Color, pattern and more color... yet minimal.
After living in Park Slope—Brooklyn’s epicenter of hip young families—for over 15 years, Dania Ahmad and her husband, Louis Cordone, were ready for a change. The couple began looking in the quieter and increasingly desirable neighborhood of Greenwood Heights.
“It feels more like our personality,” says Ahmad. “It’s quirky, every building is different. The businesses here are still small and family-run.”
Thanks to a tip from local friends, who informed them of a neighbor putting his house on the market, the couple found their new home. In 2014, they closed on a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath, 2,300-square-foot house that was charming but in need of a complete overhaul.
While most people would run at the thought of a gut renovation, Ahmad was excited by the prospect of designing a home just right for her family. Her background in interiors didn’t hurt; a lifestyle publicist for 18 years, in 2012, she founded Good Word PR, a media-relations and social media firm focused on design clients such as wallpaper stalwarts Graham & Brown and lighting designer Tracy Glover.
Here, she takes us through her renovation process.
Down to the studs
The couple had taken on on smaller renovations in the past but didn’t realize just how much work their new house required. “The place was in such bad shape, we literally couldn’t salvage anything,” recalls Ahmad. They ripped everything down to the studs and with the help of Cordone’s architect brother, Matt, they built a cheery family home that maximizes every inch of space and lets their personalities shine.
“The main thing was that this is the perfect size for us,” says Ahmad. “It’s a smaller house, but I think we did a good job of thinking through ways to make it feel spacious.”
One quick adjustment the couple made after moving in was replacing the wood floor in the entryway to tile. “The wood was getting a beating from people coming in and out and the water from rain and snow,” explains Ahmad. Not only has tile solved that issue, the way it’s installed creates a natural entryway and adds some visual interest.
“We really appreciate cheeky, playful design,” says Ahmad, and the powder room, located next to the kitchen and dining room, is a perfect example of that. The couple chose City Park by Flavor Paper, a damask style pattern with urban imagery like parking meters and pigeons. “I’m a total New Yorker so the paper is an hommage to the city I live in and love.”
The couple painted the exterior in Benjamin Moore's Blue Note.
Home Sweet Home
"I love that we've made the house cozy and comfortable, modern and colorful," says Ahmad.