Hollister and Porter Hovey inherited a few interior-design rules from their mother: “Always save Hermès boxes, incorporate animal prints whenever you can … and never let a lack of chimney keep you from buying a mantel.” Using this advice, combined with their own personal aesthetics, the sisters have turned their Williamsburg loft into an inhabitable and playful cabinet of curiosities, filled with ephemera from bygone eras. It’s a new nostalgia, where Victorian England meets Ernest Hemingway and Instagram becomes redundant. To celebrate their new book,Heirloom Modern, the Hovey sisters will throw a party at Anthropologie (75 Ninth Ave., nr. 15th St.; 212-620-3116) this Thursday, April 11, beginning at 7 p.m. Art in the Age Craft Spirits—who specialize in producing American history-inspired liquors—will pour drinks, and the sisters will sign copies of their book.
Whither Downtown New York
With the city finally coming out of hibernation, two stalwart booksellers present a full Sunday celebrating downtown New York, its streets, and its artists. The free events begin at 10 a.m. this Sunday, April 14, and include a fiction and poetry tour through downtown, musicians’ recollections of the best downtown show they ever went to, stories of life in the dark after Sandy, drinks, and an after-party at Pravda, a subterranean bar with Soviet-design inspiration. Of particular interest is “Road Trip With the American Guide” (2:30 p.m. at HousingWorks). Tom McNamara and Erin Chapman will discuss the Depression-era guidebook, which encouraged what we know as “stay-cations” to explore downtown New York. The American Guide is a design artifact with a contemporary spirit (which McNamara and Chapman revived online) and most of all a chance to see how adventuresome New Yorkers navigated a city that has since changed, but remains a center of art, commerce, and design. Events at Housing Works Bookstore Café (126 Crosby St., nr. Prince St.; 212-334-3324) and McNally Jackson (52 Prince St., at Lafayette St.; 212-274-1160).
Design in Public
The founding principal of Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Chris Reed, speaks on the challenges of designing public spaces in urban environments at Cooper-Hewitt Design Center (111 Central Park N., nr. Malcolm X Blvd.; 212-849-8400) on Wednesday, April 17, 6:30 to 8 p.m. The Boston-based studio’s work pays close attention to ecology and functionality, often reimaging spaces where the built, urban environment encounters natural features—such as waterfronts, promenades, and spaces on the fringe of development. In 2012, Stoss won Cooper-Hewitt’s National Design Award in the category of Landscape Architecture. Lizabeth Cohen, co-chair of the Common Spaces Steering Committee at Harvard, will join Reed to talk about one of Stoss’s current projects, a public plaza atop a vehicular tunnel. The event is free for Cooper-Hewitt members and all students and $15 for nonmember adults.