1940's lloyd's of susses boardwalk high-back metal chairs, $600 each
Factory20.com is an online antiques resource based in Sterling, VA that stocks an incredible range of good, old things. They’re expensive, but judging by the looks of the site, I suspect they’re in excellent condition (or, if scuffed, scuffed in all the right places). Inquire and purchase via email, and Eric, who runs the place, will deliver your furtinure when he’s next in NYC.
early 1900's french ladies writing table, $900
1890's art nouveau mahogany side table, $1,600
dutch flaring spindle chairs, $780/pair
vintage buoys, $55 each
vintage bread crate of architectural hooks, $175
long john cayenne peppers
Look what finally decided to join us, at last! To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to do another Growth post this year. These past few weeks, little by little, JB and I have been dismantling the H&O garden. Most of the raised bed is clear, and in an effort to use as much of the mint as is humanly possible before winter strikes, I’ve been continuously picking and consuming it (mint in my tea, mint in my salad, mint with my tomatoes, mint in my rice, mint bouquets all over the apartment…a girl can only use so much mint). The tomato trellises are all that’s left, but before we take those down, I needed to gather the last of the kinda ripe ones (look up), and the abundance of green ones that don’t stand a chance in New York’s now 40-degree days (winter in October? Seriously?). But look how many:
Seems I’m in for some more green tomato pickles. Thank goodness for Mrs. B’s recipe!
p.s. The chili pic is my very modest ode to the late, very great Irving Penn (1917-2009), still-life photographer extraordinaire and inventor of fabulous picture dreams. No one’s done food better than you, Mr. Penn.
In lieu of a Brooklyn brownstone to renovate and blog about, I am currently undertaking a renovation project of another sort: The dollhouse. It is actually an architectural model that I inherited from a friend (one of several, Mr. Urffer was an architect). This one was left abandoned in a storage unit for 50 years. SS likes to joke that even the mice are too spooked inhabit it!
Personally, I love everything about it, the brass door hinges, the clapboard siding, even it’s decrepit-ness. All of the tiny details are perfect––it was made meticulously to scale and constructed with the proper materials, even. Notice the beautiful dormer windows…they are double-glazed and they actually open and close.
This is a side view, and inside the open door is a mudroom that will one day be a tiny kitchen.
the front of the house
I can’t wait to build and plant little window boxes and install a porch swing. First, though, I have to replace some of the windows and repair the shingles––with the house were a box of extras. Then, a massive spring cleaning is in order.
a bird's-eye-view of the interior
The roof of the house lifts off so that you can see the diminutive beam-and-board constructed interior of the main room. I am thinking to modernizing the living space by building a sleeping loft in the unfinished second floor, and making a silver Calderesque mobile to hang from the beams.
I like the idea of a cozy cabin aesthetic; a stone fireplace made out of river rocks, a sheepskin rug, a farmhouse table.
My fantasy country home in miniature. Stay tuned!
SS's lamp before painting
In the spirit of recycling, I am making an effort to reinvent old things rather than buy brand-new replacements. This old lamp is one that SS has had for years––he’s attached to it, which means there was no negotiating its removal from our apartment. The compromise? It sat in a closet for 6 months.
Recently, I went to see Russell Whitmore of Erie Basin who is a wonderful re-inventor of old things, and he showed me a milk glass lamp that he had painted black. It was my Eureka moment, for sure. With SS’s permission and a little black oil-based Benjamin Moore metal paint I got to work at turning SS’s lamp into a gothic black beauty. The linen shade is from Just Shades.
SS's lamp painted with a new shade
Ikea Asker pot, unpainted
These sensible Ikea Asker containers are the definition of “multi-purpose.” I love the modern, biomorphic shape and they come in two sizes (5″/$5.99; 6″/$7.99). I have them mounted on the wall in my office to hold pens and pencils and in the kitchen to hold utensils and maximize counter space . With a foam brush and a sample size of Farrow and Ball “Hague Blue” ($6), I made a beautiful planter. You can mount them on a nail or hook.
Ikea Asker pots, prep
Ikea Asker pot, planted and painted
Pheasant Bowls: Before
Pheasant Bowls: After
Because DW is in Panama on a yoga/surf retreat with her honey––lucky girl––I’ll be taking the reins at H&O for a few days. Left alone and to my own devices this weekend, I felt inspired to dig up my favorite quick-fixer: Semi-gloss Rustoleum paint. It’s an oil-based paint, which means it’ll coat anything (just be sure to use it in a well-ventilated room and with a can of mineral spirits nearby; it’s good to use primer, too, if you have the patience for it). These pheasant bowls (they look like pheasants to me…?) were an impulse buy on ebay––only $5 for the pair. For two weeks I loved their earthy colors, but yesterday their funkiness was suddenly too much. Just look at what white paint did for my pretty pheasants! Painting over their eyes, while keeping their beaks and gullets black, makes them look more elusive, I think. And I kept the inside of the bowls their original mossy-green, just in case I want to use them as decorative dishes (p.s. I generally avoid painting surfaces that will come into contact with food).