Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dichotomy Interiors Latest Table Commissions

Two interior design clients have brand new custom coffee tables created specifically for their space!

The first is the swinging pad of a gentleman with lots of personality. The great room we created is masculine, a little retro, a little modern and very comfortable. The coffee table was created to fit with an amazing blue/green sectional we had custom ordered. The table needed to service all the seating, and contrast the color of the sectional in a rich warm walnut tone. The three steel legs were an addition to the design, which initially featured a waterfall leg- but was changed to all steel legs once I saw the table in the space. Both tables were beautiful, but the waterfall was hidden by the sofa and also didn't allow for foot room. The steel legs were manly, hip, and gave a bit of lightness to the heavy slab. 

The second table is quite the beauty. This table was created for a living space with stunning views. To capitalize the views, we are keeping the palette warm and neutral with creamy tones of ivory, gray, white and chocolate. The color comes from the vast vista of greens and blues out the windows. This table was in a large room with a VERY large sofa so it had to hold it's own against the sofa and the views without competing. After having the original red oak floors sanded and re-stained in a white wash creating a creamy yet still rustic hardwood, I choose a unique and large piece of pine which after finishing I bleached several times and then white washed creating an ethereal and ghostly piece that I suspended in the air on two lucite legs above a silvery cowhide patchwork rug. The room is still in progress but the table is complete!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Loft Redux

Both my husband and I work from home. He prefers an enclosed area free from any distraction. I prefer an open, bright space with a view. I chose our loft as the space that I would use as my office, but I wanted it to double as a media/screening room for my husband (who's clients are mostly in TV/entertainment), and also another area for guests to sleep if we had more than a few people over.

Initially the entire space and spiral stairs up was carpeted in baby blue. The first week we purchased the home I ripped out the carpet and exposed (mostly) hardwood floors. The problem was the color, condition and about 8'x7' of plywood instead of hardwood flooring. 

We had the floors patched and refinished staining them a dark walnut/mahogany color to match the flooring I laid on ground level. I then painted the back wall a fantastic shade of turquoise to really contrast the warm wood and white. I placed white gloss wall shelves above four inexpensive wall cabinets from the big box store I re-purposed as rolling storage by adding wheels to the bottom and new hardware. These also serve as the screening TV stand. (and guest TV when needed) A daybed (which opens up to a king size bed) serves double duty as well.  I covered the dated (and dangerous for our tiny dogs) wall/railing with a custom walnut paneled wall on the exterior, and white wall on the interior. I used aluminum angles to create a new hand rail for a sleek contrast to the earthy mod wood. This creates a bit more privacy upstairs, is safer, and is beautiful. Lastly I purchased a rolling comfortable chair which can be used for screening viewing as well as work, and a long narrow desk for my workstation which fit perfectly in the recess surrounded by a wall/corner of windows overlooking the Sawkill Creek and meadow with deer.  I can watch all the birds at our feeder ad get distracted and inspired all day long! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Our Custom Wine Rack was Featured on

Dichotomy Interiors custom wine rack was featured in a story on today in a new series titled "Double Take" This was a wine rack that I came up with as a way to disguise and make more fully functional a structural pole that was going to make my new streamlined island cumbersome.

Thanks Becky Harris for finding this little design moment in my new kitchen!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

50's Modernist Home Renovation and Design

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Samantha French- Endless Summer on the L.E.S. of Manhattan!

My lovely and talented friend Samantha French currently has work on display in a solo show at Platform L.E.S. in Manhattan. This is a new gallery and her work is sure to put it on the map! For anyone in the market for artwork, this is a great opportunity. Also on her Etsy shop there are prints for sale, which would make amazing Christmas presents (for yourself or someone else deserving!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Zena Road Renovation

There has been some progress on the house on the Sawkill Creek! I haven't wanted to post photos because it is still a work in progress, but I wanted to share a few shots of what has happened so far. 

For the before and afters- check out my companies blog page

Add caption
This last shot is my dream art on what is now a blank wall still- It is a picture of my friend Samantha French's art which I covet for our space!

A sliver of the upstairs mezzanine area which is about 10 x 15, and is not complete- we are making this into a library and currently we have temporary storage and shelves up. Eventually this will be full of books
and shelving with a reading area.
paintings by Matte Stephens

Friday, September 28, 2012

Live Edge Coffee table, Side Table and Wine Rack!

Dichotomy Interiors has just finished 3 new pieces ready for sale. Each a unique blend of minimalism and nature. Hand crafted, custom made and 100% one of a kind. For more pictures and information visit my Etsy Store.
Spalted Maple Two Tier Iron Side Table- $300.00
Spalted Maple Coffee Table with Hairpin Legs- $600.00
Solid Walnut 6 bottle Hanging Wine Rack- $200.00


Sunday, September 16, 2012

DIY walnut tabletop to amp up a Docksta table

When I moved into a 1 bedroom apartment on the UWS in New York City, I purchased a low-budget Docksta table from IKEA because the size worked, and I couldn't afford a real Saarinen Tulip table. I have had the table for almost 4 years now, and it has held up well- but the top started to show some wear on top of the gloss laminate top. After I finished my renovation downstairs on our new home in the Catskills I decided it just wasn't cutting it. Everything else looked so nice, and the table seemed sad. I am saving up for a marble top Saarinen tulip table but in the meantime, I wanted to dress up my meager investment from IKEA. I purchased and used quite a bit of walnut (solid, 1/2", 3/4", 1/4") on the reno, and had leftover when all was said and done.

Trying to figure out a purpose for all of it, I decided it would be great to create a table top for my Docksta but didn't have a piece wide enough, and also didn't have the tools to create a round edge. I decided to go ahead and purchase a jig saw for $35.00 from the big box store and get to work!


I used one 8' by 24" long piece of 1/4" walnut ply and removed the docksta table top for a template. After tracing half of the tabletop onto the back side of the walnut with a pencil, I placed the sheet on my sawhorse and CAREFULLY started the job. There were a few inconsistencies but overall, it was pretty good. I then used that half circle to template the same leftover board for the other side, repeated the process and checked them out. I used my orbital sander to smooth the edges and placed my two semi-circles next to each other on top of the docksta table top.

Next, I hand sanded the walnut while on the docksta to even out any inconsistencies that remained. I picked up the two pieces of walnut placed thin rubber grips on the docksta and set the walnut back in place. I had planned on using a strip of walnut tape to hide the seam, but the cut was clean and you couldn't even really see where they met because of the heavy figuring on the walnut! I finished the piece with a coats of tung oil. The next step will be placing a glass table top I will have cut at the glass store for the top. (I expect this will be about $50.00-$60.00) I decided to do this so I wouldn't have to freak out every time we used it. I could also do a poly finish on top for more protection and fore go the glass but I think I would still freak out when a hot dish or glass was on it.

The result is great! I am so happy with it and it will end up costing me about $100.00 all together because I already had the wood, the sander, tung oil etc. I will just be paying for the jig saw and the glass. For anyone wanting to do this, you can order 1/8" walnut ply from lumberyards for about $80.00-$100.00 for 4'x8' sheet. (this would have been the equivalent of half of a sheet)

1/4" walnut ply
saw horses
jig saw, and extra fine blade
orbital sander and 220" sandpaper
400 grit sandpaper (and a sanding block to wrap it around)
tung oil, wipe on poly, or whatever stain you want to use
small rubber grips

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Organic Modernism- Live Edge Console Table

I have finished my latest functional art piece! A gorgeous maple table that is functional as a console, entry table or desk. The slab top is a slightly spalted and curly maple with figuring and an amazing live edge. It is 72" long, 2" thick and averages about 20" wide, with the widest end being 23" and the narrowest point being 13". The legs are squared, modern, shiny chrome to contrast the organic and rustic element of the live edge. The top is smooth as silk, after over 15 sandings and finished with a hand rubbed satin poly to protect from daily use and moisture, while leaving all the natural elements and color of the maple in view.

This piece is for sale at $1000.00 US currency, contact for details

Click on images to view larger

Monday, September 10, 2012

Slow Cooked Green Curry Chicken with Tomatoes and Lemongrass

I know, I know I have been doing more recipes than interior posts! It is that time of year though when the weather cools down JUST enough to enjoy cooking in the kitchen again!
I love cooking with a crock pot. Even though I have more time now to spend on making delicious meals, the crock pot is still my friend for the sheer reason that slow cooking can make things taste delicious! I had been planning on doing Thai Steamed Mussels, and in preparation purchased coconut milk and fresh lemongrass. I ended up doing tomato broth recipe instead, and had those two ingredients leftover to do something else with. After assessing my fridge and pantry, I decided to go with a slow cooked green curry and use up the remaining fresh garden tomatoes. The dish turned out fantastically, and was very simple to make. Here is my recipe below, I hope it turns out as good when I don't wing it next time! You need 4 hours of cook time. About 10 minutes of pre-prep before cooking. Will feed 4 if served with rice.

1 XL boneless chicken breast or 2 small
1 can coconut milk (I don't bother using the low fat stuff)
2 TBS curry paste (I used green)
2 stalks of lemongrass (pounded and cut into fourths)
2 cups of kale or boc choy or whatever your favorite green is
3 sliced celery stalks
1 cup of onion
bunch of cilantro
3-4 green onions sliced
1 1/2 cups of fresh grape/garden tomatoes
vegetable oil
Chinese 5 spice powder
peanut butter
brown sugar
tamari soy
sesame oil
fish sauce

(you could add chopped sweet potato to this and it would be delicious but I didn't have any on hand)

get your crock pot ready on the counter
slice chicken into chunks
put your cut veggies except tomatoes aside
on the stove top in a skillet or wok- add about 2 TBS vegetable oil (I always eyeball this type of stuff)
add chicken chunks and sprinkle with 5 spice powder, salt and pepper and garlic (I used fresh chopped)
saute for about a minute or two flipping constantly, you don't want to cook the chicken through.
throw chicken chunks into the crock pot.
In a sauce pan add the can of coconut milk, add 1 TBS curry paste, peanut butter (I used about 1.5 TBS?) and 2 TBS brown sugar. Stir together until blended and taste test for heat (if needed add the 2nd TBS of curry paste, I did and it was perfect) Do NOT boil, just enough heat to blend together. *If your curry paste and PB are not in the fridge you may not even need to do this over the stove. 
Add the sauce to pot of chicken, and don't wash your pan. Beat the 3 stalks of lemongrass to release the flavor. You should be able to smell the lemongrass well if you have done it enough. Cut the stalks and throw into the pot. If you have cheese cloth you could put them in that and throw in. Throw in a few of the tomatoes and some of the cilantro. Cook on low for 4 hours.
While the chicken is cooking-
In the same skillet or wok you used for the chicken- add your vegetables you put aside (not the tomatoes) and saute with the browned bits and oil leftover from the chicken. I added a few dashes of sesame oil, the tamari and fish sauce here plus some more Chinese 5 spice powder. (a little goes a long way)
After the greens are wilted well and the veggies have been coated and half cooked, remove from heat, throw the tomatoes and cilantro in the pan and cover on the stove for later. At the 3 hour mark of cooking the chicken, add in the veggies. You could potentially do this in 3 hours (with throwing the veggies in at the 2 hour mark) but it wouldn't be as good.

Served with rice, this would be a serving for 4 I believe. Add more fresh cilantro, crushed peanuts and slivered green onion on top for serving.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Steamed Blue Mussels in Spicy Tomato, Kale Cream Sauce

The kitchen was full of tantalizing aroma last night!
Keeping up with the garden picks of tomatoes, I decided to do a steamed mussel dish.
My favorite steamed mussel dish is Thai curry style, but I had my homemade fresh sauce I made and stored from a few days ago after receiving a gorgeous bag of hand picked delicious tomatoes from my friends garden. I decided to add a few things to the dish to make it a bit more complex than a typical steamed mussels in marinara.
I began with 2lbs of blue mussels which I purchased at Adams Fairacre Farms
1 cup of my homemade fresh tomato sauce (mine had garlic, basil, rosemary, salt, parsley, pepper/red pepper in it)
LOTS of minced garlic
celery (about a cup) including the greens (maybe a little less)
kale (about 2 cups)
yellow onion (about a 3/4 cup) chopped
parsley (about 1/4 cup)
1 cup white wine (I used sauv blanc because it was already open)
1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
teaspoon of paprika
teaspoon of cinnamon
red pepper flakes (you can decide your own spice level, but I used about a TBS, maybe more?)
1 TBS butter
lemon juice (a small squeeze)
Pre-heat your oven to 350
Put your de-bearded and clean mussels in the sink- check to make sure they are all closed. If any are slightly open, lightly tap and if they shut they are fine. If they don't- chuck them.
First add in your EVOO (about 2 TBS) in a large pot or very large skillet
add garlic, celery, kale, onion, parsley, salt, pepper and sauteed about a minute or so until kale wilts
add in your white wine and bring to boil for about 2 minutes
reduce heat and add in your sauce, cream, paprika, red pepper, cinnamon, butter and lemon juice (you can taste to see if you need more of any of your seasonings at this point)
bring back to a light boil for another few minutes
add in your pre-checked mussels, stir the pot to cover and braise.
Cover, and let steam up (on medium/low heat*) for 10 minutes or so.
During this time, slide in your sliced loaf drizzled with EVOO into your pre-heated oven and let the bread get crusty while the mussels cook.
Stir the pot every few minutes allowing the sauce to braise the oysters. After the mussels have opened they are ready.
Take out a nice big family style serving bowl, a bowl for shells and a ladle for all that great broth! Serve with the bread and spoons.
A great tip instead of using a fork for your tender mussels, is to clean 1 shell per person and use the opened shell as a "tong" for picking the mussels out of the broth! After taking the photo, I realized I needed to replace the forks with spoons and we used the shells as tongs. It worked beautifully. My husband and I emptied all the shells and then had a big bowl of the lovely broth and mussels to help ourselves to, but you can prolong the experience by just picking as you go until you are left with the broth (which was bowl tilting delicious!)
Here is a picture of a restaurant that actually uses PLASTIC mussel shells for this purpose-
*My Bosch gas range runs hot, so I had my flame low

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

OOPA~! Using garden staples to their fullest!

My lovelies who gifted me gorgeous candy sweet tomatoes that I turned into a simply amazing provincial sausage bouillabaisse of sorts, also gave me a zucchini the size of my arm. I used some with the last recipe and continued today to use up more on a spinach, zucchini, onion spanakopita!
It turned out fantastic!
zucchini sliced thin (about a cup and a half)
fresh spinach (about a cup and a half after wilted)
yellow onion (1/2 cup)
pine nuts
2 eggs beaten slightly
block of feta
1/2 cup ricotta
filo dough
Pre-heat oven to 350
I first sauteed the pine nuts to toast them. Remove from later and then sautee the zuke, spinach, onion, garlic and olive oil with the parsley, thyme and rosemary
after cooking, I set aside to cool
I mixed together the eggs, feta, ricotta, and nutmeg and set aside
I greased a 9x12 pan and melted 1/2 stick of butter with EVOO
cut the sheets of filo in half and keep moist (use a wet paper towel)
mix together the cheese and spinach/zuke mix & pine nuts
layer about 7-10 sheets of filo while brushing between each with melted butter mix
spread half the spinach mix over the filo
layer again the same amount of sheets of filo while brushing each with butter/oil
and the last half of the mix on top of the filo
lay 3 more sheets the same way and then crumple about 3 sheets in small rumpled balls
drizzle with the remaining oil/butter mixture and bake for about a half hour or until beautifully golden brown!