I Want to Live in The Knick.

Remember how my kitchen is completely gutted right now and I’ll soon be embarking on the wild ride of rebuilding it myself from scratch? I’m very excited about it. I’ve been trying to pull together a post telling you all about my plans, but it’s taking me forever! It’ll have to be next week. On the bright side, there are some dazzlingly basic SketchUp renderings coming your way, and on the BRIGHTER side, today we get to talk about my favorite thing in the world: TV.

I swear this is pertinent.

Have you watched The Knick? I feel like not many people have, because it airs on Cinemax and who knew that was even a thing. It premiered almost 3 years ago and has two seasons under its belt, so I’m really ahead of the curve on this one. The point is, you should watch The Knick. It’s a period drama beginning in 1900 about the Knickerbocker hospital in New York City, at a time when medical science was fucking crazy and everyone died from everything all the time. If you thought Victorians were insane with their woodwork and furniture, you should see what they were up to with surgical medicine. It’s nutso.

Anyway, The Knick is a good show. At least I think it is? It’s really well-acted, beautifully shot, nicely scored, and well-written. I’m mostly guessing about the last one, because honestly I have a difficult time paying attention to anything other than the sets. Oh-em-gee it is beautiful. I find myself constantly pausing and rewinding it to get a better look at the interiors. Ideally where this is headed is that I’ll just give the production director Howard Cummings and set decorator Regina Graves the keys to my house and just let them finish it up while I go on vacation. Or at least the kitchen. Somehow I’m guessing I wouldn’t want to change a thing.

The lobby and main corridors of The Knick…can you handle it? Look at that floor tile!! These and similar styles of brass light fixtures populate many of the interiors on the show and I am obsessed with them.

I mean, look at this. Shoot me full of typhoid and let me die here! I love how the wood floor is echoed with the beadboard ceiling, and I really love the simpler version of those sconces and ceiling fixtures. It’s all so good.

Those built-ins! Love love love love love love love. I love the sliding doors and the monochrome scheme. I feel like that sick lady isn’t appreciating it enough. You gonna die, sick lady. Better enjoy the view while you can.

One of the major players on the show is the surgical theater, which has an attached room for the doctors to scrub up before they operate. Again, I am all about this built-in situation, with the inset doors and the bead detail around the glass and whatever that caning situation is on the taller doors? I also love the marble slab wainscoting and, of course, the sconce above it. I pay a lot of attention to the different wall treatments on this show—plaster, natural stone, tile, beadboard, and other types wood paneling—and try to figure out how high up the wall they’re going and how high the sconces are in relation, and how tall the ceilings are supposed to be in relation to that, because it all just looks so fucking good. 

Also, if my doctor looked like Clive Owen, I’d be totally fine with him being a heroin addict and sewing my arm to my syphilitic face. Why not.

SORRY MY HEART JUST STOPPED HOLD ON. Guh. GUH! The floor. The lights. The beadboard wainscoting. It’s like, yeah, this is the room where patients basically all go to die, but the last thing they see is that light fixture! Lucky bastards.

I think my favorite space on the show is Dr. Thackery’s office/lab place. I want to just pick up this room and re-install it in my kitchen and make no more decisions. I love the black hex floor with the light grout. I love that table. I love the lighting. I love the black cabinets and moldings, and the subway tile, and the beadboard wall mixed in over there on the left. It’s all just so good. I’m a huge fan of the color palette in general on the show—a lot of black, white, wood, and brass, yes, but also a lot of light greys and beiges and earthier, more subdued tones I wouldn’t necessarily think I liked. It’s all just perfect.

You could go a million different ways with my kitchen considering everything from the floor to the ceiling will be brand new, but at the end of the day I want it to look like a turn-of-the-century hospital as imagined by some really talented set designer people in 2014. I don’t understand why this is too much to ask. I’m stoked about this traditional-modern-utilitarian vibe, which I think will feel at home in this house while also being simple and modest and unfussy.

OH AND ALSO! The kitchen is one step closer to becoming reality thanks to ALL THE AMAZINGLY BADASS MANHATTAN NEST READERS who voted for that laundry room makeover on Angie’s List! I won! You won! You made me win! I don’t know! I’m so grateful and flattered and full of warm fuzzies! So now I have $2,000 in winnings to immediately blow on the plumbing for my kitchen, which is an enormous help. Thank you, thank you, thank you. #tooblessed

P.S.—This article + interview with production director Howard Cummings and set decorator Regina Graves is cool, if you want to read more about the design of the show!

P.P.S—The Knick is currently available to watch on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Max Go!


136 Comments

  1. That’s how I feel about Midsomer Murders! I couldn’t care less about the storylines (very formulaic cozy mysteries) or the acting (not the greatest), but omg the architectural & landscape porn! 17th century thatched cottages, the estates, the gardens, the churches, the windows… one scene had a woman having an emotional breakdown in her bedroom & my first reaction was, oh look, William Morris curtains.

    • Hahaha! We are the same! I get it. I haven’t heard of that show—I’ll check it out!! Thank you!

      • oh you are in for a treat…. season 19 just finished in UK and is airing here on ACORN TV … you have so much to catch up on!

      • 19 Seasons?!?!?! YES YES sign me up! I’ve gotten attached to too many shows that fizzle after a season or two—I need this!

    • I love Midsummers Murders too! I’m addicted to it.

  2. Yes! I love set design! It’s the one thing that makes me wish I had stayed in Los Angeles and tried to put my architecture degree to use and break into that scene. Another life maybe! Did you ever watch the Hannibal tv show? OH MY GOD their set design (and food design! they made me think eating humans looked yummy!) was A++.

    • I hear you, Rachel! I worked in the art department on a couple of movies when I was 18-19…seeing it all unfold and being part of it was very cool, but also made me realize that I was WAY more interested in the big jobs (production designer, set decorator) than I was in anything else, and it takes so many years of shitty jobs and shitty hours to get to those positions that maybe it wasn’t something I wanted so badly, after all. So, ya know. We land where we need to, maybe.

      I did watch Hannibal—you’re absolutely right! It’s beautifully done.

  3. The old science rooms in the school I teach at looked like those rooms with the built ins. Four years ago they remodeled and tore everything out. I still feel sick to my stomach when I think about those built in shelves and drawers that contained laboratory equipment and other teaching materials for over a century before being destroyed. Why do more people not care about these things?

    I think that your kitchen would look amazing with those floors and light fixtures and built ins that look more like those than traditional cabinets. After you have that set designer remodel your kitchen, I will try to get you to allow me to move in with you.

    • Argh, that’s so sad! I recently found out that the science lab at my middle school has been demolished—I think it was from the 1960s but it was SO SO COOL in the same kind of way that it makes me really sad. I’m sure now it’s just a sterile space with a whiteboard and the latest tech, but that’s not where I want to learn about chemistry and dissect a pig!

  4. I can not wait for your ideas!! I’m in the very beginning stages of planning a kitchen renovation in my 200 year old home and that final picture is stunning. That table instead of a modern island, inset cabinet doors, all the tile (!), And the color palette – it’s perfect.

    • YES, especially for a home that age, I’m such a fan of the big table in place of the more modern island that matches the cabinets! My friend did that with a table that has a couple of shallow drawers in the apron for silverware and stuff, and it’s SO beautiful and super functional. It’s just an old pine table, so he cuts right on the top like a butcherblock, and then it transitions seamlessly into a dining table when he doesn’t want to set up the dining room. Absolutely something I’m thinking about!

  5. I have always wondered how come set designers are so good at creating all these historically accurate rendition of period interiors, yet it seems so difficult to create pleasing space like this in the present day.

    • It’s true! I think a lot of it has to do with the resources at their disposal…having the flexibility to borrow from prop houses and have things custom-made is huge! I was talking with a production designer friend not that long ago about historic windows (I’m really fun) and he was shocked that I was having such a difficult time matching my 150-year-old windows and wondered why I hadn’t just had them custom fabricated. When I told him that seemed to be about a $1,500 per window endeavor, he was shocked! He said he’d been spoiled by the shop guys from working in film and TV, who could easily replicate a historic window sash for practically nothing and super quickly. It’s a small example, but apply that to all kinds of things on a set and you can do some pretty extraordinary stuff!

      • On that point, the price of historically “accurate” architectural elements has declined in recent years with production happening in Asia and South America. It used to cost tons of money to get ornamental plaster pieces which are now available pretty cheaply… hopefully there will be a renewed interest in classical design principles because of it!

      • Very true, Adrien!

    • Those things aren’t necessarily made out of the real materials they represent on sets. On the Harry Potter studio tour they had a whole section about how the green tile fireplaces from the Ministry of Magic are some sort of fancy styrofoam.

      • Very true! I can’t imagine the marble wainscoting here, for instance, is real marble. They get to fake all sorts of stuff!

  6. I feel the same way watching Grimm. I never thought I was a fan of Arts and Crafts style houses until I watched that show. Someday I will visit Portland and just walk around the neighborhoods like a creepy peeper.

    • I haven’t watched that yet! I’ll check it out!!

    • Yes! I grew up in Irvington on the same block as Portland’s White House. I credit this for my love of old houses. Many residential shots have been filmed here for Grimm. Also, you won’t be the only peeper! There’s an annual tour every May and all of the proceeds are donated to community charities. There’s a gallery of previous years tour homes online here http://www.irvingtonhometour.com/photo-tours

  7. Congratulations on the laundry makeover win:)

  8. Hooraaaaaay I’m so glad you won! :D

  9. I found this write-up so entertaining. Between Clive Owen distraction and the set, I don’t know if you actually followed any of the storylines. But, anyway, I can’t remember where I was but I found myself riding in an elevator with the real life Clive Owen. Can I just say that man had THE SMOOTHEST shaven face I’ve ever seen? His skin looked soft as a babies skin. I just kept staring at his skin. OMG. One handsome dude with very SOFT skin. Oh, and he smelled good too. Now I sound a little creepy. Love you.

  10. First of all, félicitations for the big win. As if it were in question. Ever.
    You know what you should learn from this show (and what I have learned from seeing a bunch of old places in France that haven’t been torn down)? Certain stuff looks good no matter what decade you’re in, and it can look good, even great, 50 or 100 or 150 years on. And what makes up those things, that’s what you should aim for.
    Beadboard. Cement tiles. Subway tile. Great other tile (like the hexagonal). Real wood floors. Simple but stunning light fixtures. High ceilings. Marble. Non-trendy color palettes.
    I think the caning mentioned above is about ventilation–something to consider in a kitchen!
    BTW, we were checking our renovated rental apartments for how many stars they can get. Among the criteria: hot and cold water have to be delivered through a single faucet (not like your photo!!!).

    • Yessss, exactly right!! That’s part of why I get frustrated when things like this (see: subway tile, shiplap) get caught up in conversations about trends. YES subway tile absolutely had (is having?) a trendy moment, but it’s also one of those timeless, historically appropriate things that kinda just always looks right when used appropriately! I feel like when something is labeled a “trend” people get so resistant to it, and then they end up installing something that’s all wrong (and looks dated immediately) just to balk the trend.

      That’s hilarious about the hot and cold taps—I gotta admit, I hate separate hot and cold taps!! That’s one of those old house things that I just can’t bring myself to get behind.

      • “That’s hilarious about the hot and cold taps—I gotta admit, I hate separate hot and cold taps!! That’s one of those old house things that I just can’t bring myself to get behind.”

        SO with you on this. It’s just so revolting to wash your face in a pool of mucky/soapy water because there is no mixer tap. Call me modern, but I NEED clean, warm water for rinsing.

        p.s your wit is on fire. The laughter inside should just about carry me over until your next post!

      • I get it, Pippa! I’m planning on converting my double taps in the downstairs bath to a single tap. It’s often not very difficult to do. I love my old sink but not my separate taps!

  11. I absolutely love this post.

  12. OMG, I have to see this show. First, Clive Owen! Second, the sets! Thank you for bringing it to my attention — I’m in a show hole right now.

    Have you seen the Long Island City court house? It’s a beautiful victorian building. I had jury duty there once and the bailiff gave me a tour after. The staircases are amazing with all of the original carved wood. The main court has a ceiling that’s completely glass in olive greens, yellows and golds. It’s spectacular.

    I think you *can* have that kitchen. You just need your own carpenter, like Fixer Upper.

    • I haven’t seen that! Next time I’m in Long Island, though…

      Haha, all I need is Clint! Or I need to become Clint! I like to think that Clint and Joanna have a lil something something going on the side.

      • That’s super close to me! (But it’s not in Long Island, rather Long Island City in Queens)

  13. Best.Show.Ever. Clive is so freaking moody. And beautiful.

  14. Daniel! You never cease to crack me up. Shoot me full of thypoid? LOL!!!

    Regarding medicine back then, I’m doing my family’s genealogy and have found causes of death to be quite shocking such as: ‘the brain went bland’. What?! That can actually happen?

    The floors are just like those in Old San Juan Puerto Rico where I am from. Some buildings had marble floored foyers. The entry’s marble would be slightly concave from the incessant walkers coming in and out. The city started being built in the 17th Century. So you can imagine the treasures for the eyes.

    I’m sure your will kitchen will be a jewel.

  15. “Well shoot me full of typhoid and let me die here.”

    This is a quote for the ages! Right behind everything Dumbledore has ever said.

    (p.s. congrats on the laundry room win!)

  16. When did it become unsanitary to have lovely wood items in hospitals? Surely if they’re painted, they have the same ability to be cleaned as do the crappy sterile walls that are in most of the now. I wonder if there’s any actual studies that wood isn’t good. I’d happily spend my last days in a palace like their set.

    • That’s a good question Beth! I know wood is naturally anti-microbial, but beyond that…I dunno!

      • My doctor growing up had a cool old free standing cabinets that he had inherited from his father who was also a doctor. Wood, with curved legs and a cube/ rectangle top with all glass walls and shelves. My mom and my 11 year old self were like doctor we love your cabinet!! He didn’t seem to understand our excitement. Also, are the light fixtures on The Knick meant to look like they are converted from gas? And you need to watch Victoria on pbs for some amazing interiors!!
        Andnmy

      • So cool! And yes, the drama of electrifying the hospital is part of the plot in the first season, and I think many of the fixtures on the show are either made to look like they were converted or are both gas and electric (like in the surgical theater, I think maybe the upward-facing lights are gas and the bulbs are electric?). Evidently nearly all of the show is actually lit with the practical lighting on the sets, not movie magic behind the scenes!

    • Wood’s gotten expensive and industrial/hospital grade disinfectants are harsh. The microbes have gotten too nasty to talk about since the advent of antibiotics as well. Metal cabinets really are just easier to clean.

      You’ll see wood in non-medical labs, though. Frameless with wooden doors and drawer fronts was hip in the 2000’s. I haven’t seen a recently renovated lab for the 2010’s. Well, I guess I have but the reno was done on the cheap so I wouldn’t hold it up as an example of today’s style. In the 1990’s melamine was the thing. 1970’s and 1980’s were all about the metal in bizarre shades of red and green. Mid-century and earlier it was wood. Full face-frame, solid wood. And the really old spaces in the forgotten corners of college chemistry buildings will still have soapstone counters and penny tiles on the floors. I’m sad that penny tile isn’t a thing in labs anymore. Maybe stuff can get stuck in the grout, but try slipping on wet penny tile. Try it. I dare you.

      I don’t design labs, BTW. I just work in ’em. And I’ve worked in enough to be able to date the most recent reno by the cabinetry.

  17. Haha I love this show too and this was a fun read — love to read how passionate you are about this particular set design. I’ll pay more attention when I (re)watch it next time :-)

  18. This is so crazy dark–go back to your Swedish tendencies!!!

    • Ha! I should have taken these screenshots when they were shooting with natural daylight…they’re really not dark at all! But I hear ya…don’t worry, I never stray too far even when I try! Ultimately I want a light and bright house, for sure!

  19. CONGRATS on your Angies list win!!! of course you deserve it!

  20. Bhahaha. Brilliant. But yes, totally with you. I just started watching it and it is crazy gorgeous.

    Congrats on the Angie’s List win!

  21. best post … and you won YAY … and Midsomer
    and
    … if my doctor looked like Clive Owen, I’d be totally fine with him being a heroin addict and sewing my arm to my syphilitic face. Why not.
    and
    It’s like, yeah, this is the room where patients basically all go to die, but the last thing they see is that light fixture! Lucky bastards.
    haha

  22. Television is such great inspiration. I am in the midst of the longest kitchen reno ever but have a goal of completing it by September this year (we’ll see). I had some of my kitchen cabinets (inset shaker doors to match original 1920s uppers) custom made locally but last fall started looking for another option for the remaining cabinets. Did you know that you can get custom cut flat pack ready-to-assemble wood cabinets? I even found one place that would do inset doors. You assemble them yourself, can get raw wood if you want (important for me to match paint/finish to the existing cabinets), if you want full mortise hinges you have to cut them yourself, but if you have a router and/or chisel that’s not hard. Custom cabinets can seem so expensive and out of reach but thanks to the internet and technology we can now connect with wood shops in another state to cut us wood cabinets on fancy CNC machines.

    • SHARE YOUR SOURCES RIGHT NOW IMMEDIATELY! I want badly to avoid the siren call of an IKEA kitchen, but I know I can’t afford custom, and honestly…I’m A-OK not learning how to build my own kitchen cabinets. I haven’t found anything that’s custom (or even available to order) that’s not face-frame and it’s driving me nuts!

      • Daniel! I am here for you! SCHERR’S CABINETS. We used them for our kitchen remodel 2 years ago and we were so impressed. You send them a plan, email back and forth a bit about your specs and what you need, place your order, they make your custom cabinets, and they arrive in flat-pack. Then you assemble and install. I swear these cabinets are built like TANKS. The price was roughly double ikea, which is way less than actual custom cabinets, and the lead time was pretty long, but totally worth it. They’re at http://scherrs.com.

        I can answer questions about them all day long, so drop ’em here if you got ’em (or shoot, email me since my email is in this comment field.)

      • Oh and just to note the only thing in the entire process that went wrong was communication about the cabinet doors and warping. We painted the cabinet doors ourselves to save $$. Apparently you’re supposed to paint the doors as soon as you receive them to avoid warping, but somehow that never got communicated to us. We were focused on, you know, installing an entire kitchen, and we figured the doors could wait.

        So some of the doors did warp a bit, but only 1/4″ or 3/8″ at the worst, and not anything that we notice on a day-to-day basis. I might not paint cabinet doors again anytime soon, but only because painting shaker doors by hand is a beast of a job, and I’m ready to take a break for a while. The doors themselves were fine.

      • There is also the RTAStore! Kim (Yellow Brick Home) did a write-up on them for their laundry room a couple of months ago. I think they were more expensive than IKEA but not like disgustingly so, but I’m sure Kim will have more details for you. Personally, I have no qualms with installing an IKEA kitchen, especially in light of all the little things that they’ve added to make the cabinets function with crazy efficiency, while still being crazy affordable. BUT I also like having options and I am totally snooping through Sherr’s while at work.

      • THANK YOU! I’ll definitely look into it. I can deal with a long lead time, and I think the price is probably OK because I really don’t need that many cabinets. I’m so excited to know about this!

        Kathy—I *think* (don’t quote me on this…) RTA store doesn’t have an option for inset doors, which is really what I’m after! But yes, Kim is a big fan of them! She’s a good friend of mine. :)

  23. Is that one of those combo gas/electric light fixtures in that OR? Mmmmmmmmmmmm….

    • I think it is, yes! In the interview I linked to at the end of the post, they talk a bit about the lighting and the differences between the gas and electric lighting that I guess are both used on the show. Fascinating!

  24. Oh my gosh, I LOVE The Knick. I had to laugh at your obsession with the building though as I did a science degree a million years ago, and I am ALL about the fantastic enamelware and apothecary bottles, lol. I could totally see your kitchen done like Thackery’s office – yum!

  25. ME TOO! I read that there will probably be a 3rd season but it might take place at a totally different time/characters etc. which really bummed me because, um, those sets.

    So when I was reading the post it reminded me of a This Old House episode where they tour a carpenters house/workshop… and it is gorgeous. He rebuilt the place himself and his sensibilities are not far off from the knick. of course I remember this because I fell in love with his cabinets and I built myself a bookcase on my weekends off my freshman year of college #ImNuts. I’d highly suggest you look it up… It’s when they are doing the New Orleans house and they tour a guys home/workshop where they are building french doors for the shotgun house.

    • oops, I meant “I built a bookcase mimicking the style of his kitchen cabinets.
      I got a little too excited there!

      • Oh no, I don’t like that idea for a third season!! Admittedly I haven’t finished the second, but I just want the show to be that, forever. You got me.

        I’ll try to find the episode! And you’re crazier than me as a freshman in college, and I think that’s saying something!

  26. Those rooms are AMAZING! Who knew? I’m so excited that you won! (I totally voted for you.) Hooray for new kitchen plumbing. Can’t wait to see what you come up with. (And you always make me laugh, so thanks for that.)

  27. So glad that you won the he contest and the $$! (Voted for you.) Thanks for the tv show tip. I’m always looking for something good to watch.

  28. Oh I’m so glad you won. That is excellent! You are my favorite writer. Yeah, I know. You excel at many things, but it is your writing that keeps you in my inbox. Carry on.

  29. If you love 1890s hospital tile you’ll love the asylum in Penny Dreadful where they lobotomise Eva Green. I think it’s midway through season 2. Delish!
    Congrats on the win.

    • I gotta check it out! I’ve never watched that show!! I don’t know why…it looks good? And I love a good asylum…American Horror Story season 2 was my jammmmm.

  30. That surgical amphitheater is very similar to one at the hospital where I work! The walls are marble all the way up and apparently it’s haunted. It’s in the old wing which is beautiful. They hold training sessions and meetings there nowadays, and sitting where someone else a hundred years ago sat watching and learning how to do surgery is kinda cool.

  31. Daniel! Why would you want to die in the sick ward when there are 150 beds to shag Clive Owen in.

  32. Oh and shiplap.

  33. OMG, Grats on winning!!

    I had never heard of the show, thank you for mentioning! I’m going to check it out

  34. I know there are old design books for gothic revival cottages; maybe there are similar for later Victorian buildings. The pictures remind me of my elementary school. So glad you won!

  35. I also love the 1890’s – 1910 look of rooms – on TV shows like The Knick and others, and in real life old public buildings you can still see all over in many cities including New York – indeed, I decorate my places in furniture from that era, mission reproductions and victorian antiques – but they go with the homes I live in that were built around that time. Your home, on the other hand, is older, and build in an older style – and if I were redoing a kitchen in it, I’d look for the older elements I like, but put some of them together in an overall more simple style that better suits the older age of your home. I think these 1890’s kitchens will look terrible in your house – you need to look back a few decades from that – you will still find much of what you like, in things like tile and wood and furniture like work tables, but you won’t overdo the kitchen for the style of your house like these urban 1890’s sets would.

    • I totally hear you! I guess I feel like I can be a bit more creative here because I’m not really sure when this addition was built (though I suspect very early, just because of the foundation and framing), but also because the original kitchen was probably in the basement with the summer kitchen off the back of the house (now demolished). Kitchens from the 1860s are very cool, but really not suited to modern living! So I gotta find a happy middle ground between the requirements and conveniences of today and the feeling of that time. I think it’ll be good, but yeah—it’s tricky!

      But yes, these interiors are a bit much for my kitchen. I’m planning on something much more modest, but I still think these images are super inspirational!

  36. This look is why I have always been smitten with the look of the old See’s Candy shops! The sterile and practical mixed with ornate in impeccably crisp and clean black and white. :D
    http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/9c/fc/af/9cfcafd77e68453a8ffeb5d384ca5fd5.jpg

  37. Congrats on the win! Glad my vote went to something worthwhile this time around :)

  38. Yeah, there are certain shows my husband hates watching with me because I’m always ‘nice lamp!’ or ‘god, that wallpaper!!!’

    Wallander (on netflix) is particularly good for danish modern in not-period settings (and as a bonus, it’s a damn good show to boot!)

  39. Thank you for reminding me about this show! I love me some clive owen and anything medical (especially old-timey, scary medical). Now I’ll be sure to look at the interiors!

  40. I’ve never seen this show, but now I have to just to bask in the beauty of the sets! Daniel, awhile back you mentioned something about using a primer or some sort of pre-step when applying a white stain on wood? We didn’t and our white stained tongue and groove ceilings are turning an orange(ish) colour.
    Could you tell me if you have an updated lightening product you recommend or what that product was? I have a 160 year old pine armoire and pine floors and the orange is blinding me. A lady on Instagram bleaches out her wood and I’m very tempted..
    Thank you,
    Tara

    • Hmmmm…I’m not sure what I mentioned, I’m sorry! I’ve talked about painting wood and using shellac-base primer over the knots to prevent future bleeding? But that isn’t so helpful for staining. Sometimes an issue with white-washing pine is that it goes pretty pink, since that’s how the pigments in pine react to a pure white stain, so when white-washing pine it’s helpful to add a tiny bit of blue pigment to balance things out. That might be what’s happening?

      There are good wood bleach products out there, but I don’t really have any personal recommendations. Wood lye is the traditional Swedish thing (available online). I think this stuff is also supposed to be good! I’m sorry I don’t have more personal experience to draw from!

  41. Daniel, do you know Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries?
    It’s a series about Phryne Fisher, a glamorous private detective in 1920s Melbourne. The sets, costumes etc are amazing. And the acting is very nice.

    • and Inspector Jack Robinson is…yummy….
      I tried watching The Knick but got totally weirded out and depressed….and it’s not like we need anything else to depress us these days.

    • I love Phryne! Her show is amazing-the clothes, the cars, the sets and the accents. This post got me hooked on The Knick this weekend and I’m binge watching. I say definitely use the inspiration for your kitchen!

    • No, I’ve never heard of it! I’ll check it out! Looks like it’s on Netflix!

      • Phryne is the best! I visited Melbourne in November and I found a Miss Fisher walking tour that was amazing (lots of great architecture and tile!). The costumes and sets are amazing too! (Oh dear! I’m using a lot of !!!!!).
        Congrats on the laundry room win, looking forward to seeing the kitchen come (back) together.

  42. I’m so glad you wrote about this show! My husband and I have been looking for a new show to binge after catching up to the Walking Dead and this has sucked us in! =)

  43. Oh, how I love encaustic tile!

    I also recommend Inspector Morse mysteries for interiors and glimpse into 1980s-1990s English daily life (stoves, telephones, clothing, as well as interiors).

    • Haha, is 1980s England a thing I need in my life? I don’t know, but it’s on iTunes so I do know I’ll find out.

  44. You won th contest, but somehow I feel like I won too because I get to see you make your kitchen amazing even faster! Yay!

    • Here’s hoping!! I already know it’s going to be a longgggg road with this kitchen (mainly due to money and time constraints), but the extra cash is a huge huge huge help!

  45. Daniel, these past couple of posts have made me smile so. I love your appreciation for details and how you reveal architectural beauty at every turn. Your blog and work are as inspirational to so many of us as your inspirations, like The Knick, and its set designers, are to you. Thank you for your posts, your work and congratulations on the angies list win!!!

  46. In addition to the suggestions – Murdoch Mysteries takes place in Toronto starting in 1895 and is quite good. Definitely not as stunning as Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries but more in tune with your research…

  47. Amen. Traditional-meets-modern Utilitarian. That needs to be a thing because I’ve dreamt of a 1920’s Berlin Pharmacy-esque kitchen for over ten years.

    Move over Hygge.

  48. You make my Mondays bearable. (Okay, technically it’s Tuesday, but it’s a work week Monday because yesterday was a holiday) Every time I think, “this is my favorite post yet” you go and do another that delights me even more. “Shoot me full of typhoid and let me die here!” – Laughed out loud.

  49. So happy you won! Looking forward to your kitchen plans. As always I am sure it will be awesome!
    Spring coming sparks even more ideas, at least for me :-)

  50. Apropos of nothing, but possibly useful information — have you heard of “outdoor bleach”? I’m having a countertop made up out of old salvaged fireplace mantel pieces (of marble — they came from a neighborhood home that caught fire and was torn down). The guys making the countertop brought the charred pieces of marble outside and washed them down, scrubbed them up, and doused them with “outdoor bleach” — it said it right on the label — then draped wet paper towels over the pieces — and now they’re shiny and clean. They also went over them with sandpaper of varying grits. Just an FYI as I believe you have looked into various methods of cleaning marble and it’s great to know this is an option. I think “indoor bleach” would be okay (with a window open) for something that can’t get outside.

    • Thanks, Erica! I actually have heard of that, but I don’t know how it actually differs from regular bleach! I know about it because Edwin left a leaking bottle on the wood shelf in my laundry room, and now there’s a nice white ring on it. Ha!

  51. Cool! I’ve never seen the Knick even though it was shot down the street from me in Bed Stuy. That built-in looks very Japanese- and Art Nouveau-inspired Edwardian. The exterior of Boys High School in Bed Stuy in Brooklyn is the hospital. I wish I knew where they shot the interior of the hospital. Somewhere in that series the interior of a friends’ home shows up. In real life, his kitchen looks a lot like the last photo above, the one of Dr. Thackery’s office. No time to watch TV — too many old house weekend projects hanging over my head lol. Here’s a photo of the crew in Bed Stuy in 2015. Brownstoner also used to have a bunch of photos showing how the crew transformed the streets around the high school into a set with old-timey storefronts and fake old-timey ads on the sides of the old brick buildings but I can’t find them. http://www.brownstoner.com/brooklyn-life/wednesday-photo-the-knick-in-bed-stuy/

  52. Hi Daniel,
    I, too, love that show and the sets, although I haven’t watched many episodes.

    Are you familiar with Steve and his blog (somewhat defunct) Urban Cottage? He has renovated his kitchen using a mix of old and new and it looks wonderful: http://anurbancottage.blogspot.com/ – you can also find him on Instagram.

    Good luck with all the work in your kitchen!

    • Thanks, T! Yes, I found Steve’s blog a few years ago because of his (AMAZING) exterior overhaul. I think maybe I missed the kitchen, though! It looks great, although I’m not sure if there’s a different post I should be looking at. I found this one!

      (incidentally, the very first photo on Steve’s blog right now, the post from 1/11/2015, was taken by my ex and is my best friend’s house in Kingston!)

  53. Yay! So glad to hear that you won :) Thanks for the tip on the show, I’ll find it tonight. The built-ins and the lighting are amazing!

  54. Dude you HAVE to watch Miss Fischer’s Murder Mysteries. (I know I’m seconding a lot of people in this.) It’s on Netflix, and it’s written and acted very nicely but GOOD GRACIOUS the set and costume design. I mean, be still my heart. 1920s Melbourne. The attention to detail is just stunning. I was just watching an episode that takes place in a factory and even the lockers in the factory workers’ locker room are antique and beautiful. And the kitchen in the main house is totally your aesthetic and would be really inspiring.
    Thanks for the tip about The Nick, I’m always looking for more pretty things to stare at.

  55. You’re hilarious! I love The Knick and tried my best to get a bunch of friends to watch it when the first season aired. It really is a gem of a show that didn’t get nearly enough eyes as it deserves! Congratulations on winning the contest! I voted! :D

  56. Apparently The Knick was just canceled after the second season. I hope they ended it well because I plan on binging it someday. (I have so many shows on my “to watch” lists, so who knows when I’ll get to it, but it’ll be on the list at least.)

    I was SO many period shows, and I too find that a good reason I watch most of them is not only because of the interesting story lines, but the sets and costumes. Gets me every time. :)

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