Neutrals are the milquetoasts of décor. Over the years, we’ve had no problem painting walls deep red one year and buttery yellow the next, but when it came to buying furniture, we played it safe with basics. But this tempting peacock-feather blue chair is tickling our fancies. V.M.
Space is the final frontier. Never mind interplanetary exploration, it’s storage space we want. Decolav just introduced a new line of vanities specifically designed to offer more storage in small bathrooms. The sink and countertops sit slightly higher than is typical, allowing more area in the body of the vanity for stashing necessities. The collection includes coordinating bathroom furnishings such as shelving and over-the-toilet storage. Palatial bathrooms are a wonderful fantasy but it’s nice to know that we can come back down to earth without forfeiting style. V.M.
Furniture-maker Robert Seliger makes handcrafted furniture at his idyllic Tumalo ranch. We especially like his rustic French-inspired Bordeaux collection — the Chateau Chair is fit for royalty. Along with his expert use of traditional joinery techniques and eye for design, Seliger is also known for his furniture’s customization. Not only are the colors and wood finishes up to you, but the size and proportions as well. Get a chair sized exactly to your frame and you’ll truly have the best seat in the house. E.H.
Prices vary. Pictured: $1,250, customer's material; robertseliger.com
Be industrious. The galvanized steel cabinet with riveted joints has a cool industrial look but would look right at home as a sideboard for dishes or old vinyl records in its interior shelves. V.M.
$1,295 at Classic Home & Antique in Portland; classicantique.com
Does your chair just sit there? Does your chaise simply lounge around? Expect more from your furniture. Some of the hottest furnishings on the market are multi-purpose pieces. Anyone living in a small space can appreciate a sofa that flattens to a spare bed, or a sectional that breaks down to create different seating arrangements, or tables that expand. You multi-task. Shouldn’t your furniture? V.M.
Magic table in walnut $1,900; Dublexo Deluxe By Innovation Living convertible sofa, $1,280; both available at Hip Modern in Portland, ubhip.com
Feeling sew sew
You’d love to be domesticated. Just not in your own home. Modern Domestic offers rental space with use of high-quality sewing machines, cutting tables, ironing boards, sleeve boards, scissors and other tools of the trade for those home sewing projects you’d rather do elsewhere. Machine sales and repairs are the mainstay of the business started by friends Michelle Healy and Lupine Swanson. But the studio rental — $8 an hour — and a variety of sewing classes bring a home crafting community together in Northeast Portland. V.M.
Modern Domestic, 1408 NE Alberta St., Portland, moderndomesticpdx.com
This cast resin antler wreath adds a touch of the rustic lodge look to modern décor without being too cabin-y. The bold piece comes in two sizes, either one would look amazing above a mantel. E.H.
$775; Cielo Home, 528 NW 12th Ave., Portland; shopcielo.com
Hang in there
Gravity got you down? The trend of floating fixtures will give you a lift. Wall-mounted sinks and toilets appear to float above the floor as though the natural laws of physics were optional. V.M.
Palace by Laufen: basin and vanity, $1,895; toilet and seat cover, $950; Chown Hardware, chown.com
A cut above
Rob and Gina Ward make handmade cutting boards and cheese boards out of multi-colored hardwood at their Cornelius studio. Their Oregon-shaped boards are a classy way to show your state pride, and the handmade quality adds affordable luxury to an item you will use everyday. E.H.
$20 and up; rawwoodworks.com
We’ve all made the switch to energy-saving bulbs to do our part for the environment (and our electricity bills), but in fixtures where the bulbs are on display, the blah design of a regular energy- saving bulb can become tedious. Enter Plumen (from “plume,” the decorative feathers of a bird and “lumen,” the unit of light). They’ve taken the regular energy-saving bulb and bent its glass tubes in a more fluid, alluring way. When it comes to beautifying your home, it is all in the details. E.H.
$29.95; Globe Lighting, 1919 NW 19th Ave., Portland; or at Rejuvenation, 2550 NW Nicolai, Portland; plumen.com
The Hario Bueno Kettle is a must-have for home coffee connoisseurs. Its thin spout makes it easy to control the flow of water for making pour-over coffee. The graceful swan neck design combined with its classic shiny beehive exterior means it is a beautiful piece to keep out on your stovetop even when you’re not crafting the perfect cuppa. E.H.
Hang a cabinet. Hug a tree. Neil Kelly manages to do both with its Naturally Northwest Collection. The remodeling company’s new line of cabinetry is made of indigenous woods including Western Juniper, which the Bureau of Land Management recommends harvesting to restore the natural ecosystem. “Über rustic Juniper wood,” says master designer Kathleen Donohue, “would be the perfect choice to infuse originality and personality into the home.” The seven regional woods are available in seven cabinet styles and six finishes that can be mixed to create unique looks. Neil Kelly introduced the first “green” cabinet collection in the U.S featuring no-added- formaldehyde products, certified wood veneers, and low-VOC adhesives and finishes. The company says the new line is priced "nominally" higher. V.M.
Kornegay Design makes their gigantic cast-concrete planters to order in custom colors, for when you need to inject a bit of structural luxury into your garden. Their Quartz Series six-sided, multifaceted planters look like 45-inch-tall rubies and amethysts. E.H.
Prices vary; kornegaydesign.com
Portland furniture designer Reed LaPlant combines sturdy traditional craftsmanship with a modern aesthetic and focus on sustainable materials to create his architecture-influenced pieces. His two-tier coffee table combines sumptuous Heart-of-Pine with slick steel for the perfect structural look. E.H.
Portland-based Duquella Tile and Clayworks make handcrafted ceramic art tiles ranging from Bungalow to Art Deco. The bold tiles are made to order, so you can get any glaze your heart desires — or your color scheme dictates. They are hand-colored and kiln-fired, resulting in subtle variations in each tile that makes a custom tile job look so much richer than one using regular store-bought tiles. Use the tiles to create a unique kitchen backsplash, or make your guest bathroom stand out. E.H.
$25-$130 per tile; Duquella tile and Clayworks; tiledecorative.com
Hang it up
Portland designer Will Ullman’s Thru-block coat rack is a modular piece, equal parts fashion and function. Available in Oregon black walnut or reclaimed maple in sets ranging from seven to 23 pieces, the coat rack can be configured in many ways to suit your fancy. All those hours spent playing with Lincoln Logs will come in handy finally. E.H.
Grant McGavin designs and builds his Heartwood furniture in Portland using local and environmentally friendly wood whenever possible. We love his Oblique Barstool for its angular lines and sumptuous color of the Oregon Black Walnut wood. The heirloom-quality stools celebrate the natural look and grain of the wood rather than hiding it. E.H.
Wine & dine
These ceramic wine tumblers are hand-thrown, -glazed and -carved by Portland artist Laura Cooke, so each one is unique. Their short stature means they fit perfectly in your hand, and can equally brighten up your morning coffee or your evening Pinot Noir. E.H.
Available in yellow, green and blue; $14; Tilde, 7919 SE 13th Ave., Portland; tildeshop.com
Learn your ABC's
Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage does the legwork to find the best antique and vintage items so you don’t have to. They are one of the best sources for unique pieces in Oregon, especially for reclaimed vintage letters made out of fiberglass, porcelain, stainless steel and more. Spell out “eat” in the kitchen for a not-so-subtle nudge to guests, or add your and your honey’s initials to your bedroom wall instead of carving them in a tree. E.H.
$35-120; 14971 First St. NE, Aurora; auroramills.com