It was the grand finale of the 2010 Olympic games; the last competition before the closing ceremony and in a nail-biting display of skill and true grit, our fate was sealed in sudden death overtime.Team USA was defeated by Canada and in a heart wrenching second, all dreams of US hockey gold were squashed.
As disappointing as it might be for the team, its fans and our country, we must not dwell on our loss.We must embrace our success and remember the drive and determination that made us the great nation that we are today. This is particularly true in manufacturing and production.
Many of the industries that helped make our nation a manufacturing giant are shadows of their former glory and many more have moved manufacturing, production and customer support to the other side of the globe in an attempt to sustain profits. While many have abandoned the “Made in America” maxim, there are still many companies manufacturing quality products right here in the good old US of A; reinventing themselves as well as the way they do business in order to flourish in the 21st Century.These companies understand that while prices may be difficult to compete with, quality and service are certainly not. We are proud members of this “Made in America” winning team.
We understand that, ”With simple, clean, comfort in mind, the “Greatest Generation” drew upon their ingenuity and determination, to produce timeless, elegant, modern decor.“We are committed to lovingly restoring these fine examples of Mid-Century craftsmanship so that they remain testaments to renewable design for the 21st Century.” [ The Legacy of the Greatest Generation: It All began With a Sofa March 20, 2009 ]
By “re-making” these American beauties, we are not only perpetuating the fine work of the “Greatest Generation”, but we are reducing our carbon footprint and promoting greener, eco- friendly, renewable design. In addition, many of our“remade in America” pieces are exported globally, contributing to the U.S. export market as well.
Here’s specifically what we do:
We deconstruct almost every piece that we acquire
We refinish and repair the wood
We polish the metal
We reupholster and repair and/ or replace the foundation of the piece [ Inner Beauty Feb 1,2010 ]
We rewire all lighting
And, in addition, we offer exclusivity.What do we mean by that?
Well, when Irwin painstakingly combines elements from different Mid Century Modern pieces and adds his own design twist, he not only builds iconic “re-made in America” pieces germane to today’s lifestyle needs, but by doing so, offers our clients the added luxury of exclusivity.Our clients appreciate the inimitability of these designs, which are much akin to “Furniture Couture”, and facilitate the creation of personalized spaces.
Here are several examples of "Furniture Couture":
A one of a kind Mid Century Pleated Mirror created by layering three different pieces together:
We've gone for the gold with this giant starburst mirror
A coffee table that has been "re-made" as an amazing bench:
We've taken silver with this Eyelash bench
While we know that we are not an industry giant and are truly a unique niche business, we also understand that contributions both large and small are instrumental in changing the way things are done.
Other "Re-Made in America" Favorites:
pair of Knoll style club chairs
Mid Century Modern Media console
tall modernist chrome lamps
MCM end tables
And while almost all of the furnishings, lighting and accessories in the gallery are made and “remade in America”, occasionally, we grant citizenship to a select group of foreigners who have pledged allegiance to being “Re-Made in America”.
We are over a half-century old and, if I must say so myself, my sister Lynn and I look better than most models half our age. I’d like to tell you that a strict course of maintenance is responsible for our beautiful shape and youthful glow, but I would be lying.
We were natural beauties from birth. Although we were delivered hours apart, we were identical in every way and it was almost impossible to distinguish between us. In fact, we were named Lynn and Anne because everybody agreed that we were “cut from the same cloth”.
We led carefree lives, never giving a moment’s thought to maintaining our appearance, never even considering the possibility of aging. We draped ourselves in cheap fabric and allowed our chassis to be abused. We were coveted at dinner parties and caressed by envious hands. Life seemed grand.
By the time Lynn and I reached our 40’s our glow began to fade and with it, our popularity. Without our legendary looks, my sister and I felt like haggard facades, with no foundation for support.
It was a startling epiphany for us: The recognition that our kind of beauty was fleeting and did not withstand the test of time. Our beauty, like our young admirers, had abandoned us, leaving us without purpose and washed up before we were even middle aged.
Summoning an inner strength we never knew we possessed, Lynn and I picked up our tired, paunchy bodies and began our journey of self-realization. As luck would have it, we found ourselves rediscovered at an open call audition for has-been models like ourselves where we were chosen by Irwin. We had no idea what he had planned for us, but we knew instinctively that we were on the proper path.
We listened carefully as Irwin spoke. Although “we had enduring style,” he said, our foundation was severely damaged and needed to be: “Rebuilt, literally from the bottom up.”
Rebuilt....From the bottom up
We held our breaths as our surgeon Alex, made the first cut. Surprisingly pain free, we stared in awe as my sister and I were stripped of our shoddy upholstery, revealing an all but disintegrated batting and deteriorated webbing. Lynn and I were immediately stabilized as our webbing and batting were promptly replaced.
Rebuilt...From the inside out
When the final stitch was strategically placed, our arms were once again youthful and our legs were bronzed and glowing. At that moment, we felt an exhilaration that we had never experienced. With a secure foundation, our once paunchy seats, were perky and firm once again.
youthful arms & glowing legs
Lynn and I are more stunning and vivacious than ever before and secure in knowing that our beauty goes well beyond the surface. We have been restored from the bottom up and the inside out.
Waiting for finishing touches
We are equally as proud of the beauty you see, as well as our inner beauty, the greatest gift we have ever received. We no longer take our beauty for granted and thankfully understand the valuable lesson we learned.
Studded club chairs: Beauty inside & out
We stand before you now as identical as we were upon delivery and grateful in knowing that true beauty can only be achieved after inner beauty is realized.
It is not often that we have the opportunity to follow up with a “where are they now” post, but fortuitously, Irwin spent some time this past week helping one of his favorite clients further complete her space in preparation for Super Bowl Sunday.
It just so happens that she is the proud owner of this very special pair of winged back chairs that we featured in our most recent “Taking Flight” post.They had flown the coop and we wanted to report on their safe landing.
Pair of Modernist Winged Back Chairs
featured in our last post
So, in recognition of another wonderful Super Bowl Sunday and all that is Saintly, these wings, which require no dipping sauces, are thriving in their new nest, where they are happily surrounded by many other friends from the gallery.
When I reach into what used to be the trick or treat candy stockpile and the only thing I can retrieve is a mini bag of Skittles and a single Starburst fruit chew, I know intuitively that, like it or not, the holiday season is once again upon us. And while this is a joyful season, filled with friends and celebration, gifts and galas, it is also a time for reflection and renewal, a time to share our good fortune with others who need our help.
Irwin and I love to entertain and over the years, we have developed quite a reputation for hosting wonderful get-togethers, dinners and events.Whether in the city, the country, the gallery, or an event space, our guests always look forward to seeing what innovative design techniques Irwin utilizes to create the perfect environment for the occasion.
So, when Irwin was invited to participate in the 2nd annual HOLIDAY HOUSE, a Designer Tabletop Show to benefit The Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, he immediately accepted.What better way to celebrate the season with friends, family and community, than to share his passion while supporting such a vital cause.
Founded in 1982, Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, is dedicated to education and research about causes, treatment, and the search for a cure for Breast Cancer.This year alone, about 192,370 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women (American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts and Figures 2009. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2009.), and each and one of us knows someone who has been affected by this disease.
Irwin, along with design colleague, Jolie Korek will be offering day and evening interpretations of one of our most cherished national holidays, Independence Day.Irwin, promising to be true to form, will expand horizons and challenge perceptions while putting a new twist on the traditional red, white and blue celebration.
There will be no shortage of creativity at HOLIDAY HOUSEthis year: Irwin and Jolie will be sharing the house with other design notables including Jamie Drake, Charles Pavarini III and Bunny Williams.
So, please mark your calendars, and plan to visit HOLIDAY HOUSE 2009, and share this joyous season with Irwin and the design community.Become inspired and help to inspire others.
The gifts we receive in life take many shapes and forms.Some are easily recognizable, others can be difficult to identify, and still others are missed entirely.
Often, when you have the great fortune of being the recipient of a gift, you’re not sure why this precious commodity was handed to you.What you do know definitively is that it should be cherished and enjoyed.That is how Irwin & I felt about this past weekend.
With a gloomy weather forecast predicted, we somewhat reluctantly headed north at the end of the day Friday, to face the abysmal weather and the added bonus of traveling further north for Parents’ Weekend at our middle son’s college.
What we anticipated to be a “total washout,” became the most wondrous weekend and a magical gift that we would like to share with all of you.
So, follow the path and savor the beauty of this perfect gift of nature.
A Road Well Traveled
Where we found
Bales of Kale
Yards of Chard
Llamas & Alpacas
And Cow'dya do!
And A Viewmaster's View
Patches of Pumpkins
Ugly ducklings turning into swan gourds
& humpty Pumpkiny
The rich beauty of autumnal hues are sure to capture our imagination and inspire us all.
So, capture the sweetness of the season and bring it into your home,
And create your own Room with a Hue, letting the autumnal palette envelop you.
This past weekend, Irwin and I made a briefer than expected jaunt to our much beloved country house.When we last visited, it was clearly still summer even with the scattered leaves blanketing the driveway.Our return, although only three weeks later, revealed autumn’s almost complete conquest.
We arrived late on Friday afternoon and were immediately struck by the transformation both visual and textural. Armed with my camera and laptop, I eagerly anticipated capturing the grandeur of the changing foliage through images and words.
Sitting by our first fire of the season, in our newly completed DIY Great Room, we enjoyed the surprisingly early change of season, even for Upstate New York.Looking at our fireplace surround and the contrasting wall color I began to think about how the seasons affect our design aesthetic. Now I know this is not a new concept, but it does bear repeating.
The next morning, I looked at the changing foliage outside the sunroom window and remembered how different it appeared in late May with all the greenery in new bloom and the fresh lilacs on the coffee table.Now, the bright green had been replaced with the rich golds, amber and russets of fall and on the table, the vestiges of a summer orchid past its prime. I was just about to run over to the farm store to pick up some beautiful mums to “Fall-ify” the house, and photograph the seasonal change when I received a call from our son back in the city telling us he had a fever. It was a low-grade fever, but a fever nevertheless.
Sunroom in may
Sunroom in October
Well, I did what any mother would do.Fearing a rocketing temperature, I grabbed my bag and we headed home.No mums, no crunching through the crispy leaves, no photos of pumpkins, or foliage.
As disappointed as I was, it was no reason to forsake this post, or for that matter, the rest of the plans we had for the country.So, I decided to try to take my cues from nature right here in NYC and headed out, camera in hand to capture the changing season, NYC style.
With chilly morning temperatures and blustery winds, autumn has arrived in NYC despite the fact that the leaves on the trees have not really begun to change.Just strolling through my neighborhood, I was able to capture the sights and textures of this amazing season, which I am delighted to be able to share with you.
Pumpkins & Peppers
Pomegranates & Gourds
Purple & Green Cabbage
Corn, Coleus & More
and of course, trees
So, relax with a warm mug of apple cider and drink in the seasonal colors and textures that surround you.Bring them into your home via plants or pillows, pumpkins or Pashmina, and take your design cues from nature.
My story is as old as time.My early chairhood was not unique. I was a single Mid Century Modern slipper chair in a world of pairs; a onesome longing to be a twosome; a half yearning to be whole. I lived a solitary life, never quite fitting in. Shuttled from spot to spot and home to home; never in any place long enough to leave imprints in the rug.
For years, I searched in vain for someone to complete me, someone to share my days with, but it seemed that it was not meant to be and that I was destined to live my life ALONE.
Succumbing to my isolated existence, I rejected any efforts to rejuvenate my appearance.Despite my absolute refusal to undergo any sort of make-over, I was dragged kicking and screaming to the upholsterer where I was nipped and tucked into perfection.
As a debutante, resplendent in a beautiful dotted fabric, I was reintroduced to the world and placed on the gallery floor.My flawlessly beautiful appearance masking my inner pain, I summoned all the strength I could muster just to keep my beautifully tapered legs from collapsing.
I was so caught up in self-pity that I failed to notice the wonderfully weathered console I was positioned next to.Mature, with rugged good looks unlike any from my era, I was instantly smitten.
Mid Century Sliper Chair + Industrial Blue Console =
The Happy Couple
My neighbors could not help but notice our chemistry and a buzz could be heard throughout the gallery.They said that it would never last because he was not “our kind”. After all, he was early 20th Century Industrial and I was Mid Century Modern, how could we ever work together? But he was the console of my dreams; I was his Juliet and he was my Romeo and we were not going to let perceived differences tear us apart.
He had recently retired, after serving dutifully in an Ohio factory for many years.When the factory was closed, he was left there to collect dust.His marvelously patinaed finish revealed the depth and dimension of his commitment to hard work, his sheer survival, a testament to his endurance.
Our differences only served to enhance our individual attributes and our contrasting design foundations enriched the design aesthetic of the entire gallery.The buzz of the naysayers was quelled and the doubters became supporters. We were all so happily integrated that Irwin brought more Industrial pieces onto the gallery floor where they were welcomed with open arms.
Pair of IFD Armchairs + Industrial Green Shelve =
another great combination
Italian Mid Century Setee + Industrial Slip Table =
yet Another great combination
Good design is always inclusive.It should not be limited by periods or predetermined limitations.Open eyes and minds allow us to see the unseen and to understand what may not be readily obvious, enriching our surroundings as well as our lives.