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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Entries from the ‘Furniture’ Category

Center 44

Posted by

Here in the decorating department of Martha Stewart Living, were often search for unique and antique pieces to use in photo shoots. In New York City, there are so many places to look, but one place we constantly visit is Center 44 in Midtown Manhattan. It's a spacious 25,000 sq. ft. center (encompassing a city block between 43rd and 44th), a stones throw away from Grand Central Station. Co-owners Paul Plumadore and Jim Tindell have been running the store for 5 1/2 years. They feature dealers selling antiques, artwork, lighting, furniture, accessories and even antique fabric. The bulk of their products date back to the mid-20th Century.

Though they weren't educated in design, both had artistic pasts. Paul was originally a dancer, Jim a photographer. Before running antique centers, the two were antique dealers. In 2003, they were involved in the opening of a center in Harlem, Lafayette Antique at the Warehouse. On opening day, the manager quit and they were asked to come on as replacements. That management experience is what Paul says gave Jim the crash course they needed in management to run Center 44.

Unfortunately two years later, the building was sold to Manhattan Mini Storage, and so Paul and Jim were out of a job. However, they seized the opportunity and found a way to start their own business.

"We had all these dealers and they wanted to do something. So we said hey, let’s go downtown. We found this place within a couple of weeks…just sort of happened by serendipity," Paul said.

Many of the dealers transferred over to the new store. An old warehouse building that was built for the teamsters in 1904. The building's history makes it the perfect place to house such old objects. Currently, the space holds 70 vendors, but has room for 75 since a few vendors have expanded to use multiple spots. One of the main things Paul and Jim look for is variety in their vendors. Their wide range of products is what Paul thinks sets them apart from other antique centers.

"I’d like to say it’s mostly eclecticism. But also, we’re not snooty about what we do. We’re very hands on. We own it and we work the floor. We’re very service oriented. We work with our clients," Paul said.

The space is really incredible to be in. While a majority of their customers are designers, Center 44 is open to the public. The place is great if you're looking for something specific, but the sheer size and variety of space is also great for inspiration.

As Paul says, "You never know what you're going to find here."

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This lighting feature is very '60s.

1 This lighting feature is very '60s.

A set of vintage Kagan couches, which Paul says are extremely rare to find together.

2 A set of vintage Kagan couches, which Paul says are extremely rare to find together.

These chairs double as room art.

3 These chairs double as room art.

Paul points out an art piece that was actually used as currency.

4 Paul points out an art piece that was actually used as currency.

The color of these chairs is striking.

5 The color of these chairs is striking.

The combination of the bright patent material with the vintage frame of this stool is great.

6 The combination of the bright patent material with the vintage frame of this stool is great.

A pair of rare Madonna prints.

7 A pair of rare Madonna prints.

This wood coffee table is perfectly designed. And I like the yarn chair positioned next to it.

8 This wood coffee table is perfectly designed. And I like the yarn chair positioned next to it.

I have a similar chair at home.

9 I have a similar chair at home.

Paul helps out on the floor.

10 Paul helps out on the floor.

A vintage chair with a classic upholstery.

11 A vintage chair with a classic upholstery.

The blue interior on these earthenware cups is such a surprising touch.

12 The blue interior on these earthenware cups is such a surprising touch.

You can tell that this dealer has a very specific style.

13 You can tell that this dealer has a very specific style.

This dealer has a very '60s glamor look.

14 This dealer has a very '60s glamor look.

A pair of interesting crystal pieces that would look great on display.

15 A pair of interesting crystal pieces that would look great on display.

I love the flower shaped mirrors. They're fun and sophisticated.

16 I love the flower shaped mirrors. They're fun and sophisticated.

A gilded glass bar, next to a great beige divan.

17 A gilded glass bar, next to a great beige divan.

The color of this glass bar set is amazing. It reminds me of a blood orange.

18 The color of this glass bar set is amazing. It reminds me of a blood orange.

This rustic-looking chair is actually made of ceramic.

19 This rustic-looking chair is actually made of ceramic.

These metal trunks are so unusual. They would look great in a modern-looking room, with their sleek exteriors.

20 These metal trunks are so unusual. They would look great in a modern-looking room, with their sleek exteriors.

The lamps are actually contemporary, but are very popular.

21 The lamps are actually contemporary, but are very popular.

There are so many beautiful lighting options throughout Center 44.

22 There are so many beautiful lighting options throughout Center 44.

23

24

25

The marbled effect on this lamp is unlike anything I've seen before.

26 The marbled effect on this lamp is unlike anything I've seen before.

I like the neutral couch. This dealer's selection of lighting fixtures and wall art are especially great as well.

27 I like the neutral couch. This dealer's selection of lighting fixtures and wall art are especially great as well.

A kimono that is beautiful enough to hang as art. I love the textile pattern.

28 A kimono that is beautiful enough to hang as art. I love the textile pattern.

The different lamp vases are wonderful. I like the blue milk glass and the wide based sea glass.

29 The different lamp vases are wonderful. I like the blue milk glass and the wide based sea glass.

This dealer sells pieces made of Israeli olive tree wood.

30 This dealer sells pieces made of Israeli olive tree wood.

31

Amidst the multitude of great pieces in this dealers area, it's hard to notice the gorgeous glass desk.

32 Amidst the multitude of great pieces in this dealers area, it's hard to notice the gorgeous glass desk.

What a great hanging glass piece in the middle. It reminds me of a jellyfish.

33 What a great hanging glass piece in the middle. It reminds me of a jellyfish.

34

An epic piece of Swedish Folk Art. And no, alligators are not native to Scandanavia.

35 An epic piece of Swedish Folk Art. And no, alligators are not native to Scandanavia.

I like the use of zebra hide for the backing of those antique chairs.

36 I like the use of zebra hide for the backing of those antique chairs.

Coral is such a beautiful piece of nature to use as art for decorating.

37 Coral is such a beautiful piece of nature to use as art for decorating.

This horn would make a great home accent.

38 This horn would make a great home accent.

An unusual find for a antique furnishings center, but beautiful none the less. These handbags are worthy of being displayed, even if it's just on your arm.

39 An unusual find for a antique furnishings center, but beautiful none the less. These handbags are worthy of being displayed, even if it's just on your arm.

Summer Materials: Rope

Posted by

One of my favorite materials to incorporate in your home this season is rope.

A symbol of the sea and sunny days spent lounging on a gently rocking boat, it coveys a casual and rustic tone that can work in so many spaces. And rope details can stand on their own when summer fades or a beach house is closed up for the season.

Take a look at these inspirational home designs...

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1 of 7
A simple way to add railings to a stairwell. (via apartmenttherapy.com)

1 A simple way to add railings to a stairwell. (via apartmenttherapy.com)

This floor to ceiling room divider has a very Asian feel to it(remodeslista.com)

2 This floor to ceiling room divider has a very Asian feel to it(remodeslista.com)

And it looks so easy to achieve. (remodelista.com)

3 And it looks so easy to achieve. (remodelista.com)

These suspended beds would look great at a beach house. (coastalliving.com)

4 These suspended beds would look great at a beach house. (coastalliving.com)

The over-size spool makes the perfect end table. (countryliving.com)

5 The over-size spool makes the perfect end table. (countryliving.com)

Rustic without being kitschy. (myhomeideas.com)

6 Rustic without being kitschy. (myhomeideas.com)

A very subtle use of rope on the stool legs. Townhouse designed by Jonathan Berger

7 A very subtle use of rope on the stool legs. Townhouse designed by Jonathan Berger

It's easy to bring rope into your interior decorating (without going overboard). There is an endless supply of rope-inspired products on the market for any room in your house.

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1 of 46
This door stopped sure beats regular rubber when it comes to style. (wshome.com)

1 This door stopped sure beats regular rubber when it comes to style. (wshome.com)

The chicest way to hang-dry clothes. (remodelista.com)

2 The chicest way to hang-dry clothes. (remodelista.com)

These baskets would be great for storing towels by the pool. (potterybarn.com)

3 These baskets would be great for storing towels by the pool. (potterybarn.com)

A great way to bring rope into your kitchen or on the table. (potterybarn.com)

4 A great way to bring rope into your kitchen or on the table. (potterybarn.com)

Have breakfast in bed, or just lay out a few magazines on this nice woven tray. (potterybarn.com)

5 Have breakfast in bed, or just lay out a few magazines on this nice woven tray. (potterybarn.com)

If you have your own idea of how to use rope, use this weathered-looking bundle from Pottery Barn. (potterybarn.com)

6 If you have your own idea of how to use rope, use this weathered-looking bundle from Pottery Barn. (potterybarn.com)

(potterybarn.com)

7 (potterybarn.com)

Get your life organized in style with this rope-backed board. (ballarddesigns.com)

8 Get your life organized in style with this rope-backed board. (ballarddesigns.com)

A cute rope accent on a curtain rod. (ballarddesigns.com)

9 A cute rope accent on a curtain rod. (ballarddesigns.com)

Which matches the tieback. (ballarddesigns.com)

10 Which matches the tieback. (ballarddesigns.com)

This is one unique knob. (remodelista.com)

11 This is one unique knob. (remodelista.com)

This mirror would be perfect over your entryway table. It has a sophisticated shape, with a more relaxed look with the rope.  (ballarddesigns.com)

12 This mirror would be perfect over your entryway table. It has a sophisticated shape, with a more relaxed look with the rope. (ballarddesigns.com)

A whimsical rope placemat. (urbanoutfitters.com)

13 A whimsical rope placemat. (urbanoutfitters.com)

(stairropes.com)

14 (stairropes.com)

You certainly won't be losing your keys with any of the following keyrings. (stairropes.com)

15 You certainly won't be losing your keys with any of the following keyrings. (stairropes.com)

(stairropes.com)

16 (stairropes.com)

Hold curtains in their place with this unique monkey-fist knot rope tieback. (stairropes.com)

17 Hold curtains in their place with this unique monkey-fist knot rope tieback. (stairropes.com)

(stairropes.com)

18 (stairropes.com)

(stairropes.com)

19 (stairropes.com)

Rope mats come in many different shapes and patterns. (theropedoctor.com)

20 Rope mats come in many different shapes and patterns. (theropedoctor.com)

(theropedoctor.com)

21 (theropedoctor.com)

(theropedoctor.com)

22 (theropedoctor.com)

(theropedoctor.com)

23 (theropedoctor.com)

(theropedoctor.com)

24 (theropedoctor.com)

Serve lunch on the patio with this tray. It keeps pesky bugs away from the food with its practical dome. 
(restorationhardware.com)

25 Serve lunch on the patio with this tray. It keeps pesky bugs away from the food with its practical dome. (restorationhardware.com)

For a curtain tieback a little more

26 For a curtain tieback a little more "old world" go for something like this piece from Restoration Hardware. (restorationhardware.com)

Add a trim of rope with this instant carpet edge binder.  (tools4flooring.com)

27 Add a trim of rope with this instant carpet edge binder. (tools4flooring.com)

These hooded baskets come in different sizes, so you can mix and match for your organizational needs. (ikea.com)

28 These hooded baskets come in different sizes, so you can mix and match for your organizational needs. (ikea.com)

Woven placemats will give a nice element of texture to a table setting. (ikea.com)

29 Woven placemats will give a nice element of texture to a table setting. (ikea.com)

You can wear your rope with this gorgeous necklace. 
(jcrew.com)

30 You can wear your rope with this gorgeous necklace. (jcrew.com)

(homedepot.com)

31 (homedepot.com)

Rope molding is a subtle, yet sophisticated was to add rope to your walls. (homedepot.com)

32 Rope molding is a subtle, yet sophisticated was to add rope to your walls. (homedepot.com)

Cozy up in the summer sun with this rope swing.(homedepot.com)

33 Cozy up in the summer sun with this rope swing.(homedepot.com)

Rope is used on a lot of summer totes, but I like this bag with it's ruched look. (anthropologie.com)

34 Rope is used on a lot of summer totes, but I like this bag with it's ruched look. (anthropologie.com)

A rope accented bar stool. (anthropologie.com)

35 A rope accented bar stool. (anthropologie.com)

I love the mix of metal with rope. (jaysonhomeandgarden.com)

36 I love the mix of metal with rope. (jaysonhomeandgarden.com)

The weaving on this door mat looks almost quilt-like. (brookfarmgeneralstore.com)

37 The weaving on this door mat looks almost quilt-like. (brookfarmgeneralstore.com)

This mat is very natural looking, but sophisticated at the same time. (horchow.com)

38 This mat is very natural looking, but sophisticated at the same time. (horchow.com)

The frayed edges make this mirror look like the sun. (horchow.com)

39 The frayed edges make this mirror look like the sun. (horchow.com)

Anyone would be happy taking a siesta outdoors with this great rope day bed. (pfeiferstudio.com)

40 Anyone would be happy taking a siesta outdoors with this great rope day bed. (pfeiferstudio.com)

The reverse design is pretty great as well. (jonathanadler.com)

41 The reverse design is pretty great as well. (jonathanadler.com)

This wallpaper design is so much fun. You won't even notice the rope detailing unless you look close. (jonathanadler.com)

42 This wallpaper design is so much fun. You won't even notice the rope detailing unless you look close. (jonathanadler.com)

And for a wallpaper a little more glamorous, the design comes with a metallic background. (jonathanadler.com)

43 And for a wallpaper a little more glamorous, the design comes with a metallic background. (jonathanadler.com)

A whimsical lamp perfect for a kids room. (serenaandlily.com)

44 A whimsical lamp perfect for a kids room. (serenaandlily.com)

Bring rope into the garden or use it as a centerpiece with this rectangular planter. (homedecorators.com)

45 Bring rope into the garden or use it as a centerpiece with this rectangular planter. (homedecorators.com)

These bright mats are made from rope used in lobster fishing. 
(mainefloatrope.com)

46 These bright mats are made from rope used in lobster fishing. (mainefloatrope.com)

Rope is also an material to work with to create your one-of-a-kind pieces...

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Braided Doormat. (marthastewart.com/269741/braided-doormat)

1 Braided Doormat. (marthastewart.com/269741/braided-doormat)

Hanging Dining Nook Pillows. (marthastewart.com/how-to/hanging-dining-nook-pillows)

2 Hanging Dining Nook Pillows. (marthastewart.com/how-to/hanging-dining-nook-pillows)

Rope Coasters. (marthastewart.com/272330/rope-coasters)

3 Rope Coasters. (marthastewart.com/272330/rope-coasters)

Knotted Napkin Rings. (marthastewart.com/266406/knotted-napkin-rings)

4 Knotted Napkin Rings. (marthastewart.com/266406/knotted-napkin-rings)

Rope Bookends. (marthastewart.com/271987/rope-bookends)

5 Rope Bookends. (marthastewart.com/271987/rope-bookends)

Rope Lamp. (marthastewart.com/273143/rope-lamp)

6 Rope Lamp. (marthastewart.com/273143/rope-lamp)

Rope-Seat Stools. (marthastewart.com/272890/rope-seat-stools)

7 Rope-Seat Stools. (marthastewart.com/272890/rope-seat-stools)

Rope-wrapped flower pot. (marthastewart.com/267060/rope-wrapped-cachepot)

8 Rope-wrapped flower pot. (marthastewart.com/267060/rope-wrapped-cachepot)

And if you need some help making knots...

forty_knots_home_design_kevin_sharkey

Bar Al Fresco

Posted by

Having just returned from Italy, I appreciate even more the merits of enjoying a great drink in a relaxed outdoor setting. After all, the country is famous for their al fresco cafes and Campari.

So while I may not have the Spanish steps to soak in, I am making a concerted effort to create an outdoor bar area to relax with friends.

I created a list of the essentials I would need to evoke a classic bar feel while adding a few twists to ensure drinking al fresco is relaxed and safe (no fragile glass allowed).

I hope these bar finds will inspire you to host a cocktail party outdoors before the summer ends...

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1 of 25
This bar looks functional and stylistic. It would make an impressive, modern addition to a more traditional outdoor setting.
(worlds-away.com)

1 This bar looks functional and stylistic. It would make an impressive, modern addition to a more traditional outdoor setting. (worlds-away.com)

This table is a more understated bar. Its bamboo legs and wicker surface lend it a tropical feel. 
(conranusa.com)

2 This table is a more understated bar. Its bamboo legs and wicker surface lend it a tropical feel. (conranusa.com)

A tray is a great addition to a bar for holding cocktail napkins, lemons, or any other odds-and-ends entertaining items. It also makes it easy to bring beverages from the bar to your guests. 
(dwr.com)

3 A tray is a great addition to a bar for holding cocktail napkins, lemons, or any other odds-and-ends entertaining items. It also makes it easy to bring beverages from the bar to your guests. (dwr.com)

This attractive muddler is a must for those harder-to-make, but delicious cocktails.
(dwr.com)

4 This attractive muddler is a must for those harder-to-make, but delicious cocktails. (dwr.com)

I love the beverage dispenser's pear shape.
(sundancecatalog.com)

5 I love the beverage dispenser's pear shape. (sundancecatalog.com)

For those of you who entertain outdoors frequently, you need a sturdy bar that has plenty of storage space. I like the wood and woven exterior of this one. 
(dwr.com)

6 For those of you who entertain outdoors frequently, you need a sturdy bar that has plenty of storage space. I like the wood and woven exterior of this one. (dwr.com)

The thumbprint indents in these wine glasses lend them a casual and playful design. Also, the fact that they don't have a stem means they're much more practical for outside!
(remodelista.com)

7 The thumbprint indents in these wine glasses lend them a casual and playful design. Also, the fact that they don't have a stem means they're much more practical for outside! (remodelista.com)

Such a creative spin on the common votive!
 (uncommongoods.com)

8 Such a creative spin on the common votive! (uncommongoods.com)

A holder for napkins comes in handy most when the weather is less than ideal. This one is so simple and pretty. 
(williams-sonoma.com)

9 A holder for napkins comes in handy most when the weather is less than ideal. This one is so simple and pretty. (williams-sonoma.com)

Juices, mixers, or iced tea can be pre-made and served in this great Martha pitcher. 
(Martha Stewart for macys.com)

10 Juices, mixers, or iced tea can be pre-made and served in this great Martha pitcher. (Martha Stewart for macys.com)

I like how this ice bucket is both large enough to sit on the floor, and small enough to rest on the bar. Its such a fun color too.
(cb2.com)

11 I like how this ice bucket is both large enough to sit on the floor, and small enough to rest on the bar. Its such a fun color too. (cb2.com)

Sleek and refined, this ice bucket is perfect for bartending both outdoors and indoors. 
(Martha Stewart for macys.com)

12 Sleek and refined, this ice bucket is perfect for bartending both outdoors and indoors. (Martha Stewart for macys.com)

Love the look of the high-top bar.
(Martha Stewart for macys.com)

13 Love the look of the high-top bar. (Martha Stewart for macys.com)

These mini drink dispensers come in such great colors. They are fun and decorative containers for everything from water, to punch, to sangria.
(horchow.com)

14 These mini drink dispensers come in such great colors. They are fun and decorative containers for everything from water, to punch, to sangria. (horchow.com)

Buying your bar tools in a set makes concocting your own drink recipes very easy.
(Martha Stewart for macys.com)

15 Buying your bar tools in a set makes concocting your own drink recipes very easy. (Martha Stewart for macys.com)

This rollable bar is perfect for quick, no-fuss entertaining on the patio.
(ikea.com)

16 This rollable bar is perfect for quick, no-fuss entertaining on the patio. (ikea.com)

The right lighting adds a special and festive touch to an outdoor space. Strung from trees around the backyard or over the bar, these hanging lights remind me of old-time italian cafes. 
(potterybarn.com)

17 The right lighting adds a special and festive touch to an outdoor space. Strung from trees around the backyard or over the bar, these hanging lights remind me of old-time italian cafes. (potterybarn.com)

This is another variety of the hanging lights -- also decorative and special. 
(potterybarn.com)

18 This is another variety of the hanging lights -- also decorative and special. (potterybarn.com)

Add sliced lemons or a variety of fruits to your drink jug for a special and refreshing alternative to water. 
(Martha Stewart for macys.com)

19 Add sliced lemons or a variety of fruits to your drink jug for a special and refreshing alternative to water. (Martha Stewart for macys.com)

If you do not have enough space on your deck for a standing bar, a dropdown surface is a great choice as well. This shot was taken at Rebecca Robertson's (our decorating editor) summer home. 
 (marthastewart.com)

20 If you do not have enough space on your deck for a standing bar, a dropdown surface is a great choice as well. This shot was taken at Rebecca Robertson's (our decorating editor) summer home. (marthastewart.com)

These glasses are sturdy and practical for enjoying outside.
(cb2.com)

21 These glasses are sturdy and practical for enjoying outside. (cb2.com)

Really a fun piece for outdoors. The wheels and pre-made compartments make it easy for transport and storage of your bar essentials. 
(fermob.com)

22 Really a fun piece for outdoors. The wheels and pre-made compartments make it easy for transport and storage of your bar essentials. (fermob.com)

For large bottles or big crowds, you'll need a rustic and spacious ice bucket like this one. Attaching a bottle opener with a ribbon is a great idea as well. 
(marthastewart.com)

23 For large bottles or big crowds, you'll need a rustic and spacious ice bucket like this one. Attaching a bottle opener with a ribbon is a great idea as well. (marthastewart.com)

I love the distressed design of this cabinet. Notice how many of the items it houses match the beautiful blue interior of the piece.
(marthastewart.com)

24 I love the distressed design of this cabinet. Notice how many of the items it houses match the beautiful blue interior of the piece. (marthastewart.com)

With a candle placed inside these glass jars, the lighting looks eclectic and interesting. They'd look fabulous on your outdoor bar or tablescape.
(marthastewart.com)

25 With a candle placed inside these glass jars, the lighting looks eclectic and interesting. They'd look fabulous on your outdoor bar or tablescape. (marthastewart.com)