The den, in process

Railings, by Farrow & Ball

The den has been painted Railings by Farrow & Ball. It is a sophisticated color and makes for a cozy room! A flashback to where we started:

astor den 2
Remember where we started? The original listing photo was a bright gray bedroom.

And, where we are today. A completely refreshed base for what will be a den.

The choice of color was an easy one, working with the fireplace surround, but I was in suspense leading up to the big reveal and wasn’t disappointed. Walter and his team from Tapia’s Works did an impeccable job.

Den painted Farrow & Ball Railings matches the fireplace surround nicely

You may recall that a prior owner had painted around the mirror, leaving the space beneath a surprising shade of pink! We cleaned that up this time around.

The windows are original curved glass from the late 1980s

The windows are pretty, but are old. I solved for draft with SewSixThree on Etsy draft stoppers that are beautiful and smell great.

We sprayed paint over the fireplace with Farrow & Ball Wimborne White for a beautiful finish

A sprayed finish is the way to go for smooth surfaces like doors, and detailed surfaces like molding, with a brush sprinkled in as needed for more detailed trim. I must say that I am a true Farrow & Ball subscriber after seeing the finish compared to the prior paint.

The bookcase will provide great visible storage once we are in decorating phase
The radiator will be left uncovered. It didn’t look as bad as I was expecting

We still need to identify a good spot to hang a television and make a decision on drapes.

The finished color is so sophisticated relative to the gray we had previously
Cozy plaid draft stoppers filled with balsam pine by SewSixThree on Etsy
The mirror from prior owner is back in place and the perfect fit!

Now that the base is complete I am considering furniture ideas and searching for the perfect plaid rug. Let me know if you have any ideas!

Ann Sacks Kelly Wearstler custom floors, in production

Sample received from production

The custom floors have been in production for approx 4 weeks now and I just got my first peek at them! I misunderstood the timeline and had thought they would be delivered in 4-6 weeks, but both the production process AND shipping EACH take 4-6 weeks. Needless to say, the floors are not here yet!

As a reminder, the rendering of the stones we selected, for our specific floorplan, looked like this:

Production just came back with a swatch of floor for approval before they start to produce the entire footprint. Here it is:

It has a nice neutral look to it, while being bold and forward. It will go really well in this traditional home. The only stone that is missing from this swatch is the rubicon black (stripe), but otherwise this is the finished product.

I’m very excited for these floors to be installed.

The entryway, in process

and a tragic mistake..!

Remember the old Ming Circus wallpaper in the entry? It has been transformed with Gucci Herbarium and it was fabulous, until I noticed a big error. Can you spot it?

Gucci Wallpaper – notice anything wrong?

No, it’s not that the paper is missing over the door. The installers haven’t gotten to that piece yet.

Let’s look a little closer..

Notice the butterflies in the pattern that are flying upside down? <cringe>. Gucci actually rolled their paper upside down. Typically the end of the roll is the top of the wall. Typically the wallpaper rolls down the wall. However, in this case, the top of the roll was the bottom of the wall (not standard). It was not my installers mistake and Gucci is going to fix this issue with their manufacturer. I guess that is what happens when you are an early adopter? Unfortunately we will have to strip the paper and re-wallpaper the entry. Thankfully it was not a huge space and thankfully Tapia’s Works is fantastic and is doing this again for me. Needless to say, if anyone is interested in using this paper be extra careful about reviewing your roll and the orientation. It is possible that your paper too will be rolled upside down such that the top of the roll is the bottom of the wall…

Looking forward to fixing this mistake and thankful it wasn’t a bigger space!
Will be so pretty when complete.

Guest bedroom, wallpapered

Bird and Thistle, for the win!

The guest bedroom has been papered in Bird and Thistle by Brunshwig & Fils, and I’m excited that the entire place is coming together as planned and on schedule.
As a reminder, this is where we started:

astor bedroom, kids
From the listing photo, the guest room before we started work
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The small bookcase behind the door was one of the first things we removed

And, this is where we are today!

Bird and Thistle wallpaper by Brunshwig & Fils, in the guest

I am thrilled with the results. Walter’s team at Tapia’s Works in Chicago did a great job installing this paper with no waste. We completed this entire job with our budgeted paper and will use the remaining strips to cover wooden tissue boxes (craft project!). The room is painted in Farrow & Ball Wimborne White. The original moldings and doors are spray finished. The doorknobs are antique brass.

The window boxes were painted in Wimborne White by Farrow & Ball
The wood floors will be revealed this week
The leftover paper will be used to cover wooden tissue boxes!

The build-in bookcase is great, but it wasn’t finished particularly well. The middle strips should be covered with molding, which we will add.

The bookcase face will be cleaned up with new molding

For lighting, I chose the Aerin, by Visual Comfort, Modern Rosehill Semi-Flush Brass and White Strie-Glass light fixture. I’m a bit worried it will be too small, but it is the same size as the flush mount previously installed, so it should be okay. There is a larger choice, but I didn’t appreciate this until after the order was placed.

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Aerin Modern Rosehill Semi-Flush Brass and White Strie-Glass Fixture
The Bird and Thistle paper is set off perfectly by the Wimborne White finish

The lighting fixtures and drapes will come next. I am planning on a bamboo shade paired with Bird and Thistle matching drapes.

 

Lighting

and how I shop 1stDibs

The current “lighting look” is post-modern and Circa Lighting and Foundry Lighting are not short of options in this category. When I began my hunt for lighting, I started a shopping cart at both of these online shops and filled it with selections for every room of the house. I purchased an Aerin white glass flush mount for the guest from Foundry, the Ralph Lauren Allan large flush mount for the master and Ralph Lauren Allan sconces for the hallway from Circa.

And then, I stopped short.

I was discouraged that this post-modern look is everywhere and the pieces from the various brands are recognizeable (not unique), not always made well and are not inexpensive. I hate that.

I shifted gears and started to search 1stDibs and WOW did I get excited. While it does take some additional time to investigate, and at times a leap of faith as you cannot always see these pieces in person first, I find I am happily rewarded by 1) a lower relative price, 2) a higher quality item and 3) a truly unique design.

When I am searching 1stDibs I always start by setting the filters to the size of the item I am looking for and the price range I want to fall within. Then, I always negotiate and bid lower than the listed price. Sometimes I will bid over 35% off of the listed price. More often than not, the seller will work with me. I also check Ebay and Chairish as sometimes the same or similar items are listed on these sites for less.

For the dining room, I was initially considering the Aerin Jacqueline chandelier.

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Aerin Jacqueline Two-Tier Chandelier / Brass

It is lovely, but after I saw the lacquered paint job I knew it wasn’t right for the space. The Aerin chandelier retails for $2,520 and you can purchase it here. It is constructed of white beads and antiqued brass. It is 38″ high and 32.25″ in diameter.

After a deep, deep dive through 1stDibs I had a “favorites” list of over 15 fixtures. Then, I narrowed down pretty quickly to my favorite chandelier. Behold, a 1980s Staff Leuchten chandelier made of solid brass, listed for $3,535.

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1stDibs, Staff Leuchten brass chandelier, circa 1980s, Germany

The light is an adjustable 43” high and 30” in diameter, which is the perfect fit for the space.

I bid $2,000 and ultimately checked out for $2,300 + shipping, or, 35% off the original listing price and less expensive than the Aerin fixture. The chandelier will be delivered next week and I can’t wait to see it in the space!

Drafty windows meet Etsy

Many of the windows in this home are drafty because they are old! The den is a great example with curved glass windows from 1897 and the bedrooms all have wooden framed windows that raise and lower on chains. In addition to being energy inefficient, the draft does blow in some dust and debris – yuck – which is not great for the new paint job! I searched solutions and found only a couple that I would consider myself. Now, these are NOT the most energy efficient solutions, but they are the prettiest, so keep that in mind.
First, there is window putty that can be inserted in the gaps. It is pretty discreet, but I couldn’t find it in white, so I gave up.
Second, there is Etsy! Etsy solves so many problems in a chic way. I am loving these Grain Sack Linen-Canvas door and window draft stoppers from Woods & Shore and ordered the beautiful yellow and cream version for the guest.

Woods and Home
Woods & Shore, Grain Sack Linen-Canvas door and window draft stoppers

For the den, I ordered these SixSewThree draft stoppers filled with 100% balsam needles. Apparently the smell is great and I love the look for colder months in our cozy, dark den.

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SixSewThree, 100% balsam needle filled draft stoppers

Hopefully they look as good as I am expecting. I will post a picture when they are in place!

 

 

 

The den, in process

Painting in process

The den is draped in a lovely shade of Wimborne White paint. Walter and his team from Tapia’s Works carefully painted the detailed mantle, trim and ceiling. The den is now ready for a coat of Railings which will be a dramatic update for this space and make it a super cozy place to hang out.

The window boxes and trim have been painted Wimborne White

I’m excited about this room because it will be painted Railings, a softer alternative to black. You may remember what the room looked like before we got started. The brick on the fireplace was the inspiration for the wall color.

Hmm… a pink surprise underneath the mirror…

It is funny to me that the previous owner painted around the mirror, but  not underneath it. The mirror was purchased from the prior owner for $500 and will be re-hung once the painting is finished.

We will not be keeping the pink square!

I am excited to move into an era of paint that is NOT gray. I am tired of the gray paint that I have been enjoying for the last 10 years (aren’t you?!).

The bookcase has been taped off and the door has been separately painted

The finish of Wimborne White on the trim is Estate Eggshell and the walls will be painted Estate Emulsion, a chalky finish.

Original details of the fireplace have so much character

One of the neighboring units did restore their mantle to original wood and it was gorgeous, but out of budget (and time!) for us to restore, so we have kept with white paint and will enjoy the character with fireside drinks with family and friends!