Thursday, November 1, 2012

☞ BESPOKE: The Details are in the Floors

Original floor details such as the marquetry inlay found in many brownstones are not always intact but renovators can still add some character to the hardwood of their formal spaces by taking elements of this aesthetic.  Marquetry borders are a very custom art and not many do it these days but adding a straight, boxed border to surround a textural floor pattern will add the same affect to any brownstone interior.

The lower photo shows the renovated floors of the former PS90 which were converted into condos and the developer successfully added an updated early 20th century feel to the space which helped sell out the building units in a timely manner.  Those on a budget should at least pick out one area in the larger spaces such as a living room to add a bit of historic drama that will add value to the home in the forthcoming years.  Does anyone know of a local contractor who has installed this type of flooring?


  1. Think the newer ones are a bit de trop. I remember looking at houses with beautiful floor but yanked away by my wiser brokers, all the while saing " but the floors, the floors!"

    Seriously, the marquetry work on the edges? Beautfil. And when I attempted it in my redo of a gut? I blanched when shown the numbers.

  2. The signature of an older floor is the visible nail heads with rust staining along the grain which in my opinion is both authentic and charming. The modern floors have a tongue and groove with hidden nails through the tongue giving a cleaner appearance. For a detailed floor pattern, the material cost is much the same, but the labor cost is higher. Over a century ago labor was much cheaper. I like the herringbone pattern in the modern floor shown here.

  3. I have someone who is the best floor specialist in the city. He specializes in Harlem brownstones.

  4. Ron Williams, Artisan Services LLC,,917.549.0710 is excellent.