At Home with Ted Allen
Ted Allen and Barry Rice’s 1800s Brooklyn brownstone has tons of historic details — but it’s far from old-fashioned.
Step Inside Ted Allen's Modern Brownstone
When Ted Allen first stumbled upon this Brooklyn brownstone, the carpet was bright red, the walls were Pepto Bismol pink and the facade was crumbling — and he thought it was perfect. The Chopped host and his husband, interior designer Barry Rice, knew that they had found something special in the 1879 four-story building, a former boarding house. “We were doing a bad job of hiding our excitement,” Ted says. For the next few years the couple overhauled the house from bottom to top. They spent a year and a half renovating the lower floors, took a break for a year, then tackled the top floors. Their goal was to preserve the best of the original features — like ornate molding and a stained-glass skylight. Once that was done, Barry filled the rooms with modern furniture and art, carefully choosing statement pieces for every part of the house. “To put crazy designer furniture from the '60s and '70s in a Victorian house is really fun,” Ted says. “This place has got plenty of quirk.”
The Front Parlor
Ted and Barry restored the brownstone’s front parlor, including the fireplace and parquet, to its former glory. Then they brought the space to life with a sculptural 1970s Joe Colombo Elda chair and a glam brass and chrome coffee table by Paul Evans: “It looks like something Rod Stewart would have in his apartment,” Ted jokes.
The Dining Room
Ted and Barry wanted this space to feel moody, so they chose a dark blue and gold floral wallpaper. The table, inspired by stalagmites, is beloved by Rufus, one of the couple’s Maine Coon cats.
The Main Bedroom
Barry won this glossy midcentury Karl Springer bed at an auction and accented it with a fuzzy Mongolian wool pillow.
Ted and Barry had to rip out most of this space, but they left the claw-foot tub, which has been in the house since 1910! David Hicks’s Groundworks wallpaper and a psychedelic Oliver Hibert painting make the room as memorable as the rest of the house.
The Back Parlor
This cozy spot on the first floor is where the couple spends most of their time. The watercolor above the fireplace is by the late New York artist and poet John Giorno.