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Friday, January 30, 2009


I must confess I am truly crazy about stripes. I often find myself wearing them in some type of apparel . If it isn't a pinstriped suit or tie. It is a sweater or my favourite belt in chartreuse and periwinkle. Although yesterday, I was in a dark mood and wore grey and black, not one stripe.
In the rooms above, Bold black and white stripes bring clarity and order to the interiors. They accent the bold colours in one room and become the statement piece that stands out in a room that is soft and understated in the middle. Or just plain whimsical using vertical and horizontal stripes.
The room with the striped cabinet is a design project that I did recently.
John Thompson Designer at 503-367-0920 . I am working on my website. Okay that is a lie. I am too old fashioned to have a website. OK let's try this. My blog is my web site. Actually i have a wonderful portfolio. I am just being quirky today. well everyday. That is a good thing. I think.
The room with the striped chair was designed by Eric Cohler of New York at
The whimsical room with V and H stripes was designed by Celerie Kemble at
Have fun . be bold. Do it with a stripe. You'll never be sorry you did.It will become your favourite pattern.

Monday, January 26, 2009

twist on traditional

I love the bright cheery walls in this Florida home.

Last weekend I purchased Celerie Kemble's book TO YOUR TASTE. She breaks all the rules of traditional style with a sense of whimsy. she creates spaces that are versatile, original and truly livable

This living room has a great view of NEW YORK.

The banquette in the breakfast room looks really inviting. Of course my favourite room is the one with striped walls and pillows. To me stripes are cheery and bring order to an interiors.If you want to check out her website it is

I am looking forward to reading the rest of her book.

Friday, January 23, 2009

san francisco winter market 2009

Above are some interior projects by Jay Jeffers. I really love the bright colours. The attention to detail.

The San Fransisco Winter Market is approaching soon. It's the first week of February. De Sousa Hughes(premier showroom in San Fransisco)
has scheduled some keynote speakers that you shouldn't miss. Among them are Jobi Blachy of Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman
He will talk about sustainable materials for the home and how to sell them to your client. the sofa above is one of their many designs.
Jay Jeffers of will be apart of a panel of designers discussing promoting yourself as an interior designer and what partnership to develope. I would love to be there for that.
Also Furniture designer, Ted Boerner will show his latest collection.
If you are able to make it. I suggest that you visit their showroom. It show be a great couple of days.

take care,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

baskets of fruit,fun and birds

The meticulous miniature watercolours and sculpture are my inspiration for today! the artist is Rene Rickabaugh. You can view his art at the in Portland,Oregon. Charles Froelick is the owner. This last summer shortly after my surgery, He graciously gave Chase and myself a tour. His collection of Rickabaugh's are very beautiful. They are fun and they make me happy! Although I haven't purchased one. they are about $4500 or more. I have saved postcards and computer images that i look at when i need a boost! after yesterday's experience at oncology these fun watercolours brought some positive energy to me today.
Thank you Charles for being a wonderful soul. I appreciate your kindness toward me over the years and your offer of help during my battle with cancer. One of these days, i will have to visit you again.
sincerely, John

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pillow Talk

Pillow talk, Pillow talk...

...Talking about pillows!
My pillow and me...

I am not going to sing the theme song to one of the

best romantic comedies movies ever. So you will have to watch it,however It is a about a interior decorator that shares a party line with a womanizing cad. This is before the internet and cell phones. Through a series of events they meet and fall in love the old fashioned way. It is awesome!
go to to rent it if you haven't seen it for awhile. Ok i admit it. I own a copy. I need to exchange my VHS tape for a dvd soon!

How many pillows should go on a bed? Again It is not how many but what kind that is important. There are Euro shams, and sleeping pillows, body pillows, shams and decorative pillows. If more end up on the floor at night than under your head, between you knees or supporting your back, you've got the wrong kind and the wrong amount.

In choicing the correct sleeping pillow you should know if you are a side, back, or a stomach sleeper. They have pillows specially made for all your needs. I think it is important when selecting any type of bedding that you seek an expert. They can ask the proper questions that will suit your needs. I usually ask my friend Chase. He is in charge of a fine bed linens at a bedding store. I would trust him on every occasion when it comes to choosing the right bedding.

It was fun spending good quality time in bed with you this week. It is good to talk and have a few laughs in bed. Let's do it again!

sincerely, John

bedside tables

The summer of 2008, I was in bed for months, recovering from the biggest fight of my life, Stage 3 colon cancer. I lived in my bed mostly because it was to painful to get up. I literally had to be scooped out of bed by my friend chase when I stayed with him for two weeks before I went home. I discovered the importance of a good bedside table.

It played host to my ever famous water bottle. The countless prescription bottles. my cell phone, my cheque book, my favourite magazines; traditional home and new york spaces. It became my desk while i conducted business with upholsterers, drapery work rooms, clients and design assistants.

In my own bedroom, the funky orange chest has a photo of my son, an acrylic candle stick that i bought from
, a ceramic hand painted lamp with story book characters.(OK I am a kid at heart)One day as I lay there my twelve year old son placed two small alligator toys to watch over me to help me fight against cancer. He set a vase with paper and plastic flowers on the bedside table that he made. It was one of his art projects from the summer camp from the local art college. He knew I was only able to enjoy our garden by looking out my windows. It was a beautiful sea of purple and blue, French lavender,Butterfly bushes, Purple and creme striped Passion flowers climbing on the fence, but nothing compared to those paper and plastic flowers in the cobalt blue glass bottle. The only thing missing was the aroma of the symphony being conducted in the backyard.

A good night stand should be stable. it should have at least one drawer to hold your stuff. It should be level with your mattress so you can reach over to it get something. Or high enough that you don't bang you head against it when you get out of bed.

When selecting a table lamp make sure that you can't see the bright ugly light bulb. You don't want to bump precious items when turning the lamp on either.

My design projects

pictured above: left to right, Chase's guest bedroom with nightstand, my bedroom with Eli Halprin's painting birch trees above, Guest bedroom over the horse barn with colourful night stand. Oh!above all of them is Eric enjoying his summer guest Cheetah the leopard gecko from science class.

the rest are some of my favourite bedside tables

rest well in peace,


oh! I do love traditional furniture too!
see below.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


We sleep. The quality of your sleep rests upon one simple thing, The mattress. Last night I ate chocolate chip cookies so I was up at 3 am so that doesn't qualify. Get a great mattress, good bedding,soft sheets and REST in peace. Going to bed early or maybe I will watch stay up and watch "Dirty Sexy Money". Then I will take an Ativan. then I will sleep. An Interior Designer can make it beautiful, but the rest is up to you.
good night!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

what's on top can be the best!

I just want to let you know that dwell has the best bedding around. the hand or the way it feels is heaven. It is expensive, but worth it. I love the birds. west elm has something similar with trees. Vera Wang has bedding and Jonathan Adler has been messing around in bedding for years. I like his pottery also.

What ever your budget, get what feels good to your skin. You can have the worse night sleep sleeping in bedding that feels like an ol' straw mat filled with horsehair and chicken quills. This is the 21st century not the Gothic ages.So indulge and get good bedding and a great night's sleep.
Rest well in peace,

Monday, January 5, 2009

let's stay in bed

I have been in bed 85% of the time over the last year. I wasn't having fun. You can read out about in my other blog.(just kidding, don't you wish) Just resting, Usually sleeping most of the time.

I have learned the importance of luxury bedding. Being warm and cozy. The gift of yourself well. while you sleep. High thread count sheets. fluffy duvets with beautiful duvet covers. Being surrounded with many pillows

let's stay in bed all week. More about bedding, pillows, duvets, sheets and my favourite bed topic. "PILLOW TALK" with Doris day and Rock Hudson. As if i didn't get enough of it when I settled down for the white Christmas in Portland, Oregon

get a cup of tea and a good book and settle down for the week in bed.

sincerely, John

Lower Left Photo: guest bedroom over a horse barn

Duvet cover and crewel pillows from

Lower Right Photo: Master bedroom in a mid century modern home

Side table from

Sunday, January 4, 2009


It's a new year. This should prove to be an exciting year for me. I am surviving Colon Cancer. Although I have months of chemotherapy to manage still. My friend, Chase reminded me that it was stage three cancer. I guess chemo brain doesn't allow me to remember how close I came to not being here. So breathing air is an important thing. I seem to talk about it alot. I am grateful that I did what my doctors told me to do because I am here to live another day. So that is something to celebrate. It is the little things in life that have helped me make it, like a bright smile and a twinkling eye.

Oh! this is a design blog, I should talk about interior design. which has been good therapy for me. in the next few weeks I would like to share some of my past projects, Discuss good design on a tight budget. (can anyone say" consignment shop"),Putting together a project on a limited time schedule, Taking on projects when you have horrible health(I am not talking about the flu) and trusting a great design assistant with everything while going into surgery the next day. Thank You very much Wendy. It was also helpful to have understanding fun loving clients.

I would also like to discuss colour, pattern, furniture, architectural spaces. I will answer" is a stripe a pattern or a colour?" That is an inside joke. People often ask me what my favourite colour is. I always tell them "STRIPES". I go nuts over stripes on walls, furniture, textiles, socks, sweaters, details within other patterns, etc. I once hired someone because I liked his striped socks during the interview. Actually he is a very talented designer. OK I am a little quirky. Have fun this year. There will be more.

take care, John