Now I know at least one of my readers has been poised on the edge of their seat awaiting what I promised was going to be a two week bathroom redo. If you want this to be an article about schedule slide it could be, but we’d never make it to this amazing transformation. Suffice it to say, the delay had to do with a nervous home owner and the decision to let the floor “cure” before scrubba, dub, dubbing in the space. It was likely a sound decision, that this impatient person would never have made.
While delaying gratification isn’t a strong point of mine, I am in full support of the home owner’s (also known as my sister) decision to re-glaze instead of replace the tile in their NYC apartment’s only bath. The downtime, the cost, the mess, all make this decision a smart one.
While it may look like the ice in the rink at Rockefeller Center, it is in fact paint, and I would not recommend gliding around on it in anything other than a slipper. Just to be safe of course.
From deco, gray, dingy, and damaged to bright white and beautiful. A potted plant pops against the stark white wall, and a photograph in the spirit of Slim Arrons, taken on a family holiday in Croatia, acts as the inspiration for the bath’s design. Note additional touches like the Muji toothbrush holders, and the CB2 glass shelves keep the space from feeling overcrowded. Vanity is available at Home Depot – Kohler Poplin 24″ Vanity. Sink is also Kohler. Walls are in Benjamin Moore’s Super White, and don’t forget that the reglazing was done by: Supreme Bath Reglazing.
“Every woman should have four pets in her life. A mink in her closet, a Jaguar in her garage, a tiger in her bed, and a jackass who pays for it all”. –Paris Hilton
If I had a mink, and a closet, I think I would crawl in, snuggle up with that warmest of fuzzies, close the door, and pretend all that sawdust didn’t exist. I’d think about it tomorrow.
At least Paris made me laugh, and I have not been laughing a lot this weekend. I’ve got one tiny, and terribly shallow closet in No. 5. I’ve got holes in the walls, I’ve got subs that won’t show, I’ve got water infiltration and mold, and cold water . I’ve got dust, and ceiling fans, and crooked stairs, and all manner of headache inducing difficulties. My scope has creeped and my schedule has slid, and the dollars are flying.
I find strange comfort in a closet. It’s not just a quiet place to hide, it’s a chameleon of sorts. It can be perfectly ordered, or hide the disorder from unsuspecting guests. Surprising it can be. Even the most refined among us, can have fun with a closet. A bold interior color or wall covering, a chandelier or pretty pendant, a plush carpet, a petite stool, a bold or daring painting. If it’s your boudoir – you are allowed.
I’ve built 8 closets in 4 places. Two walk-ins, 6 custom built, 1 California Closet, 1 Cozy Closet. I’m not much for a closet system. I know people like them, and that they are economical, but the last think I want is a stiletto falling through a wire rack on a shelf. How undignified. I once built a closet whose sole purpose it was to house my shoes. Shelf after glorious shelf of shoes. Well, those shoes are all gone and so it that closet, because I left it behind when I sold No. 2.
So now I am faced with a decision, remembering that I am getting long in the tooth, and the construction costs are stacking up on a property that was supposed to be easy breezy – should I buy an amoire instead of building fixed closets that I will be forced to leave behind yet again? There is the question of re-sale value and all of that, but I have to draw the line somewhere, and my somewhere just might be right here. My clothes need stability in their life. This moving from closet to closet is starting to take a tole.
Please advise on your most thoughtful recommendations for closet solutions and happy Sunday evening.
Above: Left Top: Anthropologie . Linen Haverhill Chair $595.50. Top Middle: Ballard Designs . Antelope Hand Tufted Rug in Grey 9 x 12 $899. Top Right: Shop Candelabra . Boyd Delux Credenza $4797 Bottom Left: CB2 . Forte Channeled Leather Extra Large Sofa $2379.15 and Bottom Right: Etsy Mid-century Side Tables – Pair $250.
I love a good challenge. It’s decidely easier to spend someone else’s money than my own. Though, admittedly I am pretty good at spending that too. This gives me the perfect distraction from my own renovation project and its associated budgetary challenges – you don’t even want to know how far over budget and how extensive the scope creep has been – you just don’t.
Left: Mineral Ice by Benjamin Moore will be the main color palette for the common areas and the living room. Right: Rejuvenation . Poplin Floor Lamp $423.
Look #1: Drum roll – $12,317.30. This includes significant discounts from West Elm, Ballard Designs, CB2. January is a big sale month.
Look #2: West Elm Sectional as posted above. Top Left: Target Warwick Wood Ratan Side Table $85.49 Top Right: World Market . Natural Basket Weave Jute Rug 9 x 12 $314.50 Bottom Left: Article Mara Walnut Coffee Table $299. Bottom Right: Etsy . Sideboard in Walnut $1897.45
Total for Look #2: $6264.83 Note that it does not include 2 side chairs or any lamps in this look – and they will be needed.
Now I don’t want you to think that I am being irresponsible with the recommendations I am putting forth for this young professional – on the contrary, I conducted an extensive search of some of my very favorite places – West Elm, The Inside, Etsy, Verellen, Shop Candelabra, World Marketplace, Rejuvination, and more. I went back to some tride and true Ben Moore colors, and picked a few new, and I will visit Home Goods for lamps and accessories, because well, they are simply the best for inexpensive, transitional lamps (remember, that’s a modern twist on traditional), and they knock off high end accessories faster than I can make my way down to NYC to get lured into buying the original. Thank the Lordy- Lord for Home Goods. Sometimes I think it’s too good to true, and then I pinch myself, and there it is…devine design, but not by Candice Olson – I love you unsung HG Knock-off Division heros.
Top Left: West Elm . Leigh Coffee Table $488.60 Right Top: West Elm . Flourish Rug 9 x 12 $1279.30. Middle: Shop Candelabra Boyd Delux Credenza $4797. Bottom Left: Target Single Drawer Hafley Side Table $62.99 Right Bottom: Ikea . Veda Arm Chair $199.
Look #3: Total $10,088.88 no lamps included in this look
So, back to the challenge: A condo that closes next week. A major move from DC to Boston, a series of subs lined up to execute the work – a tiny bit of demo, open a wall here, let the light in there, refinish the floors in a walnut stain – I approve even though the decision was made before I arrived on the scene, and paint. Then – a totally clean slate. Music to my ears. No Grandmother’s sofa to work into the mix (excuse me all you Grandma’s out there – I love you – truly I do, it just makes it so much easier when you can start fresh). To be clear, I would have taken that sofa and had it reupholstered for more money than you would have approved – so don’t you see…it’s just better this way.
Additional pieces I love and which could all work with any of the looks. Top Left: West Elm . Retro Tripod Coffee Table $209. Top Right: Etsy Walnut Credenza and West Elm . Kidney Bean Coffee Table $365.
Every room needs furniture. Two beds, a living room, and presumedly a dining area – though that is not part of my scope (hey you – you know who you are – the guy this challenge was posed for in the first place – I’ve got three dining tables if you need one.
I am well trained by my sister Jo-Jo to provide 3 options. She likes options, and a full design presentation. She provides the budget and I provide three schemes that fall within the same, and she picks. I will say, she typically picks items from all three options, but that’s her right – she’s paying.
I’m pretty excited about what I have selected and do hope that Jake will be too. It’s a lovely way to begin one’s life in a new town – don’t you think?
I spend a good deal of my time fantasizing about beautiful objects, exotic places, and different ways of life. I love my life, and find great joy in the make believe. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy travel so very much. To step into another culture, to talk to other people about their lives and paths – fascinating. It’s healthy to imagine, don’t you think?
This weekend of Sales, Sails (I am on an island after all) and Sales, had me troving the internet for steals, and deals. I ask that you keep in mind the relativity of a deal, based on the items I’ve carefully curated, some of which buyers would conduct months, or even years of research before taking the plunge – I might buy on a whim.
CB2 x GOOP. Boucle Chair. $899. (ready for ship October 2018)
Judge away if you will, life can take you in funny directions, if only you are willing to let it.
Fiat Jolly . 1959.
Amazon – by the way – is taking over the world, and while it makes me nervous, I find it AMAZing that they can ship me a home for free. So I’ve decided to stuff my worry down into my toes, and save it to my favorites list. Later today I may just put it into my shopping cart and click send.
Take three parts obsession, mix with two parts curiosity, and one part spending problem and you’ve found someone – ME – that finds a lot of things. Things that I fall for, quickly, like a crush. I know it’s just as likely to be a passing fancy. Two primary reasons for that are money, and space. It’s true that some of those obsessions keep me up at night. Some find their way into my dreams, and skip along into my waking hours. These I know will likely not leave me alone until I find a way to make them my own. Least you think I get whatever I want, I’ve been doggedly hanging onto the idea of the Jean de Merrysea urchin chandelier in wrought iron. This I spied for the first time in 2007, eleven years ago. I want it nearly as badly as I wanted it that first time I walked into BGon the 8th Floor of Bergdorf Goodman.
Zara Home . Rattan Cage Coffee Table. $199.
Sometimes the anticipation is nearly as good as the actual getting of the thing. Sometimes…but other times I just want it immediately. This week I came across a few gems I thought I’d share. First, Zara Home has put out a collection that is really affordable and super cute. The Golden Sphere Coffee Table, and second the Rattan Cage Coffee Table, both $199.
Seraphina Velvet Bed . CB2 $1099.
CB2 has a simply angelic, tufted bed called the Seraphina Velvet Bed, in a soft off-white that will send you into pillowy clouds of heavenly sleep.
Voila Custom Seating . The Wing . NYC.
And last but not least…Voila – a contract design and furniture fabrication shop. Voila in deed. If you can imagine it, which I do ALL the time – they can build it for you. How cool is that. The Belgian founder, Katrien Van der Schueren first brought her skills procuring and framing prints to the LA in 2008, and later added staging, furniture design, and events to the line-up. I wonder if she has plans to open on the East Coast? While I feel entirely worthy of the pieces, the price of shipping these days is a killer.
I was ridiculed for considering writing about love, and for relating it to one of my very favorite palette’s – PINK. Ridiculed until I erased all reference to it. How inconsiderate of me to write about a subject, a feeling that other’s might not have …. but while the aggrieved party isn’t paying any attention, I am in fact going to write about it. Who doesn’t love the innocent hue that is pale pink, a simple heart, a cheerful pouf, a garland that hangs from an otherwise dull cabinet or lonely hearth. Who could possibly object to loving things that are lovely?
Sometimes I even love things that are not lovely. I call them “good ugly”, but today’s post is about the truly pretty. It’s about hearts and flowers in the form of furnishings and fabrics that make me happy, and if love is worth its salt – it will make you happy.
Cole and Sons . Magnolia Lavender – Lee Jofa
It often starts by shopping in the baby section, it sometimes makes it way into kids. By Preteen it’s too cool to be represented. It makes an appearance now and again in the world of adult decor, but is often relegated to a single small space – a powder room, a guest bed, a walk in closet where one dresses. Why when the color makes me so happy should it be delivered in such small doses?
The Rug Company . Harrington . From $3740.
Well, it’s Valentine’s Day – almost – so I am going to celebrate this warm in the cheeks hue as if I were a kid again. Here are some of my happiest petal pink, and blushy brights for you to view.
Have images of dark wood, and stodgy interiors when you think about cane in any iteration. Banish the dodgy, and slide into the cool washed out, contemporary, and fresh takes that cane has to offer. From seating to sideboards, canes breezy take on the traditional is all it took to turn this Cape Cod girls head. For those of you that have been following the saga of the Manse, you know I am preparing to furnish this place the moment the construction is done, and I want to do it right. Sometimes the things that have been around for the longest, survive because they adapt. Cane could just be one of those things.
Derived from the the Rattan Plant, and indigenous to Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia, this vine grows in the rain forest. It’s thorny bark attaches to trees and leaves as it seeks the sun – so appropriate – growing between 100 and 300 feet. It’s incredibly flexible, and stripped from the bark, in long lengths it makes for a wonderfully strong material that can be woven into intricate patterns. Perfect for hot climates as the screen lets the cool breeze whistle through its openings, keeping you cool.
Brought to prominence in the height of the Victorian Era – if that doesn’t sound a little old school to you, it should, it dates back much farther than that. Tibetan Warriors, Peruvian Princesses, and though I can’t validate it, I would bet that the Romans and the Greeks played a role in its prominence. They always do….. Cane has stood the test of time.
Left: 1stDibs . Desk Chair by Pierre Jeanneret Punjab University $4800. Right: Serena & Lily . Cayman Pendant $498.
This latest pairing with contemporary frames, and white washed finishes is coastal perfection. It’s so hip, I’m inclined to consider it for the city. Here are my picks.
None of my properties have broken the 1000SF mark. The largest at 935SF wasn’t the one that felt the biggest and the smallest – 525SF didn’t feel the smallest. Layout is everything when it comes to the livability of a space. Natural light and high ceilings also contribute to a feeling of expansiveness even if you don’t have a sunroom off the kitchen or a game room for the kids.
Pint Sized . 525 SF
At 708 SF property No. 4 feels smaller than I’d like. The living room is petite and as I have mentioned there is no room for a dining table. All around, furniture solutions will play a big role in my comfort and overall happiness in the space. Fortunately I have learned a thing or two about furnishing small spaces, and new clever, creative and well designed solutions for those of us that choose to live small, arrive like welcome house warming gifts to the market all the time.
Tried and true small space hacks include:
Lucite Chairs – they stack, disappear, and can be used in endless ways from desk chairs, to living room seating, at the dining table, or tucked into a corner of a bedroom. I also use mine as a stepping stool – it supports up to 300lbs.
Barely there. The Louis Ghost . Phillip Stark for Kartell
Side Tables – placed side-by-side they eliminate the challenge of a large single coffee table, and can be broken apart and moved around to accommodate a guests cocktail or an Hors D’oeuvres platter.
Suzanne Kasler’s Living Rm. uses upholstered stools and small coffee tables for interest and versatility.
Stools and Poufs – seating in small spaces is always a challenge. Multi-purpose furniture is a must. Whether you choose an inexpensive garden stool, upholstered piece or a pouf, whether you display a flower arrangement, a stack of coffee table books, or rest your weary legs after scurrying around the kitchen preparing cocktails for an impromptu get together, I take seriously the adage – you can never have enough!
Pouf an extra spot for someone to sit.
Some of my favorite new to market finds include a modern take on an old European favorite – The Gossip Chair by Oomph. Oomph really understands how to design these tiny little petite-fours that they call chairs and have them comfortably accommodate a a 6′ tall, 285lb man. No small accomplishment. Having used their Slipper Chairs in two separate applications – both in narrow living room spaces – I can attest to their elegance and functionality. If you must gossip – do it in this chair.
Oomph . Gossip Chair $3630.
CB2’s Recluse Desk is contemporary cool – hung on a wall, and disguised as an objet d’art. Clever and functional. Now that’s sexy.
CB2 . Recluse Desk $449.
In my hunt for a dining table solution, my friend recommended a company called Resource Furniture. Who knew a 17″ console table could expand to a 115″ dining table. Now that’s brilliant.
Resource Furniture . The Goliath Console . price upon request.
As I prepare for another busy week, I’m hoping for a dash of that inspiration to float my way. Happy Sunday.