Tuesday, November 17, 2009
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.
Monday, November 16, 2009
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 1stDibs.com. 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 www.pollackassociates.com.
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.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
My hands cradled the cup of hot green tea as I sat in a rocking chair.Huddled in a wool army blanket I could hear the splash of fish jumping out of the dark, murky water. The crisp clean night air was filled with the hint of the spicy aroma of a Turkish cigarette. My mind wandered between the wonderful conversation with my host and the enduring memories of a time when life was more simpler. The flashing red and white lights of a barge grew ever nearer. I could feel the slight shift of the deck as it passed by in the channel.
Inside the small floating home, the warmth of the stove and the dark walls made you feel very cozy. I sat in a brown leather wing chair. The unique objects positioned around the room spoke about the depth of character of the person that lived there.
I imagined how truly remarkable it would be to wake there every morning, to be apart of the peace and calm of the early morning activity of the river. wildlife coming down to feed. A flock of geese flying overhead. . To sit and read the newspaper with a frothy cappuccino.
I smiled quietly to myself and realized how fortunate the owner of this home was. How incredibly wonderful to have friends and family visit and to actually take the time to get to know the deeper qualities of who they really are. It is the laughter, the sadness, the good times and even the pain that make up who we are.It is that ability to share with others what is on our hearts that truly matters. Reflecting on and making choices to better our lives. It is these quieter times in our existence that makes it worth getting up and enjoying that brief moment called life.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Mid-Century modern is an architectural, interior and product design form that generally describes pre- and post- second world war developments in modern design, architecture, and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965. Mid-century architecture was a further development of Frank Lloyd Wright's principles of organic architecture combined with many elements reflected in the International and Bauhaus movements. Mid-century modernism, however, was much more organic in form and less formal than the International Style. Scandinavian designers and architects were very influential at this time, with a style characterized by simplicity, democratic design and natural shapes. Like many of Wright's designs, Mid-Century architecture was frequently employed in residential structures with the goal of bringing modernism into America's post-war suburbs. This style emphasized creating structures with ample windows and open floor-plans with the intention of opening up interior spaces and bringing the outdoors in. Many Mid-century homes utilized then groundbreaking post and beam architectural design that eliminated bulky support walls in favor of walls seemingly made of glass. Function was as important as form in Mid-Century designs with an emphasis placed specifically on targeting the needs of the average American family. Examples of residential Mid-Century modern architecture are frequently referred to as the California Modern style.
Pioneering builder and real estate developer Joseph Eichler was instrumental in bringing Mid-Century Modern architecture to subdivisions in California and select housing developments on the east coast.
With that said, last night a special interview with local legend, Robert Rummer was given. He talked about his beloved "Rummer" Homes. The one night only event hosted by rejuvenation hardware. All donations went to the Street of EAMES' after school programs for homeless children.
Robert, the 82 year old retired builder and his wife Phyliss were very charming. He referred to himself as a kuke. Anyone that bought his homes in the 1960- 70's were considered the same. Today his homes are much sought after in the Portland area. For the lucky 1250 homeowners hang onto your MCM home. He thought that his homes still compliment the modern look that many seek to have.He has seen many versions of his homes updated into beautiful modern structures. His only advice to current homeowners of Rummers change the 2" downspouts to 3" downspouts. Who would have known how much trouble leaves and pine needles would have caused during our very wet winters.
The last sad truth that Robert confessed was that he saved every floor plan and tracing to every MCM home that he built, however he had thrown all of them into the dumpster when he retired in 1985. Sorry, his apologies go out to all of the Atomic Home enthusiasts.
Well, I have never own one, But my son and I have very fond memories of one in particular. I will miss going to visit the owner of that home but I am happy that our friend that owns it also helped me get through the most difficult time in my life. As many of you know, he is the reason that i survived the BIG C. thank you!
For the rest of you have fun with your MCM homes. You all have something special. Thank you Robert for making your versions of the famous Eichler homes of California. They will grace our beautiful NW for a very longtime.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Marketing and branding is a very important aspect of any business Interior Design is not without exception. It helps when large corporations such as Target and Oprah bring great talent to the world. thank you gentlemen for bringing your expertise and your smiles to all of us. Both hands are held up high for your success.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Eichler homes are from a branch of Modernist architecture that has come to be known as "California Modern," and typically feature glass walls, post-and-beam construction and open floorplans in a style indebted to Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright. Eichler exteriors featured flat and/or low-sloping A-Framed roofs, vertical 2" pattern wood siding, and spartan facades with clean geometric lines. One of Eichler's signature concepts was to "Bring the Outside In," achieved via skylights and floor-to-ceiling glass windows with glass transoms looking out on protected gardens, patios, and pools. The homes had numerous unorthodox and innovative features, including post-and-beam construction, Tongue and Groove decking for the roof, concrete slab floors with integral radiant heating, sliding doors and cabinets with sliding doors, and a standard second bathroom located in the Master Bedroom. Later models introduced the famous Eichler atriums, an entrance foyer designed to further advance the Eichler concept of integrating outdoor and indoor spaces.
Eichler homes were airy and modern in comparison to most of the mass-produced, middle-class, postwar homes being built in the 1950s. At first, potential home buyers (many of whom were war-weary ex-servicemen seeking convention rather than innovation), proved resistant to the new homes, and Eichler faced competition from other developers who used elements of Eichler homes in watered-down, more conventional designs later called Eichler-esque. Though fresh and exciting, Eichler homes never achieved large profits for their creator.
This week in Portland, Oregon the NW builder Robert Rummer now many years retired will be at a one night only event discussing the homes that he built in the Portland area that were copies of the Famous Joseph Eichler developer in California. For those of you that are into the modern 50's home. come listen and learn more about your home.
Meet Robert Rummer, Mid-Century Modern Builder
November 4, 6pm
$20 Suggested donation at the door
Light refreshments served
RSVP by November 1
Join Mid-Century Modern home builder Robert Rummer and Becca Cavell of THA Architecture Inc. for a special interview with the man behind beloved local landmark "Rummer" homes. One night only. Sellout expected.
All donations go to Street Of Eames' after-school programs for homeless children. For more information, visit streetofeames.org.
A Mid-Century Modern Master
To MCM enthusiasts in the Portland area, Robert Rummer is a local legend. Don't miss your chance to meet the man himself and see examples of his work from his own archives.
Builder of 1960s-'70s residences in neighborhoods mostly west of downtown, Mr. Rummer's homes have acquired iconic status for their focus on bringing the outdoors inside.
Renown for their dramatic, yet elegant mixture of high ceilings, warm wood paneling, and full-length glass walls, "Rummer" homes are especially prized by lucky homeowners for their gorgeous glass-enclosed atriums.
PS. Chase if you are reading my blog. This is for you.