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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

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Frames (decisions, decisions...)

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Here I am thinking about framing options.

1 Here I am thinking about framing options.

Then Joe started to point me in the right direction.

2 Then Joe started to point me in the right direction.

Here we are measuring the shadow box on an Albers print.

3 Here we are measuring the shadow box on an Albers print.

The end result will keep my artwork safe from damage and provide  simple framework.

4 The end result will keep my artwork safe from damage and provide simple framework.

Joe's idea of stacking three frames is brilliant.

5 Joe's idea of stacking three frames is brilliant.

Love the end result.

6 Love the end result.

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I took my Albers prints down to see Joe at Brentano's this past week so we could finalize framing decisions. He had some great suggestions about how to frame and hang the pieces. We decided on a series of simple white cap shadow box frames from Larsen Juhl's Confetti collection with archival paper and museum quality anti-reflection glass (this filters out harmful rays of artificial and sun light with only 8% reflection). There is a 1.5-inch recess between the glass and artwork that will protect the artwork from touching the glass directly.

I decided to frame two prints together, side by side, choosing color combinations that I like and, of course, work in the space. As I mentioned, the art will fill up a hallway wall and I had display lights installed that will illuminate each frame.

While I was there, Joe and I also talked about framing options for a large-scale piece that is going to hang over my bed. Another Larsen Juhl choice is from the Cranbrook collection. It is on ebonized walnut frame consisting of three different frames of various thicknesses combined to create one very thick frame that will hold up the painting. Stacking three moldings together, basically creating a frame inside of a frame inside of a frame, will result in a 6" wide frame with an inside depth of 1 3/4 inches.

Homekeeping

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Homekeeping is a big part of Martha Stewart Living and my life, too (I am kind of a neat freak). Now that I have an apartment with an expansive layout and wood floors, I need to know which cleaning products work best, and in particular a vacuum. Currently, I own a Miele stick vac in “Martha green” from Martha By Mail, which was perfect for my 400 square foot studio, a Miele canister vac, and now an upright S7.

When I first tested the Miele S7 <http://gizmodo.com/tag/mieles7/> , it was with construction debris in mind and it picked up EVERYTHING, including all of that dust. While the front LEDs, sensors, and LCD screen look a bit like a UFO, the S7’s smart design is unique. I vacuumed the entire apartment with the lights on and thought I did a pretty good job. Then I turned all the lights off and vacuumed using the LED lights on the S7. I was amazed at how much I missed on the floors. I never thought I would recommend vacuuming in the dark, but there you go.

Also, there is a 1,800-watt engine, built-in sensors that adjust speed and height depending on the surface, and a six-liter vacuum bag. The twisting head design turns every direction possible, including completely flat. (J’adore that.) And the accessories to clean various surfaces are integrated in to the body (built-in storage. Gotta love that). This vacuum picks up anything and everything. So far, I am impressed.

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My dining and living room wood floors need careful attention when vacuuming
and the Miele S7 is kind to the precious surface.

1 My dining and living room wood floors need careful attention when vacuuming and the Miele S7 is kind to the precious surface.

All the pieces are integrated into the body of the vacuum so there are no
storage issues. A plus for any apartment dweller.

2 All the pieces are integrated into the body of the vacuum so there are no storage issues. A plus for any apartment dweller.

This brush attachment gets right into carved wood.

3 This brush attachment gets right into carved wood.

The completely flat option is amazing to get underneath anything.

4 The completely flat option is amazing to get underneath anything.

Sister Parish Design

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If the cover doesn't suck you in, the list of contributors will!

1 If the cover doesn't suck you in, the list of contributors will!

Sister Parish - the godmother of American decor.

2 Sister Parish - the godmother of American decor.

Here is a watercolor of Parish's living room in her New York City apartment.  I love the bright white upholstery, colorful pillows and dark walls, which were painted a glossy aubergine color.

3 Here is a watercolor of Parish's living room in her New York City apartment. I love the bright white upholstery, colorful pillows and dark walls, which were painted a glossy aubergine color.

Sister Parish famously decorating the Kennedy White House - here, the Yellow Oval Room explores her love for color. Martha and I just returned from the White House and I was thinking about this photograph as I stood in its late incarnation.

4 Sister Parish famously decorating the Kennedy White House - here, the Yellow Oval Room explores her love for color. Martha and I just returned from the White House and I was thinking about this photograph as I stood in its late incarnation.

I love the minimal use of objects in Albert Hadley's bedroom.  Its uncluttered and sleek décor is a style I truly identify with.

5 I love the minimal use of objects in Albert Hadley's bedroom. Its uncluttered and sleek décor is a style I truly identify with.

The Asian-influenced architecture in this room is very inspiring. It brings me back to my trip to China with Martha, where we saw many beautiful structures. The designer did a wonderful job here of playing with the scale of the ceiling and uniting many eclectic styles with the overall structure of the room.

6 The Asian-influenced architecture in this room is very inspiring. It brings me back to my trip to China with Martha, where we saw many beautiful structures. The designer did a wonderful job here of playing with the scale of the ceiling and uniting many eclectic styles with the overall structure of the room.

Bunny Williams, one of my favorite designers and alumni of Parish-Hadley, hangs a large gold mirror in front of a panel of mirrors - sheer genius.

7 Bunny Williams, one of my favorite designers and alumni of Parish-Hadley, hangs a large gold mirror in front of a panel of mirrors - sheer genius.

I have a new friend in St. Martin's Press for sending me a copy of "Sister Parish Design: On Decorating," an amazing book by Susan Bartlett Crater and Libby Cameron. Lovely watercolor illustrations accompany a dialogue between Ms. Bartlett (a granddaughter of Parish), Ms. Cameron (a Parish-Hadley alumni) and a collection of today's leading voices in design, including Parish's partner - Albert Hadley, Bunny Williams, Jeffrey Bilhuber and Miles Redd, to name a few. The gathering of these contributors alone makes this book invaluable, and their insight and advice makes it indispensable to anyone with an interest in (or love of) decorating. I, of course, have a special interest in anything involving Mrs. Parish as I was lucky enough to work at Parish-Hadley as my first job out of college.