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.

Take the Stage | HOVEY DESIGN Takes on NYC Real Estate

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 1 comment

Unless you're house hunting with the likes of Donald Judd, it's a big leap to pop into a stark white cube and say, "Yes! This feels like home! My home!" It's equally daunting to roll into a place that appears to have been inhabited by squirrels and get that "I-MUST-live-here!" feeling. Most people need some of the right context upon which to launch their interior design visions. The right context, if you ask Porter and me, is simple elegance with a touch of whimsy.

 With Porter selling and renting properties across New York with her team at Halstead, we figured it made perfect sense to expand Hovey Design's scope from full traditional interior design (the permanent kind) to staging, where we help sellers create some of that context. We were so fortunate to start with two of the coolest pads we've ever stepped into: Penthouse B (seen here) and the Townhouse at 123 Baxter Street (coming in a separate post). We used a lot of pieces from our own collection and it was so fun to see them in this exponentially more modern setting. I also whipped up a whole crop of paintings and art to fill the walls. 

Update: The space was included in The Wall Street Journal's recent story about Chinatown as a new frontier of real estate action. 

Here's a look a the details! 

If you're in the area (upstate, too!) and considering a sale, let us know! (Porter: and me at     

Take the Stage Part 2: The Townhouse at 123 Baxter Street

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 No comments

For the other half of our 123 Baxter Street staging gig, we tackled the incredible two floors (and FIVE outdoor spaces) of the townhouse. We added a a copy of Heirloom Modern for flagrant self promotional purposes, a bunch of my art and my Ikea-hack-pride-and-joy malachite (butcher block) table with custom Lucite supports. 

At nearly 2,400 square feet this one felt (relatively) much more intimate and cozy than the 3,000+ square feet of open space of the penthouse (Cirque du Soleil could use that main room as practice space), so we added more textiles, soft upholstery and vintage club chairs, but carried through the copper touches to tie the two spaces together and add additional warmth. 

A Pashley deli bike (with the world's largest basket) guards the landing. 

Moving to Acrylics and the Woman with the World's Smallest Hands

Friday, March 27, 2015 2 comments

I found a spectacular portrait of two decorators in a fantasy home in one of the European shelter mags (will credit post search, which could take years). I painted half of it...and instead of striving for realism, I thought a nice experimentation with Modigliani distortion might be more fun. The hands look like they belong on a toddler, but it's one of my new favorites because it's so damned strange. It now hangs in the hallway of one of our recent staging projects. I cannot wait to have her home! 
The Monkey on Pink

Monday, March 23, 2015 No comments

I fell far short of my 10 before Christmas goals, but I did keep painting. For this one, I thought I should loosen up, use more water and be a bit more fun with color. (Pardon his unfinished hands!)
Watercoloring Pt. 2 | The Fencer

Friday, January 02, 2015 3 comments

...For painting number two, I wanted something where I could really work with contrasts, so I searched out an image of a Victorian fencer and found this gem by Tancrede Bastet below. I've done quite a few paintings of mustachioed gents and decided it was time for a shave. Given that, my version looks much younger - almost like an extra from Tintin - but I love the shadows and am quite proud of the hands. 

There he sits next to the snake charmer on my dresser in my new nearly-black bedroom...(more shots of that to come!)