Featurnig Photography by Dawn Smith and Jeff Shaffer
Best New Home Shop: Rezidenzia
Patricia von Buelow had us at the front door. Just about everything in her small, filled-to-the-rafters shop made us smile (the brass ants, $105, and giant marble die, $1,500) or go gaga (our front cover’s barnacle vase, $725). She’s got a bit of everything: artwork, furniture, lighting, jewelry, and some sweet little evening bags, gleaned from her 30 years of interior design, traveling, and collecting. We’re hooked. â—â—â— Rezidenzia, 63 Main St, Dobbs Ferry (914) 479-1010
Best Shop for Mid-Century Modern: Belkind Bigi
Who doesn’t love the glorious work of such design icons as George Nelson, Charles and Ray Eames, and Arne Jacobsen? Even if the names are not familiar, the designs are: Bubble Lamp (Nelson), Lounge Chair (Eames), Egg Chair (Jacobsen)—and repros can be found just about anywhere nowadays and for good reason. They’re cool. They’re sleek. They’re timeless. But at Belkind Bigi, the original work is not only celebrated, its there—for you to take home. Co-owners Stacy Belkind, a former art specialist at the National Gallery of Art, and Marina Bigi, an expert in American art pottery, were onto that mid-century scene long ago, so go ahead: indulge your inner Mad Man. This is your place for one-stop shopping.
â—â—â— Belkind Bigi, 21 Main St, Tarrytown (914) 524-9626
Best Food Trend: pickling
Foodies rejoice: pickling is back! The hugely popular locavorian movement has raised awareness that locally raised food is tastier (and, obviously, more “green”) than distance-raised. So rather than winter purchases of, say, fat asparagus grown a continent away and harvested 10 days ago, isn’t it better to pop open a jar of your own beautiful spears, preserved within a day of cutting? Not only does pickling zero out food miles and refresh the memory of spring and summer’s harvest, it’s a tradition that nearly evaporated with the advent of frozen bricks of Birds Eye. Which is a shame from an eating POV, because—with its sugar, acids, and spices—pickling is a more interesting preservation technique than freezing. There’s something inherently satisfying about “putting up” veggies and fruit for winter. The jars are beautiful, you know the provenance of the produce, and a well-stocked pantry can feel like money in the bank for the lean months ahead. But if the process is too Little House on the Prairie for your tastes, know there are plenty of places to buy the real deal, like the fennel, cukes, and plums shown here, sold at
â—â—â— Blue Hill Café at the Stone Barns Center for food and Agriculture
Best Fabric “Editor”: Joshua Katz »
Joshua Katz of Fabu Fabrics has been involved in more cover-ups in the County than he can count—and, in this case, cover-ups are a good thing. He can take your tired, worn out, or just plain ugly furnishings and transform them to better than new. With thousands of fabrics to choose from, his talent is in finding the three or four that are perfect for any given project, which he does with uncanny precision. His feel for fabric and eye for style make any project with Katz a fab experience.
â—â—â— Fabu Fabrics, 355 Adams St, Bedford Hills (914) 244-9041
Best Design Trend: Modern
It’s taken our county longer than it had, say, Brooklyn or South Beach, but we’ve done more than catch up. Not only has Westchester embraced modern design, but we’re stark raving mad about it. Our restaurants (from X2O in Yonkers to 42 in White Plains), our institutions (check out the very green Jacob Burns Media Lab in Pleasantville), our shops (Elemental Design Concepts in White Plains) are proof positive that modern is the trend for the future. Fast forward.
Best Tabletop Accessory: Jewels
Crisp, white tablecloth and napkins. Sterling-silver knives and forks. Crystal wine glasses. Nice. But to really dress up a table, we like, well, jewelry. After all, we wear jewelry to make a statement—why shouldn’t our tables do the same? We’ve been seeing more and more of our home goods “wearing’ jewels; salad servers embellished with semiprecious gems, napkin-ring “bracelets,” and jewel-encrusted wine coasters.We approve.
â—â—â— SoHo East, 94 Main St, Irvington (914) 693-7296
Best Hardware Look: Vintage
Some things just never go out of style: a Chanel suit, Adirondack chairs, vintage hardware. Why go for cookie-cutter hardware when you can have gorgeous glass orbs, classic mission pulls, and multifaceted knobs dressing up all your cabinets and doors? Shown here are vintage hardware from
â—â—â— KlafF´s, 341 Central Park Ave, Scarsdale (914) 740-1800.
Best New Floor Look: Mosaics
If you think of mosaics as old-fashioned broken china adorning picture frames or mirrors, think again. New mosaic tiles—a cool mix of metal and glass, opaque and translucent, dark and light—offer a contemporary twist to one of the world’s oldest art forms. Tiles shown here from â—â—â— Carminart, 61 N Central Ave, Elmsford (914) 592-6330; Elon, 13 Main St, Mount Kisco (914) 242-8434; KLAFF´S, 341 Central Park Ave, Scarsdale (914) 740-1800; Terra Tile and Marble, 525 North State Rd, Briarcliff (914) 923-4295; Artistic Tile Inc., 65 Tarrytown Road, White Plains (914) 422-0041
Best Cover Ups: Chilewich
You’ll find Chilewich vinyl placemats in just about every high-end restaurant—and we get why. Why spend beaucoup bucks cleaning and pressing your linens when you can cover your table with dozens of super-cool patterns and textures, and wipe the darn things clean with a damp cloth? That’s all it takes. Chilewich is so popular now that you can have matching Chilewich floormats, Chilewich shades, Chilewich totes, even Chilewich iPhone cases.
â—â—â— SoHo East, 94 Main St, Irvington (914) 693-7296
Best Way to Start The Morning: Dualit Toaster
The Dualit Classic four-slice toaster isn’t just functional—it’s gorgeous. The retro design evokes a simpler time—Mom in her apron whipping up a wholesome breakfast, Dad racing to the train clutching his briefcase, the kiddies crowded around the chrome-and-Formica dinette. Or not. We just love the way it looks—and cooks. Available in six new shades, including canary, turquoise, and hot pink, the toaster also features defrost and bagel settings. Breakfast made easy—and stylish.
â—â—â— $319 at Target
Best Stained Glass Artisans: Rohlf’s Stained & Leaded Glass Studio
For three generations, the artists at Rohlf’s have created new stained or leaded windows and restored old ones for churches (St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity Church on Wall Street, and Riverside Church to name three), institutions, and private residences. If you’re looking to elevate your abode to a religious experience, look to Rohlf’s.
â—â—â— 783 S Third Ave, Mount Vernon (914) 699-4848 rohlfstudio.com
Best Artisan Goods Marketplace: Bee Hive Co-op
We believe in supporting area artists, and our favorite way is to frequent the Bee Hive Co-op. This bright and airy space is filled with a collection of mini boutiques, each featuring the high-end handicrafts of an upcoming independent designer, of which about 70 percent are local. “It’s like a seasonal market,” says owner and former graphic designer Petra Geiger. “You never know what you’re going to find.” Discover ceramics and pottery, decorative platters and salad bowls, table runners and pillows, and even cute little nightlights and lamps for the wee ones.
â—â—â— 337 Main St, Mount Kisco (914) 218-8700
Best Salon Design: Vasken Demirjian Salon
It’s a family affair. Vasken Demirjian is the color expert; his wife, Katerina Soukhopalov–Demirjian, the design guru and architect who created the gorgeous salon. Crisp white walls accented with vivid splashes of red are the perfect backdrop for Vasken to practice his art; the light cylinders on the floating ceiling create a soft ambient glow. All the better to see you my dear. We’re not the only ones wowed by the bright, white space in Trump Tower; the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) nominated the salon as one of the best designed in the country. The winner will be announced on July 18.
â—â—â— 12 City Place, Trump Tower, White Plains, vaskendemirjian.com
Best Taste of the Orient: Oriental Furnishings
You just might miss the Oriental Furnishings store as you cruise along Saw Mill River Road, perched as it is on a tiny sliver of land. Trust us—you don’t know what you’re missing. Those in the know (including a certain CNN news personality) come here for the wide-ranging collection of Chinese lacquer ware, antique furnishings and accessories, Asian silk bedding, sculpture, and way more. Oriental Furnishings is stuffed—and we do mean stuffed—with items, so if you can’t find it here, we suggest you fly to Bejing.
â—â—â— 609 Saw Mill River Rd, Elmsford (877) 674-4542 orientalfurnishings.com
Best Kitchen Product: Simon Pearce Norwich Beaker
This elegant, sensual, and perfectly weighted glass makes anything in it taste better. Handblown in the Old World way, available in tall or highball sizes, $55 each.
Holbrook Cottage 1253 Pleasantville Rd Briarcliff Manor (914) 944-0734
Photo courtesy of Roland Reisley, and Usonia, New York
Best Architecturally Significant Enclave: Usonia, Pleasantville
Drive along Bear Ridge Road in Pleasantville and you’ll happen upon Usonia, a 50-home enclave nestled in the woods that is the most completely developed prototype of Frank Lloyd Wright’s ideas for urban planning. On either side of the narrow winding road, red cedar houses appear to grow right out of the hills; giant floor-to-ceiling windows bring nature right inside. Built in the 1950s, the chief architectural goal was to connect the houses to the land—and to the community. Indeed, that goal was so clearly met that Usonia is thought to be the precursor to today’s condos and planned communities.
Best Classic Muralist: Roman Kujawa
Trained in art conservation in his native Krakow, Poland, Miro Art’s Roman Kujawa has restored art treasures in European museums, palaces, and churches. Here in the U.S, he was called upon to restore the 18th-century ceiling and gilded 365 acanthus leaves on the crown molding in the Blue Room of the White House. We figure that if he’s good enough for royalty and for the leader of our country, well, he’s good enough for us.
â—â—â— MIRO ART, 704-A Locust St, Mount Vernon (914) 484-8350
Best Garden Antiques (And Repros): Barbara Israel Garden Antiques
Positioned throughout Barbara Israel’s Katonah property is her stunning collection of statues, urns, fountains, and other garden ornaments dating from the 15th through early 20th centuries. To allow more people access to these rare beauties, Israel created her Garden Traditions line in 2006, reproductions modeled from the originals in her collection. Each piece is cast in composition stone and hand-finished by skilled craftsmen. The result is a perfect replica of historically significant antiques, at a fraction of the cost.
â—â—â— Mariani Gardens, 45 Bedford Rd. Armonk (914) 273-3083
Best Secret Kitchen Source: Harris Restaurant Supply
Look around any professional kitchen, and you won’t see multi-thousand-dollar sets of All-Clad pans, color-coordinated La Crueset pots, or any other trendy “civilian” tools hyped on the Food Network. Instead, you’ll find indestructible professional cookware designed with function first in mind—cookware that’s easy to wash, and cheap enough to buy by the score. You’ll find it all at Harris Restaurant Supply, a wholesale showroom open to the public. Harris’s equipment and tableware, some dusty, is stacked on utilitarian racks or piled into bins. But we can forgive a little dust and digging for a 40-quart stockpot to brine a Thanksgiving turkey and 30-quart stainless bowls perfect for tossing salad for 20, icing beer and wine, or making stuffing for a crowd. We love Harris’s quarter-sheet pans—small, stainless baking sheets (perfect for broiling a single steak or baking a small batch of cookies) that easily fit in a dishwasher. The store has cheap, disposable pastry bags; plastic squeeze bottles to give your plates that spin-art look; re-usable silicone pads; flat-packed parchment paper; and every other tool or accessory you could want to turn your kitchen into a four-star eatery.
â—â—â— 25 Abendroth Ave, Port Chester (914) 937-0404
Best Green Building: Jacob Burns Film Center Media Arts Lab
Just down the street from the Jacob Burns Film Center is the 27,000-square-foot Media Arts Lab. We love the mission of linking film to education (it offers a full roster of filmmaking classes for buffs of all ages) but also the building itself. The whole thing is LEED Gold-certified, meaning it’s held to the greenest of standards (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The offices are made of recycled materials, utilize natural light, are heated and cooled by geothermal energy, and have solar panels up on the roof—as well as a roof-deck perfectly suited for a swank film premiere party (films can be projected up there). It’s not so hard being green after all.
â—â—â— 405 Manville Rd, Pleasantville (914) 773-7663
Best Bright Idea: LED lighting
“LED lighting is really coming into focus,” declares Phyllis Harbinger, ASID, of Design Concepts/Interiors in Cortlandt Manor. And for good reason. If your understanding of LED (which stands for light-emitting diodes) is a bit blurry: LED lights can last up to 50,000 hours, are perfect for spotlighting, safe for artwork (no UV radiation), and are finally now available in a wide range of fixtures. “I am very excited about this,” Harbinger says. We are, too. Shown here an LED light fixture available at
â—â—â— Patdo, 25 S Regent St, Port Chester (914) 937-6707; patdolight.com
Best New Gallery: Martin Stankiewicz Gallery
They say if you do what you love, you’ll love what you do. After eight years of practicing law, Martin Stankiewicz decided to follow his passion: photography. He ditched the New York City career and opened up a gallery on the Chappaqua Village Yard representing emerging and contemporary artists—including himself. It’s clear from the gallery’s monthly exhibits that revolve around nature, another of Stankiewicz’s passions, that the man clearly loves what he is doing. And you will too.
â—â—â— 142 King St Chappaqua (914) 238-8878; stankiewiczgallery.com
Best New Epicurian Shop: Dobbs and Bishop Fine Cheese
What we like about Dobbs and Bishop is that there’s very little there “just for show.” While other cheesemongers pile their cases with lavish displays of plastic-wrapped large cheeses (some of which may not be fast sellers and possibly not at the peak of ripeness), Dobbs and Bishop refrigerates smaller sections wrapped only in cheese paper. Cheese, after all, is a living thing and needs to breathe! Look for Colston Bassett blue Stilton, Long Clawson Dairy Cotswold (double Gloucester cheddar with dried chives and onions), and Blacksteaks Blue ( blue chedder from Preston, England), as well as cheese accompaniments like fig paste and wild boar sausage. Not sure what you want? Tell the owners, Scotland native Kevin McNeill and his wife, Ruth Walter, what you really appreciate in a cheese, and they’ll help you decide by offering generous tastes. D and B is all about personalized service. We also like that it carries a small but handy assortment of exquisitely yummy things—a full line of Creminelli dried sausage and Balthazar baguettes. This is our first stop before an impromptu picnic.
â—â—â— 107 Pondfield Rd, Bronxville (914) 361-1770; dobbsandbishop.com