An Aesthetic Loft

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This is Deborah Marland and David Backus’s airy-four story house located in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The house is clean and contemporary. Actually Ms. Marland has lived in this house since the early 1970’s, when he moved there with his mother.

They used to living in Manhattan on 15th Street between Second and Third Avenues, but there was a fire and they had to find a new place to live. So that they were drawn to Park slope, where Ms. Marland’s mother had a colleague, who had bought a wreck of a house there just for $5,000.

Later a fellow teacher told them about a brownstone for sale on his block. Eventually mother and daughter bought the house for $39, 000. It had been divided into four flours. Ms. Marland took the top two floors and her mother lived on the parlor and garden floors until her death in 1992.

Deborah had the place filled with Victorian furniture, said Mr. Backus, 54, an assistant director on TV commercials. (I am the guy who yells: Quiet please. Roll camera)

The couple put their dream of modernizing the brownstone on hold when they bought an old saltbox in Orient, N.Y., as a weekend house in 1987, the year they were married. They had a 15-year mortgage on the saltbox and decided they would wait until it was paid off to renovate the Brooklyn house, said Ms. Marland, 56.

Like all renovations, it cost more than they expected. They could have built a brand-new house for what we spent it was that type of expensive.

To economize during construction, the couple and their daughters Taylor, now 18, and Marland, now 15 camped out in the downstairs apartment.

They moved into their new old home in May 2005. When it came time to furnish their now-pristine rooms, they had to look for bargains. Ms. Marland found the B&B Italia sofa and Donghia dining table at sample sales.

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