June 27, 2011

Western Bike Works

I recently had the pleasure of designing Western Bike Works at 1015 NW 17th Avenue. We took an old car garage and turned it into the coolest bike shop in town. Not only do they have a retail and repair shop, but they also have a fabulous cafe' area for relaxing between rides or killing time while your bike gets repaired. Make sure you head over and take a look. You won't be sorry. Visit my Flickr album for more photos.





June 23, 2011

My New (To Me) Kitchen Chairs

I have been collecting old kitchen chairs for the last year, waiting to find just the right four for my white Tulip kitchen table. Finally, after hitting countless garage sales, rummage sales and second hand stores, I found the last chair for my collection. Now the fun can begin...

I started with four chairs that had great bones, but needed some serious TLC. I made very small repairs; like replacing a screw and adding an “L” bracket, but nothing crazy. I only select items that are structurally sound or can be made that way easily. After the repairs, I removed the seats and started sanding all of the old paint and crustiness away. It may just be in my head, but I swear I can smell the old coming off of furniture when I sand.  

After wiping the chairs down and getting all of the remnants left from the sander, I cover the whole thing in primer. Not only does primer give you a clean slate to work off of, it also helps the paint adhere and can smooth over some of the imperfections in the wood that you are guaranteed to have with a vintage or used piece of furniture. I leave the chairs alone after that until the primer is good and cooked on. Depending on the weather, it can be as quickly as a couple of hours or a whole day. It's always a gamble when using spray paint in Portland.

Next comes my least favorite part. I am a bit of a germ freak, so ripping off old fabric and seat cushions with stains and smells really grosses me out. I tend to do this part as fast as I can and not look too closely. Once all of the layers come off (which can be many sometimes), I have a nice solid wood seat to work with. I use 2” foam and cotton batting from the craft store to make nice thick and cushy seats. I throw the wood seat on top of the foam and trace the shape on to the foam with a marker. Cutting the foam is actually really easy. You just need a serrated knife and you cut it like a loaf of bread. If you don't get a super clean cut, it's not the end of the world. The batting will help cover up any small snafus you may have with the serrated knife. I use just a smidge of spray glue to attach the foam and then wrap that in the batting and staple it to the back.

Once the cushions are secure and the glue has dried, I start upholstering that bad boy. The best way to do this is to have lots of staples on hand, safety glasses and your patience in check. You want to make sure the corners are tight and the fabric is taut. It needs to have enough give to move when it's being sat on and still maintain a nice shape when not in use. A couple of things to think about when selecting your material, if you aren't familiar with upholstering, chose a fabric that is solid. Patterns have to being lined up perfectly to avoid it looking off. You also want to get a sturdy and thick fabric. Check the upholstery/home decor section of your local fabric store.

Simple, inexpensive and now I have kitchen chairs that are exactly what I want. Upcycling is what all the cool kids are doing. Get into it.


June 20, 2011

A Turquoise Feast For Your Eyes

I have always super-duper loved bright colors. It's amazing how quickly a specific color can change your mood, feelings, thoughts. Turquoise is one of those colors. Depending on the shade and color palette, it can either be calming and relaxing or lively and energizing. 





Sofa by RoomService.com
Picture Frame by Pier1.com

Lamp by HomeDecorators.com
Vase by Crate & Barrel
Area Rug by CB2.com

June 14, 2011

Lords South Beach Hotel

Thanks to the lovely folks at Design*Sponge, I was introduced to Lords South Beach Hotel. I thought I had died and gone to Heaven when I saw the photos and went to their website.

Here are just a few reasons I want to stay here...

1. It's got a color palette of bright turquoise, yellow and crisp white. Hello! How awesome is that? Totally a beachy, Miami sort of feel.

(Yes, that's Elizabeth Taylor above the bed!)

2. Stripes, stripes and more stripes. Did I mention I have a serious crush on stripes? BTW, when you type "stripes" that many times in a row it looks like it's spelled wrong. I hate it when that happens.

3. Ahem, a giant white lacquered polar bear holding a beach ball. I'll repeat that, a giant white lacquered polar bear holding a beach ball. Need I say more?

4. One hell of a BAD ASS bar. This room is like a cross between The Shining, Braveheart and any John Wayne western. I love the spikes on the back of the chairs. Not only fashionable, but could come in handy for any unruly patrons who had one too many Cosmos. 

In closing, Lords South Beach Hotel, please let me come visit and PLEASE let me in on the design of your next unbelievable masterpiece. This is a design girl's dream!


June 7, 2011

Tis' Berry Season

I don't know about you, but I have been counting the days until berry season since December when I used the last of my inventory from the freezer. I daydream of fresh strawberry shortcake and berry cobblers.

Full disclosure, I was raised in Lebanon, OR, home of The World's Largest Strawberry Shortcake, Strawberry Festival and berry fields as far as the eye could see. I tend to believe this is where the obsession came into play. When I was little, all of the neighbor kids would go on day long adventures through meadows and fields and pick wild blackberries. I also had a summer job picking strawberries one year. Although, I think I ate more than I got paid for. However this started, my love for berries is steadfast.

Luckily, we live in the Pacific Northwest, which means come June we are in berry heaven. I have already started planning for my first U-Pick trip and how I am going to store 3 times as many berries as I had last year. Be sure to check out Sauvie Island Farms for their fresh produce goodness. Their website lists the weeks that each different item is in season and ready to be picked. They also have a lovely flower field where you can cut flowers and create a beautiful bouquet.

Happy (Almost) Summer!