Friday, April 29, 2005

The Business Journal is Out and Talks with the Landfairs

The Business Journal in Portland, Oregon dated April 29, 2005, has a special section called The Marketing Industry. Today there were two articles about using blogs in marketing. The first, Portlanders turn to blogs as cheap marketing tools by Jodi Helmer, focuses on the Bev and Mike Landfair. In order to boost Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery, the "bricks and mortar" business, the Landfairs started an online store Landfair Furniture Annex and are using a new marketing tool, a blog, Landfair Furniture, to drive traffic to the online store and boost awareness of the Landfair Furniture Gallery.
The Landfairs are among a handful of locals pioneering the use of blogs as business marketing tools. Those pioneers are finding that blogs - online journals that are updated regularly - are easy to establish and inexpensive to maintain, and they have the potential to reach a large customer base.

The second article, Blogs restore personal element to marketing by Toby Bloomberg, President of Diva Marketing.

In a world that spins too fast to even know your next-door neighbor, blogs help re-create the "corner grocery store relationship" that even small businesses lost with the onset of mass marketing strategies.
Bloomberg avers that:

Blogs build brands through ongoing natural conversations.

Blogs increase credibility.

Blogs provide content for traditional Web sites by linking to the blog. (She uses the Landfairs to support this point.)

Two excellent articles and we are proud to be used as examples. Yvonne DiVita of Lip-Sticking, who interviewed Bev & Mike, is also quoted in the first article. Get your copy at the newstand or look online, some time next week at The Business Journal.

This is a good time to mention that we are adding to the Blogroll everyday, designers that have a web presence. Get yours if you are not on the list. A two page web site can be free, and starting a blog is free. You need a web presence to market yourself, if for no other reason, your competition is!

Bev & Mike

Monday, April 25, 2005

Top Designers of 2004:
Interview with Lisa Seung

This week we are interviewing Lisa Seung, a member of our Top Designers for 2004.

LF+DG: We know you have a very interesting background. Please tell us about what you did before becoming an Interior Designer and your design credentials.
: People are usually a bit surprised when I tell them my background. I have a Ph.D in immunology and spent several years doing research.

LF+DG: In fact you and your husband share a common background.
Lisa: My husband is a radiation oncologist. He also has a Ph.D. We met doing research in the same lab in Chicago.

LF+DG: So what prompted you to switch careers?
Lisa: I changed careers because research was too much of a demand on my time with 3 young kids. (not because I didn't enjoy the work!) Design was always a hobby, but when I decided to pursue design as a career, I went back to school at The Academy of Interior Decorating. Since graduating from that program, I have completed an advanced training program for decorators and continue to further my education by attending various workshops in the field. I am also a member of the Interior Design Network based in Hillsboro (Oregon). I enjoy connecting with other professionals to learn about the latest design concepts and products. I suppose I have always enjoyed problem solving. Now I do it in a more creative environment!

LF+DG: Who or what has been an influence on your design?
: My mother was a big influence. She was an interior decorator for a time and has always had a strong interest in both art and floral design. She instilled in me an appreciation for creating an environment that is welcoming and comfortable, not necessarily expensive, but personal and unique. One of my favorite designers, Jeffrey Bilhuber, once said,” You are not investing in furniture. You are investing in living”. I try to remember that when working with clients. We are not just buying THINGS, we are creating an environment that is both wonderful to be in, and functional for their lifestyle.

LF+DG: How do you define good design?
: Good design combines a variety of forms, lines, and textures, in such a way that there is a sense of balance and unity in the space. Often that is achieved through the careful use of color. Good design should emphasize a room’s best qualities while creatively playing down the negative features. It does not mean keeping within the boundaries of “traditional” or “contemporary”, but carefully mixing pieces to create a style that is timeless. Everything should work together and look like it belongs. I would cringe if someone came in and said, “Hey, where did you get that lamp?”

LF+DG: If I were to hire you to decorate my home, would people who visit say, “Ah, this is a Lisa Seung home!”
: I hope not! My goal is to guide my clients in arranging and selecting pieces that together, with proper color selection, create a look that is uniquely theirs. I try not to impose my own tastes. The space should instead reflect the clients’ personality, incorporating their collections, hobbies, tastes, and existing pieces. I want the space to look like the client, only better than they could imagine for themselves.

LF+DG: Do you come up with a presentation board?
: I have in the past and can certainly put one together if that is what the client wishes. Boards are good for commercial jobs when the plan needs to be clearly presented to several people. Residential work is much more personal. I have found that clients really want to be part of the process, e.g., touching fabrics; selecting from options for furniture, lighting, window treatments, etc. I will present them with a floor plan that is a fruition of our discussions, initial selections, and suggestions for pieces I think will work best. From there it continues as a dynamic interaction. Accessories are added as we go.

LF+DG: How do you charge for your services?
: Unless I am doing strictly consulting work, my initial consultation for a project is complimentary. I want to see the space, see what the client has, and hear what they want. It is my time to get a sense of their tastes , needs, and budget. If they decide to proceed with a project, I request a retainer for time to prepare floor plans, color studies, and initial selections for window treatments, furniture, etc. Items purchased through me are at list price and I charge an hourly fee for research, design and further consultation time.

LF+DG: What other creative things do you do?
: I love photography and have quite a collection of prints, but have not exhibited them. I recently acquired a digital camera and like experimenting! I also enjoy putting together scrapbooks for my kids that summarize each school year. I like to cook, which for me is an exercise in culinary experimentation! My husband says I never make the same thing twice!

LF+DG: How can people interested in Lisa Seung as their interior designer get in touch with you?
Lisa: My firm is Portland Home Decorating (PHD for short). You can email me at or call me at 503-502-0818.

Bev & Mike

Friday, April 22, 2005

Why Hire an Interior Designer?

We have spent some time interviewing Interior designers that are in the Top Designers of 2004 at Landfair Furniture. We will be having more interviews, the next is scheduled with Lisa Seung on Monday. You will be surprised at her background. Why spend all this time with designers? Here are 10 reasons:

Why Hire an Interior Designer?

1. Provide Solutions: Each project, small or large presents challenges. Whether it be lack of storage,poor traffic flow, color scheme, unusual windows or maximizing light and space.

2. Prevent Costly Mistakes: So many choices, too many options, this product over that product. There are so many things that are hard to know unless you have encountered those dozens of times before.

3. Resources: There’s a world of furnishings, fabrics, case goods and accessories that are “to the trade only”. Designers have access to local and national manufacturers and products that would otherwise be unavailable to most consumers.

4. Well Connected: Any design is only as good as its execution. Designers work with the best workrooms, carpenters, and painters and have the clout to make sure the price matches the quality.

5. Guidance: A designer knows sources well enough to edit the options and offer seasoned advice to guide clients through the myriad of design choices.

6. Convenience: Designers save you shopping time and work on-site. A designer will bring the “store” to you.

7. Set Priorties: A Designer will help allocate your “design dollars” and how best to spend your money now and plan for future phases of your design project.

8. Liaison/Advocate: Designers work with trades-people and manufacturers regularly and have more leverage to get things repaired or replaced when necessary.

9. Working Through Opposing Taste: Designers can be the third party to join taste and style between husband and wife or significant other.

10. Get the Job Done: Designers see to it that everything is completed. Often when a project drags on for months, clients might be inclined to leave those few details undone if they are doing it themselves. It’s the designer's job to see to it that every aspect is completed to your satisfaction.

Bev & Mike

Friday, April 15, 2005

Top Designers of 2004:
Interview with Nancy Zieg

This week we are interviewing Nancy Zieg, a member of our Top Designers for 2004. Nancy has a BA in Art and a degree in Interior Design from the School of Architecture (U of Fla.). She has been a professional Interior Designer for more than 30 years and has started and run 3 design businesses. She made her way to Portland from Houston and currently operates Nancy Zieg Interior Design

LF+DG: Nancy, let's start with how you became a designer and what has influenced you the most?
Nancy: Since as far back as I can remember, I would take pictures of rooms out of catalogs and draw floor plans. My love of art and architecture was nourished by the art history classes I took in college and my travels, especially to Europe. I, also, have a profound interest in cultures and history.

LF+DG: What countries in particular did you like?
Nancy: I love France and the Country French look, and Italy with its warm colors, terracotta, golds, and the washes you see. I have a new appreciation for the Moroccan look in Spain and I have incorporated the colorful tile mosaics in several of my designs.

LF+DG: How do you define good design?
Nancy: The basic elements of design are balance and proportion. That makes good design. Let me expand on that. When I say balance, I want to see one side of a room carry the same weight as the other (is it symmetrical?. It could be asymmetrical and still be good design. A large piece could be balanced by a collection or art or smaller pieces of furniture. Visual weight or balance is also achieved through the use of colors and tones. One error that is made, and is easy to fix, is mis-sized art or mis-hung art. A small piece hung on a large wall would be mis-sized or art hung too high over a sofa would be mis-hung.

LF+DG: Nancy there is a beautiful picture of one of your designs on your website. Can you talk about the feeling you are trying to convey?

Nancy: This is a loft in Portland. You are looking at the living room, then the dining room and a kitchen in the back. We wanted a transitional style with a classic feel that would never look dated.

LF+DG: Would someone walk into a room you've designed and say, "Ah! This a Nancy Zieg?
Nancy: Probably not as I tend to be eclectic. I like to use my client's possessions in a creative way - mixing clean lines with frou-frou, modern with "collected" pieces, old with new and a bit of whimsey.

LF+DG: Do you use presentation boards?
Nancy: I do presentation boards on request ( a fee is charged). This is usually for commercial projects with a committee involved.

LF+DG: How do you charge for your work?
Nancy: I have several ways of charging depending on the scope of the project. I have an hourly fee for consultation and putting together the overall scheme. Retail w/ a discount for purchasing furniture and accessories, cost plus for custom work and on occasion a set fee for the entire project.

LF+DG: What other creative outlets do you have?
Nancy: My other interests are reading, gardening and painting with oils. I was taught by a Russian master who taught in the 18th Century tradition. He painted in the style of Rembrandt. I paint in the impressionist style of Monet or Renoir. I have sold 45 pieces in the past and still paint, but not as often as I would like.

LF+DG: Some highlights of Nancy's career: She has been published numerous times; Set up stage sets for Unique Lives and Experiences of famous women (in Houston, TX); Competed in HGTV Designer's Challenge and was past President ASID Oregon Chapter. Nancy can be reached at or (503) 675-7475

Thursday, April 14, 2005


From Small Business Trends, I learned that Yvonne DiVita of Lip-Sticking has other interests and one is publishing with her sister and fiance in a come called WME Publishing. In PowerBlog Review: A-ha! AHA stands for authors helping authors.
WME Books is on the forefront of this new publishing trend. And the blog is helping to spread the word about how publishing is changing, and what that means for aspiring authors.
Check out this post if you are thinking of bringing that book of yours to market.

Bev & Mike

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Interior Design Event with Darryl Ware

Tuesday April 19th, 4:00 to 7:00 an Interior Design Event featuring local artist Darryl Ware at Landfair Furniture

Darryl Ware's Upcoming Art Show Posted by Hello

As an Art Director and Graphic Designer, Darryl Ware has spent many years producing corporate identities and marketing materials for corporations and advertising agencies in the Pacific Northwest. This background has contributed greatly in the development of his collage work.

The concept/design is created by utilizing photography, imaging software, pencil and ink, and acrylics.
The finished collage communicates a texture of time and place suggesting not just the photograph, but the layers of the moment.

Each concept/design is based on photography, other media, and a montage of time and place. Most often he uses he uses his own personal travel photography. However, frequently clients ask him to develop a collage based upon their own pewrsonal images.

Bev & Mike

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Top Designers of 2004:
Interview with Carol Cornwell

As promised, one of our Top Designers of 2004, based on the business she did with Landfair Furniture, has consented to an interview.

This week, we are speaking with Carol Cornwell. Carol, who operates Colours, has her office at Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery. Carol has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Pacific NW College of Art and an Associate of Interior Design Degree from the Portland Art Institute. She is a member of NWSID and the Portland Art Museum and has been practicing for 10 years.

LF+DG: Carol lets start with who are your influences?
Carol: I was paying close attention during all my History of Design and Art History classes, and I loved discovering how the designs and ideas of the past have evolved into the current thinking. I learned a lot from all the great artists, architects and designers, but one of my favorites was Alvar
Alto. Alto was one architect who truly listened to the needs and desires of his client. He designed his buildings and furniture with ergonomics in mind and was one of the first to do so. Only two of his structures were built in the United States, we are lucky to have one of them right here. The Library at the Abby in Mt. Angel, Oregon is a marvel. He orientated the building on the site, designed the building, designed the furniture and even designed the hardware to best suit the end user.

LF+DG: How do you define good design?
Carol: To me good design is efficient, effective and pleasing to the eye. It answers the question.

LF+DG: Isn’t that pretty subjective. What if pleasing to my eye is Elvis on Black Velvet?
Carol: If you were to be the only person ever to use that room, I suppose that would be fine. Part of my job is to educate you and show you the possibility of ideas that you may have not considered. An Elvis painting is an easy choice for you, let’s go beyond that.

LF+DG: If I were to hire you to decorate my home, would people who visit say, “Ah, this is a Carol Cornwell home!”?
Carol: No, I try not to impose my personal style on my clients. I listen quite intently and go through a lengthy interview process that tries to uncover the needs and expectations of the people involved. There are many things to keep in mind before starting any design project; you should
consider what year the building was built, the style of the building, what the function of the room or area will be, how many people would typically inhabit the space, and then there’s the budget. I also want to know the style preferences of my client, if we are going to be working with any collections, or a favorite piece of furniture. What is the feeling they would like to convey? Since color is a very important factor, we usually spend some time on the colors they would enjoy having in their environment and which colors we should avoid, since colors usually have some emotional attachment and are quite personal.

LF+DG: Do you come up with a presentation board?
Carol: Typically, I only do presentation boards for a commercial job, or one that needs to be approved by several people or groups. My residential clients can generally OK the design concept from photographs, paint chips and fabric swatches, and would rather have me spend my time (and their
money) elsewhere.

LF+DG: How do you charge for your services?
Carol: I charge an hourly fee, but sometimes agree up front to a job fee. It’s an area that we discuss at the beginning to avoid hassles later. The services I provide are all over the board from paint specifications, surface selections, furniture selections, shopping for and installing accessories to designing the interior of an office building down to the art on the wall.

LF+DG: This has been great, Carol. With your background in the arts, what other creative things do you do?
Carol: Besides some sculpture, I like to paint; it’s fun to experiment with all sorts of odd color combinations. Right now I’m working on a couple of canvases. I don’t have a choice really; art is something I just need to do!

LF+DG: Might we see an exhibit here at Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery?
Carol: Some day you may!

LF+DG: You heard it here first. Carol is one of the Top Designers for 2004 here at Landfair Furniture and can be reached at 503.807.7409, and her email is

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Carol Cornwell in The Oregonian

Hey, Carol Cornwell is quoted today in The Oregonian's special section PS! In PS Personal Space is an article by Nanine Alexander Beads, embroidery add romance to decor
Fashion design this season is all about detail. Embellished sweaters and accessories run the gamut from sweet to eccentric to upscale hippie.

The beaded and embroidered look isn't content to sit in your closet. Home accessories are creating the look of globe-trotting romantic nomads.

"I always see a strong correlation between home design and the fashion world," says Carol Cornwell, an interior designer at Landfair Furniture and Design Gallery.

"There's a big bohemian play that's going on in fashion, and it's showing itself in beaded accessories and embellishments for the home."

A little goes a long way. You can give your space an update with a few small touches.
Speaking of Ms Cornwell, this week we will have the first of our interviews with Top Designers for 2004 and Carol will lead it off. Don't miss who it was that influenced Carol the most.

Bev & Mike