I love expression of materiality in design. Not treated. Not painted. Raw. A product chosen for its durability, texture or natural patina, often requiring little to no maintenance. Think of stone, glass, or in the case of this lovely Portland home, Galvanized Steel. This material is created by coating raw steel in layers of zinc oxide, which protects against rust. The best part of this process, is the warm color created, which provides shimmer, reflectivity and a textural effect given its form. It’s easy to install, as it comes in large panels, and can be cut to size. It’s a DIY project in the making. I find it to be an interesting and expressive alternative to traditional siding, and love the fact that I don’t have to paint!

Images sourced at Houzz

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ACE Hotel Inspiration: DIY Mural

I have recently had the very good fortune to visit the Ace Hotel, both in Portland while visiting family, and on a weekend trip to NYC. I absolutely love the brand, from the relaxed and edgy feel, to the city specific sensibility reflected in each personalized location. I enjoyed more than my share of Stumptown Coffee, and witnessed the sharing of the Roasted Suckling Pig at the Breslin. Each of these experiences rich in comfort and the culture of their environment.  In my room in New York, was an inspiring mural by artist Timothy Goodman. Unique and accessible, the artwork reflects a depth of content of the city, as well as the artist. A bit like reading a good book, I found myself visiting these images again and again during my visit.

Truly, an inspiration for a home DIY project, the handmade quality of imperfection in this beautiful display is something I believe could be personalized and stylized to suit any individual. Now, I won’t pretend to have the talent of Mr. Goodman, but I might be able to pull off a fun story for my own space. How about you?  Start by doodling, and enlarge or reduce images to suit your design, then tape them up on the wall. Once placed, sketch lightly first, then grab your marker and get to work. Personal, and forgiving, a mechanism to imprint a little bit of yourself on your space. Mr. Goodman describes taking the time to set up his project, to ensure proper alignment and position of each element. That’s experience talking, and worth the investment of time.


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Spring Has Sprung

It’s time for a picnic in the park, or a walk in the nature preserve to observe the budding flora and fauna. These beautifully designed accessories make for a well equipped and fashionable outing. For toting, hunting, birding and biking, these natural and handmade items will make your day.

Clockwise, Image 1   The Opinel Mushroom Hunter’s Knife is for mushroom hunting. The 3″ curved blade cuts stems with ease and features a serrated section to scrape off larger bits of debris, while the natural bristle brush finishes the cleaning job.

Image No. 2  This sweet little bell, made of solid brass,strikes a clear and friendly tone with each strike of the lever. Brass is rust-proof and will mellow over time to a rich patina.

Image No. 3  Hand made from Appalachian white ash—the same hardwood that baseball bats are made from—this bike basket provides a place for light cargo as you pedal around town. The wood is left natural and will darken with weather and time, or it can be finished to help preserve the original appearance. Vegetable tanned leather loops are designed to fasten to handlebars.

Image No. 4  Carefully hand crafted by a small workshop in France, each of the wooden calls accurately duplicates the songs of birds in the wild, and comes packaged in its own wooden box. The set of six includes: Robin, Mourning Dove, Owl, Common Gallinule, Warbler, and Mallard Duck. Birding is one of the fastest growing outdoor hobbies and no wonder–what other language can be learned as easily?

These spring-time inspirations were found at CANOE in Portland.

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Pigeon Toe. Heirlooms for the Modern Home

“Because objects are an essential part of your personal history. Because memories should be created, not collected. Because life is too short to be surrounded by anything less than beautiful. Because stories are handed down, not mass-produced. Because design should be timeless and craft should be authentic. Because your objects tell a narrative. Your narrative”.

Pigeon Toe. Objects with a story. This Portland based company handcrafts modern objects for the home. Not your everyday nick-nacks, but rather meaningful, useful, sculptural tools for living.  I embrace design expression offering beautiful functionality. The handmade quality of each and every piece creates a connection to the use, form and task at hand.These handcrafted heirloom pieces are perfect in their artful imperfection. I love an expression of Process in an object. The Pigeon Toe website features a behind the scenes look at just how these lovely thrown pieces are created, from a lump of clay to the finished piece. Step by step.

“Pigeon Toeʼs aspiration is simple: to provide mankind with everyday beauty. Highly curated and refined, each piece is culled from skilled hands, trained minds and inspired hearts. Founded in 2009, our studio exists in the heart of charming Southeast Industrial Portland. Featuring artisan objects that transcend trends, each piece is an attempt to redefine a new age of homegrown, grassroots aesthetics”.

Pigeon toe has a retail storefront at their studio location. If you are not able to visit the store, thankfully there is a wonderful online option as well.

Pigeon Toe is also represented at many hip and happening retail locations.

All images and excerpts via Pigeon Toe Ceramics.

Thank you Phyllis.


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