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Decorative Arts

After renovating my house in Little Falls it was time to work on the decorating. Luckily, antiques in upstate New York are abundant and cheep.

On the walls is my favorite color, Benjamin Moore Plum Royale. The trim is Decorator's white semi-gloss; ceiling, Decorator's White Flat. The floors are maple, probably installed in the early 20th century, finished natural.

All the carpets are Kilims from Turkey. The table is an Empire game table and the painting above is 18th century English with a Barbazon frame.

A mantle luster and a collection of flow blue transferware.
A print from Diderot's Encyclopedia in a gold frame.
Lace curtain from JR Burrows and Company and a copper Thai silk drapery. Cherry side table and needle point chair purchased at Brimfield.
Banquet lamp purchased in a small antique store in Mohawk, NY and a collection of Acoma pottery.
Two sterling silver Milagros, one German, the other from Italy and a Gillette razor set box.




Encaustic Tile in Havana


Most of these are the entries to small apartment buildings in Havana.

Marble, probably imported. Cuban marble is a dull grey color.
Terrazzo: I like how there are two different types next to each other.
Yellow encaustic in the upper right. Mosaic and subway tile in the bath. This is Hemingway's house in the countryside just outside of Havana.
Tile in the Hemingway house leading into the study.


A bookstore in Old Havana


Installing an “original” fireplace

While restoring a Greek Revival in Albany I attempted to return what was removed by neglect and various twentieth century “improvements” to the building.

From the shape of the existing chimney, it's most likely this floor had a simple wood stove and flue.

Here we've dropped in an absolute black hearth with a honed finish. This is a close approximation to the look of the earlier sandstone(?) or slate hearths.


I found this beautiful mantle on Craig's list; it's from a small town in the Mohawk valley, circa 1850.


We're installing the mantle off center to the existing flue but centered on the room.


Here we're filling in behind the mantle with a fake wall.


And here's the finished product. The new pine flooring is close to what the building originally had. I was going to face nail the floor with cut nails but used a hidden nail in the tongue of the tongue and grove flooring. The floors are stained and finished with matte poly to approximate an old finish. This apartment was being rented so a more authentic wax finish was not practical.


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