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Moroccan Inspired

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Soooo, notice that it was quiet here for awhile? That’s because I was in Morocco. ‘Twas a vacation but of course I chose that region for it’s architectural style and antiques. Schlepping around Marrakech in the boiling temperatures while being tourist-harassed wasn’t fun, but I think I’ve come back with enough cool ideas to have made it worthwhile.

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Firstly, I want to recommend the amazing hotel that made the heat and harassment bearable. Our (Hubby and I) original plan was to sign up with an off-the-beaten-path tour and trek though the desert on camels staying in tents and such. Then I realized “summer”. Since the price for these rough tours are not cheap, Diva here came up with a brilliant plan to stay in a quality Marrakech hotel with concierge service that would arrange our trips and dinners.

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Enter Riad Kniza in the old medina. The Moroccan owner is also a tour guide and antiques dealer so the choice was a no brainer. A few back and forth emails with them prior to booking and they set us up for overnights in different areas and included transportation, some meals and massage with our room package. All for the same price of suffering through the desert. The place was gorgeous. And air conditioned. It was wise to choose a riad with a highly rated restaurant because we ate here most of the time. Marrakech restaurants were not all that impressive as far as vegetarian fare.

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We didn’t come across markets full of glorious antiques, nor did we see much architectural salvage. One theory is that the artisans still exist, so it’s easy enough and inexpensive enough to recreate historic masterpieces. Personally, I was trying to figure out a cheater way to reproduce this stuff myself.

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Who doesn’t love Moroccan tile? You know when you buy mosaic tiles in the U.S. and they come on 12 x 12 mesh sheets? Well, mosaics are old school in Morocco. Each piece is hand cut and placed into the design. Tedious work! We came across this abandoned building in the middle of town and wanted to rip the tiles from the wall to bring home with us.

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If there is something that is just as fabulous as the tiles, it’s the hand painted wood ceilings and plaster detail. These boards were painted before installation but even still….lotsa work! Nowadays people can replicate the look with wallpaper as seen in some super duper Victorian renovations.
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These ceilings got me thinking that I can make up panels of wallpaper or less extensive painting for future installation. It won’t be cost effective but it will be fabulous!

18680507851_f1aa69f07d_zEven the modern lighting is meticulously cut by hand. At least that’s what we were told by this fairly expensive (even by U.S. standards) shop. The thing is, there are similar, less expensive lights in loads of souks, so it makes it difficult to justify paying for something that looks the same. Not sure if the mass produced lights are even mass produced. They could very well be hand made also. It’s all cheap labor, no matter how talented the labor is.

18490428418_d1cbb3332a_zFinally, there’s the plaster and carved woodwork. We did come across some souks that were selling these but didn’t want to ship or schlep back. The carved wood panels are used to cover electrical and plumbing work instead of ugly Home Depot metal panel doors like we have here.

So now I either need to renovate my house again or buy another one so I can do Moroccan designs. Or….you can hire me to do it in your place so I get it out of my system.

Design Week in NYC

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May 8 through May 19 is Design Week! The 12-day NYCxDESIGN festival hosts events throughout the city celebrating people in the creative field, their creations and their clients. There are house tours, trade shows, open studios and more. It’s not one stop shopping. It’s sort of a design orgy throughout the city.

Reclaimed Home is excited to be a part of Bklyn Designs this weekend at the Franklin Expo Center. So excited (and behind schedule) that we are CLOSING THE STORE ON WEDNESDAY to get on track with our preparation. We’ll remain open on Thursday through Sunday.

So, here’s the cool thing about the Brooklyn events. There are bus loops between all three of the big venues. Don’t worry about transportation on Saturday or Sunday between the Brooklyn Museum, Franklin Expo and Industry City’s Wanted Design. It’s taken care of!

We still have some comp tickets left. If you swing by the shop to pick them up over the weekend, walk around the corner to the museum for the shuttle and Bob’s your uncle.

See you there!

Bklyn Designs Comp Tickets

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IMG_2592Hey kids! We’ve received a packet of comp VIP tickets for Bklyn Designs 2015 to distribute among our clients. It’s not enough to leave out at the shop for just any old walk-in, so we’re saving them for folks who definitely intend on going. Is that you? Just pop into our shop or email and have us save it for you to pick up before May 8th. Each ticket is a $15 value and VIP allows you to enter in the morning before general public.

Hope to see you there!

Bklyn Designs 2015!

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So, you know the old saying “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member.”? Well, guess who got into Bklyn Designs this year?!

The event, which takes place annually, will be held at Brooklyn Expo Center on May 8th-10th, with Friday being open to trade and press only. Tickets go on sale to the public on March 15th.

Reclaimed Home is squeezing into a 5×10 booth because we’re too cheap to spend more. That means we’ll be showing the tiniest of furniture along with tabletop, samples and portfolios. The good thing about this is that we’ve been looking for ways to highlight our services rather than just sell vintage furniture, so hopefully this will be our chance to do to so.

Recycled Drawer Shelves

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A couple of months ago we purchased a gorgeous early 19th century dresser that was unfortunately a bit too far gone for restoration. The drawers were in good condition, but the frame was falling apart. Furthermore, we thought that the interior wood in the drawers was too beautiful to be hidden. We sat with those drawers for awhile until we decided that they’d best work as shelves.

Since there is no such thing as a new creation, all we had to do was pinterest (Can that be a verb like to “google”?) some ideas and figure out if we wanted them staggered or straight, yada, yada. Due to our lack of patience and not wanting to run to the hardware store for brackets or support, we followed DIY videos that showed folks popping screws directing into the drawer backs to secure them to the walls. (*Tip: Use anchors in the wall!)

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We’re not crazy about this technique. First, you’re adding holes to the most conspicuous area. Second, objects will be sitting on the top and bottom, so you’re relying on that drawer being held together properly. That being said, a bracket on the bottom would be viewable also, so what to do? We added some extra nails and glue to the drawers that we didn’t wait for to dry (in other words, useless) before installation.

For a finished look, the screw holes should be filled. Did we do that? What do you think? It’s a friggin store display!

But it looks nice anyway, right?

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Stenciled Damask Patina Wall

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We were recently commissioned to do a stenciled damask patina wall in Tribeca for designer Liz Tiesi of Threshold Interiors. The application process took four days to complete and the results are fabulous!

Liz fell in love with a sample of our patinaed stencil that was meant for use in any area, but we had only ever worked on horizontal surfaces and didn’t consider the water-like consistency patina spray dripping down a wall. The actual application took less than a week including rolling the base coat, but the testing and preparation that went into it was a learning experience.

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In the end, Emilia was able to create a faux patina look with paint. More controllable as far as coloring and a lot less touch up! A real patina solid wall without the stencil would look über cool with the drips, but faking it was the best solution for this project.

We can’t wait to take on more projects like this!

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Wall O’ Lego

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How many Lego pieces does it take to build a dividing wall? 55,000 according to German creative agency NPIRE. They should know, because they went ahead and did it in their Hamburg office.

It’s an incredible looking wall, but before you go ahead and say you’re going to install a toy wall instead of using the usual building materials, keep in mind that it would actually be more expensive, not to mention time consuming. Fifty five thousand new Lego pieces would calculate to around $3000. Compare to a few $12-$15 pieces of Sheetrock and some studs that would be sturdier.

But can you glue Lego to an existing wall for a similar effect?

Our answer is: Sure, why not?

Via: Design Taxi and Inhabitat

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The Bradbury:Our Finest Piece Yet

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We’ve painted a lot of pieces at Reclaimed Home and we’ve done some great techniques such as patina, wood grain and stenciling.  But we’re loving our latest signature piece that we like to call “The Bradbury”.

This came to us as a throw away vanity with mirror and side compartments.  It sat outdoors in someone’s Long Island backyard for too long and the wood became warped and rotted. Although we saved the top bits as we removed them, the lower part was the only thing that was really salvageable. We don’t know exactly what use it has….a storage bench to go against the wall or at the end of a bed, a single sided coffee table. It definitely has some function and will be the highlight of any room.

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Sometimes the best things come out of necessity. In this case, the top was in such bad shape that we needed to figure out a way to restore it or hide it. That’s when it came to us that the leftover Bradbury wallpaper from a previous home restoration was sitting on the shelf. We’ve done resin wallpaper techniques before and knew that’s what this piece was screaming for. We matched the paint to the wallpaper and gave ourselves a nice pat on the back, but at the end of the day, it’s hats off to the original designer of this piece. The lines and detail are incredible!

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The amount of work time involved and the price of Bradbury wallpaper makes this, not only our finest piece yet but also our most expensive at $1200. Yes, we take credit cards. Come on, you know you want it.

Painting Techniques

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Copper green patina and stencil

Emilia has been as busy as a little elf creating some awesome sample boards for custom jobs.  I haven’t quite had a chance to put them up on the service page yet (where there are even more techniques) because I’m more like Hermey the Elf who would rather be doing something else than uploading images to a website.

But anyhoo, we’re still waiting for someone to hire us to do a job with some of these fabulous designs!  All we’re getting is straight forward painting gigs.  Not that we’re complaining.  It pays the bills!  Can’t all be fun and fabulous.

Think kitchen cabinets, backsplash, walls, countertops or furniture when looking at these images.  Also keep an eye out for DIY classes so you can learn to create your own funtastic surfaces!

IMG_9307Doily and spray paint.  We want to get some image doilies and try to make it look like a black and white photograph.

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Plaid!

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Fun new stencil in da hizzous

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Wood graining can be done in any colors. This light colored sample shows the “grain” best.  It was just a plain piece of board beforehand.

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Silver leaf.  She just did a new gold leaf sample too.

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Crackle.

IMG_9324Venetian plaster.

Customize This Desk

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We’ve done some custom pieces at the shop and let’s face it…that’s the best thing since ice cream for us (coconut milk ice cream, for you vegans) since we know the piece is sold as soon as it’s finished.  We love custom orders!!

When we picked up this desk last week, we knew that it needed work, but it’s also such a great desk as far as size and design.  It’s in great shape structurally as well.  We kind of have an idea of how we would rescue it, but we thought we might put it out there first to see if anyone wants us to customize it.

The chipped veneer has already been filled with spackle for painting, so it’s not like it’s going to have the same look. We’re thinking of something more like the coffee table below with a stencil on parts, but showing the original wood where it’s not damaged.

What do you think?  If you want us to customize, come in and have a look.  Pick out colors and stencils.  The price depends on how much work it is, but we did at least get a good deal when purchasing the desk.

Measurements are 46″ wide x 20.5″ deep x 31.5″ high.  Shipping would definitely cost more than the desk, so we’d like to keep it as local pick up.  Plus, it will be more fun if you come in to help design it!

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Choosing a Counter Top Material

Choosing a Counter Top Material published on 2 Comments on Choosing a Counter Top Material

SONY DSC Is there a perfect countertop?  One that won’t crack, burn or get stained? Eh, probably not. Some counters have more positive qualities than others.  Here’s a look at some of them.

Lava Stone, shown above is the stuff (my) dreams are made of.  This natural material is glazed with an enamel that produces the most awesome colors. It’s a solid surface that comes in slabs, like quartz or granite, but it looks soooo much cooler!  Yes, it can crack and chip, but it holds up to heat and doesn’t stain. Sounds perfect, right?  There’s only one drawback.  The price.  It will set you back about $300 per square foot. PER SQUARE FOOT.  So, even the most modest seven foot counter will cost over $4000 not included fabrication and installation. Still want it?  Contact Pyrolave.  They’re the only dealer in the US. Modern-Ceramic-Tile-Kitchen-Countertops Tile is sturdy, inexpensive and easy enough to DIY.  It holds up well to heat and stains, although if you don’t seal the grout every so often, it will start to look crappy.  If you use the right tile, it won’t go out of style (that rhymed!).   The drawbacks?  Many a wine glass has been known to tip over when placed on unlevel tile or grout.  Also, you kind of have to maintain the grout to keep it looking fresh. Soapstone-Counters-Henrybuilt-KitchenSoapstone.  If you like the look of matte black, you’ll love Soapstone.  With sealer, it holds up to stains and yes, heat.  Even if it does stain, it won’t look gross as the discoloration just adds patina rather than yuckiness to the counter.  Pricing isn’t horrible, although it won’t be the least expensive counter you come across.  And as you know, black never goes out of date.

As with any slab, you’re stuck with the fabricator cutting and installing it correctly.  I say this because I took a supplier/installer to small claims court when they screwed up my lovely soapstone counter.  It was a nightmare.  That’s why I prefer to DIY just about anything. 8452380731_8e09d108c9_b Concrete.  Speaking of DIY, there is a way you can make your own concrete countertop with great ease.  For real!  Yes, the correct way to do it would be to hire someone to pour it (an advanced level DIY job) but there’s way of feathering the concrete onto mason board.  It won’t look as great and it won’t hold up as well as solid concrete, but hel-lo, it’s dirt cheap!  As in worth doing even if you’re a renter.  Above is what I did in the downstairs apartment in Rockaway because I was on a budget.  Yes, that sink was caught in Sandy and hadn’t been washed yet when I took the photo.

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Wood is both timely and inexpensive.  You can pick up a butcher block piece at Ikea or you can use reclaimed lumber like I did in the upstairs Rockaway apartment.  Although I did the awful job of sanding and sealing, it took a competent carpenter to cut and level the boards.  The key is in leveling.  Of course I don’t have a close up shot of the finished counter, but you can see it here from a distance.  Wood needs to be sealed but even still, you have to be cautious about staining.  Also, don’t cut directly on wood!  And it can warp over time.  The good news is that it’s inexpensive.

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Resin is the perfect material for spills.  It looks great as you can pour it over just about any cool thang.  Put resin over a piece of artwork. Bam! It’s a countertop.  The only thing is that you have to be careful with heat.  DIY skill level?  Hmm, it took us a few mistakes before we got the technique down, so practice before you do an entire counter.

Or…like most of the materials on this post….just hire us to do it for you!  *We don’t do lava or soapstone.

Raised Ranch Updates

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This blog has been going since 2007.  Can you guess which post has received the highest amount of views in all these years?  No, of course you can’t.  The highest rated article is “Updating Raised Ranches“. Just because we appreciate rows of historic housing here in NYC doesn’t mean newer architectural styles should be ignored.  So once again, let’s try to celebrate what people have done with their raised ranch homes!

hhhxqwfb7mwmxurthd9v5124e4e6d9f67Check out the rest of the photos that go along with this Mission style raised ranch.  You won’t be sorry!

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This 1980’s raised ranch in Arlington, Virginia is completely modern now. More photos here.

curvilinear-rectiliner-split-level-by-eva-gradivaAgain, modern works great here with this split level design.

raisedranchMore modern in San Francisco from Quezada Architecture.

AD Design Show 2014

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If you saw any of Reclaimed Home’s InstaTwitFB feeds yesterday, you would know that we hit the Architectural Digest Home Design Show down at the pier. As those trade shows go, it was inspiring and fun until the ole’ stomach starting to growl and the ole’ feet started to hurt.

Before full fatigue set in, we did get to cover quite a bit of the show. Here’s what motivated us to go on.

The wood block mesquite shown above is from Old Wood out of New Mexico. Although wood plank (which they carry) is a timeless, proper floor, the block is, to use a pun…cutting edge. Much of the wood used by Old Wood is reclaimed in one form or another. That’s not to say it came out of old buildings. Some of their lumber comes from forest fires. The mesquite is harvested from native land (with permission) without killing the root. It’s actually considered a nuisance like a weed.

room-setting-w-small-blocks_slider-image-860x450PTACEK Home is located in Garrison, NY and they work only with local wood. The image above is the burnt look. The piece of furniture that looks like a library card catalogue has reversible drawers so that every cube can have color or wood tone.

 

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Speaking of local, the rocking bench was created by Stefan Rurak right here in Brooklyn. He does work with some reclaimed materials, but there is no mention about the that being the case with this particular piece. It’s a cool bench though.

colorfloorPID Floors does some colorful graining! The gentleman explained that it’s a 7 step process and also informed us that we were the first to ask if it can be done on reclaimed wood. Yes, it can. But the company doesn’t manufacture it that way. They do have greens and yellows and blues in their “In Love” collection, so who cares about the environment? Kidding!!!

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Ok, are you ready to have your mind blown? See that wood countertop? It’s concrete. Yup. JM Lifestyles makes concrete objects that look exactly like wood. Check out this shower!

Some fun stuff at the show! It runs until the 23rd at Pier 94.

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