Recently one of the interior design shows on HGTV featured a complete renovation of a brownstone in Park Slope. Although completely in disrepair, the brownstone still had some beautiful crown moldings lining the ceiling and walls and original elegant wood carved banisters. Incredibly the “designer” recommended removing the moldings and natural wood carvings to “update” the brownstone. It’s amazing, the intricate, original detail is one of the biggest reasons brownstones and old apartments retain their value, charm, history and originality. Without these vintage elements they would be like any other pre-fab cookie cutter construction. Whether it’s a converted loft, brownstone, pre-war apartment or any other century (or more) old structure, if it’s at all feasible to retain, repair or integrate these elements in some way during renovation I highly recommend keeping them.