Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bridget Otto Thursday

It's Bridget Otto Thursday and she's served up a double helping of interior design news.

In Free Style, Otto writes that some furniture retailers have on staff designers to help make your experience as "fun as buying shoes." Shelly Greenwood says, "We work best to educate the buyers so mistakes aren't made." She helps buyers with scale and balance. In store designers advice is free, but they do expect you "to make Informed purchases at their store.

In Refresher course, Otto writes about Sue Augustyn of SAID Interior Design working with clients Dez Young and Karenanne Smith, to rework older furniture and make a living room more inviting. You can see the results of her work in Homes & Gardens of the Northwest in Thursday's Oregonian.

The point I take away from these two articles, is good design can be free from instore designers or can be hired, but in both cases designers help you avoid mistakes, confirm your design choices and can help you with the budgeting.

At Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery, over 80% of our business is done with designers. If you want design help, we can refer you to designers we think will be in tune with your needs and budget. You will also find on our floor, furniture ranging from contemporary to transitional to traditional, all chosen by me, Beverly Landfair.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Garden - outdoor entertaining destination.

We've posted about The Resort Effect, the move to take the inside of your home to the outside. In fact,
Troy-Bilt, a leading manufacturer of lawn and garden equipment, predicts that in 2007, gardens will continue to be viewed as an extension of the family room and grow in their role as an outdoor entertaining destination.
Savvy Gardening has some tips for your garden that will get the neighborhood talking, and make it even cheerier and more relaxing for you in your back yard:
  • Less is more - any small space can be a garden or used for experimentation. To me, less is more also means allowing plants some autonomy, rather than the cramped beds I see in many yards.
  • Add a touch of flair - with bird feeders, fountains, waterfalls, ponds, statues, globes — even lights. Remember tip #1!
  • Traditional container gardening is out - Although plants in pots are still popular, gardeners are beginning to mix and match colored pots with bunches of various plants and flowers for a drastic but simple backyard makeover.
  • Color is in - Hot hues add contrast to a space and can help hide dull outdoor furniture.
  • It’s about you - a garden is an extension of your home and should mimic your tastes.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Green Homes

Last Sunday, I wrote about The Resort Effect and noted that
...creating a resort at home becomes more attractive as transportation costs climb.
Pure Contemporary in Behind the Curtains has an article about GE,
A blueprint for building green homes called ecomagination Homebuilder Program.

This new program helps residential developers and builders design homes that are not only comfortable, but that are more efficient in their energy consumption and indoor water consumption than industry–accepted average new homes.


In the last two years, natural gas costs have risen 42 percent and electricity costs have risen 17 percent, according to a report in Energy Source, March 2007.
Homebuyers are choosing energy efficient homes and look at some of the things provided:
  • an interactive wall panel that provides current and historical feedback on electricity and water consumption.
  • appliances that pair innovative energy efficiency with groundbreaking features and cutting–edge design.
  • indoor and outdoor lighting that consumes up to 75% less electricity than standard incandescent lighting.
  • if the home is equipped with solar power, this system is designed to produce power year after year and typically meets 20–30% of a home's electricity needs and works in conjunction with the local utility to provide complete service.
We complain about high energy costs and our leaders declare goals of ending our energy dependency, however, those higher costs are spurring development of new products to ease our energy consumption and giving us greater control over our environments. All that R&D would not have found a market if energy prices stayed low. Some predict a future of $100 to $200 oil.

I'm not worried. I look forward to electric cars and zero point energy.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Neighborhood Notes and The Pearl

Neighborhood Notes takes exception to The Oregonian describing Landfair Furniture's move, in Storefronts, as a move to the North Pearl Design District
...becoming known as the Design District, with Globe Lighting, Bedford Brown, Kravet and other related businesses within a few blocks of one another
She notes
While I understand the need to market the North Pearl, I think it's a mistake to label that small section as the one that specializes in design when we have a huge home furnishings group peppered throughout the neighborhood. It's like saying that the area around the armory is "the gallery district" because of a few galleries in close proximity to each other.
The North Pearl Design District leans to To the Trade and is easy for interior designers to make many stops and the area is very accessable via freeways from anywhere in the city. Landfair Furniture does 80% of its business with designers. However, we welcome home furnishing and accessory shoppers and are in a position to recommend designer help if needed.

Neighborhood Notes is correct that there is a huge home furnishings group spread throughout The Pearl. There are walking tour maps of the area to help you discover all that The Pearl offers. Many are having sales, as she notes, this Memorial Day weekend. For a full list of home furnishings stores see Your Guide to the Pearl District.

As for Landfair Furniture this day, we are closed Saturday through Monday. My first three day weekend since before the move and I would like to spend some time around the house with Mike, planting tomatos and basil, b-b-qing, and enjoying the first dry Memorial Day weekend in the last six years.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Thursday, May 24, 2007




What's new: This spacious furniture store, the first tenant in the new Pearl Design Center, opened in March on the northern edge of the Pearl District.

Where & when: 1636 N.W. 15th Ave. at Savier Street under the Fremont Bridge, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

What's cool: Landfair carries an eclectic array of home furnishings -- from traditional to contemporary -- from designers such as J.D. Chamberlain, Sherrill, Rowe and Hekman. It also plans to add a line of durable, affordable children's furniture.

Who: Beverly and Michael Landfair opened their first store on Macadam Avenue in Southwest six years ago. Beverly says she travels to High Point, N.C. -- "the daddy of all markets for furniture buyers" -- every six months.

Why here: When the Landfairs lost the lease on their first store, they looked around for something bigger and more accessible. This section of the Pearl is becoming known as the Design District, with Globe Lighting, Bedford Brown, Kravet and other related businesses within a few blocks of one another.

Quote: "We have animal crackers out and water in the fridge," Beverly Landfair says. "We try to make it kind of homey." Get in touch: 503-245-4222

ANNE LAUFE Have a Storefronts tip? Send details to

Oregon Passes New Bottle Bill, Artists Deprived

Beginning Jan. 1, 2009, Oregonians will have to plunk down a nickel deposit on every bottle of water they buy. Yes, the Oregon House passed the Oregon Bottle Bill. The Senate passed a similar bill, so Oregon will recycle instead of dumping.
Oregonians buy nearly 200 million bottles of water each year and most are not recycled. The state Department of Environmental Quality estimates that Oregonians trash as many as 126 million bottles every year.
Over at Fabulously Green, we see that artists have been creative with these plastic bottles:

Aartist Michelle Brand was inspired by the bottom of Dasani water bottles.

The inspiration for these plastic petals were found at the bottom of a bottle--literally. Turn your empty Dasani bottle upside down and voila--a botanically inspired base. Michelle cuts, sands, and strings together recycled bottles to create this light catching fabric.
You can only do so much with 200,000,000 bottles. It's about time!

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Woman Power: Are You Surprised?

C.B Whittemore posting at Flooring The Consumer writes that "Women hold the power of the sale". A big change is coming to retail in the world of retail:
Consider this: The majority of retail operates in a world designed, owned and managed by men for women consumers.
Whittemore says these retail establishments are "not connecting with their woman customer."
Connecting successfully means truly understanding who that person is, how she interacts with your store and what value she obtains from you. Although she may have tolerated the way things have been, she increasingly prefers environments that recognize her, welcome her and acknowledge her as having the means to make significant purchases.
Consider, also,
  • Women represent 51 percent of the overall population
  • Women are better educated than men
  • Sixty percent of women work.
  • In 55 percent of US households, women make half (or more) of their family’s income. Thirty percent of women out-earn their husbands
  • Women are the major purchase decision makers for home furnishings
  • Women carry 76 million credit cards
  • Women are more profitable than men.
  • Women are more brand oriented than men
  • AND...women are more likely to give referrals!

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

May 17th Open House

Beverly (left) and sister Carol celebrate Open House on May17th at Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery in the Pearl Design Center.

Beverly and husband Michael look proud of their creation.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Shakti Space Designs

On May 20th we posted about Organizing tips from Mary Carol Garrity in Organizing: Think outside the basket, One of Garrity's suggestions for organizing was to create a message center in your home and suggested painting a door to look like a chalkboard.

Lo and behold I find out about Lucinda R. Henry owner of Shakti Space Designs, LLC. Lucinda does Custom Wall Finishes, Old World Plasters and Murals. Glancing through her site I see a chalkboard as described, only done by Lucinda at Shakti Space Designs.

Lucinda Henry can be reached at 503.998.2411 and is Licensed, Bonded & Insured
OR: #154545 WA: #SHAKTSD949N3

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bib Aprons, A Great Impulse Item

Recently. I posted about impulse items in The $80 tube of Toothpaste. The secret to high priced toothpaste, that the big box stores use, is the careful placement of impulse items. Today, I learned that Popularity of aprons is remarkable
Long, short, frilly or barbecue-style, the apron has withstood the test of time, becoming a cultural icon of sorts.
In Arizona, local retailers suggest

● A floral-print half apron, embellished with two bold blue butterflies, brings a festive and springy look to the kitchen.

● Soft ruffles, hand embroidery and delicate floral cutouts on all-white fabric create a crisp, classic and feminine look for an old-fashioned afternoon tea or other special occasion.

● Mommy's or Daddy's little helper can practice cooking while looking adorable in a pint-sized apron

● Vibrant flowers, birds and metallic braiding

For me, I like the solid bib-apron.

A little web checking provides information that a dozen white aprons can be purchased for $48 a dozen. Most aprons sell in the $30 to $35 area. A logo can be added and you have a great impulse item. Can you believe it? People will pay you to advertise your store.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Resort Effect

On May 12th I wrote about the advent of Hularo, a man-made, totally weatherproof fiber, but unlike other plastic fibers it contains no PVC, will not crack or fade and does not give off toxic fumes. The unspoken story is that the hottest trend in America is moving outside.
The ideal outdoor room takes the comforts of the house's interior to a nearby outdoor space, usually one that is attached to the house. This means plush furniture upholstered in weather-resistant fabric, a cooking area or heat source and a covering, such as a canopy, to keep the rain out.

Deborah Krasner, whose recent book, "The New Outdoor Kitchen," explores one of the most popular new forms of outdoor space, explains the trend as an answer to our desire for instant comfort. Call it The Resort Effect.

"More and more we want the luxury we experience when we travel," she says. "We want that resort experience at home."

"This is a huge trend and an international trend," Krasner adds. Since she completed her book, Krasner has been asked to design outdoor kitchens in Sicily, Denmark and Britain.

Creating a resort at home becomes more attractive as transportation costs climb. (emphasis added)
Now if we can just get the sun to stay out here in Portland on the weekends.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Organizing Tips

Mary Carol Garrity, the proprietor of three successful home furnishings stores in Atchison, Kan., and the author of several best-selling books on home decorating, writes in Organizing: Think outside the basket at about organizing your home and increasing storage by suggesting:
  • Cute containers for small items like stamps and office supplies
  • Get the family to hang up their things with Hooks and Rods in the bathroom and mudroom
  • Message centers of chalkboard painted doors
  • Stealth storage with decorative containers that double as storage.
Baskets and boxes are another good way to increase storage in your home and they are attractive:

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

House Markers

While driving around Forest Heights last Friday, we noticed that many homes had very special and big house numbers. Now we've been to Home Depot and glanced at their numbers and generally they have individuals in black and brass that you nail or screw up individually. Not the kind seen in Forest Heights! I tell Mike on occasion that I want some of those big numbers that can be seen with ease from the street.

I surfed upon a site that carries what I'm looking for, Address Plaques, Signs and and there are the numbers I have been looking for:

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Alexa Hampton designs for Kravet

Interesting article in the Sun Sentinel about Alexa Hampton, the daughter of a famous designer Mark Hampton.
(She is) a busy designer for discriminating clients, she also designs furniture for Hickory Chair and fabrics for Kravet.
In the interview she was asked, "When do you think a room needs updating?"
A. Rooms that are done in the heat of a trend tend to need redoing five to seven years later. Rooms that are designed with a more personal or timeless approach usually last for a minimum of 12 to 15 years. At that point, I find that fabrics often poop out, depending upon the wear that they receive.
While she designs for the Florida market, she is a trend setter and there are some clues as to what will get picked up nationally.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Our Open House Was A Success

We moved to our new location in the Pearl Design Center on March 15th and Thursday night invited designers and friends to our open house. It was a wonderful night and many dropped by to wish us well and loved our new location. Face it, Macadam Avenue is just not that easy to get to, if you are coming from somewhere other than Lake Oswego or West Linn. We are actively getting involved in the Pearl community (more about that later) and had our first ad in the magazine "EXPLORE THE PEARL" (see below)

The building activity in the area is breathtaking. Just up the street, Safeway is building a new store and cranes are a fixture on the skyline. If you are in our area, stop by and introduce yourself. Mike's favorite food at the party was the Mexican Wedding Cookie.

We still have some cookies in addition to my favorite, fat-free animal crackers.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wickes to close its five Minneapolis-area stores

And concentrate on Portland, OR.
The Top 100 company will close all five of its Minnesota stores and its Brooklyn Center, Minn., distribution center and “part of the company’s continuing strategy to focus its resources in high-growth markets including California, Chicago, Portland (Ore.) and Las Vegas,” Wickes said in a release.


The company said it is opening 10 new showrooms in those markets this year.

I counted 10 Cranes in the downtown Portland area this weekend, and might have missed a couple.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The $80 Tube of Toothpaste!

That's what good retailers like Costco and Target get for toothpaste, because you may have just stopped in for the toothpaste, but you bought impulse items that are strategically located around the store.
While few people would say they go to Target or Costco for pleasure, these retailers have gained an edge in luring people in for everyday products, and then enticing them to fill their carts with much more.

Welcome to the $80 tube of toothpaste, where a receipt ends up being far longer than the shopping list.
What can a small retail business learn from the big box stores? Your retail customers may walk in and say, I didn't know you were here and then on impulse walk out with a purchase because they derived pleasure from buying it.

In our store we have some items that look like a spilled wine glass. It always brings a chuckle and then the thought that this item would be great as a joke for that friend with light carpet or the white sofa.

Impulse items, the bubbles in the glass of good retailers.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture & Design Gallery

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Green Hularo

Traditionally outdoor furniture has been made of teak, wrought iron and plastic. Teak was used because it wouldn't rot and wrought iron because it wouldn't rust. Now there is "hularo". From the Post-Bulletin:
During the past few years, a new material called Hularo has become the staple of high-end contemporary design for exterior furnishings. Hularo is a man-made, totally weatherproof fiber, but unlike other plastic fibers it contains no PVC, will not crack or fade and does not give off toxic fumes.
Here are some examples of outdoor furniture using Hularo

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Friday, May 11, 2007

Artistic Metal

From, Metal shows off its artistic mettle/Designs of all types are popular as wall decor
You might see decorative metal wall art pieces and grills outdoors, but they're now making decor statements inside the home.

These often-ornate pieces can be made of iron, other metals or even faux iron with the look of the real thing.

Pictured are some examples from Global Views:

Square Wall Panel - Circular Design - 42"W x 48.25"H

Louis Iron Wall Panel 24"W x 36"H

Maresca Iron Wall Shelf 7"L x 37"H

CBK also offers metal art:

Queen Headboard Bed with Oval Design, Iron Cast Top, Medallion Accents and Antique Rust Finish, 60"L x 2"W x 60"H

Wine Label Design 9-Bottle Wine Table with Distressed Red, Gold, and Antique Black Finish, 31"L x 11"W x 30.25"H

In many ways, iron wall grills work like any other piece of art you might put on a wall. But because they don't have an array of colors like you might find in paints or tapestries, they are less busy and blend in easily...
Both Global Views and CBK are carried at Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery, now located in The Pearl.

Bev & Mike