Paint and Wallpaper
When you start a decoration project, where do you begin? I like to start with the walls. The right backgrounds set the tone for the entire house. My favorite painters are John Weidl & Associates in New Rochelle. They are expensive but worth every penny. To paint and paper the interior of a four-bedroom, four-bathroom house, using glazing finishes, cost ranges from $45,000 to $110,000, depending on how elaborate your walls become. Their preparation work is superb—which is what a good paint job should include. They have very talented people who can match any glaze color or execute any finish technique that you have in mind. Painting contractor Steve Roscic is another good painting contractor. His team’s wall preparation is good for a straight and simple paint job. Both of these companies work all over Westchester County. You can find a good selection of wallpaper, at one of the many paint stores, like Kawer’s in Tuckahoe, or Village Paint Supply, with stores in both Larchmont and Mamaroneck. Cocobolo in Armonk specializes in fine wallpaper and has a huge selection. It will recommend wallpaper hangers but does not hang it. Their suggested installers average $50 per roll to hang.
After you’ve had your walls painted, covered, and a color scheme established, it’s time to turn your attention to window treatments. Looking for something better than the catalogue offerings but not as pricey as custom-made? The Silk Trading Co. online or ABC Carpet and Home in New York (at 888 Broadway) has curtain panels in a variety of lengths and widths. Their materials are very pretty—mostly silks—but they do offer other fabrics, including cottons and sheers. Curtains range from $115 to $800 a panel. The quality of the curtains is very good: everything is lined and interlined with flannel, but they are somewhat plain.
Claire Maestroni in Greenwich is a specialist in ready-made curtains but can also do custom. Its range of prices is from $190 to $900 per panel. The Curtain Exchange in Larchmont sizes curtains from a fixed range of luxurious choices. You’ll find everything from silks and chintzes to brocades and damasks. Instead of swatches and drawings, you can take sample panels home to “audition” in your home. Curtains here cost significantly less than from a custom workroom.
If you can’t find a ready-made solution or you have something special in mind, you’ll need to have your curtains custom made. Be prepared: custom curtains are a whole other realm in terms of both time and cost. The process begins with selecting a good curtain workroom. Most upholsterers (see below) make curtains and can either suggest a design or can work with one that you supply. Bring a picture from a magazine or a sketch to help the design consultation go smoothly. If you go this route, Handy Andy in White Plains is one of my favorite custom curtain workrooms. It can make window shades, shutters, and blinds as well.
Looking for sofas, loveseats, and upholstered chairs? You can always find the basics at places like Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, WS Home, and Restoration Hardware. But for more interesting pieces, you may want to go to the Antiques and Artisan Center in Stamford. Here, you’ll find reconditioned pieces that have been restored and covered in muslin so that they’re ready for reupholstery in your fabric. The prices are reasonable ($900 to $2,000 for a loveseat), and it has interesting shapes that are more graceful and less clunky than some of the catalogue options. It will not reupholster your purchases, but Fabu Fabrics in Bedford Hills, or the Fabric House in White Plains, will.
The Yellow Monkey in Cross River sells upholstered furniture and also reupholsters existing furniture. The shop has a big selection of floor models so you can try out the chairs, sofas, and benches before you order. It sells fabric as well. The average price of a chair without fabric is $1,200 to $1,300, but trimmings and cords will certainly drive the price up.
For distinctive and formal pieces, I like to comb through the antique centers in Stamford Hiden Galleries, the Antique and Artisans Center, and Canal Street Antiques are my favorites. Each center comprises different vendors and the staggering inventory means you can find just about anything. Briggs House Antiques in Mamaroneck has a big selection of both antique and custom-made furniture. The owner, Lorraine Bauchmann, can order very nice quality custom-made tables and chairs from England. She has some country pieces, prints, and Chinese porcelains as well. The Yellow Monkey also has antique furniture that’s more country in feel. Avant Garden always has interesting pieces for both the garden and the house. The Guv’nor & Mrs. A in North Salem has lovely antique English furniture and accessories like paintings and pretty porcelains. Country Willow in Katonah sells new “country” furniture and accessories. C&C Auctions House in Larchmont holds monthly auctions and you can find great pieces there. While everything they sell is antique, not everything is fine or precious. You’ll find plenty of furniture in â€˜as is’ condition. Many of the antiques shops in the city go to the auctions and resell the pieces at triple the price. Last winter, I bought a pine chest of drawers, made in Vermont in about 1870, for $480.
Rue de Fauborg in Greenwich has a great selection of old and new lighting fixtures along with attractive fireplace equipment. Arrow Lamp & Lighting in Larchmont is a good source for sconces and ceiling fixtures and does very nice rewiring work. The shop also sells lampshades, harps, and finials. Grand Concourse in Mount Kisco has the biggest selection of restored antique light fixtures. Its sconces range from $250 to $3,000.
Rug and Carpets
Carpet Trends in Rye has a big selection of broadlooms from the country’s major rug companies, including Schumacher and Saxony, two high-end companies located in the Design and Decoration Building in New York City. Carpet Trends’ retail markup is less than you’d pay at the D&D Building and its installation costs are less expensive, too. The store also has an in-stock remnant wall and you can find great deals there. Some carpet remnants are marked down with deep discounts, and this store often has lots of yardage on hand.
What’s a remnant? When a carpet store needs, say, 80 yards of a particular style for a job but the mill has a 100-yard roll, the carpet store will buy the entire roll at a discount and sell the excess as remnant. Also, stores like Carpet Trends will typically stock a few rolls of popular carpets that they know will sell quickly. They get a discount on ordering multiple rolls from the mill and they pass that discount along to retail customers. Unless otherwise marked, remnants are first-quality goods. If you don’t find what you need among the remnants, don’t despair. Carpet Trends sells everything from broadlooms to area rugs, Orientals to hooked rugs. And it can order just about anything for you.
A.T. Proudian in New Rochelle has a good selection of new rugs and Orientals. Its sister store in Greenwich has a good selection of antique rugs that range from $2,400 to more than $80,000. In northern Westchester, Cornell Carpet and Design of Mount Kisco has a stylish range, and makes area rugs to order. Rug & Home Gallery in Thornwood also has a good selection and the staff is quite knowledgeable.
Alix Perrachon, based in Larchmont, will find you any type or size of rug that you are looking for, old or new. She lived in Turkey for years and has a keen sense of the market as well as an eye for authenticity. She charges a minimal upfront fee, which is a retainer credited to the final cost of the rug, along with a mark-up on the carpet (the amount varies depending on the carpet).
Dilmaghani & Co. in Scarsdale can be overwhelming, because of its enormous inventory, but if you know what you are looking for, or don’t mind extensive browsing, it has a huge selection of old and new rugs. It also has a sale warehouse in Brewster, which can be hit or miss.
When His Stuff Met Her Stuff
You’ve got delicate French settees and gilded mirrors; he’s got an expensive sofa by a cutting-edge minimalist and a collection of beer steins painstakingly assembled over the last 15 years. What do you do if the two of you are in love but your furniture is at war? Well, when you can’t blend, you can sort. Here’s how:
Consider the gender of your rooms Masculine pieces often look well in a library, den or Media Room—especially if a pool table is in the plans. Delicate pieces, while often pretty to look at, are often too uncomfortable and unwelcoming to be major players in your decorating scheme. Give them a home along the edge of the room instead of in the center.
Consider Condition Worn furniture never looks right in more “public” rooms like the living room or the dining room. Save time worn and care-battered pieces for less traveled rooms. A home office might be just the spot.
Don’t be afraid to de-acquisition Even our leading museums will discard the occasional treasure to make room for something that better complements their collection’s current focus. Sometimes it is simply easier to start from scratch than to force disparate objects together. Besides, you’ll have the opportunity to select new things together. What better way to start forging your mutual identity and style?
Antiques and Artisan Center
69 Jefferson St., Stamford, CT
Arrow Lamp & Lighting
2091 Boston Post Rd., Larchmont
736 Main St, New Rochelle
120 E. Putnam Ave., Greenwich, CT
87 Westchester Ave., Pound Ridge
Briggs House Antiques
566 E. Boston Post Rd., Larchmont
C&C Auction House
20 North Ave., Mamaroneck
Canal Street Antiques
737 Canal St. Bldg. 16, Stamford, CT
5 Smith St., Rye
135 Mason St.
37 Maple Ave., Armonk
Cornell Carpet and Design
226 E. Main St., Mount Kisco
33 Katonah Ave., Katonah
Crate & Barrel
125 Westchester Ave., White Plains
The Curtain Exchange
1987 Palmer Ave., Larchmont
Dilmaghani & Co.
540 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale
35 Adams St., Bedford Hills
Grand Concourse Antiques
205 Lexington Ave., Mount Kisco
The Guvnor & Mrs. A.
Rt. 116, North Salem
65 Tarrytown Rd., White Plains
481 Canal St., Stamford, CT
John Weidl & Associates
379 Huguenot St., New Rochelle
29 Columbus Ave, Tuckahoe
125 Westchester Ave. #2490, White Plains
125 Westchester Ave.,White Plains
Rue de Faubourg
44 W. Putnam Ave., Greenwich, CT. (203) 869-7139 The Silk Trading Co.
153 Larchmont Ave., Larchmont
Rug & Home Gallery
50 Lafayette Place, Thornwood
Village Paint Supply
2084 Boston Post Rd., Larchmont
365 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck
William Sonoma Home
The Yellow Monkey
792 Route 35, Cross River