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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

let's get WiLd ANd cRaZY OnE MOre TiME

This year has been a time in which i had a lot of time to think about the course in which my life was going and what path I was going to travel. My dear friend, heather, an owner of a consignment shop in Portland was there when i need a good friend to talk to. This year the love of her life, teddy her border collie passed away. (You can read about it in a previous blog that i wrote this autumn.) These events often alter our journey, but we continue. This year i am very grateful to continue. I hope that you enjoy her wonderful space as much as i did.

Good morning, Yesterday I mentioned going to a friend's home over the Memorial Day weekend. I would have loved if you would have been able to go. I hope these pictures will reinterrupt what I saw. I wished it would have worked out if you could have come also. Maybe next time. Just imagine these images but a hundredfold. It was truly an AwESoME Visual ExPERIenCe! It truly waS A WONDERFUL COLLECTION OF SOMEONE'S LIFE.tHE DOGS were truly gracious. I never felt more comfortable.
Love, John

Monday, December 7, 2009

things to consider by dann baker

The other day,my good friend and lighting expert, Dann Baker sent me an email. i have him asked to use it for my blog today.

Things to consider
..."When selecting new fixtures or lamps for a space one needs to always pay attention to many things, scale being one of the most important aspects. a good rule of thumb when selecting a lamp and shade is one should not over power the other. unless that's the style you're going for, typically a more contemporary look.
Also pay attention to where the fixture is being placed in a room. are the chair or side table to small? is something being visually being overpowered by its shear scale? what are the ceiling heights? is it going to be close to a window or door and what are their sizes?
In a conversational setting, can people converse without trying to peer around a fixture like a kid peeking from behind a tree playing hide-n-seek?
Architectural elements and the size of a room are very important to pay attention to as well. One might even want to consider the time period of the architecture. Select something more toward the period of all the elements of the entire space."...

Friday, December 4, 2009

there is a time for everything

The signs of the change of seasons do not come without a warning. The skies begin to darken earlier.Our lungs take
in the frosty air. . Leaves fall. The rains come. The mighty East winds blow out the old dead leaves getting ready for a new season. Often we say "the dead of winter". many look at this time with dread and regret. the stress of
maneuvering those crowded shopping malls. Despair and sadness often becomes a stronghold with many during this time.
i recall last year when my holiday shopping was halted because i was to sick to be out in the public. I recall the best part of the season

as I continued with my post surgery chemo therapy, I lay in bed observing the Oregon Juncos and English Sparrows eating the purple berries off of some bush in my side yard. Eric, my son and I spent a couple of hours watching them feast on their winter dessert.
I have fond memories of my recovery from my long road of surviving cancer.Although there was much pain and sadness. i kept my spirits
high. My friends were in awe of the wonderful attitude i had during the bleakest time of my life. The joy of the creatures living around me gave me hope to reach for the goal of my own future. those simple things can bring us joy.
With everything there is a season,Interior design has a season as well. I have found so many clients wanting
the latest look. however I love the idea of reinventing the past and putting an eclectic look together that is more to my client's lifestyle.
We take from our past, blend it together. Old becomes new again. i have found that the best gift is the present that we open right now. Make the most of the season. Smile at the simple things. Aim to make the best of what you have.
During the darkest hour, hold fast,A new day is here. Look forward with delight. remember this season with fond memories. It isn't what you buy for someone that matters. It is what you give from your heart...

The following blog was apart of a cherished part of my life. I will always remember it gladly.
take care,


A mid century modern house was the perfect back drop to blend an eclectic mix of styles such as Asian cabinets,modern furniture, ethnic and Art Deco silk area rugs, Roseville(Arts and Crafts period) and Jonathan Adler pottery.

Last summer, Chase and I scoured many different stores throughout the Portland area. We usually frequented . We found an iron and glass top coffee table from the recently closed Urbino Home. This was a good thing. the last coffee table was eaten by his English Mastiff, Mr. Magoo. The 50's style lounge chairs were in mint condition in the original peacock blue fabric. The Greek key motif pillows are a cut velvet from .

The colourful large area rug was a wonderful find from Chase redid the floors through out his house in a warm cork tile. It truly looks outstanding. The Parson style solid teak dining table and chairs were also found at the consignment store. The chairs were originally covered in a yellow and red rooster toile. It didn't take long before we had them reupholstered in Moccasin stripe colour: parrot from . The kidney pillows were remade in Mod a blue-green pattern with the backside in Accolade colour pimiento(cotton velvet) also from Pollack.

The pillows on the sofa are Velours Klee from Clarence House made from remnants from another design project that I had completed a couple of years ago. The sofa was one of the only new pieces that was purchased. The collection of boxes came from various retail stores such as and

Having a good eye for design, buying at the right time, watching till the price is right is very important when shopping at consignment stores.

This was a fun project.Shopping for old or used was a great way to test my hand at being more sustainable. Maybe one day I will remember to recycle my plastic.As long as someone else takes it to the curb. ha! ha! ha!

wishing you the best,

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

review: the strength of a mentor

I have been reviewing my blog and decided that I would repeat the ones that have meant a lot to me. I am actually re posting them for the benefit to those who are new to reading my blog here and also on my face book page.
Have a wonderful holiday season,
BE Blessed,
P.S. I know that the next year holds promise and many new projects for all who have been hit by the lack of design projects.

I fondly recall the late Wayne Martin would often say" Your home can be filled with beautiful furniture, unique accessories and surrounded with exquisite art, but if you weren't compassionate toward others then all of this luxury meant nothing".

Wayne founded Wayne Martin Inc. over 35 years ago. He brought the world of fine designer textiles in the trunk of his car to Portland. He did presentations to a few decorators building up a business. Today there are two locations of his wholesale design showroom in Portland and Seattle. Wayne also opened the doors of the world of interior design to myself . Over the next 20 years I would get more than an education. I gained a valuable friendship.

Enclosed is a photo of Wayne's residence. A condo in the heart of downtown Portland. He had a timeless eclectic contemporary style. The neutral walls or "pond scum grey" as he referred it was his favourite colour. The walls were actually painted grass cloth. The perfect backdrop for all of his contemporary art. He also collected fine ethnic antiques such as the Siamese horse and rider which was mixed with other Asian vessels( pottery and woven baskets). My favourite not pictured was the marionette horse puppet mounted on a block of ebonized wood. It was displayed on a steel console table with an opaque glass top in the entryway.

A few years ago Wayne and I had his sofa recovered in Mark Pollack's " Lumina", a woven boucle from their mill in De Pleog @ We also hired a contractor and metal artist to reface his 70's smoky mirror fireplace. It was transformed in a chic brushed stainless steel facade with honed black slate fire surround and hearth. Two African ceremonial wedding masks flanked either side. They stood on acrylic bases with metal stems. His drapery which always remained opened to capture the majestic view of Mt. Hood were made of copper lurex striped sheers lined with the same "pond scum grey" lining.

In his bedroom which had an amazing view of the same mountains and downtown Portland, he had side panel made of Jack Lenor Larsen's' "Magnum" it was woven metallic squares such as the large pillow on his sofa.

He mixed a few antiques such as the French Empire dining chairs which he recovered in Gary Glant's very modern "Liquid Leather" @

His style, his home are no longer. They are forever etched in my mind. The true nature of his kindness and nurturing spirit endure. the value of having a mentor to inspire, to teach, to advise to develope your taste as an interior designer is almost more valuable than a formal education which will never teach you about quality of character. You either have design style or you don't. To have it shaped by a mentor is as valauble as the friendship that will develope. This can be one the most valuable design experiences a young designer can ever have.

In Memory of my dear friend and mentor

D. Wayne Martin


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Be Graciously Thankful This Year!

Reflecting back on the significance of being surrounded by what is important, family and friends return home. They gather around the dining table to set aside differences and for a moment are thankful. Thankful for many reasons. The act of dining together has often been a time when peace between enemies was established. This season of Thanksgiving I am thankful for the incredible journey that I have made over the last couple of years. It was about this time in 2007 when I kept a vast secret from my family and friends that altered every one's life forever. I didn't want to spoil the holidays.This was the gamble that I took. I just wanted a few months of happiness before I had to face the fear of the unknown. For anyone that has read my blog, I am referring to my diagnosis of stage 3 colon cancer.
I now look back as a triumphant survivor. I began this blog about interior design as a way to cope with my ordeal. I wanted to have control of something I couldn't change. It became very empowering to share about my passion for interiors.
Years ago I came across something else that was inspiring
My inspiration for my passion could be found in Proverbs 24:3&4.
"Through wisdom a house is built and by understanding it is established by knowledge. The rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."

As Interior Designers our quest for beauty fills our client's homes with art, antiques,accessories and furniture both modern and traditional. Every detail from the lighting, colour, textiles and texture is well thought out. We give our presentations. Sell our products and services to our clients who desire to have their surroundings filled with these luxuries.These inspirational words also helped me to be thankful for my most precious gift of all. That gift is my son, Eric.
Everyday I am thankful for my son. As a single father, I have learned about the joy and unwavering love that a child can give. His care and nurturing love helped me over the last year and a half. He was the one person that I could truly depend on. When others failed or just walked away for no apparent reason, he was there. This experience although painful and tragic gave me strength to survive. My son was worth traveling down that horrible road to survival. We are rebuilding our lives and moving forward. We are happy to be there for each other.
This season fill your house with pleasant riches and be graciously thankful for those precious in your lives.

most fondly,

Monday, November 16, 2009

shopping spree

It is one of those ordinary Monday afternoons. I am wishing that it was the weekend already. The yellow and rust leaves are swirling and dancing down the sidewalk. It is actually quite warm for an Autumn day. I think it is going to rain. It is just that feeling you get when you have seen this type of weather before.
To offset the slight boredom of the afternoon. I sip on my nonfat latte,while shopping on the internet on It is something good to do while relaxing for a few minutes. below are some of my funky finds.
Of course,you know I would immediatedly gravitate to the stripe chest, the crusty patina of the weathervain or the black leather office chair. Today it seems as if the eclectic mix is simply a world wind of international styles and periods.
It is calm. It is now getting dark outside.
There is definitely a storm in the mix. Traffic will be hectic. However, I am looking forward to settling in,lighting a few candles, spending time with my son and enjoying my life as a single dad. It is a good feeling.
Tommorrow, the upholsterer is coming over to pick up my 70's swivel dining armchairs. I am using a mohair in an asparagas colour and a vinyl called fetish(okay that sounds kind of kinky) from



For some reason the spell check is not working. I apologize for any mispelled words.
I had the fortune of visiting the museum this weekend. the China Now exhibit was very exciting. I am definitely going again.