Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

The new Artemide Nesso ceiling fixture in the living room, just in time for Christmas:

You may be used to seeing this classic design in the tabletop version. We purchased it as a special order from Artemide and we were told there were only 20 of them made... we bought two!
The tree has been up for a while and we hung a nice big wreath on the pier mirror (I don't have a photo.) Here's a detail of the tree - funny, it felt a lot taller in our old apartment. Maybe we'll get a taller one next year?

We were late this year in sending out our holiday cards. Fernando had a great last minute idea. He used an image from an old original Andy Warhol card we found a few years back that has since been sold. All we had to work with was the poor quality photo on the left. With a little color added and some Photoshop magic, I think it turned out pretty nice:

Happy Holidays to you!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

St. George for sale.

No, I haven't given up on our house just yet. Still, I can't help hunting around to see what's for sale in the hood.

When we were house hunting here, nothing we liked seemed to be for sale in St. George. When we were apartment hunting, this carriage house beauty was available:
Fernando just didn't want to commit to a house. It was understandable - he was still in school. The people that did buy the house did a really nice job in sprucing it up on the outside. I've always wanted to see inside (we never looked at it) and just found a virtual tour online (click next.)

Another gem for sale in St. George is this beauty:
Ok so it needs a little curb appeal but let me assure you this one is amazing inside. I've seen it. It needs a lot of work but would be so worth it in the end. There's a butler's pantry, a huge kitchen, huge bedrooms, a beautiful staircase and when Fernando saw the sunroom on the back of the house he wanted to sell our house immediately. Ah, Fernando: don't you remember all of the work we did to our house?!

I don't recall seeing this one around in person but it looks to be in fine shape from the listing:

At the high end of the market (two blocks from our house on our street) you'll find one of my favorite houses in the neighborhood:
There are still some fixer uppers to be had as well for cheap prices... like poor next door:

That's really not the most flattering representation of next door. Unfortunately, she's seen better days and her current owner has forsaken her. Useless fact: she was once part of the J.C. Green estate along with our house and now stands where the stables used to be:

This one is around the corner and so cute - I love the round porch. I can imagine that it might need some work considering the super low price:

Another deal nearby:
On the edge of St. George, you can find this cozy house:

The photos show a central air conditioning unit and a great deck. At less than the price of a co-op that's a steal. I love the portico - can't you just see it with grey weathered clapboards, little window boxes and a black sperm whale above the door all New England style?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

JUMBO post!

I wanted to share my lastest project - my newly wallpapered linen closet. Here it is without its shelves:
The walls in here were in less than nice condition and needed sprucing up. The "wallpaper" was actually made via Kinkos on a blueprint copier from vintage wrapping paper. I found the roll many months ago, when it was still cold out (February?) and joked about using it to wallpaper the little bathroom downstairs. When I opened the roll and actually saw how amazing the paper was, I knew I needed to use it somewhere.
I used the same wallpaper paste here that I did with the Woods wallpaper in the foyer. If you ever decide to do something similar I highly recommend using very little paste applied directly to the wall. I ended up rolling it on and wiping most of it off, after I ruined sheet number 1. I made a lot of copies so ruining a sheet or two didn't really matter and I have leftover to use as gift wrap. This paper is super thin and gets pretty wrinkly the second it gets wet. The finished product has some ripples but I still love it. Also - the trimming is best done when the paper is dry. The shelves are back in now; I had painted them white a hundred months ago after stripping a hundred years of contact paper off of them. Now, I think I'll paint just the front edges with the same paint I used on the closet trim. The paint (BM French Beret) was leftover from the bathroom (right next to this closet.)
The paper states that the engravings were taken from Dr. J(ohn) Jonston's (Joannes Jonstonus)
"Description of the Nature of Quadrupeds, Fish, Bloodless Aquatic Animals, Birds, Coiled Creatures, Snakes and Dragons" Amsterdam 1660 A.D. I love the way the drawings on the paper are arranged to interact with each other; like the baboon (?) catching the ostrich egg. I especially like this man faced bird thing with his old school wig hair:
John Jonston (whose name is a perfect example of when something is gained in translation) is also responsible for this piece of incredible:
And this piece of amazing:
Yes, I realize the man needs his own post.
Other things have been happening around Chez Fixin' too - like COUNTERTOPS! Teaser:
Alas, the kitchen is still not finished yet. There is a lot of painting to do, the trim needs a lot of help and yes, we need drawer hardware. I'm hoping to finish up around Christmas.
A new light fixture was purchased for the upstairs hallway. I'll be happy to not have a bare bulb hanging around anymore. That whole area needs some wiring help before the fixture can be mounted. We chose this:

See how nice it looks in the product photo hanging against that grey background? I want to paint the hallway area a similar color. The fixture is by Artemide and is called Logico. We chose the largest size (standard) in the ceiling version. It reminds me of an Alvar Aalto Savoy vase - just upside down. It weighs about a ton and a half and is still in the box for now. I hope that we'll be able to hang it up this weekend.
I also finally ordered a fixture for the living room too. It's not a Mouille fixture but I figured that I should have some light in the living room while I save up $6000+ for a light fixture (yes, I am joking.) I don't have it in hand yet but it looks like this only upside down and with a much thinner neck:
We also bought this vintage (Poseidon?) door knocker that I hope fits on our front door:
What else you ask? Well, the found wooden bench has moved upstairs to our bedroom where it fits nicely against the wall that was formerly a fireplace:
The foyer got a new Kagan style bench with green upholstery that fits exactly where I had always wanted a bench:

We also put a white laquered linen tray top table from Jonathan Adler next to the living room door to use as a catch all for keys, cell phones, glasses, owls and anything else Fernando tends to misplace:

The office has a new case piece where a pile of junk used to hang out:
We also added an IKEA FADO lamp to the back bedroom on our "rid the house of bare bulbs spree." Oh and I'm working on a guest bedroom. We changed the fixture in there to another white IKEA KULLA pendant lamp and just bought a new mattress and box spring. I have a great headboard over at my Mom's house that I have to pick up and few other things planned... but that's all for another super sized post.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

i guess we could always slice it up and make some more benches?

I could use many excuses here as to why it's been so long since I've posted - we've been sick with the flu (swine flu?,) I've been taking a jewelry class over at FIT, last weekend we did the flea market so we could clear out some of the attic... etc. Really, there hasn't been much to blog about lately.
I had started a post all about the beach. But now it's Fall and totally irrelevant. Maybe I'll save it and put it up one day when we're freezing this winter. Yesterday we had our storm windows put up so that we hopefully won't freeze to death again this winter. We wanted to get the trim all painted before we popped in the windows but it looks like the trim work isn't happening this year. We'll most likely do it next Spring.
The person we hired used this incredibly long ladder and actually said that he was scared of heights!

I like the four paned windows much better than the two paned windows that are on the house - the third floor storm windows are just two paned.
So far we've noticed less noise from the street and less wind howling through the house. On Wednesday, when we had 50 mile an hour winds in NY, this happened:

If you guessed that that's a fallen tree from our yard that fell over into the neighboring house's yard, you are correct. We are very happy to report that the tree did no damage to our house, the neighboring house and (unfortunately) the icky chain link fence around our property. The only thing it did in our favor was take out some of the bamboo. Anyone need some firewood?
I keep saying "neighboring house" because currently, no one lives there. It is for sale and has been for a while. If you would like to be my neighbor - now's the perfect time. The price has been drastically reduced and the seller is selling for much lower than he paid. The house is huge, at 3 stories and it's around 15 or 20 feet longer than ours. I've never been inside. The seller had tried to flip the house when the market was good but his team of workers ditched him, he ran out of money and had to sell the house. Up until recently, the realtor with the listing had a non working phone number on the sign and when you called the office you only got a full voicemail box. People stop by all of the time and ask us about it because they can't get hold of the realtor. They finally added a working contact number so I hope it will sell soon. I feel really bad for that house.
So, do you want to see what I found recently? Yes FOUND! Would you throw this away?
I know these photos are a little dark but they were taken at night. It's a signed studio piece by Roy Sheldon.

It was a curb find. Someone put it on the curb! I almost hit the curb when I pulled over to grab it. It does not fit where I wanted a hallway bench but I'm using it here for now, until I find something that fits by the door. Then it will travel upstairs to our bedroom (no, you won't see it on the curb again anytime soon.)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

what goes up and never comes down?

You know how people usually just wallpaper one accent wall in a room? Now I know why. This was hard. Really hard. There are 4 doors and a window in the area, lots of trim to cut around, some really uneven areas and of course the curved wall. Luckily, I had my Mom there to instruct me and help out along the way.
After the first mishap - applying the paste to the back of the wallpaper - I did my research on how to put it up. I settled on Roman's Golden Harvest Ultra Clear Adhesive Pro 880 paste. Cole and Son recommends using their own paste or a "pre-mixed wheat paste." I can't remember why I settled on the Pro 880 but it is recommended because it makes future removal easier. This is never coming down (at least for as long as I live here anyway.)
I'm not completely finished yet (this is around 15 hours of work, over two days!) I'm waiting to give the banister and newel post another coat of stain and some poly before I paper that area. Then I'll get to the finishing touches like above the door here:
We also finally hung our freshly painted Arteluce sconces. The ceiling fixture in here needs some adjustments and a special part to fit properly. No different than the rest of the ceiling fixtures in the house!
Yesterday we stopped in at the DWR store in Roslyn. I became smitten with the simple lines of their Shaker Settee. I would love it for underneath the sconces. The problem is it's 5 inches too wide for the space.
So, I guess I'm back to hunting around. I would really like to find something vintage since most of our furniture is vintage. We only have that chair in the corner at the moment to have somewhere to sit down to put on and take off our shoes.
In the slowest kitchen remodel ever news: we decided on a ceiling fan over a light fixture. I had a great vintage light fixture for the kitchen but Fernando thought we'd be better off with a ceiling fan since there's no circulation in there. I did a lot of hunting around to find something reasonable and not gross looking. I usually hate ceiling fans. I found the Minka Aire Concept I fan to be exactly what we were looking for:
It's up and installed already as of last weekend thanks to my Dad (who also bought it for us as an anniversary present.) I would definitely recommend it - it looks great, it's very well made and comes with anything you could possibly need to hang it up. It also has a remote control that we mounted inside the pantry. I'll post some photos soon when there's a little more progress in there!

Monday, August 3, 2009

summer catch up

Peeps inside:

Toby on the chair:

Oscar on the bed:
Yes, we painted the walls but haven't gotten around to the trim yet! Anyway, I don't think I ever posted a photo of the bathroom mirror (Restoration Hardware's "Albion"):

So... some things have gone on around the house and outside of the house. I don't want to bore anyone with more talk about our yard or how we've added a light here or put up some blinds there. We finally gave in and put in two air conditioners. We had been getting by with window fans but it seems that the NYC heat and humidity has finally caught up with us. I love that all of the rooms in the house have doors because it makes it much easier to section off areas to cool down.
3 feet have been trimmed off of the privet out front. The yew out front is also finally gone. The giant (and HEAVY) root on the curb for the garbage collection:

Some pachysandra planted under the hedge:
Sunflowers on the side:
A house next door has been for sale since before we bought our place and they recently dropped the asking price drastically. People have been stopping by to check it out and since we're usually out and about in the yard, they ask us questions about it. I've been noticing a lot of people being curious about our neighborhood and Staten Island in general. I've been having to explain why we live in St. George, what there is to do here, where we eat when we go out, etc. We even find ourselves giving quick tours to tourists and our visitors! So, what better way to show my love for St. George than through my blog - from now on I'll be doing more little postings with photos of the neighborhood. So if you're a little curious, keep looking, if not, feel free to ignore. ;)

First up is the St. George Greenmarket:

Our Green Market is open on Saturdays from 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM from May through November. It is held in the Borough Hall Municipal Parking Lot at St. Marks Pl. and Hyatt St. across from the St. George Theater. We try to make it over there if we are around Saturday mornings. There are no supermarkets nearby and the Green Market is within walking distance from our house, so we try to take advantage of it whenever we can. Staten Island also has a CSA program that we do not currently participate in - although this might be a future possibility for us (when we have a fully functional kitchen!)

I'm really not this grumpy:

I can't resist Tart Cherry Stomp and Apricot Stomp from Red Jacket Orchards. They are both perfect and refreshing mixed up with seltzer or Pellegrino.
I also love the blueberry cornbread from Not Just Rugelach:

If you get there early enough you run into just about everyone in the neighborhood. Last weekend we met a neighbor who personally knew the original owner of our house. He told us a few stories about Mr. Coburn and described how he cared for the interior and exterior in a meticulous manner. Mr. Coburn was the person who added the newspaper headlines to the attic stairs and wrote the quirky notes found around our basement. He had a schedule of chores for every season - when he would put up the storm windows, trim the hedges, etc.
I think that's one of the nicest things about the Green Market - the people you run into and the people you meet.
These photos were taken late in the day after the crowds had died down: