We found a beautiful desk at Father Time Antiques. The desk is from the 1930s and had a green leather top that was in good, but not perfect condition. The desk fit our room perfectly, has a great classic look with history and was on budget at $195.
After doing some research, I decided to replace the leather top myself with a new black leather top with gold tooling. I had a great experience doing this, it was easy, and the results speak for themselves.
My first step was to vacuum and sand out the interior of the desk and drawers. I waxed and polished the wood and lined the drawers with cork. It initially had a musty smell but that completely dissipated after these steps were complete. I am sure it also helped to have the drawers on the floor for a week airing out.
When I removed the leather top, I noticed there was water damage on one area of the desk where the wood felt “soft”. I cut this area out with a utility knife and replaced the veneer with a piece I found on Amazon.
I measured the space with a piece of magazine, and cut the veneer with a pair of kitchen scissors.
I glued the new piece of veneer with wood glue and placed heavy books on top. Then, I filled the edges with wood putty and sanded it down when dry.
I ordered the beautiful new leather top from Dave at DCT Leathers. They are based in Canada and did an amazing job!
All I had to do was follow his instructions: brush a layer of wallpaper glue, roll out leather and smooth with cloth. Done!
This desk will live in the den, which is painted dark navy / black Railings by Farrow & Ball.
The inspiration bedroom for the guest is of course, Tory Burch’s Bird & Thistle bedroom in the Hamptons.
While the wallpaper was easy to identify, the rug was not tagged and I had to deep dive the internet to identify the rug as the Asmara Ferncroft. Tory has layered multiple rugs in this room as you can see from a photo taken at an alternate angle. It is unclear to me if this rug is also Asmara, but it does not appear to be.
Both rugs are beautiful, but at >$6,000 for the size we needed, they were out of budget, so I shifted the search to Ebay and found the perfect fit 6’x9′ for <$400. There are plenty of needlepoint rugs on Ebay to choose from. Most important for me was to find a larger floral pattern that would compliment the Bird & Thistle wallpaper well. Matching a rug to wallpaper is a bit like matching a tie to a shirt. You can mix and match patterns but the sizing should complement and the colors should coordinate, but don’t need to match perfectly. The rug that I purchased was $450 including shipping, a far cry from the thousands of dollars you could spend on a new rug, and this rug is new itself, but made in the 1990’s.
You may remember the rug that is currently in the guest room from this post, but here is a refresh:
The rug lays flat, is an off-white color, has crochet edges and is 8’x10′. I am currently selling this rug on Ebay. Here is a picture of this rug in our room, before we swapped it out.
The new rug in position couldn’t be more perfect and I love the play of pattern across the rug, quilt and wallpaper.
The seating area is coming together with the addition of artwork and furniture transitioned from the loft. As a reminder, this is what the living room looked like in the listing (staged).
And, the living room when we moved in:
The living room offers a good amount of space and light but as I’ve mentioned before, the paint job was not high quality (stray painters tape, drips and drops) and I am not a fan of gray, so our first step was to paint the entire space Wimborne White and start FRESH.
The paint made a huge difference in unifying the space and making the moldings pop!
The paint brightened up the space and highlighted the woodwork, providing a great fresh slate for furniture and art, beginning with the Pink Eyeshadow Monkey.
The living room will have two seating areas and each will be anchored with two matching rugs. After some time spent swatching, I decided on two Restoration Hardware Teen rugs that were on sale in 10×12 size. Unfortunately they will not be delivered until August, but they were relatively well priced and the colors fit the space.
We faced the chairs away from the fireplace which is a trick I first noticed at Twin Farms in Vermont and I like it here because it includes the couch in the conversation vs. facing the chairs towards the fireplace and away. The Sapien bookcase, artwork and furniture came together nicely to frame the fireplace until the rug comes in.
Our real estate agent purchased the horn vases for us in Africa, the bookcase is an Amazon find, the coffee table was a floor sample from Molteni, the chairs were reupholstered in Ralph Lauren fabric and the chaise couch is from Room & Board.
Design Within Reach has finally re-released the famous Story Bookcase in a short and tall version here. I purchased ours on Amazon in 2017 before the re-release here. The Amazon version is 79.6″ high, 14 shelves and $285 + $43 shipping. The DWR version is 75.5″ high, 12 shelves and $295 + $21 shipping. If you’ve ever seen this bookcase in a photo and wondered how someone can possibly stack their books so neatly without them falling over, well, this is how.
While the bookcase is a bit pricey, I love it because it can hold a ton of books in a super space efficient way and it looks chic.
I stack my books from large to small, bottom to top (I wouldn’t recommend any other way), with white bindings or pages facing out. Yes, this means that if the binding is colored, it is facing pages OUT and binding IN such that the entire front of the stack is in shades of white. Of course you can stack any way you’d like.
To most quickly order the books from tallest to shortest I first line them against the wall to gauge height and organize on the floor first, into groups, then transition to the shelves.
The Sapiens Bookcase is such a great architectural piece that adds nice interest to any room. If short on floor space, the short stack can be added to the top of a desk or console for equal impact.
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:
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.
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.
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.
We still need to identify a good spot to hang a television and make a decision on drapes.
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!
I love this master bedroom because it is tucked away in the back of the house, so it is quiet, but it also has great street views thanks to the space afforded by the side alley and the angle of the bay windows. Today it is wallpapered in this lovely floral print. This wallpaper will be stripped and Farrow & Ball Wimborne White will take its place. Here is the bedroom in the listing photos:
Here is the bedroom today:
The closets are cedar lined and afford plenty of space, although one of the uppers is HVAC…
A custom set of mahogany drawers are being made in TN. The drawers will look similar to this piece from Primitive. I’m still searching for the perfect hardware.
The wallpaper stripping will happen this week, followed by the painting of the entire apartment including ceilings.
The reason why we selected Wimborne White for the master is because a large colorful piece of art will be hung on the bedroom wall, away from direct sunlight, and white is the best suited backdrop. The art will be hung where the TV is placed in the listing photo. The stacked drawers will be placed between the bay windows that are unfortunately not captured well in the pictures above but are located next to each other with a gap between.
The front console and overall floor plan has been evolving as I decide on the paint, wallpaper and stone for each room. The Bird and Thistle wallpaper from Brunschwig & Fils was one of the first wallpaper decisions that was made, and in addition to the paint colors, this pattern has been influencing the choices made throughout the house.
The back console will be papered in a beautiful grasscloth from Brunschwig & Fils that has a nice dark backdrop to the woven pattern.
What remained until this week was the circular entryway console and the color of high gloss paint in the dining room. Papers that were in consideration for the front console included everything from an array of Farrow & Ball papers to Kelly Wearstler geometric patterns to Phillip Jeffries Coffered Wood.
Ultimately, the geometric patterns too harshly contrasted the toile in the guest bedroom and I couldn’t get excited for more than a week about a pattern until, .. behold.. Gucci.
As you may know, Gucci makes wallpaper now, and it is fabulous. It is also surprisingly inexpensive compared to other makers with similar square foot coverage. Less than $200 will get you over 110 sq feet of coverage. I am anxious to check on the quality but the design is perfect and the texture is even better.
The wallpaper design is inspired by a vintage fabric and will be a beautiful in the entryway. I’m looking forward for it to arrive and will do a last check then to make sure it works with our paint colors in person.