The Insider: Young Designer Uses His Brooklyn Heights Apartment as a Laboratory for Ideas

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Not long after Peter Dolkas, an interior designer originally from the Bay Area, came to New York with “not much of anything except dishes,” he put down local roots in a five-story 1890s apartment building near the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, converted to condos in the late 20th century. Though he has since moved on to another Brooklyn neighborhood, he thinks of this earlier venue as “a bit of a laboratory.”

Dolkas partners with Michelle Ficker in the Dumbo-based Studio Dorion, a boutique design firm currently working on a Park Slope brownstone, a NoHo loft and projects outside the city. Their tiny, innovative  bedroom at the Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse last September deployed humble materials like pegboard and chino cotton fabric in elegant fashion.

Dolkas and Ficker met while working for renowned interior designer Billy Cotton. Not wanting to go the typical route of naming their business eponymously, they lit upon the old-fashioned name Dorion. “It’s a name that’s dying out, and and we liked the idea of a fictional character running the show,” Dolkas said.

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