My Mom told me about this fantastic article in the NY Times about the home-cleaning queen Barbara Roche Fierman who runs New York’s Little Elves, a cleaning service used by some of New York’s fanciest designers.
Her company often does show houses and cleans up after multimillion-dollar renovations; her clients include interior designers like Victoria Hagan and Jeffrey Bilhuber and Clodagh and Thom Filicia.
“We are not housekeepers,” Ms. Fierman says. “It’s a whole different world. The housekeeper cleans the bathtub and sink; she doesn’t have time to empty the medicine cabinet, clean the cabinet, clean the medicine bottle that you haven’t used in six to eight months and gets a little gritty. We do a post-renovation for Jamie Drake, we take apart all the new cabinetry in the kitchen and bathroom, we remove the drawers, we clean the runners.”
When she got into an acident she had a decorating ephiphany -
“When I came home from the hospital they gave me my X-rays,” she says. “They didn’t waste time in the emergency room — they left the jewelry on. I had this X-ray with 18 pieces of jewelry on this human being: I had several chains, I had a belly chain, I had an ankle bracelet, I had rings.”From that day, I realized how” — a few earthy adjectives deleted here — “stupid that was. What did I need 18 pieces of jewelry for? Now I wear a Timex. ”
Her furnishings have been reduced to the few things she feels she needs. She throws out books when she is done reading them; the walls are bare because she likes them that way.
“What I think I learned from the crash, and from some of my clients who are owned by their things, is that it is a ridiculous way of life,” Ms. Fierman says. “We did a job once because a contractor in an adjacent apartment had caused dust in a woman’s Park Avenue apartment. When she opened the door, she greeted us with the sentence, ‘Everything in this apartment is photographed, right down to the Coca-Cola bottles.’ She was basically telling my workers, ‘Don’t dare steal anything.’ She was owned by her things; she was so afraid that she cut the cleaning day short.”
Check out how she really lives.... this is not staged...
She only has 4 sets of dishes because if she has more than that she goes out for dinner.
“It has taken me years to really realize items are not worth worrying about,” Ms. Fierman says.
Could you live with nothing?
ra Fierman's all-white East Village apartment, designed by Oskar TorreCould you s. Ms. Fierman's company, New York's Little Elves, is a high-end cleaning service for interior decorators and architects. Much of her work is done in mansions but her own living room is 10 feet wide at most.
I keep getting emails on What to wear to my high school reunion which is tomorrow night - #25 - WOW! Don't do the math - I'm 43 and feel amazing! So it is so simple - you can not go wrong with the LBD - it makes you look skinny and sophisticated and the best way to fake good style when you have none but the best part is that you can buy a cheap one and no one will know the difference. Pick your own style icon - mine is ALWAYS Carine Roitfeld! She is one of the few people who can oooze sex without looking like a tacky tart. Here she is in Balmain. She is 56 and the hottest women I know - I love her look the hair - makeup shoe dress - the entire thing. Now I just have to stop eating bread and sugar.
This morning in the NY Times there was a special section where Jonathan Adler , Thom Filicia, Laura Kirar, Kelly Wearstler and Vincent Wolf curate 50 photographs for your art collection from the NY Times Archives. Of their picks here are my favorites.
Photo by Vincent Laforet / The New York Times Photo Archives
Aerial view of New Yorkers taking advantage of the summer day on the lush green grass of Bryant Park. - The yuckness and beauty of NYC !
Reflections in the still water of the St. Lawrence River on a lazy summer's day, St. Margarettes Island, New York, Aug. 7, 1997.
Photo by Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
This is my definition of downtime
Love this because it reminds me of how happy I was to move out of NJ! And my favorite part of living there which was being soooo close to NYC. 1951Photo by Sam Falk/The New York Times
A HUGE thank you to Style Beat for today's awesome post about decorators favorite hot spots in LA . I cut and paste EVERYTHING - but there is so much more there so go visit Style Beat. I am sooooo excited to try everything as I just moved out here and have the time to do it all! The best part is that everything is on my side of town.
-The Anthropology store in Santa Monica is the best and has wonderful home department as does the brand new flag ship that's opened on Beverly drive in Beverly Hills.
-Richard Shapiro's chic gift department within his antique store includes beautiful books , jewels and Armand Diradourian cashmere throws.
-The new Kathryn Ireland showroom in Almont Yard is fab and Nathan Turner's pop up shop in Brentwood is brilliant-- complete with my candles.
-Fave restaurant is Mozza for the best pizza in town and for Sunday lunch, a traditional British style gathering at the Soho house along with the entire Osbourne clan.
- Favorite lunch spot with friends is the Thyme Cafe and Market in Santa Monica and Maison Midi on La Brea
- For coffee, Luxxe Cafe in Brentwood is amazing
- My home shopping faves include Big Daddy's Antiques, Almont Yard, JF Chen and everything on La Cienega Blvd.
- For fashion, I love Market in Brentwood and Aura Boutique in Santa Monica
- When I want a night of glam drinks, Tavern Bar in Brentwood fits the bill
- To enjoy the gorgeous California setting I visit The Getty Center gardens
- Growing up here I have places I adore like The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Abbot Kinney anytime, catching summer concert at The Hollywood Bowl, the flea market at the Rose Bowl and hiking Paseo Miramar in Pacific Palisades
- My morning: I walk Noodles my Schnoodle to Café Luxxe on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica for a coffee the most scrumptious almond croissant EVER.
-Shopping at L Frank, Liseanne Frankfurt’s clothing shop
-Casual, cafeteria style lunch at Lemonade or hip Gjelina’s in the garden and If I get really lucky and the stars align with our schedules, I meet the decorator gals Mary McDonald, Lizzie Dinkel, Kim Alexandruick and Molly Isaakson for lunch at the eponymous Polo Lounge
- dinner at a local hideaway for simple Italian fare, Locanda Portofino
- Shopping with clients, I head straight for La Cienega Design Quarter-the stretch of La Cienega between Santa Monica Blvd, and Melrose. You can practically decorate a house in an afternoon by hitting Todd Romano, where I just picked up a zebra rug lined in lime green felt, Hollyhock, Mecox Gardens, Jean de Merry, Paul Marra, Downtown, Lee Stanton for all things English, Hollywood at Home for groovy fabrics,Therien for surprising mid century finds, George Smith, Christopher Farr for contemporary collector carpets, Lucca Antiques, and Pat McGann
- Interiors: La Cienega Blvd. and adjacent Melrose Place for great antique shops and fabulous fashion boutiques.
- Breakfast: I’ve been going to Nate ‘n Al’s delicatessen-- it’s still my number one spot for Sunday breakfast. Not hip, not chic and sadly Fred Astaire and Groucho Marx are no longer regulars, but it remains a classic spot for LA locals.
- Drinks: The Roger Room on La Cienega for drinks. The décor is fabulous and the drinks are impeccably made. A very old-fashioned, new fangled place, perfectly realized.
- Dinner: I love Jeff Klein’s Sunset Tower Hotel for dinner. It’s one of the most urbane spots in town and the lighting is incredibly flattering!
- Shopping: This girl can’t help it—I’m still a huge fan of Neiman Marcus for all the right reasons it's gracious and glamorous, with exemplary service and fabulous stuff! But lest I offend my friends at Barney’s, I must quickly add that I divide my loyalties between these two great temples to consumerism on Wilshire Blvd! I adore Mameg for their highly intelligent, exquisitely curated collection of clothes.
- Vintage: The Way We Wore is a haven for those seeking impeccable vintage
- LA stuff: Will Rogers house museum and polo field in Pacific Palisades for a sense of what LA was like in the 20’s. The newly opened Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica for great architecture, Hollywood history and inspiring philanthropy. The beach! Because being 20 minutes away from the ocean is what’s really fantastic about living in LA!
Thanks Glam Lamb for adding in - I am going to include any and all tips from my bloggies in this post.
I live in Bev Hills your lists are fab! Couldn't have said it better my self. Maybe include Father's Office in Culver City for a fun place to grab a beer with friends!! Helms Bakery in general is awesome! Also - gotta include Planet Blue as a fantastic shopping spot. The BEverly Dr. location is awesome. Also - lunch at Jack n Jills is always great too in my neck of the woods.
So many new places to try! I love Abbot Kinney, not only because its walking distance for me but there's home shopping (Colcha, Plantation), clothes shopping (Principessa), great food (Joe's, Primitivo,Gjelina) and fun bars (Other Room, Beechwood, The Brig).
been reading your blog daily for a long time! love it. love that you moved to the neighborhood :) I live in malibu and most of these places are are within a half hour drive...love it! agree with fathers office (love the one in santa monica) it's a fun place to grab a burger and drink with friends. also...who doesnt love kitson?!? One stop shop :)
"Architect Richard Meier is unveiling a limited edition menorah and exclusive series of mezuzahs for The Jewish Museum in New York. The featured Menorah is a reproduction of the “Meier Lamp” originally commissioned by the Israel Museum in 1985; an original is part of the Jewish Museum’s permanent collection. A limited edition of menorahs will be available for $1000 for purchase through The Jewish Museum Shops beginning November 2010. Meier’s Menorah is the first of Design Edition JM, the first curated collection of modern Judaica by contemporary artists and designers.
“In the design of the Hanukkah Menorah I was trying to express the collective memory of the Jewish people,” explains Meier. “Each candleholder is an abstracted representation of an architectural style from significant moments of persecution in the history of Jews." Via Daily Icon