Saturday, July 11, 2009


You are a bit out of breath because you've climbed four flights of stairs while looking around, seeing our shocking pink and bright orange walls, and paintings and posters.

"Come in," I say.

"Wow," or "Gee," you'll probably say. Here in the middle of Manhattan, you don't expect to see a bright green enamel floor, a bright green enamel metal ceiling, and curved white walls.

"We can sit in here, " I say with a gesture, leading you to a curved wall, with a keyhole shaped doorway. (Click and you'll see JC's theater awards in those slots in the curved all)

We walk through the keyhole and there we are. It's a special room, a favorite place for me.

"JC and I have often breakfast here. Even in the middle of the winter, we feel like we're sitting on our front porch on a balmy summer day."

You look up and see sun pouring in from the skylight overhead. In the corner there's a huge bird cage. We had a dog named "Teechie," a cat named Helpie," and three fish tanks, and a white pigeon, "Little Soup" who stunned us when he turned out to be a she, by laying a beautiful white egg.

I pick up large silver ashtray that's sitting on an large beige marble coffee table. "This is JC's trophy from playing a celebrity tennis match as Billie Jean King's partner." (JC, before he became an actor, played high-level tennis -- when I met his family I was open-mouthed when I saw all the trophies he'd won.)

The furniture in the green room is white wicker. I point out the white rocking chair. "That's from my play 'Zinnia,' and the books over there -- that's the baker's rack. I wrote about in my blog -- that's where I keep the Robert Parker, Elmore Leonard, Nelson DeMille books that I've been re-reading."

If you ask me why I re-read them, I'll say what I've said before in a post -- "These writer guys were my teachers when I was working on 'Somebody.'"

I lead you through our dining room. You take a good look -- there's a ten foot white Formica dining table that is shaped like a huge mushroom, with five black and five white folding chairs around it . On the other side of the "push through" for dishes, is a smaller mushroom, the kitchen table, and our kitchen.

Everything is white, brown or orange. The refrigerator is huge. There are cabinets galore. Dancing left and right I can whip up a meal for two, four, or ten people in about thirty minutes. (No kidding, it's my Hawaiian Chinese recipes, and I love to cook, I'm a natural, got a knack for it !)

I ask "Do you want coffee, espresso? Hot tea or ice tea? Where would you like to sit -- in the green room or in our brown living room?"

It's a hangout room -- walls are patches of patterned red squares, rhomboids, and, triangles. Cozy, comfortable -- logs for end-tables, a large black marble coffee table, b0ok shelves and great lamps everywhere.

And a piano -- it used to be black, but with paint remover and a lot of elbow grease, JC and I turned it to a golden sort of brown.

Click if you want a real good look. Yes, my home is unusual, bright colors, wild looking, but practical. Easy to keep clean, and there are plenty of closets. Also a room with a separate entrance for JD (that's now our pantry, where JC makes me rye bread in our bread machine).

There's a real laundry room. I've got my own lime green bathroom, and JC has a white and forest green one. The bedroom is an attic room in the middle of New York City. Real brick, pointed -- no ceiling -- just the beams, and above the beams is the roof of the building. It's cold, brrr cold in there in the winter, but great for sleeping.

P.S. Behind the brown chair with yellow X on it's cushion there's an Em wall . Once upon a time it was just no color burlap. Now it's my eight-foot by four-foot "Heart" doodle -- worth a click. I sat on ladder one evening, and did it with chalks.

It's like a portrait of me. Lots of colors. Lots of styles mixed into an interesting mish-mash that's ... well ... it's like a stage set. I belong here, it's my home-made "home sweet home."


Carola said...

I love your house, especially your green room. It's interesting to me that my Mom was also creative and different in decorating her house (although not as creative as you). What I've inherited is a disinterest in being conventional in my home - just space, light, and air for me. But I haven't been creative - just let it fall together. It's almost embarrassing to bring conventional people home, because the house has a bit of "graduate student" style.

wayne said...

dear em Spencerian decor ravishes the mind ...wayne

Miss Hope Springs said...

Thank you for the wonderful journey around your beautiful home. I really felt as if I were THERE! I love the colours and different styles of each room. The 'Heart Doodle' is very should be in the Museum of Modern Art!. Thank you for the tour ...and the tea!
xx Ty

Lynne said...

DEAR Em and JC,

Thank you so much for giving us a peek into your lovely home. It's exactly what a HOME should be---your own sanctuary from the madding crowds, decorated the way you love and feel most comfortable. My West Indian blood loves the tropical feel of the entrance, and my Victorian sensibilities love the coziness of the living room.

Anonymous said...

I love your home! It is unique and beautiful at the same time. Your choice of colors in each room makes a guest feel wonderful and happy. Thanks for the tour and ice tea-I love it all! kam

Unknown said...

WOW!!! Your home is AMAZING!!! And it is so YOU!!!

Thank you so much for sharing this. I feel like I know you better than I did before--and even more that we are "sisters in decorating." :)

Love to you & John! <3