Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bridget A Otto: Chef's Touch

It's been awhile since we celebrated "Bridget Otto Thursday". In today's Homes & Gardens section of The Oregonian, Bridget covers the remodel of the kitchen in Southwest Portland of Philippe Boulot, chef at The Heathman, and his wife Susan, a graduate of The Culinary Institute in New York. They chose designers Stephanie Ness and Erin Davis of Mosaik Design after seeing their work at a neighbor's.

The story reads as a classic example of how designers work with clients to incorporate needs and desires in a kitchen renovation. The chefs had some specific needs:

The stove: Philippe liked not only the design of the Wolf range, but also its precision and rustic appearance.

The exhaust: After years of cooking with a downdraft exhaust, both Philippe and Susan wanted a stronger, more efficient hood.

The island: Because they cook and entertain a lot, the Boulots wanted the large island for folks to gather around while food is being prepped.

Slab countertops: Both Philippe and Susan wanted a smooth surface for easy cleanup.

Storage: The drawer system throughout the cabinetry is designed for easy access, with pullout shelving and deep drawers for large stockpots and appliances.

Placement: Two pullout racks, one on either side of the range, hold spices and oils. Cooking pots and roasting pans are also stored within easy reach of the range. Dishes and silverware are stored near the dishwasher. Baking utensils and ingredients are also within reach of the island.

Lighting: Improved canister lighting replaced the older models; task lighting was added under the cabinets. All lighting was put on dimmers.

The color: It was Susan's idea to bring some blue into the kitchen to complement her collection of blue and white china.

Overall: Neither Philippe nor Susan wanted a stark, sterile kitchen. They both wanted a variety of textures and surfaces and a room that was both functional and comfortable.
Check out the special section in The Oregonian for pictures of the finished project.

Are you planning a major remodel or an update?
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery can recommend an interior designer to meet your needs.

Bev & Mike

Monday, November 27, 2006

Spice Route

Maybe all the news about Iran or Persia has inspired designers. From Home Accents Today by Tracy Bulla ,
With world or global style now a part of the design mainstream, the multicultural mélange adds up to nothing less than exquisite exoticism. Step into the souk with Persian patterning and lattice motifs or enjoy India with ornate floral designs. Streamlined accents, geometric themes and earthy hues bring out the best of this spicy hot tour.
Several companies were singled out including two that are carried at Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery:

Overlapping star motifs come to life in this large-scale, statement-making mirror from Palecek, crafted of carved wood.

J.D. Chamberlain's lattice-patterned accent table mimics the ornate style of Middle Eastern gates.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

HDTV IS Coming!

The December/January issue of Metropolitan Home just arrived in the mail and includes an interesting article, HDTV Prepare for a Big Change, TV as we know it is about to change forever.

On February 17, 2009 the analog signal will end and the digital signal will take over. By March of 2007, every TV sold will come with a digital tuner that will allow you to receive digital broadcasts.

Metropolitan Home has a shopping guide and explains that HDTV comes in a variety of flat screens including LCD (up to 60 inches) and Plasma (wide viewing angle and 40 to 80 inches), rear projection, direct view and front projectors.

Then there is the audition.
Before you leave home, measure the viewing distance from your couch (sofa) to your current TV. At the store, stand the same distance from the screen. You should see a seamless picture without visible lines (or Pixels) in the image. If you want the TV to be viewable over a wide area-say from the kitchen and the family room-walk to the far sides of the screen to see if you have a good view off-angle.
Ask to see both HD and standard programming.

Consider bringing a DVD to see how it handles content that you know.

If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Picture Quality is subject to three versions:

SDTV - your least expensive option. These sets generally measure 32-inches or less and picture quality is on a par with DVD (480 scanning lines).

EDTV - better resolution than SDTV, but will not give you full benefit of HDTV

HDTV - best of the best. While more expensive, they can fully display all types of high definition (720 by 1080 lines of resolution).
Remember: 1080p

You may need new furniture to accomodate your new TV. Look for a cabinet or wall unit with a large enough opening for your new TV. You might make a cardboard template of your cabinet when shopping for a TV or vice versa. Allow 2 inches around the cut out for ventilation.

Look for furniture that has wire management solutions built in. Holes in the rear accomodate wires and provide ventilation.

Make sure the cabinet allows the TV to sit flush with the front of the shelf so it can be seen from all angles.

Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery features Hekman, Hammary and Nichols & Stone that have styles specifically geared to flat screen TVs. Hekman has consoles that conseal the TV until you are ready to view your program.

Bev & Mike

UPDATE: Kevin Hunt has further thoughts about HDTV in What You Should Know About HDTV, From A Guru

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tips for a Good Night's Rest

With the busy holiday season approaching, it’s easy to fall off the good sleep wagon. So to help consumers get reacquainted with a good night’s rest, the Better Sleep Council (BSC) recently released a number of tips and easy steps to improve how Americans sleep on its website:
1. Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule, including weekends.

2. Establish a regular, relaxing bed time routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music.

3. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.

4. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.

5. Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex. It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleep environment.

6. Finish eating at least two or three hours before your regular bedtime.

7. Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime.

8. Avoid nicotine (e.g. cigarettes, tobacco products). Used close to bedtime, it can lead to poor sleep.

9. Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime. It can keep you awake.

10. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. It can lead to disrupted sleep later in the night.
Mike and I have some further suggestions:
Don't have an argument with your spouse before turning in.
Keep your work out of your head when you head to bed.
No TVs in the bedroom.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Help Wanted!

First, I was in denial about needing help to run the business. Then Allson came to work for Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery, over the summer, and I said how did I do it all without her. Now she's back in school and I am in need again. So here we are:

Wanted: Self-starter - to work in fun atmosphere - update catalogs, discontinue fabrics, work with interior designers, assist owner, unpack new product, be able to lift 50lbs.

Maybe, you are in school taking preparatory classes for a career as an Interior Designer and want to work 20+ hours. Or maybe, you have started your career as an Interior Designer and are looking for clients, an office and want to supplement your income as you are build your paractice.

I need you! Send your resume or come into the shop. I will start at $8.00 an hour. Think you deserve more to start? Convince me.

Mike says I should clone me. Are you me?

Bev Landfair
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery
(503) 245-4222

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Many thanks to the Happy Booker for noticing a trend in decorating that has to be stopped: white pages on bookshelves, as in books turned backwards in these Pottery Barn photos:

Even Mitchell Gold got into the act in one of their ads.

If you like the spines out design, but are unsure what books to place on those shelves, here's an answer Dummy Books.
Our faux book products have graced everything from television and movie studios to the finest homes, hotels, yachts and restaurants. ...supplied in approximately one foot sections, to any length required, the book spines are manufactured in England from resin material which is handpainted, gilded and polished to simulate in authentic detail the look of time worn handcrafted leather books.Our essence is to allow the eye to feel that it is seeing real leather bound books.

I love to see real book spines on book shelves with their differing heights and colors. Of course, I just love the smell of a new book and I'm always curious about what's under the dust jacket, always hoping there will be some great secret.

There's this wonderful book Mike and I read recently, Shadow of the Wind.
Young Daniel's father runs a used bookstore in Barcelona; his mother died when he was 4, and he misses her desperately. One afternoon in 1945 the older Sempere informs his not quite 11-year-old son that he is taking him to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. "You mustn't tell anyone what you're about to see today." They wander through narrow winding streets, then finally stop before "a large door of carved wood, blackened by time and humidity. Before us loomed what to my eyes seemed the carcass of a palace, a place of echoes and shadows." Inside "a labyrinth of passageways and crammed bookshelves rose from base to pinnacle like a beehive woven with tunnels, steps, platforms, and bridges that presaged an immense library of seemingly impossible geometry." Daniel's father tells him that "according to tradition, the first time someone visits this place, he must choose a book, whichever he wants, and adopt it, making sure that it will never disappear, that it will always stay alive." Daniel chooses -- or perhaps is chosen by -- "The Shadow of the Wind," by Julian Carax.
Don't you just want to hug your favorite book to your chest and hope you find another as good...soon?

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery