GRAY No. 36

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can be a good thing. is *the* thing. WHEN I WAS A KID, MY GRANDMOTHER JANET WAS MY STYLE ICON. A real estate

agent, artist, and golfer, she was the chicest woman I knew. When she visited us in Portland in the 1970s, she wore a wavy bob, red lipstick, and her signature burnished-silver cuff, which she didn’t mind if I borrowed for a few hours. Her own house in Seattle was a midcentury gem with a sunken living room and a rec room decked out with overscaled floral curtains, a cane-backed sofa, and armchairs in avocado (then a cutting-edge hue). Needless to say, we shared a special bond. One fall day in 1978, she came for a visit and a shopping trip. A torrential downpour made our drive downtown that day all the more memorable as we barreled along in her black Buick, me sliding around on the slick back bench seat (seatbelts weren’t yet de rigueur, even though we knew all about hydroplaning on wet roads). She’d grown up in Portland and was eager to see how the city had changed since her last visit. I watched her make mental notes of every detail, from the new lighted floor indicators above elevators to the exquisite wallpaper adorning a tiny boutique shop. We decided on a pair of boots that day, my first fashion-forward footwear: tall brown Famolare platforms with a wavy wedge heel. Grandma knew


how to make even a nine-year-old stylish. She’d already shown me, in the way she furnished her home, how bold pieces make a room. And in our meanderings through Portland, I’d seen how small but strategic details can elevate an environment. Now I experienced, firsthand, how a single bold choice could make an outfit. For better or worse, I wore those boots with everything, all day, every day that year. They symbolized the impact of design on emotions and self-confidence, and I determined to bring powerful designs into my life from that moment onward. Change is a good thing—and as my grandmother taught me, even a minor detail can make a difference. Our focus on renovations in this issue highlights impressive projects by visionary designers and creatives who have truly mastered the art of change: mixing, matching, layering, creating depth and contrast. We are thrilled to share their work with you, and we hope you’ll find them as transformative as we do. Enjoy! Shawn Williams,

CEO/Founder + Publisher

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CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: The dining room is anchored by a table and benches handcrafted by Danny Hill of Concrete Earth. Hagood sourced the vintage Sheffield light fixtures from various reuse stores; designer Tim Pfeiffer, Hagood, and architect Steve Hoedemaker pose in front of a mirror installation designed by Pfeiffer. OPPOSITE: An antique tobacconist’s case serves as storage.

“THE BUILDING WAS AN ABSOLUTE WRECK,” says chef Julian Hagood of the former Capitol Hill bodega that would become both his restaurant and his residence in 2016. “Dead pigeons. Boarded-up windows. Graffiti. The first time I walked in, my cowboy boot went through the floor, but I said, ‘I’ll take it!’” While the neglected state of the century-old structure would disenchant most, Hagood found charm in the corner lot and developed a vision of a cozy neighborhood eatery, eventually dubbing it Harry’s Fine Foods, reusing the name on a sign abandoned by previous owners. “While I was growing up in Spokane, my parents remodeled 10 to 15 historic homes,” he notes, “so there’s this gene in me that really appreciates the historic value of a building.” To tackle the project, Hagood and his business partner, Alexa Dallas, enlisted architect Steve Hoedemaker and designer Tim Pfeiffer of Hoedemaker Pfeiffer—both were Hagood’s friends and catering clients—for what became an 18-month process

of ripping the ramshackle bodega down to its studs and up to its rafters. “Pretty much the only things left from the original space are the apartment floors upstairs, most of the exterior shell, and the refurbished fridge we found sinking through the floor downstairs,” says Hoedemaker, who worked with Me¯ tis Construction on the renovation. The biggest challenge: how to position a commercial-grade kitchen on the tiny ground floor without devouring precious square footage? After a tricky game of appliance Tetris, the design team fitted the sinks, stove, oven, and hood into an open layout that allows Hagood to keep an eye on the front of the house while cooking. (He made one sacrifice: the construction crew ran a giant ventilation chase up the back of the building and through his upstairs apartment kitchen.) An L-shaped bar is backed by the salvaged midcentury fridge, while custom hanging iron racks by Michael Combs of Anvil House keep glasses and liquor bottles within reach. On the far side of the room, a large Victorian-era tobacconist’s case holds dry goods (pasta, aluminum foil, olive oil) for purchase—a subtle nod to the former corner store. “That was the piece that started it all,” Pfeiffer remarks of the case, the first item sourced for the project. “The shelves are painted in vivid turquoise, orange-red, and blue, and we sprinkled hints »



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