The Insider: Collectors’ South Slope Wood Frame Row House Celebrates All Things Retro

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Rarely do homeowners get to realize a personal vision as thoroughly as the couple who bought a derelict 19th century wood frame row house and transformed it, with the help of architect Michelle Krochmal of Park Slope-based Filament Architecture Studio, into a playful, colorful homage to early and mid-20th century domestic life.

The architect-client relationship began before they’d even decided whether to buy the 1,700-square-foot house. On the advice of a realtor, the prospective homeowners came to Krochmal with a burning question: Is this house fixable? “It was a wreck,” Krochmal recalled. “It hadn’t been touched in many years, and the family that had lived there for a very long time were heavy smokers. Nicotine was in everything.” The house cried out for a thoroughgoing update in every area — layout, mechanical, cosmetic.

All that would have been true for anyone who bought the house. This particular pair “absolutely love 1930s, ’40s and ’50s design,” Krochmal said. “That was the jumping off point.” Collecting Jadeite, green Depression-era tableware, is her passion. He came to the project with a cherished collection of mid-century modern furnishings.

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