unique house

Friday, December 20, 2013

Classic Miid-century Furniture Reissues


Great news for fans of classic American furniture by designer and manufacturer Harvey Probber. Until now his furniture has been out of production since the 80s, the only way to find his modular sofa has been the occasional sighting on ebay or 1stdibs. This Fall, M2L, a New York distributor of authorized modern furnishings catering to the design trade, has been licensed to produce new editions, including the 1947 Sling Chair above and the iconic 1972 Deep Tuft sectional below. 
Prices for the Deep Tuft Sofa start at $15,000 in plush fabric for a 5 piece or $19,000 in leather. It may seem a lot but this furniture is so well made it will last a lifetime. 








Here at Beach House we inherited a 1968 12-piece sectional sofa that's still as comfortable and sturdy as ever-although it was reupholstered four years agoAs Probber once said "the true test of great design is time".
Other pieces to be reintroduced include sleek, wood wrapped casegoods and seating from the Architectural Series that were originally produced inFalls River MA in the 1960s.

It's been 10 years since Probber's death when an retrospective of his work was held  at Baruch College in Manhattan. it's certainly time to give these gorgeous designs another, closer look.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wet & Dry


It has rained so much this month that residents are hallucinating they have replaced their sedans with motor cruisers, and are rudely awakened when they try to gun the ever deepening floods, stalling out in 2' of water. I've interpreted Areal Flood Warning to mean A REAL FLOOD WARNING and I'm taking appropriate measures to avoid waiting 90 minutes for a tow truck to haul me out of the embarrassing and expensive situation that driving through flooded roadways could bring. In any case it's been an unforgettable start to summer!

As water from Tropical Storm Andrea poured down the road, swirled around the driveway, gushed past the newly planted hostas to fill the dell outside the dining room, we contemplated going with the flow by turning the dell into a giant pond; simply replacing the hostas with waterlilies. Which led me to remember I hadn't posted about a recent successful project in the backyard that turned the dank, smelly pond by the bridge into a dry water feature.

Firstly, a little background. For years I've been running interference with the dogs, trying to keep them from drinking out of the pond. We tried a cover but it was too cumbersome to move when we needed to get at the pump and mesh kept the dogs off but allowed decomposed leaves, garden debris and the balls off the damn linden tree to fall through the holes and fill the pond. Honestly, who would build a pond under a conifer and plant a bunch of fast-growing shrubs around it? I wanted the pond part gone but still needed a way to keep the water flowing to the rocks and along the stream.


I came across this low maintenance water feature on familyhandyman.com that looked perfect for our purposes. We already had most of the structure in place, it seemed easy-peasy to drain the pond and swap the mucky water for stone chips and gravel. The instructions indicated it could be completed within a couple of days so we began by buying six bags of pea gravel. These sat for a month on the patio while we dealt with a bunch of non-house related crises and some too wet/cold weekends

Finally, on Mothers' Day weekend in May when three consecutive days of sunshine were forecast The Guy set to scooping out the pond. He hauled six garden refuse bags of dirt out of there, at which point we knew those six bags of gravel were not going to make much of an impact. We used those bags as a base for the buckets that would act as miniature reservoirs and went back to Home Depot for another 10 bags of pea gravel. Two more trips to the HD later we were 18 bags in and almost to the top of the pond. We turned on the water and tested the pump and were suitably impressed when the heard water gurgling from the fountain. We still had a few damming issues along the stream (anther two bags of crap were filled) but in the end we had a dry water feature that works - it's a very quiet, soothing sound which adds to the ambience out back.


The project cost approximately $250 for a new pump, piping, buckets and gravel. Even though we had most of the construction already in place it took considerably longer than the projected week-end but it was worth the effort and at least one part of the yard stays dry no matter how much rain pours down on us.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Can I get a clean sweep?


Allow me a wee rant. I know I don't deserve such self indulgence because really, when was the last time I published a post? A month ago, two months? But I am verily pissed off, pushed to the edge and if I don't express the rage here I may let go in less appropriate quarters, and like blowing on a dandelion clock, you never know where the stuff ends up. No one wants to see that go down In Real Life.

Soooo, what, I hear you wonder, has got me so annoyed?

Not the wild flowers, certainly but the state of the roads. My road in particular. It is June, the second week in June to be precise, and our roads, that we pay a whole bunch of freaking money in property taxes to maintain, have yet to be swept.

And here's the excuse I heard at the Village Trustees meeting in May when I queried why the sweeper hadn't swept the sand and detritus from the winter: 

"I know it's late this year but we need to be sure the last snowstorm has passed and we've had two lots of heavy rains before we can sweep." 

Seriously, this was May 13th. The last snowstorm was early March and we've had weeks and weeks of rain since then. Also, no one had a definite date for road cleaning. According to the Village budget we have more money on hand than last year yet the budget for this fiscal year sets aside $2000 less for road seeping. Why?  I'm quoting from memory here because the minutes haven't appeared online (SIGH) but the response was

 "It was cheaper than we thought last year (a mild winter when it wasn't necessary to sweep the roads as much because little sand had been spread) and I didn't think we would need that amount of money this year."

So why aren't the roads being cleaned? The Incorporated Village could spend funds right now sweeping the sand, grit and other crap that I'm still treading through the house. More importantly it's a public safety issue. Cars and cyclists are skidding on the mess, a large portion of which has formed an island at the bottom of a steep hill. Every time it rains heavily that muck in the photo turns into sticky mud. When it's dry, it's like riding on marbles. 


It's almost a month since the last Village meeting. Memorial Day has come and gone; we are officially into the summer season and still our roads are a disgusting, dangerous mess. The Town of Huntington, which maintains the southern end of the road had the sweepers out in April. It's ironic that our Village, incorporated to preserve its unique character, has worse roads than the town.





Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Rise and Fall of Books




The Rise and Fall of Books, a documentary by Jake Gorst(Leisurama (2005), Farmboy (2006) Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island (2012)) explores the influence that books have on society, the rise of e-media and subsequent demise of print and the use of books as art. It features Buzz Spector, arts professor at Cornell University and a celebrated artist who uses books as a medium in his installations. The movie's soundtrack is scored by Peter Holsapple, and Chris Stamey of The dB's

Personally I'm a big fan of digital books. I love that when I travel I no longer have to carry a bag of books and magazines that weighs more than my checked luggage. I was an early kindle adopter and when I got an iPad the kindle app was one of the first installed.  But, I still need physical books to browse and pore over: gorgeous illustrated books about design and architecture, books of photographs, travel books, cook books and of course, children's books.




At the end of the clip above, there are a few frames focused on a beautiful manuscript written in Dutch that is over 300 years old. The surprise and joy of seeing that book in the documentary reminded me that this is something you don't get with a download; the celebration of the physical and unique presence of printed matter, something you can experience in a sensory way. That doesn't happen with electronic media, no matter how high the resolution of your screen.

This documentary is at the post-production stage and funds are needed to get the movie to the viewing public. A GoFundMe.com page has been set up to raise money to complete the project. Pledges start at $15, which gets you a postcard and your name in the closing credit. Rewards at the top end include a large-format Buzz Spector art Polaroid and for fans of The dBs, the actual drum head from the cover of The Sound of Music.


To support the project or read more about it click here. You won't regret it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Snowstorm Winter 2012/2013










Pretty, no?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Every beach should have a shell


Bought at an estate sale of a wonderful old house in our old neighborhood and lovingly placed*, thanks to The Guy, in the yard at beach house. Just the perfect addition to the back driveway.

*Luckily the ideal spot for the shell was close to the garage, this garden ornament must weigh 100lb.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fencing

Ready to install


Again. The front fence was a casualty of Superstorm Sandy. Thank goodness the east fence and the back fence made it through.
Capped

Next job is to stain the fences to match the house but that will be done next year in one mammoth house painting session. Looking forward to it.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Fall Snow



Nine days after Sandy, while a lot of neighbors were still without power, a nor'easter rolled around and dumped a pack of snow on Long Island. Freaking crazy weather...