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I've ditched chairs with no regrets. I once separated from a wool rug just because I wanted to see something else. And when a vintage dinette set -- so charming during our first five years together -- began to bore me, I threw it in the back of the station wagon, drove out to a charitable donation center and left it without so much as a backward glance.

So why was I struggling with the idea of tossing our old four-poster bed?

Keep reading



REschoolhouseThe five friends behind Remodelista.com launched the Remodelista Local Market series which hits Portland this Saturday. They call their dot com a "sourcebook for the considered home," and the local market is a bit like a 3-D version of the same with "curated" goods for the home.

Chair_I_     Before the first course, I knew that we were in for a rare dinner party. For one thing,  when the host took his seat at the head of the formal dining table, he was flanked on either side by his miniature dogs. They sat in fancy high chairs. They ate off fine china. They were mostly polite.  Silverware presents a bit of a challenge for those without opposable thumbs,  so the host spoon fed his canine companions all the while conversing with his eight dinner guests about the exciting new plans for the art museum.

     It was one of those strange and wonderful Portland evenings where I felt like a character in an  F. Scott Fitzgerald novel,  privy to the powers and eccentricities of the wealthy without the benefits or burdens of possessing any actual  money of my own.  A reporters' notebook was like a passport to explore other worlds. Some were grand. Others were tragic. But I knew I was privileged to visit.

      Later that evening, one of the guests commented on the unusual assortment of chairs.  (Up until then, I'd been too focused on the playful argument between the host and his nephew about whether the little oil portrait in the hall was an authentic Rembrandt or simply a skillful fraud, to notice the furniture.)  The host fell in love with the sculptural forms of chairs.  He was a bit of a floozy, chair-love-wise. He could not say no to a pretty seat so his home held ornate carved chairs, miniature overstuffed chairs, delicate perching chairs, stark modern chairs, traditional wingback chairs and just about every other imaginable object made for sitting. The nephew teasingly referred to his uncle's place as "The House of Chairs."

     It seems to me an excellent way to furnish a house. Below are some of my dream house chairs.


chair_HIP The-Atlas-Chair-By-Scott-Jarvie2





Red wide seat EDGY accent chair, starting around $750 at HIP, crazy blue Atlas Chair by Scott Jarvie at scottjarvie.co.UK,  warp shape Stefan Wewerka chair.

The future doesn’t look quite as exciting as I imagined. No flying cars. Disappointedly, fewer personal jet packs than expected. Our homes look less like George Jetson's and more like Fred Flintstone's what with all the granite and no-tech compost bins substituting for hungry dinosaurs. So I got pretty excited when I read about “advances in integrated home technology” at Mari Design. It sounds so space age fancy. What it means to the Portland company is that sales of their motorized shades and light control products are sky rocketing.

These were the Beatniks of housing. They turned their backs to society – and streets and neighbors – to focus on individual backyard havens. Walls of glass invited the outdoors in. Ceilings soared. Massive wood beams were left exposed.  During the late 1950s through the early 1970s Robert Rummer built almost 1,000 such houses in the Portland metro area. At the time, many people were skeptical of the modern look, preferring the traditional formality of Colonials or the cozy familiarity of Arts and Crafts.

A new study conducted at OSU compared the impact furniture has on our emotions.  Two rooms contained angular furniture. Two contained rounded furniture. The virtual rooms appeared gray to avoid color and texture influences, and both the angular and curvy furniture was arranged in the same pattern.  Students declared all the sparse rooms boring.  But they rated the two rooms with curvy furniture significantly higher for pleasure and approachability.

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