Architectural Eye Candy in the Big Apple

Who doesn’t love walking the streets of New York City? I’ve always been enamored by this place.


Kim shadow

I remember my first trip here as an 8th Grader like it was yesterday. As far as design inspiration goes, I find myself inside a treasure hunt on these streets! Block to block is like walking inside the board game of “Candy Land”… there’s just so much to explore.

Colorful brooklyn

From the proud facades the history of our country oozes through walls like mortar between the bricks. Do you remember the movie “Midnight in Paris” with Owen Wilson? In the middle of the night he finds himself on an imaginative journey to the 1920s, where he sits at smoky bars with the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso.

When I’m in NY, I can feel that kind of air. So many epic artists, movers, shakers, and true pathfinders have made these New York buildings, brick by brick, their home.

New York Architecture Built Brick by Brick

Whether you live in an urban setting or the suburbs, red brick is THE most classic American texture you can use on your home.

Classic red brick

Brick and stone actually became the choice of building material after The Great Fire of New York in 1835. The fire spread through 17 blocks of the city and caused millions of dollars in damages.

Row homes

Red brick, brown brick or white…Besides the color options, the texture of the brick truly drives the vibe. Solid brick naturally feels more modern, while the “used or vintage” textures bring on the charm.


There’s just something about white brick with black trim that stops me in my tracks. This combination somehow finds that perfect balance between modern and vintage. It’s soft, yet stark…sophisticated, but hip.

White black brick

Indoor/outdoor vibes can be found all around New York City.

People brunching at local cafes, walking dogs, sitting on park benches… We all crave a sense of nature, so why not bring that into the design of our homes? In New York, you find the sunshine where you can, whether it’s a Juliet balcony or the rooftop of a skyscraper.

Indoor outdoor

To bring the outdoors in, wrap the brick from the exterior to the interior. Texture on the walls will bring an undeniable charm and warmth. You’ll be floored by the difference something like this can make.

Interior brick

If you’re going for more of the “Old World” look, have your installer “over grout” the mortar.

To get an urban New York City aesthetic, try Colonial Brick or Cobblestone.

Trim Sets Homes Apart from the Rest

Row after row every 15-20 feet, the brick colors, textures, and trim details change. While the buildings are connected and neighbors might seem on top of each other (they are), the details in the New York architecture are what set each home apart from the next.

From dentil molding to brick keystones and tapered sills, the trim truly becomes the accessory to the brick outfit, adorning each row home in a subtle, but diverse way. Don’t forget to order brick corners to keep the outside edges seamless.

Brick corners

For the stone trim use a lighter, contrasting color like cream, so these pieces really pop against the brick!

Light trim

“Suite” Front Doors Define Space

Perhaps the best feature of New York City architecture is the sweet doors you’ll find! You turn the corner and there it is… a bright red door!

Red door

New Yorkers DO live in close quarters. Row homes COULD feel the same. Colorful doors are a simple way for homeowners to define their space.

Follow @thedoorsofnewyork on Instagram for front door inspiration.

Classic Door Hardware

That final detail on the New York City streets that has my eyes bouncing like the stock exchange numbers is door hardware.

IN fact, I don’t know a single designer that isn’t obsessed with antique doorknockers. Based on my travels alone, I’m pretty sure this trend came directly from our British friends.

A Walk in Central Park

Whether the subway system runs under your condo, or you’re more of a dirt road dweller, we all have this in common:

We live in a hustle and bustle world, but it’s important to create a space at home where we can truly breathe.

Walk in the park

Building a home that feels like “you” is no ‘walk in the park’…I get it. It requires patience and tapping into your inner artist. Take your time and paint the picture that says the most about “you.”

All photos by Kim Lewis. For more inspiration follow Kim on Instagram @kimlewisdesigns.