Designer Spotlight: The Brownstone Boys | Fireclay Tile

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Designer Spotlight: The Brownstone Boys

By Kali

Designer Spotlight: The Brownstone Boys

Longtime Brooklyn residents Jordan and Barry always dreamed of living in their own Brooklyn brownstone. In 2017, the dream came true when the pair purchased and renovated their very own. The remodel was a hit, and suddenly Jordan and Barry were getting calls from others asking to help them with their brownstones. Thus became the Brownstone Boys, a design and renovation project management company renovating their way across Brooklyn, one brownstone at a time!

Hear their story and sample their stunning brownstone in today's Designer Spotlight.

Love their style? Sample their curated pack! Featuring 2x4 samples in Carbon, Adriatic Sea, Caribbean, Crater Lake, Antique, Painted Sky, Calcite, and Clover.

    The Brownstone Boys Sample Pack

    Why did you choose the 8 colors in your palette?
    These colors remind us of the beautiful brownstone colors you will often find in Brooklyn. From each neighborhood our renovation project is in (Carroll Gardens, Bedstuy, Fort Greene, Lefferts Garden) we find inspiration all around. We’re bringing the beautiful colors inside and these pallets remind us of these neighborhoods!

    Meet Jordan and Barry!

      The Brownstone Boys

      Can you tell me a bit about yourselves and what you do? How did Brownstone Boys come to be?
      We started our company Brownstone Boys 2 years ago. We are renovation project managers and designers. Our backstory started organically through a renovation of our own home. We each have our own backgrounds in design and real estate, and after we started dating in 2017, we decided to buy our own home.

      The Brownstone Boys Herringbone Kitchen Backsplash

      Tile Shown: 2x8 in White Wash

      We are both long-time Brooklyn residents and have always been fascinated with the beautiful brownstone homes. We dreamed of living on one with their front stoops and tree-lined streets. We bought our renovation project in late 2018 and before we did any work we decided to start blogging about our experience. Our first blog post was about how we closed on our place with this huge project laid out in front of us not knowing what to do next. We had no idea it would resonate with so many people. Over the coming months, we blogged regularly about all of our experiences, telling the story, good, bad, and ugly. We gained more and more readers and more and more social followers.

      The Brownstone Boys

      We applied our past design and real estate knowledge and learned so much more, learning resources and making connections. All this time people were reaching out to us constantly. We replied with answers to the questions the best we could and provided referrals and the resources we could. Some people who reached out seemed like they needed more help than the name of an architect. We finally decided to ask one if they wanted us to help them with their project. They said yes, and we had our first client. After we had about 3 clients we decided we needed to quit our full-time jobs.

      The Brownstone Boys Carbon and Calcite Primary Bathroom

      Tile Shown: 6x6 Calcite with 4" Hexagons in Carbon

      How did you two meet?
      We met online and talked for about 1.5 months before meeting (crazy, huh!?). We met at a local favorite Brooklyn bar and after our first date set up an immediate second. The second date was a bike ride pretty much through the entire borough of Brooklyn where we discovered we both shared a mutual passion of Brownstone architecture and a dream of living in one.

      The Brownstone Boys Herringbone Kitchen Backsplash

      Tile Shown: 2x8 in White Wash

      What got you interested in design?
      Barry grew up in New Orleans and has always been inspired by the mix of old meets new. Jordan grew up in Las Vegas and used to watch TV shows as a kid (Sesame Street & Sex and the City) where he would see brownstones as a background and dream of designing one someday. It wasn't until shortly after college when Barry bought his first tiny apartment and became hooked on DIY projects and different design elements to incorporate into the space. When Jordan was in high school his favorite thing to do was makeover his bedroom and then re-makeover it in a couple of weeks. Still, till this day, antiquing and thrifting are some favorite hobbies to get inspired by design.

      Why do you love tile?
      Tile is an important part of our design. Tile allows a space to take on a new look and feel of a space with its different textures, variations, and movement. Tile transitions space from raw to finished.

      The Brownstone Boys Carbon and Calcite Primary Bathroom

      Tile Shown: 6x6 in Calcite

      Do you have a favorite tile moment from all of your projects?
      Such a tough question because we love all the tile in all of our projects. It's really the sourcing we spend the most time with because we want each space to feel timeless. We would have to say that Spruce Gloss 1x4 tile we used as a backsplash in the kitchen at our project #breakandreno is very special.

      The Brownstone Boys Spruce Gloss 1x4 kitchen backsplash

      Tile Shown: 1x6 in Spruce Gloss

      The bright pop against the walnut cabinetry is just stunning and gives the kitchen a modern feel. We love the way each handmade tile catches the light a little bit differently. The homeowners had some designation at first with the boldness of the green and while it is a bright pop of color, it balances the wood tones out nicely.

      The Brownstone Boys Spruce Gloss 1x4 kitchen backsplash

      What are your 4 best design tips?

      1. We like design to be fun and playful. The entire space doesn’t need to be, but find somewhere to be playful even if it is small.

      Brownstone Boys


      2. To keep the budget in check, use mostly inexpensive materials, but find key elements to upgrade to elevate the entire design. For instance, for a budget kitchen makeover, we like to use inexpensive cabinets but how bold with the hardware!

      The Brownstone Boys Spruce Gloss 1x4 kitchen backsplash

      Tile Shown: 1x6 in Spruce Gloss

      3. Do something custom in the space even if you make it yourself.

      The Brownstone Boys Herringbone Kitchen Backsplash

      Tile Shown: 2x8 in White Wash

      Include something local. The biggest talking pieces in a lot of our designs are from local makers. It will make your design more interesting and connected to the place you are.

      Where do you draw inspiration from?
      We don’t like to get stuck in a rut. If we’re busy working on a classic historic brownstone, we like to get away and experience something totally different. So we’ll go check out some local street art or even get out of the city and into nature. We are also big travelers and always looking for a new place and culture to experience. We always come back inspired and full of ideas to keep us going for a while!

      Brownstone Boys entryway

      Can you tell me a bit about your design process? What is your favorite part?
      While our process is constantly evolving we are always pulling inspiration from our community. We’re fortunate to live in such a vibrant place where we can go on a walk and get inspired by the beautiful city we live in. We love pulling modern features into historic spaces and playing with the juxtaposition of old meets new.

      We love sourcing. Usually, our process starts with really listening to our clients. What makes their space feel like home and picking up keywords and key elements is how they interpret a space. From there, we’re pulling tons of inspired materials, shapes, colors, and finishes to see how these features work together. Once we have an idea we can focus on specific rooms until we have collectively narrowed down the choices. It’s really about collaboration because as much as we want to design a space we need it to be and feel like “home” for our clients.

      The Brownstone Boys Herringbone Kitchen Backsplash

      Tile Shown: 2x8 in White Wash

      You've used our tile in your own home + for client projects--any tips on working with handmade tile?
      Don't be afraid of handmade tile! There’s something very special about handmade tile that you can’t get with a standard tile. We love the way each handmade tile catches the light a little bit differently. There's a different texture to each specific tile that is just something so special. We also love that they are eco-friendly and are better for our world!

      Brownstone Boys Carbon and Calcite Primary Bathroom

      Tile Shown: 6x6 Calcite with 4" Hexagons in Carbon

      Lastly, any colors, shapes, or patterns of ours you'd love to use in future projects?

      Yes! We are so excited for a custom mosaic ombre shower that we’re working closely with the Fireclay team on! We’re bringing a lot of shapes and colors to a beautiful space and are so excited to see it come to life! We’re using a mix of Moonshine, Crater Lake, Caribbean, Lake Tahoe, Adriatic Sea all in the same space and think it's just going to be stunning!
      Ogee Drop in Caribbean and Crater Lake
      Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in Caribbean and Crater Lake


      Inspired by the Brownstone Boys? Order your sample pack now! Need some help? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly!

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