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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

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My Guest on Today's Show: Christophe Pourny

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Christophe Pourny is known and loved at Martha Stewart Living for his absolute distinction in furniture care and restoration. His upbringing in the French Riviera (where his parents owned an antique store) coupled with a Parisian education led Christophe to his passion for all things from times past.

From fabulous guilds and finishes to a host of genius restoration techniques, Christophe’s knowledge of furniture care is truly masterful. You can see how Christophe helped me with my own furniture makeover when I was decorating my apartment here. As my guest on this week’s radio show, Christophe and I will be discussing his newest product called “Color Reviver.” Using only natural ingredients, this product refreshes the appearance of worn wood by actually hiding scratches on its surface.

I can’t wait to see Christophe and learn about this new age-defying furniture product. Tune in to SiriusXM 110 at 4:00pm today to hear the show! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy perusing these images of Christophe’s work.

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Christophe Pourny is no stranger to our offices; he has been featured on the Martha Stewart Show at least 3 times! Christophe is most proud of his work with the City of New York in City Hall and Gracie Mansion, for which he has been highly esteemed.

1 Christophe Pourny is no stranger to our offices; he has been featured on the Martha Stewart Show at least 3 times! Christophe is most proud of his work with the City of New York in City Hall and Gracie Mansion, for which he has been highly esteemed.

High shine and intricate, gilded details lend refinement to this lovely lacquered French Bombee Chest.

2 High shine and intricate, gilded details lend refinement to this lovely lacquered French Bombee Chest.

Christophe's Rue Jacob

3 Christophe's Rue Jacob "Spin Table" is chic and versatile.

The tabletop raises and lowers on a surprisingly chic and industrial screw. I think this piece balances sophisticated design and pure functionality.

4 The tabletop raises and lowers on a surprisingly chic and industrial screw. I think this piece balances sophisticated design and pure functionality.

This Rue Jacob Mirror is the perfect combination of elegance and simplicity. I love how the reflected gold cutout gives both depth and light to the deep black frame.

5 This Rue Jacob Mirror is the perfect combination of elegance and simplicity. I love how the reflected gold cutout gives both depth and light to the deep black frame.

Christophe is hard at work in his studio bringing life and intricacy to this elegant chaise frame.

6 Christophe is hard at work in his studio bringing life and intricacy to this elegant chaise frame.

Every gold leaf detail is secured with such precision! I really enjoy seeing the transitional phase between raw material and a highly refined finished product.

7 Every gold leaf detail is secured with such precision! I really enjoy seeing the transitional phase between raw material and a highly refined finished product.

Before...

8 Before...

...and after! The bright yellow pattern is so striking. A single, simple pillow keeps the whole piece looking relaxed.

9 ...and after! The bright yellow pattern is so striking. A single, simple pillow keeps the whole piece looking relaxed.

I can't even imagine how many hours of work go into each of Christophe's designs.

10 I can't even imagine how many hours of work go into each of Christophe's designs.

More gold detailing - the contrast with brown wood here is so rich and warm–perfect autumn shades.

11 More gold detailing - the contrast with brown wood here is so rich and warm–perfect autumn shades.

This famous tonic is mixed in small batches, right here in New York. It's the perfect cure-all for keeping wood in its best light.

12 This famous tonic is mixed in small batches, right here in New York. It's the perfect cure-all for keeping wood in its best light.

The newcomer! I'm so thrilled to hear about this Color Reviver that Christophe just released–so inky and luxurious.

13 The newcomer! I'm so thrilled to hear about this Color Reviver that Christophe just released–so inky and luxurious.

Il Papiro

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A recent visit to Il Papiro, a stationery shop on Lexington Avenue, reminded me of how I love the shop's fine selection. The shop owners, John and Marilyn Leon, have operated the United States branch of Il Papiro for decades, priding themselves on maintaining a century-old technique in paper-making.

Il Papiro is one of the only existing paper-makers today that utilizes the 'papier a cuve' method of decoration. Said to have been invented by the royal book binder of Louis XIII, 'papier a cuve' is a process of applying paper to colored liquid solutions for a permanent, marbleized finish.

Because the paper technique is liquid based, no two products come out exactly the same. Every gift item or personal treasure at Il Papiro is hand-crafted and one-of-a-kind.

Have a look at the shop and some of its wonderful items!

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The interior of Il Papiro is colorful and well-designed.

1 The interior of Il Papiro is colorful and well-designed.

This is Marilyn Leon, co-owner of the shop.

2 This is Marilyn Leon, co-owner of the shop.

Owners John and Marilyn Leon.

3 Owners John and Marilyn Leon.

Il Papiro carries many boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes — pretty containers for paper clips, jewelry, or keepsakes.

4 Il Papiro carries many boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes — pretty containers for paper clips, jewelry, or keepsakes.

One of my favorite items at Il Papiro is the classic, marbleized journal.

5 One of my favorite items at Il Papiro is the classic, marbleized journal.

Such fun writing utensils!

6 Such fun writing utensils!

The back wall is full of stationary, all wrapped with fine ribbon.

7 The back wall is full of stationary, all wrapped with fine ribbon.

There are too many great items to choose from.

8 There are too many great items to choose from.

All the stationary is hand-painted, and would make a wonderful gift.

9 All the stationary is hand-painted, and would make a wonderful gift.

Owner John Leon showed me one of his most popular items, a beautiful box for storing wedding invitations, photos, or prized trickets.

10 Owner John Leon showed me one of his most popular items, a beautiful box for storing wedding invitations, photos, or prized trickets.

Made with acid-free paper, the box protects photographs and paper from yellowing with age.

11 Made with acid-free paper, the box protects photographs and paper from yellowing with age.

I could use a few of these on my desk to hold paper and business cards.

12 I could use a few of these on my desk to hold paper and business cards.

They are so pretty, too.

13 They are so pretty, too.

Seeing all the different patterns of paper is inspirational for me as a decorator.

14 Seeing all the different patterns of paper is inspirational for me as a decorator.

I love this leather portfolio. It is incredibly well-made.

15 I love this leather portfolio. It is incredibly well-made.

Notice the different techniques and styles Il Papiro uses to display their fine items.

16 Notice the different techniques and styles Il Papiro uses to display their fine items.

I was lucky enough to get to see the 'papier a cuve' process. Each photo hanging on the wall demonstrates a different step.

17 I was lucky enough to get to see the 'papier a cuve' process. Each photo hanging on the wall demonstrates a different step.

Beautiful papers for wrapping or framing.

18 Beautiful papers for wrapping or framing.

This photo series gives you an idea of how the colored liquids are shaped into beautiful designs for the paper.

19 This photo series gives you an idea of how the colored liquids are shaped into beautiful designs for the paper.

Start to finish, the process is amazing!

20 Start to finish, the process is amazing!

A great, daily agenda.

21 A great, daily agenda.

Wanting to feel completely authentic and traditional, the owners decorated the shop with Venetian glass lamps.

22 Wanting to feel completely authentic and traditional, the owners decorated the shop with Venetian glass lamps.

The ceiling is absolutely gorgeous, dark, wooden, exposed beams.

23 The ceiling is absolutely gorgeous, dark, wooden, exposed beams.

Aside from the New York store, Il Papiro is located in Palm Beach, Florida, Venice, Rome, and several other locations in Italy (as well as online!). Their line of paper goods includes hardbound address books, photo albums, stationary, and a variety of desk accessories.

Promoting an important artisan-family tradition, Il Papiro crafts some of the most interesting and beautiful papers I have ever seen.

The Neue Galerie

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The number of exceptional galleries and museums located in New York City never ceases to amaze me. I'm sure you're all familiar with some of them: The Whitney, The Guggenheim, The Met, The Frick. But I would like to tell you a bit about a lesser known, equally sensational art institution here in New York, known as The Neue Galerie.

Located at 1048 Fifth Avenue in a gorgeous 1914 townhouse, the artwork on display in the Neue is just one of the many reasons to pay visit to the gallery. Designed by the renown duo Carrere and Hastings (architects of the New York Public Library), the building in which the gallery resides boasts grand staircases and beautifully molded-oak walls. It once belonged to Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt III, and now features two fashionable cafes, and a fabulous design shop.

Here's a bit of history for you on the Neue. Art collectors Ronald S. Lauder and Serge Sabarsky, in a concerted effort to attract interest in German and Austrian art, decided to open a gallery in the early 90's. However during their planning stages, Mr. Sabarsky died suddenly. Lauder, keen on realizing the pair's shared dream, founded the gallery himself in November, 2001. The space is dedicated to the memory of Lauder's dear friend, Mr. Sabarsky.

Currently on view is the exhibition "Selections from the Permanent Collection." Have a look at some of the photos I took while at the Neue.

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On the first floor of the gallery, there is a wonderful design shop.

1 On the first floor of the gallery, there is a wonderful design shop.

Inside, you can find a variety of fine and interesting glassware, jewelry, and gift items.

2 Inside, you can find a variety of fine and interesting glassware, jewelry, and gift items.

These light fixtures hang all around the gallery. They are so modern and elegant.

3 These light fixtures hang all around the gallery. They are so modern and elegant.

This photo gives you a sense of the stunning architecture and decor of the building.

4 This photo gives you a sense of the stunning architecture and decor of the building.

The staircase is marble and spiraling.

5 The staircase is marble and spiraling.

During my visit, a guide shared with me that the paint on the walls is touched up once a week!

6 During my visit, a guide shared with me that the paint on the walls is touched up once a week!

Another shot of the amazing second floor entrance hall.

7 Another shot of the amazing second floor entrance hall.

Vienna 1900: Style and Identity was the name of the exhibition on display when I visited in early August.

8 Vienna 1900: Style and Identity was the name of the exhibition on display when I visited in early August.

Famous paintings by Gustav Klimt hang on the marble and gilded walls.

9 Famous paintings by Gustav Klimt hang on the marble and gilded walls.

I was in awe of the detail and beauty of Klimt's paintings up close.

10 I was in awe of the detail and beauty of Klimt's paintings up close.

Viennese fashions were also included in the exhibition.

11 Viennese fashions were also included in the exhibition.

Klimt's renown portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer, completed in 1907.

12 Klimt's renown portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer, completed in 1907.

Klimt's portrait of Baroness Elisabeth Bachofen-Echt, completed in 1916.

13 Klimt's portrait of Baroness Elisabeth Bachofen-Echt, completed in 1916.

A close-up of the marble molding, used to frame the works of art.

14 A close-up of the marble molding, used to frame the works of art.

Klimt's portrait of Serena Lederer, completed in 1899.

15 Klimt's portrait of Serena Lederer, completed in 1899.

Another gallery on the second floor houses books by Sigmund Freud, architectural models, and paintings by other German and Austrian artists.

16 Another gallery on the second floor houses books by Sigmund Freud, architectural models, and paintings by other German and Austrian artists.

A reproduction of Freud's famed psychoanalysis sofa.

17 A reproduction of Freud's famed psychoanalysis sofa.

The walls of the gallery are very elaborate.

18 The walls of the gallery are very elaborate.

There are many things to look at inside the building, besides the amazing artwork.

19 There are many things to look at inside the building, besides the amazing artwork.

Vienna 1900, the last exhibition, highlights a period of Modernist thought. The sanitarium was a popular development of the time — a reproduction of one is pictured here.

20 Vienna 1900, the last exhibition, highlights a period of Modernist thought. The sanitarium was a popular development of the time — a reproduction of one is pictured here.

These chairs are from a 1900's sanitarium.

21 These chairs are from a 1900's sanitarium.

I love how multimedia the exhibit is — paintings, books, and decor all help illustrate this important time frame in Vienna.

22 I love how multimedia the exhibit is — paintings, books, and decor all help illustrate this important time frame in Vienna.

What amazing floor to ceiling windows!

23 What amazing floor to ceiling windows!

A gorgeous, gilded mirror hangs over the marble fireplace of the gallery.

24 A gorgeous, gilded mirror hangs over the marble fireplace of the gallery.

The third gallery of the second floor shows provocative sketches by various artists.

25 The third gallery of the second floor shows provocative sketches by various artists.

Much thought went into curating the Vienna 1900 exhibit. Everything from the red paint of the walls to the layout of the art is really spectacular.

26 Much thought went into curating the Vienna 1900 exhibit. Everything from the red paint of the walls to the layout of the art is really spectacular.

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The German painting gallery.

28 The German painting gallery.

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Klimt landscapes are not as well known, but still brilliant works.

30 Klimt landscapes are not as well known, but still brilliant works.

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Expressionist painting is highlighted in the German gallery.

34 Expressionist painting is highlighted in the German gallery.

One of the galleries on the top floor of the Neue had different printed papers covering the wall. They lent the space a very graphic, timely design.

35 One of the galleries on the top floor of the Neue had different printed papers covering the wall. They lent the space a very graphic, timely design.

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Fine and decorative art were very closely related during this time in Vienna.

37 Fine and decorative art were very closely related during this time in Vienna.

Glassware by Otto Prutscher.

38 Glassware by Otto Prutscher.

A cutlery set by Josef Hoffman.

39 A cutlery set by Josef Hoffman.

A gallery on the third floor dedicated to modern, twentieth-century architecture.

40 A gallery on the third floor dedicated to modern, twentieth-century architecture.

This was my favorite gallery. I love seeing furniture from this era.

41 This was my favorite gallery. I love seeing furniture from this era.

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Furniture of the time was very detailed and ornate.

43 Furniture of the time was very detailed and ornate.

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Old advertising prints from the 1900's line one of the corridors between galleries.

46 Old advertising prints from the 1900's line one of the corridors between galleries.

At the end of the exhibition there is an interesting video installation.

47 At the end of the exhibition there is an interesting video installation.

This is a shot of the book store. I could spend hours here browsing the gallery's collection of art and design titles! And once again, the space is truly beautiful.

48 This is a shot of the book store. I could spend hours here browsing the gallery's collection of art and design titles! And once again, the space is truly beautiful.

There is a cafe, Cafe Sabarsky, on the ground floor of the building. The atmosphere is charming, the coffee, strong, and the Viennese pastries, delicious!

49 There is a cafe, Cafe Sabarsky, on the ground floor of the building. The atmosphere is charming, the coffee, strong, and the Viennese pastries, delicious!

With the ten year anniversary of the Neue coming up in November, I wanted to make sure you all were paying attention to this remarkable gallery. Communications Manager at the Neue, Leah Ammon, explained to me that in honor of the big birthday, there will be a phenomenal exhibition coming up soon.

Keep an eye out for this show. I am certain it will exciting.