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 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.

Jürgen 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;

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

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


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.

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

Monday, November 28, 2005

Less is More?

The Zandl Group!
They advertise "If you want to see the world through the eyes of young people, you've come to the right site." Home Accents Today writes Zandl Group outlines 2006 trends in which theyt say
Wine bars are starting to replace martini lounges, as young adults become more wine savvy. Stodgy and elitist is being replaced by contemporary and modern.

Retro kitsch is growing because it's fun and communal and is a direct response to the uniformity and mass-sameness of the dominant culture. This trend will play out in girls roller derby, drive-in movies, spelling bee bar events and mid-century modern design at the high (Jonathan Adler) and low end (Thomas O'Brian at Target).

Southern influences are on the way as more people have moved to the South, raising the region's profile and influence. Population has grown by 25% in the last 15 years and the South now represents 36% of the total US population. While known for its conservatism, it also is starting to have a great influence on hipster-cool, e.g. growing popularity of country music from classics like Johnny Cash to contemporary, e.g. Keith Urban, western-inspired attire (shirts, belt buckles, boots), taxidermy, (e.g. Freeman's restaurant NYC) and growth of Jack Daniels whiskey.

Small is big with micro-segmentation, niche brands and personal authenticity topics of conversation on the business front. This development is fueled by the Internet, which has allowed consumers to veer off the mainstream path of "bigness." The concept of sustainability also comes into play as Americans face a future of limited resources for many people today, big equals greedy, crude and in bad taste. McMansions and SUVs have peaked while smaller homes/apartments and smaller cars are gaining cachet. And, it's not just about gas-guzzling it's a new mindset.

Other examples of small being preferable to big include restaurants with small plate menus, artisanal/small batch cheeses, chocolates and beer, cable vs. network, indie movies vs. blockbusters, iPod DJing vs. LP collections, flying jet blue vs. one of the big (often bankrupt) national carriers.

Buzz marketing goes on the defensive. As the legality of this kind of marketing gets called into question, companies may find instead of helping them to get a positive message out, manufactured buzz only pollutes and detracts from their brand image.

Consumers will become even more demanding. The Internet conditioning of consumers has led to a 24/7 orientation for entertainment, media, shopping and services. As cities become fully wi-fi and as video iPods become commonplace, consumers will increasingly expect what they want, when they want, where they want it.

After watching 60 Minutes last night about McMansions of 12,000 square feet for 3.6 people, they tide may be moving to smaller more efficiaent if Zandl Group is right.

Bev & Mike

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Review of Siam Society

I have been trying to get Michael to a Thai restaurant. He says he would rather go to a good Chinese like PF Chang or Sungari Pearl. His real taste goes to Hung Far Low if you ask me. But now there's a chance. An Exploration of Portland Food and Drink has just reviewed Siam Society and gives it very good reviews. Food Dude starts the review with:
In my humble opinion, Thai food is some of the most difficult cuisine to make properly.
Next comes a primer on what makes good Thai food and Food Dude then launches into a review of Siam Society set in an old power station on 27th and Alberta.
The first thing you should know is they are located in an old power company substation. A square blockhouse that was a warren of little rooms filled with electrical equipment has been completely renovated, yet still keeps the industrial feel of its past. From the imposing square building with a sweeping staircase leading to the front doors, to the foot-thick concrete walls, there is no doubt this building has a serious industrial past. Many of the interior walls have been cut out, with large steel beams acting to replace their load-bearing capacity. The ceiling, rising some 20 feet, is studded with skylights. The old windows and doors are still in place on the otherwise, completely refinished outside shell. This is a seriously sturdy building, and if a huge earthquake was to hit Portland, I can think of no better place to be. One drawback – the concrete absorbs the cold and radiates it back. Wear a sweater during the cooler months.

And how does the restaurant rate?

We have a good thing going here: a nice building, attentive staff, excellent drinks… but it all comes down to the food, and for a restaurant only open a few weeks, in most cases Siam Society delivers. All the portions are large; it would be easy to make a meal out of an appetizer and a soup. Presentation on every dish is beautiful. Curries come to the table in the individual copper pots used to cook them: dramatic and they stay nice and hot. You just dip out the sauce as you need it.
An Exploration of Portland Food and Drink is a must read for the latest in new restaurants and restaurant reviews. Next stop for my husband and me is Siam Society.

Phone: 503-922-3675. 2703 NE Alberta, Portland

Bev & Mike

Nature-Inspired Style from High Point

From the special November High Point edition of Home Accents Today, High Point Finds Comfort with Nature-Inspired Style by Kara Cox. The fall design trends draw rejuvenating inspiration from the same natural elements that have spawned recent chaos this hurricane season. As retailers and manufacturers alike recover from the recent effects of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, style trends sooth with natural elements and coastal influenced designs.

A soft mix of seascape hues such as sea green, sky blue and sandy beige create a simple palette for showcasing the treasures of the natural world. Wood is interpreted as a pattern in silky soft goods and cool silver-toned metal designs. Birds offer a feminine touch as scu;ptures and in hand-painted motifs on accent furniture. Wall decor showcases bird and egg designs featuring an antique quality interpreted in hand-colored prints.

For a more contemporary spin on the natural world, oversized palm prints highlight a modern take on tropical styling. Often shown on printed linen patterns in soft goods, natural materials combine content and concept. Palms are a popular wall decor subject in sepia tone and black and white photography while ferns also emerge as framed curiosities.

Coastal living moves inland as beach-themed collections appear across categories. The recent popularity of shell and bamboo is easily encompassed in the look while new designs are showcased with bleached wood,painted pastel finishes and nautical detailing. Linen remains a popular choice for soft goods and upholstery with rougher woven straw looks appearing as well. Navy reappears in the color scheme paired with bright teal, pale blue and crisp white. Also, gaining popularity are outdoor living collections from portable lamps to furniture offered from companies once restricted to indoor spaces. Southwestern styles carry the popular turquioise hues of last season with Native American inspired patterns and feather embellishments.

While nature dominates the style field this market, traditions continue with French-inspired designs casting a feminine glow with delicate candelabras, antique ivory paint finishes and cane-embellished furniture. Damask prints appear in larger-than-life motifs whether modernized in metallic ceramics or woven in luxe silk and velvet. Paisley pops up on the coattails of menswear-inspired looks as a classic pattern for upholstery and soft goods in rich, fall hues like red, brown and gold. Tabletop designs take on a free-form look as if hand molded.

Bev & Mike

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Cruise Oregon Highway 101

I love to come home and have Michael tell me I have a new Cooking Light Magazine in the mail. Aside from cooking 101, menus and planning and great recipes, that I try out on my husband, it has articles about health and fitness, beauty tips and travel. The latest issue has an article about the Oregon Coast.

Entitled Cruise the coast of Oregon the article encourages you to take a four-day road trip and cruise the coast.

The Oregon coast is famous for its 350 miles of public beaches and dramatic cliff-side lighthouses, and fall is an ideal time to visit: Prices are lower than during the summer season, the beaches and towns have a little more elbow room, and the cool fall breeze is refreshing. From whale watching to hiking to antique shopping, it seems there’s something new to do around each curve. When it comes time to eat, there are plenty of seafood restaurants and brewpubs in the area—Oregon has more than 70 microbreweries across the state. What better place to enjoy a locally made pint while watching waves crash against the shore than in a seaside restaurant?

This four-day, 255-mile road trip starts in Astoria, the oldest settlement west of the Rockies, and travels down Highway 101 through charming towns in the north and central coast, each with a unique range of offerings. Fly in and out of Portland, which has the closest large airport. The two-hour drive to Astoria on U.S. Highway 30 takes you along the Columbia River, and U.S. Highway 26 traverses the coastal range. With sweeping vistas all around you, it may be hard to keep your eyes on the road, so build frequent stops into your trip and remember to pack your camera.

On our tenth wedding anniversary, we drove to Eugene and then across to the coast. There we went north on 101 stopping at the dunes and renting a dune buggy for three.

Here the sand dunes reach 500 feet above sea level.

At the top the driver stopped so we could take pictures and guess who forgot the camera. Oh well, it just means we will have to go back and enjoy it all again.

Bev & Mike

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Allison Smith Interior Design

The Oregonian carries a very nice story, Personal Magic by Bridget A. Otto in the Homes & Gardens of the Northwest section. The article is about two local designers, mother and daughter, Alison Smith and Ramona Ramos of Alison Smith Interior Design whose idea is to help people decorate using what they already own.

A client, Judy Tichenor and her husband combined households with their younger daughter in a contemporary home. Tichenor had always lived in a traditional home with the various formal rooms.

The open floor plan was stressing her out.
She likes
that Smith takes the best of what you have and makes it look attractive.
Smith and Ramos get to know the client by seeing how they live, work and play.
During their initial consultation, which costs $150, they walk through the entire house even if the client is interested only in changing the family room. Many times, Smith says, they find a piece of furniture or artwork or an accent table from another room that's perfect for the room in question.

Other times, the house may be in sore need of interior paint, or perhaps the old couch needs to go. Sometimes they get in situations where there is just way too much stuff. The consultation allows Smith and Ramos to set priorities. Once the job is established -- their fee after the consultation is $100 per hour -- they like the client to "go away."

Another client, Tracy McCallister, says"
I had never thought about hiring a designer," says McAllister. But she wanted some help with her new home with its white walls and high ceilings.
Alison Smith Interior Design has built a niche business that appeals to those that already have furniture but know it could be presented better in their home.

Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery is probably not going to be a big factor with Alison Smith Interior Design, however we like the way they work and we like the fact that people can use interior designers in many ways. They can give you confidence in your choices or validate your judgement, but they are also trained to see things in new ways. In the case of Smith and Ramos, McAllister says

And the beauty of it is that it still looks like you. She didn't pick anything out. It's still your style.
Allison Smith is currently working on a project in Beijing, China, but you can reach Ramona Ramos at 503-827-5750

Bev & Mike

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Meet J.D Chamberlain Again

I went today to J.D. Chamberlain, an accent furniture company, looking for fresh material about their furniture offerings. I didn't see what I was looking for, so I emailed the company. I received a warm phone call from Dori McKearn in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Dori and her husband John started the company in 1993.

Landfair Furniture carries their furniture in the store. One of the pieces that was in our store recently, was a chest:

In my conversation I was reminded that J.D. Chamberlain designs and manufactures upscale furnishings crafted from the finest woods, exotic veneers, intricate metals, supple leathers and other natural materials. To that end, the McKearn’s travel the world.
We've found there is simply no way to do this without getting sawdust on ourselves,” says John McKearn. “After narrowing our list to the very top tier of manufacturers and craftsmen, we personally spend months getting to know the people involved. We design our products utilizing unique materials and elegant lines, and then scour the world for the suppliers and artisans who do those things best.

Apparently they’ve found them. J.D. Chamberlain has enjoyed double-digit sales growth since its launch in 2000--up 50 percent just last year. This year, Chamberlain became a top 100 vendor for Robb & Stucky Interiors, one of the most prestigious furniture retailers in the nation.Despite the international globetrotting aspect of their business, the McKearns, who were both born and raised in Beloit, stay rooted in Wisconsin.

We enjoy the quality of life here,” says John McKearn. “And we believe that the life-long relationships we’ve established help us to remember who we are, what we’re about, and how much everything we do ultimately involves real people very much like those we love most.
While John McKearn oversees the financial and marketing segments of J.D. Chamberlain, Dori McKearn handles the creative and sales end. Chamberlain represents the third "incarnation" of a design and sales venture that began as McKearn Enterprises in 1993, and encompasses the couple's more than 30 years of combined experience in the furniture industry.The J.D. Chamberlain signature line was introduced in October of 2000, at the prestigious InterHall of the International Home Furnishing Center in High Point, North Carolina, considered the Mecca of the furniture industry.
Fine Furnishings International” said of their debut: “The McKearns introduced the Chamberlain line at the fall market in High Point to a buzz…it was clear the furniture was charming the crowd.
And J.D. Chamberlain continues to charm the crowd. Except the crowd is international now:
Our customers frequently tell us that they enjoy the eclectic nature of our furniture often using our products to add spice and originality to their overall design setting,” says Dori McKearn. “We like creating furniture that’s fresh, luxurious and comfortable and we get a big kick out of seeing the original and expressive ways our customers use these pieces to create environments uniquely their own.
The McKearn’s are doing more original designs than ever before, and to great success. As from its inception, the line focuses on the use of diverse materials, textures and patterns, incorporated within fresh, functional designs. The fall line,which was introduced at High Point October 18, leans toward clean, flowing lines and features new product categories such as lighting, accessories and wall décor, along with the use of new materials like folded sea grass, richly patterned leather, solid brass, natural sea shells, arurog, horn, resin, faux bamboo iron, etc.The McKearns eschew what Dori McKearn calls “matchy-matchy,” preferring eclectic pieces that accent a room. Pieces like the Leather Arorog Entertainment Center, The Medea Bar Chair or the Sunburst Accent Table.
Buying a full bedroom or living room ‘set,’” says Dori McKearn, “is a little like a man buying only pre-packaged shirt and tie combinations, or a woman feeling she must match her earrings to her bracelet and necklace, or her purse to her shoes. No one should dictate what ‘goes together’ in your house.
After all, what fun is that?
Doesn't John remind you of Liam Neeson?Bev & Mike

What Is Your Repeat Business Strategy?

I received today, a email from American Express, a Small Business Newsletter. The first article is 3 Money-Making Marketing Strategies. The three stratagies or approaches that lead to higher sales in any business or industry are:

1. Increase the number of customers

2. Increase the average transaction amount

3. Increase the frequency of repurchase

My first thought was nothing new here. I saw those same three things in the book Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got by Jay Abraham. But I paused on strategy #3:

Strategy #3–Increase the frequency of repurchase
Too often, customers' repeat purchases are taken for granted and little thought or effort is given to encouraging and rewarding more frequent demonstrations of their loyalty. Repeat business is earned by giving customers what they want. More frequent purchases can be driven by reminding customers to order, suggesting new uses or anticipating their changing needs. Under what circumstances might your customers need to order more frequently? What usage situations could encourage more rapid consumption of your products or services? Established customer purchasing patterns rarely change for the better unless you intentionally intervene.

We speak with Interior Designers about their marketing programs and many don't have a strategy or just rely on referrals for new business. Referrals are an excellent way to get business, but doesn't go far enough.

Strategy #3 encourages repeat purchases. I immediately asked, "Do the designers who work with us, have a list of people they have worked with and do they communicate with them on a regular basis." That would encourage repeat business and encourage referrals. Or, how about a Blog and update the blog when you have completed a project and share the before and after photos with past clients. It's easy to send an email referring old clients to your Blog.

Here's another excellent way to encourage repeat purchases of accessories. Ask Michael to get dishes from the cupboard or put away dishes. He claims he is careful, but he can sure chip dishes! A friend gave us a green, kind of depression glass, salad bowl, made to have dipping sauce in the middle and veggies around the outside. Now it has a slight chip on the edge, a candidate for repeat purchase. I love him anyway. It does point out that many products need to be repurchased. Are you positioning yourself to be the supplier when that time comes?

Bev & Mike

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Is This $23.8 Million of Art?

American artist David Smith's large-scale metal structure 'Cubi XXVII,' seen here, has become the most expensive work of contemporary art ever sold at auction, fetching 23.8 million dollars at Sotheby's in New York(AFP/OFF)

Experts attributed the record price to the fact that most of Smith's works are in museums or permanent collections and therefore make extremely rare auction appearances.
This is considered art because the elite consider it art and will pay large amounts of money for it. Thomas Kincaid, on the other hand, is not considered art by the elite even though Kincaid sells big honkin' buckets-worth of "art", more than any painter in history. As for me, I know art when I see it.

Mike & Bev

Monday, November 07, 2005

Florida's Retail Hit Hard By Wilma!

When I saw this article in FURNITUREToday, Florida retailers hit hard, I was confronted once more with how devastating Hurrican Wilma was to Florida and how Katrina, Rita and Wilma have affected the lives and economy of the Southeast.
Furniture stores were cleaning up and trying to get back to business last week, almost two weeks after Hurricane Wilma cut a swath of destruction across south Florida from Fort Myers to Fort Lauderdale.
City Furniture, for example, had damage to 19 stores,
The most serious was to City’s store in West Palm Beach, the company’s second- highest volume producer, where the roof collapsed, said President Keith Koenig.

“It will be closed for eight to 12 months. That hurts a lot. That’s going to be a five, six or seven million dollar loss,” he said.


Retail damage losses will be astronomical and will be compounded by out-of-pocket costs not covered by insurance, said Julius Feinblum, president of New York-based Julius Feinblum Real Estate. Stores will lose business, and won’t be able to advertise to drive sales, he said.

Retailers I’ve spoken to and seen are in a state of shock,” said Feinblum.


Getting contractors in for repairs and insurance adjusters to look at damage “is a nightmare,” (Pedro) Capo, (El Dorado chief operating officer) said, because damage was so widespread.

Then you can't start repairs until insurance adjusters have seen the damage and there is a shortage of adjusters.
They’re going to people who lost their entire buildings first.


City’s Koenig said it’s impossible to get low insurance deductibles in Florida, and that his company will suffer about $1.5 million in out-of-pocket losses, since the stores had $100,000 deductibles.

Bev & Mike

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Designer's Challenge on HGTV

We are excited! Tomorrow on HGTV, Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery will premier its first TV ad buy on Designer's Challenge during the show, before and after.

Designer's challenge this week will feature Bungalow Living/Dining Room

Julie and Chris Gilbert, a professional kite-boarding couple, have settled down, sort of, in a 100-year-old Oregon home. They want to redecorate and update the two main rooms without losing the bungalow's wonderful Craftsman style.
Nancy Zieg is one of the designers competing on the show. We interviewed Nancy some time ago and wish her all the best.

For our part, working with Dana Allpress (503-295-0123) at Comcast Spotlight was great. She had some solid recommendations and gave us advice how to track the return on investment (ROI) that a small business needs to care about in order to justify any kind of advertising. We were impressed how targeted we could make our message and the range of options that fit our advertising budget.

If you are a small business wanting to take that next step, consider Comcast. We will keep you informed about the success of this foray into TV.

Bev & Mike

Vindalho & Nostrana

Two new restaurant reviews are up at An Exploration of Portland Food and Drink.

Vindalho is the first.

Vindalho was opened a few weeks ago by David Machado, owner of Café Lauro, at 2038 SE Clinton Street, Portland.
I can't wait to try
the pork vindalho over balsamic rice is probably the best thing on the menu, a good balance and depth of flavors. The pork was fork tender, though there tend to be a few dry pieces mixed among the rest. The sauce was sweet, tangy, and fragrant. I’ve had more intense and more complex versions, but the flavors were balanced. A pyramid of light and fluffy saffron basmati rice studded with raisins was served on the side.
Nostrana is the second.
Barely open a week, this is surely one of the most anticipated restaurants to come along in some time. Co-chef Cathy Whims was the chef/owner at the famed Genoa during its heyday. Other owners are Deb Accuardi (co-chef, also owner of Gino’s), her husband, Marc Accuardi, and David West, owner of Produce Row Café.

Located at 1401 SE Morrison, Portland, it can be a bit difficult to spot.

The menu of Nostrana looks very Italian!

Bev & Mike

Friday, October 28, 2005

Who is Cristina Saralegui?

INFURNITURE has an interesting article about famous people cross-licensing their names in the furniture business. I came across an article today about Cristina Saralegui, The Queen of The Airwaves By JEANNE DEQUINE and learned she is cross-licensed with CBK Ltd. in an accessories line "Casa Cristina" which is carried at Landfair Furniture.

Time magazine had an article on August 22 about The 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America:

When fans encounter Cristina Saralegui, the vivacious, sometimes ribald talk-show host of the weekly prime-time El Show de Cristina, they tend to ask for hugs, not autographs. Her mix of glamour, humor and kitschiness, developed over 16 years of doing the program on the Univision Network, endears her to viewers, though her penchant for the provocative has shocked them at times. On the air, she has revealed her cosmetic surgery, given condom demonstrations, bemoaned her menopause symptoms, even "married" gay couples. The latter event drew bomb threats and 1,500 protesters to her Miami studio. "I have gotten into a lot of trouble in my life for being brutally honest," she says. "Sometimes I put both my feet in my mouth. But like Elton John, I'm still standing."

She's doing better than that. Saralegui, who came to the U.S. from Cuba at age 12, now sits at the center of a Hispanic empire. Like Oprah Winfrey, to whom she is often compared, Saralegui, 57, has become a brand, which includes Cristina La Revista, the magazine she started in 1991; a talk show, which has won 11 Emmys and an estimated 100 million viewers worldwide; a Miami television studio; Casa Cristina, a furniture line; an upcoming clothing line; and a burgeoning acting career that has included an appearance on ABC's George Lopez. Her bilingual website receives an average of 50,000 hits a day. Her book Cristina! My Life as a Blonde is out in Spanish and English. And she runs a foundation, Arriba la Vida/Up with Life, which aims to educate Hispanics about HIV. "Kids can diet, stop smoking, but they will never stop making love," she says.
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery has a number of the CBK Casa Cristina pieces including a 27 inch high metal urn and a mate that is 21 inches high; a centerpiece bowl with a lid that sits on a tri-pod. Coming soon are Casa Cristina swirl cone-shaped narrow neck vases. The set of three are as tall as 24 inches and 6 inches in diameter.

Bev & Mike

Casual Dining Hits the Heights

INFURNITURE has an article in the October 3, 2005 issue Casual Dining Hits the Heights by Jo Fleischer.
There are countless theories circulating to explain the current boom in counter-height and pub-height tables. Some blame the aching backs of busy moms who constantly shuttle between the stove and a low dining table where the kids are doing homework. Others speculate that pub-height tables remind us all of a pleasant evening out at Applebee's or Chili's and we're trying to recapture that feeling at home. Other theories hold that higher tables put kids, in particular, at eye-level with whomever is doing the cooking, and at the same time enable everyone at the table to keep an eye on a television in an adjoining room or attached great room.

Lifestyle expert Cheryl O'Brien of C. O'Brien Architects, Bala Cynwyd, PA, says that a trend toward darker woods in kitchens, especially in cabinets and center islands, also is leading table makers to move to darker hues, as well. The trend is most pronounced in newer homes where kitchens are attached to large great rooms. In many cases, the casual dining table straddles the line between kitchen and family room, and kitchen-white tables are rarely at home in those transition areas.

The result of these strong trends is the continuing growth of casual dining sets from counter heights of 36 inches up to pub heights of 42 inches or more. At the same time, darker finishes-including the widespread use of black-are achieving dominance in many retail showrooms. With the darker colors, designers are also moving away from what's long been traditional for dining by incorporating everything from leather chair seats to stone and metal table surfaces.

Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery has the darker colors in casual dining tables and pub sets to meet your design needs.

Bev & Mike

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Nancy Zieg Competes in HGTV's Designer's Challenge

Hey gang, next Thursday at 9:30 PM EST and PST Nancy Zieg will compete in HGTV's Designer's Challenge.

Nancy Zieg was one of Landfair Furniture's Top 20 Designers for 2004, based on business done with the store. We interviewed her here at Landfair Furniture (Blog).

The show's website explains the challenge this way:

Wouldn't it be great to choose from different plans offered to you by three design experts for your real-life interior-design project? This weekly half-hour series follows one homeowner per episode through the exhilarating decision-making process of selecting from among three designers' room renovation plans, created just for the homeowner. Viewers watch as the chosen designer brings about a fabulous new look for the room. Hosted by Chris Harrison.
We wish Nancy all the best. It must be an honor to be recognized on the show and we will be watching, next Thursday at 9:30 EST and PST.

Bev & Mike

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Volunteers Need for Friends of Trees

Several years ago, we decided that our parking needed a tree or trees. Bev and I worked with Friends of Trees to decide what tree to plant and through them how tall a tree was permitted, due to overhead wires. We decided on a maple that would have bright red leaves in the fall.

Planting was to take place in mid-January. Sometime prior to the planting, some group of volunteers dug a hole in the parking. Then, on the day of the planting, a number of us met at the distribution point where 8-12 groups loaded trees into pickups along with stakes. We set out in individual cars to the streets in our neighborhood to actually plant the trees. I remember it was cold and wet, but in about four hours, my group planted our maple and maybe ten others in people's yards.

Friends of Trees stayed in touch over the first year or so, monitoring the health of our trees and making sure they were watered regularly. I am proud to say that all but one of the trees we planted are alive and doing well. It is a joy to walk the Grant Park-Irvington neighborhood knowing I planted that tree!

Which brings me to

The Beaumont Wilshire Neighborhood Organization along with Friends of Trees are sponsoring a tree planting on February 11, 2006. The organizations are seeking homeowners who want trees. Volunteers are also needed to help organize and carry out the planting. If you are interested in either trees or volunteering contact Albert Kaufman at The deadline is November 1st.

Trees cost between $50 and $75 and range from 6 feet to 14 feet. The tree fee covers the cost of the tree, hole digging, assistance on planting day, stakes, twine, and follow-up monitoring. Both street and yard trees will be available.

Mike & Bev

"An Exploration of Portland Food and Drink" Blog

I wrote in September about a blog that gives restaurant reviews and blogs about food called An Exploration of Portland Food and Drink. If you are into the latest restaurants, you have to visit this site. Today we read this comment:
This is an amazingly busy time for new restaurants. We have Roux, Nostrana, Vindalho, and Fenouil (Jamison square in the Pearl), Siam Society on Alberta, an oyster bar on alberta, Blue Olive on Fremont, all opening about the same time. On top of that is the sudden rise (and fall?) of Olea.
In addition to the restaurant reviews there is an excellent article about cheese, What Does Cheese Mean?:
A certain euro-centrism reigns in cheese appreciation circles. When I think of good cheese (really good cheese), what immediately comes to mind is an imaginary French or Italian sheep’s milk gem crafted from the milk of herds grazing in the Alps. On some level, there’s a logic to this; European cheesemaking is a centuries-old tradition that produces some of the world’s great cheeses. But on another level, many aficionados take an us vs. them approach to cheese appreciation, as if great cheese can only be measured against European standards. I think there’s a lot more to cheese than that.

Bev & Mike

BTW the Clinton neighborhood blog says a new restaurant (is) coming to the 'hood on Powell across the street from the Fireside Coffee Lodge. Blue Dragonfly will be an a Latin American-inspired restaurant.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Decorating Trends at High Point

Kara Cox at Home Accents Today has a look at High Point and finds there is comfort with nature-inspired styles.
A soft mix of seascape hues such as sea green, sky blue and sandy beige create a simple palette for showcasing the treasures of the natural world. Wood is interpreted as a pattern in silky soft goods and cool silver-toned metal designs. Birds offer a feminine touch as sculptures and in hand-painted motifs on accent furniture. Wall decor showcases bird and egg designs featuring an antique quality offered with hand-colored prints.


With chaos becoming more evident in the world around us, consumers are looking for design and style that will create a calming environment in the home. Drawing inspiration from nature allows texture to remain organic, soft beach colors to relax and styles to merge the outdoors within.

Bev & Mike

Frederick Cooper Opens New Showroom

One of the lamp lines that Landfair Furniture carries is Frederick Cooper, a high end lamp that is almost art.

An interesting note in Home Accents Today, Frederick Cooper improves its showroom.

After entering the showroom at 200 N. Hamilton St., S-302,in Chicago, buyers move past the reception desk into an area featuring Larry Laslo licensed designs, then on toward other high-end designs in a range of materials, including lost wax bronze bases and weather-resistant Outdurables lamps featuring elephants in Thai art glaze.

Its showroom changes are a reflection of the company’s effort to move beyond its position as a premium lamp manufacturer and into the luxury lamp niche.
We spend so much time working to create great designs, we needed something to better show that we are in the illuminated art business.
The company dates to 1923 when artist Frederick Cooper’s work was so prized he was asked to illuminate his sculptures by incorporating his artwork into lamps.

“I think Frederick Cooper has always been interested in providing exquisite lamps that have an ‘Aha’ factor, an element that delights the customer

Bev & Mike

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Interior Design Styles: Oriental

We have been discussing five design styles used in the interior design world: Traditional, Country, Modern, Exotic and Oriental.

From the September Home Accents Today Anniversary Issue, Kara Cox Describes Oriental design in The Big Trend.

In the world of design, Asian or Oriental style has long cast a spell over the Western world with its air of elegant exoticism and mystery. Always in fashion, this design tour de force sometimes wanes in the interior scene, only to spike in popularity yet again as the season's newest trend. Whatever the current status, this centuries-old theme continues to captivate in settings from classic to contemporary.

Heading back to January of 1987, Home Accents Today spotlighted the Orient Revisited in its market sketchbook. Japanese and Chinese influences blended with upscale flair, accented with subtle ornamentation and shape and materials like rice paper, pine and wicker. In keeping with the mood of the times, the color palette was muted and subdued with soft rose shades and mint green. Later that year, Oriental looks were in the spotlight again with a focus on ornate influences (such as gilding and lacquering) mixed with subtle contempory statements.

The next year, Japanese and Chinese styling was show-cased in deeper, richer palette with stylized patterning, such as flowers, pagodas, birds and kimonos.

Asian styling continued to dominate on the home front until 1990, when it dropped off the scene until 1996. At this time, the overall style took a contemporary turn, focusing on Japanese-inspired designs steadily for the next few years. At the close of the century, the emphasis was firmly planted on the Zen approach to decorating. Serenity and tranquility were key words, a reactive counterpoint to the chaos and upheaval of modern civilization.

By the year 2000, the overwhelmingly Oriental imagery and rice paper looks were gone, replaced by gentle, and even romantic approaches. The calm simplicity and purity of Asian gardens created an understated aesthetic of airiness for the home.

Stepping into the 21st century, Asian looks maintained a low profile for the next few years only to return with a fresh new twist. Albeit uptown, urban, or loft, the Orient underwent a cultural transformation, blending with cosmopolitan designs for a look that could be almost be European or American in its derivation. Whispers of the Orient ratcheted up the sophistication level; these clean-lined designs could be at home in any big city around the world. Following the tone set by the contemporary trend, Japanese designs were more naturally dominant in this time period.

Now with the pendulum swinging in the opposite direction toward refreshed, updated classic design (combined with a strong undercurrent of exoticism) expect to see a movement for 2006 toward Chinese-based styles and embellished, as opposed to Zen, Japanese looks.

Spiffed up and polished down versions of Chippendale chairs and elaborate fretwork motifs are on the horizion, as are lavish, opulent Chinoiserie-style bird and botanical prints, provided they translate into the decadent, yet restrained sensibility that today is calling for.

Given the resiliance of Asian design over the years, there is no doubt the Oriental approach will continue to reinvent itself with style to spare.

This concludes our tour of five design themes that Kara Cox gave us permission to reproduce.

Bev & Mike

Chinese Gardens

Preparing for the Oriental review of themes and designs, I was reminded of our beautiful Chines Garden in the heart of Portland, Oregon, wonderful on a crisp fall day.

Bev & MIke

Chinese Gardens

Chinese Gardens31

Preparing for the Oriental review of themes and designs, I was reminded of our beautiful Chines Garden in the heart of Portland, Oregon, wonderful on a crisp fall day.

Bev & MIke

Monday, October 17, 2005

Interior Design Styles: Exotic

We have been discussing five design styles used in the interior design world: Traditional, Country, Modern, Exotic and Oriental.

From the September Home Accents Today Anniversary Issue, Kara Cox Describes Exotic design in The Big Trend.

Over the years. the definition of exotic has broadened to include a host of looks outside the borders of conventionally defined design. Webster's sums up exotic as "from another part of the world: foreign." Strictly speaking, this tidy definition covers a whole lot of design territory, encompassing everything from tropical and bohemian to safari and primitive. Each of these looks originally referenced a specific place, although these inspirations have merged and mutated in myriad ways. Other style categories join the exotic roundup including vintage, ethnic, flea market, eclectic and organic as the modern descendents of these exotic foreigners.

The latter part of the '80s was marked by a distinct safari or jungle influence, very African in feel, highlighted by animal prints, rough, textured materials, exotic woods and fibers, and bold, ethnic geometric prints. A mix of exotic cultures - India and Middle East - also were prevalent in home accent designs, showcased in ornately carved wood, highly decorated ceramics, rich colorations and burnished gold and bronze tones.

Heading into the early '90s, safari influences morphed into primitive, still African, but with an excavation-style, archaeological twist. Worn finishes, weathered and hammered metallics, crude forms, rough edges and an earthern palette mimicked the look of found treasures. A recurring theme of eco-consciousness (with an emphasis on natural materials) accentuated the first glimmerings of organic style.

By the mid1990s West Indies-inspired designs were at the forefront of exotic accents, showcasing a blend of Colonial tradition with casual island style. Tropical materials like wicker, rattan and teak were at their peak.

A major style shift occurred in 1996, leading far away from India, Africa and Morocco (although these continue to be viable styles). In this case, all roads do not lead to Rome either, but to Grandma's attic. The March 1996 edition of Home Accents Today predicted the top emerging home furnishing style through the rest of the '90s would be Romantic Vintage. The April sketchbook introduction that year described a new eclectic and informal viewpoint pervading the market, an irreverent blending of traditional, time-worn furnishings with modern and offbeat, funky touches.

Nearing the end of the millennium, vintage felt right in step with the times as a knee-jerk reaction to modernism: anti-cyberspace, anti-high tech, anti-futuristic. Vintage, as defined by Home Accents Today in June 1996, was divided into four distinct looks: nostalgic American Attic; rugged and exotic World Traveler; relaxed and elegant European Memories; and faded Rustic Remnants.

The millennium set the stage for global discourse, emphasizing the new internationalism of our world. Blending, or blurring the lines, between cultures was of primary importance, resulting in eclectic interiors designed to showcase multiple cultures, 21st century-style.

Inspired by the famed Les Puces de Paris Saint-Quen flea market in Paris, Home Accents Today showcased Paris Flea Market style as the cover in April 2002. Celebrating indiviuality and experimentation, Paris Flea Market encapsulated the present-day metamorphosis of vintage bohemian, mix-and-natch style, a look that smacked resoundingly accross the home accents market for several seasons.

Eclecticism at its best, the idea of "scavenging" for style gradually crept across to the consumer as mainstream, in large part due to design shows that advocated breaking all of the established rules of period design.

In the last few seasons, a renewed emphsis on organic and primitive design have emerged. The look has been handcrafted with an overriding artisan approach focusing on making the mass-produced feel one-of-a-kind.

Tuesday, the final installment of Kara Cox's article The Big Trend, focusing on the five major deign themes and style, will feature Oriental.

Bev & Mike

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Ralph in the Fall

Ralph in the Fall
Originally uploaded by gily122000.

This is the best picture I have ever taken of a dog. It shows his sweetness on a beautiful day and fall is in the air.
Bev & Mike

Interior Design Styles: Modern

We have been discussing five design styles used in the interior design world: Traditional, Country, Modern, Exotic and Oriental.

From the September Home Accents Today Anniversary Issue, Kara Cox Describes Modern design in The Big Trend.

Contemporary style's birth can be dated back to the late 19th century with its popularity growing through the two world wars. Dutch De Stijl, Bauhaus, Wierner Werkstatte's ground-breaking designs still are evident in today's modern pieces. Contemporary design strives to combine current fashion and cultural highlights with art, architecture and furniture.

While modern design stresses simple shapes, minimal decoration and high function, bright colors and abstract forms help create new art for a new time. Modern design often builds on retro sensibilities and recalls the past while offering breakthrough materials and functions for a fresh, high design look.

Twenty years ago, contemporary design was pulling from the Art Deco period inspired by the architecture and culture of the '30s and '40s. Sleek lines, arching curves and jazzy colors blended with industrial materials like acrylic, glass and metal. Brass combined with stone and acrylic in lighting designs while black and white marble and jazz-era motifs spruced up wall decor and tabletop. Lacquer surfaces and high-gloss ceramics lent a fashionable touch to abstract and geometric shapes. Black and gold were popular color combinations with touches of red for drama.

In the late 1980s, Post Modern gained popularity with cold, gray metals in matte and satin finishes mixing with stone and marble. Tapered column floor lamps and cylinder shapes appeared. In July 1998, glamour seeped into contemporary with shimmery silver, glittery gold and frosted glass setting off dramatic black and white and colorful glass sculptures. Watercolor abstracts provided a little pattern available in deep hues like black, graphite and plum or emerald.

Contemporary took a wild turn in 1989 with dramatic angles, neon brights and abstract patterns in black splashed with cobalt, magenta, emerald and teal. Elemental geometry tied together the look with jagged triangles, spheres and arches. Halogen ceiling pendants and torchiere floor lamps spoke to technological advances as well.

The early '90s popularized metals and metallic finishes from cool gray shades in pewter and chrome as well as black and gold pairings. Rough texture, weathered tones and updated steel were popular in sculptural looks and primitive craft pieces with comtemporary metal wall art simulating twisted metal. Color began to move into contemporary in 1992 with splashes and swirls of bold, vibrant color in graphic and abstract patterns for tabletop, wall decor and soft goods. Inspired by astrology, star and moon designs appeared with heavy black toning down for navy and gold. Black was no longer a background color but moved toward widespread acceptance as a neutral in wood tones and metal finishes.

The mid '90s softened contemporary a bit with the arrival of natural materials in modern design. Eco-friendly wood, paper, wool, stone, pottery and metal provided texture and interest to otherwise unadorned, unfinished media. Bold pop art styles made a statement drawing inspiration from Andy Warhol imagery of the 1960s in vibrant shades of blue, yellow, orange, green and black. Art Deco reappeared in 1995 and 1996 spicing up contemporary with swirls, curves and architechtural detailing.

Retro designs appeared with a throwback to 1950s kitsch and nostalgia in the late'90s. This time around, retro took a natural approach in apparel-inspired colors like gray, camel, tan and black offering a solid color scheme rather than mixing patterns. Primitive basics were updated for modern function as stone, iron and pottery showed off little ornamentation. An urban eclectic look emerged as modern, Asian and casual styles merged with artistic impact from simple solids, minimalist pencil sketches for wall decor and modern sculpture.

In contrast, with the dawning of a new century comes a return to '79s beatnik style with retro prints, colorful abstract patterns decorating everything from lava lamps to beanbag chairs. The last few years have shown a blend of contemporary designs with exotic motifs, clean Asian Zen styling, and artistic, stylized shapes. Today style and comfort updates soften lines, add curves and meld international influence with once stark contemporary elements.

We continue the discussion tomorrow with Kara Cox on Exotic.

Bev & Mike

Friday, October 14, 2005

Interior Design Styles: Country

We were discussing yesterday and for the next few days, five design styles used in the interior design world: Traditional, Country, Modern, Exotic and Oriental.

From the September Home Accents Today Anniversary Issue, Kara Cox Describes Country design in The Big Trend.

The April 1986 issue opened its style pages with the statement, "Country is unquestionably the most popular of all decors today." While much has changed in the last 20 years, Country remains popular and has evolved to encompass a host of informal styles from Southwestern to Folk, Lodge to Beach.

The mid 1980s held country styling in high esteem with the most popular Southwestern Chic featuring lightly colored, heavily grained wood, hand-carved and hand-painted effects, and imagery evoking American Indian motifs in warm desert palettes. Style details included rough textures, folk craft inspiration, leather, pottery, kilm rug and soft goods patterns.

As the 1990s approached, English country and Victorian influences brought a sweet, feminine slant to country styling. Flowers, lace, ribbons and heart motifs mixed with wicker, topiary designs and hand-painted wood. Wall decor depicted English countryside scenes and rich tapestries, fringed lampshades and deep Victorian hues.

At the same time Victorian romance was influencing casual style, primitive folk styling appeared with handmade looks, aged leather, rusty metals, raw wood and natural earthy colors. The pieces were used together for an eclectic collected feel rather than store-bought appeal.

In April 1991, Lodge debuted with rustic accents highlighting the American spirit in red, white and blue combinations, historical American scenes in wall decor, and hand-painted wood figures. Floral designs took on a country, wild flower look in wicker basket containers.

By spring of the next year, Western looks were strong in pine, walnut and oak finishes complementing soft tones of brown, beige and terra cotta that warm up rough surfaces and natural materials. Building on the success of the Bob Timberlake collection from Lexington Furniture, the home accessories market debuted rough-hewn, homespun textures and deep earth tone palettes throughout 1992. Tribal patterns appeared in rugs, textiles and ceramics while wall decor focused on Western animals like moose, deer and cattle. Pottery and iron became popular combinations for lighting, while rattan, hickory branches and jute appeared as natural materials.

Late 1994 saw the first move away from lodge to primitive Americana style with simple Pennsylvania Dutch influences in whimsical accents, darker wood finishes, embroidery and needlepoint soft goods designs. Graphic images of fruits and vegetables appeared as primitive expressions of rural style.

In 1996 country began traveling to places like the French countryside, with fleur de lis motifs, French storefront images in wall decor, light woods and painted furniture adding a casual European feel. Weathered vintage looks became popular with faded color palettes, floral patterns and Tuscan vineyard grape motifs dominating lighting designs from table lamps to chandeliers.

As Americans rushed to invest in a second or vacation home, furnishing designers in the mid-'90s introduced a relaxed coastal style with painted wood finishes, brightening whimsical ceramic and wall decor designs.

By the late'90s, several country themes coexisted with handcrafted cottage looks remaining true to American roots, French country blending European themes into casual style and coastal looks popular for second homes and regional decor.

Western made a quick comeback in the early 21st centuery with softened features as modern shapes and contemporary interpretations of Native American patterns adding an updated edge. True country went minimalist with white finishes, wrought iron beds and soft pastel florals.

Saturday, Kara Cox writes about Modern.

Bev & Mike

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Interior Design Styles: Traditional

For the next few days we will describe five design styles used in the interior design world: Traditional, Country, Modern, Exotic and Oriental.

From the September Home Accents Today Anniversary Issue, Kara Cox Describes Tradtional design in The Big Trend.Traditional design borrows on themes and styles from centuries past, updating the elements with fresh color, finishes and motifs. For the past 20 years, traditional home furnishings have changed little in some aspects and greatly in others. The design style has encompassed everything from Neo-classic to English manor house and antique French.

Two decades ago, traditional design centered on two major looks. Historic reproductions of 18th century English antiques, specifically Georgian and Louis XV styles, offered formal and elegant designs. Especially popular were ancient Greek and Roman elements such as marble, pottery and classic urn shapes featuring medallion and eagle motifs, obelisk-shaped lamps and classic architectual lines.

Worldly influences continued with European inspiration found in richly colored porcelain, fringed lamp shades, damask upholstery, colorful majolica and rich jewel tones with vendors showing renewed interest in historic licensing programs.

The 1990s brought about a resurgence in garden florals with hand-painted European country motifs found on everything from upholstery to chandeliers and pillows. Baroque styling offered an ornamental, opulent touch to wood carvings, iron accents, gilt finishes and sculptured elements. Classic motifs remained popular with mythical, archeological figures spotted on wall decor, table-top and lighting designs. Romantic sentiments carried a Victorian vibe into casual traditional looks of the early '90s with bows, ribbons, delicate patterns and floral designs.

Black took on traditional with a beaux arts feel in 1993, alive with drama and grandeur when contrasting formal marble, gold leaf and antiqued brass. Gold resurfaced in sophisticated tradition on gilded mirrors and accented tables.

The mid-1990s revisited classic English style with swag motifs, weathered finishes, topiary styles and brass and crystal combinations. Faceted gems appeared everywhere, offering a romantic touch to classic style. As grunge music gained popularity in America, Gothic detailing emerged in home furnishings with medieval images of harlwquin patterns, pointed arches, gargoyles, arrows and fleur de lis in black and gold with spots of red.

In the mid-'90s, relaxed European style battled over-the-top tradition on a grand scale. French Country and Tuscan influence lent a casual feel to traditional with painted finishes, terra cotta and vineyard motifs. Large scale, gold leaf, and heavily carved detailing added a formal touch to classic illusions. Old World Mediterranean style was strong on sun drenched finishes, leather looks and scrolled iron.

With the 21st century, formality returned in English manor looks with lion's head imagery, gilding, silk tassels, embellishments and a simple gold, red and black color scheme.

Recently, traditional design has turned toward updated classics offering clean, modern lines, less ornamentation and bright, colorful hues.

Friday, Kara Cox writes about Country.

Bev & Mike

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Goodbye Neighbor!

Two furniture retailers in trouble!

Two weeks ago Martin Scott Ltd. on Macadam avenue, in Portland, announced a "going out of business" sale. I don't know what happened to them. They were good neighbors and we will miss their competition. Rumors are that they may reopen in The Pearl under another name.

FURNITUREToday brings news of Levitz filing for Chapter 11. Mike remembers when they went public many years ago.

The 121-store Top 100 company filed in the Southern District of New York and said it has arranged for $90 million in debtor-in-possession financing. The financing package is led by GE Commercial Financing and includes an incremental credit line of $25 million from Prentice Capital Management.


While the company didn’t refer to store closings in its press release, J.B. Davis, president and CEO of key suppler Klaussner said he believes the plan is to eventually close 60 to 65 stores as part of the reorganization process.

That's the sad part in these closings; the harm to the employees and all of the people dependent on these businesses.

Operating a business is not easy. There are a lot of decisions to be made when you run your own business and good business guidelines to follow. I am humbled by the trust people have shown in me and grateful for the help of bookkeeper Helen Pilgrim, and our CPA Kim Wilcox.

Bev & Mike

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Who's Riding Shotgun?

Delivering furniture can be hazardous. We have heard of drivers suffering back and elbow injuries, but this injury to a driver was new.

We were supposed to get a shipment to fill a special order last Tuesday the 4th. The driver called and said he would be late. He arrived yesterday the 11th and apologized a number of times. I told him everything was ok and asked what had happened. He said he had spent two days in the hospital. Seems somewhere in Utah, two men in their 30's jumped him in a truck stop, kicked him in the head and robbed him of his wallet, pictures of his kids, and $4!

The memory of his close call brought tears to his eyes and he apologized again. He said they kicked him in the head so hard both eyes were bleeding. I asked how he felt visiting a truck stop now and he said it scared him.

"Will you "pack" from now on?"
"It's against the law", he said, "to carry a weapon in a commercial vehicle."
I looked at the size of the lug nuts on the semi and suggested he carry a lug wrench with him. You can always say you were just checking the lug nuts.

Turns out the police caught the bandits with his wallet. That gets them 10 years. If there had been no robbery, just bodily injury, they might get 30 days.

Why am I spending so much time on this trucker you ask? I was struck by his tearing up, almost like post-traumatic stress syndrom. We have come a long way from the stage coach and men riding "shotgun".

Bev & Mike

Monday, October 10, 2005

Duralee introduces Pavilion Fabric

From Casual Living, Duralee introduces Pavilion Fabric

Duralee Fabrics introduced the Pavilion Collection, a line of indoor/outdoor fabrics with color-coordinated prints, weaves and trimmings in a seven-book set.

Created from a variety of fibers, including Sunbrella, Weatherwise and Teflon, Pavilion fabrics are engineered for outdoor durability.

Bev & Mike

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Beaumont Trees

I love trees and I love the trees in Grant Park that harbor squirrels that Ralph loves to chase. Having gone to the park for over nine years, I have seen a lot of changes. Old trees have gotten sick and had to be cut down. New trees, usually deciduous, planted and now showing their red fall clothes.

I came across Ron Franscell posting at Under the News. He writes about his love for trees and how in the rigorous Wyoming climate, trees were more fragile than here and grew only about three months a year, between the last frost in May to the first frost in Mid-September.

Portions of Montana, the Dakotas and Wyoming were hit by a slow-moving snowstorm that knocked out power, closed roads and dumped up to 13 inches by Wednesday.

Franscell now lives in Beaumont, Texas and you know Beaumont took a direct hit from Hurricane Rita. He writes

When I came to Southeast Texas 18 months ago, the landscape was festooned with trees. They grew like weeds in a tropical climate, and some people removed them helter-skelter, the way some people change the furniture in their living rooms. My front yard had three majestic trees, and the back had even more. I took comfort in these eight trees' maturity and shade. They were home to birds and squirrels that made the whole place seem more like a home than a house. These were my trees and I wouldn't have dreamed of cutting them down.

But Hurricane Rita took them all. A sturdy cedar was literally ripped out by its roots. The storm sheared off the tops of three tall pines, and stripped huge branches from all the rest. The hurricane-force gusts shaved off most of the leaves, split the crotches of the trunk, shoved them perilously toward the tipping point and slashed fences across their bark. It's the same story all over this region, where grand old trees bore the greatest brunt of non-human damage. In Beaumont, the storm even claimed the old tree in the city, a historic oak that was older than America itself; it was so large that when it came down, it damaged three different homes.

All but two will be gone when I go home tonight. The tree-cutters were expected today to chop them down and haul them away. I'll plant more, and maybe for a while, I'll measure their growth, just to be sure. An old habit from a short season.

I remember the Columbus Day Storm and can imagine what Beaumont must look like.

Bev & Mike

Saturday, October 01, 2005

How to walk through a museum

Found this while surfin', How to walk through a museum at Marginal Revolution. I especially liked this bit of advice:
Go with a variety of people (but not all at once). It forces you to see the art through their eyes.
There's more advice here plus loads of comments. Have fun!

Bev & Mike

Friday, September 30, 2005

Fall Maple in Dolph Park

Originally uploaded by gily122000.
Fall is here and we are looking forward to this tree putting on its annual show.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Frank Gehry and Brad Pitt, Team Mates!

The residents of The small English seaside town of Brighton and Hove
agreed “in principle” to a plan for "starchitect" Frank Gehry to build a £290 million landmark that should do for Brighton and Hove what the Guggenheim did for Bilbao, Spain, which is transform it from "off the grid" to tourist hot-spot.

Gehry's inspiration for the project came from this image of Edwardian ladies.

The big news is that Brad Pitt is a friend of Gehry and will have a hand in the design and development!

Frank Gehry is the architect for software billionaire Paul G. Allen's Experience Music Project


Bev & Mike

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bloggin Around

I have added some new links to the Blogroll and I invite you to check these blogs out:

An Exploration of Portland Food and Drink - THROWING MYSELF ON THE GRENADE OF BAD FOOD TO SAVE YOU

Beaumont-Hollywood - Just north of the corner of NE42nd and Fremont is Beaumont Village's newest coffee cafe, Ristretto Roasters. From CoffeegGeek is a definition of Ristretto

The standard I teach is a 1 oz shot of espresso, not including crema. Unless otherwise requested I believe that this should be the default volume served in all espresso based drinks. I have served this to people asking for a ristretto shot and have only had positive feedback in return. To serve a true ristretto shot (.75 oz of liquid in 25 seconds) an adjustment to the grinder is required and is not realistic or recommended (NOTE: The preparation of a ristretto shot is highly debated with no definitive answers. The above is one of only many “right” ways to prepare a ristretto shot). A lazy man’s ristretto shot is as simple as pulling the cup out from under the pour when only .75 oz of liquid has run through.
Brooklyn - A lot of questions about Condo Conversions
...what happens to funky Hawthorne when the funky people can't find a place to rent and move elsewhere?
Buckman - Community gardening and some little pink wiggly things

Clinton - Hau Hagedorn celebrates one year blogging.

Some juicy bit of rumor that I've latched onto recently is inquiries by developers into the current occupied space on Seven Corners where the Domino's and Seven Days Market reside.
ExtremeMSG - Culinary Blog and Portland Food Guide

I Will Survive - Sandee, a courageous woman blogging her way through breast cancer.

Is It Art? - So how do you really feel about Brushstrokes, the new art piece at the Portland Art Museum?

Jen's Page - Jen has some thoughts about Julie Powell

who decides to cook through every recipe in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in one year. And, this being the 21st century and all, she writes a blog about her experiences.
Kenilworth-Abernethy - Driving 39th!

Northwest Portland - praise for Ken's Pizza

So Ken's Pizza rocks. The crust is extra crispy and the sauce is very flavorful with garlic, basil and fennel seeds. Ken is a gracious host and I'll certainly be back for more.
Old Town - complaints about lack of Community Policing
Community policing means working with the neighborhoods - a partnership - in the true sense where each is expected to contribute and there is a welcoming of resident participation by the police. A resident ride along is not community policing - it is marketing.
Pearl Blog - What's new in the Pearl

Piedmont - Piedmont Neighborhood Association Meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 28

Portland Real Estate Blog - Two articles, What Will Kartina do to Portland's Real Estate Market and Who Buys New Construction Condos?

QPDX - the gay news blog

Sellwood - while you are organizing to keep Walmart out, stop in at the new to the 'hood, Lili Patisserie Cafe which serves espressos and pastries.

Stumptown Confidential - documenting disturbing motels.

I got mildly depressed just looking at these. I can practically smell the cigarette smoke embedded into the carpet and curtains and the bleach in the bathroom hiding the faint smell of old urine.
Time Goes By - What it's really like to get older

Bev & Mike

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Macy's Changes Names

If you said “meet me under the clock”, all Portlanders knew that meant the clock in the middle of the main floor at Meier & Frank. For nearly 150 years, Style and Tradition have been synonymous with the name Meier & Frank in Portland, which was founded in 1857 by Aaron Meier.

Now the name will be gone. The name will now be changed to Macy's!
(see also Jack Bog's Blog)

FURNITUREToday announces Federated to drop Marshall Field's name

Federated Department Stores said it will drop the Marshall Field's name from all 62 of the stores by next fall and replace it with Macy's.

Federated, which picked up Marshall Field’s as part of its acquisition of May Department Stores (which owned Meier & Frank) this year, also said it will eliminate 1,700 jobs at May headquarters in St. Louis and another 4,500 as it phases out May divisional operations in Boston, Houston, Los Angeles and Arlington, Va.

It's sad to see brands disappear. Meier & Frank not only was the place to meet friends, but at Christmas, almost all packages were wrapped in Murphy & Finegan paper, as we affectionately called Meier & Frank.

Bev & Mike

Thursday, September 08, 2005

What's New in Casual Design?

Interesting article in Casual Living: Designers shaping casual industry By Cinde W. Ingram and Courtney Mueller.
As consumers' needs change for space, storage and styles change, designers lead the casual industry's evolution.
Marshall Mullins - Mosaic tabletops fit Mullins' design needs. He designs mosaic tables with wrought iron bases, a kind of old world Tuscany look.

We have had several tables with this look in our store. One made by Hammary:
Hermosa Square Cocktail Table W40.75 D40.75 H19

Carl Muller - Muller finds rewards solving design puzzles. His Wellinton chair won a
Design Excellence Award.

John Caldwell - "I've had such a lucky design life"

"The casual industry used to be for rich people," he said. "The expectation level now is so different that the average person expects to have a backyard and outdoor furniture in it
Frederic C. Doughty - Doughty designs to meet sophisticated tastes
Doughty finds his architectural training plays into his furniture designs because furniture does not set alone in nature.
Scott Coogan - Coogan follows his creative passions. Traveling mostly to Costa Rica, tropical ingredients
provided inspirations for 2006's furniture designs.

Shaun Sweeney - "I'm always up for a challenge"

He designed Woodard's new stepping stone tabletop from a path he saw while watching "Lord of the Rings." A chair was inspired from a wrought iron fence he saw while taking a walk in Cincinnati over Thanksgiving
Philip Behrens - "I'm an inside-out designer, not a stylist.
"I like all my designs to be natural, true to themselves," he said. "I don't like ornamentation for ornamentation's sake. I operate more on a level on what kind of identity are we trying to make. I'm an inside-out designer, not a stylist. I enjoy the hunt for the experience of the idea we are trying to do. That is above and beyond everything else — that is very thrilling and totally unpredictable."
Richard Frinier - Frinier brings home styles of far-off destinations"
For the last 25 years I have only worked with materials that are weather resistant," Frinier said. "While this creates a challenge in and of itself, I enjoy altering the materials with unique textures and colorations to enhance my designs.
One of his clients is Sunbrella by Glen Raven. We carry Sherrill fabrics which have licensed Sunbrella. What is so great about Sunbrella? It is a "performance fabric".
Inside your living room or in the kitchen, Sunbrella fabrics make you question all the old rules. Like twirling pasta on the love seat. And if a meatball happens to roll off your plate and across the furniture, just wipe it off. Because Sunbrella fabrics are worry free. So go ahead and sip red wine on the cream-colored sofa or let the kids eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches in the family room. And when your pets jump on the couch after playing in the rain, just sit back and relax. All the qualities that make Sunbrella stand up to the elements outdoors make it impervious to life indoors.
This a very good article and it is like high fashion. What you see on the runway soon shows up in the showroom. In some cases at Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery, it already has!

Bev & Mike