Saturday, December 31, 2005

Painting is Done, Happy New Year!

We are pooped! We have spent the last three days giving the store a clean, fresh, new look on the inside, while helping customers.

The back wall and the longest wall was a tuscan red called Red Pepper, is now a rich chocolate called Obsession for Chocolate. The south wall with many windows was Royal Purple is now Promises, Promises, a kind of light bluebery parfait and looks great with the new contempory dark brown woods and orange. The west front wall was Cockatoo Gold, a mustard color, is now Easy On the Eyes, a marshmellow white, as is the area behind my desk and counter and the north wall which was a orange rust color called Rum Punch now is the same light bluebery parfait. We have kept the charcoal accents on the beams and around the windows and doors. The paint came from Raye Ann and Rebecca's Designers' Studio, "a stylish paint infused with attitude and hip chic'ness".

Stop in to see the new colors and grab some animal crackers. They are low fat.

We want to wish you all the best for the New Year, may you be healthy, happy and safe.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Friday, December 30, 2005

Tankless Water Heaters

In case you missed the article, don't subscribe to The Oregonian or live outside of Oregon, Bridget Otto had an interesting article in Homes and Gardens Thursday. In Tankless water heaters: wave of the future or drop in the bucket?, Otto tells us about tankless water heaters, that there may be considerable savings over conventional water heating and space savings. There may also, be some tax savings.
Tankless -- or on-demand -- water heaters heat water as it passes through, as opposed to traditional water heaters, which keep gallons of water heated and stored, leading to what is called standby loss.

[...]

The best application for a tankless is an area that is a long way from the water heater, say from a tank in the basement to an upstairs bathroom. Any time water travels through a long stretch of pipe, much of it ends up just sitting in the pipe, where the heat is wasted. A tankless heater located near the water outlet eliminates this waste. There also are small units designed for point of use, such as a hot-water tap at a sink.

We added a tankless water heater in the kitchen for instant hot water for tea or instant cereal. The savings to your yearly hot water bill may amount to about 10%, but that could be offset by new wiring needed. There also may be some energy credits available. Retrofitting could be expensive, but it certainly could be more efficient to use tankless water heaters in new construction. If you are planning on adding a bathroom or building new, it's worth checking into.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Vitamin D!

New pill taken daily lowers the risk of colon, breast and ovarian cancer. A 45 year study has concluded that taking Vitamin D is so important that it should be made a priority. People might want to consider a vitamin supplement to raise their intake to 1000 IUs per day Seldom has a life-saving prescription come so simply or so cheaply: Get enough vitamin D daily and cut your risk of some cancers by up to half.

That's the good news from a study by cancer specialists at the University of California, San Diego, Medical Center. The bad news is that -- because the main source of vitamin D is sunlight and many of us have begun avoiding it -- many people aren't getting enough.

We're heading off to Cabo in less than two weeks to get our Vitamin D fix.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Uttermost to Offer Lighting Fixtures

Uttermost is making its debut into lighting fixtures at the Dallas Market in January.

"This is the largest product development effort we have ever made," said Mac Cooper, president and CEO. "It makes our lamp introduction three and a half years ago look small."

The 161-piece introduction consists of 24 families of lighting, ranging from two-story foyer chandeliers to mini chandeliers to vanity lights to sconces to kitchen lighting.

Carolyn Kinder, who lead the creative development of Uttermost’s lamp debut, is also the creative force behind Uttermost’s lighting fixture line.

Landfair Furniture has always been proud to carry the high quality lamp line.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Terence Riley's Last Exhibit at MOMA

When I visit New York, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) is always at the top of my list of things to see. I just read in ArtsJournal.com that Terence Riley, chief curator of architecture and design is staging his most elaborate exhibit at MOMA. After 14 years this is his last.

He was traveling in Spain trying to put together an exhibit featuring stadiums, auditoriums and theaters, when it dawned on him that the exhibit should be concentrated on the explosion of architecture in Spain, alone.

...inventive architecture in a country that had long shunned experimental forms. From the Barajas Airport Terminals in Madrid with its vast wings of wavy steel, to the Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona with an undulating roof of riotous color, so much of what he was seeing was compellingly original.

Powered by a democratic awakening after decades of Fascist rule and by the dividends of European Union membership, Spain, he saw, was clearly outpacing its European siblings in the breadth and daring of its new architecture.


J├╝rgen Mayer H.'s Metropol Parasol, for Seville.


The Habitat Hotel in Barcelona by Cloud 9, with Acconci Studio and Ruy Ohtake.

The resulting MOMA exhibition, which opens on Feb. 12, will be Riley's last.

I plan on seeing this exhibit!

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

10 Tips for Using Colors

From House Beautiful and Designers William Diamond and Anthony Baratta, how to rev up your rooms with 10 Tips for Using Colors

1. A painted ceiling will influence a room without interrupting the eye. Paint the ceiling pink to add warmth and surprise, or sky blue for a feeling of the outdoors. For a more dramatic effect, try gold or silver leaf.

2. Buy a colorful quilt, old or new. Stretch it over a frame like a painter's canvas and hang it on a wall for an instant shot of pattern and color.

3. We love to paint floors. Use French blue, dark green, Chinese red or even black. If you're feeling adventurous, stencil a border or an overall pattern in a darker shade or complementary color.4. Accessorize a neutral room with one strong color. For example, pick one big color -- like hot orange -- and find throw pillows in a geometric orange print, a stack of fabric-covered orange boxes or orange ceramic bowls and vases.

4. Accessorize a neutral room with one strong color. For example, pick one big color -- like hot orange -- and find throw pillows in a geometric orange print, a stack of fabric-covered orange boxes or orange ceramic bowls and vases.

5. Be creative with colorful paint. In an all-white modern room we might paint just one wall in a strong color. The colored wall will recede and give added dimension to the room.

6. Add colored lamp shades, which can be custom-made with almost any fabric or paper in every imaginable color. 7. We love to use antique Swedish, Austrian or German painted furniture to add an elegant touch of color. For a more playful look, we'll paint or pinstripe a piece of thrift-shop furniture.

7. We love to use antique Swedish, Austrian or German painted furniture to add an elegant touch of color. For a more playful look, we'll paint or pinstripe a piece of thrift-shop furniture.

8. Rugs are one of the easiest ways to introduce color into a drab setting without overwhelming a room. A strong rug will "ground" a room and add depth and drama to a neutral space.

9. Reframe a painting or print with a color mat that matches one of the artwork's dominant colors.

10. Slipcover a sofa and chair in a clean, bold color canvas with a contrasting welt. Slipcovers are a less permanent investment, so you can have fun experimenting. Try bold checks or stripes in crisp clean colors or a favorite large-scale print.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Your style makes your home unique

From the Homes & Gardens section of The Oregonian, an article by Bridget A. Otto: It is all about you Your style makes your home unique

Home furnishing catalogs land in my mailbox everyday.

These glossy publications pack page after page with stylish sofas, side chairs, vases, lamps and knickknacks that mix and match to bring together the perfectly coordinated room.

It's great -- if you want your home to look like a catalog and not like your home.

Making a house a home is about bringing out personality and style. It's about living in it, not just looking at it. The problem is, not everyone knows how to tap into their style. That's why catalogs filled with every last item needed to pull a room together are so popular and why big-box stores are loaded with cookie-cutter kitchens. Everything's done for you. No need to stop and think about how your personality might play out in a room.

It's enough to send chills through Julie DeJardin.

After 15 years as an interior designer, DeJardin's philosophy has remained the same. She works with clients to find their style, harness it and use it to create rooms that reflect their lives.

"Everyone has it," she says of personal style. "They just need help to release it."

DeJardin, like many other designers I've spoken with through the years, has several tricks. She has clients go through magazines and tear out examples of what appeals to them -- everything from doorknobs to light fixtures. DeJardin says the process always ends the same way: Everything that catches her client's eye will have something in common, such as texture, styling or color.

It happens every time.

Another way she divines design is to ask what their "buzz item" is: a commercial stove, a particular countertop material or a certain style of cabinetry, for instance. Once that's established, the overall look begins to take shape.

Amanda Klash looks for treasures. It's her surefire way to bring unique personality to a room, she says. Klash, of Montgomery Klash Interior Design, asks her clients what they pick up when they travel or what sorts of collections they might have hiding in the basement or packed away in boxes. So many people don't give their things the attention or the prominence they deserve, she says.

Sprinkling a room with special pieces -- family photos framed just right or a collection of hand-painted pillows, masks or musical instruments -- adds vibrancy, says Klash.

Picture the catalog image again: matching sofa and loveseat; occasional rug under a wood-and-glass coffee table, holding some books and a couple of substantial candleholders.

Nice and safe.

Now picture a collection of colorful glass paperweights grouped on the table and African tribal masks at attention on the mantel. Immediately, the room takes on depth.

Sharing your belongings this way shows off another side of you that others may not be aware of, says Klash, who loves that stores such as Pottery Barn have brought good design to the masses.

"But I'm against people being safe," she says, "and worrying about what other people think. Our home is a sacred place where we should be able to be who we are."

Just recently, Klash was talking with a client who pulled out a tremendous silver collection. The client wasn't sure what to do with it.

For Klash, who suggested simply displaying it on a shelf, it was designer's gold.

Personal style may be elusive, but it's not impossible to find. Sometimes I think the magazines with their gorgeous rooms do more harm than good. They seduce us and hypnotize us. We become like so many lemmings marching in design lock step, thinking this is the only way.

The truth is, there are a million ways to do a room and a million ways to make it your own. There's a very clever print ad now running for Andersen windows and doors. It's a picture of a highly stylized room with the tagline that reads: "Is it possible to see yourself in a room without mirrors?"

Walk through your home. Do you see yourself?

Bridget A. Otto: 503-221-8527;

bridgetotto@news.oregonian.com

Add your personality to your home

Get those family photos out of the box and into frames. Gather them on tables or frame them identically and hang them in groups.

Have a bunch of candleholders gathering dust? Put the same color candle in all of them and gather them on a mirrored or silver tray. This works for lots of collections: crystal decanters, silver pieces, cut-glass bottles.

Are the throw pillows on your sofa made from the same fabric as the sofa? Try pillows that are brighter, richer or darker in color for a contrasting, yet complementary, change. Keep all your receipts and don't cut any tags off. Because if you get the pillows home and don't like them, you can take them back and try again.

Have something you'd like to display, but nowhere to display it? Take a look at the bookcase in the family room. It doesn't need to hold only books. Store some of the books and make room for a display shelf.

Julie DeJardin can be reached at

DeJardin Designs
1500 SW 5th St. #1505
Portland, OR • 97201 • Tel: 503.768.4540
kitchens@dejardin.net

Amanda Klash can be reached at

Montgomery Klash Interiors
2600 SW Montgomery Dr.
Portland,OR 97203-1787
(866) 338-0087

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

New Products

Bubbles ThighShapers

a "push-up bra" for the butt!
slims the thigh without flattening the behind
shaping hosiery provides smoothing and comfortable thigh control without the need for a girdle or pantyhose
a special combination of fabrics provide upward push for a small or flat tush
"no roll" band engineered for comfort, strength, support and hold
designed to support the thigh & butt cheek without uncomfortable squeezing
silicone provides all-night anti-gravity control for a no-slip comfort fit
*TIP: Take Bubbles shopping with you. You will find that your butt will look great in most of the jeans you try on, giving you more options in the way of style, fit and price!
Spoon Coffee Mug

Hip pocket. This clever, all-in-one design solves the eternal question of where to park your spoon post-stir. Modern white glazed porcelain mug and spoon.

Hat tip to All Things Jen(nifer)

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Monday, December 05, 2005

Doodling

I always look forward to the monthly newsletter from Bullguard, the anti-virus company. We all doodle, as far as I know, and some meetings offer more opportunities than others. Click on the link and see for yourself.


http://www.bullguard.com/curiosities/default.aspx?id=409

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Blog Demographics

In the article Blogs: no-cost marketing By Lisa Casinger, there is excellent information about blog audiences.
This summer, online market research firm ComScore Networks released a report on the scale, composition and activities of blog audiences. The report was sponsored in part by Six Apart and Gawker Media (a blog software company and blog publisher respectively).

The report detailed some interesting facts:


* Nearly 50 million Americans, about 30% of the U.S. Internet population, visited blogs in the first quarter of 2005, up 45% from the same quarter in 2004.

* Of the 400 largest blogs observed, divided into eight categories, political blogs were the most popular, followed by lifestyle blogs, tech blogs and blogs authored by women.

* Compared to the average Web surfer, blog readers are considerably more likely to live in wealthier households and be younger. They also spend about 23 hours a week online, 10 more than the typical Internet user.

* Blog readers visit almost twice as many Web pages as average users and they are much more likely to shop online and typically spend about 6% more than other online shoppers.

* Blog readers are a market segment waiting to be tapped and many savvy retailers have recognized that. Multi-million dollar companies have set up blogs talking about their product or company, making consumers more aware of their brands. Blogs are a form of viral marketing, which means increasing brand awareness by getting people to spread the message to other users; blogs simply give you control over the message.
Blogs are one more marketing strategy available to the business world, especially small business, and more and more companies will take advantage of this new way to connect with customers and prospects.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Blogs: No-cost Marketing

From Home Accents Today, Blogs: no-cost marketing By Lisa Casinger.
A few home furnishings retailers started blogs as a way to communicate with their customers and increase their brand awareness. One retailer takes a more personal, unconventional approach to his blog because it ties into the type of advertising and marketing they do, while another retailer offers more business-like information and ideas to entice designers and their clients.

Thompson Lange, co-owner of Homescapes, Carmel, started his blog as a way to personalize his Carmel, Calif., store after bi-monthly newsletters became too expensive. Lange direct-imports a large part of his merchandise and his travels around the world are the focus of his marketing efforts. The retailer started its Web site in the late '90s and realized it could take its newsletter format to the Internet for free.

"The blog was an informational tool from the very beginning," Lange said. "I'd already found that when I wrote my friends e-mails from the road, they forwarded them on to their lists and we saw there was a 'market' for the chatty, border-line rude sense of humor I have toward the store and the idiot-adventures I get myself into while I'm out buying the product that feeds the beast."

The other retailer is Landfair Furniture.
Mike Landfair, co-owner (with his wife Beverly Landfair) of Landfair Furniture, Portland, Ore., wanted to generate some buzz about his small store that caters to the trade. With a limited ad budget, he decided to use his Web site to give designers and their clients information that would make their Web visits worthwhile.

"Blogs are free and pictures can be posted along with content," Landfair said. "I also believe that people searching for furniture would find our store easier."

Landfair Furniture has Web sites for its blog, the store and its annex, the online store. With traffic counters Landfair sees the traffic building on each site and that's translating into traffic in the brick-and-mortar store as well; the online store, too, is catching on.

"I started the blog in March and at first couldn't find enough to write about and site traffic was stuck at a small number," Landfair said. "Then I started posting regularly and the visits to the blog have steadily grown."

Landfair's blog gets about 50 unique visits a day; that's a potential 50 customers. The retailer also offers an e-mailed newsletter each month that recaps the blog topics and links to those articles. Mike and his wife, Bev, comment on everything from Hurricane Katrina and the furniture markets they attend to new local restaurants and design trends on their blog.

Check out the whole article for some very good information about using blogs for marketing.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery