My Most Unusual Project (SO FAR)

(a.k.a.  945 East Main Street, Shrub Oak NY, Part Deux)

As a Decorator, making the most of unusual spaces was always my forte.

As much as I enjoy the classical proportions of a center hall colonial; the challenge of bringing sense to a stumper of a floor plan makes my heart beat just a little faster.

Not too long ago I wrote about the transformation of  a building’s exterior  on a commercial project I was involved in, now more about its  interior.

Commercial spaces are really hybrid projects:  you’re making it look good and work well for those who work there,  but you’re also creating a visual that reinforces the brand that “sells” the company.

The building was a former diner.  Built from the ground up about a dozen years ago, it looked like a casual, contemporary restaurant. It was about to become the Yorktown Funeral Home.

The inside was gutted, and the original architect was engaged to re-work the space  for the new owner, but the challenge was to present a brand new, and very different face to the community; after creating  an appropriate exterior  a striking entry was needed to set the tone.

Here is the original, angled front counter. That had to go, but note the elaborate wood soffit with picture mouldings.

My very first thought when I saw this space was “GREEN WALL”.

Green walls are essentially living walls, an architectural element made of plants.  For this project, there were several objectives:

-Create a serene and soothing aesthetic

-Make a strong statement that erased any connection from the previous purpose

-Design a healthier  working enviornment using green plants

 Beyond the basic carbon dioxide-oxygen exchange-always a good thing- NASA has proved that some very basic green plants-even the dirt they are potted in-scrub the air of harmful gases.


Diane Dreier-friend, and landscape architect was brought into the project, and a design was chosen. Meantime, the counter was gutted, and a wall was constructed, dropping down from behind the newly-painted sofit.

 A knee wall faced with river stone was constructed, and if you look closely you can see a black metal grid on the back wall, painted black.  There are several ways to construct a green wall, this system involved pots set into this metal grid.




It’s Installation Day! 

Diane and her assistant Bernadette  unpack,

sort and wipe down the plants.









The plan starts to come together… plants are placed in the grid to match up with Diane’s design







After all the planning, 

 SO exciting to finally see it all unfold !!









Have a property in need of making a statement? Now is the time to start the conversation.