Friday, October 30, 2009

A Safe Haven Called Shiloh

Seven years ago, my husband and I found our dream yacht. She was in Boston Harbor , and it was cold and rainy, yet the moment we set foot on board we felt comfortable and at home. We had been looking for a classic wooden yacht for years, and had narrowed our search to Trumpys. She is known as hull #314, the first boat the New Jersey Trumpy Yard built after WWII, and was the first boat John Trumpy built for himself as a demonstrator. He called her "Aurora", godess of the dawn. There were 5 more Auroras in his life. This one was to go through many owners, including the actress Susan Hayward. The previous owner had acquired her after she was found washed up on the rocks following Hurricane Gloria in 1986 and had done a fine restoration job.
55" Aurora, Contract number 314, built in 1945 (Pilot model), built for John Trumpy
Sea Prince - Before
Shiloh - After
When we first saw her she looked a bit different than she did originally. She was also known as "Sea Prince", a strange name we thought, since she had been called "Sea Princess" prior, as well as many other lovely names like "Celadon" and "Broadway Lady". My husband had always liked "Shiloh" and when we looked up the meaning in the dictionary we found it meant "safe haven", which was perfect for her. Years ago my husband had cut out an article from Wooden Boat magazine that included a drawing of her original layout, and we set about to restore her to her original look. We have changed the yellow and green to the original blue and white, replaced a long missing walnut banquette in the main salon, replaced window treatments, carpets, tile, reupholstered and refurbished, and many other things.
Main Salon - Before
Main Salon - After
Aft Deck - Before

Aft Deck - After
It is an ongoing project. Yes, we are always busy varnishing, sanding, painting, and yes she is a lot of work, but the time we spend on her is so rewarding. There is a sense of stepping back into an era of bygone elegance - one feels the stress of the day melt away and time becomes insignificant. We call it the "Shiloh syndrome" when we and our guests hate to pack up and leave, and we always look forward to returning.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Solving Problems

Part of my morning routine is doing the NYT crossword puzzle before I go to work. I look forward to sitting down with a cup of coffee and the paper. Not only do I enjoy it, I feel that it clears away the cobwebs and helps me think "outside the box" when coming up with solutions. I love it when I can come up with a great idea that really works and seems so natural that everyone is convinced it had to be simple - just like that crossword puzzle when it is completed.

My day is never complete without at least one problem - like how to make that small NYC apartment really work without putting too much furniture in it. I found my answer in a great multifunctional table with pull-out extentions that can be used with sofa height seating for dining or working on, or can be dropped to cocktail height.

I actually have this table at home - on my back porch. It's called a luncheon table and is by Starbay, a french company with a fabulous design concept - recalling the Grand Voyages of the early 19th century with a contemporary flair. It is perfect for this apartment. It even has a drawer on each side to keep your things in, as well as a display box in the middle of the table for interesting objects. It makes for comfortable dining and working without adding dining height chairs to a small space.

You might enjoy looking at their catalogue at Most of their pieces have a surprise element - like a hidden drawer, or a secret hiding place. Call me at (631) 928-7913 if you want to know more.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gathering Round the Fire

I think that simple pleasures are the best, and at this time of year, a crackling fire is at the top of my list. Whether enjoying it alone or with a group of friends, a fire creates ambience, warmth and comfort.

I'm lucky, I live in an old house with six fireplaces, but I've also found an easy solution that works everywhere. It uses a clean, smokefree, odorless biofuel that needs no venting and can be used anywhere inside.

I have this portable one at home. I often use it as the centerpiece on the dining table. It's like having dinner around the campfire - mesmerizing! I gave them to my daughters for Christmas last year - neither of them have a fireplace in their home/apartment, and they love them! They provide instant atmosphere on a cold, dark day or a romantic evening.

For more impact you can hang this one on the wall. Installation is a snap! I have one to put up in my shop. It has a great modern look and looks like it is built in.

This insert is great for a fireplace that isn't real or can't be used - you'd never know.

You can see more styles at For more info, give me a call- 631-928-7913.