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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Entries from the ‘Apartment Update’ Category

The Mighty Lightbulb

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My triptych vanity mirror.  A gift from Alexis.

1 My triptych vanity mirror. A gift from Alexis.

The replacement bulb for the mirror from The Light Bulb Store.  I love the look of the vintage box.

2 The replacement bulb for the mirror from The Light Bulb Store. I love the look of the vintage box.

Here's what the bulb looks like.  I'd never seen this type before.

3 Here's what the bulb looks like. I'd never seen this type before.

It has a long shape and base contacts on each end.

4 It has a long shape and base contacts on each end.

This is a reproduction of an Edison bulb.  The earliest lightbulbs were hand-blown and had small nubs at the tops that were caused by the removal of glass tubes used to remove air from inside the bulbs.

5 This is a reproduction of an Edison bulb. The earliest lightbulbs were hand-blown and had small nubs at the tops that were caused by the removal of glass tubes used to remove air from inside the bulbs.

A collection of incandescent bulbs from a 2002 story in Living.  I like seeing the filament inside clear bulbs.

6 A collection of incandescent bulbs from a 2002 story in Living. I like seeing the filament inside clear bulbs.

Incandescent bulbs today are formed in molds and the air is removed through the base.

7 Incandescent bulbs today are formed in molds and the air is removed through the base.

Some specialty incandescent bulbs.   Two of my favorites are the one with the reflective coating on the top half that directs light downward and the pink bulb that gives off a warm, soft light that is complimentary to faces.

8 Some specialty incandescent bulbs. Two of my favorites are the one with the reflective coating on the top half that directs light downward and the pink bulb that gives off a warm, soft light that is complimentary to faces.

Compact florescent bulbs are more energy efficient and last longer than incandescent bulbs.  The technology has come a long way since their introduction and their light quality is much better.

9 Compact florescent bulbs are more energy efficient and last longer than incandescent bulbs. The technology has come a long way since their introduction and their light quality is much better.

Halogen bulbs are also long lasting and energy efficient.  All of the recessed lighting in my apartment uses halogen bulbs.

10 Halogen bulbs are also long lasting and energy efficient. All of the recessed lighting in my apartment uses halogen bulbs.

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I love the long shape and look of the filament.

13 I love the long shape and look of the filament.

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Shortly after I finished renovating my bathrooms, my friend Alexis gave me a beautiful, vintage triptych vanity mirror as a gift. I really love it and knew it would look great in my master bathroom. The mirror is European and has a type of light bulb that I had never seen before.

Unfortunately, the bulb broke and I have been trying to find a replacement bulb with no success. I did some research and found an amazing source for all types of light bulbs, The Lightbulb Store.

I contacted them and spoke with Larry Birnbaum, the owner.  I described the broken bulb to him and read off any information on it that I could. Before I even finished the description, Larry knew the bulb exactly and said that he was pretty sure that he had it in stock.  He needed to go into his warehouse to check and said he would call me back. About 15 minutes later, Larry called to confirm that he did have the bulb.  I was thrilled and received it in the mail a few days later.

Larry is passionate about light bulbs and his business and it really shows. His shop, located in South Hackensack, NJ, is open to the public and carries every size, shape, color and function of bulb imaginable.  You can also order online directly from his website. There's also a great history of light and lighting section on the site under "About Incandescents", with interesting facts and images.  If you're searching for hard to find bulbs, be sure to visit the The Lightbulb Store.

This search got me thinking about the power of the lightbulb itself. Here are some of my favorite lighting looks that put the  bulb front and center.

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The simplicity of this lamp is what I'm drawn to, I would love to use this in a bookcase. (anthropologie.com)

1 The simplicity of this lamp is what I'm drawn to, I would love to use this in a bookcase. (anthropologie.com)

The gesture of these pendants remind me of raindrops. (nichemodern.com)

2 The gesture of these pendants remind me of raindrops. (nichemodern.com)

This diamond inspired lightbulb needs no further embellishment. (erictherner.com)

3 This diamond inspired lightbulb needs no further embellishment. (erictherner.com)

The lamp almost serves as a work of art. (brendanravenhill.com)

4 The lamp almost serves as a work of art. (brendanravenhill.com)

This is a more industrial way to showcase a specialty bulb. (anthropologie.com)

5 This is a more industrial way to showcase a specialty bulb. (anthropologie.com)

The mix of industrial and glam are what make this lamp so unique. (rejuvenation.com)

6 The mix of industrial and glam are what make this lamp so unique. (rejuvenation.com)

It's all about the bulb! (restorationhardware.com)

7 It's all about the bulb! (restorationhardware.com)

A beautiful graceful shape. (simonpearce.com)

8 A beautiful graceful shape. (simonpearce.com)

Partner Monday: Martha Stewart Clean Products

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The display of Martha Stewart Clean products at the 23rd St. Home Depot store in Manhattan.  Looks good and definitely gets me in the mood to clean.

1 The display of Martha Stewart Clean products at the 23rd St. Home Depot store in Manhattan. Looks good and definitely gets me in the mood to clean.

Everything you need to maintain a clean and healthy home and the prices are great too.

2 Everything you need to maintain a clean and healthy home and the prices are great too.

All of the bottles are recyclable and contain recycled content.  Plus, the shipping cartons are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (www.fscus.org) to ensure that they are sourced from only well-managed forests.  Very responsible.

3 All of the bottles are recyclable and contain recycled content. Plus, the shipping cartons are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (www.fscus.org) to ensure that they are sourced from only well-managed forests. Very responsible.

MS Clean products are safe for every family member.  Sharkey and Francesca are checking out the display and approve.

4 MS Clean products are safe for every family member. Sharkey and Francesca are checking out the display and approve.

I use the all-purpose cleaner for all my hard surfaces in the apartment.

5 I use the all-purpose cleaner for all my hard surfaces in the apartment.

The glass and mirror cleaner definitely comes in handy for all the windows and mirrors in my place.

6 The glass and mirror cleaner definitely comes in handy for all the windows and mirrors in my place.

Bon Ami Cleanser (bonami.net) is a must for cleaning and scouring sinks and tubs.  Definitely a classic and good for the environment too.

7 Bon Ami Cleanser (bonami.net) is a must for cleaning and scouring sinks and tubs. Definitely a classic and good for the environment too.

There are so many great sponges on the market.  I love the pop up kind because they're packaged flat so it's easy to store a lot of them.

8 There are so many great sponges on the market. I love the pop up kind because they're packaged flat so it's easy to store a lot of them.

An old toothbrush is great for detailing and cleaning tight areas and scrub brushes come in a variety of  shapes and styles.  Choose ones that feel good in your hand.

9 An old toothbrush is great for detailing and cleaning tight areas and scrub brushes come in a variety of shapes and styles. Choose ones that feel good in your hand.

Squeegees make quick work of cleaning windows and they're also great for cleaning glass shower doors.

10 Squeegees make quick work of cleaning windows and they're also great for cleaning glass shower doors.

These bar mop towels from Williams-Sonoma (williamssonoma.com) are perfect for most cleaning jobs.

11 These bar mop towels from Williams-Sonoma (williamssonoma.com) are perfect for most cleaning jobs.

I'm sure many of you know that Martha has developed a line of green cleaning products called Martha Stewart Clean available at The Home Depot and other retailers across the country.  Martha did extensive research on what was currently available in the market and saw the need for a line of cleaning products that were not only green but were also effective and cleaned really well.  The result is Martha Stewart Clean.

Our partnership with Hain Celestial Group is an exciting one because homekeeping is such a big part of our business and brand, so having our own line of cleaning products is a natural fit.  Martha Stewart Clean products are 99+% plant and mineral based formulas that are responsibly made so you can feel confident that your home is clean and that you are making a healthy choice for your family, pets and the environment when choosing our products for your home.

To keep my apartment clean, there are a few basics that I always keep on hand for general cleaning:  all-purpose cleaner,  glass cleaner, powdered cleanser, sponges, toothbrush, squeegee, scrub brushes and small white terry-cloth towels.  These products and tools are all you need to tackle everyday household cleaning but for bigger cleaning challenges, be sure to check our Homekeeping Solutions Happy cleaning!

Apartment Update: My Go-To Experts

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With the September issue of Martha Stewart Living about to hit newsstands (subscribers, you may have received your copy already, so look for behind-the-scenes action later next week), I would like to give a shout-out to my go-to experts; that is, everyone who contributed to my apartment redo over the past year. It was an incredible experience and a team effort. Thank you, everyone. I am thrilled and know you will be, too.

Come back on Tuesday, August 17, when the Big Reveal arrives with behind-the-scenes looks at the photo shoot of my apartment in the September issue plus more.

In the meantime, thanks:

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Craig Margolies of Haywood-Berk Floor Company, Inc. http://www.haywoodberk.com/

1 Craig Margolies of Haywood-Berk Floor Company, Inc. http://www.haywoodberk.com/

Craig was responsible for creating my bleached floors.

2 Craig was responsible for creating my bleached floors.

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Artist Eric Beare (www.ebeare.com), responsible for the Kline- and Rothko-inspired work in my apartment.

1 Artist Eric Beare (www.ebeare.com), responsible for the Kline- and Rothko-inspired work in my apartment.

Eric Beare created a Franz Kline-inpsired painting for my bedroom.

2 Eric Beare created a Franz Kline-inpsired painting for my bedroom.

Then, he created Rothko-inpsired work for the library. Here are the first attempts. You will have to wait to see the final original work.

3 Then, he created Rothko-inpsired work for the library. Here are the first attempts. You will have to wait to see the final original work.

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My contractor extraordinaire: Bob Tobin, BC Interiors (www.bcinteriorsltd.com)

1 My contractor extraordinaire: Bob Tobin, BC Interiors (www.bcinteriorsltd.com)

He did EVERYTHING from floor to ceiling.

2 He did EVERYTHING from floor to ceiling.

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Waterworks tile expert Kristen Vander Hulst helped me select Tatami, a beautiful mosaic made of four types of polished and honed marble strips (waterworks.com).

1 Waterworks tile expert Kristen Vander Hulst helped me select Tatami, a beautiful mosaic made of four types of polished and honed marble strips (waterworks.com).

Pepe, from Yorke Construction (http://www.yorkeconstruction.com/) installed the tile.

2 Pepe, from Yorke Construction (http://www.yorkeconstruction.com/) installed the tile.

My master bathroom. Gorgeous!

3 My master bathroom. Gorgeous!

Powder room, also gorgeous!

4 Powder room, also gorgeous!

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Junior Nolte, owner of Narcissus Mirror and Glass (www.narcissusmirror.com), did all the mirror work in my closet and bathroom.

1 Junior Nolte, owner of Narcissus Mirror and Glass (www.narcissusmirror.com), did all the mirror work in my closet and bathroom.

He has such skill.

2 He has such skill.

Of course, I adore my closet.

3 Of course, I adore my closet.

And he did everything to perfection in the bathrooms, too.

4 And he did everything to perfection in the bathrooms, too.

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Steve Feldman, president and founder of Green Demolitions (www.greendemolitions.com). Green Demolitions sells luxury kitchens, appliances, bathroom fixtures, home decor, etc. from houses being demolished and renovated.

1 Steve Feldman, president and founder of Green Demolitions (www.greendemolitions.com). Green Demolitions sells luxury kitchens, appliances, bathroom fixtures, home decor, etc. from houses being demolished and renovated.

The company removed the doors of my closet.

2 The company removed the doors of my closet.

The guys removed the doors/panels and sold them through their showroom. Some of the proceeds were donated to Addicts Anonymous programs (AA). The green aspect: recycling luxury goods from demolition sites. Public benefit: Items are sold to the public 50 percent to 80 percent off market prices.

3 The guys removed the doors/panels and sold them through their showroom. Some of the proceeds were donated to Addicts Anonymous programs (AA). The green aspect: recycling luxury goods from demolition sites. Public benefit: Items are sold to the public 50 percent to 80 percent off market prices.

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Frank Carfaro, president and creative director of Desiron (www.desiron.com).

1 Frank Carfaro, president and creative director of Desiron (www.desiron.com).

I worked with his team to create the mirror outside my closet, in the bedroom, dining room and entryway.

2 I worked with his team to create the mirror outside my closet, in the bedroom, dining room and entryway.

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Thank you to my tech expert and former MSL colleague Suzanne Kantra of Techlicious (www.techlicious.com).

1 Thank you to my tech expert and former MSL colleague Suzanne Kantra of Techlicious (www.techlicious.com).

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Christophe Pourney (www.christophepourney.com) restored and refinished all of my furniture from oak to a dark ceruse.

1 Christophe Pourney (www.christophepourney.com) restored and refinished all of my furniture from oak to a dark ceruse.

His work is impeccable.

2 His work is impeccable.

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A big thank you to Carolyn Musher (seen here consulting with me at the California Closets showroom), californiaclosets.com, for working with me to create my custom closet.

1 A big thank you to Carolyn Musher (seen here consulting with me at the California Closets showroom), californiaclosets.com, for working with me to create my custom closet.

I am in organized bliss.

2 I am in organized bliss.

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George Emerson of Geneva, www.genevalab.com, the inventors of iPod high fidelity.

1 George Emerson of Geneva, www.genevalab.com, the inventors of iPod high fidelity.

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David Kassel, of iLevel Art Placement and Installation (www.ilevel.biz), hung all of my artwork with incredible professionalism.

1 David Kassel, of iLevel Art Placement and Installation (www.ilevel.biz), hung all of my artwork with incredible professionalism.

Remember all of those Albers?

2 Remember all of those Albers?

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None of that could have happened without the framing expertise of Joe Brentano (brentanosinc.com) and the gorgeous frames from Larson Juhl (www.larsonjuhl.com).

1 None of that could have happened without the framing expertise of Joe Brentano (brentanosinc.com) and the gorgeous frames from Larson Juhl (www.larsonjuhl.com).

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Luther Quintana, www.lqupholstery.com, who is my go-to expert for all things upholstered. Wait until you see everything he did in the apartment.

1 Luther Quintana, www.lqupholstery.com, who is my go-to expert for all things upholstered. Wait until you see everything he did in the apartment.

His work is fantastic. Thank you.

2 His work is fantastic. Thank you.

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Finally, a big thank-you to Safavieh, www.safaveih.com, and the design/sales team for helping me create beautiful rugs throughout my apartment.

1 Finally, a big thank-you to Safavieh, www.safaveih.com, and the design/sales team for helping me create beautiful rugs throughout my apartment.

A big thank-you to Anthony Santelli, Martha Stewart Living's senior home editor and the project manager. I could not have done it without you. Finally, thanks to everyone in my building, from the incredible staff to the patient tenants. It's over!