Thursday, January 27

Living room no. 2

I was doing so well, posting so regularly, and then I got sick! I'm back from the writers residency in Vermont, I finished up two deadlines, one for Luxe Interiors & Design and one for the Guardian's weekend magazine, and I realized I have this with one last post with my author friends. So, before I get back to my NyQuil nap:

At Jessie and David's, this room in the back of the apartment is often used for guests, but since the couple moved their bed up to the loft, this former bedroom is--could it be?--just an extra room! For reading, lounging, working, looking out the window at Seventh Avenue. Mostly, I love the red lamp.

Monday, January 17

A travel writer's airplane-style bathroom

One of my favorite things about the home of Jessie Sholl and David Farley is the bathroom, where David, a travel writer, has decorated the room with stickers and images swiped from airplane bathrooms: "Please lock door," "Na Toalete nekurte -- No smoking in lavatory," "Open door slowly." Check out the lightswitch plate at the bottom of this post, which is covered with the cheery cartoon instructions for how to use the oxygen mask in case of emergency.

Thursday, January 13

The Kitch

I can't believe I haven't posted since Sunday. I'm trying to post more frequently. Can you tell? Before I explain the straightening-up hand in the frame above, I should tell you that I'm in Vermont at a writers residency as part of my MFA program at Bennington College. It's a low-residency affair, which means the program is set up so that we can do our writing from whatever city we live in, and then come to campus twice a year for ten-day seminars. I've been here since Thursday, and what with all the lectures and readings and workshops and whiskey (separate events, mostly), I'm a bit lost in the vortex, which is exactly the intent. I just heard pro squash player and classmate Ivy Pochoda, a novelist, give her graduating lecture on the experience of anxiety as seen in sports and literature. Of course, she killed it. (I mean, Jesus.) Before that, I was making espresso in the kitchen downstairs in my dorm and had an incredible experience with the window above the sink. More on this later. But first: 

Sunday, January 9

The sleeping loft

At David and Jessie's in the West Village, open-tread stairs lead from the entry, cross over the living area, and lead to a small loft above, a perfect size for their bed. The skylight, sloped with the angle of the roof, provides light for the two levels. Jessie converses with Abraham Lincoln on the sofa.

Friday, January 7

A tour from Abraham Lincoln

So as I was saying in my last post, I went to visit the home of authors David Farley and Jessie Sholl last weekend. When we came inside from the roof, their dog, Abraham Lincoln, above, met me at the door to begin the tour. The three live on the top floor of this walkup in the West Village. The double-story entrance features a skylight over the loft, where they moved their bed to make a nest-like sleeping area. According to Abraham, this was the most efficient plan, because now they have an extra room in the back that doubles as an office or as a private space for guests. Directly under the loft, below, is the living room, which leads to the kitchen. 
Jessie, above, is standing in the doorway to the kitchen, telling me how they arranged the bookshelves next to her to prominently feature books by her and her husband, below. Jessie's book, Dirty Secret, is a memoir about her mother's hoarding. Jessie--neat, clean, organized Jessie--is definitely not a hoarder.
Abraham Lincoln lounges on the sofa next to an Egyptian trinket--I think it's an Egyptian trinket--he was given by his travel-writing pops, David. They might actually be related, something about the ears.
Above, Abe's bed. Farley's shoes. (We all just call him Farley. I can't believe I'm doing this first-name thing, "David.") Below, the entry. The loft is above. Get it? And the last pic was taken on the sofa, kickin it with Jessie and Farley, who's drinking coffee in a mug featuring George Bush with devil horns. Next: upstairs...

Wednesday, January 5

Writers Jessie Sholl & David Farley

On Sunday, I walked over to Seventh Avenue in the West Village to visit my friends Jessie Sholl and David Farley. David is a travel writer; we met a few years ago in Israel. He's also the author of "An Irreverent Curiosity," a book about Jesus's foreskin. Jessie is a writer, too, and has a memoir out now called "Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding." It's an incredible story, and one that understandably contributes to some anxiety about their (very clean, very uncluttered) home. She's actually going to write about what she calls "doorbell dread," and her experience being on Homebodies, for another blog, so I'll link to her piece when it's up. Until then, meet the adorable couple--married ten years today!--on the roof of their apartment, in what we posed for some reason as album-cover art for their nonexistent emo band.

Tuesday, January 4

Joey & Kelli Ruiter

We're back with  Joey and Kelli Ruiter at their home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a modern little gem next to the traditional houses of my Nana and Uncle Bill. Joey, an artist and designer, isn't quite sure who designed this house, but it's an awful lot like a few layouts he's seen by architect John Black Lee in New Canaan, Connecticut (who I just learned is still living, so maybe I should try to call him today?). 

This couple did a major renovation when they moved in a few years ago; now the place has concrete floors with radiant heating, an updated kitchen, though Joey says it was already ahead of its time, with built-in ports and stations; and a more updated, open layout. I love the original clerestory windows.  

Above in the living area sit an Eames chair, of course, because Herman Miller, who manufactured the chair, is based near Grand Rapids in Zeeland, Michigan. Everyone in a 100-mile radius has old, new, handed-down, family-inherited Herman Miller pieces. The chair above is cherry and leather.
Joey drew the car below. The modular shelving (Herman Miller? Eames? I'm forgetting right now), which was left by the original owner, extends along that entire wall. That's my mom next to Joey.