Friday, May 4, 2012

Steel Grid

We are currently framing our Upper West Side combination.  The steel studs and joists now demarcate the new walls and ceilings of the renovation.  The rough-in electrical, mechanical and plumbing will be installed between the light gauge steel members before the walls are closed with sheetrock. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Astronomical Ceiling

Our client's son will lie under this starlit sky as he sleeps at night.  The star ceiling was installed with twinkling fiber optic lights to match the boy's birthday constellations.  It is not as elaborate as Grand Central's painted ceiling, but it is quite realistic.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Poet Sofa

Designed by Finn Juhl during the Danish Modern epoch, the Poet Sofa reflected the architect's connection with his rural landscape. Juhl used organic forms and soft lines, resulting in a cozy piece designed with the best craftsmanship traditions. We selected the piece to serve as our client's reading chair as it just beckons for someone to curl up with a great book and cup of tea.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Some Milieux for your Monday

This is just what this rainy NYC Monday needs; an intricately designed hand-cranked wine bottle opener that even pours you a glass of wine. It might take longer to open a bottle than you would, but we think it's safe to say it looks a lot cooler doing it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Romanesque Revival Renovation

The sheetrock and plaster walls have been demolished at our Upper West Side combination, revealing the turn-of-the century brickwork. Originally designed by Gilbert Schellinger as a Romanesque Revival Style building in 1892, the Del Monte has been renovated many times over the years. Our design for this combination pays reverence to the original craftsmanship, leaving the brickwork exposed.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Oh the Memories

We just came across these old photos of a renovation we completed back at the turn of the century. Remember when salmon and maple were cutting edge? Paul remarks, "My back hurts just looking at that big fridge. I had to cut the hallway ceiling and the entire front door out to get that thing in the space!" Yes, Paul wore his tool bag everyday back then.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Shedding Some Light

Check out the bookshelf light detail integrated into the son's bunk bed at the Lucida project.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Finders, Keepers

Whenever we start demolition on a prewar apartment, we dream of the treasure we're sure to find buried behind the century-old lathe walls. We have come across everything from piles of oyster shells (apparently they were a popular lunch item) to long bygone brands of cigarette packs. We have found old newspapers, antique keys, beer cans that required openers, obsolete faucets and fixtures, oil burning lamps and the like.

Our project on the Upper West Side revealed an old Schlitz can and a solid copper bowl. The treasure map still eludes us, but Paul remarks that once he finds it he will be off to hunt the treasure in true Jack T. Colton style.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Switch to Automation

That's one hell of a switch bank for a three bedroom condo! And that's only half of what we installed for this high end lighting plan. All of the switches are located in the new audio/visual closet and will be integrated into a Crestron lighting control system. Essentially, everything that is hardwired in the apartment can be controlled via an iPhone or iPad from any location in the world. The new security cameras, Lutron roller shades, HVAC system, lights and even the hidden home theater projector can be operated from Paris or São Paulo.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Behind the Walls

During demolition at Baby Cobra Coalition, we uncovered these old windows hidden behind concrete masonry units. The openings will be cleaned up and lowered to allow more natural light and allure foot traffic to the establishment.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Palace Progress

The Savoye Palace is getting its skin and taking shape! The custom millwork from STRand will be delivered soon and integrated into our curved form. This design is another brainchild of Margarita McGrath & Scott Oliver of noroof architects. This power couple always impresses us with their ingenious space-saving ideas. We suppose that's why they are so widely published and recognized for their work.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Schlitz Up

We are testing out the Ingo Maurer lights at our client's pied-à-terre renovation in the recently completed Lucida by Cook + Fox. The lighting design is Maurer's answer to the more conventional recessed down light. Perhaps he had a little influence from Georigia O'Keeffe?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Speedy Buildout

Construction is flying along at the Baby Cobra Coalition. We are pleased to see that the work is proceeding so quickly. We can't wait to take a class and grab a drink at BCC!

Demolition? Done.
Framing? Done.
Rough Electrical? Done.
Rough Plumbing? Done.
Sheetrock? Done.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Wall Between

1 + 1 = 2+

As the trend continues with many people joining apartments in Manhattan in an effort to obtain more space and stay in the city, we have begun our design-build combination on the Upper West Side. The wall that separated the two units came down last week, to the excitement of all who could only imagine what the space would feel like...combined.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Starry Night Light

We are lucky to be always have interesting projects to work on; however, creating a star ceiling for our clients' son's room definitely stands out. Referencing stargazing sites, we created a ceiling plan of the boy's birthday constellations, tiled the large format prints on the sheetrock and drilled pinholes to accept our fiber-optic lights. Over 600 points of light will twinkle at night as he lays beneath the midnight indigo painted surface. This is lightyears beyond the plug-in nightlights of our youth.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sleeping Palace

The curved enclosure, pictured below, creates a cozy partition for a guest bedroom in our client's Brooklyn loft. The "Savoye Palace" incorporates CNC cut plywood framework shipped from the millworker's shop in Virgnia. Our senior project manager's years of millwork experience has been a great asset to the engineering of this project which features six other custom units, including a Bike Hotel.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Baby Cobra

Here's a sneak peak of one of our latest design projects, a unique mixed use establishment steps off the L line in Brooklyn. Baby Cobra Coalition in Bushwick features charred wood wall finishes, tufted leather wainscots and scull motif wallpaper.

Think pinup girl meets old Americana, sailor tattoos meets yogini! The design is an interesting mix, just right for our three Brooklyn clients who will be teaching their own brand of no holds barred yoga and serving Americanos in the morning and craft whisky in the evening. This ain't your ex-girlfriend in her Lululemon spandex kinda yoga spot.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Restoration Time

Do you think if I prayed here my stone installer would show up when he promised and the DOB would permit my jobs faster?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Woodgrain Stone

Designed by Marco Pisati for Il Bagno Bandini's line, the sink resembles a block of wood carved from water. However, the Ebano collection is sculpted from an Indian sandstone that just resembles quartersawn lumber. The soft curvature of the basin enhances the veining pattern that is so remarkly reminiscent of wood. We think the pattern alone will still add warmth to any Bathroom.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tour of the United Nations

Earlier this week, Paul was honored to have a personal tour of the United Nations Headquarters. The evening concluded with speeches and a performance in the General Assembly. With a 75-foot high ceiling, a seating capacity for over 1,800 people and a grandiose semicircular paneled wall, the General Assembly Hall is an astonishing architectural feat. However, Paul remarks, "the palpable energy left by all of those who have visited the space before me was overwhelmingly powerful. I must thank my gracious host for a very cool experience."

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One Way to Make an Entrance

We were contacted by a distressed Bronx resident, seeking a quotation for a rather unusual repair. When we asked what the scope of work would include, he remarked, "Let me send you some pictures; they say a thousand words."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Renovating Without Guts

Paul interviewed with NYC's Real Estate News magazine, The Real Deal, a few months back regarding the status of the renovation business in the city during these tough economic times. The Real Deal spoke with 7 residental contractors and architects, concluding:

"While the wealthiest of clients are still breaking down walls, most others are sticking to kitchens, bathrooms and surface-level fixes. The one exception is for price-conscious young families that are leaving Manhattan for cheaper, farther-flung neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, where they’re buying old, dilapidated homes and buildings as fixer-uppers."

Read the full article here.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Traditional Japanese homes were commonly clad with shou-sugi-ban, a charred Japanese cedar, to protect the wood from rot and fire. As charring removes the hydrogen and oxygen from the surface, the remaining compound is primarily carbon and protects the core of the wood. A leading historian of Japanese architecture, Terunobi Fujimori, began to design his own structures in 1990 and re-popularized the shou-sugi-ban technique. We love the complexity of the charred wood's finish, elemental yet elegant. Our latest design project incorporates shou-sugi-ban as the dining room wainscot for an urban mixed use project in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

3-D Painter

Artist Riusuke Fukahori creates lifelike three-dimensional paintings by applying acrylic paint on multiple layers of transparent liquid resin. His meticulous technique captures the dynamic, yet delicate essence of the goldfish. Fukahori debuted at London's ICN Gallery this winter and we just wish we had seen it in person.