A Walk Through the Halls

The opening of the Kips Bay Show House has me feeling nostalgic. There’s a particular artistic abandon I associate with show house work, which I attribute to the hyper-creative whirlwind pace these projects adhere to. Re-creating the energy level and professional camaraderie in any other circumstance is nearly impossible, but here on my orderly painting project I’m managing to get close! Having a crew of professional painters standing at the ready, with brushes in hand, leaves me little time to dilly-dally on color and design decisions. My careful planning notwithstanding, it’s exhilarating to yield to an instinctive, “on the fly” decisiveness, sort of show house style. All this week I’ve been offering up a shrinking gallon of black paint, and so far, the results are nothing short of marvelous! Continue reading

Winning Colors for an Entrance Foyer

If you own a television, chances are you’ve seen the Kohler faucet commercial, where a well-heeled client plunks a trendsetting faucet onto her architect’s desk and suggests: “Design a house around this.” It’s not as far fetched an idea as you might think. Let’s suppose the thing being plunked onto a desk was a paint color. What to do? Designers might identify any color that an entire palette is planned around as a “bridge” color. In general, color experts assign the word “core,” to a single hue that links a palette together. I chose to work my whole house color palette around the winning combination of black+white. An ambitious choice for a bridge color? Take a look! Continue reading

Creating a Weathered Wood Finish Just Like Mother Nature

After I finish up today’s post, I think I’ll put a question on the Benjamin Moore Facebook page, asking all the pro faux finishers how they “invented” their favorite techniques. I’ve had more than my share of happy accidents mostly because I’m a bit of a mad scientist in my “paint laboratory.” I’m happiest when I just have a go at something and I love to figure out how to get the result I want after the fact. It’s not always the easiest approach, but when things work out, another classic painting technique is born. I’ve had a good day in “the lab”; how do you like my Restoration Hardware-inspired, weathered wood table? Continue reading

Creating a New Room

I’ve had the privilege to work at some of the best addresses in Manhattan. From The Dakota to the teeniest apartments in Tudor City, New Yorkers adhere to a singular space-planning theme: every alcove, niche, sliver or slice is put to good use and deemed “a room.” While part of the charm of my old house is its nooks and crannies, my space planning philosophy remains entirely 21st century–if I’m heating it, I’m using it! Continue reading