Our apartment renovation in Montclair is almost ready for electrical and plumbing inspection. The bottom photo shows the original framing for built in closets in the master bedroom. The top photo shows these same closets with electric and central air installed. The town’s inspectors will arrive shortly and, if all goes well, sheet rock will begin going up. Another week or so and we hope to begin painting. If we can move in when spring has sprung, we’ll be delighted.
The sales reps we see on a daily basis perform a variety of essential functions for us, even in the age of the internet. I’m talking about the reps who are good at their jobs, know the industry and their products, and understand our needs. These reps are vital partners, helping us do our job more effectively. Here Rena and I are looking through the latest Pollack line with Ruth. As you can see, the experience is both educational and entertaining. As it should be. Because another quality of a good sales rep is making the process fun.
Large rows of parallel windows form a semi-circle at one end of this great room, the lofty ceiling inset atop a shelf style soffit. The ceiling is sprinkled with tiny fiber optic lights, which produce a planetarium-like starry sky effect at night. I centered the modern furnishings in the room, with back to back sofas and chaise/bench pieces offering views of the ceiling and surrounding grounds. The sofas can easily seat 14. The custom oversize rug is a substantial 36 feet long, a layer of warmth over the stone floor. The greige color scheme provides a clean canvas which highlights the wood pieces—card table, cocktail table, end tables, oversize console and ottoman with tray tops. With it’s dramatic views and sleek, modern furnishings, the space exudes a sense of occasion, ready for grand gatherings or intimate tête-à-têtes.
The high ceilings of our Montclair apartment have allowed us to install central air without compromising the airy feel of the space. A drop ceiling is being built in one room with minimal added ductwork to additional rooms. Our current home’s air is a hit and miss proposition, and the unit is quite old, so the improvement should be dramatic.
I created this light, comfortable and attractive family room thorough the use of color, simplicity and proportion. The palette is light grey with blue green accents, which gives the room an unconfined, buoyant feel. The custom grey wool rug may be on the floor, but the effect is like a magic carpet, lifting the furnishings. The two sofas use a bench seat, mirrored by the bench across from the large, equally sleek ottoman, to further untether the design. The only anchored pieces are the wood credenza and unusually shaped bookcase, which provide balance and visual focus. The only pattern is on the twin swivel chairs, but the plaid is subdued, subtle, and does not detract from the blissful appeal of this lighter than air space.
One of my favorite movies is Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. In it, the Blandings family move from their Manhattan apartment to the suburbs, in part because they have no closet space. Well, the move to our Montclair apartment from our home in West Orange will be accompanied by an increase of closet space.
I’ve labored for many years in the shadow of my husband’s closets. Due to the layout of our home, it worked out for him to have more space. I’ve designed the master bedroom in our new apartment to redress the balance. In the photo the closets have been framed, so you can get an idea of considerable space we’ll both have, built into the room on two sides. Because you simply can’t have too many closets.
…but it is in fact the location of our master bath. Among the features of the transformation will be a rain shower head, hand shower, and mahogany vanity. We stayed in a hotel in Barcelona a few years ago with a rain shower. We spent a disproportionate amount of time getting clean. Not your normal shower experience.
I’m moving the kitchen in our apartment renovation from it’s original location to what had been the dining room. As for many people, the kitchen/dining area is where we hang out, and we want to make it as pleasant as possible. It will have the finest view in the apartment, and the dining area will face a large picture window. The blue line on the floor is where the cabinets and appliances will be. The look is going to be less traditional kitchen and more contemporary living area. It will integrate with the adjacent open living room, creating an airy, bright, comfortable environment tailored precisely to our needs. We’re hoping for two more months of work to make it happen. I’ll be posting updates as the work progresses, so watch this space.
Permits in hand, our contractor and his band of merry renovators are about to begin taking down walls, the first step in the rehabilitation of our newly purchased Montclair apartment. Paying close attention to the many rules of the building and taking into account the sensitivities of our neighbors, they will endeavor to get the work done as quickly and cleanly as possible. Of course, in a building as old as this (1901), there are bound to be surprises along the way. I will keep you posted with frequent updates on the twists and turns in this home improvement melodrama as it progresses.
As we arrive at the studio after the first snowfall of the New Year, I find myself looking wistfully back at this image taken from the upstairs terrace of my client’s home in Short Hills in late summer. I have shared images of the inside of the home here, here and here, but this outside photo shows the idyllic layout of the grounds, with the pool, outdoor seating area and separate dining area partially hidden by the wrought iron gate. The cooking space is just out of the picture to the left, which includes wraparound seating for those who want to eat and drink near the BBQ action. Oh, and the roses which look so appealing are, in fact, in permanent bloom, due to my supplier’s uncanny ability to replicate nature.