Friday Roundup (on Monday)

Welcome to my first Friday Roundup in a long, long time. My apologies for the Monday release. And I’m afraid I left my notes for today’s opening remarks at Dollop Coffee, so I’m going to make this short. One of the last good old fashioned coffee houses, Dollop Coffee offers tons of space, free WIFI and delicious tea. I buy the Green Earl Gray, which I take with a spot of honey, a dash of cinnamon and three Splenda. Yep, I’m a sweet freak. Check out any Dollop Coffee for a good old fashioned coffee house experience. In today’s Friday Roundup (on Monday), we’re heading to New York, so let’s be on our way.

Am I alone in my adoration of designer Zach Motl’s 178 sq. ft. studio Brooklyn apartment (above)? Featured recently in the New York Times, the apartment puts to the test Motl’s theory that rooms with lots and lots of well-placed things make small spaces look larger. I don’t know about that, but what I do know is that seeing Motl’s amazing little Clinton Hill studio threatens to bring out the Mister Ripley in me. The studio has certain elements of both Scout and Brimfield, but something’s different, and I can’t quite figure out what. More saturation of color perhaps? And speaking of color, how about Motl’s fire engine red socks? Maybe flashy socks are the secret to pulling together a look like this? Because even though my living room alone is larger than Motl’s studio; and even though I too have a map, lots of books and a Thonet chair (I even have the exact same bar stools), Motl’s apartment makes mine look like a Turkish prison cell. So I’m going to buy a pair of red socks, and I’ll get back to you about how my life changes for the more stylish. Check out the New York Times slide show for many more beautiful shots by photographer Robert Wright.

Photos by Robert Wright for The New York Times

Motl looks anything but.

I apologize in advance for the length and rambling nature of the following caption. Reader discretion is advised. Oh. my. goodness. gracious. That is one fine looking kitchen. This space makes mine look so feckless. Green Lantern and Green Arrow, prepare to meet your new friend Green Bead Board. Holy Moly! And is that a framed Maple leaf I spy? Very nice Mister.

More Color!

How does New York Magazine’s Wendy Goodman find such terrific spaces? Goodman’s featured homes run the gamut from dumpster-furnished rad pads to perfectly propped luxury coops, but all are remarkable, distinctive and about story as much about set. Take this Broome Street apartment as an example. Finding out Keith Haring had once lived in their apartment was all the inspirations two designers needed to design an appropriately zany homage. As my college roommate might say, this space “makes me all kinds of happy.” It drives me crazy to think of all the unusual, funky and just plain ole’ crazy spaces I might be passing as I cruise the streets of Chicago. If you have one of those spaces, a home begging to be celebrated, you must believe that  you’re not alone; Strange Closets readers are a fine and attractive group eager to see what you’ve done. So . . . There should be a symbol for call me – the symbolic equivalent of using one’s thumb and index finger to approximate a phone. Note, this action is often accompanied by a crook in the neck, but that’s optional. Something like ƒ. That looks kind of like the thumb and index finger. Or maybe §? Thanks in advance for your ideas, because I’m stuck. But folks, please ƒ.

Photos by Leigh Davis for New York Magazine

FUN FACT: I love Goodman’s home section so much I sent her a fan e-mail.

Ditto Duty

For my third New York home story, I bring you these photos of Rush Limbaugh’s penthouse from the Huffington Post. I’m most definitely not feeling the mural on the ceiling (not the sky nor the vines), but let’s start with the good: Limbaugh’s taste in decor doesn’t surprise me at all, so my instincts must be sound. Now for the not-so-good: Rush might consider hiring a home stager like my friend Laura Heitz at Right Now Redesign. With her help, Rush’s place will sell in no time. What do you folks think? Am I being too hard on Rush?

Products I ♥

Will you take a look at this sexy lucite chest Apartment Therapy featured? I love it, but it makes storage a bit of a chore, no? Nothing sounds more pathetic than, Oh I’d love to meet for coffee, but I have to de-clutter and Windex the chest at the foot of my bed. Plus don’t you think life’s just too short for such nonsense? Even if you can keep it organized and pretty, you still can’t really use it to store your, um, personal things – your personals -there. I can’t come up with a good euphemism, but everybody’s got something just a little embarrassing they don’t leave out on the nightstand. For example, until very recently, I was ashamed to admit I’d purchased yet another Superman statue, which makes 4 in total (5 if you count the little one, which is also the name of my forthcoming basketball documentary). I’d fill the chest with salt water and an eel. Or maybe a mound of soil and some mushroom spores? Both would combine my lifelong love of home design with my passing fascination with nature. Either way, I’d throw a lovely cashmere throw on top to cover the oxygen holes. Oops. I guess I’ll pass for now, but I do like it very much for the more industrious sort.

Photo by Peter van Agtmael/Magnum Photos for New York Magazine


Letters continue to dominate newspapers, websites and home interior shops, a long-lasting trend if ever there ever were one. Peter van Agtmael’s stunning photograph in New York Magazine reminded me of my beloved salvaged T, which I bought from Agent Gallery owner Mariano Chavez last year. At the time I felt sated, but now Scout has a line of black and white salvaged letters, and I’m hungry all over again. Unfortunately, owner Larry Vodak doesn’t have any T’s, but if he did and if I had no other way, I’d work odd jobs to earn the money to buy one. I’d even consider getting back onto the spoon hanging competition circuit, which was very stressful (although I nearly made it into the Guiness Book of World Records – I was shy a mere four spoons). Knowing a sneeze could end your dreams with some klinks, some klangs and a big old bang was no way to live. On that note, I realize I beat the Scout drum often, but hey, everybody has a few favorites, and Scout has been consistently delightful, well-edited and well-priced. Larry and the whole crew really hit their stride last year, and my poor heart can’t take much more of this. Might Scout be the first stimulant not regulated by the FDA?

There’s just one more short section. It’s almost over.

It’s almost over (you did it!)

Finally, how cool is it that these concept sketches for the Microsoft Courier slate computer feature interior design boards that include the Mooi horse floor lamp? Check out Engadget for the whole story. OK, I’m done. You guys have been great as always – great crowd!

The Rumored Microsoft Courier. Read the story at Engadget.

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5 Responses to “Friday Roundup (on Monday)”

  1. That Zack Motl is one handsome devil – isn’t he? I think I need to infiltrate my husband’s sock drawer with some peppy socks!

  2. Never Windex your lucite!!! Turns it cloudy. I found a product called Gel Gloss that does a nice job.

  3. Rush’s place is GROSS! And I’m a conservative.

  4. Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot.

  5. Please excuse any typos at present; I am typing with pressure gloves on due to 2 sprained fingers on my left hand. … Comments galore – Rush Limbaugh’s place looks like him, an 18th-century museum diorama. Those rooms are exquisite, but who in heck would want to live there?

    How did Zach Motl manage to shoehorn a “kitchen” into that walk-in-closet, not to mention a downright civilized bed? My very first bachelor apt. was spacious compared to this place. No, Tate, your place looks like one where people can walk about without having to do gymnastics over the furnishings…

    Please, please can I have the Lucite box for my stunning collection of architecture and interior design books, all of which have gorgeous dust jackets? I would open it up once a wek to totate (er, rotate) the display. C’est tout, my little hands are gettting tyired…