Wood Floor Wisdom (Plus 3 Renovation Tips) from the Brownstone Boys

Wood Floor Wisdom (Plus 3 Renovation Tips) from the Brownstone Boys

Design: Brownstone Boys | Photos: Nick Glimenakis

Jordan and Barry, who you may know as the Brownstone Boys, are self-proclaimed designers, DIYers, renovators, and restorers. They have spent blood, sweat, tears, and time earning those titles and have become the guys to call if you’re renovating a Brooklyn brownstone and want to maintain the integrity and style of the building while still breathing a bit of fresh air into it. The two have the utmost respect for the history of these homes and they work hard to bring them back to life and relevant to the current day. 

Jordan and Barry are committed to restoring stunning original details while bringing in a modern touch. This intersection is where we believe the best design happens. When working on a home with stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge, they knew they needed a historic, but fresh floor to serve as a beautiful and neutral base. To bring in a bit of old world charm, the Boys chose to use Stuga’s Sisu herringbone floor. We sat down to hear more about them and a bit of background on this stunner of a home.

How would you describe your interior design style? 

We like to think of our design as traditional meets modern but a Brooklyn touch! Organic, Modern, Honest is usually how we like to describe it. Barry loves a shade of gray and Jordan loves anything involving color. Believe it or not, the two contrasting tones really work well together!

Tell us more about this home! We know you love original character and charm, what were some elements of the home that stood out to you?

One of the many things we love about our loft renovation, #palomasonpoplar, is that the building is made of multiple older buildings and you can see signs of it in several places throughout the loft. When you pass through this thick wall you are going from one of the old buildings into another. It’s so thick because it was the exterior wall to one of the buildings. Now it’s the beautiful entrance that goes from the kitchen to the laundry (and pantry) as well as the homeowners daughter Olivia’s bedroom & bathroom. We arched the opening to make the spaces feel more connected and to create some architectural detail

When there is historic charm we like to highlight it, but if there’s no historic charm we like to bring it in! We like the juxtaposition. We try to be careful to balance the restoration with the modern upgrades in a way that makes contrast complementary rather than competing. 

The ceilings are incredibly tall since it’s a loft apartment so we added a huge modern chandelier (made from recycled elevator cables!) and brought in a salvaged fireplace mantle with an oversized mirror. We really love how it all came together. And you know Jordan loves the pop of color from the wallpaper!

Another favorite in the space are the architectural elements we added like the arches throughout. 


Why did you choose herringbone floors for this particular project? Did you consider anything else?

In our Palomas on Poplar project the view of the Brooklyn Bridge is unbelievable. We wanted to showcase it anyway we could and that actually had to do with the flooring. The light tone of the Sisu and herringbone pattern draws your eyes upward. We love the tone but the pattern is absolutely perfect in this loft apartment! 

You've worked with traditional herringbone floors before. How did Stuga's Sisu floors compare? 

We were super impressed with Stuga’s Sisu floors. Much easier than our past experience of unfinished hardwood that we then have to stain and seal. The instructions were incredibly helpful and informative. It was our first time working with glue down but it really worked out well! 

What are your three best tips when it comes to renovation?

  1. Allow extra time on your renovation schedule. Do not set an exact date of when you think the renovation will be complete. You will need additional time and will appreciate the flexibility if you are not living in the space while construction is happening.
  1. Make sure to spend time deciding your finishes before the renovation project kicks off. We all hit decision fatigue when renovating and it’s important that you love every piece you bring into the home instead of making quick decisions. 
  1. Just plan on having a contingency . Money will disappear very fast and there’s always something else you will want for your home. Be smart and plan ahead!

Thank you so much Jordan and Barry for sharing more about this gorgeous Brownstone with us. If you’d like to keep up with the Brownstone Boys you can find them on Instagram as well as their blog. And of course, you can find the beautiful Sisu floor they used in this home right here, exclusively with Stuga.