Thursday, May 31, 2012

Introducing Pande Cameron

Please welcome our new advertising client Pande Cameron - Putting the World at your Feet Since 1924.  There are two stores, one in Seattle and the other in Bellevue. They are the second oldest carpet retailer west of Chicago.

After 88 years, father and son Charles and Brad Andonian still insist that their rugs be of the highest quality. They still gladly allow their customers to try a rug in their own home before they decide to buy. And they still believe that, like a fine carpet, treating their customers with honesty and respect will never wear out.

Their best selling carpet is Meshed in rust: sizes range from 2 X 3 to 12 X 18. It’s just a phenomenal rug for the NW as its warm, works in a variety of settings/styles and has about 16 color shades.

What makes a high-quality rug? For Pande Cameron, the rugs are all wool pile on a cotton foundation.  They are handknotted. Weaving of this level has become a specialized and an esoteric art; 4-6 people will work 6-8 months to complete an 8x10 carpet--imagine a 12x18! 

They specialize in sourcing the highest quality weaving houses that utilize skilled artisans who are essentially creating art for the floor!

Pande Cameron offers fine carpets in a variety of styles: Antique Rugs, Classic Rugs, Contemporary Rugs, Craftsman Rugs, Custom Design, Oversize rugs, Transitional Rugs and Vintage Rugs.  In addition they offer some extra services.

When you need a fine carpet for a short term, whether for a temporary residence, staging a home for sale, or a movie production, rug rentals are the solution. Pande Cameron provides an element of beauty and luxury to any setting. They offer several collections with a range of colors and patterns for your consideration.

Professional carpet cleaning is one of the services that Pande Cameron does best! And no matter how careful you are, your rug will become soiled. They recommend cleaning your carpet every 3-5 years in a highly trafficked room and every 5-7 years in less used spaces.

Watch for a special cleaning offer soon.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What to look for in a new house

Today we are pleased to bring you this guest post:

You may be looking for a new house because of a change of lifestyle, or an increase in disposable income, or family changes. You may be looking for a new place to store new, recently purchased furniture. Looking for a new home is a big task, but having a couple of main pointers can help to break this down into manageable chunks to help you with your search.

Most people start with the location because there are many other things that can be changed about a property, but not where it’s actually situated. The right location for you can include a number of factors, and for most people is rarely just about the latest ‘right’ postcode. Travelling distances to work and schools can play a big part, of course. But so can other area features, like proximity to parks. If you have children who need space to run around and play, or dogs which need to be walked and exercised, then this may be more important to you.

We all have lives outside of work and school, so taking into account how you usually spend your leisure time is a key factor to consider. How close you are to pubs, restaurants, cinemas and other leisure related venues can make a real difference to your enjoyment of living where you’ve chosen, so have a wider look at the areas you are considering to see what amenities are available.

When buying a home you generally intend to stay in the same place for a few years, so your personal lifestyle is more relevant than perhaps it would be if just renting a property. If you’re regularly out late, for example, having a station with a taxi company close by could actually be an important point for you.

Another aspect which can affect your choice of location is whether you want a garden. This narrows things down as some areas tend to have more, say, larger older properties converted into flats than others, which can affect the availability of the property type you’ve chosen.

The website is a great tool if you're trying to find a new place to live.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Call The Experts!

One of our favorite shows on TV is HGTV's "House Hunters International." We are so envious of families that just pick up and move to warmer climates, or move to a country because of their love of its beauty and history. Most advice concerning moves to another country are to rent first before buying.

Now there's another reason to seek short-term accommodations. The summer Olympics are coming to the UK beginning July 27th through August 12th. Wouldn't it be grand to take in the two weeks of competition?

Londoners Robert And Polly Arnold with their three children Rachel, Jonny and Mike have a vast knowledge of Central London. Through their company London Apartments, they can help you find the perfect place for short or long term apartments and hotels stays. They can also provide relevant information about locations and places of local interest.

Let's face it, when you go online searching on your own pictures can be misleading. Wouldn't it be great to have an adviser to steer you toward the valued B&B's and apartments not only in London but in Europe and Worldwide. I know I would!

 Let go of the aggravation and enjoy the Olympics.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Blackware Pottery

Mike is fascinated by pottery in it's many forms. Today he came across Blackware Pottery made in San Ildefonso pueblo near Santa Fe, N.M. Marie/Maria Martinez (Maria Montoya Martinez) and her husband, Julian are credited with developing the art of black on black pottery and today can be quite valuable. Some pieces have fetched $10,000 or much more at auctions.

Maria and Santana Martinez blackware pottery plate with feather designs; image credit on full record

"This style of blackware is achieved by using a polishing stone to smooth over a glossy finish prior to the firing of the pot creating a highly glossy design that has become the hallmark of pueblo pottery."

Have you collected any of Maria and Julian's pottery?

Read more here:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bravado Showroom Closing

I was shocked to get this message on Facebook: Bravado Showroom Closing in September 2012! Bravado had been an ARTS awards recipient and had a great reputation as a retail furniture store that carried some of the same brands as did Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery.

Brad Clifford and Stephan Krupelak say the Pearl retail furniture store established in 2007 has served its purpose and it was time to move on.

Brad will split his time between Portland and Texas where he will go into business with his brother and a third partner. Brad will head up the Whilom Collection for which he will design custom furniture and fabrics.

Stephen will continue his interior design practice in Oregon. His new business name is Domov Interior Design.

The announcement of closing carries with some good news for shoppers. Over the next four months Bravado will be offering their first ever sale of merchandise. The showroom and warehouse will be emptied at great prices.

 For us, it's sad that this economy is closing the doors of another high-end furniture outlet. Brad Clifford and Stephan Krupelak, we wish you all the best.

I really admire those stores that have longevity: Paul Schatz, Parkers, Shleifer and Fishels, to name a few. They have weathered bad economies, changes in taste and the internet and still open their doors daily.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Replacing Cedar With Patio Pavers

Bev and I have plans for our backyard. Right now we have a four-level cedar deck in our small yard. The deck has plenty of privacy for “nature lovers.” Every couple of years we clean the deck, sand it if necessary and re-stain. The bottom level is cedar over a concrete pad of some kind and we’ve just discovered dry rot, because of a small flowerbed that touches the wooden deck. A solution to the dry rot we’ve decided is to rip up the bottom level and replace the wood with paving stone. We envision bringing out the dining table from the house and serving the family on the lower level. At least 12 people can gather around the table. It feels to us like a family dinner you’d see in a Greek or Italian movie.

Why replace wood with patio pavers? Not only do we like the variety of colors available in pavers, but we like the texture of the stone. Through our research we discovered the price of pavers is lower than brick or flagstone and has an additional benefit: paving stone doesn’t chip or crack.

We called our friends at System Pavers and scheduled an appointment. They will come out Monday for a free design consultation worth $300.

We like a design that blends the colors while featuring some gray. We think it would be great to have a raised edge around the one flower bed that would double as extra seating.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Internet Flowers

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and my sister Cheryl and mom came over for breakfast on the deck. Mom received a lilac plant from Bev and me, and sis gave Mom a hanging basket of Geraniums.  Bev received a pot of minature roses and I bought Bev a bouquet of Alstromeria. Flowers can be the perfect gift for all occasions or even for no occasion. 

In the UK internet flowers can be ordered. In addition you can order plants, wines, chocolates and hampers for your special people also online.  Don’t you love to walk into your reserved room in the resort and find a hamper filled with wine, cheese and crackers.  The thoughtful gift from management or the Powers That Be (PTB) just starts your stay off right.

There are so many times that I go online for internet flowers for the friend in the hospital, for anniversaries, for birthdays, for a BIG thank you, for grand openings, for funerals.  So many times we just want to tell someone we are thinking of them and our flowers say we care. 

Online resources abound that help you care for your cut flowers and plants. One source is eHow Home. You can learn how to care for cut flowers or how to transplant those plants to your garden or how to arrange roses in a vase.

A Bit About The Safe

Have you heard the ads on your favorite radio station recommending the purchase of gold and silver for insurance against the ravages of inflation or protection in a world of fiat currencies? I have and most financial planners recommend somewhere between 5% and 25% of your liquid assets be invested in precious metals.  They believe, as do I, that precious metals can act as a hedge against the vagaries of the stock, bond and real estate markets. The big question we all ask when we bring physical metals home is where do I store it?

Some suggest a safe deposit at a bank is the one safe place.  It’s pretty hard for a thief to get into your safe deposit box, unless the thief is the banker or the government. Practically speaking, you may want immediate access to your stash.  What if some crisis happens over the weekend and you need your metals as part of your escape plan.  What if you need your bullion and access to your bank is forbidden.  That means you may want to consider a home safe.

Home safes are relatively inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes.  A 1.3 cubic foot safe is fairly common and would hold a foot high stack of 8 ½ X 11 paper or large enough to hold 1,000 of silver. A safe that size weighs about 100 pounds and might be easy for a thief to carry off, so you night want one bigger.  An alternative to the putting the safe in the bedroom, a common place for thieves to look, is in the basement and you might consider bolting the safe to the floor.

Consumer Reports Money Adviser suggests documents you should keep in a safe and for how long:

Birth and death certificates - Forever
Estate-planning documents - Forever (Unless your executor knows how to get into your safe, also make sure he or she and your lawyer have copies.)
Life-insurance policies - Until the term of coverage ends
Savings bonds - Until you cash them in at maturity (30 years in the case of Series EE bonds)
Stock certificates  - Until you sell the stock or have it converted to direct or street-name registration
Tax returns - At least seven years

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Clustered Mailboxes Coming

Mike usually writes about incidents that happen while driving his Yellow Bus on his website, however since we connect with architects, he thought this post might fit here.

One day while he was driving, he dropped off his kids on Cornelius highway and for some reason he needed to turn around.  He was stopped at a side road, so he concluded that he could pull forward to position the bus’s rear end at the entrance to the street and then back up and complete his three-point turn. He didn’t see the mailboxes in his mirror. Then, he backed up and hit them knocking them off its pedestal.  He got out to look and saw there was no damage to the bus or the mailboxes now lying on its back. He felt like a novice driver as his kids looked on.

He was reminded of the incident when our friends at asked him to say a few words about their product. In business since 2004, ApprovedClusterMailboxes provides a lowest price guarantee and a 30-day money back quality guarantee.  Mike’s guess is that we will see more and more clustered mailboxes in our neighborhoods as the U.S. Post Office tries to cut expenses without cutting Monday through Saturday mail service.  One way to do that is to set up secure, clustered mailboxes replacing individual, front door mail delivery. Each cluster could serve eight to 16 families.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Facebook Data Center

Sheehan Partners Prineville, Oregon

To complement the desert surroundings, the architects used earthtoned concrete panels for the perimeter wall and landscaped with large rocks salvaged on the site during construction.
Photo © Jonnu Singleton Photography

Saturday, May 05, 2012

A Bit About Bar Stools

We have ordered a lot of barstools for our interior design clients over the last ten years.  They have been either wood or metal and have come in many styles and many heights.  We were looking at the website of our friends Bar Stools AtoZ.  We noticed that the site has some great information about bar stools on the page titled Barstool Buying Guide:

If you are buying real estate, one of the first questions is, “What’s your budget?”  When you are shopping for bar stools one of the first questions is, “How often will the bar stools be used?”  If the answer is every day, then you will need either metal stools or something in wood that's well made.

One more thing, metals stools while offered in many finishes and are are sturdy, can be heavy to move. Wooden stools can match any d├ęcor, but if used in direct sunlight can dry out and fade.

Do you want a bar stool that is stationary or swivels?  Bar Stools AtoZ says the choice comes down to the users.  Is it for the mother-in-law who may want easy access or a child who needs focus. Then there’s the question of how many bar stools do you need for your space and the height of the table or bar.  Bar stools run from 15 to 24 inches wide, and the person using the bar stool needs about 25 inches, so a six-foot plus counter could use up to three stools.  Stools with swivels or arms would need more space. 

There are basically three bar stool heights: Dining is 18 to 20 inches high, Counter is 24 to 26 inches high and Bar is 28 to 30 inches high.  So be sure to measure the height.

Finally, you need bar jokes.  Our friends at Bar Stools AtoZ have some great examples, but they’ve missed a few. In a recently read book titled "Dove Season" by Johnny Shaw, a father and son play a word game called “Walks Into A Bar” in which you pick a subject and then make up jokes about it.  For example the subject is “A Boat.”

A boat walks into a bar.
The bartender says, “I’m sorry we don’t serve boats here!”
The boat says, “But, I’m about to keel over!”

A boat walks into a bar.
The bartender says, “I’m sorry we don’t serve boats here!”
The boat says, “But, I heard you serve schooners!”

A Sprinking Of Clues

Part 9

I thought I told you to stay away from our crime scenes! Those were the words from the Domingo’s nightmare, Captain Bigy from the PDX homicide division. His name was spelled B-I-G-Y, pronounced like the famous rock group. He was a mountain of a man, six foot six and 300 pounds. He was sensitive to the way his name was pronounced and the Domingos always called him Biggie, to emphasize his size.

Bigy looked like a Marine with his hair cut in the high and tight style. He didn’t like the Domingo’s. He’d had to work with them on another case they’d blundered into (and solved) and frankly, he considered their success just beginner’s luck.

“Sergeant Rifler, any idea where this clown came from?” said Bigy, looking at the Domingos.

Sir, we have canvassed the neighborhood and we got a hit. Seems there was a clown entertaining at a birthday party over on Thompson. I’m getting pictures emailed to me as we speak. The Cooley’s said they hired the clown to entertain after the Naitos praised his work. They say he seemed off his game, anxious. He screwed up his balloon animals by popping them and his makeup was not quite right.”

Rachel spoke up! “Biggie, maybe he had cased out the Naitos and returned here this afternoon to rob them. I think you might look at other persons of interest besides the husband. They'd already left for the beach.”

"Captain, look at this!" said Rifler. "Inside the card case, under his cards is another business card. On the back are dates and a name." On the front side is the name address and phone number for Irrigation Supply Depot featuring irrigation supplies, sprinkler heads, and lawn sprinkler systems

The back side says:

Birthday Mindy Hofler 8 years old 2636 NE 32nd 2:00 pm May 12

"Captain Biggie, this clown business is just a cover for a B&E operation and either someone got wise or his competition shut him up."

"That's a big jump in logic from a lowly writer, Domingo! And stop calling me Biggie, It's BeeGee!"

Banana Marion Crunch

Michael just perfected his premier breakfast appetizer.  He calls it Banana Marion Crunch!

1 slice Grand Central Sourdough bread
1/2 Banana
1 Tbsp Marion Berry Jam
1 pat butter

Toast sourdough, spread on butter, thickly apply Marion Berry Jam, add sliced banana.

It is delicious and filling.  Repeat as needed.  Coffee is mandatory.

Celerie Kemble Delivers In "Black & White"

Celerie Kemble, daughter of acclaimed Palm Beach interior designer Mimi McMakin, has recently published a book titled “Black & White (and a bit in between): Timeless Interiors, Dramatic Accents and Stylish Collections.” I liked the book because it's fascinating seeing a focus on just black and white and I liked the advice Kemble gives.

In the book she answers the question: Why Black & White? She responds that Black & White is elegant, versatile, practical, inclusive and classic.  Recently we saw "The Third Man" on TMC.  Talk about classic.  Made in 1949, it's delicious in black & white.

Recently she spoke at the Mint Museum Auxiliary in Charlotte as the guest speaker for its annual Room to Bloom Decorative Arts Symposium fundraiser on April 25 at a private country club. She was quoted as saying:
  • We shouldn’t strive for perfection in our homes, there is beauty in things that are worn and imperfect. (This surely applies to people, too)
  • A home should reflect the person who lives in it. When you go into someone’s house, you should leave feeling you know them better just by the way their home was decorated.
  • Rules of proportion and scale shouldn’t be broken, but other than that, every decorating rule can be broken to suit what you like and what works best for your home. One interior design rule she loves to break is having a large rug with a smaller rug on top, although technically rugs on tops of rugs are a design no-no. (Writing or poetry works the same way.  Know the rules then break them.)
  • Have an area where your children can play freely, but also teach them to respect the rest of the house. Instead of getting rid of all your nice things until your children get older, teach them to appreciate and respect beautiful things.

Read more here:

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Thursday, May 03, 2012

What's New From Old Biscayne

Old Biscayne Designs has introduced a number of new furniture pieces and their website allows you to inspect their catalog online to your heart's content.

Echo Dining Table 7006B Shown in Antique Walnut Available in all OBD Finishes L: 72” D: 72” H: 30”

Ross Dining Table 7434C Shown in Classic Dark Walnut Available in all OBD Finishes W: 72” H: 30” L: 72”

Karonne 7024A Shown in Queen Shown in Distressed Black Available in all OBD Finishes

Ellis Storage Unit 5083B Shown in Metallic Mica Available in all OBD Finishes W: 84” H: 25” D: 24”
NOT NEW BUT A CLASSIC: Lila Round Dining Table Shown in Metallic Starlight w/Dark Walnut Top Available in all OBD Finishes H: 31” Diameter: 60”

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

A Bit About The Bunk Bed

I have had a fondness for the Bunk Bed as a solution for space problems ever since I was in the army.  There for six months, at Ft Lewis and Ft Ord, I lived with a platoon of men where we spent hours in the evening polishing our gear and arranging our foot lockers for inspection.  We smoked and laughed, played cards and told stories about our girls back home. Every morning we made our beds so tight that our drill sergeant could bounce a quarter on the army blanket that encased our mattress.

Again a Bunk Bed came to mind as Bev and I watched HGTV’s “House Hunter International.”  Sometimes a family moving to Milan or Puerto Vallerta or New Zealand needs more bedrooms than fits their budget and a solution is to double up the kids in a room using bunk beds. It’s an elegant solution.

According to our friends at BunkbedsAtoZ, these great beds are manufactured in metal and wood; in a variety of finishes and can be twin over twin, twin over full, full over full and even futon bunk beds.

There are some safety items to keep in mind:

1.     The upper bunk should have guardrails and should be close to the wall.  The army violated both of these rules, yet I never saw a tipped over bunk bed and no one ever fell out of bed in their sleep.
2.     The top bunk should be for the older child.
3.   There should be cross ties under the mattress of each bed.  Again, the army violated this rule.  I went to sleep at night with those coil springs of the top bunk sagging in my face.
4.     There should be a ladder and the children should be taught to use it.
5.     No roughhousing or jumping on the beds!
6.     Use a night light so the ladder can be seen for use in the night.

Call us if you have a particular need for Bev to research.