This week, design editor Wendy Goodman lived out one of her fantasies: roaming the usually unseen private spaces of the luxurious Frick Museum (who knew there was a bowling alley?). She also explored a design-filled new condo in Brooklyn and a wealth of ideas at the just-opened Tillett and Rauscher showroom in Harlem. Plus, warm and tasty crêpes!
The Built-in Dog Bed
How sweet is this! Writer David Hay sent me his photo of the built-in dog bed that architect Koray Duman designed for a couple in Soho. Duman obviously knew how to give their Great Dane and chihuahua the perfect bed.
Settling in With a Crepe
I was out scouting one freezing day last week and passed La Crêpe Parisienne. It enticed me with its promise of warmth, and sweet or savory crpes. While downing a delicious tomato-mozzarella crpe, I noticed the clever and attractive design of the place; for example, each seat back along the banquette I was sitting on is a different style.
Where Deliciousness Happens
La Crêpe is at 51 Spring Street, near Mulberry. It's been open for three months, and the Mexican owner/designer is going to open another in the spring, elsewhere in Manhattan.
Eating and People-Watching
I was really happy to come upon this delicious oasis.
Bowling for Millionaires
Heidi Rosenau, head of media relations at the Frick Museum on the Upper East Side, kindly allowed me to visit my favorite places in the beautiful Frick Mansion. You might think that entailed walking through the Fragonard room, or the celebrated galleries filled with master paintings (and I do love those), but my passion is for the private spaces off-limits to visitors, like the linen closet on the top floor and the bowling alley in the basement, where I bowled at Heidi's invitation and almost had a strike. You can see here there are only two pins standing.
Not the Most Fun Job
Henry Clay Frick built the bowling alley for entertaining. Here you can see the seats where servants perched during games, waiting to retrieve the balls after guests had rolled them down the alley.
A Really Big Safe
This safe, also in the basement, is where the family's sterling silver (candelabras, serving pieces, and so forth) was kept.
Something I Really Wish I Had
The winter clothes were stored in these cedar closets. They're still in use, and still smell wonderfully of cedar.
My Favorite Discovery in the Museum
Here's the linen storage area.
Massive Amounts of Storage
Mr. Frick made his fortune in steel, so is it any wonder that these extraordinary drawers are on handsome steel hinges?
Because God Forbid You Fold a Sheet
The giant drawers swing out from those hinges, so sheets could be stored flat instead of folded.
The Most Beautiful Hallway
Elsie de Wolfe decorated the family's private rooms on the second floor. This hallway led to the bedrooms, which are now used for offices.
With the Most Beautiful Ceiling
The chinoiserie painted canvas on the hallway ceiling was done by J. Alden. Twachtman, and is still beautifully intact.
Glorious, Golden Notes
The splendid organ. Mr. Frick loved organ music so much that the organist had a room in the mansion so he could be on call.
The View From Upstairs
I have so often dreamed of climbing the stairs to see what the Frick family would have seen, beyond the public rooms; during this visit, I had my chance. This view is looking down from the upstairs landing. You can glimpse the organ at the bottom left.
How to Protect Your Tomes
Mr. Frick had special leather covers made to protect his beloved books from collecting damaging dust (they are laying across the top of the leather-bound volumes).
The Tillett and Rauscher Showroom in Harlem
The wonderful custom fabrics, furniture, and upholstery company has opened its new showroom at 529 Manhattan Avenue, at 122nd Street. The website is tillettandrauscher.com.
Fabric With History
Here's a document of Tillett fabric commissioned by Sister Parish for the Kennedy White House.
Rolls of Upholstery and Curtain Fabrics
The references to classic designs are punched up by hot colors.
A Graphic Black-and-White Design
These look like airborne bricks, but are really just brushstrokes.
Red Is Generally Good Anywhere
Here's a photo of some gorgeous red-and-white pillows that could fit in anywhere.
Scowling Sea Creatures
I call this archival Tillett fabric "grumpy fish."
In 1996, the awesome Ruth Shuman founded Publicolor, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes students, parents, and volunteers to reenergize the learning environments of the city's public schools.
License to Get Messy
The program of painting classrooms, hallways, and a number of different projects is a fantastic endeavor.
This was a paint club event that took place in November at P.S. 171 on 103rd Street. To learn more, go to publicolor.org.
Third and Bond Street Condos
Here's another example of a creative partnership between a developer and the design world that is taking place in Brooklyn. Hudson Companies has partnered with the Pratt Institute, enlisting its impressive design faculty and alumni to furnish two model apartments in a new condo in Carroll Gardens, designed by Rogers Marvel Architects. It's thirdandbond.com.
That's Not Just Wall Decor
Here's a sample of SMIT's "Grow" ivy paneling used as inside decor. The paneling is an energy device that attaches to the sides of buildings, and draws power from sun and wind.
Two Design Titans in One Living Room
Here's an Eva Zeisel coffee table next to a Knoll sofa. Zeisel, a titan of design, was a faculty member at Pratt for many years. She turned 103 this November and is still turning out ideas.
Third and Bond
This is one of Rob Zinn's "heliocentric lighting" lamp designs.
Homework Is Fun, When It’s at This Desk
This RED Rocket desk system, designed by Ayse Birsel for Herman Miller, would be homework-encouraging, no?
Urban Outdoor Living
The Organic Gardener, a Brooklyn-based company that designs and builds landscapes, did a wonderful design for the backyard.
How to Make Light Beautiful
The laser-cut paper cylinder lamp was designed by Pratt alumnus and professor of architecture Anthony Caradonna.
The Meta Garbage Pail
Giovanni Pellone designed this witty wastebasket he calls "Zago" out of recycled cardboard.
Taos in Brooklyn
This is one of the penthouse terrace structures. You can see the Gowanus Canal in the distance, which we hope will one day will be sprouting beautiful foliage.
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