Friday, November 27, 2009


.......on to Xmas......Digs opens at 11 am and as a HUGE thank you to Black Friday shopping at local PDX boutiques, Digs is offering 20% off your total purchase today......and a complimentary espresso will warm you up and get you going! We hope to see you today - we are open until 7 pm. 1829 NE Alberta St. 503.460.3447
Just wait until you see our Xmas windows - so much fun!!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Still lovin' Thomas O'Brien......

It is no secret. I love Thomas O'Brien. Great Style. Great Design. Couldn't be nicer. Sooooo Clark Kent.

Anyhoo........Today I got an email from www.wshome.com and this month it was featuring an interview with Thomas about his tips on decorating for the holidays. So here it is...... from www.wshome.com website.


Thomas' Style

Great style at this or any time of year is really about creating a balance between the traditional and the modern, the familiar past and the fresh start of what's to come.

Stick with tradition. I think the holidays are more fun if you incorporate traditions which add something personal. Ever since I was a kid, I've been collecting old toys and ornaments and animal figurines, and it all comes out in December, to be set up like a vintage Christmas village on my mantel. My goddaughter lights up every time she sees it. We have a ritual of unpacking all the pieces together and have a great time planning where to put everything. I'm not above adding in less precious elements in small doses, like fake snow or Frosty the Snowman. She loves it, and I get a kick out of seeing the magic through her eyes. For me, holidays are really all about the kids and family and entertaining.
Dress it up. I try to make the whole season feel special. Let yourself and your home be dressier and more festive than usual. I make a point of taking out my china, crystal, linen, and silver to use not just at dinner but during the day. It's nice having Christmas dishes too, even if it's just a set of mugs you mix in with your usual place setting. I set out holiday platters and mixed groups of glasses on the table, so that they become part of the décor.

Pick a theme. I often use a wintry, serene, white and silver palette at holiday time. There are certain details I love year after year: Christmas M & M's in brilliant cut-crystal candy bowls, big fires at all times in the fireplace, a magnolia wreath on the front door hung with antique ribbon, and lots of holly and amaryllis all over the house. Repeating the same scheme is part of the fun and makes the holiday classic for me.

Shine on. I get the largest tree possible and load it up with strands of white lights with bulbs in a number of different shapes and sizes, set back really deep in the branches. This creates a layered, twinkly effect. I also sprinkle tons of old-fashioned silver tinsel all over the tree and pile on ornaments I've had in my family for ages. In the evenings, I always light candlesticks and votives to add to the glow, with dimmed lamp light and as little other light as possible. That puts the emphasis on the tree, and makes the whole night shimmer.

Entertain in style. Every year I host a big party for my office, plus a bunch of smaller get-togethers. In November, I transform my bar and butler's pantry into an entertaining station, stocked with everything I need as a host for the whole season. I bring out favorite pieces like my Mauviel hammered copper double champagne bucket (from the wonderful line of French copper cookware that is sold at Williams-Sonoma). But even with fine things I like to keep the mood a bit casual, as in mixing and matching vintage and new glassware at the bar. This not only looks more interesting, but it is practical for parties, making it easier for guests to keep track of their particular glass. In terms of music, I go for classics like the Nutcracker and Nat King Cole. At our staff party, everyone takes a turn opening presents in front of the group, having a special moment of recognition. And everyone puts such creative effort into decorating and packaging their gifts. I keep a wide wicker basket handy for all the discarded paper and ribbons. These are the small moments that add up to an elegant evening, with so many nice details to be appreciated.

Favorite item. My favorite item in the store is the classic hotel bedding. The quality of the cotton is great, and the colors are always so sophisticated, never overdone. And with all the house guests that come through around this time, it's especially good to have extra sets of sheets.

LOVEIT! Great article...I had to share.....

Nice enough for a photo......

Tonight Todd, Sue an I are at a color presentation for Benjamin Moore. Color pulse 2010. I am a Ben Moore girl!!!

Not a morning dog.....

Monday, November 9, 2009

un-freaking believeable!

I just found this on a trade publication and I am in total shock......

The December 2009 issue will be the last for Metropolitan Home — Hachette Filipacchi Media announced earlier today that they will be focusing all of their energies on Elle Decor for the luxury shelter category.

UPDATE: According to Daily Finance, 13 Editorial Staff members, including Editor-In-Chief Donna Warner, were let go.
I can't believe it...I mean, what's next? Sad day for design.....

Time to get shopping......

YIPPEE!!!!! The holidays are here! I love this season, even though I am in retail..LOVE IT! I am so excited about all the lovely things we have received in the shop over the last few weeks! I had almost forgotten what we were getting since I had placed all these orders in August/September, so what a treat to open all the boxes! I made a conscious effort to buy lots of small but beautiful hostess and tank you gifts for all the fabulous parties you will be attending like Middle Kingdom porcelain vases, each presented in its own little linen box with toggle closure, Aquiesse candles and sooo much more. Our holiday windows will be installed on Nov 25th and will be featuring my favorites! One window will be filled with hand knit sock monkeys from Nepal along with beautifully colored lacquer serving trays and boxes. The other window will be the second time we will have "the tipsy gnome xmas party" with LOTS of gnomes of great character having a party in the forest along with concrete mushrooms, hand felted mushrooms and hand felted gnome ornaments. I can't wait to put in the windows! I love good window displays! I love going to a big city - bigger than Portland, like NYC or London and check out the windows. I was in Chicago in Sept. and the Ralph Lauren windows on Michigan Ave were magnificent!

But if you are looking for a gift that goes above and beyond the hostess gift - for your sweety perhaps, we just got the new Marquetry merino wool throws by Kelly Wearstler for SFERRA. Dear God they are beautiful! They have a reversible abstracted faux bois pattern in three colors; mandarin, cove and slate. All so lovely! Perfect for a cozy winter evening to keep you sweety warm! We also got the Thistle cocktail napkins....hostess gift anyone???

It has been so blustery here in Portland this last week - perfect Winnie the Pooh weather. Makes me want soup and stew and warm drinks. It is just about time to make up a big batch of hot buttered rum mix - you know the one with butter and ice cream - it truly DOES NOT SUCK. I remember the first time I made it - at the home of Miss Sus - now lives in Pittsburgh - bummer! Anyhoo......we had so much fun making the batter and eating it and drinking the results that Frenchy had to come retrieve my sloppy drunk self after work. YIKES! Do you remember that Sus? Thanks again - 5 years later......

OK then.......I have been a busy little blogger this morning - a morning at home with a sleeping Stella made it all possible.....off I go now....I have to meet the darling Mike Darcy from 'In the Garden with Mike Darcy' on KXL radio - Since I am a HUGE Jane Austen geek - I just consider him to be my personal Mr. Darcy - anyway - he has a business selling HUGE and beautiful garden containers and I need to get cracking on a Spring '10 order - then the lovely Miss Sue and I need to record our next episode of http://www.homestlyehappyhour.blogspot.com/ for Wednesday. Where are we going for happy hour? It's a mystery....guess you will just have to check it out on Wednesday at 6.....

Have a great Monday!

Stella actually does fit into her new bed. I know it does not look like it, but she does. Funny dog.

Arteriors teams up with Laura Kirar

This is quite the year of designer / manufacturer partnerships. WHEW! Last month I blogged about the Marcel Wanders / Target collaboration and this past Saturday I finally got to see it. Kind of. The Target I was at did not have any of the home decor products (candlesticks, glass ware, etc.) that are shown on the web site, but the store xmas decor was hanging throughout the store. White lacy/flowery cut outs along with large red & gold deconstructed xmas ornaments. Very pretty! The product for sale I could find was limited to xmas decor. I got a few beautiful xmas stockings - very festive!!

I also found out about another collaboration recently. Arteriors Home will be introducing a new collection by Laura Kirar in the spring. Quite a coup for Arteriors! Laura Kirar is known for her collaborations with Baker, McGuire, Kallista and Ann Sacks.
Laura Kirar for Baker

Laura Kirar for McGuire

Laura Kirar for Kallista

Laura Kirar for Ann Sacks

Arteriors home

The new 50 piece exclusive collection with Arteriors will debut at the High Point Market in April '10. Arteriors is known for fabulous lighting and accessories and I can't wait to see what Laura's collection looks like. I have already booked my hotel in High Point........YIPPEE!!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I got an email from YOLO Colorhouse today, talking about their new palettes. BEAUTIFUL! I love this paint company - especially since it is local for me. It's a win win. Great paint, great colors, green product, great company, local company! YIPPEE!!!!!

YOLO Colorhouse is a premium Zero VOC paint. It contains no carcinogens, no reproductive toxins, no mutagens, no hazardous air pollutants, no ozone depleting compounds, no formaldehyde, no phthalates, no VOCs and NO BAD COLORS!

Check out more information about them at www.yolocolorhouse.com.

Here is the newsletter they sent out...please read on:

Rich, earthy and saturated colors are on the rise. Farmer's markets are thriving. We are growing our own food, we are planting gardens, we are cooking at home - we are pickling, canning and freezing so we can eat from our gardens throughout the year. Not to be confused with the jewel tones of the 80's, these deep colors share the same value and intensity. Dig in, get your hands dirty - the rich, earthy brown, NOURISH.05, is a grounding color and beautiful contrast to THRIVE.03 - as you have seen in your garden. Add the vibrant beet purple of PETAL.07 and luscious, earthy CLAY.04 and you've got a warm, inviting space to spend with family and friends and share the bounty.


Weave together bright hues with grounding neutrals for an eclectic palette reminiscent of folk art and crazy quilts. We love putting color, pattern and textures together and making things with our hands. We are felting, sewing, knitting, quilting, painting, building, molding and designing. The energy of THRIVE.02 combined with the depth of DREAM.05 is a contemporary twist on a classic blue/green combination. Stitch in the vitality of CREATE.03 with the richness of STONE.06 to bring a colorful collage to your home or workplace.


Natural, contemporary and clean simplicity create the palette of the Green Steward. The green movement is here to stay both out of necessity and the will of people. This trend is moving into the mainstream and we are celebrating the collective as it grows. We honor the recycler, the rebuilder and the history of reclaimed materials fashioned for a new era. These hues offer the sincerity and truth of natural materials. IMAGINE.04 allows you to breathe and gives an openness when used in combination with the warmth of STONE.05 and LEAF.05 and the tranquil, cooler hue of WATER.06. The Green Steward palette is pre and post 2010, it is the timeless simplicity we are seeking.
So there you have it.........Great stuff! I'm out of here....

Monday, November 2, 2009

They should have saved the buildings.....

It makes me sad when cities get so short-sighted they can't see an architectural treasure right in front of them. Chicago, no less......the city that I though really treasures its great architecture. Just this week, the City of Chicago moved forward with plans to demolish first of Walter Gropius' buildings at the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. The campus features eight building by Gropius - only one is earmarked to survive the wrecking ball.

This was the headline in a local paper: "Outrage: Gropius buildings bulldozed in Chicago". bummer.

I saw a blurb about this in a trade blog this morning and then read on. Here is the article I found at http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/5208849.article.

Despite failing to win the 2016 Olympic Games – the hospital site was earmarked for the new athletes’ village – and calls from the international architectural community (see story below), the city has decided to press on with flattening the complex.

Only one of the Gropius-designed blocks on the 29-building campus has managed to win a temporary reprieve – the 1950 Singer Pavilion (pictured below) which the local authorities have singled out as a ‘potential candidate for redevelopment’.

Graham Balkany of campaign group, the Gropius in Chicago Coalition, said: ‘It is the first major Gropius work of a permanent nature to be demolished in decades. In fact, one can count on two hands the number of such Gropius permanent architectural projects that ever were demolished.
He added: ‘The City has made a very lukewarm commitment to saving just one Gropius building, which is a revelation, but simultaneously they announced that the wholesale demolition of the rest of the campus will be starting immediately.

John Pardey is leading the British front in the fight to save Chicago’s empty Michael Reese Hospital from demolition
The complex – which includes eight buildings by Bauhaus pioneer Walter Gropius – is due to be flattened to make way for an Olympic village if the city is handed the 2016 Olympic Games on Friday (2 October).

The Hampshire-based architect secured planning for the re-use of Gropius’ Grade II-listed Denham Film Laboratories in Buckinghamshire in 2008, and has been asked by The Gropius in Chicago Coalition (GCC) to also help bolster its campaign to protect the 1950s landmark.

Initial plans for the Olympic village were drawn up by SOM – although the practice is not guaranteed of taking the scheme forward should the bid be successful.

Pardey said: ‘It is shocking to find [these buildings] are threatened with destruction… when, with a little more thought, the existing buildings could be adapted and reused.

‘I just cannot believe, in a city that has Mies van der Rohe’s Crown Hall, that [the authorities] realise what they are doing.’
Pardey has already contacted various senior figures, including the Mayor of Chicago (letter attached) and is hoping more British architects will join the campaign (click here to support the bid).

A GCC spokesman Grahm Balkany added: ‘It is ironic [because] SOM’s plan destroys two buildings by their own firm. [But also], is any firm in the US more indebted to the ideas of Gropius and Mies than them?

Balkany believes many of the blocks could still be re-used. He added: ‘Gropius and his associates planned these buildings for a long life and maximum flexibility…were specifically planned to be highly adaptable.

‘As Chicago attempts with great effort to refashion itself as an environmentally-conscious city, an effort led by none other than Chicago’s mayor, we are quite distressed by the city’s wasteful and brazen tabula rasa program for Gropius’s campus.’

In an interview with the US-based The Architect’s Newspaper, Cassandra Francis, director of the proposed Olympic Village development said: ‘We are actually not considering alternative plans because we have received very positive feedback for our plans from the Olympic committee. If we do get the games, there is no room for preservation because we wouldn’t have Gropius buildings within the plan.’


You gotta love the Dutch!

I received an email from a trade publication last week and it was talking about 5 days of Dutch Design in the New York area this month. If you have been been paying any attention at all to design within the last 10-ish years, you can't help but have noticed how Dutch Design has really made its way to the forefront. Rem Koolhaas may perhaps be the most heard of name, but there are MANY others. Piet Oudolf, Hella Jongerius, Marcel Wanders.....design icons in all design genres.

Anyhoo, I was reading this article and decided it must be shared. I do have a Dutch connection, so I am more than a little partial. My parents are from Holland and all of my family are still there. Love it!....read on...

November 12-16, 2009 - 5 Dutch Days Dates

5 Days of Celebrating Dutch Arts & Culture Past & Present 5 Dutch Days is a five day cultural event which takes place in New York City every November. It celebrates the continuous influence of Dutch arts and culture in New York City and brings together arts and cultural organizations from across the city. Programs include walking tours, lectures, concerts and contemporary art offerings. Join us in 2009 for an exciting calendar of events!


Here is an invitation to one particular event during the Dutch Design event............

Co- CURATING & EXHIBITING: BITS 'N PIECES at Material Connexion, New York

Bits ‘n Pieces to debut at Material ConneXion®, November 4-December 4, 2009

Interactive exhibition to examine dialogue between the analog world and digital technologies transforming design in a post-digital era.
Curated by Dutch and Belgian designers Claire Warnier and Dries Verbruggen of UNFOLD, Lucas Maassen, Jan Habraken and Alissia Melka-Teichroew (byAMT ). Bits ‘n Pieces is a traveling exhibition of work by international designers, architects, computer scientists, and material and technology researchers. It will showcase projects still in their development stage, as well as furniture, architecture, jewelry, graphic design and products that anticipate the next phase of the digital revolution, focusing on how society is imbued with, shaped by and shapes technology. This new era will be marked by increased awareness about, and accessibility of, continuously advancing technologies and materials and the changes that we will be making in our lives through them will be not just formal but structural, not merely aesthetic but substantive, changing how we actually think about, design and build our objects and space. What will life look like based on changes that are sometimes visible to the public and sometimes invisible?
Please join us at the
Opening on November 4th at Material Connexion, from 6pm-8:30pm. Please RSVP before October 30th: rsvp@materialconnexion.com


For more info on all of the above go to www.5dutchdaysnyc.org