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June, 2016 |

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Ponderay Another Gypsy Girl Estate Sale! Thurs Fri Sat 8am…

Ponderay Another Gypsy Girl Estate Sale! Thurs Fri Sat 8am-3pm 205 Vermeer Dr. off Kootenai Cut-Off Cash/Credit Cards Estate Sale of Priscilla and Steve Garvan. This sale is huge! Antiques; furniture including several drop leaf tables, farm table with benches, English church pews, beaded piano stool, dressers, wood filing cabinet, riding boots, auction yokes. Sterling silver coffee and tea service, serving pieces, frames. Crystal lamoge and Haviland lamoge China, Anemone Arabia of Finland dishware, over 59 bookcases and so much more! Collections of all kidns including Minnie and Mickey Mouse, Hedgehogs, Labrador Retrievers, English Sheep Dogs, Beer glass, vintage plates, lamps, ceramic ware, milk bottles and carriers. Spokane Expo memorabilia, vintage cameras, kitchen items and Christmas, Griswold cast iron skillets, beds including mattresses, mid century modern dresser with corner desk, small sectional sofa. To much to list! If you are a vintage antique or collector of any kind you will not want to miss this one!

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From Monstrous to Modern, See Inside a Totally Redone D.C. Townhome

The two toured around 50 houses before picking the townhome in Washington, D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood. It was a scary listing, and they liked that. They knew no one would want it, while only they saw the potential inside.

While they could have snatched up one of the homes on the market renovated by local developers, both Stewart and Fletcher said it seemed like those homes were redone very quickly and with cheaper materials from Home Depot.

“It was like a combination of it being fine, but not unique,” said Stewart. “The quality of the materials was mediocre at best. We said we could take a fixer-upper and spend a similar amount of money and actually make it a lot more unique and have some sort of character.”

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

Already, the two loved to daydream about how to create spaces. While neither are professional architects, they both love to design.

“It’s kind of like our passion. I’m in the design field. He’s in the real estate field,” said Fletcher.

With all of the projects that needed to be done over the course of roughly half a year, from insulation to reinforcing, Stewart said, “It’s been a crash course on home construction.”

“But mostly because we wanted to do it ourselves, and we were very on top of [the process],” said Fletcher.

While the idea of fixing up a home wasn’t a problem for Fletcher and Stewart, they both had to consider whether or not the Northwest neighborhood was the right fit for them. At first, the two former New Yorkers were worried that the neighborhood would be too suburban for their tastes, but they found comfort in how friendly the neighbors were and how quiet and clean the area was. Additionally, with go-to bars and restaurants like Dacha and Shaw’s Tavern only a few blocks away, it allows them to always be close to a lively nightlife.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

Fletcher said, “The moment we moved in here, I fell in love with this neighborhood because everything is really close. The neighbors are amazing. It’s a really great community. It’s beautiful, I think.”

Before buying the townhome, they both were living in New York, a city where they said they never knew their neighbors. Now, they’ve created relationships with neighbors in separate buildings, something completely new to them.

Being the owners of a townhome has also been a bit of a transition.

“The stress of owning a house is much different,” said Stewart who said he was so nervous after the purchase that he used to wake up in the middle of the night, worried if the house was about to collapse.

When taking Curbed on a tour of their house, Stewart said that besides the front door of the home, there’s nothing that wasn’t touched. During construction, a half bathroom was added to the main level to transform the home into a fully functioning entertainment space. A wall had to be removed to create the area with half of the new blank expanse made into a coat closet. Under the stairs, a washer and dryer was also installed, the doorway barely noticeable.

The design, which Stewart described as Mid-century mixed with Scandinavian, is complemented by a variety of artworks, ranging from Caribbean-inspired paintings to a “garden” made out of recycled materials to a series of advertisements torn out of a magazine found in a Paris market.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

The favorite spot in the home is undeniably the kitchen.

Fletcher said, “We’re always ending up here, whether we have 10 guests or one.”

“It all kind of gravitates here,” Stewart agreed.

To complete the space, the two installed a waterfall island and stainless steel appliances from Bosch and KitchenAid. The two also bought a French buffet from the local vintage store, Good Wood.

On the upper level, there is a guest bedroom, a master bedroom, and a master bathroom.

In the guest and master bedrooms, these were designed to feel more like retreats than simply places to lay one’s head after a long day.

In the guest bedroom, there are quirky knick knacks like a Dunny doll.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

In the master bedroom, some of the biggest wow factors can be found in the modern Sputnik light fixture. Stewart said that the bed’s sideboard was also found on Etsy and later repurposed.

For the doors, the two spent at least a week in search of solid core doors that didn’t take four to six weeks for delay and came with paneling.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

The process to completing the bathroom was a long and tedious one. The two owners had to compromise on the tiles, the fixtures, and the concepts. While moving around the bathtub and the sink to different ends of the room, Fletcher and Stewart had to decide from three different concepts to come to a consensus.

While Stewart preferred a standing shower and was tempted to remove the bathtub altogether, he said that their neighbors prefer the feature due to many residents in Washington, D.C. being newer families.

“[It] may not be a deal breaker, but certainly one of those things that the family may say, ‘Oh, we’re going to have to redo that,’” he said.

As a compromise, the Duravit bathtub was covered with a half glass partition to give some element of the shower.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

When Stewart and Fletcher found the home, they said that the fence in the backyard was rotting. It’s since been replaced, and with concrete placed and landscaping done, the area is now ready for entertaining guests, fire pit included.

Despite all of the work that has been accomplished over the many months, there are still a few smaller projects that are expected. The two plan for a backsplash in the kitchen as well as some extra landscaping in the backyard.

Regardless, with all the sunlight streaming into the home, Brett said, “There’s a good vibe and energy in the house.”

House Calls is a recurring feature in which Curbed tours D.C. residents’ lovely, offbeat, or otherwise awesome homes. Think your space should be featured next? Drop us a line.

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The Future of the Steakhouse Has Arrived, and It’s in Chicago

The scene around us, though, didn’t square with classical notions of cow palace luxury. No white tablecloths or servers in black bowties. No plush, tufted banquettes or sedan-size booths. None of the usual intimations of money and power whirling through the air like cigar smoke. Instead, the space brought to mind a tiny pub on a European side street. Lined with russet-colored brick on one side and a bar built of mixed woods on the other, the room at Boeufhaus seats only 34. Like the trappings, the cuisine at Boeufhaus defies steakhouse convention. Chef-owners Brian Ahern and Jamie Finnegan nail the quintessential chophouse meal: beef tartare and chilled seafood to begin, baller steaks and hedonistic sides, comforting excesses for dessert.

Steakhouses are all haute chameleons, and we never tire of marveling at their adaptive colorings.

I had been in Chicago for nearly a week by the time I ate there, a week spent pounding down red meat and refined carbs at top-tier chophouses night after night. Steakhouses aren’t hard to suss out in this city: Nearly 50 compete for conventioneer dollars in the Downtown area alone, and at least a dozen new ones have opened citywide in the last two years. And among the newcomers are three — including Boeufhaus — that, in their unique balance of nostalgia and modernity and individuality, made me walk out the door thinking I’d just experienced the next triumphant evolutions of the American steakhouse.

At once innately codified and infinitely adaptable, a posh steakhouse is where we go on those occasions when we proclaim: Fuck it, we’re going all in. All in on the expense, all in on the calories, all in on the celebration. Revelry has been part of the genre ever since it originated in New York in the mid-1800s, at restaurants known as “beefsteaks” where men sat in rowdy halls consuming as much red meat and beer as they could hold. By late in the century, now-institutions like Manhattan treasure Keen’s (which opened in 1885) and Peter Luger in Brooklyn (1887) offered slightly more genial surroundings, eventually adding menu items that became permanent sidekicks to porterhouses and mutton chops: shrimp cocktail, fried or baked potatoes, creamed spinach.

As the steakhouse genus spread across the country and prevailed through the decades, it managed to stay relevant through a state of perpetual metamorphosis. Its straightforward blueprint makes it the perfect foil for constant reinvention — a perfect trait for an archetypical style of American dining. The format rolls with the trends and the times. Steakhouses can adapt to the guises of elegant supper clubs, corporate boardrooms, and sleek dens of vice. They succeed as eccentric independents like Bern’s in Tampa, as high-end chains, and as vanity projects for celebrity chefs. European and South American flavors weave into the basic menu template seamlessly. (And so do nineties-esque, wasabi-everything fusion conceits.) One or another may differentiate itself with the sumptuousness of its decor, or the depth of its wine cellar, or the pedigreed source of the beef it serves — steakhouses are all haute chameleons, and we never tire of marveling at their adaptive colorings.

Great steakhouses flourish in every corner of the nation, but Chicago just happens to have more of the wonderful ones right now. I don’t say this to dredge up regressive tropes about the Windy City being a “meat and potatoes town.” It’s the third largest city in the United States, with a metro-area population of 9.5 million — of course its culinary character can’t be reduced to a single class of restaurant. But the business of beef does have undeniable civic resonance here. Those sirloins that New Yorkers were gorging themselves on a century ago? Most of them rolled into town by way of Chicago, where livestock arrived from the Midwest hinterlands (and the city’s own stockyards, which closed in the 1970s) and, after processing in the infamous slaughterhouses, continued on by rail to the East Coast.

History substantiates Chicago’s penchant for beef, and the city’s 50 million annual visitors help sustain its dozens (hundreds?) of steakhouses — always a tourist favorite. But what explains the genre’s most recent evolution and excellence is the present-day makeup of the city, which in the last dozen years has blossomed into one of the country’s most progressive and competitive dining scenes. The city supports provocative game-changers like Alinea, Grace, Parachute, Fat Rice, and El Ideas, to name but a handful, and the entrepreneurial gumption and unbridled imagination that animates that pioneering breed of restaurant was bound to influence the city’s ingrained steakhouse culture eventually.

It’s happening now. Chicago’s three most galvanizing steakhouses all opened in the last year. Each take diners on joy rides of prime beef, but it’s how they distinctively orchestrate the experience around that killer steak that makes the whole endeavor feel fresh and vital.

The beef wellington at Swift Sons, left; bartender Randy Baker flames an orange peel

Boeufhaus’s next-level specialness stems from that small-dining-room air of intimacy. Its building, formerly a butcher shop, sits on the edge of two residential neighborhoods, Humboldt Park and Ukrainian Village, several miles west of the tourist centers of the Loop and the Gold Coast. In its low-key snugness, it’s really the anti-steakhouse, a place I would bring friends who relish a righteous steak dinner, but don’t go in for the machismo and pageantry of more prototypical chophouses.

Owners Ahern and Finnegan don’t even really embrace the term “steakhouse.” Their restaurant name is a portmanteau of French (boeuf) and German (haus) that translates as “beef house,” but they prefer to think of their enterprise as a brasserie. They’ll point to entrees beyond steaks that incorporate the Alsatian flavors that fascinate them (seared duck breast served over sauerkraut with lardons and potatoes, for example), and also the neighborly vibe.

It’s a place I would bring friends who relish a right­eous steak dinner, but don’t go in for the machismo and pa­gean­try of more pro­to­typical chophouses.

But considering the kitchen’s mastery with beef-focused indulgences, you’d be hard-pressed to qualify it as anything other than a steakhouse. The kitchen cooks steaks in cast-iron skillets, rather than the broilers or grills favored by most high-volume chophouses, a method that imparts a uniform char to that phenomenal ribeye, as well as a gutsy 25-ounce, bone-in New York strip. Yet they also divert their menu in other compelling directions far from the traditional lexicon, parading novel mash-ups like merguez over a jumble of crisp fried chickpeas and supple cavatelli, and a swirl of creamy polenta absorbing a briny, garlicky jolt from a “tapenade” in which minced escargots winningly replaced olives.

Boeufhaus makes a convincing case that a steakhouse doesn’t need the traditional sprawling quarters or narrow menu to define its nature. It points to a more personal class of steakhouse that’s ready to emerge, an antidote to the soulless behemoths where too often everyone but the biggest spenders could feel, ironically, like herded cattle.

Not that a behemoth operation automatically equals impersonal service. Engaging hospitality is the secret behind Swift Sons, a showboat of retro Continental splendor that opened last fall in a fitting new seat of power: a building called 1K Fulton, the rehabbed address that now houses Google’s Midwestern headquarters. Residing in the Fulton Market District in the West Loop, once the center of Chicago’s meatpacking industry, the building formerly housed cold storage; developers had to literally defrost the space before they could begin reconstruction.

After the thaw, a gleaming ode to Midcentury Modernism emerged: ten thousand square feet of soothing curves, grainy woods, orb light fixtures (one in a side room that resembles a model of the solar system), and the occasional imposing cement pillar to honor the building’s bones. To the left of the entrance is a much smaller sister seafood operation with a prominent raw bar, called (no surprise) Cold Storage.

Plunked down in Swift Sons’ roomy foyer is a long, stately desk manned by a concierge whose job is to arrange special requests (personalized flower arrangements for an anniversary, say) and also to assist diners in making the most of their evenings — perhaps help score last-minute tickets to the theatre or a concert, or plot after-dinner drinks at a swank bar, or brainstorm brunching options for the next day. The position reminds me of the Dreamweavers employed at New York’s Eleven Madison Park, whose full-time responsibility is to research and deploy ways to unusually thrill the restaurant’s clientele.

Coming face-to-face with a concierge as you enter is a quick way to receive the restaurant’s intention to exceed service expectations, and the polish of the dining room staff sees the promise through. Not long after you sit, a handsome wooden cart rigged with brass rails and lined with fluted bottles may trundle by. Bartender Randy Baker roams the dining room, chatting ebulliently with guests while he mixes gin and whiskey cocktails using copper-plated swizzle sticks. I’m a pushover for suave tableside service, a relic of Continental dining that is seeing a resurgence this decade as a flourish of dining-room showmanship.

A posh steakhouse is where we go on those occasions when we proclaim: Fuck it, we’re going all in.

There’s no maître d’hôtel flambéing steak Diane here at Swift Sons, but the restaurant’s carts do add panache to the steakhouse template, particularly when a server wheels up the Beef Wellington for two. The dish may more readily conjure 1950s dinner parties than swank steakhouses, but the kitchen’s precise execution gives the old saw new life. Tenderloin stays rosy under its layers of crisp-tender pastry, and the deft addition of spinach lightens the duxelles filling of mushroom and foie gras.

At the end of my meal — a lineup of classics, punctuated with appealingly seasonal dishes like English pea cappelletti and foie gras torchon with a strawberry-rhubarb puree — the dapper carts returned twofold. One trolley bore treats like chocolate macarons and caramels to tempt as lighter desserts, and the other had Baker behind it, stopping by to offer a tableside cocktail to match with sweets. I’d passed on a martini on his first go-around earlier in the evening, but happily gave in to a scotch-based Bobby Burns variation with orange; he suggested the hint of citrus would complement pastry chef Meg Galus’s lilting, weightless take on Boston cream pie. He nailed the pairing, which added a final grace note to the most consistent and debonair display of welcome I’ve ever experienced in a steakhouse. If I hadn’t polished off my drink, I’d have asked the concierge to help me book a last-minute cocktail tasting menu at the Aviary across the street.

The roasted seafood tower at Maple and Ash, left; the restaurant’s interior

If Swift Sons envelops the steakhouse in a sumptuousness worthy of an ultra-plush cruise line, Maple Ash reimagines the chophouse as raucous nightclub — one that puts some major talent on display nightly. Check in at the door for dinner and a hostess will lead you through the first floor bar whose trappings recall yesteryear’s steakhouses, with roomy booths upholstered in black leather and framed black-and-white pictures of revelers clad in tuxedoes and cocktail dresses. The real action, though, is upstairs. Ascend one floor in an elevator and step out directly into a party.

Walk into the restaurant’s cavernous dining room, and you’re engulfed in a roar of voices and clatter. In the center of the space, purple metallic organza floats in gauzy strips like a shredded gown, and a chandelier of beaded lights hangs like a double-stranded string of pearls. Such a riotous backdrop could easily serve as a useful distraction to camouflage mediocre cooking. But principal owners Jim Lasky and David Pisor have instead assembled an A-list of industry pros, a team that’s embraced the steakhouse motif with unfettered playfulness.

Executive chef Danny Grant earned two Michelin Stars at Ria, the restaurant in Chicago’s sumptuous Elysian Hotel (now the Waldorf Astoria Chicago; Pisor originally developed the property). He oversees a 12-foot hearth that breathes fire over rows of steaks, as well as a coal-burning oven that produces the kitchen’s greatest stroke of genius: a seafood tower of roasted shrimp, oysters, lobster, Alaskan King Crab legs, and other oceanic treasures, kissing the shellfish with smoke and concentrating their flavors.

The Maple Ash supergroup is on site, night after night. They aren’t distant overlords; they’re on the line, pouring wine, shaking drinks, greeting customers.

In Grant’s hands, other chophouse classics receive similar sly tweaks. Beef tartare comes with smoked egg yolk, which cleverly foreshadows the campfire perfume of the steaks. Shrimp de Jonghe, coated in garlicky, sherry-scented breadcrumbs, is a staple appetizer in Chicago steakhouses; local hoteliers developed the recipe a century ago. The dish can often be a thud of muddy flavors, but Grant is spare with the breading, and the sherry comes through bright and warm. It shows off his affectionate approach to steakhouse cooking: He respects the form but personalizes dishes with flavors and techniques that embody this moment in American dining.

The ebullient Belinda Chang heads the beverage program — on her watch, The Modern in New York won a James Beard award for wine service in 2011. Maple Ash’s wine list is Chang’s vino manifesto, a 31-page document that soars to a $4,700 magnum of Champagne and swings down to earth with a roster of standouts priced at $50 and under. Chang’s program is in constant evolution — a choose-your-own-wine-adventure flowchart is in the works — and she leads the kind of team to whom you can lob a few adjectives about what you prefer to drink and rest assured that soon something exhilarating will flow into your stemware.

In March, five months after opening, ace pastry chef Aya Fukai joined the Maple and Ash crew, following a stint at high-flying Sixteen in the Trump Hotel Chicago, and she brings a wisely eased-up approach to the richness of classic steakhouse desserts. Her sweets — cream puffs with raspberry sorbet and pistachio streusel, a giant carrot cake macaron with pecan buttercream and orange sherbet — sound extravagant, but land softly on both the palate and the stomach.

The newest addition to the team is Adam Seger, a rock star bartender who once worked alongside Chang at Chicago’s legendary Tru. He’s currently tweaking several versions of boozy snow cones that will cool the crowds on the restaurant’s 60-seat patio this summer.

Has this caliber of combined talent ever before been recruited to run a steakhouse? It’s doubtful. Chef-entrepreneurs like Wolfgang Puck and Tom Colicchio may have their names attached to steakhouses, but they aren’t personally in the restaurants running the show. But the Maple Ash supergroup is on site, night after night. They aren’t distant overlords; they’re on the line, pouring wine, shaking drinks, greeting customers. And their collective absorption in the details translates to an exuberant experience for the guest.

Putting together this culinary equivalent of the Justice League was also the smartest possible way for Maple Ash to distinguish itself in the culinary battle zone of its market. It resides in the affluent, aptly named Gold Coast, not far from some of Chicago’s steakhouse icons. The original Morton’s is nearby, and so is the 27-year-old Gibsons Bar and Steakhouse — the highest grossing independent restaurant in Chicago, it pulled in $22.5 million last year.

Maple Ash, slammed every night, has youth on its side, but the attraction goes beyond its newness. It’s the spot-on customization of the template, a contemporary grandeur with the right boldness and the right staff. This may America’s most cutthroat steakhouse neighborhood, but if the formula works, there always seems to be room for another to prosper. This is the profound appetite for prime beef that Chicago stokes. The city encourages a natural process of chophouse transformation — the intimacy of Boeufhaus, the retro-modern glam of Swift Sons, the talent-driven ethos of Maple Ash — while still championing stalwarts that have been around for decades. Chicago isn’t just a steakhouse town. It’s a steakhouse community.

Watch: Steakhouse Rules Explained

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RIBA exhibits three pavilions designed to serve London communities

London Festival of Architecture 2016: a soup servery, a rubbish bin-cum-play space and a flat-pack pop-up shop form part of an exhibition that explores how architecture can contribute to city communities (+ slideshow). 

The installations are the result of an open competition set by the Royal Institute of British Architects, which asked for proposals that created community spaces within the urban environment.

Constructing communities at RIBA
The RIBA is displaying three pavilions for its Constructing Communities exhibition, including Pea Soup House by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio

The RIBA selected three of the proposals be displayed at its London headquarters in an exhibition called Constructing Communities.  It forms part of the London Festival of Architecture – a month-long programme of events and installations in the UK capital.

The first, designed by six architects from Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio, is a rhombus-shaped servery called Pea Soup House, which aims to raise awareness of poor air quality in London.

Constructing communities at RIBA
The rhombus-shaped servery aims to raise awareness of poor air quality in London

The name references the industrial revolution when London’s air was described “as thick as pea soup” and Londoners were referred to as Pea Soupers.

“With air quality increasingly deteriorating in cities, we believe that architecture has a significant role in protecting the health of urban communities and improving quality of life for those at home in Britain,” said project architect Charlotte Knight.

Constructing communities at RIBA
Called The Ephemeral Neighbourhood, the second structure was designed by Margin in response to the refugee crisis

Located in the entrance of the RIBA, the structure is clad in horizontal battens that are coloured to represent one day of daily air quality – on a scale of one to 10 – from data that was collected at Oxford Circus in 2015.

Related story: Architects including Mecanoo and Studio Weave propose solutions to Britain’s housing crisis

Inside, a small kitchen and counter serves soup that reflects the air quality data of that day. When it is good, a “super-healthy” green, pea and mint soup will be served, while a darker beetroot version will be prepared when the quality of air is poorer.

Constructing communities at RIBA
It is a flat-pack, mobile structure that creates a space where new and existing communities can interact

The architects are collaborating with King’s College London, which monitors air pollution every day, while Clarke’s Kitchen will cook and serve the soup between 1 and 2pm.

The second structure is designed by a group of graduates from Liverpool, called Margin, in response to the refugee crisis.

Entitled The Ephemeral Neighbourhood, the flat-pack, mobile structure occupies a rooftop space. It is designed to offer a place where new and existing communities can interact.

Constructing communities at RIBA
Located on the roof of the RIBA, it features three slots that allow the public to deposit donations of food, clothing and children’s toys

It features a slatted exterior that was designed to increase the stability of the structure, as well as provide a tactile finish.

Plywood was chosen as the main material because it is both cost-effective and sustainable, while also providing a contrast to the brick, stone and steel materials of the city.

An enclosed box with three slots allow the public to deposit donations of food, clothing and children’s toys.

Each drop-off is catered to the type of item being donated so that soft items like clothing and toys fall into a pile, while more delicate items like food parcels are collected on shelving.

Constructing communities at RIBA
A more open space, featuring a bench, displays information about the refugee crisis

Next to this is an open space, featuring a bench for the public to sit, as well as shelves for information about the crisis to be exhibited. Charitable items can also be displayed and sold here.

“By creating a pop-up shop, people can browse the items without having to feel as if they are charity, removing any negative stereotyping of charity shopping,” said the team.

Constructing communities at RIBA
On the second floor, the Bin Togather structure by Erect Architecture combines a rubbish collection point with communal activities

The third installation, by London-based firm Erect Architecture, turns the rubbish collection point into a communal space.

Called Bin Togather, it combines waste drop offs with a punch bag, board games and seating. It is installed on the second floor of the institute.

“This daily task holds great potential for natural interaction between people,” said the architects. “Combined with spaces to gather and rethink the act of waste it becomes a fun, playful activity.”

Constructing communities at RIBA
Bean bags, board games and plants are added to encourage users to spend time there together

Scaffolding forms the main structure, while fabric, nets, recycled paper, litter and office furniture are all used for the play accessories.

The three installations, and their development process, will be exhibited at the RIBA until 4 August 2016. The exhibition will run in parallel to the RIBA’s summer exhibition in the architecture gallery, called At Home in Britain: Designing the House of Tomorrow.

The Constructing Communities exhibition forms part of the London Festival of Architecture 2016, which runs from 1 to 30 June.

Constructing communities at RIBA
Scaffolding forms the main structure, while fabric, nets, recycled paper, litter and office furniture are all used for the play accessories

Curated by director Tamsie Thomson, this year’s London Festival of Architecture is themed around communities, with topics ranging from guerilla gardening to creative workspaces.

Other projects developed for the programme include installations for London’s East Street Market by University of Brighton student and a pavilion that can be played like a giant musical instrument.

Photography is by Francis Ware.

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Nonprofit CIS opening thrift shop in Leland

LELAND – There’s a new thrift shop in town. Communities In Schools of Brunswick County is pleased to announce expansion of their current thrift shops to include a new shop at 117-I Village Road in Leland.

The shop will open on Wednesday, July 6, at 10 a.m. Shop hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

The CIS Leland Thrift Shop, behind CVS in the Village Plaza shopping center, offers sales floor space of more than 2,200 square feet. 

Donations to stock the new shop are needed and appreciated. The following are examples of donations needed: men’s and women’s gently used or new clothing, shoes, home decor, jewelry, accessories, kitchen ware, lamps, art work, music-related items, sports items, tools, books, and children’s clothes and toys. The shop does not accept furniture, large appliances, televisions (unless flat screen), computers or printers.

“Northern Brunswick County is experiencing incredible growth, and CIS has expanded its thrift shop operations to be a part of this growth,” said Todd Beane, Communications and Thrift Shop Operations Manager. “This new location is a result of the great success we have achieved since we began operating our three other thrift shops in Brunswick County.”

Although the shop opens Wednesday, grand opening events will be held in August — details to come.

The shop is recruiting volunteers to help with donation management and handling, customer engagement, and operating the cash register. Also, volunteers with trucks or SUVs are needed to help pick up donations in the Leland area. If interested in donating your time, please contact CIS at 910-457-3494 or stop by the shop during operating hours.

“The opening of a thrift shop in Leland will help to support our Dropout Prevention Program expansion into another school for the 2016-2017 school year and beyond,” said Nancy Lamb, CIS’ executive director. CIS currently provides a Dropout Prevention Program in four middle schools by incorporating community volunteers and club and business partnerships to support student achievement. CIS also provides community Parenting Education Programs, After School Programs, Summer Camps, and Teen and Peer Court through partnerships with Brunswick County Schools and the Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office.

For more information on CIS thrift shops please visit or call our office at 910-457-3494.

To contribute an article, email it with a photo to or call Si Cantwell at 910-343-2364.

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On the Market: A ‘young’ house on Palm Beach’s North End

If Palm Beach’s real estate players have learned anything from house hunters over the past few years, it’s this: Brand new, by and large, is rarely out of style.

And if brand new also happens to be stylish and move-in ready, then so much the better.

Such were the guiding principles when Sciame Homes of Palm Beach began developing on speculation a new Island Colonial-style house — with distinctive hanging balconies — at 225 Plantation Road, six streets south of the Palm Beach Country Club.

Designed by Affinity Architects, the two-story house house has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, two-half-baths and 4,683 square feet of living space, inside and out. Completed in December, it is listed, furnished, by broker, Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate at $5.98 million.

The word “furnished” is key to the project, explains Andrew Sciame, who is part of the Sciame family’s development company. The furniture and accessories provided by decorator Jack Fhillips work hand in hand with the developer’s approach to the project.

“We wanted a high-end, beach-chic feel, with a hint of elegance, and we thought Jack would be the perfect person to carry that out,” says Sciame. “The house worked out very well, and we are very happy.”

The floor plan delivered main-floor rooms that flow easily from one to the next — another key, he adds.

“We did a similar house on Angler Avenue that we sold in 2015, and this (quarter-acre) lot was a similar size, so we envisioned a similar square-foot house,” says Sciame. “We added an upstairs master bedroom and an elevator, but we still used the open-concept floor plan downstairs.”

“A twist of the Hamptons”

From the beginning, Fhillips thought the developers had created a design well-suited to the way many people want to live today. The house wasn’t stuffy or stuck in the past.

“Andrew’s sensibility runs on the traditional side, but this house has a twist of the Hamptons,” Fhillips says. “I like that it’s a young house, with a great traffic pattern and flow.”

To the west of the two-story foyer and stair hall are a bedroom and den. To the east are the kitchen and a two-car garage. To the north is the great room, where French doors open onto a covered loggia facing a pool with a sun-shelf and a whirlpool spa. Upstairs, guest bedrooms are positioned on either side of the landing, and the master suite takes up the entire north side, with a large deck that overlooks the pool.

Fhillips is known for his deft use of blue, often concentrated in deep tones. But here, he used softer shades that make the house feel peaceful and add to the sense of spaciousness.

“This color palette works very nicely with the oak floors, which have a soft-gray cast,” Fhillips says.

Furniture choices

Much of the furniture of Fhillips’ own design, drawn from his eponymous collection manufactured by EJ Victor. He chose pieces with painted finishes in light grays and seaglass blue-greens that complemented the light floors.

“Everything looks very soft and sensual — and reminds me of little pieces of glass that you see when you walk on the beach,” Fhillips says.

He also integrated “found” pieces, such as the china cabinet and dining chairs in the dining area at one of end of the great room. That space also includes a Julian Chichester light-blue-and-white sideboard, and the artwork above it was custom-made for the home-furnishings market in High Point, N.C.

The carpet, an off-white-to-gray wool, has a textured corduroy feel, and the drapes are embroidered sheer linens.

The color palette in the family room runs a little deeper — “a beigy biscuit,” in Fhillips’ words. Again, much of the furniture is from his own line, upholstered in linens and natural fabrics; the carpet is a herringbone sisal.

“The drum table is covered in pages from antique books,” he points out. “If you are handy, you could make one yourself.”

Detailed bathrooms

In addition to Fhillips’ own designs, furnishings in the downstairs guest bedroom include nightstands from Bungalow 5 and a chrome bench that Fhillips found. The carpet is a beige cotton.

The island kitchen features professional-grade appliances either in stainless steel or integrated into the cabinetry. The bar stools are from Design 59.

In the master suite, silk rugs provide a base for furniture upholstered in natural linens. Other choices include a chest of drawers from Bernhardt and a vintage wicker table.

Finishes throughout were handled by Sciame’s team.

“The bathrooms are breathtaking and beautifully detailed, some of the most beautiful I’ve seen in Palm Beach spec houses. The kitchen is also beautiful. Andrew did a great job with this house,” Fhillips says.

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New store fits into mall’s designs for its future

Westfield Garden State Plaza is rebuilding one of its entrances and remodeling a prime corner of the Paramus mall to create a showcase space for luxury furniture seller Design Within Reach.

Design Within Reach, a Stamford, Conn.-based chain, is expected to move into a new 12,000-square-foot store at the mall in October. The store is being built on a corner of the mall between Nordstrom and Uniqlo, on a parcel formerly occupied by two restaurants, Joe’s American Grill and Papa Razzi.

The project supports the mall’s long-term leasing goal of bringing in new luxury tenants, particularly home furnishings tenants, and gives Design Within Reach its first showroom store in New Jersey.

The company has an outlet store in Secaucus and three stores in Manhattan.

Design Within Reach, founded in 1998 with the goal of giving consumers access to high-end modern furniture previously only available through interior designers or “to the trade,” is a desired tenant for North Jersey’s largest mall because it adds a store and merchandise not found in every other shopping center in the state.

“At Design Within Reach you’ll see things that you just don’t see at average furniture stores,” said Jerry Epperson, furniture industry analyst at Mann Armistead Epperson Ltd., an investment banking and research firm in Richmond, Va. “Unique, singular items.”

Design Within Reach, in turn, wants to be in upscale malls, and neighborhoods, as it opens stores, Epperson said.

“They’re trying to get more exposure, and they want to be associated with more fashionable places,” he said. “They’re not going into your average Sears and Penney’s malls.”

Design Within Reach studios, the term the company uses for its stores, carry furniture created by modern design icons such as Eames, Saarinen, and Le Corbusier. The company’s website says its mission is “to make authentic modern design accessible,” but by accessible or within reach it doesn’t mean low-priced.

An armchair by one of those legendary designers can cost $6,000 or more, depending on fabrics and finishes. But the company also sells a wide assortment of less expensive home furnishing items such as pillows, dinnerware and decorative objects.

The mall is, in effect, rolling out the red carpet for Design Within Reach and giving it a premium location. The store will have two entrances from the parking lot: a main entrance with space for valet parking and an entrance from inside the mall. The entrance between the new store and Nordstrom is being rebuilt to create a more dramatic entry point to the shopping center.

The mall made a similar effort to land high-end appliance retailer Pirch, which opened at the mall last year, creating an entrance to the lower level of the mall and a dedicated parking and valet area for that store.

Evan Berenzweig, vice president for real estate and strategic business development for Design Within Reach, said the company is happy to be coming to Westfield Garden State Plaza.

“You have a quarter of a million cars passing it every day, you have proximity to New York City, you have all the wealth in Bergen County,” he said.

The mall, Berenzweig said, has the right mix of tenants likely to attract Design Within Reach customers. The company likes to be near Pirch stores, he said.

“Pirch is a terrific co-tenant for us,” he said.

The mall store also will be the company’s first full-size studio showroom at a mall, he said. A smaller, pop-up store opened recently in Dallas’ North Park mall. Being at Westfield Garden State Plaza will give Design Within Reach an opportunity to see how new customers who discover the store at the mall react to the brand, he said.

The location of the store, and the design, will make it visible from the highways that border the mall, and from the mall parking lot.

Design Within Reach started as a catalog company and later began opening retail stores. It went public in 2004 but struggled during the recession and voluntarily delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market in 2009. Michigan-based furniture manufacturer Herman Miller bought Design Within Reach for $154 million in 2014, and the company is expanding again.

Design Within Reach “has access to capital to grow, thanks to Herman Miller, and I suspect it will accelerate its growth in the next few years,” said Epperson, the analyst.


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