Joe and I met in Manhattan at the Four Seasons Restaurant to help Veranda celebrate its 25th anniversary. When Lisa Newsom started that magazine as a brand new venture, Niermann Weeks was one of her original advertisers, so we were thrilled to party with the Veranda team and its groupies. Here’s the ad we placed those many years ago, showing off half of our enormous Forged Steel Dining Table. Satisfyingly enough, we got lots of orders from that ad. One lovely customer even ordered three of them to install in her covered patio in a Palm Beach mansion.
In Veranda’s March-April 2012 issue, we focused on the outdoor life again with this ad showing our garden furniture. We started selling these tables, chairs, screen, and accessories as early as 1982, and fortunately each year more gardens and patios need to use them.
So, anyway, back to the actual birthday party. This was my first trip to the Four Seasons restaurant, which is a modernist masterpiece of interior design located within the Seagram Building, an architectural superstar. Because I knew the place was super-special, I quickly looked it up in www.wikipedia.com, which said that The restaurant’s interior, which was designed by the building’s architects Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, has remained almost unchanged since construction in 1959. The restaurant was designated by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Committee as an interior landmark in 1989.
Entering the building, Joe and I walked up a flight of steps into the Bar and the Grill areas, then down a hall past a tapestry designed by Pablo Picasso into the main dining area, which Veranda had rented for the occasion. Al I can say is WOW! To me, much of modernism seems cold and uncomfortable, never, ever adjectives I’d use for this interior. Throughout the main areas, glass windows go floor to ceiling and are covered by swags of metal beaded curtains. A hidden fan keeps the waves softly undulating up to the ceiling, and warm pink lights shine upwards . Blooming cherry trees in raised pots further enhanced this warm ambiance, making everyone at the party look as beautiful as we could look. This interior is truly a feast for the eyes.
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, dressed herself as a cupcake to lead us all in singing Happy Birthday, and she gave all of us a pretty little cupcake of our very own to enjoy later.
Veranda’s second editor Dara Caponigro and second publisher Jennifer Levene Bruno mixed with us all and made sure we had a great bash. Thanks, you all!
Afterwards Joe took me to dinner in the Grill area, where the food was just as beautiful and scrumptious as you would expect. In addition, my eyes found a new object to fixate on, a wire sculpture by Richard Lippold that hangs over the Bar. The wires are all of the same material, just hung in clusters of different heights, so the look of the sculpture changed as we changed our positions in the room.
It was a privilege to enjoy this celebration in this setting, just as it has been a privilege to be a Veranda advertiser and groupie. It made me feel all grown up and important.
Thanks for reading my blog, and be well!
Niermann Weeks is thrilled to announce Michael Taylor Designs as our new showroom representative in San Francisco! Please come visit the showroom to see our exclusive pieces in our new SF home, or call them at 415.558.9940 for more information. The familiar faces of Dean MacCracken and Josh Weishaar have joined the sales team there and will be happy to help.
The winter holidays have arrived, and I’m counting down to the winter solstice December 21, when the days get longer again. The leaves are long gone from my trees, however my yard has not yet received a killing frost, so the last flowers of summer endure. A few marigolds sparkle in yellow, sage plants display in red and purple, and that’s about all the color I can still enjoy. To me, the color freak, this is a dreary season, made even more so by rainy days like today. Tonight the cloud cover will totally obscure the meager light from the stars and the partial moon. Fortunately we humans have developed coping techniques with our winter holidays. For Joe and me, that means a lighted tree in the yard,
a big wreath on the front door,
and Christmas trees in the house. I was raised liking Christmas and then I married a total nut about the holiday. For our first Christmas, we had little money so we made our own ornaments. I made 12 dozen sugar cookies, cutting them really thickly. Joe the artiste then went in high gear decorating each one in my mother’s sour cream and powdered frosting. He painted the cookies in seasonal colors as their base coat, followed by lovely little designs specially designed for each little masterpiece. We tied each one up with a ribbon to hang all over our first tree. At that time in our lives we had no camera, so I cannot show off his beauties; you must just imagine his artistry from my words and your knowledge of the customization Niermann Weeks has always provided our patrons.
On New Year’s Day, we packed each cookie in tissue paper on the off chance they might survive till another Christmas. And some of them actually did! They turned into thick bars of colored soap-like material, so we hung them up again. The very last relic broke about 20 years later, but in the meantime we had accumulated a more varied hoard of ornaments. After four decades of marriage, we now need two trees for a proper display. Our nine footer sits in the living room window and is decorated 360 °. Using a timer and coming home at night in the dark, I need the satisfaction of all the sparkle.
In the foyer sits the three footer, dedicated to just shiny ornaments.
In the early days of Niermann Weeks, Joan Schenking managed our paint studio. Each year she led a weekly hobby night, in which volunteers used her designs to make special ornaments. I loved the years in which we used a delicate jeweler’s saw to cut thin sheets of steel into portraits of her dog Rusty the golden retriever, shown here in his base coat of white lacquer.
my cat Ms. Kitty in her base coat of yellow lacquer,
and other relevant creatures like a blue crab from Maryland,
The angel seques me into acts of charity, one of which Niermann Weeks has already done. We contributed the main tree, all eleven feet of it, to the Georgetown Jingle in Washington DC.
A dedicated volunteer group raises funds to support the pediatric cancer patients at the Georgetown University Hospital. A major fundraising event is a silent auction of holiday trees decorated by DC-area designers, which the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC in Georgetown (www.fourseasons.com/washington) allows us to display in their main lobby. For more information on the Jingle, look both at their website www.georgetownjingle.com and on their Facebook page. Or you could come bid at the auction on the evening of December 11 for a tree. All proceeds do go to help make life better for the children battling cancer.
Now that all my decorations are up, and the longer days are just around the corner, my soul is happy, and I hope yours is too.
Happy Holidays, and thanks for reading my blog! It’s a pleasure to share with you.
Marie’s first marital kiss was preceded, as you can well imagine, by heaps of planning and coordination. In the last hectic hours before the reception, a crane lifted in Niermann Weeks’ custom Biarritz Pendants and the gigantic Danieli Chandelier. I like the use of greenery to hide the chain; it’s much more elegant than a cloth sock.
The overall space dwarfed our 6 ft x 6 ft Danieli Chandelier.
Just before the party started, all the overhead lights dimmed so our lighting glimmered over the black and white dance floor.
For her floral theme, Marie chose blush, just like these rose petals in an antique silver bowl.
Peonies and hydrangeas supplemented her orchids from Argentina.
The caterer finished the last detail on the wedding cake before wheeling it into the reception.
The band took its place on the raised stage, and then the party began!
Family and friends watched the newly married couple dance their first waltz.
Oh, so romantic. My mother would have approved.
All of us at Niermann Weeks offer best wishes for great happiness to Marie and her groom. May they live long and prosper!
Marie, thank you for including Niermann Weeks in your wedding festivities, and thanks also for letting us share these photos (courtesy www.scottburtonphotography.com).
Thanks to all of you for reading my blog,
Websites to check out include:
Niermann Weeks is thrilled to participate in this sixth annual Georgetown Jingle this holiday season at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC. We will be unveiling our tree in the lobby of the hotel on Wednesday, November 30th. The trees will remain on display until the silent auction event on Sunday, December 11th.
In 2006, the Georgetown Jingle was created by the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, JDS Designs, Inc., and The Washington Design Center to raise money for pediatric oncology programs in the Washington DC Metro area. The Georgetown Jingle has since raised $1.7 million in support of Georgetown University Hospital‘s pediatric oncology programs, specifically the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program (in collaboration with Duke University Medical Center) and the Cancer Survivorship Program. This year the Jingle will extend its support to include the development of a pediatric palliative care program.
Over the past five years the organization has had 100 designers from around the country participate in the Jingle, enjoyed the culinary offerings of 50 chefs, and welcomed more than 3500 guests. This cornerstone holiday event has grown to include a Children’s Workshop courtesy of CVS/pharmacy, holiday tastings by leading DC chefs, the DC Magazine Sports Lounge, amazing entertainment and incredible silent auction and raffle items.
The Verona Cabinet combines restraint in its simple shape with exuberance in its finish. Layers of antique whites and creams serve as a counterpoint to the delicate linear panels inset into the façade. The distressed gold leaf finish on the door panels and decorative brass banding around the top further enhance the warmth of the finish.
The cabinet measures 35.5”w x 20”d x 32.25”h, and is finished in our new Carrara white & gold leaf finish.
Niermann Weeks New York has relocated to the New York Design Center, 200 Lexington Ave, Suite 905.
Please note that we are currently using two temporary numbers while our main number is transferred to the new showroom. In the interim, you can call us at 646.293.6684 and fax us at 646.293.6685. We will let you all know when our main number is back in service.Niermann Weeks NY 200 Lexington Ave, Suite 905 New York, NY 10016 Tel 212.319.7979 Fax 212.319.6116
The elegant legs of our Scroll Console connect in inter-arching curves of hand-forged steel. We highlighted the metal base with a faux gilded bronze finish, and painted the planked wooden top in our well-worn Polonaise white finish. The console measures 50.75” wide by 25.75” deep by 32.5” high.
Husband and wife team Joe Niermann and Eleanor McKay started the Niermann Weeks Company in 1978 in Memphis, TN, and their daughters Eleanor and Claire Niermann grew up working with them and the company. The family moved to Annapolis, MD in 1984 and relocated the business to their new home. Today, the company’s artisans continue to make each piece of lighting and furniture by hand in studios near the Chesapeake Bay. Joe’s designs combine his inspiration from 18th century neo-classicism through 20th century French Moderne with the comfort of 21st century Americans.
The family remains fully involved with the day to day operations of the company. Joe designs, Claire fabricates, and Eleanor & Eleanor keep you up-to-date about our hand made creations for your home. We fully understand that for your nest, you need goods made of high quality, a finish palette with a great feel, the proper scale, and comfortable beauty. That’s already been engineered into our broad selection of lighting, beds, tables, seating, cabinets, fabrics and accessories. Our family builds so your family can live surrounded by usable beauty.
Our company is also dedicated to maintaining life on our shared planet. We use sustainable resources and continuously work to reduce waste in our processes. This our home planet, too, and we all live here together. When you place a Niermann Weeks piece in your own home, the investment in your lifestyle further supports our planet. We promise!
That said, please take a moment to watch the video below to see how we work at Niermann Weeks.
My train arrived at New York’s Penn Station at high noon, typically such a bad time that I had given myself an hour to get to our showroom near 59th St and Second Ave. Incredibly, the fourth cab in the queue got me to our showroom in just 25 minutes. That’s got to be a new record for rush hour. In fact, I arrived so unexpectedly early that Joe was unprepared to hide from my camera.
Our daughter Eleanor Niermann had just finished re-arranging the showroom, so I wanted to see how she’d changed our merchandising around. On the wall furthest from Joe, her new vignette really showed off our Visconti Console. Its attenuated lines form a graceful, three-dimensional X that supports a thin slab of walnut on the top. Joe and I had purchased its inspiration in Paris, a teensy Italian mid-century table. We scaled that table up and into a console more useful for an American home. The size is now 66” w by 16” deep by 33” high. I’ve always envisioned this Visconti Console as a pair in a home, placed opposite each other in a foyer or dining room, holding a lovely display of treasured photos and souvenirs.
Another display that caught my eye was this variation on a theme with our Roman Garden Table. It’s unusual to place our Capucine Chandelier overhead this table, but I really like the juxtaposition of the delicate curves of the chandelier floating over the chunkier curves of the table. At home I also top the table with a Quatrefoil Planter. Its waterproof liner gives me the versatility to show a plant or to chill the dinner beverages.
We’d had a run in recent months one our Milano mirrored cabinet. People like the combination of the sleek French walnut cabinetry with the funkiness of our antiqued mirror. The Octagonal Mirror is also an oldie but goodie, and the Kent Sconces have a special place in my heart. Joe and I got the inspiration for them on a delightful tour of country gardens in southern England during one of our wedding anniversaries. (How will we celebrate #43 this fall?)
After looking around, then my eyes went up to enjoy the shadows cast by our ceiling fixtures like the Iron and Crystal,
the Thistle and Folia ceiling fixtures,
and our Biarritz Ceiling Fixture
As I dashed out for train home, my eye lingered on this vignette of our Louis XVI Bed with the Fantome Bench at its foot. I have a friend who considering this very combination of bed and bench for her own home, so she’s already gotten a copy of this photo to show her husband.
Again the cab swiftly delivered me to Penn Station, where I always enjoy these mosaics and murals. To see them, go in the entrance on Seventh Ave at 31 St. On the walls along the escalators are mosaics done in the style of the ancient Romans but showing scenes of gritty New York.
Thanks for reading my blog!
We at Niermann Weeks try to respect our mother earth every day, but in the spring we all stop work for a day to clean up our five acre campus. Through the year debris from the nearby highway and from our own trash has accumulated, so we fill lots of bags with trash and make a run with leaf litter to the county’s recycle center.
To encourage new growth in our plants, we prune away dead branches and cut down the tall grasses. In this photo, Rebecca, Sandy, and Tony get set to cut down the grasses.
Alfredo comes next to rake up their cuttings.
Then Dave and Danny bag and bag and bag.
David rakes up under our other trees and bushes.
After many long hours, our facility looks much cleaner and neater.
Now that we’ve cleaned up our corner of the earth, we urge you to make your corner more earth-friendly. So far, we have no blisters or splinters to report, and we hope you can say the same.
All our best wishes from Niermann Weeks to you and yours for Earth Day and throughout the year!
The Niermann Weeks DC Showroom is celebrating spring with the make over of our Brindisi Chandelier in a brand new finish! During Capital Design Days on April 12-14, our artisans will be working in the showroom to transform the look of the chandelier from its current rustic Toulon white finish to the glamour of our new Veronese silver leaf finish. Please visit us at the Washington Design Center, Suite 701, to see the finishing process, from the hands on process of building up the first layers of finish, to attaching the elaborate scheme of crystal strands and pendants.Niermann Weeks DC Washington Design Center 300 D Street, SW, Suite 701 Washington, DC 20024 tel 202.488.1220
Niermann Weeks is pleased to introduce our newest representative showroom, The Dixon Group in Seattle! Please visit their showroom in the Seattle Design Center to see our exclusive products, or call them at 206.767.4454 for more information.
The Dixon Group
Seattle Design Center
5701 6th Avenue South
Plaza Suite 162
Seattle, WA 98108
Niermann Weeks has a rule: bring out a new product, and the first order will customize it. So, please look at how pretty our new Coquille Chandelier is in the Venetian Silver Leaf finish.
On our tear sheet it shows in Camel and Gold Leaf.
Either way, the Coquille’s a swell chandelier.
Another beautiful image came to me from interior designer Marjorie Johnston, showing our Louis XVI Bed. Her fortunate clients live near Miami, and from their king-sized bed can watch the ocean rolling in.
Here ‘s our tearsheet showing the full bed in queen-size.
Marjorie and her daughter Wendy Barze manage both an interior design business and the adjacent retail store, jojo Home, in Birmingham, AL. You can read up on their businesses at www.mhjinteriors.com and be sure to enjoy their mascot, Rover. He’s made of recycled, rolled newspapers and magazines.
Thanks for reading my blog, and please do pause to savor some beauty in your own life today!
From now through March 31st 2011, Niermann Weeks is offering a special finish promotion on all lighting products!
Here are the specifics of the promotion:
- - Every Niermann Weeks lighting product will be sold at the lowest published price, no matter which finish is ordered. Example: The standard finish on the Italian Chandelier is chalk rust, which is a standard (B level) finish. During the promotion, your customers can upgrade to Venetian silver leaf, a premium (D level) finish, and still pay the standard finish price.
- - Products ordered in the standard (B level) finish, and all lighting designs priced only at the premium (D level) finish, will be discounted by 5% during the promotion.
- The promotion includes all Quick Ship lighting products in premium finishes. Example: The Quick Ship Torino Chandelier is offered in our Parisian gold leaf finish, which is priced at the premium level. During the promotion, it will be sold at the standard level price.
- - This is for standard products only – custom orders and add-ons such rock crystal balls, extra chain, candle covers, etc. are exempt from the promotional discount.
- - Standard lighting lead time is approximately six weeks.
Please join Eleanor McKay, CEO of Niermann Weeks, for a presentation on the changes in light bulb standards. Owners of chandeliers and sconces will soon have difficulty finding standard incandescent candelabra bulbs, because federal law is now mandating their phase-out. With aesthetics being the top priority, she will cover the pros and cons of the available alternatives: CFL’s, LED and halogen bulbs.
The presentation will take place on Tuesday, December 7 at 2 pm in the Niermann Weeks showroom at the Washington Design Center.
We have some great deals on discontinued and older floor samples right now in our two company showrooms and our representative showrooms across the country. Select items are reduced up to 70% off!
We just received some great installation shots of two custom fixtures ordered by a Florida designer through the Nessen showroom in Dania. The custom lantern was built to her design, and it looks fantastic hanging tethered in the ceiling of the customer’s beautiful outdoor pavilion.
These customers also ordered an extra large custom Rivoli Chandelier that measured 78” diameter by 74” high. It looks spectacular in their wood paneled great room. Now we’re all curious to see how the rest of the house looks!
It’s always such a pleasure to see our products installed, and to get a peak at the completed design work of these very talented designers.
Niermann Weeks is excited to announce our newest Rep Showroom, Blake House in Laguna Niguel, California:
Southern California’s premier interior design showroom featuring 65 distinctive lines selected for quality craftsmanship and enduring elegance. BLAKE HOUSE has offered contract residential interior designers the finest in furniture, textiles, lighting and accessories for over 17 years, in 11,000 square feet of elegant showroom space.
Come by to view our exclusive pieces at:
Blake House, Associates
23811 Aliso Creek Road
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
Phone: (949) 831-8292
We frequently notice product trends pop up in studios, and the latest one is for custom sconces. A few of the recent orders were for relatively simple size changes, but we’ve also worked on some really interesting totally custom designs.
We just finished a pair of Biarritz Sconces with a double leaf design to add more height. Here are photos of the standard sconce next to the taller version.
We also just completed a pair of sconces based on our Brindisi Chandelier. These are going into what must be an impressive dining room in a residence near Los Angeles. In addition to the usual beads on the chandelier, the designer had us add an antiqued mirror backplate to the sconces to really make a statement on the wall. Here is a photo of the standard chandelier, as well as some process shots and a finished shot of the custom sconces.
Back on the East Coast, we just shipped an order of eight custom hurricane sconces to a residence in Florida. The back plate of the sconce was loosely based on our Mercure Sconce, and we worked out the rest of the details with the designer through CAD drawings and renderings.
We found out a lot more than we expected about custom glass during this whole process. It turns out that they make glass moulds out of tree trunks, and we had to wait a while for the glass company to locate a trunk large enough to use for the large glass globes. The finished sconces have great presence, and we’re looking forward to seeing the installation shots.
Finally, we’re nearing the end of the design process for a coordinating sconce for our new Crevecoeur Chandelier. We’ve gotten so many quote requests for them that we will be adding a standard Crevecoeur Sconce to the line very soon.
From now through 3 September 2010, Niermann Weeks is offering a special finish promotion on all products.
Here are the specifics of the new promotion:
- Every Niermann Weeks product in the price list will be sold at the lowest published price, no matter which finish is ordered. Example: The standard finish on the Avignon Chandelier is rusty steel, which is a standard (B level) finish. During the promotion, your customers can upgrade to Silver leaf, a premium (D level) finish, and still pay the standard finish price.
- Products ordered in the standard (B level) finish, and all lighting designs priced only at the premium (D level) finish, will be discounted by 5% during the promotion.
- The promotion includes all Quick Ship products in premium finishes. Example: The Quick Ship Satyr Table is offered in Venetian silver leaf finish, which is priced at the premium level. During the promotion, it will be sold at the standard level price.
- This is for standard products only – custom orders and add-ons such rock crystal balls, extra chain, candle covers, glass tops, etc. are exempt from the promotional discount.
- Standard lead-times apply.
Please call your Niermann Weeks Showroom or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Niermann Weeks introduces the Coquille Chandelier.
A symphony of curves, this new fixture is finished in a subtle camel & gold leaf finish, highlighting the sinuous structure with splashes of antiqued gold leaf. We then strung delicate cascades of alternating oval and round beads on this elegant framework in rhythmic curves reminiscent of the ridges of a scallop shell.
The chandelier measures 33.75” in diameter by 38.5” high.
Our Friends at Traditional Home Magazine featured Berner Sutphin Designs in their September 2010 issue. For the Stately Homes by the Sea Showhouse Bedroom, Berner Sutphin used a broad palate of calming yellows to create a bright, yet serene space. The beautiful space also features several Niermann Weeks’ pieces, including our Luce Console, Leone Urn, Annecy Chair, Italian Sconce, Ferrara Chandelier, and our Sevigne Screen Panels.