Recently Published Projects
We are excited to share three recent publications that feature our projects: The January 2012 issue of Town & Country has a story on the 2012 Town & Country Designer Visions Showhouse, designed by the firm Carrier and Company using classical forms in an eclectic palette. Traditional Now: Interiors by David Kleinberg is a long overdue showcase of the talented interior designer, featuring four of our projects - a Prewar Townhouse, a Tribeca Loft, a Connecticut Clapboard and an Upper East Side Apartment. Finally, the November/ December 2011 issue of Veranda highlights a country house designed by David Kleinberg, which elegantly blends rustic charm with modern sensibilities.
Visit Publications to view these articles.
Park Avenue Project
We recently completed the semi-gut renovation of a 3,000 SF, 3 BR / 3 ½ Bath Park Avenue condo on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The project consisted of the replacement of all finishes, fixtures, ceilings and molding. Designed by Timothy Brown Studio, the apartment contains such features as custom stone work, a traditional mahogany library, exotic lacquer wall finishes, hand painted decorative wall finishes and a whole-house humidification system. Construction began at the end of March 2011 and continued through the end of September 2011, just in time for the Owner’s daughter’s wedding which was held in the apartment on the first weekend of October. Many congratulations to the family!
LED Lighting: A Bright Idea For Your Home?
When a Client recently inquired about the benefits of using LED bulbs in the fixtures in his newly renovated home, we went straight to our favorite expert, Lighting Designer Sean O’Connor, Principal of Sean O’Connor Lighting, Inc. in Beverly Hills, CA. There were several reasons why Sean did not recommend LEDs for this home, starting with intensity. “With high ceilings, we cannot get any kind of intensity remotely near what we can with a halogen lamp due to the nature of LEDs. With LEDs, there are no narrow or ‘spot’ beam patterns.” He further pointed out that Clients want lighting to be flexible enough to be “bright” as well as more “moody;” LEDs do not get low enough to create this effect.
Then there is the issue of color which, according to Sean, is not quite there when it comes to LED technology. “There is no ‘warm dimming’ commercially available yet,” says Sean. “The idea being that like an incandescent or halogen, we want the light to get warmer when dimmed – like fire. This is what makes spaces ‘cozy.’ Have you ever dimmed a fluorescent?”
So, where does that leave those who want the cost savings – and fewer maintenance hassles – associated with the longer lasting LEDs? “The really good news,” says Sean, “is that dimming incandescent and halogen sources extends lamp life and saves energy. Basically, if you dim an incandescent or halogen lamp 10%, you double the lamp life. I like to use the example of my last home,” he continues. “I owned it for 7 years. We kept the lights on in one area all day every day – probably about 16 hours of burn time on a 2,000 hour rated lamp. In the course of time I lived there, I only changed a lamp once. One lamp, one time. The extended life from dimming a halogen lamp brings it close that of an LED and you still save energy as you dim. Beside savings, which may not be quite as much as with LEDs, choosing halogen brings added benefits as well – the cost of expensive LEDs is eliminated and the quality of light in the home is superior.”
To learn more about dimming and the associated cost savings, Sean recommends a whitepaper titled The Economics of Dimming. And to see some of the beautiful work Sean has created, be sure to check out his website: www.seanoconnorlighting.com.
The Largest Plasma TV in the World!
We recently oversaw the installation of a 152" plasma television made by Panasonic for a Client on Manhattan's Upper East Side. This television - the largest plasma TV in the world - weighs 1,300 lbs and is one of only three in the United States (the others are housed at Lincoln Center and a financial institution). The installation of this massive piece of equipment was no small feat! A crane was needed to lift the TV from the truck onto an industrial dolly which required no fewer than 15 men to maneuver it into place. In order to support the TV, additional joists were added to reinforce the floor (the TV is fixed to both the wall and the floor), along with 4 steel angle brackets and 16 epoxy anchor bolts to attach it to the wall. The sound is projected through "invisible" speakers installed above the plaster ceiling. The heat generated by the TV is so great that an additional ton of air conditioning is required. Talk about a hot piece of equipment!
Faux Bois - Better than the Real Thing?
Faux bois (or "fake wood" in French) refers to the artistic imitation of wood or wood grains in various media. According to LA artist Richard Davis of Richard Davis Decorative Painting, Inc., this very old technique became popular in Holland during colonial seafaring times. Since the good hardwoods were being used for ship-building, wealthy patrons turned to faux bois as an alternative.
Why go "faux" rather than use real wood? In the case of one of our Clients, it is to overcome the difficulty of finding sufficient veneers and solid woods - in the sizes required - that match. In this particular home, each room is dominated by a specific wood species, so there are a variety of specialty woods and veneers - all requiring a perfect match of grains.
Though you can buy wood graining kits at your local hardware store, artists like Richard Davis fabricate their own brushes. Davis uses combinations of paint, dye, stain and even water-based materials that can be modified with a damp brush after the material has dried. To achieve some of the effects, numerous layers are applied on top of one another, often with shellac used in between as a sealer. The process is not only complex but physically demanding and labor intensive.
The beams pictured here are a fine example of the beautiful effect that can be achieved by an artist such as Davis. We think even Mother Nature would have a hard time telling if it's real or faux!
Did Someone Say "Winter"?!?
Labor Day has come and gone and while many folks are thinking about after-school schedules and fall sweaters, our Service & Maintenance team is obsessing about ensuring our Clients’ homes are ready for winter (yes, we said it – winter!) With the change of season just around the corner, we want to remind everyone how important it is to prepare your home for the colder weather. Now is the time to:
- Maintain exterior window and door seals
- Clean fireplace dampers and flues
- Prepare HVAC for heating (as well as perform routine maintenance)
- Check humidifying systems
- Clean terrace drains
- Change timers for interior/exterior lighting
- Move and store seasonal furniture
While you’re at it, don’t forget to:
- Clean windows
- Clean and maintain kitchen exhaust fan filter
- Clean, hone, polish, seal and repair stone and marble
- Re-lamp light fixtures
- Maintain audio video and security systems
- Re-plate door knobs, fixtures, window hardware and plumbing fixtures
- Repair and refinish wood flooring
- Adjust door and cabinetry hardware
- Maintain A/V and Security systems
Please don’t hesitate to contact our Service & Maintenance team for help with all of your home maintenance needs!
Back to top