Author Archives: MattBrooklyn

Design Ideas to Brighten Up Your Brownstone

When you think of Brooklyn living, you think of brownstone apartments. The brownstone offers vintage charm with high ceilings, decorative molding and pocket doors. Unfortunately, brownstones can also be dark with awkward bathroom and walking spaces. To keep your brownstone from feeling like a dungeon, there are some simple tips to help you decorate your space and brighten things up.

Let there be light! Depending on the angle of your Brownstone (or if you have a corner lot) it can be a bit difficult to brighten up your living space with just natural light. This makes it very important to have adequate lighting in each room. You may consider installing overhead light fixtures and investing in floor lamps. The type of light bulb you use is also important. Full spectrum light bulbs emit natural looking light which can help augment the lack of sun light in your brownstone. Paint your walls a light color to help reflect sunlight into open spaces. A white shade is the best way to accomplish this goal.

Color your life. Adding bright colors with accent pieces really make a room pop. Consider red decorative pillows or a throw on your neutral colored furniture couch. You can also be creative with your lamp shades and chairs. Another great way to add a little spark to your space is to paint one of your walls a bright color. Try a bright yellow as an accent wall. This will make a room pop as well as help reflect light and brighten up the space.

Furniture types. This is always a touchy subject because it is all about personal preference and budget. Your best bet is to invest in furniture that is more modern than Victorian. Modern furniture is more adaptable and most of the time uses brighter colors and less space that their Victorian counterparts. While modern furniture can range from incredibly expensive to downright affordable, choosing the right pieces that will last should be your number one goal. Now that you have invested in your space, you should make sure your brownstone is secure in order to protect you new investment

Security with style. Since Brooklyn brownstones were built many years ago, most do not have sufficient security. Your first step is to install deadbolt locks on your doors and an alarm system. Second, you need to use them! If you live on the first floor make sure your window bars are secure. If you do not have window bars, you should consider installing them. They are not the most attractive design feature, some may argue they are ugly, but they do deter burglars. Brooklyn brownstone tenants should also consider NYC rental insurance. Protecting your possessions, especially your new decorations, is a great way to ensure you stay financially whole in the event of a theft or fire. You can insure all of your possession for around $20 a month with rental insurance.

Now that you are armed with how to brighten up your dreary brownstone, start hunting for inspiration. Find others who have transformed their brownstone from dark and dreary to bright and inviting. Be the do-it-yourselfer you always knew you could be!



Buzzing and Entering – Help Find This Thief

Not all thieves are created equal. Neither are your neighbors. On the evening of 12/17 at 8:10pm, a man with no connection to anyone in the building, was buzzed in and proceeded to steal a bike. You may ask yourself, how did he get buzzed in if he didn’t know anyone in the building?  It seems one of the tenants in the building was having a party and irresponsibly buzzed in a stranger. Once inside, the thief entered the garage to steal the bike only to have the glass door automatically lock behind him. With multiple cameras watching his every move, the man broke the glass door and took off with the bike. With crime on the rise in Brooklyn the 77th precinct is following up on this case actively.

The Brooklyn community has posted pictures of the man who entered an apartment building on Pacific between Washington and Grand, stole a bike and broke a glass door to escape. Take a look at the pictures posted above and join the conversation on if you have any information that will help bring this man to justice.

Atlantic Yards Tower Designs Released

Designs of the new Atlantic Yards tower were released showing a 350-unit building that features rectangular shapes and glass. The building will be located directly behind the Barclays Center, the new Nets arena. Construction is set to begin in 2012. The tower has been designed to save time and money using modular building technology. In fact, the Atlantic Yards tower will be the tallest modular building in the world. It was reported by the Atlantic Yards Report that the modular construction is “largely untested at this height.”

New York Times reported that the Atlantic Yards project will bring “upwards of 17,000 union construction jobs and over 8,000 permanent jobs,” While the city could use the jobs, Prospect Heights residents are less than excited about the building’s appearance. Locals had this to say on Brooklyn forum about the building’s design, “behold the largest lego structure this side of the Hudson” and “OMG, it’s 1980! How did I miss that time-warp???”

Neighborhood Favorite Tom’s Restaurant Opening on the Boardwalk

Tom's Restaurant

Coney Island gets a new lease on life and stays “in the family.” Plans by Zamperla USA President Valerio Ferrari fell through that would have brought a Miami beach feel to the boardwalk. The neighborhood can be rest assured that their beloved boardwalk will remain in local hands. Brooklyn favorite Tom’s Restaurant is opening a location on the boardwalk alongside Ruby’s Bar and Paul’s Daughter. reported Zamperla President Ferrari as saying, “We are trying to keep Brooklyn in Coney Island.” Tom’s owner Jimmy Kokatas shared this sentiment when he said, “[There’s] the tradition and history of Coney Island, and we have a rich tradition and history of our own. Bringing them both together, I think it’s going to be great.”

One of the biggest complaints about Tom’s is the cramped space which can make it difficult to run in for a quick bite. On busy days, the line at Tom’s can extend around the corner. The boardwalk location will seat up to 100 patrons and have some seafood options to go along with the salt air ambiance. Neighborhood locals are ecstatic about the new location slated to open sometime in April 2012.