Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Step Chest

We received an email from Michael Ramsey of Greentea Design out of Toronto. The Canadian based Asian furniture retailer deals in both antiques and contemporary pieces with customers throughout North America. Their main claim to fame is that their contemporary pieces are made from reclaimed wood so as to be more environmentally friendly. We were intrigued by one of their pieces and the history behind it, The Step Chest:

History of the Step Chest

The most recognizable piece of Japanese furniture is the Kaidan Dansu or Step Chest. It first appeared in the late 1700s in stores and homes with loft spaces.

The idea was simple -- why not have a staircase that could actually act as storage space as well?

These giant pieces (usually about 7 ft. high) would be constructed by the local carpenter who would build it to the owner’s specifications.

The chests would usually consist of a combination of sliding doors and drawers and different-sized storage spaces.

Then the next clever idea was spawned. Since the government at that time taxed owners on their livable floor space, someone thought of making the step chest in pieces.

The idea was be that when the tax inspector came around, you would simply disassemble your staircase and claim that your loft was only storage and had no permanent access. This worked for a while until, predictably, that loophole was closed.

These antique step chests remain one of the most unique and collectible pieces of Japanese furniture. Because of this, prices remain very high and availability is limited.
Isn't it amazing how people work around intrusive government?

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bridget A Otto Thursday Two

In the second Bridget A Otto article entitled From 'funky' to fine, the NW Pro is Keri Davis of Keri Davis Design.
The Problem: The master bedroom was poorly configured, the bathroom needed an update and the closet was insufficient.

The second-story bedroom had an exterior door that led to a deck with stairs down to the backyard....There was no real place for the bed and it was awkward.

The bedroom also needed better lighting.
What's the value of a good designer?
Lisa gives full credit for the success of the remodel to Davis, who quietly steered her through the choices of materials and finishes. Having a designer with Davis' experience and ability, Lisa (McBee) says, was essential.

"When you're busy and trying to work, but there are so many choices, you need someone to steer the helm," Lisa says.

Most clients haven't seen what a professional sees in years of design work. So when you ask if they want dark floors with lighter cabinetry, says Davis, they can't visualize it.

Keri L. Davis, CKD, can be reached at
(503) 475-5883

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Bridget A Otto Thursday

You know what day it is, it's Bridget A Otto Thursday and she has been busy. First an article on finding the perfect chair, entitled Take a seat. She has some nice pictures in pdfs here and here of some chair styles. There are no pictures from Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery. How did that happen?

How about this chair and ottoman from Sherrill?

Someone said recently that they tried a lot of chairs for comfort. Everytime there was item we liked, it was a Sherrill!

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Monday, January 14, 2008

JoAnn Rouza, "The Art of Flawless Accessorizing!"

Landfair Furniture will host JoAnn Rouza of JoAnn Rouza Interiors as she speaks about the "Art of Flawless Accessorizing!"

JoAnn of JoAnn Rouza Interiors will share her tips and tricks that Interior Designers use to put the finishing touches on their clients' projects. In just one hour, you will learn how to perfectly accessorize a fireplace mantel, tabletops and bookshelves.

If you have a particularly challenging area to accessorize, bring a digital photo and JoAnn Rouza will offer suggestions as time allows. You will be able to go home and immediately apply your new knowledge for stunning results!

The program is free, but seating is limited, so call or go online to reserve your spot today!

Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery – January 26 10:00 to 11:00, January 29 10:30 to 11:30 and January 30 7:00 to 8:00

Bev & Mike

Seminars In The Pearl

Design Within Reach - Wednesday, January 16, 6:30–8:30pm
DWR Portland invites you to the first of our bi-monthly architecture and design lecture series, Designs on Portland. Topics will vary, but stay topical as we take the pulse of our thriving design community. The first lecture will focus on Portland’s growing reputation as an architectural center and how we can all play a role in the media’s perception of our progress.

Randy Gragg, former Oregonian architecture critic and editor-in-chief of Portland Spaces magazine will join us to discuss the surge in media attention and the portrayal of Portland in the press. Local journalist (Metropolis, Dwell), author and blogger Brian Libby ( will serve as moderator. Refreshments will be served. Call for reservations at 503.220.0200

Versailles in the Pearl – Thursday, Jan. 24, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
“An evening with” one of the region’s foremost experts in the art of Faux Painting, Lorie Wolff, One Horse Studio, demonstrating the art of adding texture and patina to interiors to complement eclectic and traditional European settings.

The latest innovations and study of the oldest techniques will be demonstrated by transforming a showroom wall. A variety of techniques will create a historical “story” of a (newly) aged and layered wall that, if viewed in a century old European building, could have taken years to develop. Champagne, Hors d’oeuvres. RSVP’s appreciated (222-2387)

Please, support businesses in the Pearl.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Friday, January 04, 2008

Margo Jacobsen Gallery To Close

Just received this email:
Dear supporters, I am writing this letter to let you know that I will be closing the gallery for good, as of January 31st. It has been a very difficult decision for me. I love the business but it is time for me to make a change in my life. If you have time please stop by before the month is up, as we would love to see you again before closing. The best of the New Year to all of you. Cordially, Margo Jacobsen
In August of 2003 Margo Jacobsen moved to Singapore with her husband and closed the gallery which she opened in 1992. After returning to Portland in 2005, she opened the new gallery/art dealership with the focus on nationally recognized artists as well as representing artists from the Northwest.

Stop by before January 31st and wish her well, as we do in whatever comes next!

Bev & Mike