Lightning Strikes Twice

 

What a difference a year makes.  Last year we were confronted with the decline of our beloved four-legged son Charlie.  After eleven wonderful years of love and devotion (he turned up in our driveway when he was about three), our boy was struggling.  When the doctor suggested that we put his affairs in order, we knew that he wasn’t ready to throw in the towel quite yet. We weighed the options and decided to celebrate his life and allow him to have the best summer imaginable.  We moved him to the country where he spent every possible moment outdoors surrounded by friends and neighbors of both the two and four-legged varieties. 

Charlie and his best friend Zippy

Charlie was a special boy, charming, gentle and funny.  He was a joy to be with and the glue that held our family together.  His arrival on our doorstep that cold 1st night in December 2001 was the greatest gift we had ever received. 

For months our boys had been pleading for a new dog, but we were still recovering from the loss of our last dog and weren’t ready to take the plunge. When we returned to our house in the country from an afternoon of bowling on that cold dark evening and our son’s friend exclaimed that there was a dog in our driveway, we thought he was joking.  But this was no joke.  There was a large black dog waiting by our side door.  Since our home is on an unlit dirt road, we had no choice but to invite him in. 

He immediately found a place under our kitchen table and soon after, in our hearts as well. We scrambled to find his owners, but repeatedly came up empty.  He had tags issued by a local veterinary practice, but when we finally reached them, they told us that the numbers on his tags did not match any of their issues.  By this time it was Sunday afternoon and we needed to head back to the city.  We knew that we could not leave him or deliver him to the local shelter so with us he came, tic larva and all, and by the time we reached the city, he had a home and a name; Charlie.

 

Our boy Charlie

The irony of Charlies arrival did not go unnoticed; he arrived on December first, the day after what would have been our first dog, Danny’s birthday. 

Irwin and I were not even married six months when we happened upon Danny in a pet store on our way to pick up some last minute things at Bloomingdales before embarking on our belated honeymoon.  When Danny was placed into Irwin’s arms it was truly Kismet, and before we know it, we were making arrangements to have the pet store hold him until we returned from Jamaica.  Unable to stop thinking about Danny (whom we originally were going to name Dondi), we returned thirty minutes later and took him home. 

With our vacation in less than a week, we did what any other young couple would do, we called Irwin’s parents and congratulated them on becoming grandparents, and left them with a new puppy and a large supply of wee-wee pads.  What were we thinking?

 

Puppy Danny

A week and an entire kitchen’s worth of grass cloth wallpaper later, we were full time puppy parents.  And so began an eighteen year love affair with Danny, his Shitza- Poo significant other Maxx, and there three puppies, Moo Moo, Lu Lu and DJ ( Danny Junior).  A graphic group of black and white bundles of joy that filled our lives with love and lots of repair costs.

Danny's significant other: Maxx

 

 

 
Danny & Maxx's Puppies: DJ (white) Moo Moo (B/W) Lu Lu (Black) 

Danny and Charlie were polar opposites.  Danny was a dazzlingly white Bichon with incredibly short legs, while Charlie was large, regal and black with long legs and a smidge of white on his chest and fluffy paws.  Danny was cerebral and was given the nickname "Einstein" (he could even talk) and Charlie, when asked where grandma was, often brought us a shoe or sneaker instead.

The one and only: Our Little einstein: Danny

 

Charlie Sr.

What the two did have in common, besides our boundless love, was a red collar.

Charlie left us as he had arrived on our doorstep with humor, grace and love on a beautiful evening in August under his favorite tree.

 

By the middle of September, we were surfing Petfinder.com looking for a new addition for our family.  We had agreed to wait until spring because with the exception of three years, we had had a dog (or dogs) for our entire married life  (thirty-two years).  And after Charlie’s rear leg issues and our increasing ages, we were thinking about a smaller dog (max 35 pounds) that could easily be picked up should it become infirmed.  There were lots of cuties, but we always seemed to be drawn back to Flat Coated Retriever mixes.

 Irwin came across Charlie on Petfinder, (yes, his name was Charlie) back in November, he said that something about Charlie spoke to him, but we had agreed that were not quite ready for another dog.  Besides, I thought that it was more than a little weird considering another black, Flat Coated mix dog with the name Charlie.

 

When Irwin saw that Charlie was still on Petfinder in February, he knew that he had to call and find out more.  When he called he was told that Charlie had just been placed in his forever home.  While he was disappointed, he was happy to hear that Charlie had found a good home.  Four days later, Irwin received an email from the woman at the rescue, telling him that Charlie’s adoption did not work out and that he had been returned.

Well, Irwin was beyond happy and made arrangements for us to see him the following Sunday.  He told EVERYBODY…..but me.  I was told that we were going to an auction for Mid Century lighting on the way home from the country. 

When we pulled into the driveway of the non-descript split level home, I told him that it couldn’t be right and to please get proper directions.  When a woman came out walking two dogs, I realized that I had been punked.

And so it was.  Charlie, a beautiful black mix of what we believe to be Lab, & Border Collie, with warm golden brown eyes, a tuxedo shirt of white on his chest and fluffy feet tipped in white, came home with us on that blustery February day with two days of food and…a red collar.  Some things are just meant to be.

 

Charlie Jr.

 

When Irwin decided to participate in IFDANY’s Take A Seat Event, where twenty-four metro NY designers would be creating up-cycled chairs to be auctioned off on Thursday May 16, 2013 with all proceeds to benefit relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy victims as well as for local IFDA chapter professional development, he could not help but be inspired by our Charlies, past and present and the never ending connectivity of life. 

Irwin purchased this a chic 40’s lounge chair with sinewy lines several years ago.  Despite its condition, he recognized that it had enormous potential.  He put it in the gallery storage room and forgot about it.  When Irwin signed up for “Take a Seat” he went into his storage room to see if he had any appropriate chairs and discovered this beauty.   While he knew it needed a total overhaul, he also knew that good bones are good bones no matter the condition and that this was “The Chair”.  Irwin had it lacquered in the bright red color of “The Charlies” collars and upholstered the chair in a graphic black and white pattern representing  “The Charlies” colors their many points of connectivity and lightning, that CAN strike twice.

Lightning Strikes twice: before

 

 

 

Lightning strikes twice: After 

The kick off event took place last night in the TOTO showroom where we had the privilege of viewing several of the IFDANY chairs ( ours included) and join the other 2 IFDA groups (S. Cal & Japan) live via Skype to celebrate this momentous occasion.

 

 

"Lightning Strikes Twice"

 

 

IFDA Japan live via skype

 

Sam Simon and Tamara Stephenson at the Kick off event

 

 

Lots of bubbly to celebrate at TOTO

 

The chairs will be on display in the Lillian August store windows and floor from May 8-21.  If you are going to be in NYC, please stop by and visit the Take a Seat exhibit and vote for your favorite chair for the People's Choice Award.

 

AND...Please be sure to join us for what promises to be an extraordinary evening on Thursday May 16th, when MC/Host, Designer Jamie Drake, and Karl Green, auctioneer and director of Furniture & Decorative Arts, Bonhams NY,  auction off these amazing one-of-a-kind up-cycled chairs.  Enjoy great company, live music, delicious  hors d'oeuvres and fashionable drinks.

The Gala Auction will be held on:

Thursday May 16, 2013

6-8:30 PM

Lillian August Furnishings + Designs

12 West 20th Street

New York, NY 10011

$20 per person

Click here to order tickets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 Autumn has arrived with all of its spectacular colors and aromas and the excitement is palpable.  The once brilliantly green trees are almost bare, their leaves now blanketing the ground and snow seems to be in the forecast for some as early as…today.  After over five months of bringing the indoors out and utilizing our outdoor living spaces during those long and lazy days of spring and summer, we are preparing to do an about face.

 

bare but beautiful

 

Despite the fact that is still only October, seasonal commercials have begun to permeate the airwaves thrusting us into into:

t h e  H o l I d a y    Z o n e 

                                                                                                           

And while we would prefer the old school holiday season that begins on Black Friday, we also believe that to be “forewarned is to be forearmed” and that the extra month (if you can stand the plethora of commercials) is a gift; the gift of time.

With Halloween around the corner, we are getting ready to embark on that frenetic, exciting and unpredictable marathon of indoor entertaining that begins at the end of the month and goes on and on and on…and on.

So take a deep breath, pour yourself a cocktail and use the gift of time, not to become overwhelmed, but rather to plan, prepare and revel in the long season. 

Festival of Lights

  

This is a joyous time in the Gallery.  The anticipation of so many celebrations and the lifetime of memories that will be made are not lost on us.  We know all too well the importance of holiday celebrations in our lives and are delighted when our Mid Century masterpieces play an integral part.  After all, these pieces represent the talent and design ingenuity of our greatest generation.  They have been lovingly restored and re-invented, offering clients a unique opportunity to own a one of a kind piece that has stood the test of time and is available for immediate delivery.  And let’s be honest, who can resist that kind of opportunity?

 

One of a kind couture: Priceless

 

Whether you are hosting your first or one hundred and first celebration this season, there is a lot to think about. So let’s get started.

Today we will lay the foundation for holiday entertaining and focus on four key elements that need to be considered when preparing your home for the season.

 1.  Lighting                                                                                              

 2.  An amazing dining table                                                                           

 3.  Extra, multifunctional seating

 4.  Mirrors 

Regardless of your design aesthetic or your budget, there are a multitude of options available, and we always recommend that you purchase the best quality that you can afford. 

By the end of October summer’s endless days are little more than a memory.  When we turn the clocks back at 2 am on November 6th, evening will turn into an afternoon affair and supplementing the rapidly diminishing natural light becomes crucial.  This is the time to let your imagination shine and select appropriate additional lighting for your home, especially the areas you plan to use for entertaining.

 

Shedding some light on the holidays

 

Sconces & Chandeliers add light & sparkle; Mirrors help too

 

 

An absolute Standout: Massive sputnik with brass,copper & nickel

 

crystal sconces and sputniks, oh my!

 

 

 

Capiz Shell pendants; White as snow

 

brass & lucite chandelier all aglow

 

 

Lucite & Brass Table lamps: All wrapped up

 

The centerpiece for holiday entertaining is most often the dining room. If you have large celebrations and have adequate space, a large table or a table with an extra leaf or two may be best.  If your celebrations or space are on the smaller side, a smaller table will probably be more appropriate.  Whatever the size, chose a table that you LOVE and everyday entertaining will become a special event.

 

A dining table & chairs worthy of any celebration

 

 

 

Lucite, Aluminum & Glass Dining Table: Clearly a winner

 

 

 

An intimate celebration

 

 

 

 

With 2 leaves & Casters:Versatile and adaptable

 

 

No holiday season would be complete without adequate multifunctional seating.  This most often comes in the form of benches and ottomans that can be stored under other pieces if necessary and then moved to wherever they are needed, whether as extra seating at the dining table or as additional conversational seating.  The options are endless.

seating to spare

 

This bench is really on the ball

 

Pull up a seat...or three

 

This Mid Mod diamond bench: a gem

 

 

 

A pair:  Perfect...anywhere

 

 

A proper Probber

 

And there is no better way to enhance the sparkle & dimension of any space than the addition of a beautiful mirror.

Mirror Mirror on the wall

 

 

Right on target

 

 

a beautiful reflection 

So put your thinking caps and prepare to enter...

 t h e  H o l I d a y    Z o n e     

Begin the planning process early because while some of us (Irwin included)  are often inspired and creatively motivated by the adrenaline rush of last minute preparations, most of us benefit from early planning and organization.  And while there are sure to be a few bumps in the road, the season will be infinitely more enjoyable and      N O T  scary at all!

 


Spring's Bouquet Awaits

If you have been a reader of our blog, you know how much Irwin and I love our country lifestyle; how we bask in the glow of that simpler slow home life surrounded by the beauty of nature in every season.  And while we adore every moment we are able to spend there, I have to admit that returning to the country this past weekend was slightly depressing.  While we were the ones who practically hearkened the plague of Snow Days that befell us this winter, we have exceeded a point of satiation and are longing to see grass, however brown or soggy it may be.

When we arrived in the country we were greeted with exceedingly muddy roads bordered by massive banks of blackened snow.  Our patio, still buried in gray frozen matter, revealed the season’s wrath with our spun fiberglass table literally crushed from snow weight and the glass top of our bar precariously perched on winter’s muddled remains.

Remains of the season: Crushed

 

 

Design: Fallen Asunder

 

But the temperature was above freezing and although the pervasive dreariness seemed to hearken back to an early English Gothic novel, rain was on the way and with it the long awaited, much overdue disappearing act of the snow.

As promised, it rained throughout the night as well as the following day, which included our entire ride back to the city.  So imagine our surprise when the alarm company called us the following morning to advise us of a power outage in the country. It seemed that the rain turned into snow and ice, devastating our entire area and leaving almost three hundred homes without power.  The highly anticipated cleansing promised by the foul weather turned into an ice storm with trees and power lines down.

A bleak trip

 

 

a wet welcome

 

 

 

A Hauntingly beautiful yet destructive surprise

photo courtesy of  J.Debonis

 

Three days have passed and we are still awaiting power restoration, which has already been pushed back four times.  We are desperately hoping to avoid receiving that dreaded “low temperature” call from the alarm company and the possibility of frozen pipes as well as extensive damage.

Which brings me to my much-circumvented point: Life is unpredictable. There are so many things we have little or no control over on a daily basis.  What we do know for sure is that we must embrace all that we have, hold on to our seats and hang on for the ride, taking the wheel whenever possible and ALWAYS wearing our seat belts.

Despite the length and severity of this winter, spring will indeed arrive EVENTUALLY, and with it, the beautiful, bountiful bouquet of scents, textures and colors that remind us all that life, despite its unpredictability, is spectacular.

Spring's Bouquet: Arriving shortly

 

In celebration and in anticipation of spring, a season of rebirth and renewal, we are once again teaming up with Komen CT to raise funds and awareness for and about Breast Cancer.  Our pair of Pretty in Pink 4 Life Mid Century Bouquet Club Chairs in a bold hot pink floral print are available individually or as a pair, and as with the beautiful Pretty in Pink 4 Life bench, all the proceeds from the sale will go directly to Komen CT.

 

Our Mid Century Bouquet Chairs: Pretty in Pink

 

 

A Beautiful addition...for life

 

Help us celebrate the beauty of springtime and the gift of life itself.  Please share this  so that everyone can be Pretty in Pink for Life.

 


The event may be long over, but the memories remain. 

Please join the celebration as we share:

The Life of the Party: A Fall Celebration

The New England Home Connecticut Magazine Fall Networking Event with photos courtesy of Landino Photo

  

Pink Tulips Always Life Affirming

 

Our very own: Steve & Irwin

 

 

Robin Horton of  Urban Gardens & Caitlin McVarish of Apadana Fine Rugs

 

 

Beth Dempsey of Images & Details & Liz Orgera of Shorely Chic

 

 

Sandra Ferguson of Connie Beale & Liz Hynes of Juliska

 

Kyle Hoepner of New England Home & Carolyn McDonough of Diane James

 

 

Stacy Kunstel of New England Home, Jane speroff of Jane Speroff Interiors & Cynthia Mason of Cynthia Mason Interiors

 

 

 

Our Host with the most

 

 

Ann Morris of Komen CT with Irwin

 

 

Should I be Jealous?

 Betsy Abeles-Kravitz Of New England Home with Irwin

 

 

 True Blue: Ruth Warner, Susan Blumenfeld, Charles Warner & yours Truly

 

 

what a team! Glenn Sadin,  Betsy Abeles-Kravitz,  Kate Koch

of New England home


 

 

Beverly Rivkind of Beverly Rivkind Interior Design and Stacy Kunstel

 

Me with Tamara Stephenson of NestNestNest & Susan Young

 

 A view of the room

Carlos Solano & Steve Cassler

 

Irwin & Amanda Martocchio of Amanda Martocchio Architecture & Design

 

 

Mark Klapper

 

A pink moment: A perfect Nest

 

The best neighbors anyone could ask for:

Erica DiMartino, Victoria Keating and Liz Hynes of Juliska with Kyle Hoepner

 

 

A Special Bench, A Special Price, An important Cause

 

 

Pretty in Pink 4 Life Bench $1800 with all proceeds to benefit Komen CT

Available  for purchase

A Mid Century Masterpiece: A Gift 4 Life

 

It is another Sunday morning in the country.  As I welcome the first light of day, I am reminded that October has come to an end and Halloween has finally arrived. Most of fall’s cavalcade of color is now just a memory and the howling wind is a prophetic reminder of the months ahead.

 

 The last of Fall's Color

 

 

 Reaching for the sky

 

 

 convergence

 

Even as the first frost inches closer, the summer bloom continues to stand bravely and resolute, defying autumn’s ever-encroaching position.

 

 our burning bush aflame with pink roses still in bloom

 

 

 Cat nip holding on

 

 

 our roses: Pink Power

 

As I have said before, these late and continuous blooms are no coincidence but rather a sign of: Pink Power.

On a morning that feels more like Thanksgiving than Halloween, I marvel at nature’s continuous attempts to remind us that although October is over, the continued support of Breast Cancer Awareness is not.  Our vigilance and commitment must continue until everybody is “Pretty in Pink 4 Life”.

So, as we welcome in November, and the kick off of the holiday season, let us remain focused on a cause that is season-less.

Our beautiful “Pretty in Pink 4 Life” Bench remains unsold.  Don’t you know somebody who would love this gift that continues to give? Priced at $1800 with all proceeds to benefit Komen CT.

 

 Pretty in Pink 4 Life Bench

photo: courtesy of Landino Photo

 

 

 Charlie: The keeper of Pink Power

 

As our friend Charlie says:

Let’s kick off the holiday season with the gift of life!

As the moon set I set the alarm for two am, yet by midnight I was still awake.  I could not shake the events of the past few days and I could not get this phrase out of my head: “More being, less doing.”

 

The moon setting over "our" mountain

 

It is no secret that we love our life in the country. We have managed to rebuild a slow home that we have furnished with vintage and mid century pieces and live an intentionally slower life that we fully embrace.  We even held off bringing internet into our home for over ten years, fearing that it might inhibit the quality of life we enjoy here.  I write about it all the time, the slower pace, the thoughtful lifestyle, paying attention to the little things, making memories, taking the time to smell thethe rebirth of spring, but never had the importance of this lifestyle become clearer to me than this past week.

I attended the memorial service of a friend’s sibling, an extraordinary individual who passed away too soon. Although the situation was tragic, the celebration of his being was stunning and I walked away wishing I had known him in life. His wife’s words resonated in my head as she reflected upon their life together, wishing that there were “more being and less doing”.

More Bee-ing

 

So simply stated, it was profound: More being, less doing. Which brings me back to Friday night.  Setting the alarm and getting up at 2am would probably have not been a priority two or three years ago.  I would have probably set the alarm with good intentions and then shut if off and gone back to sleep.  I now know better.  Given the finite amount of time we are privileged to be here and how quickly it flutters by, every day & every experience is a gift to be savored. The time spent “being” is why we do all the ”doing” in the first place.

Life Flutters by

 

Although I know that inherently, and write as well as talk about it, I often forget to do it.  My children remind me of this all the time and to be honest, I am not always the best at practicing what I preach, but I am going to try each and every day as I chant my new mantra: More being, less doing.

So, Irwin and I took a blanket outdoors after 2am and lay under several more as we faced the Northern sky awaiting a five thousand year old event that did not disappoint.  We spent over three hours gazing at the meteor shower and the enormity of the heavens; just being, not doing.

Perseid Meteor Shower

 

It's All About the Little Things

While we can all agree that gifts of jewelry and expensive handbags are always coveted and appreciated, sometimes it’s the little things that cause our hearts to swell as we become teary-eyed and farklempt...And it is the little things that make our houses cherished homes.

That was just the way I felt on Sunday when Irwin surprised me with breakfast on the patio.  Irwin, our resident Frittata Master, chose to treat me to an asparagus and goat cheese omelet.  While the omelet was delicious, it did not bring a tear to my eye, despite the red pepper flakes.  What really touched me was the coffee station he set up in our prep/storage room, complete with farm fresh milk. It made a simple breakfast at home seem like a private dining experience in a lovely bed & breakfast; just a little touch that meant the world to me.

Breakfast waiting at the "Coffee Station" on the way to the patio

 

our storage/Prep room-Not yet finished

 

 

my coffee station-"A little thing" that meant the world to me

 

 breakfast gobbled up but the hydrangea remains

 

Irwin is constantly tweaking our home.  Editing and rearranging have become a way of life for our family and we all enjoy the inherent surprises that are revealed to us almost daily. It is absolutely true, that on any given day, we might arrive home to find our den and dining room flipped, or the master bathroom re-accessorized.

In light of this, it should come as no surprise that, while I was out of the house driving our oldest to the train station Sunday afternoon, Irwin was busy rearranging a corner of our bedroom so that I could have a dreamy reading niche.  Yes, yes, I know I have expounded on the many seating and eating areas in the house, but NONE of them are in our bedroom.  When I cannot sleep and want to read, I cannot do it in bed because Irwin is extremely light sensitive.  I have desperately attempted to circumvent this issue by implementing the use of reading lights…and even flashlights, but it was to no avail.  If I wanted to read while Irwin was sleeping, I had to go downstairs. 

 

My reading niche

But now those worries are a thing of the past, because Irwin generously presented me with this sweet niche he created by re-purposing pieces from other parts of our house including the stunning Hydrangea (the only bloom we had this year) that was on our breakfast table.

 

it's all in the details including my breakfast hydrangea

The focal point of the area is a vintage chaise that I adore.  Although it is delicate, it is extremely comfortable and I love laying on it.  I have my own reading light, far away from our bed that will afford me hours of uninterrupted reading while offering Irwin hours of uninterrupted sleep. Beautiful artwork,a fantastic screen, candles, a throw and fresh flowers complete the niche.  The only thing missing is a decadent box of chocolates...and me!

Perfect:Down to the smallest detail

 

Like “Dining Out…at Home”, the little things that we do to our living environment can make us feel like we are spending time in a lovely inn or hotel and who doesn't enjoy that?

Time at home feels like time away

 

I look forward to returning to the country later this week and relaxing with my book and a glass of wine in my reading niche, enjoying the little things that make everyday life so special.  But first, I’d better check with Charlie. I have no idea what he's reading.

Charlie's Book Club?

 

**Thank you Irwin for always reminding me to pay attention to the details and nuances in life!

 

The other day our country neighbor and good friend Jeanne stopped by with her delightful dog Zippy for a collaborative dinner and we once again began the discussion of where to eat.  It is not that we have no place to eat, but rather the opposite.  The number of places in and around the house available for sitting and especially eating has become somewhat of a joke amongst our friends over the years.

Charlie's good friend & neighbor, Zippy

 

It is true, we have many places throughout the house, both indoors and out to sit and relax and…to eat.  What can we say? Maybe it’s because we both come from families where food is so important, or maybe it is because in our city apartment, we have no outdoor space, and our formal dining room was eliminated years ago and combined with our living room to make way for a much-needed den.  Whatever the reason, if you are looking for a place to relax or…eat, we have a place for you!

 

dining in the great room under ceiling fans is a great alternative on warm evenings

 

We love spending time in the country and when we are not working on the house, we are usually relaxing and/or entertaining at home.  Irwin loves to cook and set a table so we rarely eat out and because Irwin is a creative genius whose mind is constantly churning out new ideas, it is essential that different venues are available for him to work in.

My favorite way to begin an evening: a pitcher of cocktails

 

Alfresco dining under a tree

 

Our Dining Room: A thanksgiving favorite

  

Most breakfasts are served in the kitchen or on the porch, where the usual fare is either my famous blueberry or banana pancakes or Irwin’s world-renowned breakfast frittata made with whatever is available in the fridge.

 

Our kitchen: open 24/7

  

 

the porch: No  Reservation needed

 

irwin's famous frittata

 

Lunch and dinner can happen almost anywhere but always feel special.

 

dining on our deck is lovely in the afternoon

 

So, whether you are two for dinner or serving twelve, have one eating area or more, little changes can go a long way in making  “at home” dining special.

For example:

We always use an abundance of candles, votives and tea lights.  They add warmth and make everything sparkle and glow.

 

Authentic atmosphere

 

Tea light in vintage cup with fish tank gravel

 

 

light, light and more light

 

When possible, we use cut flowers from our garden; they are easy and inexpensive and always look and smell wonderful.

Fresh garden flowers-always a hit

  

We usually mix and match glassware, dishes and flatware to create interest.

This mix on our patio is fun

  

AND…we primarily use cloth napkins with napkin rings.  I know, nobody wants to spend time ironing napkins- and the truth is, I don’t.  We use lovely cotton and linen napkins that just need to be folded warm from the dryer.

 

Lovely napkin rings a gift from good friend Maybelline Te

 

 

Another feast cooked by non other than Irwin

 

I know these suggestions seem very basic and they are, but with a little imagination, you too will feel like you are dining out…at home.

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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