Last Wednesday night we had the pleasure of premiering Irwin’s interpretation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at Spring Awakening, a Broadway inspired Tabletop Show to benefit the Summer Theatre of New Canaan.  Charles Pavarini III and Randall Tarasuk assembled an amazing collection of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey designers who displayed settings that rivaled any Broadway opening night.  We were humbled and honored to be included in such an auspicious group.

Immediately upon entering the spacious room at Le Beau Chateau, Irwin knew exactly what he wanted to do.  The space and the show (a musical that never made it past previews in 1966) buoyed his imagination and the magnificent Stroheim fabric became the inspiration and the foundation of the scene he began to build.   Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a very NYC story; elegant and sophisticated, with a sense of humor that Irwin made sure to reflect in his interpretation.

So please, make yourselves comfortable and turn off all cell phones as we raise the curtain on Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

The scene begins with George Ratkai’s oil on canvas entitled Man & Woman symbolizing Holly & “Fred” the main characters of the show, who in reality, need no names.  Below them is an Edward Wormely for Dunbar Bench and a Lucite and chrome cigarette table

They find themselves on Fifty Seventh Street, just around the corner from Fifth Avenue where they are greeted by a Frederick Weinberg horse cart offering up bubbly along with the sweet smell of spring’s flowers in Central Park.

The MCM floor lamp graces a custom handmade shade reminiscent of a Hepburn chapeau.

The beauty of NYC surrounds them and Norman Mercer’s incredible Lucite sculptures atop the mirrored pedestals represent New York’s majestic skyline reflected magnificently by our scrolled mirrors.

 

 

The massive Tiffany doors stand erect, beautifully built and faux finished by our wonderfully talented friend Fabrizio, of F & F Faux Finish Painting and are accented by our brilliant glass rod sconces placed strategically as handles.

The Baughman Love Chair is covered in hot pink and is …well, it just is and does not require any further commentary; you can just let your imagination go wild.  It is marvelously comfortable covered with splendid pillows, a copy of the work and a vintage piece of Marcy Feld Jewelry.  It is paired with a white Sculptura floor lamp and the "Atomic Scientist" lithograph by John Brunsdon, along with a Pace end table.

The inspiration for the setting, the striking Stroheim fabric covers the unique barstools which Irwin has re-sculpted to mimic the shape of a woman’s body and appear as incarnations of Holly sans the sunglasses: The peaked corners are our homage to Cat.

The “Tiffany” table is our custom designed MCM inspired piece that Tiffany’s purchased several of for the fifth Avenue store and is flanked by our sexy Grosfeld House chairs covered in dazzling Donghia fabric.  The entire scene is set upon the exquisite Yardo Silk Rug courtesy of Kooches.

And the tabletop?

It is brimming with painstaking details from the layered Juliska “fountain” topped with our little MCM rooster to the coffee bean filled cups.  Breakfast treats, including Tiffany box inspired petit fours adorn this magnificent mercury mirrored table with baguette edges and iron base.

 The table, trimmed with Tiffany blue ribbon, is set with glorious Juliska crystal and our personal Bernardaud Limoges china designed by Josef Hoffmann.  The cereal bowls are filled with pewter coco puffs and Juliska napkin encircled by our “Engaging” napkin rings designed by Irwin. 

 The details are unending and may require several viewings so please feel free to enjoy the visual feast and remember no flash photography is allowed during the performance.

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

 

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