Apartment Reno in Brooklyn

A clean design that brings out the best of a basement apartment in Brooklyn.

Part of a complete gut renovation, this project includes conversion of a 1 bedroom apartment into a 2 bedroom apartment, right here in Brooklyn, NY. The original apartment was the result of years of modifications, this level accommodating storage, mechanical spaces, laundry and all the rest one would expect. We have reconfigured the space to find additional area for a 2nd bedroom, private laundry facilities for both this home’s apartments (owner occupied), a full bath and separate shower, and a few architectural features that bring the entire space together, making it a dream for any tenant.

Simple color scheme, a few wood touches along with a splash of glass, tile floors (that have the look of wood) bring this composition together in a low maintenance, low budget project. We took care to ensure all cabinets are standard sizes who’s finishes are readily available by multiple suppliers. In fact the biggest investment by the owner are the durable countertops and kitchen hood, considered features in this rental market.

We also made sure that anyone considering renting this apartment would be a professional, with solid income, and would be happy to stay here for many years, thus removing burden from the home owners of having to find new tenants and doing so every couple of years.




All too often we see people try to design their apartments or homes themselves. They unfortunately do not understand that by placing a wall in the right location, it can make a space look better. That’s an easy concept to understand, but isn’t exactly easy to achieve. Designing architecture is like sculpting a bust with clay, it is molded over time, taking away or adding material until the features of the person come to life. And we design with making that bust a positive image, not a sad one.  So to be a good designer, one needs to have the skills, know the feelings implied by certain relationships, and understand the entire composition and its relationships to other parts. It is a life time of study that allows one to become successful at the art of architecture, and the ramifications, whether positive or negative, can be felt in one’s pocket. If a successful design, the effects are indeed positive.



To keep this basement apartment flood free, lets talk sewage overflow. Yikes! Resolved by a simple detail that can prevent thousands of dollars in water damage to any home.

One of the Home Owner’s worst nightmares is flooding caused by a blockage in their house trap. The trap’s purpose is to keep sewage smells from entering the home, creating a physical barrier with water. Yet this same trap can get clogged, with ‘flushable wipes’ or other items and can result in a backup of water. In NYC often the sewer line is connected to the storm drainage system which compounds the problem by overwhelming the drainage system with too much water that backs up along the pipes because of a blockage, until it finds an exit point.

We have resolved this issue, by adding a floor drain on the house side of the trap, so that flood water can exit into a pit (rather than overflowing the toilet or bathtub) and another drain at a slightly higher elevation (so that exiting water is less likely to splash) to drain the water from the pit, thus keeping the flood confined to the pit.

A simple water alarm alerts residents that there is a blockage in the house trap.



The alternative? Sewage on your lower level floor, being absorbed into your walls, behind the walls, into wood studs, furniture and everything it touches. That condition often requires removing everything that has touched the sewage meaning that wall board has to be cut away, furniture has to have their base modified (cut and replaced) or thrown out with rugs, toys and whatever else. Then the entire room needs a 3+ day dehumidification in order to prevent mold. Yes, all that equals a nightmare.

Our simple solution prevents all this, with a couple extra floor drains, a back flow preventer, an simple battery operated water alarm (usually available at your local hardware) can avoid the mess and ugliness of a rain water and sewage mess. And if you noticed, we placed the clean out cap above both drains, so that one can unscrew it and snake the trap without getting one’s hands wet.

This detail is a SimpleTwig Architecture first, and is being applied to all our projects.

Copyright SimpleTwig Architecture.llc 2016
Copyright SimpleTwig Architecture.llc 2016


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