The Fixer Upper | A Desk, a Lamp and Some Gigantic Bullets

Monday, September 26, 2011 6 comments

Here's a tiny vignette of selections that will go into one of the guest bedrooms of the Williamsburg decorating project. The 19th c. desk, brass lamp and bullets all came from Dickinson's in Beacon, NY. The stapler to the right is from Restoration Hardware and the indiscernible ivory Bakelite page turner is from a great little shop in Cold Spring. The navy pleated shade is a custom order from Just Shades in Nolita. This and just heaps and heaps of more amazingly fun finds currently sit in our already quite stuffed loft. It's so exciting to be making a dent!
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Sunday, September 18, 2011 12 comments


One of the prettiest places on earth - seriously, all of earth - is snuggled up, down a winding road just off Annandale road, past a gigantic wishbone at Bard College: Blithewood Manor and Garden. I've learned that it's the perfect setting for picnics - and also some good ole sisterly hazing. The last time were were there, I made Porter play dead, reenacting the Edward Gorey's opening credits to Mystery! (you know, for the blog!). 

On Saturday, I decided that the afternoon's activities for her should include sprinting and spinning - until she could neither sprint nor spin one step more - all while wearing polo boots. 

Here we have a silly little film of the antics. Please excuse lack of attention to detail in the props department. It's hard to think of such things when spitting with laughter. (It's also very hard to hold the camera still). 

(The boots were a treasure find at the Chelsea Flea Market a few weeks back and her dress is from Rugby).


The song is Penguin Cafe Orchestra's Air a Danser.
The Fixer Upper | A Beacon in Beacon

Sunday, September 18, 2011 4 comments

The deadline to finish the apartment decorating project is looming (in the next couple months) - but we're breathing easier tonight after a ridiculously fruitful jaunt north. We were headed up to Rhinebeck, but on a whim, said, Hell, let's swing through Beacon. The first and only place into which we swung: Dickinson's at 440 Main Street. We left with: a 19th century leather top desk, a Victorian bed, a WWII radio receiver, a brass lamp, some very large bullets, a school house chalkboard, a huge framed map, A PROPELLER...and a 1940s KAYAK (in bits, in the green bags). Phew. It's amazing. You must go! (Esp. if you want a vintage marble-topped fridge, a couple huge arts and crafts style club-ish chairs, a wonderful painting of a boat or any number of beautiful clocks!).   


The loot!
Rugby Crosses the Gain Line

Thursday, September 15, 2011 12 comments

Rugby's thrown co-education aside and graduated from University (Place) with its two new tiny, beautiful single-sex boutiques on Bleecker.

The boys' (at 390 Bleecker) looks like stepping into the ultimate boarding school movie. Loads of vintage college scarfs, cricket jackets, tweeds and slippers (including a pair of vintage John Lobbs that might have cost more than a semester at Eton), hang and sit against dark woods, intermingling with the new collection. Besides that one pair of velvet, gold-threaded beauties (which spend many of their days in a safe), all the vintage is for sale.

The girls' (380 Bleecker) takes things more lightly with old ivory-painted wood, ruffled pillow ticking dressing room curtains and muted tartans on a large french settee.


Those two frames to the left show off a couple pages from an old English embroidery factory's inventory "catalog." Someone carefully drew in columns with pencil and glued in all the school patches. Library style, they stamped the date alongside whenever there was a re-order. (I saw the whole BOOK - honestly 4 inches thick - of these a couple years back and nearly passed out).


This fall's slipper selections, including a pair designed for October 15th's Tweed Run! (More on that in a bit!)







Last spring, they launched a Haberdashery shop of really great suits and sport coats at the University Place digs. Now, the Bleecker store offers made-to-measure shirts with oxford and broad cloth from New England Shirt Company. (I've ordered up a pink, club-collared Oxford with sans serif HHH monogram on the pocket).


There are the Lobbs!







Here you can see the lightness of the women's store.


The gals get vintage, too.



A little peek at the ruffled ticking curtains.



I love that the boys just get busts and the girls get mannequins with full, (somewhat intimidating) personalities. The gal above seems quite relaxed, though.




Note: Not being one for half measures in real estate, Ralph also opened an expanded space for RRL's fancy side across the street. It's pretty spectacular, too. Expensive, but so good lookin'.


(All photos by Porter Hovey
Our Digs on Design Sponge!

Monday, September 12, 2011 14 comments

Porter and I are so excited to see shots of our apartment up on Design Sponge today! Port took these shots a couple weeks back - and they're really some of the first to accurately capture the blue walls. Take a peek! (and be sure to check out Grace Bonney's amazing, brand new interiors tome, Design Sponge at Home!).






AND - more shots of the blue walls can be seen in the upcoming book, The Birding Life, which hits shelves on Oct. 18 (with a covered unveiled on Amazon yesterday!).
Fantasies, on a Crisp White Background

Thursday, September 08, 2011 2 comments

One of the reasons I started this blog was to stop living beyond my means. The need to purchase amazing items (esp. coffee table books) is often tempered by taking or stealing a photo and plopping it up here. Those are only on the rational days, though. More often than not, it's, "Wow, that would be so great on the blog!" as I hand my debit card over and purchase a vintage Louis Vuitton trunk. That it not a remote possibility when scrolling around on 1stdibs, however - and that's the main reason why I started my tumblr page. Turns out I'm not the only one with 1stdibs envy: Celerie Kemble has it - and 1stdibs founder, Michael Bruno, does, too!  Steven Kurutz was kind enough to include me in his own homage to these pangs of antiques pain in the Home section of today's New York Times. So fun! Thanks so much, Steven!


Holler & Squall's Unlimited Things

Wednesday, September 07, 2011 3 comments

Along the westernmost reaches of Atlantic Ave. - so far west, you can almost take a dip in the East River - sits Holler + Squall, a perfect little boutique filled with Deyrolle-worthy taxidermy and industrial/European antiques.


Taxidermy like this MONKEY!!! (He's an expensive monkey - $2,000 - but a MONKEY nonetheless)...


...or this gator, who's obviously less interested in hanging out...



(These duffel bags from the Quality Mending Company are currently 25% off).


...or this buffalo, who will be hanging out forever...


...or this huge, monitor lizard - who will eat you...with a smile.
(Very importantly: The shop's right next door to New York's - and maybe America's - greatest sailor bar).

Holler + Squall
71 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn