Last week I had the opportunity to tour Steele Canvas Basket in Chelsea, MA with Director of Marketing, Frank Geffken. Everyone knows (whether you realize it or not) about this company. You’ve seen the large trucks in hotels, on college campuses, the post office….they are everywhere all over the country supplying every industry. The recognizable old school STEELE logo is still hand stenciled on almost every item. The company has been in business since 1921 and has been supplying industries with durable products like the industrial trucks and baskets and in recent years they have been meeting the demands of homeowners who want these items for laundry rooms, mud rooms, play rooms and the garage.
Whether the items are being used on construction sites or in someone’s laundry room…Steele’s products are built to last. They have been made the same way (by hand in their factory in Chelsea, MA) for almost a century. They try to source the materials in the United States. For example, the wood slats for the construction of the large trucks come from upstate New York.
The last several years this family-run business has been collaborating with companies like J.Crew, Crate & Barrel, west elm and Anthropologie to bring their products to the public for the same reason commercial industries have been using them for years. Quality and durability.
When time allows, the team tries to produce a new bag a month. They meet and discuss what they would want in a bag and come up with new products that their customers will appreciate.
I loved actually seeing how these products are made from start to finish. How the fabric is cut (with very little waste) and constructed into the products that will stand the test of time. “A guarantee is better than a warranty any day of the week.” There is so much detail and quality control that goes into each item before it goes out the door that it’s no wonder they have been in business since 1921.
In May the company brought back the iconic Steele Sling Chair also known as the butterfly chair. It was first introduced in the 1960s and just recently brought back into production. Of course they use high quality materials like powder-coated hand bent and welded steel frames and industrial grade duck fabric slings that are available in several colors. Buying a chair or any one of their products feels good to know that you have an item that will stand the test of time in both design and durability.
Thank you Frank for taking time to show me around the company and letting me see first hand how companies used to make things and how it’s still being done at Steele Canvas Basket, 201 Williams Street, Chelsea, MA.
My daughter and I have new Jord wood watches. Did you know that Jord is Swedish for earth, soil & land? I had no idea, but reading about these beautiful timepieces and how they are designed and made with a deep appreciation for the natural elements lives up to their motto….Telling more than time. We have only had our watches for about a week, but we have both worn them every day since. My style is simple, especially in the summer. A lot of white cotton and linen, jeans, black, navy and my new wood watch which makes my very simple and easy going style just a bit more chic. Still traditional, but with a statement piece that works with white jeans & t-shirts, yoga clothes to dressing up for dinner in the city. I have the larger (unisex) Fieldcrest watch and Madeline has the Ely which is a smaller version. We both could not be happier with our watches and will be wearing them on a few adventures starting today. You can follow us on instagram and see where we take our Jord Wood Watches. Follow Madeline here and you can follow me right here.
I have always been intrigued by what people collect and how they display it. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to this idea and every time I am heading out to a few thrift stores I’ll take a quick look for inspiration. It’s so much more fun to walk through a Goodwill store, thrift shop, flea market or a tag sale with an open mind, but also with an idea….for a collection.
We have sand from every beach, matches from wonderful restaurants and then there’s the stuff that that is tossed out and ends up at Goodwill or tag sales, but when it’s grouped all together….it looks quite lovely. Here’s a few pics of the stuff I’ve been finding lately for just a few dollars. Summer means baseball and a lot of times in the middle of now where, but there’s always a thrift store or two.
I adore old silver trays. Each is similar in size, but the details are very unique. Our two favorite restaurants, Buvette and Via Carota use them as their serving trays. I have several on a wall in our dining room and several in the kitchen. When my mom visits….I bring out the polish!
So what do you collect? And if you are a collector, how do you display it?
I love Minted…Christmas cards, announcements and art! Remember when I included this piece on my collage wall? Minted generously allowed me to choose art to fill the wall in our powder room. It’s tiny and all black (including the ceiling) so we needed something to pop on those dark walls.
Once I decided on approximate sizes, I chose the largest piece first. I made templates of each piece and taped them to the wall to make sure I chose the right sizes. The larger of the three (bottom) is called Look DOWN by Gail Schechter. Coincidentally while searching all of the Minted Art Prints I found a companion piece from the same artist called Looking UP. Lighting has always been important to me and the top small piece evokes the feeling of warm lighting on a summer night along the coast. And that’s exactly what the artist describes about this photo called Twinkling Light. Minted has several framing options, but since these were going on a black wall, I went with White Premium Wood Frame for all three.
So now the part about the Giveway….Minted is giving one reader $250 to use for anything at Minted.com. To enter visit Minted right here and then come back and leave a comment. Winner will be announced Monday, July 6th! Good luck!
The winner of the Minted giveaway is: Mary-Irene Marek!
When my daughter said she wanted to see the Mad Men exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image, I said “heck yes!” She has Fridays off from her internship in NYC so every Friday we plan a field trip so to speak. This Friday was Queens. Turns out we’ve spent very little time in the borough of Queens. Sure we spend lots of time at JFK and LaGuardia airports, but even baseball….we’re Yankees fans. So you won’t find us at CitiField. Yesterday we spent the afternoon museum hopping all in about a three mile radius.
The first museum was the Museum of the Moving Image for the Mad Men exhibit. It was a hot day so we started with a sparkling water in the cafe.
Don’t let this image fool you. There were plenty of people in the museum, but at this moment we had the cafe all to ourselves. All white with a view of the minimalist garden.
Can’t you just smell the stale smoke while viewing this image?! Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men exhibit is open through September 6, 2015.
Next, we went to MoMa PS1. We are regular visitors at MoMA in Manhattan, but we had never been to MoMA PS1 that occupies the space of a 100-year old Romanesque Revival school building. The building was still very much like a school with all the school lighting, doors and windows that seemed to be original to the building. Again…no museum tour is complete without a stop at the cafe where Madeline posed as if she were a school girl during morning attendance.
Our last museum of the day was The Noguchi Museum. I have been wanting to visit this museum for years. My familiarity with the artist was through his design of the popular Noguchi Table produced by Herman Miller. I am so intrigued by the artist and his painstaking methods of working on pieces of granite to create these large sculptures. The building itself is incredible. Indoor/outdoor space with atrium like gardens and white painted brick walls and salvaged wood floors throughout the galleries. Walls of windows creating gorgeous light flooding through the space. The garden was closed for restoration, but don’t miss the Socrates Sculpture Park just a few blocks away like we did!
always rarely open to modeling.
But we did manage to find a great spot for lunch at Gastroteca and an adorable shop called Lockwood on the way back to the car. We had a great afternoon. All in we spent about 6 hours and 2 of those were driving. So three museums, a little lunch, a tiny bit of shopping and six hours with Madeline….I’d say that’s a perfect day. Well to me anyway!
Remember when I said Buvette was my favorite restaurant? Well it is still is my favorite, but so is Via Carota just a block away on the opposite side of Grove Street. Seriously, if we lived in the West Village, I would spend my morning at Buvette and have lunch or dinner at Via Carota. You feel like you are in Italy at Via Carota. My favorite dish is the Wild Boar Ragu. We’ve tried several items on the menu and always order at least one daily special. Everything has been simply amazing. Next, we must to try the couples other restaurant, I Sodi on Christopher Street. Our experiences at both Buvette and Via Carota have been all about the food and then not at all. The food, yes….amazing. The Castelvetrano olives are delicious. I don’t even like olives and now I can’t stop thinking about them. There are so many small, but wonderful details. From the moment you walk in you feel truly cared for. The service is impeccable. The warmth of the space is comforting in the same way that a bowl of warm pasta or a piece of bread drizzled with olive oil warms your soul. Exposed brick walls, original or reclaimed wood floors, chairs from either a school or a church that holds the menus in the back of the chair and silver trays to serve pretty drinks from the bar. A long communal table that on the day we went held a giant bowl of beans and later replaced with candles in vintage china saucers ready for the dinner crowd.
Above photo by Kelsey Borovinsky.
I do love a restaurant that still gives out boxes of matches. The little cards arrive with your bill and I’ll keep them as a memento.
A few weeks ago Schoolhouse Electric posted our kitchen on their instagram and called it a “Timeless Kitchen.” It occurred to me that I never did a post on our before and after kitchen. I thought the name they gave it suited our current kitchen and pretty much every kitchen we’ve had in the past 20+ years perfectly. Every kitchen renovation we’ve done has been pretty much the same. That may sound boring to some, but I have never regretted staying with a basic black and white kitchen.
We waited several months to start our kitchen renovation so that we could figure out what we wanted/needed in terms of layout. We exposed the original fireplace or cooking stove and painted the brick white. The cabinet maker made a custom hood to fit the space using a standard hood insert. The kitchen we were replacing had a much larger island with cabinets and two drawers. We chose the island from Williams-Sonoma for its overall size. we needed the space under it for pots and pans and the two drawers for cutlery and plastic wraps/foil etc. The smaller island is everything we needed in function and makes the space feel larger and less cramped as the original one which had about the same amount of storage.
We always go with open shelving. The first two shelves hold items we use on a daily basis and the top shelf is perfect for storage. The lighting is from Schoolhouse Electric. We visited their NYC showroom to order, but I love their catalog!
One of the reasons I like to wait to renovate a kitchen is that it takes time to move around a space to really get an idea about things you need and want. The space to the left of the Wolf range is perfect for our Kitchen-Aid mixer, blender and for storing our wood cutting boards, pizza peels and cheese boards. I like the feel of some wood with all the black and white to warm it up a bit. We added an extra electrical outlet behind the mixer and blender.
I always hide our microwave. We want one, but there’s never a great place that doesn’t seem to throw off the symmetry of the kitchen. The cabinet maker built the cabinet for the specs of the microwave and added an electrical outlet to the shelf space. Below is a panini maker that I don’t necessarily want to leave out, but it needs to be in a convenient spot so that I can grab it easily….like every afternoon!
The previous owners had the french doors installed so we kept them and just had them painted black. There was a built-in desk in the space where we have our Saarinen table. My husband built the corner bench. I love a built-in bench….to me it means, there’s always room for one more.
We used a 30″ Subzero refrigerator and although it’s on the small side it is perfect for the size of kitchen. We have a refrigerator/freezer in the garage where we can store any overflow.
Kitchen before and during renovation. The entire renovation took 35 days from start to finish! We ordered everything and timed delivery according to demo day.
Somehow May Day seemed to sneak up this year. I’m blaming it on the cold Spring we are having. Peonies in our garden are no where near blooming, but eventually…and until they do I’ll buy them at the grocery store. Last year I made these to celebrate May Day. Have a beautiful weekend! xo annie
New York City based Compass, a real estate platform helps people find not just their home, but the neighborhood that best fits their personality and needs. It inspired me to share our house story! Every purchase or rental agreement involves a story of how that house or apartment came to be your home. Our latest home purchase was a little bit of knowing what we wanted and a little bit leap of faith. I didn’t actually see our house until a year after we purchased it. We were relocating back to Connecticut from Southern California and the logistics of seeing the house just didn’t align….and I really wanted this house. It was in the neighborhood we wanted, walking distance to town, enough bedrooms and baths and it had a front porch. We have lived in several houses. Fifteen. Some for years and others for just a matter of months while we renovated another or during a long distance move. But in every house we have made sure that the entryway is welcoming.
I use Edison style bulbs for a nice warm glow in the lanterns and write different messages on the glass door with a water-based Sharpie paint pen. Your entryway is the first impression that people have when visiting. I hope mine says, come on in…..the door is always open!
Decorating for any holiday or season starts with the front porch. In the summer we plant ferns and by Labor Day, it’s mums getting ready for Halloween. While it’s still warm enough to plant, but the mums have seen better days, I look for something evergreen to put in the planters that will get us to Spring. This year Spring has come so late that we skipped planting tulips and pansies and went straight to ferns. Spring is still slow in getting here, but I’m ready for “porch season!”