Archive for the 'Hotel' Category

11
Dec
07

The Holiday Pickins at Sullivan Hardware

Wildflower Home
(Dave, doing his best “discrminating shopper.”)

A few years back Sullivan Hardware, an old Indy standard, opened a store at Keystone and 71st. Their new place features Wildflower Home, a stand alone cottage which carries their home dec stuff and product that Dave and Ken really like. I’ve been pretty ambiguous about the place. They have a few nice things, sort of pricey. I would normally put it into the “lots of potential” category, but this time around I liked more of what I saw.

I still think I may have to make this wreath work somewhere in our house. Kitchen maybe?

Wildflower Home Wreath

And for some reason I love this metal deer head. Dave suggested it might look good on our back porch. I think it could look equally great in an all white modern space or a cabin. How about a kid’s treehouse?

Metal Deer Head

There’s typically plenty of real greenery around here, but actual berries can be hard to find. These Winterberry branches were really nice.

Winterberry

And I loved the painted branches, too. Would be worth the five or so bucks not to have to choke on the fumes.

Painted Branches

This train is the kind of thing kids will remember when they are older.Train Station

The only sour note was when it was my turn to check out at the hardware store. A random couple from Brownsburg (for some reason they announced their origins when they waltzed through the door) approached my guy and said they wanted their Christmas tree. And instead of calling someone or smiling and saying, “you’re welcome to get in line” or “I’ll be with you in a moment” he just walked away to help them, leaving me standing there. After watching him futz around with them for a few minutes and waiting longer than I should have, I finally put my stuff down and left. Dave told me I should have said something, but sometimes (admittedly, not often) I just don’t feel up to arguing.So if you aren’t in a hurry and need some greenery (or red-ery), a free bag of popcorn, or a few interesting holiday things, you may want to stop into Sullivan.

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15
Jun
07

Matchstick Shades Install Coming Soon

Dave, the installer from Lowes called to tell me that they would  install our shades next Thursday. 

Have I mentioned that for a small fee you can have someone from Lowes come out and measure your window and then let you know what kind of treatments it will structurally support?   It costs about $35.00. 
Bedroom Befores

If your project requires an inside mount, like mine did because of our roofline (see skanky before picture above), accuracy and structural information are both really important.   A half-inch off and you just paid for a pile of wood (or bamboo in our case) that won’t be going in your window without some major alteration.  And if your window frames aren’t hefty enough, heavy blinds can pull out. 

I decided to go ahead and have Dave install them, too, and that’s a decision I’m second-guessing.  Two windows ended up costing 100.00 for installation.  The shades were only a little over 100.00 for both sets*.   Still, I’m glad we don’t have to install them, and by “we” I mean John, because I’m really more “eyesy” than “handy.”  And I suspect he probably would tell you that the $100.00 bucks is a bargain.  Besides I intended for this bedroom redo to be as hassle-free as possible.  Professional measurements and installation save a lot of prep and clean-up time. 

    *This might be an argument for using a moderately priced designer rather than the semi-do-it-yourself route with help from Lowes.  Had I gone through my beloved former boss, Susan Ertel, who is a designer here in Indy (1114 Walnut St. Franklin, IN 46131, 317.736.9823), she would:

    A. Measure for free.
    B. Bring catalogs and sample books to my house and provide design advice.
    C. Get a dealer discount. (A designer charges the client a percentage above wholesale, which is typically still below retail if they are reasonable, and she is.)
    D. Handle shipping, delivery and installation, and if I’m not mistaken, for less than what I’m paying.The reason I didn’t use Susan in this case is that I’m on a short timeline, and designers usually juggle many clients, which draws out the time required to get things finished. Probably the only thing I’m saving in this project is time.

22
Mar
07

Hotel Chelsea- A Home In Bohemia

Rosie Lounging

I refuse to stay at hotel chains in NY when there are an infinite number of more interesting places to be that are really no more expensive.  On my last trip I decided I needed creative inspiration so I booked a room at Hotel Chelsea, historic host to folks like Jasper Johns, Joan Didion, Dee Dee Ramone, and Janis Joplin (the list is infinite).    

Online reviews and stories from friends who have suspiciously vague recollections of parties there had me a little worried—no coffee makers in the room because they can be used to cook meth (who knew?).  But the hotel website won me over.  I especially like the resident blog, which is like eavesdropping on conversations in the hall.   

You’re never denied the reality of living in an old building at the Chelsea, but considering the borg-like ethics of Manhattan developers, I was grateful for the lived in smell and the still kicking creaks.  Besides, only the halls smell like everybody’s homes rolled into one (people do still live there after all).  The hotel rooms smelled like hotel rooms.   

Rosie got several good looks at the halls.  She won’t ride an elevator in NY that she can’t see out of, so she walked up to my room on the 9th floor several times (I would make fun of her, but all of her neuroses keep her looking 25 even though she‘s 40).  Good news is that there is art lining the filigreed stairwell all the way up and in the lobby, too.   She never got bored.

  Room

Isn’t this a fun room?  Believe me, for an old NY hotel, it’s huge.  I had a dressing room, walk-in closet, a kitchenette and a really nice bathroom.  I fell in love with these black patton woven dining chairs.Kris

Fireplace

Oh, and a nice bouquet of impossibly colored and dead (real, but dead) flowers.   In fact, one flower was actually just a stem.  I would say it was a sign of neglect, but my room was always impeccably cleaned.  And the flowers kind of worked with my minimalist/traditional fireplace. 

 Kris and Robyn

My friends Kris and Robin who were attending the same conference came down for breakfast one morning.  We popped over to Big Booty Bakery across the street at the recommendation of one of the hotel’s residents.  Big Booty doesn’t open until 9:00 a.m., but they warm the milk for your coffee, which I think more than makes up for that shortcoming.  Plus their baked goods are baked greats—try the Nutella Booty Bun.   

HC doesn’t need concierge services.  The gentle residents, who all seem to own smallish dogs, are constantly draped around the desk with the most useful advice (Good bagels?  Melvyn’s, around the corner. Where did you get that breakfast sandwich?  Venus on 9th.) I maintain that Manhattanites are the Southerners of the north.  New Yorkers would surely hate the comparison, but they are so friendly and helpful.  There are some differences.  If you annoy a New Yorker they are more likely to stab you in the front than in the back. That and they are less likely to pay retail.  

When I arrived on Thursday morning, staff happily offered to let me check in early.  They didn’t have a key for me (“Our engineer is making your key. You’ll go have lunch.   It’ll be waiting when you get back.”).  I may be a rube, but I’ve learned to do what New Yorkers tell me. They know the lay of the land and that they and you don’t have a lot of time to waste, so their recommendations are usually the most pragmatic and logical in the end.  Oh, and they use metal keys, handcrafted evidently and impossible to lose, a winning combination.  

 I’m sure the Chelsea has been tidied up some for timid Southern/Midwestern boys like me, but I can gladly say it hasn’t lost all of its happy hospitable edge.  Hopefully I can call it my Bohemian home away from home again someday.