The Maxwell Moment: Renovation Design Scheme
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Up to now, I've been showing you a lot of dirty, scruffy grunt work in this renovation series. I thought we'd take a little time out to showcase some of the more decorative detail decisions I've made for the apartment. They include vintage wallpaper with a collection of neutral paint colors to harmonize, plush carpeting, vintage switch and outlet covers in a Hollywood Regency style and dead-stock tile. The overall palate is based on a mural called Memory Lane that has been sold by the Thiabaut company since the 1960's. I found an unused vintage one and it will be the focal point of my living room. The color story it suggested features soft greens and off whites, with pops of brighter green and burnt orange. Be sure and come back often to see how it all comes together!
ABOUT BRINI MAXWELL:
Described as part Donna Reed, part Mary Tyler Moore, Maxwell makes kitsch feel classy through her unparalleled personal flair for home design, entertaining and savvy household tips. Inspired by a divine thrift shop purchase of 1950's nesting bowls, she first began sharing her vintage/classic know-how with other Manhattanites in 1998 through her self-titled cable access television show. With an emphasis on uncompromising fabulousness, Brini quickly garnered a devoted fan base and established herself as the go-to-girl on vintage fashion and mid-century modern treasures. After five years on the local airwaves her show was picked up by the Style Network. The subsequent series has been called a delightful success and has attracted a diverse audience thorough its national platform.
Brini was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised there and the Midwest. She was a child prodigy in the area of domestic science, piping perfect mashed potatoes at the age of five and redesigning the rumpus room in her family home by age 10. At the Fashion Institute of Technology, between spontaneous bouts of cleaning and organizing the student union she achieved a bachelor's degree in Fashion Design. She worked in the fashion industry for 5 years, never finding fulfillment until she started developing her television show.
Brini still lives in the same tiny intricately apportioned New York City apartment used as the set for the original television show. She spends her time between shooting the television show and making personal appearances, doing needlepoint, shopping for inspiration in thrift shops and vintage stores and spending time with friends. She's currently shopping for a second home in Palm Springs California and looking wistfully at vintage 1960's convertibles on eBay Motors.
Sabrina "Brini" Maxwell is a fictional character created by actor Ben Sander. Described by Guy Trebey of the Village Voice as the "prototypical, pre-feminist, 1960's homemaker", Maxwell has also been described as a composite of Doris Day, Mary Tyler Moore, Auntie Mame, That Girl and Donna Reed and came to prominence in the late 90's as the host of her eponymous television show on Public-access television cable TV in Manhattan.
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The Brini Maxwell Show
The pilot for the original show was produced in 1996. The show debuted on Manhattan Neighborhood Network on January 1, 1998, and aired for 5 years featuring tips, recipes, entertaining ideas, craft projects, home renovation and interior design schemes. It was produced by Sander's production company V.R.U.S.P. Inc. and directed by Sander's mother, Mary Jane Wells.
In 2001 Sander was contacted by Amy Briamonte, east coast director of development for west coast based Termite Art Productions (now Creative Differences Productions). Briamonte and Sander developed a pitch for the show for the Bravo network and received an order for a pilot. The pilot was produced in the summer of 2002 for a show titled Charming, Needs Work. The premise for the show was Maxwell lived in an apartment that she redecorated every week. After Bravo passed on the show Briamonte, Sander and Termite Art pitched it to Stephen Schwartz and Heather Moran, newly named VP's of programming for the Style network. The pitch resulted in an order for a 13-episode season.
The first season of The Brini Maxwell Show for the Style network was taped in the summer of 2003 with studio production taking place on the main stage at Unitel Studios on west 57th St. in New York City. Location shoots for the season were taped over a period of 6 months in New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.