by Jessica Decina
Ceiling By Day, Starry By Night
One of Jeff Stewart’s favorite childhood pastimes was camping outdoors in the Redwoods of California. When he was about 8, he woke up in the middle of the night and opened his eyes to a magnificent sight: the night sky.
“I was startled,” he says. “There were so many stars that I hadn’t even known existed. I fell in love with that. I thought, why can’t somebody paint this on a ceiling?”
From that night, Stewart’s company, Night Sky Murals, became a reality. Using a special glow-in-the-dark paint combined with painstaking work, Stewart has created dozens of custom murals.“I usually ask people if they want a night sky specific to a date: birthday, anniversary. Is there a special day you want to remember? Do you want a winter sky [or] summer sky?” he explains.
Stewart’s work is extremely popular in urban areas, where his customers often don’t get to see how many stars truly illuminate the sky.
Stewart charges a per-square-foot rate for his projects; total costs typically range anywhere from $3,000 to upwards of $10,000.
The latest in wireless technology is not a cell phone or an Internet service. It’s a piano.
Yamaha’s latest innovation, the AvantGrand, is a hybrid piano that replicates the look and feel of playing an acoustic grand piano.
Even the keys feel the same as a grand. The inside of an acoustic piano has a row of hammers, called the action, which, when a key is hit, will strike a note on the wire. The AvantGrand gives that same feeling, explains Mark Anderson, the director of marketing for Yamaha. “When they press the key, it’s a real action that will trigger. The only difference is that instead of hammers, there are weights.”
Sales are “off the charts” in New York City, given the piano’s small size and easy maintenance — no wires means no tuning. The AvantGrand is offered at $15,000 for the upright and $20,000 for the grand.
Thatcher Wine might be the ultimate bookworm, so much so that he’s dedicated his life to them. Founder of Juniper Books, Wine has spent the last nine years building custom libraries for clientèle around the world, one hand-picked volume at a time.
“I really get to know the clients, their personalities, their homes, their designers and try to hand-pick a book collection that looks like they spent their lifetime picking it out,” he explains.
Wine has done it all, from rounding up a 2,000-volume library of literary and historical classics to putting together a collection of books dealing with all things related to New Mexico.
Wine’s pricing varies depending on the number of books, the level of hand-selection needed and the kind of cover (hardcovers, leather or vellum). A typical project from Wine costs anywhere from $35,000 to $75,000.
The Softer Side of Steel
Rustic and bold, meet gracious and elegant. The opposing styles may seem mis-matched, but they manage to coexist peacefully in the newest line of indoor/outdoor tables and counters from Walker & Co.
Each table is framed with Cor-Ten steel, which has a special compound allowing it to stand the test of time and harsh weather, explains Susanne Walker. “The Cor-Ten Steel rusts on its own, but only to a certain point,” she says. “It is the same steel used for outdoor sculptures. We want rustic, but if it continues to rust it will eventually disintegrate.”
As an eco-friendly bonus, the sinker cypress wood finish is commonly used in green building, as cypress trees are not being depleted.
The outdoor tables are offered in a plethora of shapes and sizes.