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interior design

Dwellings Issue XV: Upper East Side

Customer: Ellen

Occupation: Executive Assistant at Refinery 29

Lived in Apartment: 2 years

FG Regular: 2 years

FG Discovery Story: A simple online search for “independent furniture stores in NYC”  [that’ll do it 😉 ]

Favorite FG Purchase: Asian Lacquered Trapezoidal Bookcase

It’s been a while since we featured the apartment of an FG regular, but we’re back at it and more excited than ever! Ellen began shopping at Furnish Green when she moved into her Upper East Side apartment 2 years ago. With no distinct design style in mind, she based her purchasing around functionality. In these tiny NYC apartments, everything has to serve a purpose, and Ellen has managed to curate her space thoughtfully in a way that combines minimalist and utilitarian aesthetic with vintage charm. She has accrued a great mix of pieces; the Atomic and Rustic styles are well-represented with metal and wood as the main materials, and there’s a focus on lines and angles that flows throughout the place. Ellen’s home feels cozy yet orderly and displays an artful attention to detail. Check it out!

We hope you enjoyed this installment of our Dwellings series! Stay tuned for future posts, and email us at furnishgreen@gmail.com for a chance to have your space featured!

 

 

 

Dwellings Issue IX: Midtown West

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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!

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Blue flip-down bench seats:  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.

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FG Klein Bros. Cedar Chest

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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.

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Adam turned these FG rustic industrial drawers into great display shelves! And they pair perfectly with this FG distressed black and gold mirror.

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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.

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Another rustic FG cedar chest and vintage brass spittoon.

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How did you decide on your wall colors? 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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! Stay tuned for future posts, and email us at furnishgreen@gmail.com for a chance to have your space featured!

A Trip to The Centre for Social Innovation

One Saturday morning in February, a gentleman by the name of Matthew Cohen came into the Furnish Green showroom. A designer from Toronto and founder of the Matthew Cohen Design Collective, Cohen has spent the past two years working on a very special project: designing the New York branch of the Centre for Social Innovation. To make his vision a reality, Cohen aimed to use existing materials and repurposed items. Furnish Green became one of his sources, and he purchased a varied assortment of pieces from us. From industrial shelving units to a ceramic stallion’s head, all of these pieces would come together in one unique space.

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The Centre for Social Innovation was founded 10 years ago in Toronto, with a simple yet revolutionary philosophy. It’s a place where independent small businesses can share space and resources, and work alongside each other to build relationships. All companies working through CSI are involved in social enterprises. About two years ago, CSI started planning for a new branch in New York City. One of the first steps was finding someone to design the new space. Cohen was working in Toronto at the time, designing venues for various non-profits. CSI took notice of him and his work, and soon he was brought on to oversee the design of the new CSI branch in New york. Since then, Cohen has been working tirelessly to turn the New York CSI into what it is today.

CSI has three locations in Toronto, and the New York branch is the newest addition. Since its opening in May 2013, the New York CSI has grown to accommodate over 180 organizations. CSI also rents spaces to outside companies for various events.

A few weeks ago, Cohen was kind enough to give us a tour of the new site in Chelsea. Tucked in an imposing converted warehouse building, the new CSI is a bustling space with an urban aesthetic. Everything inside was made with existing materials, and built by local craftsmen and contractors. It’s a lively, inviting place, with a strong sense of community.

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A number of Furnish Green accent pieces, from vintage globes to geometric sculptures, were used to decorate the charming lounge area, one of the first things you see upon entering CSI. This eclectic look was consistent throughout.

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Some old tool drawers from Furnish Green help to keep them organized and maintain the colorful yet industrial style.

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Young professionals take advantage of all that CSI has to offer. Companies can rent offices for the long term, while many individuals use the “Hot Desk” system: pay for an allotment of hours, and come to work at any desk that’s open.

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Lighting is clearly an important design aspect of the new CSI where individuals are developing all sorts of “bright” ideas. These fixtures were particularly striking.

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This coat rack wall was made with repurposed materials from an old nunnery.

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All cabinets and shelves in the shared kitchen area were taken from a run-down mill.

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These are just a few of the many repurposed design elements at CSI. Some of the rooms are decorated with vintage wallpaper from Second Hand Rose. There are large work tables made with old freight elevator doors from Carnegie Metal. Desks made from felled trees were provided by NY City Slab, and some other wood surfaces were built by Brooklyn Woods. Through its design, CSI has strongly supported local businesses and artisans.

The goal of the Centre for Social Innovation is to revolutionize the way we do business; to be more conscientious of each other and the world we live in, and to make resources available to everyone. After seeing all that goes on at CSI, it’s safe to say that they will have a very positive impact on the world as they continue to grow. To learn more about the Centre for Social Innovation, visit nyc.socialinnovation.org.

Shop Wall Hangings!

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Are you walls looking bland? In New York apartments, we’re not exactly encouraged to paint our stark white walls. Our living spaces can feel a bit sterile. It’s time to make your place feel more like a home and to adorn those walls. Furnish Green has got plenty of wall hangings in an assortment of styles, from Shabby Chic to Mid Century Modern. Some artwork will bring a pop of color to a room that may otherwise be relatively dull, while hanging mirrors will bring depth to a flat wall and make a room seem larger and more open. Even empty vintage wood frames can give life to a blank wall.

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We have wall hangings available for purchase online, but some of the artwork does not make it onto the website so you’ll have to come check out the walls of our showroom. Take a look at our selection HERE and don’t forget that we’ve got plenty more decorative pieces that can help you change the confines of your apartment into works of art.

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Furnish Green on Refinery 29!

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Furnish Green has been featured as a place to go to make your home look more like a Wes Anderson movie! The sets of Wes Anderson movies are always fun and visually stimulating so we are honored that set decorator, Kris Moran, thought of us for the article.

Check out the article in its entirety on Refinery 29!

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