This Reno of an 1800s Schoolhouse Loft Will Blow Your Mind
By Shoko Wanger, November 10, 2017
“You don’t need a gym membership if you live here,” says Keren Richter of her Brooklyn home. Situated on the top floor of an 1800s schoolhouse in South Williamsburg, the four-story climb has grown only more formidable following the arrival of her daughter, Mira, last year—but the designer is quick to note that what’s at the top of the stairs is worth the workout. Designed and renovated with her husband, Thomas Richter—and under the guidance of architect Kevin Greenberg of Brooklyn’s Space Exploration—the 2,000 square-foot residence is a sight for sore eyes (and a welcome respite for overworked glutes).
Since its purchase in 2010, the Richter’s home, once an artist’s loft, has undergone multiple phases of renovation, each driven by an eagerness to reimagine the space without abandoning its roots. Modern furniture mingles with vintage accents; custom cabinetry and millwork lives alongside antique tile, salvaged doors, and old iron hinges. “The home’s history drove the architectural design language,” Keren says. “We wanted everything to look like it had been there forever.” For the Richters, the years-long process was an education. It was also an epiphany: Over the course of the renovation, the couple, previously involved in different careers, joined forces to open a now three-year-old interior design studio, White Arrow. “We learned so much in the process of renovating this home,” Keren says. “It would’ve been a shame not to use it.”