An Interior Designer Takes Us Inside The Gorgeous Brooklyn Carriage House She Lovingly Overhauled

kathleen perkins brooklyn carriage house tour that kevin spacey rentedKathleen Perkins on her patio

Photo: Meredith Galante/Business Insider

When you first enter Kathleen Perkins’ Brooklyn home, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve stepped into an Anthropologie catalogue.But the pieces inside Perkins’ home actually come from foreign countries such as India, the Philippines and Turkey. The lights above the kitchen island are from a boat, and retail at nearly $15,000 from Urban Archeology. And the scarf hanging above her bed is from India. 

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The home, in Fort Greene, is a converted carriage house with so much character that it’s easy to see why a celebrity like Kevin Spacey wanted to rent the space last winter.

The actor rented the upstairs for about four months when he was in New York working with the Brooklyn Academy of Music. His assistant lived in the bottom portion of the house.

“The house just really flowed,” Perkins said. “It turned out better than I thought.”

But when Perkins moved in eight years ago, the home needed a complete renovation. It took her six months and $250,000 to fix structural issues and redo the interior.

Perkins is now a self-employed interior decorator and project manager. She’s flipped six homes at this point, mostly in the Brooklyn area.

Perkins often renovates multiple homes at once, so when Spacey moved in last winter, she stayed in one of her other properties. She describes herself as a gypsy of sorts, moving into a home, designing it, selling it, and moving on.

She got her start at Waterworks, a New York-based design company, where she specialised in kitchens and baths. For her very first job, she was commissioned to design the tiles for the kitchen and bathroom of Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley’s Mendocino home. The duo split before the tiles were ever installed.

Perkins has also done design work for Harrison Ford and Whoopi Goldberg.

Perkins’ own home is filled with items from friends or her travels. Old tattered books, Buddha statues, and ceramic bowls can be found throughout.

She rents out the first level, and lives on the second and third floors. The house has two patios, one for grilling and another that she uses for outdoor summer parties.

Welcome to Ft. Greene, Brooklyn. Perkins' home was a carriage house that previously serviced the mansion behind it.

Perkins studied Feng Shui, and believes that since horses once lived in the carriage house, the home had great energy before she even moved in.

The appliances in the kitchen are all stainless steel, and there enough gadgets and trinkets around to make the room feel homey.

The island has a limestone slab. The citrus fruits are a nice touch.

Perkins has lived in the house on and off for seven years, at times renting it out.

Off the kitchen and living room is a small outdoor deck with a grill. An old cherry tree protrudes through the floor.

The exposed brick and wood beams make the place very warm and cozy.

So does this reading nook, with shelves filled with books.

The house is decorated with antique clocks and books like these.

The green tile in the bathroom is actually duplicated from another house Perkins decorated. She said that all her friends told her she should reproduce the room again, and she did.

Perkins currently has a friend and her child staying as house guests, so the family room has been temporarily converted in to a playroom.

Perkins salvaged doors and shutters from other locations for her home.

The railings on her steps are old window shutters. The detail on them is marvellous.

Perkins' master bathroom use to be rented as a studio apartment — that's how big it is.

The shower stall has a skylight and an 18-inch shower head.

The door to the toilet has this creepy hand as a door knob.

Perkins loved the idea of keeping the tub near the window and having a fireplace in her bathroom.

The entire bathroom has a West Coast, zen feel to it.

You can notice the Feng Shui in the balance of the his-and-her sinks, mirrors, and lamps.

The master bedroom is very colourful. Perkins hung a scarf from India above her bed, and explained that it's bad Feng Shui to sleep below exposed wood beams.

We bet Kevin Spacey didn't use the pink comforter when he lived here.

Perkins said wished her bedroom had a bigger closet, but we're still pretty impressed.

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