Archive for the ‘Interior Design’ Category

Whether we want to admit it or not, Summer is coming to a close and Fall is upon us. As if the bags of candy or orange plastic pumpkins didn’t give you a clue! As the evenings get cooler and we unfold Grandma’s knitted afghan, there’s nothing better than snuggling up next to a roaring fireplace. We are lucky enough to be getting a fireplace in our new home. Granted, it’s a glass enclosed gas fireplace and not the “real” kind of fire, but, it’s an improvement from the “On-Demand Fire” video loop we played on our TV during last year’s Christmas party. Our fireplace surround is standard brick with a nondescript wood mantle, but I love it nonetheless! Still, I can’t help but envy these classic and rustic fireplaces from Country Home Magazine. Roaring fire or not, these fireplaces exude warmth and comfort.


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Next week marks the end of two years that Chris and I have lived on the 19th floor of the Ardea tower in the South Waterfront district of downtown Portland. It also marks two years that we have lived together! We’ve both survived so far so that must be a good sign right? Although we have enjoyed our river and downtown views, the access to public transit, concierge service, and friendly neighbors, both of us are excited to come back down to earth and into a house. Gone will be the floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views, but those will be replaced with a porch swing and a small back yard to grow our own vegetables. Join us in saying goodbye to the high-life as we reflect on our home in the sky. Although our next home in the Irvington neighborhood of NE Portland is still not the rolling hills of Dundee, it’s at least one step closer!

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Moving to a new home always comes with its hurdles and transitions. Turning an empty space into a place that feels like your own takes a lot of thought, time, arranging, re-arranging, and many trial runs of paint colors that sometimes don’t work out. Once we settled into our current home in Portland we were lucky enough to have some great neighbors whom I think may become life-long friends. Portland, and Oregon in general, has a long history of settlers and adventurers. Lewis & Clark led the migration west for the Oregon Trail which later brought the gold rush and logging industry. Like those early settlers, today, Portland is still attracting transplants from all over the country with a pioneer spirit and appreciation for the outdoors. Our neighbors, who hail from Vermont, are no different.

As we’ve gotten to know each other and as I share with them my vision for the Dundee General Store, they helped me realize that my design aesthetic and appreciation for classic, long-lasting, high-quality products is very much like that of the North Eastern States. Whereas most of the West is rooted today in modern new-age design, the North East has a much older history of traditional architecture and way of living. Popularized by names like Martha Stewart & Ralph Lauren, the “modern-traditional” aesthetic is not as prevalent on the West Coast as it is in states like New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

With this “epiphany”, I’ve collected a few photos from New England Home Magazine that inspire me. It’s surprising that I now consider my design aesthetic to include words like traditional, country, and dare I say “Martha-esque.” My library of design books still contains relics of my more modern & minimal days, including titles about Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, mid-century modern, and loft living. Not that I don’t appreciate modern design anymore, but after spending the last 4 years with my partner Chris, we’ve blended our tastes together and made something much more interesting, eclectic, and beautiful.

Hope you enjoy the collection of photos I’ve pulled from New England Home Magazine. Visit their website for a full digital copy of the latest issue and subscription info.

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