The Brownstone Boys Revitalize Brooklyn Home With Greta

A black staircase with modern white oak flooring

Design: Brownstone Boys | Photos: Christian Torres | Floor: Greta

A once-segmented Fort Greene brownstone has been beautifully redone by Barry Bordelon and Jordan Slocum, the duo behind Brooklyn-based design firm, The Brownstone Boys. While the 19th century home still had plenty of its original charms (like ornate plaster crowns, fireplaces, and pocket doors), three separate apartments with out-of-place updates made it quite the restoration journey.

We sat down with Barry and Jordan to talk about the renovation, plus how they chose to add warmth and modernity to the 19th-century gem.

Modern white oak flooring in a bedroom and full bathroom

What did the floors look like before? Did you know you always wanted to go with an engineered hardwood?

The floor on the parlor level of the home was a mixture of carpet and a honey-colored parquet. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in good enough condition to revitalize, especially in a family home that will experience a lot of wear and tear. There was also different flooring throughout the parlor and future primary floors. Because of this we had to do a lot of demo of tile that was put in over the years and would be the area where we would have the future living area.

We knew we wanted to install a new hardwood that would look beautiful in this modern-meets-historic home and stand the test of time. Greta drew our attention because it has that Scandinavian, clean look, a perfect complement to the contemporary lines in this home. 

White oak flooring in a serene Brooklyn full bathroom with tub

How did you decide on Greta? Did you look at other samples of ours before deciding? What made it the perfect choice for this home?

We tested a few samples, but ultimately, besides the practical reasons of durability and size, we loved the way Greta looked in the light. This home is all about bright spaces and gets lots of natural light. The cool tones of Greta paired beautifully with the white and cream elements in the parlor floor. 

You've used our floors in a handful of other projects before, how did this installation compare? 

We've had the pleasure of using your floors in several of our projects, including our recent endeavor at Palomas on Poplar. I must say, the installation process was a breeze compared to our previous experiences. The ease of install with your floors truly stood out, allowing our team to efficiently bring our vision to life without any hiccups. From start to finish, working with your product made the entire project seamless and enjoyable. We're thrilled with the results.

Do you have a favorite Stuga floor?

Our top three Stuga floors would be Shell, Forest, and of course, Greta. These three products are easy to install and provide a beautiful contrast to homes with bright or dark walls. 

We cannot overemphasize just how much flooring impacts the overall appearance of a room and how having the right floor can make or break a space. Picking out the right flooring is just as important as picking out the perfect paint color. 

What was the impact of Greta in space, how did it enhance the design, the atmosphere etc?

Overall, it provided brightness and warmth in the space. This brownstone project had a challenge of lack of natural light, so it was imperative to fool the eye with items in the house that would bounce light around. When we designed this home, we knew that the homeowners wanted neutral tones with warm accents. We loved that Greta brought a natural feel to the home with slight color variation and some knots here and there. 

Bright white oak flooring in a modern classic Brooklyn kitchen with DeVOL cabinets

How does it feel to walk on? 

The floor is smooth and comfortable. Our homeowners actually welcomed a new baby during the renovation, so it was a priority to find something safe that would grow with the family. Now, baby Noah has a level and stable surface to learn to walk on!

Have you gotten any feedback on how the floors have held up for the family, their new baby?

So far, so good! Between baby toys, spills, and lots of visitors, the Greta floors are holding strong! 

How did the decision to use Greta in the closest/primary bath come about?

The homeowners loved it so much on the parlor floor that they were happy to extend the look into the primary bathroom and closet. Sometimes, people don’t realize that you can have wood floors in bathrooms or kitchens. However, with proper care, they are a beautiful and functional addition. 

Shop Greta modern white oak flooring by Stuga