Saturday, December 31, 2011

Be Different, "Don’t Chase Money"

I came across a wonderful site, (Robert) Sonneman A Way Of Light. "Robert Sonneman pioneered modern lighting making it an art form. World renowned and acclaimed for clean lines and alliance to form and function, his world famous award winning designs have been at the forefront of the design world for over four decades. Robert introduced sleek, new functionalist lighting designs in the 60s and 70s that have become classics of the modern era."

He recently wrote the following message, "Don’t chase money. Create something of value and let money chase you." I liked it so much that I'm reprinting it here:

In a society that values money above ability and respects wealth above talent it is no wonder that making things well became less revered and less aspirational to succeeding generations.

Acquisition is the idol that we worship at the alter of capitalism. But often those who have attained most are left empty by the process because the value created is only the sum of their positions.

Respect and self esteem are powerful motivators which we derive from the gratification of the process and the product of our work. I believe that it is more satisfying for wealth to be attained through the effort of creating something of intrinsic value that we feel good about and take pride in, as opposed to simply manipulating a system to our numerical advantage.

Generations have worked with pride at various trades and crafts passing down acquired skills as their legacy to those who followed. It was the natural order of survival and the university for the young who followed the old. With the knowledge of a craft well learned came the pride of a job well done and the gratification that comes with creating value from ones personal effort.

What I would say to the young is: Don’t chase money. Create something of value and let money chase you.

Find something that love to do and do it well. Allow your passion to drive your ambition. It will become your life’s work and your identity. Money comes and goes. It is good to have but in the ups and downs of life, for most of us, the passion for doing what we love and believe in survives the ebb and flow of financial fortune.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Creative Use of Lighting

BRIAN PAQUETTE INTERIORS is showing some unusual ways to bring lighting into a room:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Aren't These Fun?

  Felis Dining Chair

Probably pretty expensive, but they look like they are alive, ready to move about your home or run out the door to the nearest zoo.  They bring a smile and a feeling that I'm looking inside the mind of Film director Tim Burton. They are made by Peter Handler at Handler Studio in Philadelphia whose been making quality, custom-built furniture since 1984.

  Pteranodon Dining Room Chair

High Throne Living Room Chairs

 Leilani Dining Table
Lily Pad Dining Table with Rounded Rectangle Top

Furniture should be fun, made with quality and sometimes unique. Way to go Peter Handler

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Foreverwhite" Glass Whiteboard®

 You've all used them! They are in almost every conference room, those ubiquitous white boards with the unsightly trays of colored pens and erasers. Erasers? The erasers never completely rid the surface of past writing and it's even hard to erase what was just written. While surfing the web, I came across the "Foreverwhite" Glass Whiteboard® featuring patent pending magnetic glass technology.
  • A glass whiteboard is a dry erase board that will last forever. Instead of flimsy, temporary material, it is made of steel reinforced bright white temper hardened glass, and it will never absorb inks or stains. Even permanent marker is easily erased.
  • there won't be a hint of "ghosting" ink that traditional whiteboards soak in.
  • The glass is magnetic - This also allows the magnetic pen and eraser organizer set to "click" right to the board
  • The included custom memo magnets allow the display of charts, maps and notices. The included magnetic dry erase pen and eraser organizer set "clicks" right to the board, eliminating the need for a messy chalk tray.
  • Now restaurants can have a blackboard of the same material for those "specials" on the menu

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wrought Iron Ceilings?

A recent special on HGTV featured Cabo interior designer and international design star Sandra Espinet. One feature that was memorable was the wrought iron ceiling pictured here:

Sandra Espinet’s used Tableaux faux iron throughout the sophisticated multipurpose upstairs lounge in Michelle and Ricky Cardenas’ home. You can see that special here: HGTV'D Radical Room Revival.

The Tableaux faux iron comes from Faux Iron Solutions and I'm wondering if we will see more of this look in homes and commercial settings.

To me it's beautiful for the right property, but it's more to dust.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Duncan Phyfe Still Lives

We are always interested in the history of furniture.

In our dining room is a Duncan Phyfe dining table. Actually according to Duncan Phyfe - The Man, The Style on the English classics blog, Duncan Phyfe never labeled his furniture, so we probably have a copy of a Duncan Phyfe or a dining table made in the style of the man's designs.

It's an interesting read. At just 26 years old—Duncan Phyfe started his furniture making business in New York City and quickly became one of the most renowned American cabinetmakers of all time.

EDGE Wallcoverings.

Wow, my eyes were startled by the blog of EDGE Wallcoverings.

Founded in 2009 by photographer Carl Pascuzzi and designer Phoebe Brandt, the two have developed original creative images fusing art, design, style and beauty that can translate in both commercial and residential settings. EDGE takes pride in working with each individual client to produce custom images to satisfy any design scheme, AD campaign or creative vision.

What is your verdict? Would you use a wall covering this bold?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Color For 2012: Tangerine Tango

From the Presser:
Pantone LLC, an X-Rite company (NASDAQ: XRIT), and the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, today announced PANTONE® 17-1463 Tangerine Tango, a vivacious, enticing hue, as the color of the year for 2012.

The 2011 color of the year, PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle, encouraged us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bridget A Otto On Saturday

Homes & Gardens of the Northwest arrived this morning bundled in the Oregonian and there's a new article from Bridget A Otto this time featuring interior designer Noelle Penn and the help she gave to high school friend Emily Parrott-Werner. Not only did Penn help Emily with color selection after a broken pipe flooded her home, but Penn saw an obvious flaw, to her, in the home design. Removing an unnecessary wall not only opened up the family room for parties, but opened up the dining room. Three cheers for Noelle Penn at Noelle for Interiors.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Trend USA's New App

Has the iPad changed the game for all of us. I say we've just begun being creative. Here's what Trend USA, already one the coolest makers and distributors of stone and mosaic tiles, is offering for free; an app that blows my socks off:

To quote the Modenus blog,
You can take a picture of your room or use one of the library shots, wiggle your fingers about and add glass mosaic, engineered stone or even wallpaper patterns of mosaic tile. And, should you be so inclined, you can share your creations with friends, relatives and even clients. The app also features completed Trend USA designs and the ability to search for a Trend USA distributor near you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Great Holiday Gifts

From Global Views:

Want more? Take a look here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

LLoyd Loom Revisited

The following is a reprint of an article Mike wrote for Home Accents Today in December 2009.  He came across the Beckham & Issa Fine Furnishings website and discovered they are the exclusive distributor of Lloyd Loom of Spalding furniture.

Back in April of 2008, I posted about the Difference Between Wicker and Rattan.  I said "Rattan is a specific material, but wicker is the general process of weaving rattan or other materials into finished goods."  Those other materials can be rattan, reed, cane, and bamboo as well as synthetic wicker.  According to Fran Sloan at

Synthetic wicker is formed to closely resemble rattan, cane, reed, and bamboo, but it is far more durable than its natural counterparts. Synthetic wicker patio furniture can be used widely outdoors and are resistant to stains, rain, mildew, sun, and even salt water.

There’s another synthetic wicker that has an interesting history.  Called Lloyd Loom, it was invented in the U.S. in 1917 by Marshall B. Lloyd, "who twisted kraft paper round a metal wire, placed the paper threads on a loom and wove them into what was to become the traditional Lloyd Loom fabric." Lloyd Loom chairs and baby prams quickly became very popular in the United States. Using this new material, furniture could be built in about a quarter of the time as the traditional rattan, reed, cane, or bamboo.  In1921, Lloyd sold his patent to Jim or Geoffrey Lusty.  Lusty’s Lloyd Loom factory in England then created a collection of furniture that was soon all the rage in Europe.

In the 1930s, Lloyd Loom furniture could be found in hotels, restaurants and tea rooms, as well as aboard a zeppelin, cruise ships and ocean-going liners. When the factory in England was bombed at the end of the Second World War, the production of Lloyd Loom chairs came to a halt in Europe.
Today, in England, there are only two manufacturers of Lloyd Loom furniture, W. Lusty’s Lloyd Loom Co. and  Lloyd Loom of Spalding.  The rest of the manufacturers reside in Indonesia.  The indoor and outdoor furniture is beautiful as the pictures below show:

The Lusty Lloyd Loom makes a beautifully designed modern settee.

The Sa Taronja Cultural Association in Andratx, Majorca has a variety of Lloyd Loom of Spalding furniture mostly in the Limon y Chelo restaurant.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

New From Uttermost

Novia Set of two
This decorative wall art is finished in a combination of mahogany red, burnt orange, sage green and rust brown.

Vertical City To Be Built

"Vertical city" of "neighborhoods in the sky" to be built in Singapore features a park in the air:

About two-thirds of the way up is a "sky garden," an open-air deck with pools and dining areas that gives the building an airport observation tower look and mimics the lobby.

Monday, December 05, 2011

5 Ways To Give Guests A Warm Welcome

Mike's sister, like many of your friends and relatives, will be spending Christmas Eve night with us in our guest room. I've never really thought about it before, until reading a recent article, but there are at least five ways to make our guests feel welcome. (ARA) a decorating expert at Country Door, an online and catalog retailer, suggest we take cues from our favorite B&Bs:
  • Start with great quality linens," suggests Jillian Tatkow, senior textile merchandiser for Country Door. "Then add a variety of pillows in a mix of firmness and size. Decorative pillows and warm quilts are thoughtful extras that make a guest room comfortable and inviting."
  • Less is more.  your guest room is not the place to store last season's clothes or holiday decorations and presents.  Leave room for your guests to unpack and hand their clothes.
  • Take a seat.  Many people don't like to sit on their beds.  Provide a chair and lamp for them to relax or read.
  • Don't forget the walls. Tasteful wall art that harmonizes with the colors of the room can really tie your decor together. Mirrors have the effect of making a small guest room feel larger and more airy.
  • Add the finishing touch. Just before your guests arrive, fill a vase with fresh flowers and foliage. Make sure guest towels and extra blankets are readily accessible. A candle grouping or other decorative accents can prevent a room from being too cold or impersonal. Place an interesting book or magazine on the bedside table and you have the finishing touch to a perfectly welcoming guest room.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

One Small Space Solution

I would give this architect in Hong Kong an A+++ for creativity in this livable apartment:

I came across this video at Sofas & Stuff Blog.

Decorate With Seltzer Bottles

Popping with fabulous 1950s graphics, these vintage hand-restored in Argentina seltzer bottles from Buenos Aires are all unique. Adds the perfect touch to any vintage or modern decor!

RUSSELL JOHNSON IMPORTS was created because of a visit to the Sunday Flea Market in San Telmo, (Argentina) one of the city's historic neighborhoods. There Russell Johnson came across a family selling a collection of beautiful vintage seltzer bottles from the 30s.

Beveled edges, faceted angles and low-relief text add rare and beautiful texture to these fabulously colored seltzers. Hand-restored in Argentina.

Back in the States, Russel Johnson showed the bottles to a few of his interior design colleagues. They fell in love and immediately bought him out.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Space Reinvented

When we had our Landfair Furniture showroom, I was excited about adding a vendor supplying fine quality Murphy Beds.  We didn't sell any, but we offered them.  I thought for small condos or apartments they would be the perfect way to make space serve a variety of purposes.

Today I came across Resource Furniture. "Since 2000, Resource Furniture has imported and distributed inspired, modern furniture from the finest and most innovative European designers."

Take a look at some inspired design:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jody Seivert Reminds Us...

Ever made your pitch, delivered your presentation and walked away thinking you had a sale only to find out that the potential client went elsewhere?

Jody Seivert who helps businesses and business people to make more money asks, "Have you thought you had commitment when you only had agreement, and were left wondering why the sale didn’t close?"

In a recent blog post Seivert tells us, Hearing and Agreement and Commitment …are not the same. This is one of the subtleties of selling.

She reminds us how to get commitment.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lenova PermaClean

Mike hates to work on plumbing. He gets down under a sink and detaches the pipes, gets water everywhere, never seems to have the right tools and swears a lot.

He came across this sink for kitchens and bathrooms that explains how new technology is changing the way sinks and disposals hook up and it available from Lenova. It can be purchased locally at plumbing distributors. Give the video a look at what's new.

Hair-On-Hide Interior Design

Here's a jewel of a company; perhaps you've seen their product as the "red carpet" on Award shows. It's Kyle Bunting maker of hair-on-hide rugs, wall coverings and upholstery.

Kyle Bunting is redefining how hide is used in interior applications. Recognized foremost for their collection of luxury hide carpets and wall coverings, the company also supplies hides for architectural and upholstery applications.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

John Strauss Furniture Design Fascinates

Mike picked some very interesting pieces from various collections of John Strauss Furniture Design:

Bacall Buffet
Pommele sapele and black lacquer, hand carved legs and feet, feet are metal leafed, black lacquer interior, nickel hardware, pivot hinges.

DC 1305 Mabel Low Dresser, 4-Drawer
Shown in mahogany, silver metal leaf, natural satin finish, black on black crackle lacquer.

Oak and Iron Dresser, 6-Drawer
White oak and ebonized white oak, iron ring pulls, natural satin finish.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Architectural Record has some gift-giving thoughts for 2011. I like the new umbrella design that has been tested in high winds and this Molo Hobo Lantern inspired by the nightlife in Milan during Design Week.

Although I do have one worry. I'm reading the new book "Micro" by Crichton and Preston. In the book our protagonists are trapped in a world where they have been shrunk to a 3/4 inch size. They are fearful of lighting a fire at night or turning on their head-lamps. They may attract predators.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Charles Loomis, Inc.

How many have heard of Charles Loomis, Inc.? The company is headquartered in Kirkland, WA and turns our stunning light fixtures.

Charles Loomis says it "...adorn(s) Malls and Retail Stores with gigantic fixtures that deliver dramatic visual appeal and provide intriguing paths of light. Whether we create a comfortable romantic glow, a fantasy in light, or a bright sparkling atmosphere, our mandate is to always consider the appropriate light level for the environment."

We see these fixtures in various Oregon and Washington locations and most of us don't know anything about the company. Here's a fixture that was hung in a Nordstrom's wedding salon:

In Oregon you'll see Charles Loomis fixtures at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Alison Hotel, Benson Hotel, Broken Top Resort, Nike World Campus, Ashland and Eugene Public Libraries and many more including residences.

Charles Loomis designed this twelve by six foot diameter glass Chandelier for the entry to Neiman Marcus for Schnitzer West at The Bravern, an exclusive collection of retail stores such as Neiman Marcus and Jimmy Choo.

The glass diffusers consist of one hundred and twenty "ribbons" in four shades of amber with sparkling glass frit.

Wide Plank Floors

According to Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, three popular trends taking today's Construction, Design and Architectural Professionals by storm are wide plank floors, custom kitchens and radiant heat.

Here you can see Carlisle wide plank floors installed in Lake Oswego restaurant:


Here's an interesting company found in my web surfing, Caba Company.
For more than 35 years, Caba Company has been providing architects, interior designers, builders, and artists all over the U.S. and Europe with BARKSKIN™.

BARKSKIN™ is an organic, hand-pounded bark material which comes in several natural, and designer colors. The sturdiest material in it’s class, BARKSKIN™ is versatile in its uses and easy to apply.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MiniGarden From QuizCamp

I love this idea of a vertical garden for your roof terrace or indoor kitchen herb garden.


For more info, see Terrace Living site

You May Need A Little Accent

"Umlauts, tildes, accents and punctuation can change a word or sentence's meaning. Similarly, sometimes all that's missing from your home is a little accent." I liked the phrase so much, I stole it from Living Social website.

It's true, though.  Often a new lamp, a new chair or a new home accessory can perk your home up on these gloomy days of early winter in the Northwest or holiday season.

Sometimes, all you need to make a room great is a little "Cozy Up" table. Makes a great place for an egg nog.