Mar 2, 2015

Product of the Week: 1970 Table by Autonomous Furniture Collective

At GRAY, we get a kick out of discovering things and exclaiming, "That's so Northwest!" That's how we feel about the new series of tables from Vancouver's Autonomous Furniture Collective. The 1970 Table, designed by Kirk Van Ludwig, is a cocktail table made from yellow cedar burl sourced from a private collection that has been in storage since the 1960s (we also love it when design gets mysterious). The acrylic legs make it look like the table is floating, which speaks to the there-but-not-there, contemporary-but-naturalistic look we got goin’ on in the PNW. Each table is one of a kind, due to the vintage tops, so hurry because the mystery wood won't last forever!

Editorial note: Items featured in GRAY’s Product of the Week posts are solely the choice of our editors and are not paid for in any way by anyone associated with the product.

Feb 27, 2015

5 Questions For: Jennifer Scott, A Good Chick to Know

Name: Jennifer Scott
Title: Owner and principal designer

Which of your designs or projects are you most excited about right now?
I’m super excited to be working on the lobby redesign of a Vancouver-based entertainment law and production office right now. The challenge of blending corporate professionalism with creativity is an inspiring task that forces me to think outside the box. I’m having a lot of fun planning this space.

Tell us three words that embody your design philosophy.
Eclectic. Curated. Chic.

What's your favorite place in the Pacific Northwest?
Lighthouse Park, tucked away on the shores of West Vancouver, has been my favorite ‘local escape’ since I was a child. When I was a small girl, my grandfather would take me here to explore nature, and I still find it a place of solace when I need a break from the beautiful bustle of the city. It’s still one of the only places I know of to find wild huckleberries! 

Who or what are you inspired by right now?
I’ve found my personal design tendencies shifting toward a much more intimate, comfortable aesthetic. I’m drawn to almost-bohemian spaces defined by soft palettes and heavy with textures and layers. I recently returned home from a journey to Huatulco, Mexico, where I was fortunate enough to tour some textile studios; it was a totally inspiring experience that offered me an in-depth appreciation for handmade fabrics.

What do you think of the color gray? 

For me, gray has always been a color of comfort. I have a definite weakness for touchable gray textiles and a guilty-pleasure collection of throws and pillows (and clothes!) that are in various shades of gray. I also find it a versatile palette for design—with such a strong range of tones, the color works with any decor, whether the look is traditional or minimalist, cool or warm. Grays, alongside a striking white, are my favorite neutrals for walls to define the look of a space.

Image courtesy of Jamie Mann

Feb 26, 2015

Room of the Week: David Lucas of Lucas Design Associates

Category: Kitchen/Dining room
Designer: David Lucas of Lucas Design Associates
Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Goal: A young family in California seeking a sophisticated look for their home turned to Seattle-based interior design David Lucas to design a kitchen and dining area with family-friendly furnishings and industrial details.

Inspiration: “The client was very specific about what they were looking for,” Lucas notes. “They referenced International Style architecture and unique destination hotels such as the Conservatorium in Amsterdam. We were inspired by this direction as we have a real interest in early 20th-century design, and it was fun to research interesting hotels.”

Breakdown: The first step was to create a material palette, paying attention to larger architectural details throughout the house. “The reclaimed wood at the double-height entry and the blackened hot-rolled steel stairs are very important and strong features of the house,” Lucas says. “Smaller details like the raw brass cooktop surround add unexpected interest in their refinement when juxtaposed with the more rustic textured oak cabinetry.” The show-stopping staircase has concrete treads. “It is meant to look like something you would see in an old factory,” Lucas explains. “We softened this by adding a tapered edge at the steel handrail.”

Lucas carried the material palette through to the island separating the kitchen and dining room. A custom dining table designed by Lucas is surrounded by Piet Boon KEKKE chairs, and trays by Seattle-based designer Stefan Gulassa hold plants that bring the sole touch of color to the dark palette. A Lindsey Adelman Branching chandelier hangs over the dining table. 

Get the Look: Lucas offers this succinct but effective advice:

“Stick to a limited palette, and don’t be afraid to use seemingly masculine materials.”

Feb 23, 2015

Product of the Week: Cubista from Resource Furniture

Not to sound jaded, but if you've been in the design journalism game long enough, it’s rare to spot a piece of furniture that’s so innovative you’ve never encountered some version of it before. Even more rarely do you become intrigued with it. But that's what happened to several GRAY editors reviewing our current issue's feature on the tiny condo by Vancouver-based interior designer Corey Klassen

The Cubista by Vancouver's Resource Furniture caught our eye as an ingenious way to make storing extra seating doable in a small space. What begins as a minimal ottoman can be easily transformed into seating for five! Made to order in Italy, this nifty little piece definitely pulls its weight in the space race.

The Cubista in action in the Vancouver condo in this month's issue. Check out the whole story, and more small-space living features here! Second and third photos by Tracey Ayton

Editorial note: Items featured in GRAY’s Product of the Week posts are solely the choice of our editors and are not paid for in any way by anyone associated with the product.

Feb 19, 2015

Room of the Week: Steven RodRozen, RodRozen Design

Category: Living Room
Designer: Steven RodRozen, RodRozen Design
Location: West Vancouver

Goal: The clients, who had purchased a new home in the British Properties area of West Vancouver, wanted a contemporary look that worked well for their family. Working with the existing structural details of the space, interior designer Steven RodRozen and his team maintained an open feeling in the living room, using neutral colors to complement, not compete with, the views of English Bay, Stanley Park, downtown, and the Lions Gate Bridge.

Inspiration: The panoramic views were a strong inspiration for the un-distracting neutral color palette, which also fulfilled the client’s request for a warm, comforting space.

Breakdown: Utilizing the scale of the living room, RodRozen divided it into two separate conversational areas, each anchored by a custom sofa and an heirloom Iranian rug. “In regards to the furnishings, we kept with a contemporary, minimalistic design so I incorporated larger pieces of artwork that would help create presence, texture, and visual interest to the space,” the designer notes. “The tall statue was definitely a statement piece, giving off a feeling of warmth, love, and family.”

The furniture, in refined creams and whites, serves as a muted canvas for layered-in local art and colorful throw pillows and accessories.

Tips to Get the Look: RodRozen’s advice for layering the elements of a room? Keep it simple and sophisticated.

“Work with a neutral and warm color scheme with pops of color through artwork and accessories,” he says. “Lots of glass and chrome accents, either through furniture details or accessories, add a luxurious feeling to the space. Lastly, create visual texture through artwork, paintings, and sculptures—and don’t forget to bring the same concept to your furnishings by playing with different fabrics on your toss cushions and throws.”

Images Courtesy of Mark Whitehead, GetThe Shot Studio

Feb 16, 2015

Product of the Week: Constellation Quilts from Tanner Goods

My stars, this series of modern quilts by Mary Keasler for Portland's Tanner Goods is gorgeous. Three of them, named for the constellations PegasusCygnus (the swan), and Orion (the hunter), adorn the walls of the flagship store on W. Burnside as an homage to the night sky as a force of nature. The quilts feature a contrasting white side and Navy blue side, and TG suggests that the pattern can be endlessly rotated to gain new perspective. We have stars in our eyes for this one! Constellation quilted blankets, $1,200.

Editorial note: Items featured in GRAY’s Product of the Week posts are solely the choice of our editors and are not paid for in any way by anyone associated with the product.

Feb 9, 2015

Product of the Week: Valentine's Day cards from Sad Shop

Let's be honest, a Valentine's Day card is like the MINIMUM you need to buy for your S.O. Steer clear of mauve hearts and bad calligraphy font, and look like you tried this year with a funny, weirdly sweet card from Seattle's Sad Shop. Each message is the brainchild of artist Katie Davis. Let someone know you love him, being introverted, and the environment!

Here are our faves:

And since we know you'll still get the card last-minute, we have good news: Sad Shop will have a pop-up shop at the downtown Seattle Nordstrom store this Thursday and Friday from 4-8pm to help guests shop for the perfect Valentine. 

For you last-minute people in Portland, drop into Powell's to pick up yours!

Editorial note: Items featured in GRAY’s Product of the Week posts are solely the choice of our editors and are not paid for in any way by anyone associated with the product.