Architect Peter Feigenbaum found Jonathan Barsness’s name on a painter forum on Brownstoner. A litany of positive reviews (from one: “does good work — and I’m fussy”) convinced Feigenbaum to book him to repaint a spare room in his Williamsburg apartment. The walls had “a lot of patch marks and chips and were an especially ugly color: mustard yellow,” says Feigenbaum. “After Barsness came, all the old crusty bits miraculously disappeared, and the questionable paint-color choice was replaced with relaxing grays.” Barsness’s precision and (relatively) low pricing (small rooms, like a nursery, start at $500, while a bedroom in a brownstone with tall ceilings and historic molding may start at $2,000) mean his customers tend to come back over and over — like Feigenbaum. “He doesn’t need a lot of hand-holding,” he says. “I’ll hand him a swatch, leave him a key, and he takes it from there.”
Mark Uriu originally trained as a fine artist, and it shows: He specializes in the specific, from faux finishes (trompe l’oeil, faux marble) and gilding to distressed wall finishes. He was also recommended five times over — Spencer Bailey and Andrew Zuckerman, the co-founders of the Slowdown, describe him as “the go-to in certain high-end architect circles,” and architect Stephanie Goto, who has designed spaces for the Calder Foundation and Hauser & Wirth, says, “He is one of these people we never speak about but is integral to our practice.” Writer Zibby Owens told us Uriu painted her childhood bedroom in a light-blue sponge design she was so obsessed with that years later, she hired him to paint her entire Upper East Side apartment. When they got to her kitchen, she handed him and his partner a spatterware place mat as inspiration. “They used a little brush to painstakingly mimic splatter paint,” she says. “My kids and I sat around and watched — it was like watching Jackson Pollock.”
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Since 1985, our annual “Best of New York” issue has named standout services, unique shops, and special spots in dozens of categories. Now that Curbed is part of New York’s family, we have reimagined “Best of New York” as an ever-expanding resource that could rival Yelp in usefulness but feels more like a secret Google doc that gets passed among friends. To find the places recommended on these lists, we polled hundreds of stylish and savvy New Yorkers and begged them to tell us their go-tos. The result: our own Yellow Pages, containing only excellent places.
If you had been or are currently planning a painting project for your home, we encourage you to get a remote quote from our team and put down a 10% fully-refundable deposit to tentatively hold a future date for your project. If you don’t yet have an ideal start date, we can tentatively hold a 60- or 90-day start-date for you, which can be changed, with no fee, at any time. Learn how Paintzen is taking necessary measures to keep you, the customer, and our painters safe and healthy during by abiding by the COVID-19 rules and regulations.
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