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14 Vanguard Development’s Project Thumbelina
An Innovation in Design Concept
Keeping Warm for Less
Get Rid of the Cold Weather Blues
All That Glitters is Not Gold:
Art Glass at Home
Renzo’s Design Review; DorDesign
A Look at Eclectic Chairs
A Neighborhood with a View
Bay Ridge Going Strong
What’s all the Hype about Fireplace Xtrodinair?
GreenSmart Technology is here
L I V I N G
A N D
M O R E
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editors note living and more
Winter has just arrived and all I can think about is keeping warm. Hardly a minute goes by without my attention being focused on keeping my nose, toes, fingers, and weary old bones, nice and toasty. Heat’s a major consideration here, and I seek it out in every corner of house and in the clothes I wear. Someone said wearing a hat and mittens indoors is a little extreme. I think not. After all, it’s not like my cats will be posting pictures of me on YouTube or Facebook. So slip into your favorite Snuggy, have a mocha beverage of your choosing, and let’s take a look at this month’s articles. Project Thumbelina sounds like a government covert operation, but it’s more magical than tactical. The team at Vanguard Design has completed a mission, maximizing a small living space, keeping it affordable, and exactly what their client wanted. Mission Completed!! A subject near and dear to me; Keeping Warm for Less, offers a Top Ten Guide to keeping down the high costs of keeping your castle warm. Resident writer Julia Lisante has a gypsy-eye when it comes to all things glittery, especially when it comes to decorating with glass. This month she’ll walk you through the various types of decorative glass, sure to add a sparkle to your home. This month, Renzo interviews furniture designer Doreen Catena of DorDesign. He explores the origin of the materials used to create these of unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, and is surprised to find, that they have all be re-purposed!! And finally, in keeping with our monthly spotlight on the various and diverse communities in New York City, this month features Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
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PROJECT THUMBELINA Renzo Perez-Acosta Vanguard-Development.com
WRITTEN BY FIRM
People dress themselves with the best clothing, eat at the best restaurants, buy the best phones, we dare consumers to live in the best atmosphere; one created specifically for them, created by them (with the assistance of professionals). Our team at Vanguard Development focuses on all facets of design. We believe why not, when you spend a great percentage of your day inside your home, that’s the one place to put a lot of investment in. We’ve seen many unwelcoming places become places that endorse serenity and sanctuary. How do we do it you may ask, the answer is simple: we show you. Our approach is going step by step, based on a completely realistic visual concept of interior design where each room is represented by photo-like pictures progressing from room-to-room making them all “match” to create a welcoming new home. This approach saves us and the client a lot of time and energy that could easily go towards other things like choosing specific furnishings and finishes. Helping clients clearly imagine their future home of every detail, color and texture before picking up a tool is what sets us apart from everyone else. Our approach came from thinking “how can we offer our clients a home they’ll appreciate with the outmost sincerity?” Are home owners simply hiring interior designers to do what they want, which is to say the least “express” their creativity; by letting them in their home and allowing them to place their tastes in a strange place they will never come back to? One example of what was just mentioned was seen on a reality show based on interior designers. They followed a group of interior designers from client to client, watching designers fight with clients on why they should keep something because they aren’t professionals is something that goes against what we do. We encourage your creativity in your home. Seeing the designer say it’s staying there because it’s what’s needed, is not an appropriate answer to anything, let alone your preferences in your home. We like to believe our cause is good. We are rebelling against the usual order of interior design; we are designing for and with our clients. Because it makes sense! You will have a test drive before buying a car, you will check yourself in the mirror before buying clothes; right and safe, choice is what makes it comfortable and in turn makes you live proactively positive. Just when you think “OK this sounds great, It seems like you guys have everything covered,” you find we also, provide all necessary finishing and furnishing specifications (furniture, bathroom equipment, parquet, curtains, etc.) to save clients from countless weeks of visiting interior stores. By 14 INTERIOR NEW YORK DECEMBER 2011 /JANUARY 2012
This image of the kitchen emphasizes the durability of small space, maximizing its space while maintaining its elegance.
INTERIOR NEW YORK DECEMBER 2011 /JANUARY 2012 15
Noting the geometric form, this view shows just how powerful a decision such as lighting fixtures can truly be.
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adapting this interdisciplinary approach, we gain a better grasp on the finishing product (the clientâ€™s home) with precision. Furthermore, when needed, we can develop a comprehensive set of blueprints followed by all expertise and appraisal required by current New York regulations with the help of our team of architects. For our clientsâ€™ convenience, we base our pricing on flat fees regardless of the number of hours spent, pictures created or meetings held. After the interior design is completed, we can also supervise the whole process of renovation and furnishing on your behalf, where we will do all the work for you and protect you from any problems and possible errors. In other words, our talents and professionalism will bring you the best possible result. Our client-oriented philosophy with all its ease and convenience will save you a great deal of time and not to mention, your nerves. In short, this is interior design as it has to be. Vanguard had the blessing to be involved with imaginative clients influencing them to create the environments they sought out to have. With that in mind, this brings me to a great project we undertook earlier this www.interiornewyork.com
Vanguard did a great job maximizing the space at its purest without compromising aesthetic qualities, which is important, because with order the mind is less concerned with messiness; focusing on the most important things in your every day life.
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Here you can see why white was a great color choice, contrasting subtly with the foliage color palette; it gives off that pristine impression.
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year for a young petite girl in her late 20’s. “Thumbelina”, what we later named this project as, came to us in a great disguise, she wanted something truly magical, in a way, an environment with an enchanting-like feel, but not something too “story bookish”, modern- yet charming, sophisticated - but not cold. As young adults always do, she required a living environment that can be a social base for her as well, to some extent, to entertain guests during the weekends, it needed to provide a duality in the way her home portrayed itself. The exciting part about this project, besides the request to create this modern storybook home, was selecting an appropriate color palette to highlight its attributes. The young lady decided on a foliage style palette. What better way to portrait a cozy feel than the earth colors: different shades of warm brown, green, rust, and all in between. She immediately fell in love with the idea once we showed her the renderings, for the most part because it was her favorite season being represented; the autumn. We quickly spoke of styles that fit into this modernly enhanced storybook home she so much craved to live in. After showing her different styles, she noticed Art Deco was something that fed this young woman’s aesthetic desires in a way that lent ease in a lot of the interior decisions in the apartment. Art Deco, she felt, was perfect, it gave her the detailed ornaments she wanted in her sanctuary, as well as the lavishness it represents in having decorations and linear qualities, oozing the clean feel she sensed needed in the kitchen and bathroom and most of the furniture chosen. One request that didn’t really follow the design language from our earlier ideology was somehow incorporating white into the furnishings, giving off a www.interiornewyork.com
A top view (rendering) to show just how precise Vanguard Development formulates when making any color and furnishing decisions, looking at it from every angle to secure your design choices as minimal as a rug color.
INTERIOR NEW YORK DECEMBER 2011 /JANUARY 2012 21
A portrayal of one of the most important view in your homethe view from the entrance. Here you can tell it was thoroughly thought out, the hallway is serenely designed to welcome you, every day. This view implies the home greeting the owner “Finally, you’re back.”
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The Charismatic young woman wanted pristine, and what she got is exactly that, her sanctuary is her creation, in the end she knew what she wanted, we just assisted her using the spaces full capacity while maintaining order in aesthetics…”
clean and pristine feel to where ever the white is merged (something Apple also represents with their products) relieving an aura of timelessness. We noticed it was an amazing contrast situating white into the interior, it stood out amidst all the warm colors it was surrounded in, adapting beautifully. After deciding on the palette and furnishings, everything else just fell into place, everything we added gave it more character and pleasantness, the tiles we chose for the hallways, dining room and kitchen came into play with the cleanliness of the white furniture and sleek polished-white colored walls. One strong decision was how to do lighting, sky-lights would deceive the feel of this pristinely personal environment we created, lighting has a tendency of changing an already built interior, and sky-lights would give away that cold look; a stage-set in a Hollywood studio-lighting would be a decision that would make or break this project. After consideration, we came up with a design solution; Art Deco is the strongest design language in the apartment so far, it has elegance and simplicity with a touch of modern extravagance, we needed something more modern in the head-height surface of the interiors, and something responsive. Picking out what we finally decided: modern chandeliers was a fun task for the young woman, the small distinction between the lighting and the rest of the interior was charming and warm and gave the lighting the appropriate attention it deserved; acting like the apartment’s solar sun. As pleased as our designers were with the end product, it was nothing compared to the response from the client herself. She was blissfully quiet, walking around her new sanctuary. Witnessing our carefully thought out renderings come alive. She wasn’t surprised, but relieved the images we rendered with her, under our guidance have come to life. Originally picking her favorite color as a main palette, led us to create an idea showing her, to see with her own eyes, an aesthetic nightmare. Thankfully, the rendered images gravitated her from making this mistake (an expensive one as well), our approach helped her visualize the mistakes and her ideal atmosphere.
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Custom-Made Furniture, Without the Custom Price Have you ever dreamed of custom-designing your dining room set? Choosing the fabric, wood, color, and having it built according to your exact specifications? For many, this is a dream that will never become a reality. It’s just too expensive to order custom-made chairs. Unique Interior Furniture is changing all that. No longer do customers have to settle for readymade chairs and tables that aren’t quite exactly what they had in mind. At Unique Interiors, you get the highest quality custom furniture, missing only one thing that other custom furniture comes with by default: an exorbitant price. www.interiornewyork.com
You select the wood staining taste, at a fraction of the price of color. You select the fabric design regular custom-made furniture. Of course, a vast selection of and color. Unique Interior custom magnificent ready-made furniture makes your furniture for you. is for sale at Unique Interior as well. Unique Interior will be holding a sale for two days only this week. All Italian chairs and tables will be selling for 25 percent off on Sunday, November 20th and Monday, All their table and chair frames November 21st. are imported from Europe still in raw Visit the showroom at 4201 1st shape. They’re then custom finished Avenue, Brooklyn. The store will be by Unique Interiors according to having extended hours of operation your specifications. That’s how during the days of the sale, from 11 Unique manages to bring you the to 8 Sunday and 10 to 7 Monday. highest quality European furniture, The store can be reached at 718custom-designed to your exact 499-2505. INTERIOR NEW YORK DECEMBER 2011 /JANUARY 2012 25
Keeping Warm for Less: To p Te n W a y s t o S a v e o n Yo u r H e a t i n g B i l l s
he winter will swiftly be upon us, and with it will come those infuriatingly expensive heating bills. What most people donâ€™t realize is that they could be spending a lot less on heating by making some relatively easy and inexpensive changes. Here are our Top Ten Ways to Keep Warm for Less!
Properly Maintain Your Furnace. A well-maintained furnace has to do a lot less work to heat your home than a furnace that is not working at peak efficiency. One of the most important things you can do in this regard is to make sure to clean or replace your furnace filter. A dirty filter will not allow as much warm air to pass through it as a clean one. If your furnace uses disposable filters, replace these at least every other month during the months you use the furnace. Other types of filters may need to be removed, cleaned, and replaced in their slot.
Turn Down the Heat. Believe it or not, turning your heat down a few degrees can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your heating bill. If you have tenants you may have to keep the heat set at 68 degrees for legal reasons, but if not you can go as low as you want. Try keeping the temperature set at 65 or 66 26 INTERIOR NEW YORK DECEMBER 2011 /JANUARY 2012
By Julia Lisanti
degrees and wearing a sweater or snuggling up under a blanket.
3) Get a Programmable Thermostat. Replacing an old-fashioned
dial thermostat with a programmable version is an inexpensive way to save money. A programmable thermostat allows you to automatically keep the temperature higher during the hours of the day when you are at home, and lower when you are out or at night when you are asleep. The temperature need not be as high during the hours while you are asleep because presumably, you will be plenty warm under your blankets. You can also set a programmable thermostat to keep the temperature at a very low setting if you plan on going out of town.
Use Space Heaters. Another great strategy that can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your heating bill is to turn the thermostat way down and use a space heater to warm the room or rooms that are in use. People tend to spend most of their time at home occupying a single room at a time: generally either the living room or a bedroom. Try keeping the thermostat set at 60 degrees and using a space heater for whatever room you are occupying. Just keep in mind that for this strategy to work, you will need to get an energy efficient space heater as using the heater will create an up tic in your electric bill. www.interiornewyork.com
Seal Leaks around Windows and Doors. Run your hand along the seams of your windows and doors and check for drafts. Drafts around the seams of your windows can usually be repaired by applying caulk, and there are plenty of instructional videos available on the internet to show you how to do this. Drafts around doors are also very simple to fix, requiring nothing more than simple weather stripping which is easy to apply. Just follow the directions on the box.
Replace or Insulate Old Windows. If you have old, singlepane windows, you might also want to consider replacing them with newer, high-efficiency windows or installing storm windows if the cost is not prohibitive. Short of this, you could purchase very inexpensive plastic sheeting kits to cover the windows. By covering your old windows with plastic sheeting you are creating an air pocket that traps the cold air and prevents it from entering your home.
7) Use Curtains. If you think plastic sheeting might look cheap
or tacky, heavy-duty curtains are a good alternative. Of course, if you don’t have these and have a lot of windows, this could be expensive, but they will severely reduce drafts and unlike the sheeting, they can be re-used year after year. Just be sure to open your curtains during the day to let in the sunlight and the warmth it provides.
28 INTERIOR NEW YORK DECEMBER 2011 /JANUARY 2012
Turn on Your Ceiling Fan. Although it may seem counterintuitive, using a ceiling fan in the winter is actually a good idea. A ceiling fan that is set in reverse will help circulate warm air throughout your home. Heat rises, so using the fan to push that heat back down will make your home feel warmer.
Insulate Your Attic or Crawlspace. As mentioned in the previous entry, heat rises. Most people don’t realize that up to 40% of a home’s heat can be lost through the roof. This being the case, having a professional come in and install insulation in your attic or crawlspace could be a real money-saver. There are two basic types of insulation: fiberglass and spray foam. The fiberglass insulation is generally the less expensive of the two and also the most commonly used. Fiberglass insulation should be 10 to 12 inches deep. If you have less, it may be time to reapply. Of course, the initial outlay for installing insulation may be high ($1000-2000), but it is worth it in the long-run.
Get an Energy Audit. There are a number of non-profit and for-profit organizations that will be more than happy to come to your home and perform an energy audit. Basically, this means that they will go around your house and look for places where you are losing heat or using appliances that are not energy efficient. Obviously, using a non-profit organization for this purpose is ideal, so do some research and find out what may be available in your area.
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All That Glitters is NOT Gold: Art Glass at Home
there is such a wide range of decorative glass pieces available- so many styles in such a wide range of forms- that beginning to buy decorative glass can be somewhat intimidating
30 INTERIOR NEW YORK DECEMBER 2011 /JANUARY 2012
Thereâ€™s something about glass- maybe the way it catches the light and reflects it, refracts it, and generally casts it out from itself- that makes it a very appealing substance for decorating. Some glass pieces even seem to glow from within when not lit. Some pieces glitter. Whatever the case, there is such a wide range of decorative glass pieces available- so many styles in such a wide range of forms- that beginning to buy decorative glass can be somewhat intimidating for the uninitiated. Even a casual search of the internet will turn up a plethora of confusing terms and contradictory information on the subject. Fear not! The following guide will take you through all the basics and help you figure out what to do with those fabulous art glass pieces once you get them home.
The Basics: Art Glass Terms
The terminology associated with decorative glass can be confusing. Many terms are used interchangeably or incorrectly, adding to the confusion. I have stuck to only the most basic of terms and their simplest definitions.
Art Glass- Art glass is a catch-all term used to describe just about any decorative glass piece. Basically, it refers to any piece of glass that is intended to be decorative and not functional. Studio Glass- this term generally refers to glass sculpture produced in a studio. The term comes out of the Studio Glass Movement when glass began to be produced specifically for sculpture and as a form of three-dimensional artwork. Hand Blown Glass - As the term indicates, hand-blown glass is glass that is made by an individual glassmaker using a blowpipe to form and expand what starts out as a ball of molten glass. Additional glass and colors are generally added throughout the process which involves continually returning the piece to the furnace until the desired shape and colors are achieved. The piece is then placed in a temperature controlled oven to be slowly cooled-down to room temperature. Stained Glass - this term typically refers to any colored glass or any piece constructed from colored glass. When people think of stained glass they generally think of windows, and this has been the main use for stained glass for the better part of the last millennia. More recently, stained glass has found other uses. www.interiornewyork.com
Specifically, it is being used in exterior and interior entryways, and in lamps, table inlays, and sculptural pieces. Leaded Glass- this term is usually associated with stained glass, but it doesnâ€™t have to be. Leaded glass is any glass object that is made up of smaller pieces of glass held together with lead cames. Although leaded glass pieces are usually made with stained glass, they can be made entirely of clear glass. Opalescent Glass- This type of glass generally has more than one color put together in a sheet. A lot of stained glass is referred to as â€œopalescentâ€? when it is really not. While most stained glass is relatively clear, opalescent glass is usually somewhat milky in appearance. Dichroic Glass- This kind of glass can appear to be two different colors depending on the angle you view it from. It is created by coating the glass with thin layers of different metals that will allow some wavelengths of light to pass through the glass while others are reflected. Crackle Glass- This type of glass is created by dipping hot glass into cold water during the forming process. The resultant cracks are then expanded and shaped using a blowpipe before the piece
INTERIOR NEW YORK DECEMBER 2011 /JANUARY 2012 31
is allowed to cool.
Buying Decorative Glass Pieces
Now that we’ve gotten through the preliminaries, it’s time
to get to the fun stuff. When buying decorative glass pieces for your home, the most important thing is simply to pick out pieces that you like. Whether its bottles, bowls, vases, lamp shades, sun catchers, candle holders, figurines, windows, or all of the above, there are bound to be some decorative glass pieces that you like and can afford. These pieces don’t have to be expensive; they just have to appeal to you. There is more to art glass than just Tiffany. Collecting art glass does not need to be the exclusive purview of the rich. No matter what your income level, you can afford to buy decorative glass pieces. If you are looking for vintage or antique art glass pieces, some designers of note include: Tiffany, Lalique, Galle, Daum, and Stueben. Just be careful. As these are the most famous (not to mention expensive) makers, they are also the most counterfeited. If you want to invest in this kind of high-end pieces, it pays to do some research first. Familiarize yourself with maker’s marks and tell-tale signs of authenticity. Also, only buy these pieces from reputable dealers.
Tips for Decorating with Glass
Once you have bought some fabulous art glass pieces and get them home, it’s important to help them look their best. What’s
32 INTERIOR NEW YORK DECEMBER 2011 /JANUARY 2012
the point of buying something very pretty and then sticking it in a corner or on the back of a shelf where no one can see it? The most important thing about decorating with art glass is to light it well. The light can be natural or artificial, as long as there is a light source nearby. For example, the shelf of a picture window can provide a natural light source for your glass collection. If you buy a stained glass sun catcher, you absolutely should hand it in front of a window. (If you have a few of these, try stringing your collection together.) If you don’t have an appropriate window, book cases or shelving will work equally well. There are plenty of small spotlights you can get and stick in a corner above the shelf to provide backlighting for the piece(s). The exceptions to this rule are obviously glass pieces with their own internal light sources (like lamps and candleholders) or large pieces that should stand alone. It’s fine to set an antique Lalique vase on a table or pedestal. Impressive pieces like this will do enough to draw attention to themselves without you having to help them out. Another important (if obvious seeming) point is to make sure to keep your glass collection clean. There are few things sadder than a lonely, dusty collection of bottles sitting on a shelf. It says you don’t care, so why should anyone else? And speaking of collections, if you have enough pieces to constitute a collection, you should try to display it as such. As long as the colors don’t clash with each other, the pieces will
probably look best and draw the most attention when displayed as a group. Just make sure that the groupings vary in size and shape, and are not lined up in a row like toy soldiers. Put taller pieces on the back of the shelf or table with smaller pieces in the front. Even monochromatic collections will look good when displayed this way. Another great way to display glass collections is to put larger pieces on the wall on individual shelves which are staggered in an interesting pattern. If you don’t know quite how to do this, look around in magazines and on the internet for ideas about how to create an interesting configuration of shelves and simply copy a design that you like. You could also buy an asymmetrical bookcase to achieve the same effect.
34 INTERIOR NEW YORK DECEMBER 2011 /JANUARY 2012
INTERIOR NEW YORK DECEMBER 2011 /JANUARY 2012 35
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Hand Made Wrought Iron Vanity by HMH IRON DESIGN 718-851-5870 www.hmhirondesign.com
Ancient rock crystal gemstones, clear crystal and colored crystal combine to make this Renaissance crystal chandelier a collectable piece of art, featuring an ornate framework with authentic seventeenth-century styling. Available at LIGHTING PALACE 718-252-7722
From sconces to pendants to candelabras to lamps, it’s a festival of lights at DESIGNER’S CORNER (914-834-9170), www.designerscorneronline.com) in Larchmont, which boasts the Tristate area’s largest collection of vintage lightning.
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RENZO’S DESIGN REVIEW Renzo Perez-Acosta DorDesign
WRITTEN BY FIRM
These visuallyradical furniture pieces are one of kinds, but not only are they unique, they are ecological.
Early afternoon, I’m creating this breakfast-for-lunch dish of egg and fries. I’m excited to speak to this interesting designer from the design house DorDesign, the CEO and head Designer herself: Doreen Catena, by phone. Doreen Catena, a New Jersey resident born and raised, started her life as a designer as a student in Rochester Institute of Technology studying graphic design. Leading to different designs paths, she established her passion in designing home furnishings: earrings and children’s apparel. Doreen’s New Jersey based Furniture design house has those witty furniture pieces you absolutely need to own. Furnishing details that completes the room, that catalyst per se; Doreen’s furniture will do that for you. For some-like myself, a catalyst would be a nice air-plane propeller in the middle of my living room, but after seeing these bad boys Doreen’s creating, I have my eyes set on this chair that’ll be both an ice-breaker and an apparatus that’ll make me seem like a person with exciting tastes. I really want one (and much less dangerous than an airplane propeller, when you have friends that are very hands-on; most of my friends are designers themselves). She starts her furniture building by finding the pieces of furniture first. Ones she sees potential in make the end product of becoming a canvas for her creations. she doesn’t build the furniture in hand but has them attained second handed, mostly by garage/yard sales, companies discarding them, and people who generally are
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willing to give her pieces that they’ll just throw away. The process in utilizing the billboards is meticulous, being that these billboards are recycled from left over highway billboards; they tend to have some sun damages or just plain dirty. So, they have to be cut, which is hard because Doreen has to determine which parts are aesthetically pleasing enough to “make the cut” and be placed in the furniture “…I like to look at a billboard, in my head, just imagine them in different pieces, all cut up…” her graphic design expertise go well into place when determining what turn out to be cut and how. No two pieces are alike, since each piece can only be used once in furniture. Doreen explains how she loves the characteristics of furniture that’s a one-of-a-kind. Having a soft spot for the material that she designs with “…It was a little tough to first be able to sew through them in the beginning…” She finally got a hand in the method the material handles, the material is non-other than highway billboards-woven nylon, that’s finished in coated
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vinyl, making them exceptionally strong “They’re water-proof and could be outdoor furniture …”, this material is highly resilient in all weathers These visually-radical furniture pieces are one of kinds, but not only are they unique, they are ecological. Every single one of these pieces has been something else before. From a regular desk chair to an office chair that’s been outdated for its color or style, these pieces are a work of art that stand out and are modern for their look and what they stand for: green, sustainable, recycled. While Doreen creates furniture that are awesome to own, she’s also doing something else she believes in: Sustainability. Becoming green as she progressed throughout her life residing in the jersey shore; Doreen appreciated the shores for what they were and wanted to contribute to being sustainable. She strongly supports the ocean. This word sustainability has too many meanings; some go through certain extents like bringing their own canvas bags to the groceries, while others are driven to the minimal requirements for their moral egos which bring me to the picture: not littering, or better yet, not being a litter bug. But to put it in layman’s terms sustainability is creating or doing things that are for the current needs, while keeping in mind of the needs of future generations. As I was finishing my telephone conversation with Doreen, my eyes started to notice other things surrounding me that were green, like the eggs I was preparing, cage-free. Look at me, speaking to an artisan making unique glamorous furniture while going with the green movement, as I’m preparing my green eggs and fries.
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Aesthetic Guidelines for adapting (adopting) a unique furniture in your home Pick shades from the walls and current furnishings. If you have surrounding couches that are black, look for pieces that work with that color: black, white, shades of grey, red, any primary colors. Had to buy the furniture? Pick a dominating color (The dominating color in the furniture) and buy throw pillows, blankets, or even a rug that match. Want to play the safe side? Find a zany piece of furniture that’s black and white, it’ll match in most places and keep that quirky sophistication you bought it for, furniture is symmetrical so as long as it’s placed by a quiet lamp, it should fit right in. Anything goes when it’s by itself. Pick a secluded corner, and place your unique furniture right in, by the entrance, in the hallway, or in the library with a quite coffee table.
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A Neighborhood with a View
There are also hundreds of restaurants in the neighborhood of every imaginable type, from standard pizzerias to haute cuisine. 50 INTERIOR NEW YORK DECEMBER 2011 /JANUARY 2012
Using words like “hip” or “trendy” or “up-and-coming” to describe Bay Ridge would not be entirely accurate. It would probably also offend the neighborhood’s long-time residents who have always known how cool their neighborhood actually is. Bay Ridge is what it has always been: one cohesive neighborhood with a split personality. It is a bustling and boisterous shopping and dining area that is also very residential and quiet depending on what street you happen to be on. Quaint two-story row houses are interspersed with vibrant commercial areas, making the neighborhood an ideal location in which to work, live, and play. Bay Ridge is a place where immigrants came, and stayed. They raised their families and their descendants still live in the area where their forbearers first put down roots. Beginning its life in the 19th century as a seaside getaway for the affluent, the neighborhood’s first residents were mainly wealthy people looking for a view, as well as Norwegian and Danish sailors. The early Nordic heritage of the neighborhood is still in evidence
today. A section of the Belt Parkway and a park are named after Leif Ericson, the famous explorer, and there is also an Annual Norwegian Constitution Day Parade. The neighborhood began to grow in earnest in 1915, when the subway was first extended into the area. Following this development, European immigrants, including many Irish, Italian, and Greek settlers, began to pour into the neighborhood. Today, the neighborhood is largely comprised of the descendants of these early immigrants. Not that there hasn’t been a seemingly endless stream of newcomers. In fact, the area has seen a large influx of new residents over the past few decades. Late in the previous century, many Middle Eastern, Asian, Russian, and Polish immigrants began moving into the area. This increase in diversity has lead to some fabulous new international restaurants opening up in the area. Other types of newcomers include wealthy young people and hipsters looking for the same types of two-story row houses www.interiornewyork.com
found in Park Slope but unable to afford that neighborhood’s astronomical prices. Over the past few years, Bay Ridge’s residential nature and family-friendly persona have become increasingly appealing to people from other parts of the city looking for a quiet place to settle down and raise a family. The stunning views provided by the nearby Verrazano-Narrows Bridge don’t hurt matters either. Ironically, the Verrazano Bridge, whose construction was bitterly opposed by residents when it began in 1959, is now one of the neighborhood’s biggest attractions. Construction of the bridge forced 8,000 people from their homes, so the resident’s anger was understandable, but who could imagine the neighborhood without it? The bridge is a stunning backdrop and a landmark that gives this neighborhood on the southwest corner of Brooklyn a sense of place. No matter where you are in Bay Ridge, you are guaranteed to have a beautiful view. Moreover, Bay Ridge has a lot to offer to residents and visitors alike. 86th Street, in particular, is a shopping bonanza, INTERIOR NEW YORK DECEMBER 2011 /JANUARY 2012 51
The Home of Anothony Lolli
as are 3rd and 4th Avenues. Everything from clothes and shoes to home décor and knick knacks are available on these streets. The neighborhood even features some trendy new shops selling aromatherapy and Vegan skin products. There are also hundreds of restaurants in the neighborhood of every imaginable type, from standard pizzerias to haute cuisine. In fact, being a largely Italian neighborhood, the pizza is particularly good. The neighborhood also features a vibrant nightlife. There are no less than 130 bars and nightclubs in the in the area, with new one’s popping up every day. If you are looking for an even
quieter atmosphere, take in the sights at Owl’s Head Park, the Narrows Botanical Garden, or the 69th Street Pier. The latter spot, in particular, is a great place to fish. Now that you’re thoroughly enticed and ready to rent an apartment or buy a home in Bay Ridge, there are plenty of real estate offices to choose from including Rapid Realty.
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Whatâ€™s all the Hype about Fireplace Xtrordinair G r e e nS m a r t T e c h n o l o g y ?
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“GreenSmart” refers to an innovative system that was developed and integrated into gas fireplaces, stoves and inserts. Basically, it’s a collection of components that are designed to provide a highly efficient source of heat while making your life as easy as possible. Let’s take a closer look at how it was accomplished this by first defining each component as a unique aspect. 1. Intermittent Pilot: A pilot light is just a simple name for the flame used to light the gas in a fireplace. When you turn your fireplace on that gas is lit by the pilot light and then emitted through the ports in the burner creating that desirable and realistic wood-like fire that we all love. In the past, gas models have used what we call a standing pilot light, meaning that the small pilot flame is continuously on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You’re probably thinking to yourself, ‘Since I don’t run my fireplace 24/7 year round, isn’t this a waste of energy?’ The answer is yes, absolutely. A standing pilot wastes .552 therms (a unit of heat) each day. One therm of gas costs $1.10. This means the unit costs $0.61 to run every day, even when you’re not using it. That’s $222 of wasted energy each year. So, they decided to get “Smart” by using an intermittent pilot system instead. This system does exactly what the name suggests, turns the pilot light on and off intermittently. The best part is, you have all the control. When the fireplace is turned on a high voltage spark ignites the pilot light. When the fireplace is turned off, the pilot light turns off as well. It’s as simple as that. All GreenSmart models come standard with an Intermittent Pilot Ignition system, as well as the option for a standing pilot with just the flip of a switch. 2. Split-Flow Burner with Comfort Control™: The burner that comes in your gas fireplace has tiny holes in it, called burner ports, which release ignited gas and produce dancing yellow flames. In all GreenSmart models those ports are separated into a front and rear section. It was done so that you can turn the rear portion of the burner off, while leaving the flames in front burning. This is the Comfort Control™
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feature. It’s what allows high turndown ratios and what allows you to use your fireplace year round. 3. Battery Back-up: This is a very important feature when deciding whether or not to buy a gas fireplace. You need to be able to heat your home in the event of a power outage, and the battery back-up allows you to do this by supplying the energy required to ignite the pilot as well as run the Comfort Control feature. 4. Flame Height Adjustment: There’s a small knob on the control panel of the fireplace that allows you to customize your flame height. Yes, this does tie in to the GreenSmart system and we’ll get into that when going over the GreenSmart Remote. However, and perhaps more importantly, this element allows you to personalize the look of the fire to your tastes or mood. With the flip of a switch a fire can completely change the feel of a room. It can add merriness to a party, coziness to a small gathering, or romance to an intimate dinner. 5. Convection Blower: A blower, or fan, is basically a way to increase the heat transfer from the fireplace into your home. By using the blower you also greatly increase the efficiency of the fireplace and reduce your heating costs. Whew! We’ve covered the integral parts of the GreenSmart technology except for one…the GreenSmart Remote Control. 60 INTERIOR NEW YORK DECEMBER 2011 /JANUARY 2012
This remote is almost like a little robot that adjusts the flame height to maintain whatever temperature in the room you decide. It really is a “Set It and Forget It” system. All you have to do is set your desired temperature and the remote does the rest. This system allows you to conserve fuel by not overheating your room or cycling the fireplace on and off endlessly. By using the “Smart” function remote you’re operating your fireplace as efficiently as possible, which means you’re heating your home as efficiently as possible. We’re not done yet. All the GreenSmart models come standard with a few luxuries that you deserve. Accent Lights – These lights add a warm glow to the logs and fireback and are perfect as a soft nightlight when the fireplace is turned off. Concealment Door – The control panel, valve and wires are all neatly hidden behind an elegantly designed concealment door that conveniently opens and closes for easy access to the controls. Control Panel Lighting and High Visibility Dashboard – Once the concealment door is opened the entire dashboard is lit up by automatic LED lights. This makes the high resolution silk-screened lettering on the controls easy to view even in a low light environment. So, all the hype about GreenSmart is well founded. Head down to your local FPX showroom (NYC Fireplaces) so they can show the magic in person. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. www.interiornewyork.com
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