Tuesday, August 31

Thinking of Jessica...

Until I wrap up a deadline for school, which I *will do today*, I don't have much time to write about some exciting new photos. But since I have so many new followers (thanks to recent great press), I thought I'd repost a few selects from one of my favorites houses--that of Jessica Fleischmann, who's also one of my favorite people, and someone I've been thinking of recently. 

I originally wrote about her Echo Park home and studio last April, so click on her tag below if you want to see more...

New homes soon! 

(You know I'm working on an MFA in Nonfiction at Bennington College, right? And until June when I graduate, I'll blame school for my sporadic postings??? Thanks for understanding!)

Friday, August 27

Wrapping up at Wayman's

Today I'm wrapping up my visit to Wayman's with a few random shots. Above, I was shocked when he opened his neat desk drawer and a pen was neatly secured on a pad of paper, as if it is the pen he owns and the paper on which he writes. You should see. My pens. And papers. Below, his Hamptons bag, with issues of Wallpaper and design mags, of course.
This is my last Homebodies post on Wayman's place, but I've been asked by a newspaper to write a piece for its magazine based on this entry. Yay! So you'll be seeing more from this architect, including professional photography, once I write it, and it runs, and I post a link to the story... Stay tuned!

Monday, August 23

Maps and towers

In the corner of the living room on Wayman's Abyss blue wall are original ward maps of the West Village and Soho, used by the city from 1906 to about 1920, he guesses. You can see the King Street block where Wayman lives. You can also see how the building of Sixth Avenue was depicted: tiny strips of white paper are pasted over sections, covering any buildings in its path. Pretty fascinating. He bought the maps at Argosy, a store in Manhattan that sells old and rare books and maps.
Above, the corner, and the tower of architecture and design books. Below, on a mirrored table, is a grouping of objets. He likes old keys. These in particular he thought were nicely antiqued and of a substantial weight. The tiny scissors are from Surface to Air. Another detail of the map. 

Saturday, August 21

Bedroom: pinstripe suiting and the custom headboard

Here's Wayman's bedroom. It's so simple and stylish, right? As I explained in an earlier postWayman, an architect and designer, covered a vintage armchair in the living room with houndstooth suiting fabric. He continued that masculinity in the bedroom by creating a headboard that fit the narrow room wall to wall and having it upholstered in a subtle, grey wool pinstripe.
 I love having a small sofa facing the bed. It's a perfect spot for reading, or for throwing your clothes. The sofa, also probably Jens Risom, and the midcentury side table were also bought from the guy in Miami. The table is from Heywood-Wakefield, as is the desk in the corner of the living room. I think the American company is sort of underappreciated. Hey, makes for great prices! Check eBay.
Regarding the photo above, I must say, having been Wayman's neighbor for five years, the guy has great taste in fashion. Those boots! Below, Wayman and Dorothy share a quiet moment during which she's allowed to sit on the couch. Domino-style, barefoot.

Thursday, August 19

The living room

The previous post on Wayman Robertson's apartment shows broader views of the living room. Here are a few details, like Dorothy the dog, who he was sitting, making herself invisible on the cowhide rug. Below, in an action shot, Wayman is removing the pup from the Room & Board sofa and placing her somewhere on the floor. Paws and feet. Wayman found the Chinese screen against the wall at the Sixth Avenue flea market. An early idea was to find a second one and hang them over the windows, but he never found another...

Below, the two photographs show New York City at dusk. They're by Wayman's friend, the photographer Michael Edwards. They're separate images, but pushed together, they'd be panoramic. The deep blue paint, as a reader asked about in the previous post (where you get a better sense of the color, perhaps), is Abyss from Benjamin Moore. Wayman said it was the darkest blue he could find. The trim is Decorator's White throughout.

Tuesday, August 17

Wayman Robertson, Architect

Meet Wayman. He's a lean, mean design machine, and when I lived on enchanted King Street, in Soho or the West Village or the Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District or whatever the place is I no longer have to define, he lived upstairs. His apartment, through which he strides, is much nicer than mine ever was. He's an architect whose design boutique does commercial and residential spaces. (As if you can't tell, by how well he works with proportion.) It's a small space, but it's got a great vibe, and he used has all sorts of quirky tricks to get it that way.

So you walk into the apartment and you're in the open kitchen. To the left is this living space, pictured above and below. Wayman's walking toward the kitchen; the bedroom is in the back. His desk is tucked into the corner on the left, and the center of the room is devoted to seating. The chocolate-brown sofa is from Room & Board. He bought the maybe-probably Jens Risom chair for supercheap from a guy in Miami who was having a moving sale, and he had it reupholstered in men's wool-houndstooth suiting fabric, which he also had backed. On the day I visited, he was dog-sitting his studio-mate's pup Dorothy, who sat wherever she pleased.
Below, check it out, Wayman had the curtains custom made with white shirting fabric, and they hang from slender brass rods ("cheap hardware from Gracious Home") about three-quarters of the way to the top of the window, allowing more light to pass through above eye level. Another shot of the Jens Risom-ish chair.
I always knew when Wayman was home, because I'd see his sailboat parked on the street. The seat comes up to my chin.

Sunday, August 15

A visit to V's

This morning I was about forty minutes late meeting my friend RV Hansmann for breakfast at his place over on Bleecker. I overslept in a massive way. Forty minutes late! Holy cow. V, as he's known, was kind enough to keep the date, and so over strawberries and blueberries and Whole Foods scones, we talked about school and writing (we're classmates in the Bennington Writing Seminars); work; Portland, Maine; Gypsum, Kansas; and the essays of poet Donald Hall, which I must go find and read. 

V has a beautiful home and someday he'll be featured more prominently here, but for now, here's an iPhone shot of the living area, with the dining area in the background. I think the place is technically a loft? The kitchen is to the right of the dining table. The orange chair is a midcentury Getama; I think Hans Wegner designed this series, and in my old apartment I had a little blue settee in a similar design. I love the smooth teak armrests. V needs to get the bottom re-strapped, or whatever it's called. Anyone know where to go?

When I saw the pyramid on the table I imagined, Inception-style, it was his totem.

Tuesday, August 10

An architect's (book) tower

Know what I did this morning? An ambitious, early-morning Homebodies visit to the home of my former upstairs neighbor, Wayman Robertson. He's an architect, and his apartment is very cool, and it's conveniently located around the corner from where I work at WNYC. I still have to sort through the pics, but here's a preview of his tower of architecture books. (Oh! I like Tadao Ando.) More to come: vintage furniture, men's suiting fabric as upholstery, a custom headboard, and the neatest desk drawer you've ever seen...

Sunday, August 8

Wedding reception + whiskey tasting

Yesterday I went to a wedding reception at a distillery. My dear friend Anna Jane Grossman eloped with the dark and handsome Jesus Diaz a few months ago, so friends and relatives were invited by her family, owners of Tuthilltown Spirits, to come celebrate the event on their historic riverside property in the Hudson Valley. My friend Liz Armstrong and I were so excited we headed out at 8 am with a couple named Alex and Audrey. Oh, did we arrive a few hours early?

We ate blueberry muffins. We walked to the river. Liz became encircled by butterflies. The couple napped with Amos the dog. I took a few photos for Homebodies. Then we took a noon-hour tour of the operations and enjoyed a tasting from New York State's first whiskey distillery since prohibition. Radicals! I fell in love a little bit with the Hudson 4-Grain Bourbon. So smooth. The reception officially started at 5 pm, so what better activity for the whiskey-tinged afternoon than to head to the Ulster County Fair?
Pig races, peeing cows, white-lashed horses, Jesus-lovers, swirly clown music, a water game that involved zipping children into plastic bags that the attendants filled with air using high-decibel leaf blowers, and the mistake of chewy fried Oreos--we did it up at full tilt. I'll post pics of the home soon, but for now, here are a few moments of adventure.

Saturday, August 7

A presidential dining room

  Back at the Pres's home, here are a few shots of the dining room. Just off the foyer, this seems more like a conference-room-slash-dining-room than one for personal use, but what am I talking about? It looks like it doesn't get used very often, and those chairs--Queen Anne?--aren't in a very inviting arrangement. Below, I'm really digging the abstract painting of animals. Seahorsey escutcheon.

Thursday, August 5

My new chair?

Yesterday I visited my friend Serge, a designer and onetime Top Design contestant who also made an appearance on Homebodies. He's selling his beloved French armchair. I'm looking for a cozy reading chair. Have we found a match?

I don't have a great photo of the entire thing, but I liked this pic of the upholstery next to his checkered Hastens mattress, his favorite possession. I think the chair actually goes with an IKEA flat weave I recently bought. I think this weekend I'm going to ask Serge to help me move the chair down his four flights on stairs in the East Village and up four flights of stairs in the Greenwich Village...

View out his window from the corner in the bedroom:

Wednesday, August 4

The library of President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

I'm going through Homebodies images, and in the lax nature of my editorial schedule (it's more wheneverly than daily), I realize I never posted photos of the Icelandic president's library. Or his dining room, or a walkway that leads to the basement museum (!), where a big yellow parka is tossed over a banister. (Read more official stuff about the residence here.)

So here are a few pics of the library, which I loved for its Scandinavian palette and blonde or weathered woods. I don't have any info on the furnishings, as his people never got back to my people, though they approved my photography at the time, so we get to imagine this one. I do know I would really like a slanted-top something or other for reading, as shown above. And below, the round overhead fixture, built into the ceiling and casting a perfect glow over a workspace, wouldn't be so bad, either.  
Dear table, I love you.
Why I don't have a better picture of the three-cushion sofa below, I have no idea. The color is sort of fabulously outdated
This sweet little seating area with upholstered armchairs is just outside the library. On this snowy day, the light bounced off the ground and filled the space with natural light.

Sunday, August 1

Homebodies in the NYT

Did you see it? In the New York Times Styles section today? Homebodies got a mention in the profile of the talented Todd Selby, whose book The Selby is in Your Place came out in April. An excerpt, written by William Van Meter: 

"Mr. Selby’s online gallery is also indicative of a trend toward a rawer, more photojournalistic approach to interiors, a movement typified by indie design magazines like Apartamento or the interiors blog Homebodies, which are less interested in the faux perfection of shelter magazines than in the effluvia of everyday life. The spaces actually look lived in because they are."

It's so cool that his work as a photographer requires him to go into people's homes. (Jealous. I'm currently writing a piece for a magazine about a house in Connecticut I've never visited.) Anyway, congrats, Todd! You'll love his website if you've never seen it...

Corvin Matei and the Pringles objet

I was visiting my friend Corvin Matei, an amazingly talented architect in New York, when I noticed this coaster--this objet--on his bedside table. "What is that?" I asked. Of course, I knew. It's two Pringles lids pressed together to encase his destiny as told in fortunes. Chinese delivery food and Pringles chips are staples in his Christie Street studio, where he's often holed up working late into the night. When he's not designing buildings, Corvin can be found making something, anything: drawings, paintings, photographs, perfect omelettes. Below, a ruler awaits use in an air vent.