September 14, 2020
In the fall of 2009, The New York Times ran a feature story on my home titled, An Artful Clutter. It was a big a three-page spread, the likes of which I do not think would happen today. It was a once in a lifetime exposure.
The weekend after the article ran, I was in my shop, and the phone rang; it was Anderson Cooper. He had just read the story and wanted to purchase some old school charts. Soon after, he and his partner visited the shop. I also took them to see my home, and that's when Anderson told me about the firehouse he recently purchased. Soon after, I started work on helping create a home out of the firehouse.
I also received numerous emails from around the world. This was before social media, and I was amazed by how the story traveled. One message was from a literary agent who suggested it might be time for a book. That email started the ten-year process. At first, it may seem like a simple idea, a book about my store and interiors. But it became a challenging process to develop a strong concept. So much goes into a successful book, and one doesn't often get the chance to do one, so the pressure was on!
Thankfully I had my friend and collaborator, William Abranowicz, who graciously started photographing my homes and projects before we ever had a publisher. We had many starts and stops, and there were long periods of inertia on my part as the doubts kept coming. We pitched the book repeatedly during this process and had some interest, but every time the door opened ever so slightly, it would close again. I had just about given up.
I believe that everything happens in its own time. And in hindsight, I understand I was not ready until Bill introduced me to Mark and Nina Magowan of Vendome Press. Mark and Nina were immediately enthusiastic, and that is how the book came to be.
Bill and I had documented almost 80% so far, so we only had to develop the remaining portion.
One of the things I'm most proud of about the book is that it represents a ten-year time passage. The book was allowed to happen naturally. I do not believe it could have come to be in any other way.
I hope that the book inspires you to create an authentic interior you can share with family and friends. Cheers!