The Hester St Fair is back on Saturday April 27th! Stop by for amazing food, vintage shopping, and other cool shit. Go to the Donut Plant first to get your sugar buzz rolling, then hit up this outdoor market for a couple amazing mini quiches, an ice cream sandwich, and the perfect vintage purse. Summer Saturdays in the LES are back!
After years living in tiny apartments in New York City, I dream about loft spaces with open kitchens and giant pillars. Then I saw this West Village gem. Designer Shelly Steffee really knows what she is doing. Her apartment is a gorgeous blend of modern yet rustic and soft yet masculine. She brings elegance to her small though not humble abode. But what she does best and what I take away from her design is the dark and light monochromatic opposing tones that act as a blank canvas. Dark wood floors and black bookshelves are juxtaposed with an all white kitchen and white painted trim. She uses both ends of the color spectrum to create a dramatic and yet calming feel. Then, by decorating with large monochromatic pieces, accessories are able to stand out. Statement furniture in passive colors doesn’t overpower the room. The furniture blends in with the background and then, wow, a bouquet of beautiful pink flowers catches your eye. This is a very simple philosophy to apply to your own small apartment. Keep your walls painted white or a shade of grey, add white or black trim, and for the larger functional pieces: couches, chairs, tables, lamps, keep them of the same color palette. If the sofa blends in with the wall and the floor, you won’t notice it as much and your apartment will look empty. Then add a small pop of brightly colored art to the wall or a collection of colorful books to simple shelves. Introduce colors in small doses: accessories, art, bowls, books, and watch the space start to brighten up without being too overwhelming. And when you get stumped, look again at Shelly’s space. Designers know best.
Very few things in New York City come cheap, and usually if they do, they aren’t of any lasting quality. Framing is one of these ridiculously overpriced services. It costs upwards of $300 to frame a normal sized piece and $500 for a larger one. I do have some experience as I spent countless hours pricing frames for my old office at local Soho frame shops. “Do you want museum quality glass? Do you want a special non fade matt?” The number of extra fees is just silly. Having anything framed has been something I’ve personally always tried to avoid. I have duct taped large photographs to the wall rather than have pieces set in glass. Then, I ordered a beautiful Michel Delacroix lithograph signed by the artist. With an empty spot above my bed due to a relocated print, there was a need to frame and hang this 24″ x 36″ piece, but the thought of dragging it through Soho or the East Village and spending a fortune left me putting it off. After seeing this piece everyday leaning by my front door, I reached my procrastination breaking point. There had to be a better way. A quick google search and I found this Chinese hole in the wall. A little skeptical, I decided to pop in on my way to work. Low and behold, they were a legitimate framing company, and from the looks of their work on the wall, they could do a bang up job. Two weeks and $175 later, I had a brand new rustic looking frame, glass, and a classy matt for my piece. With one more satisfied customer, they have a referral to everyone in my circle. Now, maybe with a Google search I can find a cheap Chinese car rental, but somehow I imagine that unlikely.
Chinese Art Supplies & Framing Inc
7 Pell St, 2nd Floor (Off Bowery)
New York 10013
One of my favorite stops when I am in the area is Housing Works Gramercy. I overlook the clothing and go straight for their furniture, art and home goods. This time it was especially inspiring. Plenty of beautiful things for me to furnish my dream apartment. There was this beautiful little antique school desk I am still mentally obsessing over. At $300, it was not cheap, but it also wasn’t expensive. I love the cast iron base and the rich, well-oiled look of the wood. It is in great condition and probably would have gone home with me if I had been able to figure out where there was room for it in my apartment. Not only did I spy this little gem, but found this gorgeous piece of art. Black, white and red is my favorite combination especially in art and this original nude acrylic painting would have looked modern and cool on my bedroom wall. It is edgy, dramatic and romantic. Unfortunately, with a price tag of $600, it was out of my budget. I just hope that signature was a no name artist and not someone that you find in the MOMA. The last dreamy piece that I found was this tree root table. If I had the space and $1800 to spend this piece would have been shoved in a cab and in the middle of my living room right now. It has such a natural, modern feel and would add so much to a rustic loft, paired with some old factory tables, hanging cage lamps and a midcentury modern grey wool sofa. Housing Works, you will never fail to disappoint my need for beautiful things to crush on.
Housing Works Gramercy
157 E 23rd St (Btw 3rd Ave and Lexington Ave)
New York 10012
Mon-Fri 10 Am – 7 Pm, Sat 10 Am – 6 Pm, Sun 12 Pm – 5 Pm
Happy Palm Sunday everyone! Don’t be afraid of decorating with these durable plants. With a little sun they are almost impossible to kill. Stick some fronds in a vase for a table setting or pot a giant palm in the corner of your living room. They are always green, last forever and add some life to any space.
They were cleaning out their closets and I was stocking up mine apparently. My intention was to walk through the East Village and get frozen yogurt. But those of you who know me would know that Sundays are not complete unless at some point I become a bag lady. While walking down East 7th St, I saw a rack of $5 vintage clothes and then noticed the “50% OFF ALL CLOTHING” sign so I figured there was no harm going inside. A giant dent in my credit card was the harm, but the new gems I added to my closet make the pain worthwhile. They have so many beautiful things from an antique tuxedo tails to loads of sweaters, scarves, furs, etc, etc. I scored a gorgeous black Mongolian lamb fur jacket that I am going to turn into a vest for $200, a beautiful white beaded dress with an extra skirt of tulle to make it full, and a bunch of other things. I don’t know how long the sale is going to last but this shop is definitely worth a trip. Great prices and they were even handing out wine! And yes, I did still get frozen yogurt afterwards. My apologies to any of the other patrons I bumped with my humongous bags.
117 E 7th
New York, 10009
Mon – Sat 11 Am – 8 Pm
Sun 12 Pm – 6 Pm
Zachary Smile is having a massive closing sale. 50% off all vintage clothing, and accessories are marked down even more. $10 gloves and belts. $15 shoes and $25 boots. Going on until mostly everything is gone. I scored a beautiful pair of men’s trousers and a some lace gloves. There are still lots of women’s leather pants, skirts and vintage party dresses. I keep dreaming about a pair of buttery red leather pants for $44, I decided against.
9 Greenwich Ave
New York 10014
Mon – Sat 12 Pm – 8 Pm, Sun 12 Pm – 7 Pm
Also, Uncle Sams’s Army Navy Store is having a sale on pretty much everything. This shop is my go to for army boots, jackets, costume inspiration, old flags and so much more! 25% of new merchandise and 50% off vintage and surplus. I decided to have some self control and not go inside. Every time I enter those doors, I leave with two bags of who knows what, amazing and cool, but stuff that is already in my closet.
37 W 8th St
New York 10011
Mon – Thurs 10 AM – 8 Pm, Fri – Sat 10 Am – 9 Pm, Sun 10:45 Am – 7 Pm