Springing Forward; Roots in Tow

We are rapidly approaching that time again; that much anticipated moment when we move our clocks ahead one hour and “spring forward”.  Despite losing a much needed hour of sleep, I relish that pivotal moment because it means that I have made it over the hump of another cold, dark winter and spring and summer’s renewal are just weeks away. 

 

 

Spring is riding into town

 

 

The appearance of Green

 

Over the Hump

 

But as I rush to pack away the coats and boots anticipating days of shorts and flip-flops, I give pause and recall the greater appreciation I have for spring and summer because of winter.  It is Old Man Winter with his short frigid days, his bare limbed trees and stormy gray skies that instills within each of us endurance and strength, not to mention the ability to make great strides in difficult times and …immeasurable amounts of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

short frigid days

 

bare limbed trees

 

 

 

stormy skies

 

 

immeasurable amounts of snow

 

 

While youth and its vitality are enchanting and alluring and surely the hope of our collective future, after all, who can resist a cute baby, puppy or kitten?  Respect and esteem for the elders whose many contributions and sacrifices have made it possible for a new generation to flourish, must never be taken for granted nor overlooked.

  

Our cute baby

 

 

our cute puppy

 

We are reminded of that everyday as we scan the Gallery and see our CF Modern benches standing shoulder to shoulder with the icons that paved the way for their success.  We acknowledge the “Greatest Generation” of craftspeople whose skill and ingenuity made it all possible and embrace our Mid Century masterpieces and the new generation they have given birth to.

 

 

CF Modern Style GP 100 Bench

 

 

CF Modern Style GP 101

 

So, as we prepare to move ahead to the longer and more temperate days of spring and summer and the bounty of imaginable opportunities the future will bestow, let’s salute and honor all who came before us and planted the roots that afford us the opportunity to “spring forward” and blossom.

 

Firmly Rooted

 


Springing forward

 

 

Our Future

 

While it is Wordless Wednesday, I prefer to think of it as almost wordless, because although these images speak for themselves, I cannot refrain from just a bit of banter while I introduce, what I hope will become a weekly post, IFD Focus.

Today's premiere IFD Focus is on case pieces, a furniture classification with roots extending as far back as ancient Egypt.  While the materials, artistry, and construction of this integral classification have changed throughout history, its basic function remains the same: Storage.  And who doesn’t need more storage?

So without further ado, allow me to present some of the latest case pieces to arrive on our Gallery floor. All multifunctional, all beautifully refinished, all built to stand the test of time by our Greatest Generation and all are testaments to the enduring beauty and functionality of Mid Century Design.

 

 

Sculptural Walnut Credenza

 

 

 

Beautifully Detailed with Brass Standoffs and plentiful storage

 

 

 

 

 

TH Robsjohn Gibbings Cabinet

 

Classic original Gibbings doorknocker hardware on the doors 

and two shelves inside for abundant storage

 

 

brown cerused mahogany bow front dresser with 3 deep drawers

 

 

 

The piece is flared and each drawer has an "v" shape.

The dresser sits on polished brass conical legs

 

Continental 12 Drawer Mid Century Dresser/Credenza

 

Generously proportioned for use in a bedroom or dining room with 12 drawers for ample storage. Each drawer has an incredible handle and backplate, all newly re-plated in nickel. foot sabot detail

 

Mid Century Walnut Dresser

 

3 drawers in center with polished nickel hardware are flanked by 3 drawers on each side with self pulls. Dresser sits on a floating base.

 

 

Mid Century Modern 4 Door Credenza

the perfect piece to go under a flat screen TV.  The center opens to reveal a single shelf, perfect for media equipment; the left side has one shelf and the right side has 3 small drawers

set upon an open platform

 

 

 

 

TH Robsjohn Gibbings Credenza

A center cabinet with cast gargoyle heads is flanked by 3 drawer cabinets with coordinating cast hardware. This rare piece sits on a raised platform with mild Asian influence stretchers.

 

Whatever the function, wherever the room, there is a case piece that will accommodate  your needs. The Mid Century Modern genre offers an array of styles that will blend seamlessly in a variety of design formats, affording you authentically unique decor.

More than a Message in this Bottle

 

"Simply Intoxicating"

I first shared this picture with you last Thursday, taken on my walk home from the Architectural Digest Show.  It became our Photo of the Day, entitled “Simply Intoxicating”, because that accurately described the entire day.

Although I’ve lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for over thirty years, I have just recently begun to walk the Hudson riverfront daily, as part of a New Year’s resolution to get fit and had never even taken notice of the giant work of art before.  I was so intrigued that I walked around the mammoth bottle and peered into its many port holes. What I saw delighted me so, I had to share it with you.

first sight

 

divine deco

 

stainless kitchen

 

 

compact quarters

I had no idea when the giant bottle had “washed up” on the shores of the Hudson, so I did a little research.  I discovered, thanks to an article by Albert Amateau in the Villager, and another in The Weblicist of Manhattan, that the oversized wine bottle, entitled “Private Passage”, was designed and created by Malcolm Cochran, a renowned artist and professor at OSU.  It had been placed in that area of the Hudson River Park, entitled Clinton Cove in May of 2005.

"extra firm" mattress

And while the exterior was quite a surprise, the interior of “Private Passage” was even more astounding.  Who would have imagined that the familiar message inside this oversized wine bottle was: “Great Design is Timeless” and how perfect to have stumbled upon this stainless steel recreation of a stateroom loosely based upon photographs of the ocean liner R.M.S. Queen Mary, on my way home from the AD Show. It was serendipitous!

Of course, knowing this, I had to look for some photos from the R.M.S. Queen Mary and discovered these photos on The Queen Mary Deck by Deck as well as ssmaritime.com.

R.M.S. Queen Mary Lounge

 

R.M.S. Queen Mary 2nd Class Lounge

 

R.M.S. queen Mary 2nd class stateroom

The Art Deco inspired interiors and commissioned art installations for this “Grand Dame” of the sea were amazing.  What began as a walk home from the Architectural Digest Show and an interest in an outdoor art installation quickly became a journey back in time. While Irwin and I marveled at many of the photos on the websites, my interest in the interior designers for the ship piqued and I began to look for additional information.  While it is noted on wapedia, that much of the interior of this majestic ship was designed byThe Bromsgrove Guild of Applied Arts, I was not able to find more definitive information so… that voyage continues.

 

 

Faux-ward Thinking: The Anatomy of a Wall

A wall can be so much more than…a wall.  It can be more than a room divider, a spot to set furniture against, or a place to hang art.  A wall can BE art.  Case in point: Our Wall.

Yes, our wall: The wall at the front of our gallery space; the wall that separates us from the bathroom. The wall we face, when we are fortunate enough to be sitting at our desks. Our Wall.

Our wall was not in particularly good shape to begin with, well, if the truth be told, it was in terrible shape.  We didn’t much care because despite its flaws, which we had disguised with several different shades of paint, it was still a more than worthy backdrop for some of our larger pieces of art and lighting.  We probably would never have given it a second thought, had we not met Fabricio Fabri.

We met Fabricio, a superb painter and faux finish artist, while setting up for Holiday House, a designer tabletop show we participated in this past December. Our friend and interior designer, Jolie Korek, brought Fabrico in to cover a wall in the space we shared. We were so impressed with his talent that we invited Fabricio to work on a wall in our gallery

As is often the case in our business, a quick redo soon became a full-blown project, and we were swept up in the process.  The metamorphosis was so astounding, that we thought we would share it with all of you.

Excited to begin the transformation, we were thrilled when Fabricio called and said that he was ready to begin.  Like most paint jobs, as well as many faux painting projects, the thrill is in the almost immediate gratification. We were not anticipating a Michelangelo chapel project, just a quick “pick-us” up; a couple of days from start to finish.

Day 1: Fabricio, along with two assistants arrived at the gallery ready to begin the project.  The scaffolding is put up and we begin to realize the scale of this project.  The day was spent removing nails and spackling the holes that covered the wall.  The spackle was allowed to dry and then sanded smooth.

Spackle Time

Day 2: The men returned and began the task of skim coating the wall. (A process during which joint compound is spread over the wall in order to make the wall smooth and even.)

Skim Coating Begins

Day 3: The skim coating was allowed to dry.

Day 4: The skim coating was sanded and another layer of skim coating was applied.

Coating to perfection

This process was done two more times and a week had passed.

Week Two began, and we were making larger pots of coffee to accommodate our growing family.

Day 8: Let the primer begin! The first, of two coats of an oil-based primer (grey in color) were used to cover the wall, which was then smoothed out by brush in order to avoid “The Orange Peel Effect” (lumps and bumps on the surface).  The odor was noxious and the neighbors complained.

All primed and ready to go

Day 9. The wall was allowed to dry and the neighbors grew restless.

Day 10.  The second coat of primer was applied and smoothed out by brush.  The fumes forced us to leave our doors open during the bitterest days of February.

Day 11.  With the wall primed to perfection, Fabricio returned with his assistants and they taped the wall in a checkerboard pattern.  Then they began their magic and began to apply the glaze. The first gaze was a beautiful metallic pewter with sand for added texture.  After each square was painted, the excess paint was wiped off and a hard brush was used to create the magnificent striation effect.  When Fabricio finished applying the first glaze, we were so in love with the color, we almost passed on the second color.

The wall is taped and the glazing begins

 

The process continues

The first glaze color is complete and side wall stripes are added 

Day 12.  The first color was left to dry.

Day 13.  The second glaze color, a warm metallic bronze was applied and allowed to dry.

Applying the 2nd glaze color

Removing the last of the tape

Finishing the stripe wrap

 

the wall is complete

And….Voila, our feature wall was complete.  Although it took longer than expected, the results far exceeded our expectations and the finished product is so magnificent, we shudder at the thought of placing a single nail in it.  It is, after all, Art.

Faux-Ward thinking-Mission accomplished

If you like the work you’ve seen and would like to contact Fabricio his information is below:

F & F

Faux Finish Painting

Decorative Interior & Exterior Painting

Fabricio Fabri (Bill)

349 N. Mac Questen Pkwy

Mt. Vernon, NY 10550

Cell (914) 882 9226

Fax (914) 667 2211

 

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”.

italian glass Rod Sputnik Chandelier

 

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