed c.1878 Neo-Grec reborn at the masterful hand of designer-owner Michelle Smith.
Measuring in at just over 4,500 square feet, 331 is a well-sized single-family residence with four bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths, spacious enough to grow into yet intimate enough to exude effortless warmth. The home remains faithful to its original floor plan, spare a round of musical rooms played during the renovation that shuffled the kitchen up to the first floor and saw its former habitat reconfigured as a garden-level apartment, easily convertible to a standalone one-bedroom unit.
For Smith, whose Studio MRS Interiors headquarters nearby in a storefront on DeKalb by Fort Greene Park, it was the chance of a lifetime—the house that broke the once-avowed Manhattanite and convinced her to give Brooklyn living a go.
“It was the space, the details, the opportunity to create en suite baths and closets,” Smith remarked. “And, maybe mostly, the restaurants in the neighborhood.”