Sunday, May 30, 2010

6 easy-to-follow tips on how to turn your bargain beach rental into a fresh retreat

Everybody may be cutting back and one way is to rent the little beach bungalow instead of vacationing at the fancy beach resort. But, there are drawbacks! In this fresh look, Interior Designer Susan Corson offers 6 easy-to-follow tips on how to turn your bargain beach rental into a fresh retreat. She says:
Simple is beautiful and just a little smart planning can really help bridge the luxury gap.
First: Expect a moist environment.

Everything from pillows to sofas may have that way-too beachy feel. The solution: bring a bunch of coverlets . These are light-weight, cotton bed covers that make wonderful slipcovers for sofas, chairs, etc. The best part is, they’re clean & fresh and can be washed if needed. Buy white or chambrey – it goes with everything.

Second: Don’t be afraid to remove the moist stuff.

Roll up offending area rugs and stash in the closet. Much easier to sweep up the sand without them anyway.

Third: Nothing makes a place cozier than candles & flowers.

Bring a bunch of CHUNKY pillar candles and a few of those vases that have piled up from flower deliveries. The wild flowers you gather or the cut flowers you buy yourself will be perfectly at home.

Fourth: Kitchen not gourmet?

Maybe you’re not going to pack your pots and pans but definitely bring some knives. Your chopping chef’s knife and a sharpie for those summer tomatoes. Find the big salad bowl and FILL IT with fruits and veggies from the farm. And don’t forget to buy BUNCHES of their local wildflowers (Remember the empty vases you're bringing along.) Plentiful displays have visual power so overdo it.

Fifth: Making a luxurious bed means bringing your own sheets AND pillows.

What’s worse than sticky, scratchy poly sheets and a rubbery pillow? Two words: WHITE COTTON. And of course some of those flowers & candles.

Sixth: After a day at the beach what’s more delicious than a hot outdoor shower and a soft absorbent bath towel? Either bring your towels from home or grab a few from Target. White is always the softest since it has no dye and it has that spa-like feel. Loofahs, scented soaps and essential oil body scrubs keep skin pampered and a rich body lotion is the finishing touch.

Now your temporary beach home feels and smells good.

Susan Corson Designs, founded in 1986, is a national interior design firm recognized for elegant simplicity.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design gallery
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bridget Otto Thursday On Saturday

Photos by Doug Beghtel/The Oregonian

Yes, it's Saturday and I'm late with Bridget A Otto. This weeks Otto subject was friend Kathryn Delaney owner of ColorSplashes. Delaney found Portland via a circuitous route from South Africa and claims Portland, Oregon is the best place on Earth to live. Her art started with faux finishes, to murals and then original art. Recently, she's gone digital.
"I've been getting into taking my art digital. Once I've done the piece, I get them professionally scanned."

From this digital source, she has them printed using the giclée method, which reproduces an archival-quality print.
It appears to be an easy jump to wall decals when your art is digital. Delaney is an infrequent, but interesting blog poster at ColorSplashes.

Bev & Mike
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Friday, May 28, 2010

That's Green Living!

Isn't this a great idea:

You do your business, the water is recycled and sanitized and then you can drink it or wash your hands in case you are a food preparer!

Well, not really! It's a new sink-toilet combo for living areas that are short on space. The Profile Smart is from Caroma and received the Popular Mechanics Product Breakthrough award for innovative design and engineering in 2008. It is a standard looking toilet with an elongated tank that has a sink instead of a lid.

It might be easier for a man than a woman to use it, however.

Hat tip to 3Rings. and Designer Pages

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design gallery
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Suffering In The Heat

You know that when summer arrives here in the northwest on October 30th, we will need some relief from the searing heat. I'm thinking of adding a home misting system like I've seen in Las Vegas outside near the bus shuttles. Read this:
To escape the oppressive heat during the summer days, an outdoor misting system, based on evaporation of water, can bring the temperature down and provide cool comfort to open spaces. The misting system converts hot air into cold air and brings relief from a scorching summer.
I got a request to add Cool-Off to our blogroll. I don't want to do that, but I will write about their products, misting systems, shade sails, outdoor cooling system, shade structures, home, garden and sun shades with a little humor.

Bev & Mike
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Book Review: "Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury " by Pam Danzinger

The Sunday San Diego Union-Tribune says what all of us are feeling: Homeowners slowly open wallets for improvements. We've certainly noticed a pick-up in business and we are seeing long-lost interior designers in our store. However, Pam Danziger, President of Unity marketing, says in her new book, "Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury," that the consumer is different from the one we knew from 2000 to 2006.

First, Danziger writes, there has been a demographic change in the luxury consumer. More than half of luxury consumers were in the $100,00 to $149,000 annual income. Now, more numerous luxury consumers are in the $250,000 incomes and up and many of of the lower income luxury consumers have dropped out. Where once there were over 21 million consumers in the $100,000 and up bracket, there are only 2.5 million in the highest income level.

Second, there appears to be a "luxury drought." The luxury drought is characterized by affluents sharply reducing their spending on luxury as they reevaluate, reprioritize and reassess their lifestyles. No longer valid is the motto: He who dies with the most toys, wins. Now there is evaluation of ones lifestyle.

Third, luxury brands lost their "mojo." Is it really worth it to pay ten to fifty times for a luxury brand name product.

Part of the reason for this shift is Fourth, the recession has consumers rejecting their materialism. for the goal of achieving personal happiness and fulfillment. After all, when you are dead and gone, maybe all that's left is stuff that your kids put in a box and place the box on a shelf in the garage.

You can download the first chapter of "Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury" and sign up to receive a signed copy of her completed book.

Bev & Mike
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

A New Bedding Line From Very Influential Celebrity

Beyonce Knowles, whom Forbes listed as fourth on the list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential Celebrities in the world, has teamed with Arrow Home Furnishings to turn out a bedding line geared to the master bedroom. The collections feature "European inspired prints and colors, bohemian patchwork pieces, metallic threads, shams with diamond quilt stitching and feminine dressmaking details."

The collections are being presented to major department and specialty stores with retail prices ranging from $149.99 to $199.99 for House of Deréon and $49.99 to $99.99 for Deréon.

House of Deréon addresses the master bedroom, while the more print-oriented Deréon line targets a younger customer, age 15 to 30.

Sheet sets in House of Deréon will feature richly embroidered cuffs in four embroidery colors on white or ivory that can tie back into the bedding ensembles. Sets will retail for $69.99.

Look for details soon on her House of Deréon website. In Oregon so far, only Joy's Uptown carries Beyonce's fashions.

Bev & Mike
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's Bridget Otto Thursday!

Today, in The Oregonian, Bridget A Otto has two articles. The first offers information before you shop on carpet basics and terminology. Otto is a little sketchy on Berber, however. You might want to check my blog at Home Accents Today for What Are Berber Area Rugs?

The second article is titled A 1949 video on the ideal kitchen shows what's changed -- and how much still rings true. The "...1949 movie clip out of the federal Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics advocates and demonstrates how the U-shaped kitchen can help ease the chores of the "housewife" in the "modern farm kitchen." Otto talked with four interior designers and got their reactions to the film.
We always enjoy Otto's articles and it's great to see our friends mentioned as resources.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design gallery
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Process Of Upholstery

Some may not be aware of the labor that goes into upholstering or re-upholstering a chair or sofa. It can be expensive;, sometimes you are better off to buy new. However, Amanda and Lizzie, two Austin, TX based gals, have combined a long tradition of skills with a savvy design eye.
SpruceHome has made a business not only upholstering vintage chairs, couches, and headboards, they also go so far as to make their own pillows and lampshades featuring the same vintage and designer textiles that they use for their furniture.

The video is from Etsy?

Bev & Mike
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

How To Age In Place With Julie DeJardin

Julie DeJardin is giving two seminars this weekend. Chown Hardware will be host on Friday at 10:00am and Saturday at 10:00am. DeJardin knows as much about how to live in a small spaces as she does about designing them. With a background in gourmet cooking as well as kitchen and bath design, she will show you some creative ideas on how to design beautiful and functional living environments.

She was the regional winner of the Sub Zero – Wolf kitchen design contest with her previous condo. Now she’s doing another makeover in her new Pearl Condo creating again more space and ergonomically friendly additions She knows ins and outs of urban living, it’s challenges as well as the benefits of small space design.

At the seminar you will learn:
  • How to make the most of the space you are in
  • How to evaluate the way you live and work
  • How to find space you didn’t think you had
  • How to create beautiful environments
  • Tips on adapting your space to age in place

Space is limited, so call Chown Hardware at 503-243-6500 to reserve your space.

BTW, on DeJardin's new blog DeJardin Design you can follow her kitchen makeover.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design gallery
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15 Reasons To Buy A New Sofa!

You know it's time to buy a new sofa from Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery when

1. There's a large red tag on it marked "Evidence".

2. The cushions begin crawling away.

3. The fabric on the back has been repaired with a "Vote for Sam Adams" bumper sticker.

4. What you thought was powdered sugar from a doughnut appears to be moving.

5. It appears to have reached its present location by being dragged several miles on its side.

6. You seem reluctant to actually sit on or touch it

7. There are mushrooms growing on the back.

8. It seems to generate its own heat.

9. Stuffing is protruding from bullet holes.

10. There appears to be more duct tape than vinyl on the cushions.

11. It has a faint smell of ammonia.

12. You can occasionally pause to pick things off of it and nosh before the TV .

13. It appears to have been spray-painted its present color.

14. You hear scampering noises inside.

15. Under the cushions you find:

+ half a bottle of ketchup
+ empty shotgun shells
+ an entire squirrel skeleton
+ Jimmy Hoffa's wallet
+ a glass eye
+ ticket stubs from the 1939 World's Fair

Hat tip to Chris Blippit

Bev & Mike
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Friday, May 07, 2010

Color Trends For 2011

Stacy Straczynski at Contract wrote about April 27th Coverings 2010 called "Color Trends: The Catalysts that Create Change" presented by Pantone Color Institute’s “international color guru,” Leatrice Eiseman. Eiseman spoke about color trends for 2011:
* Excessive glitz will be downplayed by warmer colors and texture surfaces. People are looking to do away with “cold” design and looking for a touch of humanity in their interior environments, styles, and designs.
* Anything that lends itself to “movement,” via optical illusions, light interplay, etc., is in.
* Quality and value are going up in popularity. People want style first and foremost, but they want quality, as well. This quality also applies to color. With technological advances and HD resolutions, color is taking the forefront in movies (such as Avatar and Alice in Wonderland), which is changing how people view their own sense of style. The mentality is now, “If I see it in a textile, or the movies, or here or there, why can’t that be translated to the floor, or the wall, or adapted to all areas?”
* The main colors will be periwinkle blues, warm earth tones, blacks and whites that allow accent colors to pop, vibrant/rich reds, as well as the continuation of deeply “alive” purples. Additionally, anything with metallic sheens that add light and movement to a space will be popular.
After I read that last bullet point, I came across these new products for kitchen and bath in black at 3 Rings.!

The black-as-pitch Sink for Altro-Supergrif was developed as part of Ora-Ito's “black series”

Vero—one of Duravit’s most popular bathroom lines of all time—is getting a modern twist with the addition of a bold, high-gloss black.

Bev & Mike
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Thursday, May 06, 2010

11 Exciting Design Materials

"Contract" magazine has a thought provoking article titled Fabric of the Future: Innovative Design Materials to Come. It lists eleven new materials and technologies which "offer a glimpse into where innovation is taking us, both in terms of sustainability and simply as cool ideas. Each one represents a step forward in an existing idea, but gives us an idea of where materials in interiors could go next."
  1. Metal Architectural Surfaces- Applications include signage, textiles, sculpture, and architectural elements.
  2. Xylogramm- Applications are for high-end interior design and furniture construction.
  3. CFS – Carbon Fiber Stone - Applications are furniture design, interior design and architecture, automotive and aircraft engineering.
  4. UltraCanvas Backlite - Can be used for indoor or outdoor signage, displays, lightboxes, and tradeshows.
  5. Navi Floor® - Applications are for the navigation of robots, the logistics and locating of goods and products, as guidance system in e.g. stores as well as collecting of information of the course of movement of customers with shopping carts.
  6. OCTAMOLD- Applications are for lightweight construction panels and composite panels, acoustic panels, furniture and packaging industries.
  7. Concrete Cloth™ - It is currently being used by designers, architects, sculptors and artists in a range of projects including furniture design, complex curved roofing, public sculpture, and digital printing design.
  8. VarioLine®- As an alternative to materials such as plywood, MDF, and other structural construction panels, this durable, rigid, lightweight panel offers a colored alternative that withstands time and whatever else nature and humans can throw at it. The material is also completely recyclable and could end up as clothing, some food storage bowls, or even another polymer panel at the end of its life.
  9. HoneyCOR™ - Applications include furniture, POP displays, as a sandwich core for added structure, ceiling panels, and interior wall panels.
  10. Transparent LED signboard - Transparent flexible polymer sheet that incorporates working LED lights.
  11. SARATECH® Permasorb Wallpaper - Wall covering that absorbs chemicals from walls and are able to remove contaminants from within the wall structure, including PCB, PCP, pesticides and radon that were released largely by construction, and auxiliary materials used primarily in the 1960s and 1970s.
Bev & Mike
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It's A Bridget Otto Thursday

Today in the Homes & Garden section of "The Oregonian" Bridget A Otto writes about a couple living in a 1910 Sellwood home that started a conversation with friend and interior designer Sue Augustyn owner of SAID. The topic initially was about adding French doors to the kitchen and that led to other questions about the house.

Dan and Donna Bush wanted to respect the period of the house, but since they weren't going to move, wanted the house to fit their lifestyle. They ended up remodeling the kitchen, finishing the basement and utility room. Then they combined two bedrooms on the second level that when finished "Dan said that when he wakes up he feels like we're in Bend on vacation."

Read about the process that led to a successful outcome and happy clients.

Bev & Mike
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Sunday, May 02, 2010

The "Bohemian" Sofa, Is It Back?

I was fascinated by the use of the word bohemian is describing this sofa designed by Castello Lagravinese:

Traditionally, bohemian style includes lots of nonconformist attitudes. Beyond clothing, bohemianism also involves anti-establishment action; critical, deep thinking; individualism; and above all, an interest in art, whether it be music, visual arts, dance, literature, or pottery. Traditional bohemians are normally impoverished, or at least without much money. For this reason, they have often been called "starving artists."

Has an old style been revived because of the economy? Are we becoming weary of the clean, striped-down look? Is it chic to afford the hottest trend even though it's associated with starving artists? All questions you can help answer with your comments.

Bev & Mike
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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Guardino Gallery Inspires Me

Judging by my Google alerts, there's a lot of interest in Wall Decor. Good designers speak of adding texture to their design and that can include fabric texture, distressed furniture and recycled wood, ceramics and metal wall art. Timothy S. Herbst wrote recently, beautiful, bright and bold metal wall decor can "induce a feeling and meaning in the viewer without the use of concrete form."

One of the places in Portland that inspires me is the Guardino Gallery on Alberta at about 29th. In January Yoshi Aoki exhibited his work which "incorporates steel, hardwood, rocks and ceramic. Using wire lines and mixed media objects, he captures the balance between the movement and stillness of forms."

Several Guardino Gallery ceramic pieces lift my mood:

Ingrid Hendrix
creates ceramic sculptures with a combination of human and animal elements. She uses the female figure along with religious, mythical, and animal imagery to explore female stereotypes and to reveal those complexities.

Lisa Kaser
creates imaginative mixed media sculptures with narrative as her focus.

Valenzuela’s ceramic work consists of quirky pieces that reflect upon a variety of issues with a thoughtful, yet humorous tone. Much of her imagery is pulled from sources around the 1950’s era.

Sara Swink works in clay, making human and animal forms with a psychological stance. This body of work, “Empowered Objects”, addresses the human tendency to imbue objects with symbolic meaning and magical power.

I'm going over there this afternoon to see what's new. Maybe, I'll see you there.

Bev & Mike
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