Hoveys' Baby (Staging in the Dakota)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 2 comments
The fact that Porter and I got the opportunity to even step inside the Dakota (the entrance is easily New York's most intimidating. Fire! Gates! Multiple doormen!) makes us giddy; getting to stage an apartment inside it still seems completely unreal. 

This unit, 28AB, used to be two, and now includes three massive rooms - one living and dining area and two others, which we made into bedrooms. Two rooms (the living/dining room and former master bedroom) had floral and leafy wallpaper that had to stay, so we embraced it: This, in our minds, had been the pied-à-terre of a world renown Scandinavian naturalist who adored the building for its history and stone's-throw proximity to the American Museum of Natural History. Yes! (In reality, it belongs to the estate of a very notable television star from the '70s, '80s and '90s).

  We wanted the third room you see here (previously a large office painted a pinky red) to feel completely refreshing and allow the potential owner to walk through the apartment in a progression of light to dark. 

We covered the red walls in Benjamin Moore's lovely peachy white, Onyx White (OC-73), which provided an instant breath of fresh air. With 14-foot ceilings there was ample room for Room and Board's Architecture Bed (this was originally royal blue, but I repainted it with Rustoleum enamel in Almond). We recovered the Eliel Saarinen White Bench with Black and Beige Columns of Leaves Brocade from Mood Home. The pillows are vintage D. Porthault and the linen duvet cover is Ikea's Linblomma (we love these and they're just $80 for the full/queen).

The great geometric side tables are the Tyreso from France & Søn. The flowers are faux from our go-to floral haven CFD in the flower district. 

We took our mom's framed Hermes scarf from our living room and placed it over the working fireplace and flanked it with each of our porcelain cockatiels, Christmas gifts from our Aunt Rita a couple years back.

We used an expensive (it kills me how expensive good shades are) oval mint shade from Just Shades and added a jade leaf finial to an Ikea lamp.

Our dad's oval leather-topped desk also made it in, to sit below an abstract expressionist oil painting that I found in Williamsburg. The chair is from Organic Modernism.

Here you can see the progression into the cozy darkness (and the incredible floors).

The living/dining area was our biggest challenge. Beyond all the wallpaper, the room is dominated by the most massive, heavy fireplace and mantelpiece in the history of fireplaces and mantelpieces. So, we had to choose incredibly simple furniture that wouldn't compete or clash. In a miracle of ebay, we found a meticulous collector of fine, original Danish mid-century furniture in Brooklyn who was selling off a good portion of his collection. We started off with the coffee table and ended up buying the dining room table, the dining chairs, the arm chairs, the JL Moller side chairs and the brass lamp that sits in the other bedroom. 

I've fallen in love with the work of the incredible Aboriginal artist, Tatali Nangala. We were desperate for a large piece of art to fill the main wall, so I painted a version of "Kaarkurutinytja, Lake MacDonald" that belongs to the Museum Victoria.

We found the leather rhino at Erie Basin in Red Hook. The sleek couch is the Cleveland-B from Organic Modernism.

Good omens in the fireplace, it seems.

The former master bedroom needed a major spiff. There was aged wall-to-wall carpet and the back wall was off white, which didn't quite match the leaf wallpaper. To give it some weight and balance, we opted to expose those beautiful floors and go dark with Benjamin Moore's Artichoke. I copied (and tweaked) Sonia Delaunay's Color Rhythm from 1946 to add a "modern" and feminine touch.  

I love these little quartz finials, too; a another feminine detail. 

How fun is Organic Modernism's Flamingo table here in this otherwise very traditional vignette? The little Swedish portrait of a mom and her son from the 1920s is one of my prized possessions and quite lovely in here, I think. 

The kitchen is pretty teeny, but full of mirrors and chrome. We opted to paint it all dark so the objects inside would pop, much like a Dutch still life. 

Below are the official fish eye real estate pics to give you an idea of the full rooms...and some actual historical info: 

Extraordinary opportunity to own a two bedroom, two bath home at the historic Dakota on Central Park West; one of New York City’s finest residential addresses. In addition, this offering presents a very large basement studio with high ceilings and full marble bathroom that could be used as an art or work studio, home office, storage or more. This splendid home is ideally positioned in one of the Avenue’s premier white glove buildings across the street from Central Park and all the best the area has to offer. 

Every residence in this historic building is special and unlike anything else in the city. Apartment 28AB boasts remarkable scale and detail that is truly unique to the Dakota. 

Grand proportions are showcased by over 14-foot ceilings and huge arched windows in every room while keeping the home bright and airy throughout. An expansive formal room creates enough room for both living and entertaining. Elaborate details include blended patterned hardwood floors, two hand-carved wood-burning fireplace mantels with marble hearths, extra tall solid wood doors with original fixtures and etched glass, stunning moldings, original sunburst copper grills, marble window sills, built-in window shutters and contoured window frames. 

Abundant storage has been created by the combination and each bedroom features a full en-suite bathroom; both bathrooms in excellent condition. This remarkable apartment offers an extraordinary opportunity to create a home of your dreams in a superb Upper West Side location in a landmark building. 

The Dakota, is a premier prewar cooperative building located within the Central Park West Historic Area. Truly a unique New York architectural gem and perhaps the most well-known apartment building in Manhattan, its air of elegance and luxury has not changed since its opening in 1884.

For more details, see the full listing for 1 West 72nd Street, Apartment 28AB here.

And here's a peek at what it looked like before: 

Starting Fresh

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 3 comments
Throughout all these years of sporadic blogging, where I've shown the world my aesthetic obsessions and projects, I was actually spending my days and many of my nights deep inside the business of bowels, cancer, obesity and almost every other nightmare our bodies can throw at us. My colleagues and I and Lazar Partners helped companies around the globe recognize who they needed to talk to - the right thought leaders, the naysayers, the regulators, the insurers, community doctors, the nurses and the patients - and how to talk to them each with impact and empathy. In the best cases, these companies ended up changing medicine, saving lives and making surgery easier for patients and surgeons - while their investors got healthy returns, too. We all joke that our jobs aren't brain surgery - and mine wasn't - but for my client that developed a new minimally invasive technology to treat brain aneurysms that's more like angioplasty than going through the skull, it really was...and that's so damned cool. 

Where many people might hit a point where they say, what IS the point? Why am I not doing something that could really help the world? I got to a point where I said, what am I doing helping the world? It's time to take some of your own medicine and focus on making things...beautiful. So after the years of juggling my very fulfilling and legitimate career in healthcare with decorating and design work and writing Heirloom Modern, Porter and I decided that HOVEY DESIGN needed my full-time focus. So, in May, I made the leap. And nothing has ever been so fun.

We've been going at light speed on new staging and decorating projects inside wildly different spaces: The Williamsburg Waterfront Condo, two floors of a brownstone in Park Slope, a two bedroom at the legendary Dakota (we move everything in on Monday and cannot wait to show you this space!!) and this beautiful little two bedroom in the new boutique condo in East Williamsburg, 629 Grand Street.

The developer did a wonderful job with the layout and the fixtures (it's shocking how bad these can be in new developments...95% of the bathrooms we see in these places will be out of date in three years. This will not. It's simple, clean and classic). We wanted to accentuate that - and the great light and airiness - with the furniture, so we kept things clean and neutral. For two gals known as maximalists, this might be as zen as it gets.

We didn't want the art to distract, so I made a series of simple pen drawings: an Italian dog (spinone), a French car (Citroen) and a Danish chair (Frits Henningsen's wingback)...and one abstraction (two stripes made with painters tape and paint pen).

We added strips of Japanese indigo that we brought back from our trip to Kyoto.

It's no secret, but the silk flowers from CFD in the Flower District are beyond compare - and vital when staging apartments that won't be tended to much besides at the weekly open houses. Here we paired a sprig of berries with a white ranunculus. The olive tree by the window is also a fake.

We're obsessed with Les Indiennes block prints. We get ours from the outlet in Hudson. Otherwise, they cost a first child. 

We cannot wait to show you the Park Slope townhouse and the Dakota! Those will be up next week!

The Second Story (A New HOVEY DESIGN Project)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 No comments

A home up high, soaring into the sky gives you a bird's eye...view...of the world (that was almost a poem!). But when you get to the top, you can do nothing more than look down and that seems so...lonely. The city becomes a collection of dirty rectangles and chaos down below. 

I once went to a meeting on the 58th floor of an office tower in Midtown and looked down onto Central Park. From that view that massive, beautiful set of landscapes looked like a solid forest without a human in sight. Breathtaking, yes, but honestly, I'd rather be a bit more down to earth. Not necessarily right on the earth, but hovering just above, on the second floor. Our Aunt Rita and Uncle Al have two porches overlooking the water that winds through Maryland's Eastern Shore. The one on the ground floor is lovely, but the one upstairs off their bedroom is like stepping into a tree house. You stand there floating along the tree tops, hovering over the sail boats as they breeze by. That's where the magic is, on the second story.

For our latest decorating project, Porter worked with a couple in the entertainment industry who needed a place to stay this summer while the wife works on her television show. She found them a three bedroom on the Williamsburg waterfront -- on floor two. Here the view is a direct eyeline onto Manhattan, hovering gently above the lapping waves of the East River.    

We wanted to create a simple, summery setting with organic shapes and heavy nods to 1970s California.

This table top came with another table, but I refinished it and painted with semi-gloss Benjamin Moore in Copper Mountain AC-12. (which makes it almost look like it's covered in a smooth peachy leather) and added Hilver legs from Ikea. The chairs are the Jean Prouvé standard.

We're obsessed with Tom Dixon's tea service.

We found these wonderful handmade dishes (and so much more) at Holler & Squall, one of the most beautiful shops in Brooklyn and our main go-tos for all decorating projects. 


My fencer stands guard over the office entry.

We found this Otto Schwarz sea scape for a steal. The frame was badly damaged, so I repainted it in dark grey.

We found the French flags at Red Chair, one of the most lovely shops in Hudson. Sebastian the Camel is one of Hansa's ride-on options.