Dwellings Issue IX: Midtown West
For this Dwellings post, we delve into the center of New York City. Adam, a local bartender, has been shopping with Furnish Green for about a year and currently resides in Midtown Manhattan. It’s an extremely industrial area, so you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find an apartment with so much character. The space has original hardwood floors and crown molding and features a beautifully ornate fireplace mantel… So meet Adam, and enjoy the space!
Blue flip-down bench seats: Â old Yankee’s Stadium seating that Adam’s roommate acquired at an auction.
How did you end up in this apartment?
I was looking at a studio in Chelsea that advertised a wood burning fireplace, so obviously I went to check it out. To my excited surprise it actually worked. The rest of the place was a shit hole but it definitely gave me the idea. Anyway, I had some time to really look around before my lease was up so I decided, at least for a while, to ONLY look for places with wood burning fireplaces. This drew some strange reactions from a lot of realtors. I remember being in one guy’s office and he was just screwing me around, telling me what I wanted to hear and being full of shit. I yelled “Listen buddy, I don’t want to look at anything that doesn’t have a god dammed wood burning fireplace in it!” Then a sort of hush fell over the whole office and everyone just stared at us in, I guess, disbelief. You could hear a pin drop! It was absolutely ridiculous. An absurd demand. Somewhat out of character for me, but I was so frustrated with this guy. It just all came out.
Do you have a design style that you’re going for?
Not particularly. Everything basically revolved around the fireplace. Dark and cozy I suppose. My roommate, Brian and I both work crazy late hours, so when either of us gets home it’s usually already light out. It’s nice to pull down the blinds and relax a little without feeling too abnormal. Also, there’s something comforting about sitting in front of a crackling fire on a freezing January morning, delighting in the knowledge that the moron that puked in the corner of the bar last night is beginning their day with a top-five-hangovers-of-all-time and is about to get a good ass-chewing by their boss for being late and looking like such shit. So, I dunno, is schadenfreude a design style? Urban-Neoclassical then. Haha, I’ve no idea.
FG Klein Bros. Cedar Chest
Adam’s trash pick chair.
You seem inclined to shop for vintage furniture, is there any reason why? Or is it just a preference?
I’m attracted to things with character, I guess. I think everybody is. Something with some history to it, y’know? I used to get a lot of furniture from the trash. That swivel chair is one of my favorite trash picks. I found two broken ones outside a bar on 46th street years ago, and after a long time of hoarding two broken chairs, I abandoned my intent to fix them both and just sort of made one out of the working parts of both.
Adam turned these FG rustic industrial drawers into great display shelves! And they pair perfectly with this FG distressed black and gold mirror.
Do you have a favorite Furnish Green piece?
Probably the corner bookcase that we use as a bar. I think, deep down, it always wanted to be a bar. I’m happy to facilitate that. Or maybe the spittoon! I can’t wait to put a big cactus in that thing.
Another rustic FG cedar chest and vintage brass spittoon.
How did you decide on your wall colors?Â
I thought a dark, rich blue would bring out the fireplace. Also, the apartment is pretty big and the walls are high so I knew it could take a dark color. Well, that, and my occupational disdain for the morning sun.
What’s the story behind the big canvas with the holes?
That is the work of a mischievous little Cocker Spaniel I once had, named Winston. I had acquired the frame from a bar that I was working at downtown, and bought the canvas to wrap around it. I had also taken a photograph from the hudson river of the water towers on the tops of the buildings of the UWS, it was during one of those late, low autumn sunsets that makes the brownstones glow red. My plan was to somehow superimpose this photo onto the bottom of the canvas, and this artist friend of mine was going to paint a big sky above it. It was going to be a sort of landscape in a portrait format. Anyway, I had the canvas rolled up and taped, propped up in a corner of my old studio apartment. I got home one day and Winston, who had evidently been gnawing on the same spot for a while, greeted me with a wagging tail and no apparent remorse or recollection of the incident. Bastard. So when I unravelled it, the holes appeared in this cool, ascending line. I kept it because I think it’s awesome! And it reminds me of a good dog. I taped a small scrap of red paper to the back of one of the holes to give it some of myself, but it’s Winston’s piece.
Grilled cheese makers featured in bottom right corner!
Where did you get the fireplace grilled cheese makers? And what’s your favorite grilled cheese combo?
Those things are amazing. You get a good fire going, heat up these cast iron beauties, butter them like you’ve only got a week to live and then basically put a sandwich in them, clasp them shut and shove them back into the coals. We’ve had some good combinations lately, but I think the notion of a gourmet grilled cheese is somehow amoral. Like putting clothes on a cat. People should stop doing that. Keep the fig jam and chevre D’or in the fridge. Give me white bread, a slice of cheddar and a slice of white american, cook it, then put me to bed.
Is there anything (furniture or home decor) you’re really looking to add to your apartment?
We do need a better storage solution for our records. I was thinking about trying to find some reclaimed wood and building something. I have a few bev-naps with some crude sketches…
Do you have any general comments about your experience with Furnish Green?
I have only great things to say about the place. A patchwork of treasures and novelties, nestled among some really beautiful pieces of genuinely livable furniture. My only criticism is that I wasn’t able to find it sooner.
So there you have it! This unique space exhibits the charm that exists in Midtown amid the overwhelming amount of industry and tourism. Adam has managed to create a humble home that really makes you want to just close the blinds and get cozy in front of a fire (grilled cheese not optional).
We hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of our Dwellings series! StayÂ tuned for future posts, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to have your space featured!
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