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Jill Platner is going to turn your bathtub into a work of art

JILL PLATNER | Made on Crosby Street from Jill Platner on Vimeo.

This video celebrates the work that went into the design and fabrication of Jill Platner’s new Isla line of bathroom fixtures for Waterworks.

I have been close friends with Jill Platner for my entire adult life. Every season, for as long as I’ve known her, she holes herself up in her studio for an intense period of time, stays up till the wee hours, doesn’t return any of her messages and then, just when you start to get worried, emerges with a brilliant new collection that is better than anything she’s produced before. This happens every single time. Without fail.

But this month she’s outdone herself by emerging with not only a new collection of jewels, but the most sublime family of bathroom fixtures a person could ever imagine. With the esteemed brand Waterworks as her partner, Jill spent the past two years drawing and sculpting and dreaming and manufacturing a whole new take on the bathroom fixture. It’s enough to make me want to rip out my entire (rental) bathroom and replace it with this stuff. They are by far the most beautiful spouts and hooks and shower heads I have ever seen.

And we can all get our hands on them via Waterworks.

What to do after you leave your job

Here are the hands of the team... hard at work!

Here are the hands of the team… hard at work!

My husband left his job at the end of 2015 which has meant all sorts of things for our little family… not least of which is a proliferation of project-doing around the house. Our utility closet has been entirely reorganized, Josh’s side of the closet has been Kondo-ized, pencil cases were hand-sewn for his nieces’ holiday gifts, etc etc.

The crowning glory (so far) of all of this domestic productivity, is the wall that he and our daughter painted in our closet. Down came the falling apart hooks and weird shoe rack and up went all sorts of lengths of blue tape. Evidently there were a few arguments between the co-creators as to how, exactly, to lay out the lines… but they came to some sort of agreement and the result is glorious.

Using cans of leftover paint unearthed during the utility closet sortie, they filled in the spaces with color, let the paint dry, and then carefully pulled off the tape to unveil their masterpiece. The upside is that I am now overcome with happiness whenever I see that wall. The down side is that my two artists are so proud of their work that they bring all visitors through the bedroom to see it. Which means my days of the unkempt bedroom and closet are over.

Something tells me that may have been part of Josh’s nefarious plan…

painted wall

The finished wall, in all of its glory.

Gifts for your husband/sister/neighbor/business partner who kind of has everything but would appreciate an upgrade if it’s really good

kept kitchen canister

Because if all of our storage items were this beautiful, we’d probably be much better at putting things away. Irvington 24 oz canister, $60.

USB typewriter

Because there is NO WAY they already have this keyboard. USB typewriter, $899.


Because these cups are incredibly thin, incredibly beautiful and made out of wood, for Pete’s sake. Kami wooden cups, from $60.

screwdriver kit

Because 3 flat and 3 Phillips head screwdrivers are all you ever really need. And a matching set, with beautiful wooden handles, might motivate a few useful projects around the house. Screwdriver set, $48


Because why would you charge one thing at a time when you can get everything running at once? Twist Plus+ World Charging Station, $53.


Because evidently the special design of this spout makes this the essential kettle for making manual drip coffee. Period. Hario buono drip kettle, $75.


Because everybody could use a key ring upgrade. Contour key ring bell, $16

white enamel lunchbox

Because who doesn’t want to be the envy of everyone in the office when you show up with this lunch box? Austrian picnic pot, $54.

blackcreek mercantile cutting board

Because this is not just a cutting board. It’s a chic cutting board. Blackcreek Mercantile cutting board, $235.

kikkerland acorn soeaker

Because if you’re going to give a wireless speaker, it may as well be made of wood and shaped like an acorn. Kikkerland acorn speaker, $46.

red flower room diffuser

Because why should a house smell like a house when it can smell like cardamom and amber? Red Flower room diffuser, $82.

Setting the table

table settings on one kings lane

A golden pine cone adds a bit of magic to the family table. Photo courtesy of One Kings Lane.

So by now you probably have some idea of what you’re going to be cooking for, or bringing to, Thanksgiving dinner… But if you’re anything like me you are still casting about for table decorating ideas. We have our family meal at my parents’ place, and my mother is super creative and sets a festive and elegant table, but God forbid I just leave well enough alone. I always insist on spearheading some 11th hour place setting project that involves children and glue and whatever other messy art supplies we have on hand.

This year, I’m thinking we might go for something like this golden pinecone-plus-flat-placecard-on-the-plate idea I saw on One Kings Lane’s fantastic blog. The sparkle adds a bit of glam to the table and makes it feel more like a party. There are a whole bunch of great ideas in that post, so go check them out and get inspired! I can’t wait to see what we come up with, once all of the artisans (i.e. me and the kids) hit the table!

Serving it up!

Linea Rainbow Serving Spoon from Gretel Home.

I want this Linea Rainbow Serving Spoon from Gretel Home badly.

I am a person who has lots of stuff. Some would argue too much, and for the most part, I would have to agree with them. I’ve even expended all sorts of energy and time and mental space trying to de-clutter my life. The results have been mixed, at best, but I am determined to clear out some space, so I will continue to make the effort.

But as Thanksgiving rears its formidable head again this year, I realize that there is one essential item that is missing from my tabletop arsenal: the serving spoon. I basically just use big soup spoons or borrow from my parents next door or use the salad servers, because I never remember the lack of these items until I’m putting food on the table.

But this year is different. I am looking now, and maybe, just maybe, 2015 will be the year when I begin to be able to dish out the holiday deliciousness in a more appropriate manner.

Above is my current obsession, the rainbow spoon. It has a matching fork, too. Of course they are made to order from Italy and take a month and cost a small fortune, but that makes them all the more desirable…

small corner everything spoon

Next we have the Small Corner Everything spoon, individually handcarved in California of the finest walnut. They even come with a small bottle of rubbing oil to ensure that we take good care of them.

food25 dipped spoon

Or maybe we take the wooden spoon in a different direction by adding a subtle hint of color, like the Wind and Willow Home folks have done with these Fresh Soil-Dipped serving spoons. The rubber handles also make them easy to hold, for those of us with perpetually slippery hands.

vintage silver spoon

Or maybe I go old school and pick up this simple traditional spoon that I saw on Krrb… the seller is in my neighborhood so this spoon could be mine in a matter of minutes!

canvas oslo spoon matte black

Or there’s always black, which goes with everything. This Oslo Spoon by Canvas feels both modern and timeless, so it’ll fit in nicely with everything we already have!

If any of you folks out there have any good suggestions, I’d love to hear…

Monday, Monday… or more links about things we could use for the little cabin in Maine

maine sunset

Here’s what a typical sunset looks like from out our window. A far cry from the mean streets of NYC, let me tell you…

Ok so we are now in the aforementioned island-off-the-coast-of-Maine and have indeed used a boat to get groceries and ice cream (though we also brought our own ice cream maker and made some killer strawberry ice cream last night.)

Whenever we are up here, my husband and I spend hours fantasy-redecorating this little house. And now that we have wifi, we can go so far as researching specific things that would change this place from paradise into a super stylish paradise. And so, in honor of this effort, I share with you all a few links to some of my favorite items. Who knows? Maybe you will find use for some of this stuff in your secret woodlands hideout, too…

ice cream maker
We brought up our somewhat large (but awesome) Cuisinart ice cream maker, but these little ball ones might be a better option for the near-camping aspect of our vacation. Maybe next year…

food52 bluetooth speaker

The whole cabin is made of wood, wood walls, wood floors… So I figure we may as well continue the theme in every way. Like these wooden bluetooth speakers (to replace the early eighties era boom box currently sitting on the shelf)

food52 toolbox
And (also from the fabulous food52) this wooden toolbox. Because I’m sure that tools work better when they live someplace nice.

vintage thonet chair one kings lane

Photo courtesy One Kings Lane.

For some reason that I don’t fully understand, we have a set of too low outdoor chairs around the dining table. Which drives me crazy every time I sit down to eat. Wouldn’t it be nice to have these vintage Thonet chairs (from One Kings Lane) instead? They go with the whole wood theme too…

wooden trash can
My daughter has rightfully complained that there is no wastepaper basket in her room (hence all the crumpled pieces of paper scattered about the floor.) The more organized and on top of it parent that I strive to be will be ordering her one of these wooden cans from Umbra, in lavender of course.

jadeite glass mixing bowls
Also for some strange reason, we have almost no mixing/serving bowls. Just some oversized soup bowls and a stainless steel one that reminds me of something one might fins in an army barracks… So I was thinking something like these jadeite mixing bowls would work. Not so lovely that you don’t want to beat eggs in them, yet nice enough to put on the table filled with salad or fruit or… lobsters… (This is Maine, for crying out loud.)

wooden game house
Last but certainly not least, we have to fill the time on rainy days, or evenings, or any time we don’t feel like being all outdoorsy and active. This house of games promises to keep us all entertained for… like… ever… With nary a plug or a screen in sight!

Another thing I really don’t need but totally want, regardless

crystal light bulb

Photo courtesy of Remodelista.com

Q: When is a lightbulb more than a lightbulb?

A: When it is this British full-lead hand-cut crystal bulb by Lee Broom.

Thing is, we actually have a few bare bulb situations in our house that I’m sure wouldn’t mind being taken to the next level by one of these bad boys. And while one might balk at paying $190 for a lightbulb, the price seems considerably more reasonable when you think of it as a light fixture instead.

Available at A+R, along with all sorts of other nice things.

Yesterday, at some point…


Last night, One Kings Lane threw a party to celebrate their collaboration with Sister Parish Design. An elegant capsule collection of upholstered furniture that brings new life to Sister Parish’s decorating legacy. The guests were all invited to build their own bouquets, and needless to say, we came home with an armful.

May all future party favors include fresh flowers of some sort of another…

(and may you all go check out the Sister Parish for One Kings Lane collection before it sells out!)

Yesterday, at some point is a series of photographs that describe a moment I experienced during the previous day (or thereabouts). The posts are meant to be stand alone images, though at times I can’t control myself, and I end up expanding the caption into a more lengthy bit of text. Hopefully the extra information is useful, or at least interesting. If not, feel free to ignore it.

In my world utilitarian does not automatically mean ugly, damn it.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a huge difference. Why not insert a little beauty into the things we use everyday?

fire extinguisher

If I had this fire extinguisher, I wouldn’t feel the need to hide it under the sink. This solves two issues: First off, moving the extinguisher to an exposed shelf somewhere means I will now have a bit more space under the sink and might be motivated to actually organize the chaos that reigns in that forlorn area. Second, one is always more motivated to use a piece of equipment that one finds attractive. (This also goes for file folders and garbage cans, by the way.)

nest smoke detector

I can’t believe it took so long to design a good looking smoke alarm. Especially since we are ALL required to have A WHOLE BUNCH of these babies in our homes. The Nest alarm even hooks up to your phone and sends you text messages when problems arise. I actually smile now when I notice my smoke detector in the kitchen. It’s a whole new world. They also make a nice thermostat. Just sayin…

door stop

I’ve written about this before, but this door wedge is worth mentioning again. Such a huge step up from the random wooden shim or brown plastic wedge we so often encounter. It’s like moving up to business class.

plus minus zero humidifier

Finally a humidifier that you can leave out even when you have company. Brilliantly designed by Plus Minus Zero. Thank you Japan, for this and so many other things…

enamel pail from ebay

If you upgrade your plastic hardware store bucket to a (preferably vintage) enamel pail like the one above (currently on eBay) you will suddenly find yourself transported back to a simpler time when people shared things and everyone had gardens and smiles for their neighbors and there weren’t huge luxury condos going up all around you and… but wait… I digress…

Another thing I really don’t need but totally want, regardless

A truly elegant wine carafe by Sagaform.

A beautiful wine carafe by Sagaform. Photo courtesy of canopy.com

I already have a carafe that is almost exactly like the example above. But this one has a beautiful oak ball as a stopper. And, in the photograph at least, the top looks like an orb floating magically over a miniature lake of red wine.

My carafe doesn’t have any of that, but it was a wedding gift, and I have used it regularly and loved it… until this one popped into my field of vision, tempting me with it’s organic addition.

But I will remain strong and walk away. One must remain faithful to one’s first love, if at all possible.

You, however, should go buy it right now. And then invite me over for a drink so I can live vicariously…