This 100-Year-Old Brooklyn Town House Gets a Luminous New Kitchen

Jennifer Scully and Sandra Capasso didn’t start out looking for a town house. “We wanted a condo, but we couldn’t find anything that we liked,” says Jennifer, a business operations manager at Zillow. It was mid-pandemic and the couple was having a hard time maintaining their space and their sanity—both of which they knew they couldn’t keep without bending their own rules. “That’s when we decided to open up the search,” shares Sandra, a furniture designer at West Elm. Fate led them to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, where they chanced upon a 100-year-old pink town house with an offending addition at the back. “We fell in love with it the moment we saw it,” recalls Jennifer. Before they knew it, they’d made an offer, signed the deed, and moved in.

AFTER: The pared-back aesthetic keeps the focus on the natural beauty of the wood and the expertly crafted joinery. The pendants are Ferm Living designs.

alan tansey photographer

While other parts of the home were in great shape, the kitchen was a disaster. Situated inside a dingy shed-like addition between the living room and backyard, it was the exact opposite of what the couple had in mind. But, adding access to more sunlight would mean losing walls. So to help them build something better, the couple reached out to architect Alexandra Burr of AlexAllen Studio, whom they’d met through a mutual friend.

The end results is a light box—330 square feet of kitchen and dining space, complete with skylights, high ceilings, and eight-foot-tall casement windows. “The idea was to create luminosity,” says Alexandra, who also made sure to tailor the space for entertaining. For the couple, who love to have friends over, the new kitchen is equally ideal for gatherings big and small. “Plus it has a place for our 12-foot-tall fig tree, which feels like part of the family,” Jennifer says with a smile.

Location: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York

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