Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Whence came a painting.

It would be fair to say that our approach to art acquisition is "all of the above".  

Case in point: about three weeks ago, V and I were in Manhattan with the baby and we saw an old portrait in the window display of the Angel Street charity thrift store in Chelsea and we both immediately liked it. Sadly, it wasn't for sale yet - the store manager told me that it would go on sale, along with a bunch of other fancy items in the window, on Feb 25 and he didn't know the price yet.  

So, yesterday at 10:15 I rushed out of the office to be at the store by their 11am opening time.  Turns out Chelsea isn't as far from my office as I thought and, thanks to a well-timed train I made it to the store in 15 minutes.  I was the only person there and I stood reading in the cold while people lined up behind me (although other people didn't start showing up until ten minutes before the door opened).  At one point I worried that since I didn't know where in the store the portrait would be, I might miss it and lose it to someone in line behind me while searching for it, but just before they opened the doors, I saw an employee place it on the front counter beside the register.  Obviously, there was also the possibility that when I did reach it the price would be unacceptable and all would be for naught.

Things worked out.  I got in first and got the painting and the price was reasonable.  Although while I was admiring my claim, an older gentleman walked up and tried to take it out of my hands as I was looking at it.  He said, "oh, I would like to see this."  And I said, "Yes. But sorry. I am purchasing it." And he had his hands on it and was trying to turn it around to look at it himself and said, "May I?" And I said, "Sorry. No."  And he said, "What?" And I said, "Yes. I am purchasing it."  And he said, "Oh no!"  And I said, "Yes."  And he seemed sad and gave up.  Then, as I wandered about a little to see what else there was, I heard a couple more people asking the manager where the portrait of the boy was and I heard him replying, "It is sold already."  And, of course, that made me feel very nice indeed.
So now we own this slightly crazy portrait:

Size Approx 14" x 18" - photo of painting as first seen in thrift store window

It's a little beat up and crackly, but V thinks it is wonderful and I really like the way the light is breaking through the clouds over his left shoulder.  It will inevitably cost more to frame it than it cost in the first place if we go to a frame shop so I guess we need to start thrift-shopping for the perfect frame.

DESIGN IDEA: Where the kitchen meets the living room

We have been so distracted by our expansion into the third floor that thoughts and plans for the round house have sort of fallen by the wayside.  But Spring is coming and I want to get thinking and working on it again.  To that end, this post got me really excited about what we can do with simple materials (looks like they stole their pix from a print magazine):


Especially this pic:
There is NO WAY I am not stealing this idea for blending the marble kitchen tile floor into the plank flooring in the LR.  I want it!!!

Also, that dining table is just fantastic.  It might have a few too many legs for my under-table toe-stubbing pleasure, but it looks great.

This bathroom is awesome! Granted, they don't have to deal with the sloping round walls, but the mish-mash of materials works great.

I don't know if I want black shower walls (though they would be a nice tribute to the fire the house suffered that made it affordable), but everything else in this shower is pretty much perfect.

Monday, February 25, 2013


We have talked about this, but I am thinking a mantel would add a lot of texture and depth to the living room, and be a nice focal point/divider of the aforementioned Two Spaces of the Parlor.

Mostly, it would be an opportunity to lean things on other things and put more art more places.

I think we'd definitely need a big ass mirror. Perhaps the one that came with the dressers?

(Insert obligatory photo of Jena Lyons' house somewhere in here.) (Also Keri Russel's.)

Parlor Rug Size

What do all these living rooms have in common? Aside from a vibe and palette that I love, they all feature area rugs on wood floors. The rugs are all just large enough to define the sitting area while leaving the floor largely exposed. We have been talking about a larger scale rug that almost mimics wall-to-wall carpet. I think a smaller rug has the effect of focusing the room and creating a cozy area for hanging out, while making the rest of the room feel expansive. 

Also -- and I think this is not a small consideration -- sweeping or swiffing is so much easier than vacuuming, and therefore could be done every day rather than once a week, so I think ultimately the living room would be much cleaner. I must add that I am speaking as the person who will be doing most of the cleaning.

I know most of these living rooms are not brownstones and have very different dimensions and layouts from our house, but I think you can get the idea of grand space vs. cozy delineated seating area.  Imagine the bottom photo if they had a huge rug over everything instead of that small one that creates a special space. I think it would lose something.

Also, this way we could go with a more exciting rug if we knew it was possible to keep that area off-limits to dog and messy stuff. If we cover the whole floor, we just have to pray never to spill, but if we differentiate this one area, I am more confident that we could keep the dog out of the danger zone, and then we can pick something lighter or plusher or fancier or whatever. Then the problematic big box of a parlor floor becomes two nice areas: living room and dining area.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

INVENTORY: Drawer Pulls - flowery stuff

This is a lot of about 29 porcelain drawer/cabinet pulls I picked up at BIG NYC.   They are lovely with pictures of flora and the Latin names below.  Hopefully they will go on something upstate.


A couple doorknobs I have in storage:

This pair would be perfect for French doors.  I am missing one escutcheon.

This one is heavy and nickel plated.

INVENTORY: Plumbing Fixtures / Parts

For ease of reference and finding this stuff, here is a list with photos of all the plumbing pieces I have in storage.  Almost all of it is from Waterworks but there is some great Barber Wilsons stuff at the bottom.  Some will go upstate.  Some awaits a big fix-up at home.

Box # Photo of Item Description

A satin nickel Julia faucet.

A polished brass Julia faucet.

A chrome Julia faucet.

A copper bar faucet.

We plan to use this natural brass finish, two-hole goose-neck faucet by WW for our master bathroom upstate.

A P-trap for the brass two-hole faucet above.
A1 A hand sprayer for a shower set-up.
B1 Another hand sprayer for a shower set-up. ($895 with hook (below), hose and wall elbow)

And another hand sprayer for a shower set-up. ($895 with hook (below), hose and wall elbow)

This is the right angle hose wall outlet for a wall mounting WW hand-shower.  This goes to the wall, a hose goes from this to the hand shower handle.


This is the wall mounting hook for a WW hand-shower.  
B4 This is another style wall mounting hook for a WW hand-shower.  
And another wall mounting hook for a WW hand-shower.  
  Replacement Cross Handles for a WW faucet.
A5Astoria Volume Control Valve Trim with Metal Hexagonal Cross Handle (Nickel).  This should be very useful since the WW volume valve rough it trims out is only $80-$120.
A2 Julia Volume Control Valve Trim with Metal Cross Handle (chrome).  Same idea as immediately above.
A10 Seven (7!) flush lever handles for fancy Waterworks or Toto toilets (shown in this photo and the next two).  Fancy!  I don't imagine we'll have 7 WW or Toto toilets any time soon, but we'll certainly have use for 2 of them and maybe more someday.
A11 More flush levers.
A12 More flush levers.
This is a thermostatic shower body.  The control piece on the right is the cartridge that goes onto the mixer housing on the left.  I don't exactly understand how this works.  ($840 new)
A15This is a nickel plated shower diverter to be used to add a handheld shower sprayer to an exposed thermostatic shower unit.  These things go for fat bank. ($1155 new w/handshower and hose)
A6This is the handle for the shower diverter (A15) just above.
This is a drain unit for a vessel sink.
Handshower on Bar w/o hose.  Handshower not included.  However, I have three handshowers separately (see above).  The pic of the item installed is not the exact same style item, but it gives at good idea of what is in the box.
A14Handshower on Bar (like above) with hose.  Handshower not included.  However, I have three handshowers separately (see above). 

This is a Perrin & Rowe Exposed Thermostatic Shower Diverter.  Basically, the big valve piece interrupts the exposed riser pipe above a thermostatic shower body and volume control and it diverts the water to the hand-shower.  It includes a sliding piece that goes on the upper part of the riser pipe to hold the hand-shower.  It also includes the hose.
This is a Rohl 8-Jet shower head.

This is a trim kit for a thermostatic shower body.  It isn't the exact same style as shown in the WW photos, but similar.  As you see, I have four of these in total.

This is another trim kit for a thermostatic shower body.

This is another trim kit for a thermostatic shower body.
A9This is another trim kit for a thermostatic shower body.

I'm not sure but I think this is a piece from a trim kit for a thermostatic shower body or maybe a volume control.
B2This is a hand-sprayer for a kitchen faucet - the whole thing is there with hose and a separate valve assembly and everything.  But in order to control the temperature, I would need to add another mixer under the sink with a fixed termperature setting on it.  Hmmm.  Confusing.
B9This is a Lefroy Brooks lavatory single-hole faucet.  Such a pretty faucet.

This is a Kohler right angle shower arm.

This is some sort of trim kit for a Kohler faucet/shower (not sure which).

These seem to be some spare 
WW parts.

I think this must be a sink supply line valve.

A sink drain assembly.

A Barber Wilsons nickel tub fill with hand sprayer.  Attachments are for deck mount but wall mount attachments are available.

A Barber Wilsons brass hand shower.  2 Attachments are for deck mount and only one extra for wall mount - but could be wall mounted with one extra attachment.

Two old Crane faucet valve sets with porcelain handles.