Location: Upper West Side
Size: 538 sqft alcove studio coop
Favorite: that the kitchen and the living room and bathroom have windows
Years Lived In: 3
There is no manufactured wallpaper in Curtis' apartment except for a remnant from his grandma's house, framed and hung on the wall. Everything else was painstakingly created by Curtis by hand.
Sure, occasionally, he employed a stencil, or some painter's tape, but this is not a typical paint job by any stretch of the imagination. Curtis' due diligence is unparalleled. Curtis carefully and purposefully selected almost every single element of his Art Deco themed home.
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When he wanted patterns for his bathroom and kitchen, he picked them out of an old Montgomery Ward sample wallpaper book. And he didn't just pick them, he used different inputs to create the perfect amalgam of the perfect pattern of 40's era wallpaper. He made sure to match the colors perfectly, and then he went well out of his way to replicate the patterns on his wall.
Wait, but that's not all. To spiff up his built in laundry hamper, Curtis removed it from the wall and brought it to Maaco auto body repair shop to have it refinished. When I asked him if the guy at the body shop thought Curtis' request might be weird, he said no, because the Maaco guy had just done the very same thing to his own laundry hamper!!!! When it came home, Curtis said the black hamper looked like a limo!
For the main event, the wall mural in the living room/dining room, Curtis was drawn to paint-by-numbers as his main source of inspiration. Curtis went to art school and is a talented illustrator, but he likes how populist this 1950's art form can be. Once all 24 colors were chosen, the images were drafted on the wall in an authentic blue line, and each element was numbered according to its designated color, Curtis invited friends over to paint with him. Four months, and many brushstrokes later, he has an incredible mural of a Paris street scene and many painting memories.