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Friday, July 31, 2009

encore! encore!

This afternoon, a private party of a few friends and business associates was given by designer and friend, Angela Todd. She is an up and coming designer in Portland, Oregon that has designed a space in the penthouse of the Encore in Portland, Oregon for the Urban "street of dreams". It was good to finally meet her. We became friends on facebook after Angela started following my blog on .
Her jovial personality mixed with the music and wonderful array of good friends made her beautiful space a wonderful place to spend a Friday evening.
Michael and Laura from SRM Architects were there along with my good friend Kathryn, a wonderful and truly honest and loyal friend. She is a wonderful designer also.
Angela's space had hand painted embossed wallpaper tiles. The awesome deck overlooks the city . it has breathe taking views of the Willamette River. the views embraced the contrast of the industrial NW with the high tech modern building of the Encore. The angle of the space truly captured the West Hills. The 40 miles of forest in the hills above Portland made the view even more spectacular.
Angela, thank you very much for inviting me and Kathryn to your private party. I truly enjoyed myself alot. I can't wait to chat with you more.
You did a such wonderful job.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

renaissance men

Earlier this week I had promised to talk about the designer's dream weekend. however i didn't know that my computer at the office would crash. The funeral will be later this you might recall, Went to the 937 party, a dinner party in white and last Saturday, my dear friend Wendy and i met for coffee. we went on an adventure looking for real estate for some potential clients (her friends) to purchase. we ended up in condos in the pearl then finally in uptown in the NW.
While we looked at spaces we decided to visit her former neighbours and friends.
two elderly gentlemen who have been together for 62 years. Even at 80+ years they were the perfect hosts. we sat and listened to all of their stories.
I have always enjoyed the stories that are told by people from a different era. As they talked about the parties at the castle.
and staying the weekend at homes of their friends. it reminded my of one of those Agatha Christie novels the perfect manor house, the beautiful gardens and the wild array of characters that filtered in and
out of their rich and wonderful lives.
however i couldn't help but notice the 3000 year old Chinese objects and the Faberge pieces, mixed with the modern art. the 17th century french furniture looked as new reupholstered in the elegant pale turquoise.
One of the gentlemen grabbed me by the hand to show me all of the beautiful collections they had acquired. next to the kitchen door no bigger than a postcard was an original artist sketch of a Rembrandt. He laughed and said the blue period Picasso's were down in storage. they simply didn't go with the rest of all the exquisite artwork that was plastered all over the walls.
Two and a half hours later, I learned it wasn't the beauty of this space that made the interiors a home. it was the beautiful nurturing love that these two men have shared for their entire life. Something that most of us dream about. Which is
a life filled with promise and adventure. They were planning their next trip to visit the brother's castle in Belgium, but of course complained how cold the stone floors were. Maybe they would stay at the inn down the road. They possibly thought that the stone stairs to the bedroom suites were a bit much. their vitality simply is inspiring, their home was truly beautiful and their love was simply true.



(photos are simply inspiration of what they have collected and do not reflect the true images)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

white night

My dear friend and outstanding interior designer, Mary Roberts invited me to her home for a quiet evening with a few of our friends.During my year and 1/2 struggle surviving stage 3 colorectal cancer, Mary was there like a devoted mother. She came to visit me ever so often to check up on me. She and I would have wonderful chats.The encouragement she gave throughout this time truly gave strength in my horrible situation.
She was also a devoted friend to my friend and employer, the late Wayne Martin. The founder of Wayne Martin Inc,the premier designer's showroom in Portland, Oregon.
I remember when Mary and her husband Peter lived in the garden apartment in his building downtown, he would always rave about her wonderful dinners that she would prepare and bring up to him. The first time that I had gotten a hint of what white could do to an interior was when Wayne had asked me to return her casserole dish.

Her home is filled full of beautiful objects and furniture covered in various tones of white. benches covered in Fortuny, ottomans in simple white cotton, a french armchair in a subtle tone on tone stripe. The walls were a very pale grey almost white. She had antique botanicals in simple gold frames above the fireplace.

As anyone knows that has read my blog before I am all about colour, stripes and graphic patterns. That night I fell in love with white for the first time. These photos that I have included are not her home and do not do it justice. You will have to imagine the true beauty that is her home.
It wasn't the perfect amount of light that created the warmth in her white rooms. It was the warmth of her graciousness and hospitality that gave each room that depth of colour. The Vivid colour that flowed through her home was the enchantment of the evening, the conversations that were had by our mutual friends and of course the pale summery colours that we wore in our clothes.
It was a truly a beautiful evening spent with enduring friends.
thank you Mary for sharing the beauty that is your heart and your home.

love, john

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

937 - party on the top!

interiors designed by Maison Inc.

interiors designed by Bedford-Brown

This year, the street of dreams in portland is doing the first ever urban tour of homes in the penthouses of many of the pearl condominiums. Last thursday night, the place to be was at the 937. two designers, henry brown and staff from bedford/brown and the ladies from maison inc. gave high end design a new edge. I think over 400 people partied in the penthouses.martinis and white wine flowed all night. the party heated up. Portland's society mingled with designers and the art community. It was truly a fun night.
Congratulations to all of our cities top designers.
I heard there were other parties at the top. I wished that i could have made it to my facebook buddy, angela todd's penthouse that she did. i only heard later from my friends from williams-sonoma that there were other parties that night too.

Congratulations to all of our city's top designers.

maybe i will get comp tickets. After all I am a big deal in this city. :)

tommorrow i want to tell you about the rest of my designer weekend.

please take care,

if you would like to view more go to
sorry i can't figure out how to insert the link. to the site oops!
I did have my highlights done the other day maybe that has something to do with that. :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

An Honest Entry

There seems to be a trend in design.Clients are being more frugal in their spending habits. As a designer, it is important not to fall into the trap of selling yourself short. Do not sell them CHEAP product for their project. It is OK to find less costly items, But ask yourself, Is it quality? Is it long lasting? Is it worthy to be put into your clients home? Keep your integrity as a creative business person, Less expensive doesn't have to mean cheap. Always remember it is about QUALITY and BEAUTY.
BeWare!!!!!!!! of viewing products online. I want to see it all first hand, To sit in a chair, to touch the fabric. to look inside the drawers to see how it is made. You never know what you'll get online. It can be a true disappointment. however, You can always return it, but what a waste of time. But if you don't care how you spend your time and money, Then go for it. Most likely you will find that it will be a BIG let down. I think it is better to research what you want before you buy it. Spend time to make a quality decision about items for your home.A skilled and talented designer will guide you into making good decisions.
As a designer, maybe you need to rethink your fee structure to sell higher quality items to your client for less of a mark up. You will be happy that you did. Your clients will be happy that you are trying to save them money. I think being honest, trustworthy and wise are still values that are high priorities with most. These are values that are foremost on my mind. Getting caught up with smoke and mirrors to make yourself look good will catch up with you. It can only last so long.
Be honest with design. Communication in every relationship is key to opening doors to success.
FYI: I am sooooooo predictable...
take care

Thursday, July 9, 2009

ccccRAZY tiMEss AheAd! Beware!!

Today is simply a day filled with odd images. Gathering ideas for a design project can come from anywhere in your life. It is important to formulate a concept before you throw a lot of scary images toward your client. A basic idea for a jumping off point for your project should show a coherant well layout plan. It is ok to brainstorm and allow that creative energy to flow, but tone it down before you bring it to the table for the preliminary presentation. Have fun and create. Isn't that what we as designers are suppose to do. Be adventurous.
Imagine all of the possibilites.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

" i don't know if you know this but, i'm kind of a big deal".

A friend of mine recently reminded me of the importance of being humble but truly believing in what you do and who you are. How important it was to be true to yourself. His famous phrase is my inspiration for the day. Be confident, be humble and know what you like.You never know who you will meet or what you will do. so be Present to have good things happen. Make good things happen for others.
take care,
P.S. These photos are things that I like.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

being called on the carpet

In Reply to: Re: Called on the carpet posted by Frances Lake on June 06, 2002

: : : I've always known this phrase to mean being censured by your superiors, generally in a derogatory manner but I just read an explannation of the term - While re-reading "Wild Horses" by Dick Francis on page 40 one of his charaters, a film director, is going over a scene to take place in a mock-up of the enquiry room of the English Jockey Club, the ruling house of English racing. He explains that jockeys, trainers, et al, were required to stand on a specific bit of carpet while being drilled by the Directors.

: : True, but there is a more general explanation.

: : Carpet: To carpet someone summons up a picture of a boss reprimanding an underling for a misdemeanour. This goes back to the days of the Victorian Civil Service when attainment of a certain status carried with it the right to a piece of carpet in the office.

: That's interesting, but if attainment of status granted the person the right to carpet in their office, then "to carpet someone" would seem to mean to grant them status whereas being "called on the carpet" would indicate being called before the statused individual. And the bit about the enquiry room - which has existed since Victorian days and before - would also fit your description since the directors of the Jockey Club would all be men of influence in their own right as well as being the final word on the English racetracks.

I found the phrase in a couple of books. But the explanations were fuzzy around the edges

"Being called on the carpet" has brought many employees to their bosses office in fear of being caught for doing something wrong. Being honest about the mistake that was made is the best way to get through a difficult and embarrassing situation.Hopefully it is a way to resolve issues and go forward establishing a new working relationship.
OK This is blog about interior design, we will save the confessional for church.
Wool carpet is probably the best carpet to be made. There is nothing like the way it feels on the bare feet.It is durable. Easy to clean.It is very forgiving. If it catches on fire,it is self extinguishing. it won't melt like man made fibers.
Wool is fairly easy to dye so it is available in many colours,even with good wool there are flaws or natural occurrences. i.e. fibers that remain natural (grey). Stark carpet a line of fine wool area rugs and wall to wall carpet and Ruckstuhl carpet are among the finest designer products out there for the consumer.
When spills occur you will want to clean them up ASAP. If you get called to get a carpet then wool is the best and is worth every dollar.

take care, john