Thursday, November 29, 2012

Double Dresser Ideas.

So, we are agreed that we should consider getting a double dresser or two dressers for the wall opposite the foot of our bed, but what to get?  Here are some ideas for discussion - just to figure out what we both like. To be clear, I could live with any of these but they are not presented in any particular order of preference.

This is old PBTeen "Locker" stuff from craigslist ($250 for both - cheap!!)  Obviously, we would need to paint the drawers.  They match our bedstands though and are super durable.

Or this current one from PB Teen ($1099).

Or this one from PB Teen ($899).

Or two of these from PB Teen, but with a serious paint job and new pulls ($899 each).

Or this from Copeland - $2530 - (
Or this one also from Copeland (at Jensen Lewis) (

Or these from Kidegories (no idea the price) (

Or this style from - undoubtedly it was expensive. Double Dresser by Raymond Loewy for Mengel.  Me likey.

Or these from Toms Price - - Price unknown.
New Mix Double Dresser $699 - Made by Young America - Sold at Living Quarters (ask for Vicki) - 60th St & 16th Ave - 54.5W x 19.25D x 34.5H

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Reupholstering a Big Sofa

The time has come to reupholster our big sofa (90" Wide x 38" Deep) - both sides of all the seat cushions are threadbare, but the rest is in great shape and all the pillows are still stuffed and in good shape.  (sorry for the sideways photo)

So, I called Versailles Drapery in mid-town for an estimate because they were highly recommended to me by the folks at George Smith (fancy furniture place - check it out:   Anyway, Versailles came back with an estimate of $3000 without new pillows and using my own material.
For a few days I fretted and figured I would just have to get rid of a perfectly good Henredon sofa with kiln-dried hardwood frame and eight-way hand-tied springs and down filled cushions... and then I remembered... there are other reupholsterers in NYC!!!
So I shot out RFPs to three more shops: Marc Tash (Brooklyn), Harry Zarin (Mhattn) and Brooklyn Mercantile (Brooklyn).
Tash came back at $1500-1600.  Zarin said $1500.  Bklyn Merc said $2000.  All the estimates were based on me bringing my own material and not needing cushions re-stuffed.  I am inclined to go with Marc Tash because they have been around a long time and they have a very good reputation for reupholstering.   
Though still a lot of moolah, $1600 seems very reasonable for the job.  The only problem is that upholstery fabric can cost an awful lot (especially the ones I seem to like most).  All three shops figured I would need about 22 feet of fabric.  So, it is time to start looking.

What do I like?
Well, I like this Fortuny fabric called Maori that goes for something like $300 per yard. (are they freaking crazy?)

What is it I like about this frabric?  Frabric?  Sounds better with a K.  Frabrick.  
I like the vivid blue.  I like that the color is shimmery.  I like that the design evokes more traditional upholstery designs but it is actually kind of crazy and busy and thrilling.
Whatever. Can't afford it.  More fabric ideas to come.  Feel free to post some frabrick ideas of your own.

Ceiling Lights

So, now that the second floor is almost done, we need to pick some ceiling lights for the three main rooms: V's Salon (f/k/a the kitchen), Bibliotheque & Bedroom

For V's salon, we discussed something simple.  Milk-glass was discussed.  V said "Cake-shaped" - which brings to mind the standard kitchen fixtures from the fifties with their nubbly milk glass shades.  Like this:

Although I like them in the right room, I think these scream "1950's kitchen" and we're trying to turn the old kitchen into something more than a kitchen.

I like the idea of a light that stands a little off the ceiling - rather than a full on flush-mount.  But what we don't want is something big and bulky that hangs too far down since the ceiling is already a little lowish.  We just removed the big dark ugly ceiling fan and we definitely don't want to go back that direction.

We talked, I think, about something like this - might be good:

$52 at Home Depot.  It would probably be worth painting the "antique bronze" mounting part of it some other color - something other than white or dark - but fun? Poppy maybe?  I dunno - just not this awful faux antiquey metal color.  Maybe make it look like this genuine old one off ebay for $105 (with shipping):
or this new one from Rejuvenation - ( - $195 plush shipping:

Anyway, the kitchen/weirding room is V's choice.

For the middle room - the biblioteque (which we will probably end up calling the den), I think what we most want to avoid is anything that draws attention up or to the ceiling.  It is a windowless room and already feels pretty confined so I think simple and very light is best.  I could almost just go with a really flat simple flush-mount fixture like I grew up with in my bedroom.  Like this:
And that's even a little more decorative than I had in mind.  I just mean a square shade with a nut in the center.  
Or what about something like this? (Home Depot - $130).
I like it. V?

For the bedroom, again, I think simple and flush mount is the trick.  But a little more decorative or designey would be good.  Something like this, maybe? $165 online (

So there it is.  We have to pick these out and get them ASAP though because I need the contractor to install them this week (i.e., on Friday I guess) so that we can get the apartment re-inspected next week for the refi.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Whereupon Lou cried out...

Demonstrating a keen understanding of how the internet, and blogs in particular, work, Lou commented on that last post and indicated that he is particularly aroused by desks like this Mid Century Modern Paul McCobb Desk:

Thanks Lou!  I wish more people would leave their comments on the blog so that they show up as part of the conversation and encourage discussion.

Which reminds me of this Olivetti desk I once spied in the window of a shop in Soho back in the days when Soho didn't suck so bad.
I just like how the drawers are suspended from the inside of the leg and can be hung on either side or you can have two sets of drawers, one on either side.  And the top on the one I saw was real wood and lovely.

And here's another lovely one that looks trestle-y, but I don't think qualifies since it isn't on trestles but merely has the same style of top that those other trestle desks have.

Thoughts on Desks...

V and I have been discussing desk choices for her office.  This will be an ongoing conversation, but for the moment there are a few visuals as reference points.

Apparently there is a name for this kind of desk which is basically long flat box resting on glorified saw-horses.  It is called a "trestle" desk, possibly for its similarities to a train trestle? No! The "trestle" is a thing unto itself which lends its name to both the train trestle and the trestle desk.  A trestle is "a rigid frame used as a support, especially referring to a bridge composed of a number of short spans supported by such frames".  Thank you Wikipedia.

And then there is this old drafting table on ebay which I really like.

Why do I love the heaviest possible stuff - cast iron mainly. 

But V has some pretty reasonable ideas about mid-century looking wood desks.  She has shown me a few she likes and I think they're lovely.  Of course, the decision is hers to make and I'm just here to meddle in the process.