Vintage Trash Cans: I Forgot About Oscar!

When I wrote about vintage waste bins the other day I focused on the pretty little ones you would typically find in a bathroom, bedroom or office.

And then I got this comment from my DLBwest friend, Tracey Ayton of Tracy Ayton Photography. Have you read her blog?


So Tracey, this one’s for you!


Oscar the Grouch in his galvanized garbage can home.

Similar to this one here.


According to Urban Remains Chicago, this antique industrial trash can, c. 1910-20s, was made of heavy galvanized steel and reinforced at the joints with rivets. It was made by the Witt Cornice Company, now Witt Industries in Cinncinati. Founder, George Witt invented the first corrugated, galvanized ash can and lid in 1899 and patented it at that time.


These trash cans were historically placed in city parks… oh, and did you know that Witt Industries is now a woman-owned business?

But if I let Oscar in on that little detail, I’m pretty sure this is what he would tell me to do…


What do you think of Oscar’s vintage trash can?

I think it’s très cool, too!

With a little Oscar style in your space…


 There’s a whole lot of personality in your place!

It’s about coming home… If you want a remarkable space that tells your story, contact me to see how we can help!


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Kaleigh’s Room: Filling Up the Walls

We have finally gotten Kaleigh’s selection of New York photos up on her wall, and do you remember the gold mirror I was spray painting for her? I wrote about it here. Well we have it hung up too!

Here’s a little walk through of the room’s latest ‘Before’ and ‘After’ changes…

The photos on Kaleigh’s bed are destined for the wall space behind it.

But first I wanted to convince Kaleigh to shift her bed to the right.

She liked it where it was, but she agreed.

So the feature wall behind her bed went from this…


To this.

And the wall behind her recently recovered pine chest went from this…

To this.

Yes we hung up a framed poster of an alternative punk band (gasp!). AFI is Kaleigh’s all-time favorite, so we just mixed a bit of grunge with glam 😉 Did you notice the tray on her pine chest? It’s the one I made for the Fall Pinterest Challenge.

The space above her sofa was slated for the gold mirror I mentioned earlier…

Do you see the AFI poster in the background?

The gold mirror went from this (where it was hung in our previous home)…

To this.

And the space where it’s hung, to this…


We are also working on some ideas for the wall space behind the TV (oops, the branches are supposed to be removed). We’re thinking Danielle from Urban Walls might be able to help us out!

So stay tuned as we figure that piece out. And window treatments are also in our vision…

Here is one more look at the latest transformation in Kaleigh’s room.

So project-by-project, piece-by-piece this space is becoming a room that reflects Kaleigh’s taste and style. And you know it’s starting to gel when she makes this comment…

“My room is starting to feel like home.”

That’s what it’s all about.

Tomorrow I’ll follow up with some behind the scenes tips and strategies on how we arrived at this presentation, and what we did to take it from mocked-up to hung up!

Do you have any spaces you’re working on right now?

It’s about coming home… If you want a remarkable space that tells your story, contact me to see how we can help!

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9/11: Full Circle

With the confirmed death of Osama Bin Laden, suddenly the post I was preparing for today felt insignificant. So instead, I am sharing a few photos taken last August when my family and I were in New York, and took the time to visit St. Paul’s Chapel to remember…

I will never forget that visit, just like we will never forget September 11, 2001. And now, May 1, 2011 will mark the day that 9/11 came full circle.

The time-line of tragic events on 9/11:

There are many exhibits inside St. Paul’s Chapel…

This cross is made out of metal from the Twin Towers. A symbol of strength rising from a time of crisis and grief.

Here you see new construction under way at Ground Zero…

The Twin Towers will not be replicated. Instead a new tower will be built in their place.

I love seeing the American flags on the cranes.

A show of unity and commitment to new beginnings.

Can you see the crane between the buildings?

That’s Ground Zero.

The new construction is a testament to the words above the entrance of St. Paul’s Chapel, ‘Out of the Dust’.

And today, there is renewed hope for fresh beginnings, and for peace.

This lantern outside the entrance to St. Paul’s Chapel is a reminder that the light will always shine brightly when there’s hope, trust and faith.

Thank you for taking a moment…

Signature 100x47 b&w

Photographs © Sheila Zeller

Doorways Revealed!

Yesterday I shared some amazing doors with you, each rich with its own character and distinction. Were you able to guess where these doors are? If not, it will come as no surprise to you that they are all in New York… from one end of Manhatten to the other. Let’s take another look at them now.

42nd Street in Midtown


If you look closely you’ll see the brass door off to the right? Isn’t this whole area stunning? I love the grandeur and attention to detail.

This next door reminds me of the arched doors in Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ including the setting!

Arched Doorway at the Cloisters

Below you will see its other half…

These are just a few of the many breathtaking originals you will see inside the Cloisters medieval museum at Fort Tryon Park. Fort Tryon Park is in one of the northernmost points of Manhatten and is well worth the trip.

And here is an exterior door at the Cloisters…

Exterior door in the Bonnefont Cloister garden area


This garden is just amazing.  It contains herbs and other useful plants, but also includes some highly poisonous plants… Can you see the black door in the background?

Isn’t this entrance simply spectacular?

Near Wall Street in the Financial District

If you look closely, there is a man standing on a stool in the doorway – he’s cleaning the glass on the door. There is also security officer standing in the foyer. Sure adds some perspective to the height of this entry doesn’t it?

Here you see a set of windows around the side of the building. I love the warmth and glow of the light shining through all the glass of this architectural spectacular… and especially within the context of its surroundings.

Look dowwwnnn….

Harry's Steak House in the Financial District


This is the sidewalk just past Harry’s Steak House… yes, you have to descend the street level to enter Harry’s. The picture of the door is not an optical illusion!

This door is very intricate…

110 E.42nd Street in Midtown

A little ornate touch on the inside…

…and a lot of ornate on the outside! But with Grand Central Station in the neighbourhood, and the Chrystler Building in the near distance, there’s definitely an incentive!

Don’t let this next one scare you!

8 Hook & Ladder 8: FDNY


This doorway was included because if you look closely, just to the top left of the firetruck you will see the Ghostbusters guy (do you remember the Ghostbusters movie?). This is the actual firehall where the movie was filmed!


The firehall is in Tribeca. Can you see it straight ahead?

And here is another set of magnificent doors inside the Cloisters.

12th Century Oak & Ironwork Doors

The doors are massive, but are also incredibly strong because of the way they are constructed.

As described in ‘The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture’ by Peter Barnet and Nacy Wu, the vertically arranged oak planks are reinforced with spiked iron bands on the exterior and crossbeams on the interior.


These doors are very heavy… can you tell?

Chelsea Market Exit Doors


This is what greets you inside Chelsea Market, and there’s so much more than meets the eye! Did you see the episode of Dear Genevieve when she was shopping with a client here for some accessories to complete a Turkish inspired master bath?

The Ladies Room below is as small as it looks! There is barely room for 2 people in here, and yes it has 2 stalls! You’ll find it at the back of Katz deli.

Ladies Room at Katz Deli in the lower East Side

Here’s a look toward the front door inside the famous Katz Deli. If you haven’t been, you must go! The inside is filled with neon signs everywhere…EVERYWHERE! There are photographs all over the walls of famous people who have dined there over the years, and seriously, the food is incredible. But what you might recognize Katz for is the famous scene in the movie ‘When Harry Met Sally’… that scene was shot here! See the round sign in the far background? It reads ‘Where Harry Met Sally… Hope You Have What She Had! Enjoy!’ Do you remember the movie? If you do, then you’ll know what scene I’m talking about!!!

From one great place to another…

Main Entrance to Trinity Church - near Ground Zero


Are there any words?

I love this elevator door because of the baseball and bat…

Elevator Doors in Chelsea Market

…I used to play fastball, so that’s why it hit a ‘homerun’ with me!

Can you see the bat and ball on the wall? I think this whole area is very cool, especially the set of elevator doors in the foreground.

This photo isn’t perfectly clear…

At the Cloisters

…but I just really liked the door detail and its latches.


The New York Subway!

Now that you know all these doors are in New York, I bet the close-up of this one was pretty obvious wasn’t it!


The Cloisters

Even though this is not literally a door, I thought it was a beautiful doorway.


The Cloisters

And I thought this courtyard was so peaceful. I love its simplicity, and openness… a great place to collect your thoughts.


Pedestrian Overpass & Vehicle Tunnel in Fort Tryon Park

This is enroute to the Cloisters, and though it’s not a door, I wanted to share it with you because it’s really a doorway for what’s to come.

The engineering and craftsmanship is amazing, and is just a taste of what you will see once inside the Cloister museum.

I thought it fitting to end with this set of doors to the Trinity Church. They are so beautiful…

Back Entrance to Trinity Church

And yet they’re quite tucked away. But maybe that’s because the setting is just as lovely.

You can’t really see the doors, but they’re there right in behind the lush green trees, center-left…

I hope you’ve enjoyed all these doors as much I have enjoyed sharing them with you. Do you think they’re rich with character and distinction? Which ones do you like best?

If you want a remarkable space that tells your story, contact me to see how we can help!

Photos: Sheila Zeller

Related Posts You Might Like to Read

Doorways of Design – if you want to see the post before this one!


9/11: A New Tapestry

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9/11: A New Tapestry

Today is the 9th anniversary of 9/11, and today I have a much more personal connection with that day than ever…

Just 3 weeks ago my family and I were in New York, and we took the time to go to St. Paul’s Chapel where, through the course of the 9/11 tragedy, it served as a refuge for the workers, the volunteers, the family of those lost or missing.

Today it remains as it was then, a place of worship, but since 9/11, new threads and fibres have been added to its tapestry. Stories of the people and events emerging from that time are captured in the “Unwavering Spirit: Hope and Healing at Ground Zero” exhibit you will find inside St. Paul’s Chapel. But it has more to do with the ‘feeling’ that is present, which words can’t begin to describe and images can only barely translate, that truly captures the spirit that lies within the story.

Timeline of St. Paul’s Chapel – created by ESI Designs

Taken outside of St. Paul’s Chapel, this shot captures visitors reading the timeline of the Chapel’s history up to 9/11 and in the months following. As we moved through the timeline the ‘feeling’ was an introduction to the story about to unfold inside.

Upon entering you are greeted by the banner below.

A banner made by students in Oklahoma

The banner is signed with many, many words of encouragement and hope. On each far side of the banner are more beautifully constructed messages…

THE PEWS sign below is attached to one of the pews and it describes the purpose the pews served throughout the 9/11 relief ministry.

The Pews

It says:

Fireman’s Jacket in Pew

THROUGHOUT THE 9/11 RELIEF MINISTRY, the Chapel’s pews became a refuge for Firefighters, Police Officers and rescue workers. Some came to sit quietly alone; others came to pray. Many came to sleep, stretching out with a blanket, pillow and teddy bear provided by volunteers.  Letters from children covered each pew, offering an uplifting message of hope.

Always ready to be called back to “the pit” at any moment, workers kept their boots and equipment belts on, creating deep scuff marks in the pews. When the Chapel was cleaned and refurbished in 2002, it was decided not to repair the pews, but to leave the marks as a witness and a tribute to the workers.

Today, St. Paul’s Chapel continues to honour the first responders of 9/11 by participating in the 9/11 Neediest Medical Campaign.

Though the photo of the fireman’s jacket in the pew is a little blurred, if you look closely you will see some scuff marks left behind as described above; another sign mentions that it was a common sight to see firemen’s jackets hung over the pews.

Uniform patches sent from across the country

This exhibit is called “Healing Hearts and Minds”. It is a policeman’s uniform covered with patches received from fellow officers, firefighters and others from all over the Country conveying a message of strength and solidarity.

Helping Hands

Helping Hands for the Tree of Hope… In this image of ‘helping hands’ the blue sign explains this exhibit.

It says:

In the Winter of 2003, thousands of our visitors took part in a holiday project to create ornaments for our Tree of Hope. The little hand-shaped cut-outs represented the countless hands that came together at St. Paul’s to pray, heal, comfort and embrace all those who walked through our doors after September 11th.                                                                                                                        

This next image is a fabric art piece. I think it is truly symbolic of the 9/11 tapestry that has been woven so tightly.

Tapestry of 9/11

I find this piece haunting and a stunning work of art.

The images I have shared are just a snap-shot of what you will find at St. Paul’s Chapel. You truly have to experience this for yourself in order to feel the story that unfolds; words simply can’t describe it. With each exhibit there is a sense of strength, a feeling of hope that is bound by unity and bonded by commitment.

Construction underway at Ground Zero

The conclusion is yet to unfold… but new beginnings are taking shape. With the construction of a new tower underway at Ground Zero, fresh meaning is brought to the words above the entrance of St. Paul’s Chapel, ‘Out of the Dust’.

And the memorial that is St. Paul’s in Manhattan is powerful in the story it tells. While there is no sense of deliberate “design” in the traditional sense, the company behind “Unwavering Spirit: Hope and Healing at Ground Zero”, ESI Designs, has done a remarkable job. All one experiences are the displays of loving memorabilia in the most direct way, yet the whole exhibit was in fact carefully designed to tell the story without intruding. The exhibits at St. Paul’s Chapel are not only a testimony to those lost that day, and to those who made such a huge difference in the days and months following the attacks of 9/11…

Crane in the distance sits at Ground Zero

They are also a testimony to united strength, the will for rebirth, and the determination to move forward.

Off to NYC… Just A Little Inspiration!

If you’ve ever watched HGTV/Food Network’s ‘Restaurant Makeover’ and had the pleasure of seeing Chef Lynn [Lynn Crawford] in action, then you’ll understand why I watched her HGTV/Food Network mini series, ‘Pitching In’. Chef Lynn is pure soul; and her passion for creating exquisite meals is an understatement. But the reason I was so intrigued to watch ‘Pitchin’ In’ wasn’t for the cooking aspect (if you know me, then you’ll know the kitchen isn’t where I love to spend my time!!!), it was for the reason Chef Lynn opted into the journey of this  mini series. Lynn Crawford was the Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Manhattan in New York for years, preparing culinary delights for the ‘Rich and Famous’, but she says somewhere along the way she lost her passion, and so she wanted to go back to the roots of ‘food’ to try and find her passion again.

I believe we all have a passion for what we are meant to do, and if we are doing something other than what feeds our passion, we are on the wrong path.

So where am I going with all this? I am going to New York! What better place than New York to soak in colour, texture, scale (definitely scale!), and of course avant garde ‘anything and everything’ from historical to modern extraordinaire? I can’t wait for the osmosis of design inspiration to set in. I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you when I return. And as for Chef Lynn… well, have you heard of Ruby Watchco?

Until then, here are a few images of the places I’ll be seeing, and some of the things I’ll be doing…

A colourful glimpse of ‘The city that never sleeps’.

New York City at Sunset

Uptown Minds

This just makes my heart race!

And ‘Les Halles’, Anthony Bourdain’s restaurant (he’s the chef that never sleeps!)

Anthony Bourdain Restaurant - Les Halles NYC

Virtual Tourist

After dining here, I bet we won’t want to sleep, either!

Of course, there’s Times Square, which is the area we will be staying in.

Times Square at Night - NYC

Top World Cities

I can’t wait to see Times Square at night. Did you know, Times Square is where the famous photograph, ‘The Kiss’ was taken?

Hhhh, so much to see in so little time…

Yellow Taxis in NYC

Scallywag and Vagabonds

Sitting in traffic is just not an option! We’ll be walking, walking, and taking the subway too!

And what’s a trip to New York without at stop at a deli? Like maybe, ‘KATZ, that’s all!’

KATZ Deli - Where Harry Met Sally

Enjoy Your Holiday

KATZ Deli is not just ‘any’ deli. It was established in 1888, and is famous for, ‘Send A Salami To Your Boy in The Army’. And yes, there is a story behind the catch phrase, ‘KATZ, that’s all!’

Do you remember the dessert scene in, ‘When Harry Met Sally’? Well, did you know, it was filmed at this deli?

When Harry Met Sally - I'll Have What She's Having Sign

Gastro Gazette

We’re SO off to ‘have what she had!’

But the biggest reason we’re headed to NYC at this time…

Green Day's American Idiot on Broadway, NYC


Is to take in the brand new musical, Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’! This is our main Broadway attraction, and we are super excited to see it!

If there’s a NYC heart, there’s a pulse!

I love NYC Art - The Suite World

The Suite World

Hhhhhhh, I think I heart New York already 🙂 Seriously, what’s not to love?