Got a project to propose for The Insider? Contact Cara at caramia447 [at] gmail [dot] com

A unique approach to the gut renovation of a circa 1880 Brooklyn brownstone, leaning heavily on the tenets of traditional Japanese design, resulted in a home that nevertheless feels comfortingly familiar. The general layout, the proportionality of the rooms, and the location of the stair, among other things, respect local row house typology. The abundance of warm woods and exposed beams and brick are both contemporary and timeless. “The sensibility is Japanese, but the configuration is perfect for a modern family,” said Selim Vural of the Dumbo-based architecture firm Studio Vural, which masterminded the architectural design and oversaw the building out of the space.

The new homeowners found a sympathetic architect in Vural when, years after being powerfully smitten with an authentic wooden merchant house in Kyoto when they visited Japan in 2009, they bought the four-story building, planning to live in the triplex and rent out the garden floor. The house was in dire straits; it had long since been chopped up and denuded of original detail, except for the staircase, which Vural managed to recycle to a neighbor on the block.

Find your Brooklyn design inspiration