GRAY No. 16

Page 1


inspired by travel


The Design Magazine for the Pacific Northwest your ultimate

JUNE ✤ jULY 2014

Getaway Guide: where to eat, sleep,

notes from abroad: Designers on the places that shape their work, from Tokyo to Mexico.

& play IN PORTLAND, SEATTLE, VANCOUVER + What to bring back


global style: An exclusive studio tour with john jay, creative powerhouse

bloomy armchair, 2002 patricia urquiola - supernatural chair, 2005 ross lovegrove - made in italy by moroso

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moroso carl hansen vitra fritz hansen kartell bensen herman miller knoll flos artek artifort foscarini moooi montis and more!




a brilliant collection 25 years in the making

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cont 23



june – july.14

10. hello

Going places.

35. essay/sourced

19. news

See and be scene. The must-visit events, exhibitions, and workshops of the summer season.

23. travel

42. interiors




Where to eat, drink, shop, and stay in the Northwest’s design capitals— from a secret subterranean bar in Portland to Vancouver’s ultimate lifestyle shop.


Acclaimed architects Jim Olson and James Cheng impart how global destinations—from Egypt to Hong Kong—have shaped their prolific design work. Plus: We round up our favorite travel-inspired goods. A 1961 yacht oozes sleek sophistication after a James Bond–worthy renovation by an interior designer and a boat builder.

46. outdoor How to create a tropical oasis in the Pacific Northwest? Landscape designer Lauren Hall-Behrens shows us the light.

52. sourced

With these nine new designs, enjoying the outdoors can be a stylish adventure.

54. profile

We sit down with Hana Pesut, the photographer behind the noted Switcheroo series that has everyone captivated.

FEATURES 58. compound addition

Looking to create a rustic-but-luxe retreat on Guemes Island, a couple brought in Bosworth Hoedemaker to design a multi-cabin complex. Picture family camp, elevated.

tents 54

66. disappearing act

A cutting-edge Quadra Island home reflects its natural surroundings so well it almost ... vanishes.

74. natural selection

Sweet suite. From the open-air tub to the Scandinavian décor to the wilderness setting, the new rooftop room at a Vancouver Island inn offers a singular experience to its out-of-town guests.

BACK OF BOOK 80. insight

Seattle photographer Amanda Ringstad reveals the eerie beauty of Icelandic landscapes.


86. studio visit

Creativity soars at Studio J, a historic commercial building turned innovative design atelier.

92. architecture

A Portland design firm moves out of the house they used as an office, but its new headquarters still feels like home.

102. resources

Your guide to the designers, shops, furnishings, craftsmen, and suppliers featured in this issue.

106. my northwest

Seattle choreographer Kate Wallich takes dance inspiration from a building she spots on her daily walk to the studio.


On the Cover

John and Janet Jay’s unconventional studio is a hotbed of creativity—and a treasure chest of art and objects discovered around the world. See page

86 Written by Brian Libby Photographed by Bruce wolf




GRAY editors share their most memorable journeys.

Jaime Gillin, editorial director. Dimen, China, 2010.

Rachel Gallaher, editor. Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, 2013.

Lindsey M. Roberts, managing editor. Malawi, Africa, 2012.

Debra Prinzing, landscape and culture editor. Carpinteria, California, 2007.

Stacy Kendall, style director. Millenium Park, Chicago, 2013.

Nicole Munson, associate style editor. Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England, 2012.

Alexa McIntyre, photo editor. Spoleto, Italy, 2011.

Going Places Forget souvenirs; the most rewarding takeaway from a journey is fresh insight on how to live a better life. Copenhagen taught me the pleasures of candlelight by day. Tokyo, the humanity that comes from a bow at the waist, or taking the time to actually read a business card when it’s handed to you. Remote, southwestern China (where the picture above was taken in 2010), showed me the astounding structures that craftsmen can build without a single nail or a power tool. The expansive, clarifying effects of travel cannot be overstated. In this issue, we present some of our favorite architects, designers, and photographers who’ve found inspiration for their work in every corner of the globe—from the aqua-hued glaciers of Iceland to the ancient temples of Egypt to the traditional gardens of Japan. As their stories reveal, exploring someplace new does wonders for the creative process. I love the wisdom that architect Jim Olson shares in “Now, Voyager,” his as-told-to essay about how wanderlust has shaped his design practice (pg. 35). He reminds us that you don’t need a passport to soak up the benefits of a change of scene: “Walking through a museum in Seattle stimulates my mind in the same way as walking through Rome or some exotic city,” he says. “There are new places to be seen all around us.” We hope you’ll turn to our insider city guides (pg. 23), discover your next design-driven weekend getaway, and find inspiration close to home.



To learn the backstories behind these images, go to Journeys

Courtney Ferris, intern. Saint Benedict Chapel, Sumvitg, Switzerland.

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Alexa McIntyre Style Contributing Editor

Jasmine Vaughan Portland contributing editor

Brian Libby Intern

Courtney Ferris Contributors

Erinn Gleeson, Zach Gross, Alex Hayden, Jon Jensen, Joshua McCullough, Janis Nicolay, Hana Pesut, Amanda Ringstad, Brandon Shigeta, Bruce Wolf


Mary Ellen Kennedy Craig Miller Jennifer T. Reyes Kim Schmidt Erica Clemeson

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Editorial inquiries Subscription inquiries No. 16. Copyright Š2014. Published bimonthly (DEC, FEB, APR, JUNE, AUG, OCT) by GRAY Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint or quote excerpts granted by written request only. While every attempt has been made, GRAY cannot guarantee the legality, completeness, or accuracy of the information presented and accepts no warranty or responsibility for such. GRAY is not responsible for loss, damage, or other injury to unsolicited manuscripts, photography, art or any other unsolicited material. Unsolicited material will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. If submitting material, do not send originals unless specifically requested to do so by GRAY in writing. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to GRAY, 19410 Hwy 99, Ste. A #207, Lynnwood, WA 98036. Subscriptions $30 us for one year; $50 us for two years

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Best Practice Architecture & Design

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Courtesy of The Levenson Collection.

Early Spring (Senshun) from Manners of Beauties of Showa ¯ by Ito¯ Shinsui, 1931.

EXHIBIT Through Oct. 19

The Seattle Asian Art Museum, itself a gem of Art Deco architecture, is fittingly hosting “Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920-1945.” The first exhibition outside of Asia to showcase the rippling effects of Japan’s contribution to the Art Deco movement, the show includes nearly 200 objects, from sculptures to textiles, that reflect the country’s growing cosmopolitanism during the 1920s and 1930s. ��




| news CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Local fashion on view at the Museum of Contemporary Craft; an inside look at Paris’s most iconic garden at the Portland Art Museum; Ian McMahon’s ghostly plasterwork comes to Seattle’s Suyama Space; get creative at the Vancouver Draw Down.

“‘Fashioning Cascadia’ is a unique look into the ways that small-scale regional designers are prototyping fashion’s futures—from concept and material source through craft and production method—to rethink the ways we make and wear garments every day.” —Sarah Margolis-Pineo, associate curator,

Through August 15

New York experimental artist Ian McMahon has transformed Seattle’s Suyama Space gallery into an architectural stage. The installation—two freestanding molded-plaster theater curtains— reinforces the artist’s recurring themes, including the relationships between people, time, and space. ��

EVENT June 14

Make your mark at the Vancouver Draw Down. Throughout the city, artistic workshops such as “Chalk it Up!” at Oppenheimer Park and “Spatial Profiling” at Satellite Gallery will give creatives of all ages the opportunity to get out on the town and practice their skills. ��

EXHIBIT June 14–Sept. 21

Paris is coming to the Park Blocks. Organized by the Portland Art Museum, “The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden” charts the evolution of one of the most pivotal Parisian public spaces. Some 100 paintings, sculptures, and photographs—accompanied by the musings of artists such as Édouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, and Henri Cartier-Bresson—walk you through the park’s tumultuous history. ��

Through August 10

save the date July 31

The line between art and craft begins to blur at Boise Art Museum’s exhibition, “Crafting a Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft.” On display are more than 60 ceramic, wood, and fiber works, featuring both established and emerging artists within the contemporary craft movement. �� boiseart

Don’t miss our new GRAY Conversations series— talks with local design luminaries at showrooms, shops, and studios. First up: Bringing Color into Your Home, a panel discussion moderated by GRAY editorial director Jaime Gillin, at Room & Board in Seattle on July 31.



For more events and exhibitions, see

Through Sept. 1

With taxidermy specimens, 3D models, and dioramas, “Rewilding Vancouver,” the provocative current exhibition at the Museum of Vancouver, reveals how we shape nature and, in turn, how nature shapes us and our cities. Guest curated by J.B. MacKinnon (co-author of 100-Mile Diet and author of The Once and Future World), the exhibit encourages us to envision new ways to make the city, quite literally, a wilder place. ��

Through Oct. 11

Explore the relationship between fashion and our region at Portland’s Museum of Contemporary Craft exhibition, “Fashioning Cascadia: The Social Life of the Garment.” Featuring work by Northwest fashion designers such as Michael Cepress, Anna Telcs, Cassie Ridgway, and Liza Rietz, the series also includes workshops and a vintage fashion runway show. ��

WORKSHOP August 2–3

Next time you think your space is too small, imagine life in a house that’s only 200 square feet. Whether you’re interested in the challenge, or just want to learn more about the concept, sign up for Portland Alternative Dwelling’s weekend workshop on tiny houses. �� h

clockwise from top: Christine Taylor; archive Timothy McCarthy / Art Resource, NY; Melissa Baker

Museum of Contemporary Craft

America’s Largest Design Event June 20-22, 2014 Los Angeles Convention Center

Buy Tickets Now Join us for this exciting three day celebration where you can explore the latest trends, attend thought provoking conversations, network with industy leaders and more! — 2,000 + innovative modern furnishings and products — 200 + speakers — broad range of Continuing Education from ASID and more! —Dwell Home Tours and Meet the Architects Night


Ideas for Modern Living

For the latest updates and news about Dwell on Design, visit For questions about exhibiting or to reserve your exhibit space, email Toby Benstead, GRAY ISSUE No. SIXTEEN


Cornelie de Jong





| travel


Delightfully feminine, with a Euro edge, Angel Face is the sophisticated, French-speaking older sister of restaurants Navarre and Luce (all dreamed up by duo John Taboada and Giovanna Parolari). With a stained glass window, classic Thonet chairs, and a curvy marble bar, the space is dressed to impress. No, that’s not wallpaper—each flower was painstakingly hand painted by artist Michael Paulus. 14 N.E. 28th Ave.;

hot spots

The ultimate design connoisseur’s guide to the Pacific Northwest.

jaclyn campanaro


Put on your design goggles and plunge into the local scene. We’ve compiled an insider’s guide to 26 essential, well-designed stops in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver—cities brimming with striking interiors and brilliant architecture—sharing a few of our favorite new spots to eat, drink, shop, and sleep. A secret bar beneath Portland’s Ace Hotel? A Vancouver cycle shop worth a gawk, even if you don’t bike? Seattle’s chicest new hotel, with free wine tastings to boot? It’s all here—dive in! »




| travel





Lever architecture/jeremy Bitterman


RIVER PIG SALOON: River Pig Saloon, a homage to the Oregon lumberjacks who floated timber downstream from the forest to the sawmills, is anything but your average sports bar. The space features 800-year-old Doug fir beams, and one of their televisions is embedded in a piano and framed with Pendleton fabric. ‘Nuff said. 529 N.W. 13th Ave.;


PEPE LE MOKO: The speakeasy-esque Pepe le Moko, secreted beneath the Ace Hotel, is a good place to lose track of time. This subterranean, candlelit cantina serves up raw oysters on ice, Mediterranean-inspired bocadillos, and top-shelf reinterpretations of classic cocktails. 407 S.W. 10th Ave.;



(1) SENTINEL: Thanks to an extensive renovation, one of Portland’s oldest luxury hotels has been reborn into one of its newest. For a full immersion into Portland style, book one of the six Bridgetown Parlor Suites, designed by local shop and studio Boy’s Fort and decked out with original pastel drawings of Portland bridges, framed Oregon botanicals, and Schoolhouse Electric light fixtures. 614 S.W. 11th Ave.;


What to bring back

Unconventional, authentic, creative… Left to right: Michelle Hat by Janessa Leone, $170 at Beam & Anchor, Portland,; the Portland Bag by House of Castellon, $400 at House of Castellon, Portland,; Pamela Jumble Necklace by Shourouk, $470 at Frances May, Portland,; Balm in #2 by Olio E Sasso, $28 at Una, Portland,; Icosa Vases by Vitreluxe, from $100 at the Gallery Store at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland,



(2) UNION WAY: The hottest new retail corridor in Portland, this covered alleyway, designed by Lever Architecture, connects the West End neighborhood to the Pearl and features nine shops, including Portland staples Danner and Will Leather Goods. 1022 W. Burnside St.; 503-922-0056 (3) Imogene + Willie: This folksy shop—an offshoot of the Nashville, Tennessee, original—pays homage to owners Carrie and Matt Eddmenson’s family roots in the textile industry. Amid the antique paraphernalia are enviable home goods and the shop’s signature American-made heritage denim. 1306 W. Burnside St.; (4) WINN PERRY & Co.: After a multiyear hiatus, Winn Perry & Co. has returned with a new menswear shop stocked with quality goods such as buttonups from New England Shirt Co., handcrafted Alden shoes, and locally sewn jersey T-shirts. 209 S.W. 9th Ave.; (5) FIELDWORK FLOWERS:

Like their arrangements of local blooms, Fieldwork Flowers’s new shop emanates a cool minimalism, with an accompanying selection of Judy Jackson bud vases, Malin+Goetz’s bath products, Rodin Olio Lusso body oils, and more. 3143 S.W. Moody Ave.; »

See our expanded city guides—and tell us about your own favorite places— at city-guides

dina avila


With a menu by bartender Kyle Linden Webster and James Beard Award–winning chef Naomi Pomeroy (of neighbor Beast), Expatriate is easy to love, and hard to leave. Before you know it, you’ll be sipping cocktails late into the night, listening to Grace Jones, and admiring the repurposed half-moon gate framing out the bar. 5424 N.E. 30th Ave.;




| travel



Mark Woods

Cupcake Royale in Madrona was Seattle’s first cupcake shop 10 years ago, and has since expanded to a total of seven bakeries. Best Practice Architecture & Design remodeled its Ballard location in April, punctuating the space with Erich Ginder’s geometric Dot/Dash lights. Let them eat cake—and enjoy the scrumptious setting. 2052 N.W. Market St.;





SEA T T LE Hotel Vintage

David Phelps Photography

Thanks to a remodel helmed by Dawson Design Associates, Kimpton’s Hotel Vintage boasts 125 updated guestrooms, each named for a Washington winery and decorated in deep purples, layered patterns, and headboards made of dyed wine corks. Come evening, mingle with local vintners who pour nightly at the hotel’s hosted wine reception. 1100 5th Ave.;





EAT & DRINK (2) E. Smith Mercantile:

Walk past the clothing, tote bags, and apothecary at this Pioneer Square outfitter to discover an old-school bar in back. Specializing in classic cocktails (be sure to try the Peg Leg Annie, made with pepper vodka), the space features brick walls, wooden floors, and a tin-wrapped bar. 208 1st Ave. S.; www.esmith (4) Miller’s Guild: Meat lovers rejoice! Miller’s Guild, adjacent to the Hotel Max, is built around a 9-foot-long wood-fired grill, where James Beard Award–winning chef Jason Wilson roasts beef, pork, and fish. 612 Stewart St.;

1. Charlie Schuck; 2. Sarah Jurado; 3. Bethanée Photography; 4. RiNa Jordan; 5. Geoffrey Smith

(5) bar cotto: It doesn’t

matter what neighborhood you find yourself in, chances are one of chef Ethan Stowell’s restaurants is right around the corner. He’s opened four new eateries in the past year, but we’re partial to the welcoming Bar Cotto, a salumeria and cocktail bar in Capitol Hill. 1546 15th Ave.;


What to bring back

| travel


Red Lion: One of the best spots to hang out on a hot summer night, the Red Lion Hotel is both a place to stay and, now, a place to play. Accented with brightly colored chairs and a neon-blue back bar, the hotel’s Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails restaurant leads to an outdoor patio, where DJs spin throughout the summer. 1415 5th Ave.; seattle

SHOP (1) Glasswing: Last fall, Capitol Hill’s Melrose Market got a little more stylish with the addition of Glasswing. In addition to high-end clothes and accessories, the boutique also offers a rack of well-priced vintage pieces, furniture from Brackish, and a selection of vessels and succulents that allow you, with a little help from the salespeople, to assemble your own terrarium. 1525 Melrose Ave.;

1 2


(3) Hammer + Awl

Tucked away in quiet Madrona, Hammer + Awl is where the dapper men of the city stop in for bags, hats, scarves, and fragrances by the likes of Blackbird and Maak Lab. 3315 E. Pike St.;


Ada’s Technical Books and Café: Seattle has a lot of

bookstores, but Ada’s caters to the left-brained among us. Designed by Board & Vellum, and rebuilt by Model Remodel, Ada’s specializes in volumes about architecture, math, engineering, science, and computers. 425 15th Ave. E.; »

Clever, unexpected, spirited… Left to right: Pyramid Prism, $18 at Prism, Seattle, templeof; Lunch at the Shop ($25; Abrams Image, 2014) at Peter Miller Architectural & Design Books and Supplies,; Depth Cacao Liqueur by Sound Spirits, $36 at Wine World and Spirits, Seattle,; Leather Bangles, from $124 at Moo Young, Seattle,; Shopper Tote, $170 at Alice Noon, Seattle,


See our expanded city guides—and tell us about your own favorite places— at city-guides



HOMER ST. CAFE and bar

Housed in a historic building—over the years home to a dye works, a steam cleaner, and an ice delivery shop— Homer St. Cafe is one greatlooking bistro. Thoughtfully preserved architectural details and French-inspired decor complement, without upstaging, the modern comfort food (think rotisserie chicken and pee wee potatoes paired with a glass of biodynamic wine). 898 Homer St.;







| travel



Christopher Flett

In our fantasy home, everything works well and is beautifully designed. That’s Jonathan Litchfield’s fantasy as well. At his meticulously curated shop, you’ll find wares to help you live the dream, culled from across the globe, including Japanese organic cotton towels, modular cookware from Italy, and leather-wrapped French headphones. 38 Water St.;




| travel

V ANCOU V ER the emerald supper club and lounge: A little bit of

1 2


4 5

(2) blacktail florist:

Don’t be fooled by the name: Blacktail Florist is a brandnew restaurant inspired by British Columbia’s natural beauty. Art Deco windows drip with flora; diners sit among greenery; and chef Jimmy Stewart’s menu features wild and foraged fare. 200-332 Water St.; (5) 33 acres: “Like the beer, the space is clean,” says Josh Michnik, proprietor of Vancouver’s surprisingly minimalist 33 Acres brewery. You can’t go wrong with any of the four beers on tap. The beer-infused weekend waffles—as well as the twice-monthly, behindthe-scenes brewery tour— are worth planning a trip around. 15 W. 8th Ave.; ASK FOR LUIGI: Though the space is entirely new (designed by Craig Stanghetta), Ask for Luigi feels like it’s been here forever. Tucked into an old house inconguously located in industrial Railtown, the place turns out fresh, house-made pastas and a mean meatball. 305 Alexander St.;

What to bring back V ANCOU V ER



STAY (3) the burrard: A funky 1956 motel now houses the stylish, affordable, and tastefully retro Burrard hotel. The 72 rooms have vintage lamps, framed 1950s photographs, and custom walnut furnishings. Grab lunch from the new café and park yourself in the palm-shaded courtyard, or borrow one of the free bikes to explore the city. 1100 Burrard St.;

SHOP (1) Strada Cycles Is this the prettiest bike shop in the west? We think so! For Strada Cycles’s new 2,000-squarefoot emporium in Coal Harbour, local firm Falken Reynolds opted for a spare, gallery-like setting and lightbox-style display that elevates the objects on offer— Italian road bikes, Swiss cycling apparel—to something akin to art. 595 Broughton St.;

See our expanded city guides—and tell us about your own favorite places— at city-guides

Stunning, cultured, gracious… Left to right: Silver & White Prayer Mat Warming Basket, $44 at the Cross Décor & Design, Vancouver,; Smoked Organic Chocolate Chips, $17 at Old Faithful Shop, Vancouver,; Ezurum Scarf by A Peace Treaty, $216 at LYNNsteven, Vancouver,; Punched Tote by Rachel Comey, $597 at Violet Boutique, Vancouver,; Oh Canada Pin Pack by the Regional Assembly of Text, $11 at Meadow Gifts & Apparel, Vancouver, h

1. Chad Falkenberg; 2. Glasfurd & Walker Design; 3. April greer; 4. jeremy segal


Vegas, transported to Vancouver’s gritty Chinatown. Climb a steep and dim staircase and discover a swanky, sprawling bar at the top, with gold-leafed walls and martini carts. 555 Gore St.; emerald

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travel “I’ve learned so much about what I do as an architect from traveling. Seeing things that are outside your frame of reference adds to your bank of resources when you’re trying to think about a design.” —Jim Olson, architect

now, voyager For lauded architect Jim Olson, founding principal of Olson Kundig Architects in Seattle, design inspiration—and mind-altering new perspectives—comes from the journey. As told to Jaime Gillin Jim Olson, architect and adventurer, on a camel at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt in 1985.




| essay

In traveling, there are moments that made such an indelible impression that I remember them very clearly many years later. It’s stimulating to your mind, the act of being somewhere new and seeing things from a different perspective. It stirs up your creativity. I’ll never forget walking down the grand colonnade at Luxor Temple in Egypt in 1968. There’s this unbelievable power of the arch. Walking between those monumental columns, with their cadence, you feel almost like you’re a god or a king, or like you’re having some sort of spiritual experience through the power of architecture. I’ve been back to Egypt just once since then, but the impressions stuck in my mind and have influenced my work ever since. I go to a lot of places in Europe, but they just don’t turn me on in the same way. Ancient Egypt was gutsy and elemental and earthy; it almost seems modern in some ways— the way people dressed, the way they decorated things, how they looked. I picked up on two things from visiting Egyptian temples: the power of the grand scale, and simple, rational order.

I’d say my work today is half influenced by ancient Egypt and half influenced by Asia. Egypt is all about the overpowering and monumental. And then there’s traditional Japanese architecture, which strips it down to the essence. It’s the other side of me. The Japanese garden is sequential architecture—there’s a constant sense of anticipation and discovery. When you stand knocking on the gate, you see one flower in this little window. You enter, but you don’t see quite where you’re going. At each turn, the expectation is set for the next thing that you’re going to encounter. Same with Thailand and Indonesia: moving through a house unfolds in little pieces. It makes for a very interesting experience. In a way, you can travel without going too far. Walking through a museum in Seattle stimulates my mind in the same way as walking through Rome or some exotic city. I tell people, go to Tacoma—you don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to find a lot of the stimulation and energy you get from travel. There are new places to be seen all around us. h

Jim and Katherine Olson, with George Suyama and a Takeshi Nishikawa guide, on a 1985 trip to Egypt. “I’m more influenced by traditional things than modern architecture,” Olson says. TOP AND MIDDLE: Olson’s sketches and photographs of Luxor Temple in Egypt reveal a fascination with monumental columns that continues to manifest in his architectural work. BOTTOM: Traditional Japanese gardens, such as those at Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto, offer visitors a “constant sense of anticipation and discovery,” Olson says.



Kevin Scott

“Some people say our [firm’s] architecture is sequential; that it’s not just about looking at something but about moving through it,” Olson says. “You can take a picture of an Egyptian temple, or one of my projects, but to be in it is a completely different thing.” His 2008 design for a villa in Hong Kong includes a reflecting pool in the entry court, framed by massive painted-metal columns. GRAY ISSUE No. SIXTEEN



| sourced

“We were struck by all the historic architecture of Mexico City, yet also by how hip and trendy it is. Much of the inspiration for this wallpaper collection came from the strong geometric exteriors and ornate interiors of old buildings and churches, which we wanted to blend into something with a current feel.” —Christiana Coop, Hygge & West Canasta wallpaper by Laundry Studio, Portland, $125 per roll at Hygge & West,

Memory Lane

style souvenirs

Nothing is more treasured than a great vacation—except possibly what you bring back. These designers took a memory and made it matter by creating goods inspired by their bon voyage. Written and compiled by stacy kendall

“The inspiration for these pillows goes way back to when I was a very little girl. My grandparents took me on many road trips, mostly in Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Canada, and down into California. I’d claim ownership of whatever camera they had, eager to create photos of all the places that captured my imagination. With my pillow covers, I combine my love of photography, nostalgia, and interior decorating.” —Christine Dinsmore, Plumed Palisade pillow by Plumed, $45, Portland,

“I love a Scandinavian design aesthetic. what it mostly signifies for me is balance. My style and design sensibilities have always been about contrasts, finding that spot of wild within the calm and conservative. But the ideas of balance and refinement have made their way into my work in large part because of my time in Scandinavia.” —Betsy Cross, Betsy & Iya Lappland stud earrings by Betsy & Iya, $49, Portland,






| essay For architect James Cheng, social interaction is an important aspect of urban living. At the Shangri-La Toronto, a large tree-dotted walkway integrates the hotel with the sidewalk beyond.

Leave &learn

Architect James Cheng grew up in Hong Kong, and left as a teenager—but the dense Asian megalopolis continues to shape his work.



As told to Rachel Gallaher

Of all the places I’ve been,

Hong Kong remains the biggest influence on my work as an architect. I grew up there, and left at age 17 because it’s such a small place. The whole town is only about 31 square miles, and it’s very dense and crowded. You can walk around the entire island in one night; that’s what we used to do on New Year’s Eve every year. When I was growing up we were all fascinated by the wide-open spaces we saw in America, especially in the cowboy movies. My reaction to Hong Kong made me want to create urban oases in my work. In everything we do, we always include a garden and water feature, so you get a sense of nature and don’t feel like you’re stuck in the middle of the city. I think that the higher the density of a city, the more we need this kind of serenity in an urban environment. In 1978, I won a competition in Vancouver to design the Chinese Cultural Center, and as the result of winning that, the Chinese consulate invited the team to go to China. This was just after the Gang of Four and China was just opening up to the rest of the world. The most inspiring thing I saw on that trip was Suzhou, which is famous for its walled gardens in the middle of the city. The gardens exist in the busiest part of the city, but when you step inside, there is total tranquility. That experience had a big impact on me—it gave me the idea that even on high-density projects that may be 50 stories tall, I can still design serene spaces for people to retreat into.

Our very first high-rise complex here in Vancouver was Cambridge Gardens, in 1990. We designed two towers and then we formulated the idea of townhouses surrounding them so the courtyard is completely secure, secluded, and safe. That actually was the start of the style that later became known as Vancouverism. Architecturally speaking, before that, people built a high-rise that just went straight up or they built townhouses or apartments that go around courtyards. Not many people have actually combined the two. In so many cities they just build these oppressive 10- or 12-story blocks that go wall to wall. So that’s why we started to evolve this idea of no more than four-story townhouses— so that you get lots of light coming down to the street and then you can concentrate the density into a tower. When we design urban hotels, we want to create a kind of sanctuary while still engaging the street. For the Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto, we added a sidewalk café—a place where people can sit down and engage with people walking by. We also introduced public art; we commissioned a famous artist from China, Zhang Huan, and set the building back to make a mini plaza and further enhance the space for people to interact. The restaurants are large glass cubes that allow people to look up from the street and down from the restaurant. It’s a small thing, but we design all our hotels that way. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 100-foot building or a 10-foot building, what’s important is the way we can encourage people to be a part of the life of the city. h

TOP LEFT AND RIGHT: Completed in 2012, the 67-story Shangri-La Toronto includes a mix of hotel rooms and private luxury residences. Cheng designed Bosk, the hotel’s restaurant, as a large glass box so that diners above and pedestrians below could see each other. BELOW: Old snapshots of Hong Kong, where Cheng lived as a child.




| interiors

Pictured here in a Vancouver marina, the 1961 Breezin’ Thru now sails Australian waters with its owners, who live in Sydney.



North American


Where does an Aussie look for a classic wooden cruiser and the best interior and reno pros? The Pacific Northwest, of course.

Written by Lindsey M. Roberts : Photographed by Janis Nicolay


interior design: Peter Wilds Design boat builder: Jespersen Boat Builders GRAY ISSUE No. SIXTEEN



| interiors

“When we first started thinking about interiors for this boat, we were mucking around with orange-and-white stripes and lime greens,” says Andrew Wiesener, who along with his wife, Sarah, bought a 50-foot 1961 Monk cruiser in Vancouver, planning to overhaul it and then sail it back to their home in Sydney, Australia. But Peter Wilds, the designer they brought on board to helm the renovation, had another idea. “He said, ‘Listen, I know that this is out of left field, but black and white is the way to go with this boat,’” Andrew says. By opting for a bold, graphic look, Wilds swiftly dodged the gentleman’s club décor that’s typical of yachts. “Most boats we work on turn out pretty traditional—dark blue, and very nautical,” says Eric Jespersen, owner of Jespersen Boat Builders in Canoe Cove, British Columbia, and the leader



of the team that gutted and rebuilt the Wiesener yacht. But Wilds “questioned every traditional, stereotypical approach.” “The thing that kept coming back to me was that the mahogany was the color,” Wilds says. Hence the use of black, gray, and cream. “The boldness of the palette held its own, and yet it complemented the mahogany.” For texture and interest, he used 30 different patterned fabrics. “I thought it was the spirit of something you would see in the south of France, or the Hamptons,” Wilds says. “It had a James Bond vibe as well.” Wilds’s approach proved to be sound. When Wiesener finally motored the renovated vessel through Canadian waters, he passed boats full of people who all gawked at the black-andwhite-striped fabric and shiny mahogany. “All I heard was, ‘Wow,’” he says. h

“The combinations of these fabrics will never go out of style,” designer Peter Wilds says of his interior work. OPPOSITE: The sectional in the saloon was made in Hong Kong to match the club chairs by McGuire. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Below deck, the boat sleeps up to 10, thanks to daybeds on either side of a center companionway right aft. The galley is sizeable for a boat. “This kitchen is better than you get in most one-bedroom apartments,” Wiesener says. Above deck, three seating areas showcase a variety of prints. But the wood is the real star: “There is this massive presence of mahogany,” Wilds says. “It’s so, so rich.”




| outdoor

ticket to the tropics Park the car, leave the passport. Instead, take study of Portland designer Lauren Hall-Behrens and find your exotic oasis in the backyard. Written by Debra prinzing : Photographed by Josh McCullough


o visit landscape designer Lauren Hall-Behrens’s Portland home, a 1904 Arts and Crafts bungalow, is to step into an exotic and lush getaway. Welcome to Lilyvilla—both the name of this garden and of Hall-Behrens’s design business. “I wanted to create something that felt bigger than it really was,” Hall-Behrens says of her revamp of the 60-by-100-foot, pan-Asian inspired lot, which had become overpopulated with too many experimental plant collections. This round, she tightly edited the foliage palette to achieve a serene oasis.



“In urban gardens, we are not so closely tied to the natural environment, so we have more flexibility to create our own context,” the designer says. “I wanted my garden to make me feel calm, with a sense of place that took me away from the everyday.” To achieve a tropical effect—no small feat in the anything-but-tropical Northwest—she selected winterhardy plants with bold leaf shapes and glossy foliage, and placed tender varieties more commonly grown as houseplants, such as spiderwort and taro, in seasonal pots, creating focal points in planting beds. »

Opposite, from left: A dark-teal arbor surrounds the weathered-steel entry gate at landscape designer Lauren Hall-Behrens’s Portland home. The color palette and emphasis on foliage plants continue on the home’s back deck. This page: Glossy green hedging outlines the gravel patio, set with a pair of wood-framed cord chairs from Ikea.




| outdoor

Below, from left: An 8-foot-tall pergola engulfs the lounging patio, which is furnished with Lilyvilla custom-designed sofas and a powdercoated aluminum coffee table; pots of tender tropical plants such as spiderwort and taro continue the garden’s lush theme.

“Sweeps of organic shapes connect with the geometric spaces and create a sense of movement. I love playing with hard lines against the more-naturalistic plantings.” — Lauren Hall-Behrens, landscape designer

The journey begins through a large, weathered-steel gate, which Hall-Behrens designed as an enticing, semi-transparent portal hung from a teal-stained arbor. As one of the landscape’s strongest focal points, the 8-foot-tall gate signals to visitors that something mysterious and artful lies within. As you walk along a steel-edged stone-and-gravel pathway, “a tunnel-like sensation” occurs, the designer says. “Big banana leaves make you feel like your body is smaller in size.” The path emerges onto a gravel patio where twin chairs offer respite. “I like the feeling of compression and relief—moving from the narrow pathway into the open space,” Hall-Behrens explains. The path continues along the garden’s edge, rounds a corner, and arrives at a concrete patio outlined by a band of turquoise-gray Mexican pebbles and sheltered by a pergola. Low, textural shrubs, including wire netting bush and varieties of vaccinium, pieris, and myrtle, serve as wall-like dividers for the paths that circumnavigate the small garden.



Large-leafed Canna ‘Intrigue’, rice paper plant, and ginger infuse drama into the landscape. For a small space, there are a surprising number of different zones to enjoy. An Indonesia-inspired canopied metal bench faces west, “so that when the sun starts going down you can observe how the plants are backlit.” The patio is furnished with two sofa benches in powdercoated aluminum and a matching coffee table, custom designed by Hall-Behrens to be “low and large enough to lie down on.” Sunbrella blackand-gray pinstripe cushions echo the garden’s subdued palette of black, gray, teal, and leaf green. Hall-Behrens’s evocative environment is more than just a collection of plants; it’s an emotional destination. Feeling transported far beyond your porch is one of the designer’s recurring goals. “Your garden can be something that transforms you at the end of your day, and gives something back to you—a connection between the human experience and the natural world.” »




| outdoor

“I repeated many of the same plants throughout the garden and gathered together collections of similar plants, such as ferns,” says Hall-Behrens of her design approach. “My eye no longer stops and starts throughout the space; rather, it meanders.” Clockwise from top left:

The Indonesia-inspired bench is surrounded by layers of shrubs and perennials; cast-concrete pavers lead to the home’s back steps; the patio is outlined by a band of turquoise-gray Mexican pebbles. h





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| sourced

wet and wild To heat 100 gallons of water within an hour, attach the metal coil, fueled by firewood or propane, to This collapsible vinyl tub.


The Original Nomad portable hot tub, $1,375 as shown, Portland,

1. Single Pole Tent, $982 at Scout Seattle, Seattle, 2. Yves Delorme Beach Towel, $125 at Yves Delorme, Seattle, 3. Tulip Lantern, $150 at Snow Peak, Portland, 4. Straight as an Arrow Duffel Bag, $280 at Moorea Seal, Seattle, 5. Kehena Deck Chair, $226 at Gallant & Jones, Vancouver, 6. Hayburn Sunglasses in Red Bamboo by Proof, $100, Boise, 7. Grayl Water Filtration Cup, $70 at Grayl, Seattle, 8. Porcelain Ax by Aleksandra Pollner and Emmet Smith, $900 at Frye Art Museum, Seattle, h






8 6

Outside Job

Summer heat calls for tactical evasion. Find a cool spot with accessories that feed your need for nature, without sacrificing your city style. Written by Nicole munson




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| profile



What’s behind globe-trotting photographer Hana Pesut’s visually delightful Switcheroo series. Written by stacy kendall : Photographed by Hana Pesut

Husband and wife Daruma and Toko posed for photographer Hana Pesut in front of Vacant, a coffee shop and bookstore in Tokyo. “Daruma is a pretty well-known DJ and his wife is a stylist,” Pesut says. “It was interesting because they didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak any Japanese—we had to have a translator. Despite that, everyone still thought it was really fun!” » GRAY ISSUE No. SIXTEEN



| profile “I’ve taken lots of couples, siblings, father–daughter… I look for the combination—the location and the whole look together.” —Hana Pesut, photographer

Top: On a family vacation in Santa Maria, California, Pesut’s uncle and aunt Gene and Kathy, “were really good sports about doing it in front of the whole family and everyone at the hotel pool.” center: Pesut met Mariko and Sam in Paris after they replied to a posting on her website. After they swapped clothing, a park guard made them move, and Sam had to walk for 20 minutes wearing Mariko’s outfit. “I think he actually kind of liked the attention,” Pesut says. bottom: Two of the artist’s friends, Eliza and Danny, posed in Joshua Tree National Park in California. “Eliza, as you can tell, is really tiny. We were convinced he wouldn’t fit in her shorts but he actually got them done up—though he may have ripped them a little.”



On a camping trip four years ago, the Vancouver-based photographer Hana Pesut captured an impromptu moment with two girlfriends that launched her career into the spotlight. “They were dressed completely differently—one all colorful and eclectic and the other in head-to-toe black. We thought it would be funny if they traded outfits,” Pesut says. With her encouragement, they stood for a beforeand-after portrait. Thus began Pesut’s rise to widespread recognition, with her Switcheroo blog posts going viral and commissions from the likes of Elle Canada and the Huffington Post. She also crowd-funded a book, Switcheroo, featuring the series. “I’m just happy at how many people I never thought would be open to the idea, or happy to do it, are,” Pesut says. “That was a surprise.” On her personal photography blog,, she posts where she’s traveling next, and couples she’s never met before reach out to be photographed, often suggesting locations in their home cities. Where they choose to strip down depends on the couple—often it’s the car, a public bathroom, or even out in the open, depending on what’s available. Perhaps it is simply the visual jolt from the sartorial reversal that draws us in, or the combination of landscape and personality that Pesut captures, which might easily fall flat with a less-skilled eye behind the lens. Most likely it’s both in perfect harmony. h


Merging Tradition & Modern Design

Introducing the Driscoll Robbins Collection. Customer parking available, visit us online for a map and more details. 997 Western Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104 T 206.292.1115 GRAY ISSUE No. SIXTEEN


compound addition

A family disconnects from the outside world in order to connect with each other within the peaceful symmetry of their secluded island retreat. Written by Rachel Gallaher : Photographed by alex hayden







architecture: Bosworth Hoedemaker contractor: Willkens Construction landscape: Kenneth Philp Landscape Architects interiors: Margaret Mazurkiewicz Design

Before architects Tom Bosworth and Steve Hoedemaker of Bosworth Hoedemaker could build on a scrubby, debris-covered 22-acre lot on Guemes Island, Washington, they had to create the building site. Using the footprint of an old logging road, the architects and construction team created a sunlit meadow as a base for a main house and two cabins. GRAY ISSUE No. SIXTEEN


THIS PAGE: The guest cabin has a small sitting room that opens onto a porch with views of Mount Baker to the east, Bellingham to the north, and Jack Island to the southeast. Two Crate and Barrel loveseats pull out into twin beds to accommodate extra guests; the coffee table was made from fallen trees sourced from the property by John Brown of Dog Star Cabinets in Ellensburg, Washington. Both of the cabins have Morsø Owl woodstoves purchased through Craft Stove in Mount Vernon. The tower to the left of the couch is a model of a structure originally suggested by the homeowners, but never built. Chairs are from De Padova. OPPOSITE: A Kohler shower outside the guesthouse is well used on hot afternoons.

“They had some strong ideas about what it meant to have a weekend or summer house … a place where you were forced to walk outdoors to get from one building to another, so you interacted constantly with the environment around you.” —Steve Hoedemaker, architect




pending childhood summers at a rustic compound on Prince Edward Island made an indelible impression on one client. A generation earlier, his grandfather had converted an old lobster-canning factory into a camplike family retreat. Family gathered around bench-lined communal tables in the open dining area, and slept on bunks in a smattering of tiny white shacks along the shore. Years later, when the client and his wife wanted to build their own getaway, they hoped to give their three boys a similarly laid-back, family-focused experience. According to Steve Hoedemaker, the architect tasked with designing the retreat (along with fellow design principal Tom Bosworth), “they had strong ideas about what it meant to have a weekend or summer house, with some specific imagery that was really about a summer camp— a place where you were forced to walk outdoors to get from one building to another, so you interacted constantly with the environment around you.” The clients owned 22 waterfront acres on the northeast side of Guemes, off the Washington coast. For three and a half years, they had brought tents and sleeping bags on weekend visits and camped out, “to get a feel for the views and how to access different areas of the property, and where we wanted to locate the buildings,” the wife says. They enjoyed the feeling of solitude; being able to stand on the beach and look in either direction without seeing any other houses. »



“Tom [Bosworth] said that the human brain seeks symmetry and you can see it in the little guest cabin,” the homeowner says. “I think that guest cabin is one of the most perfect buildings I’ve ever seen. I kept looking at Tom and saying, ‘Are you sure we need a hallway on each side? That looks like a waste of space for such a small area.’ Tom kept saying that no, you want the balance. When it was built, I totally got it.”



ABOVE and right:

Both the homeowners and architect wanted to create a space where people weren’t afraid to throw their feet up on the sofa. Beams in the main cabin’s great room are solid fir. A custom-mixed paint called Bosworth White, created by Tom Bosworth and the Color Store in Seattle, is used throughout all three structures. The ceiling fixtures are from Rejuvenation Lighting and the dining bench is by Thomas Moser.

When the clients were ready to hand over the project to professionals, the team at Seattle’s Bosworth Hoedemaker realized they first had to create a site. Due to a violent storm at the turn of the century that felled hundreds of trees, there was significant debris everywhere. “The property was essentially impenetrable,” Hoedemaker says. The architects decided to turn an already cleared former logging road into an allée of deciduous trees, establishing an upper and lower meadow, while the rest of the site was replanted to restore the forest. The grassy lower meadow became the base for a main house and two cabins. The 1,550-square-foot main house is a gathering place for meals, reading, and games. The great room opens to a kitchen at one end, and a fireplace at the other. Upstairs are two sleeping lofts. “We really wanted a space where we could get all the kids in one big space and they have no choice but to talk to us,” the mother of three says with laugh. “The boys’ loft is upstairs. They probably go up there and complain about us, but at least they are talking to each other.” Without Internet access, the family spends more time interacting rather than staring at computer screens. But escaping is not just for the kids. The two cabins on either side of the main house are much-sought-after retreats, one of which serves as a master bedroom, the other as a guest cabin. Outwardly identical, the two buildings display architect Tom Bosworth’s noted attention to symmetry, with porches that wrap around the building and internal hallways down each side. The family already has a bevy of memories from their island retreat. “Our boys have spent a lot of time flopped out on the couch or running around out in the meadow flying kites, shooting airsoft guns, and playing capture the flag,” the mother says. “I’m looking forward to seeing my grandchildren playing in that space.” »

“At dusk when we’ve got birds out in one direction, and the deer are peeking out of the woods at us, and We’re getting wood from the woodpile to make a fire... it’s pretty darn special.’’ —The client GRAY ISSUE No. SIXTEEN


THIS PAGE, LEFT: The clients loved the bathroom in this guest cabin so much that they asked for an exact replica in the master cabin. The floor tile is Lagos Azul, a limestone from Portugal, available through Waterworks. BELOW: The sleeping lofts in the main house, with built-ins by Dog Star Cabinets, are a tribute to the former lobster canning factory where the husband spent his childhood summers. OPPOSITE: The bedroom in the master cabin, with a bed by Thomas Moser, has views into the woods. Blinds from Smith+Noble were recommended by Bosworth and Hoedemaker to match the custom Bosworth White paint. h



“The use of symmetry on this project allowed us to play with order and variation. Each building presents one face to the meadow and one to the woods, creating a dialogue between light and dark, in and out.” —Steve Hoedemaker, architect





Now you see it, now you don’t. The Tula House on Quadra Island so closely mimics the surrounding natural features that it morphs, chameleon-like, into the landscape. Written by Lindsey M. Roberts : Photographed by James Dow / Patkau Architects




architect: Patkau Architects contractor: J. Toelle Construction structural engineer: Peterson Galloway (since acquired by WSP Group) mechanical engineer: Hirschfield Williams Timmins (since acquired by WSP Group) green wall installation: Green Over Gray

In this Quadra Island, British Columbia, residence, the living room and its glass curtainwall cantilevers over the beach below. “It’s just a floor and a roof that hang out in space with a glass wall between them,” architect John Patkau says. The ceiling is covered in blackstained oak battens, which warm up the rooms visually; the chairs are from Ital Interiors; the sectional is from Cassini; and the coffee table is from Irwin Solid Surfaces.



“We really wanted a house that fit unobtrusively into the landscape, and that was inspired by the landscape. The triangular motifs—which may seem chaotic but are of course scrupulously thought out—mirror features in the nearby environment: the way the driftwood stacks, the fissures in the dark basalt.” —Eric Peterson, client



Many of Patkau Architects’ projects have complex geometries. The roof angles of this house, in particular, were inspired by the random order of driftwood on the beach. Skilled island workers pulled together to install the angled roof, exposed concrete, and windows. “I suspect that over the course of the project, their skills grew to rival those of any craftsmen anywhere,” homeowner Eric Peterson says. “The purity of their work is almost hypnotic.” On the roof grow the same moss and plants as in the landscape surrounding the house. The pool reflects the sky and helps drain rainwater to the beach.


ric Peterson and Christina Munck commissioned Patkau Architects to design a primary residence for them on Quadra Island, one of the Discovery Islands off the coast of British Columbia. They had something grander in mind than a mere house, though—the founders of the nonprofit Tula Foundation wanted a celebration of the very best “design, engineering, and craftsmanship,” says Peterson, himself the son of an architect. And they were willing to wait for such a masterpiece, as evidenced by their patient, close collaboration with Patkau during the meticulous sevenyear design and construction process. “It felt more to us like we were commissioning a work of art as opposed to a dwelling, per se,” Peterson says. “We felt like patrons rather than clients.” Once the couple felt they’d selected the right team, from the architects to the structural engineer (who was Eric’s brother), they let that talent loose, giving them wide latitude and few strictures. Inspiration for the 4,500-square-foot, concrete-andsteel structure came from various architectural traditions: California’s modern cliffhangers, Japan’s concrete construction, and Richard Neutra’s Modernist legacy. But the strongest influence came from the 25-acre waterfront lot itself. “If you visit the site, and look down on the beach below you, there’s a very crazy pick-up-sticks collection of logs and boulders and things that the ocean has blown in,” says principal John Patkau. “That kind of randomness was the geometric inspiration for the project.” »



CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: One might think the concrete in the hallway would make for a loud, echo-filled space, but Patkau Architects paired it with sound-absorbing wood and acoustic insulation in the ceilings. “Even though visually, the surfaces in the house are sort of cold, the acoustic character of the house is very warm,� Patkau says. The architects also clad the powder room walls and ceiling in black-stained oak battens. The custom pedestal sink was designed by Patkau and built by Quest Metals. The master bedroom overlooks an adjacent rock face. Here, the architects wrapped the oak battens down the wall for a snug feel.



TOP TO BOTTOM: The large dining table—custom made

by Irwin Solid Surfaces—often accommodates visiting members of the Tula Foundation, the clients’ environmental and socially focused nonprofit. Outside, stairs lead up to the kitchen and its breakfast nook. It’s all “very, very minimal,” Patkau says. The living room has large pieces of glass in the floor, so residents and guests can peer down at the beach below.

Piles of driftwood informed the shape of the roof, which resembles a broken-apart star resting on top of rooms arranged around a courtyard. In the living room, panels of glass in the floor allow a birds-eye view down to the beach, with its constantly shifting array of sand, rocks, and wood. In other ways, too, the structure mirrors its setting. A courtyard water feature reflects the sky, while also allowing the site’s surface runoff water to be momentarily collected before overflowing and continuing on its way to the ocean. Floor-to-ceiling windows keep the formidable view intact. Even the moss planted on the roof is the same species as the moss that grows naturally on the rocks surrounding the house. The house is “discreet,” “austere,” and “reticent,” as Patkau describes it—but far from cold. Light bounces off the ocean and into the rooms, creating a sublime luminosity. The wood ceilings add visual warmth, especially in the bedrooms, where they stretch halfway down the walls to envelop the inhabitants; they also quiet the house by absorbing the acoustics. “We were very concerned to make sure the house would be warm and domestic in character even though the spaces are very architectural,” Patkau says. And the residents love that soft, quiet character, which provides a respite from the hubbub at their research facility next door. “The house is very, very warm, quiet, and peaceful inside,” Peterson says. “The concrete is so exquisitely smooth underfoot, particularly with the radiant heat, that it does not feel like concrete. It feels like warm, silky stone. If anything, the house feels like a little temple.” »



See more photos of the Tula House at tula


Resident Christina Munck wanted somewhere to grow plants, so “we came up with this idea of an almost Henri Rousseau–esque bit of foliage,” Patkau says. Green Over Grey in Vancouver installed the vertical garden. Similarly exuberant is the lime-green built-in breakfast nook. “The kitchen is a much more playful space,” he adds. h


“Everything has been edited to the essential characteristics, so that the landscape is predominant, even within the interior of the house.” —John Patkau, architect



natural selection

Wilderness views, al fresco bathing, and other pleasures at a Vancouver Island inn. Written by Erinn Gleeson : Photographed by Janis Nicolay



Inn the Estuary, a retreat on Vancouver Island, has a new, aptly named suite: The View. In the living room, a wood-andleather Toro lounge chair from Blu Dot complements the angular aluminum coffee tables from Mint Interiors. A cowhide from the Cross DĂŠcor & Design adds contemporary edge to a jute rug from West Elm, while a floor lamp from BoConcept and poufs from CB2 pop in the otherwise neutral-hued space. The framed photographs on the floor are by Janis Nicolay.

LOCATION Inn the Estuary 2991 Northwest Bay Road Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island, B.C.


interiors: Angela Robinson Interior Design architecture: Harold Robinson, Straight Street Designs Ltd. contractor: Harold Robinson



THIS PAGE: In the dining area, a woven wooden pendant from 18Karat, designed by Jonathan Igharas, softens a metal table base from West Elm with a custom glass top. The chairs are from Ikea and the built-in bench hides storage—a clever trick for keeping the space uncluttered. OPPOSITE: A slipper tub on the outdoor deck offers an ideal spot to soak up the view.


nn the Estuary in Nanoose Bay, about 20 minutes north of Nanaimo in British Columbia, is literally an inn in an estuary. “Its name is my dad’s play on words,” explains Angela Robinson, daughter of the owners and the designer of the inn’s newest suite, an 800-square-foot getaway fittingly named The View. Robinson, principal of the Vancouverbased firm Angela Robinson Design, was given carte blanche by her parents, Harold and Marianne Robinson, to design the ultimate sanctuary— one that she herself would want to live in. The inn already had two popular suites designed by Marianne in a more traditional style, but the three sought a fresh look for the



new rooftop addition. “My family has a lot of young guests from all over the world, including many honeymooners. We wanted to create a different experience so that guests would have the option,” Robinson says. The design process naturally started with the landscape, richly populated with birds, deer, spawning salmon, and even bears. For color, Robinson and her associate, interior designer Clair Parke, splashed the interior’s neutral palette with turquoise and forest-green accents. For furniture and accessories, Robinson went for a clean, uncluttered Scandinavian look that would honor her mother’s »

“My parents have received a really good response from this suite. It’s the must-have view in the house.” —Angela Robinson, interior designer




Tableware from Homewerx and artwork by Robinson add to the suite’s homey atmosphere. The painted wooden panel opens on a hinge to reveal audio–visual equipment. OPPOSITE: Affordable pieces, such as the Ikea lamps and West Elm bedside dressers, achieve high-end effect paired with wooden wall panels, a sheepskin throw, and a photograph by Vancouver artist and interior designer Todd Mitchell.

Norwegian heritage. She mixed pieces of different textures and materials—a leather-and-wood chair, metal side tables, and a cowhide over a jute rug in the living room, for example. Because it was a hospitality project, the design team had to select materials and textiles that would not only look good, but wear well, too. The living room pullout sofa—a challenging piece to source, but a requirement by Robinson’s parents—was acquired through wholesale and then custom-covered by Robinson in a silvery commercialgrade fabric. In making the interior selections, Robinson remained mindful of creating an approachable and welcoming space. “It’s a retreat for people, so it’s very important they feel at home there and don’t feel like they can’t touch anything,” she says. Living up to the suite’s name, expansive windows in the living room and bedroom and an outdoor freestanding tub on the deck help guests take advantage of the views of flowing streams, colorful nesting birds, and distant kayakers. And of course, every room comes with a pair of binoculars. “When the water comes up during high tide, it actually wraps around the house,” says Harold, a builder who designed the house to “catch all the views.” This suite, located on the rooftop of the main house, is a natural continuation of the couple’s effort to meld architecture and the landscape. Adds Marianne: “We like that the outside and inside are almost seamless.” h



While in Nanoose Bay… Inn owners Harold and Marianne Robinson share their favorite local spots: Parksville Beach MacMillan Park’s Cathedral Grove Old Country Market in Coombs Rocking Horse Pub Dinghy Dock Pub & Restaurant




Curious Beauty Iceland’s stark but stunning landscape is out of this world.

Written by Lindsay J. Westley : Photographed by Amanda Ringstad



OPPOSITE: Jökulsárlón, on Iceland’s southeast coast, is one of the country’s most dramatic lagoons, filled with aqua-colored icebergs that have broken off from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. “When the ice calves off of the glacier it makes a huge crash that sounds like a garbage truck collecting trash,” Amanda Ringstad says. “Since it’s normally so still there, it makes a big sensation when it falls.”

BELOW: The colors of the icebergs in the Jökulsárlón range from white to deep aqua, depending on their age and the refraction of light. “The colors absolutely fascinated me,” Ringstad says. “The time of day would make them more or less vibrant. It’s an amazing place to go if you just want to be visually stimulated.”

There’s nothing saccharine about Seattle photographer Amanda Ringstad’s still-life work. Shot through with oversaturated colors, the vegetables and geometric objects she usually favors as her subjects are carefully composed to transform the banal into something extraordinary—and sometimes unsettling. While the mountains and glaciers of Iceland on view here provided a more spectacular canvas, she exhibits the same starkly arresting style of composition, meticulously arranging her shots to tease out a sculptural element. And then there’s the color. Ringstad describes herself as “very particular” about the color she introduces in her commercial work for companies including Amazon, Refinery 29, and Starbucks, but the brilliant hues of the Nordic island needed no embellishment.

“Iceland was total overstimulation for me—like being on a different planet where everything is just a little bit more vibrant,” Ringstad says. “The volcanic activity and the minerals there create an extremely beautiful environment, but it’s one that makes the colors just a little bit, not off, exactly, but a bit different.” Working as a photographer’s assistant, Ringstad traveled throughout Iceland to shoot this series. Whatever the subject, whether still life or landscape, Ringstad focuses on “composition, form and color,” she says. “You have the freedom to decide what you want to look at and how you want it to look. That applies whether I’m shooting cosmetics in my own house or something as incredibly beautiful as the glaciers.” » GRAY ISSUE No. SIXTEEN





“This shot was taken on the way to Landmannalaugar, a region in the southern interior near Iceland’s most active volcano, Hekla. The Icelandic sheep grazing in the foreground made it look as though someone came in and groomed the scene first—I just kept thinking, ‘How can it be so perfect and beautiful?’ But that’s just the way it really is.”




“The hike up from the Landmannalaugar campground to these painted hills is a bizarre experience—kind of like being in a sci-fi movie. You’re walking through this steaming field of blue-black lava rock, and when you get to the top, you can see down to this beautiful valley with the colorful rhyolite mountains and Mount Hekla in the distance. The spectrum of colors is absolutely stunning.” h

“Everything we saw on this trip to Iceland, I was like ‘that’s so amazing and incredible and beautiful, nothing can be more amazing than that!’ And then we’d go somewhere else that was equally as impressive.” —Amanda Ringstad, photographer

See Amanda Ringstad’s still life photos at ringstad





studio visit

From Studio J, John and Janet Jay act locally and think globally—and vice versa.

creative club Written by Brian Libby : Photographed by Bruce wolf

Studio J’s paneled glass walls give John C Jay (pictured at right) and his wife, Janet, a view of Portland’s Old Town Chinatown, while furnishings such as a B&B Italia sofa, a West Elm desk, and a vintage Scandinavian divider screen add a residential feel to their repository of art and objects.

portrait by Brandon Shigeta

It’s a blue-skied late-Friday afternoon at Studio J in


Portland’s Old Town Chinatown neighborhood, and light is pouring in through two walls of paneled glass. But as usual, John C Jay is too busy to bask in the sunshine, with meetings and events scheduled far into the evening. He’s also barely unpacked. “I was in Japan three times in the last five weeks,” says John, who since 1993 has worked in a variety of leadership roles at Wieden+Kennedy, the acclaimed Portland advertising agency, including opening the Tokyo office and running it between 1997 and 2003. With his current role as the president and executive creative director of GX—an independent creative agency that has W+K as an investor—he now travels to Tokyo almost monthly. (See page 90 for his snapshots.) Named one of the 10 most influential creative directors of the past 50 years by Graphic Design USA, John has always pursued a variety of side projects, from guest-editing magazines to real estate development. Five years ago, he and his wife, Janet, the former head of marketing for Diane Von Furstenberg and international product manager at Estée Lauder, founded Studio J, a creative consultancy run out of a historic commercial building just down the street from the ad agency. Together they undertake a range of creative business projects, from co-founding a former nearby restaurant, Ping, to working with acclaimed architect Brad Cloepfil on a spec house in Portland’s West Hills. They also host author readings and dinner parties at Studio J. Most recently, the space has become a headquarters for Janet’s new line of Pearl+ Luxury Soaps, which began as a personal project but now supplies in-room amenities for the hip Ace Hotel chain. “John and I work differently but great together,” Janet says. “The studio gives us a physical space to be when involved in » GRAY ISSUE No. SIXTEEN


studio visit The Jays’ art collection, displayed humbly along the floor perimeter, includes works by Shepard Fairey (seen at left) as well as a vintage oil painting and a photograph by Daido Moriyama.

“Studio J feels like an inspirational, almost residential, nurturing environment. It’s not a typical work space.” —Janet Jay, co-founder, Studio J

Soaps from Studio J’s Pearl+ Luxury Soaps, created by Janet Jay for the Ace Hotel chain. A vintage Chinese figurine under glass sits atop a former school table with students’ carvings still visible.



diverse projects we feel passionate about. It’s always creative. Studio J feels like an inspirational, almost residential, nurturing environment. It’s not a typical work space.” In this creative clubhouse-cum-gallery, works by famous artists—Tom Sachs, Shepard Fairey, Gus Van Sant—are displayed casually on the floor, leaning against the wall, surrounded by an eclectic yet elegant mix of furniture and objects gathered from a life of travel and treasure hunting. A mannequin outfitted in kendo warrior battle gear sits next to a hobbyist’s model airplane, while stacks of art and design books rest atop former school tables still bearing students’ carved names. The Jays have shaped Studio J as “a combination of our world, our lives, and our travels together,” John says, but it’s also a continually evolving place to be inspired. He recalls a friend accurately telling him, “It’s not your office, not your home. It’s your personal mind space where you can be free of all that stuff and think about things.” The son of Chinese immigrants, John often speaks of Old Town Chinatown’s enormous potential. Establishing Studio J here was a deliberate move. “I wanted to speak from a position saying, ‘Yes, I am contributing, but I am not this outsider,” John says. The Jays have hosted countless out-of-town guests here over the years, from internationally acclaimed artists and restaurateurs to entrepreneurs and investors, and visitors consistently marvel at the neighborhood’s mix of old buildings and youthful energy. “They’re just astounded,” he says. “Outsiders come in and go, ‘Oh my God, what a gold mine this is,’ but locally sometimes, we don’t quite get it, the opportunity that’s sitting right here.” One visit to Studio J, though, provides all the inspiration one needs. »

I NTER I OR DESIG N + STAG I NG SERVI CES f u l l s e r v i c e i n te r i o r d e s i g n / d e s i g n c o a c h i n g / c o n te m p o r a r y s t a g i n g

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w d e sign-stag e.c om GRAY ISSUE No. SIXTEEN


studio visit

1. These food carts were seemingly inspired by Portland (one is covered in twigs)—yet are crafted with an inherently Japanese meticulousness.



tokyo express


John C Jay opens his photo album. Although John C Jay routinely travels between Asia, Europe, and the U.S., his home away from home is Tokyo—not only for its vastness and collective energy, but for the way Japanese culture embraces tradition and futurism at once. “I get inspired every time I go, every time,” he says. “Their desire for the newest is insatiable.” John documents Tokyo continually with his mobile phone; here, he shares his snapshots and observations from recent trips. h



2. John enjoys documenting vending-machine culture. “In Japan, there are now over 5.6 million coin- and card-operated machines, one for every 23 people,” he says. “Fresh eggs are delivered by vending machine without cracking, as well as hot, fried chicken; fishing bait; sushi; second-hand mobile phones; and fresh bananas. Spare change has never been so productive and entertaining.” 3. John also enjoys attending fashion events such as the Tokyo Girls Collection, a showcase of homegrown designers that routinely draws tens of thousands. “Huge stars are made here,” he says. “You can order clothes with a mobile app as they come down the runway: ‘Outfit Number 33, the Indian Pocahontas outfit? Boom, bye.’ It’s a powerful movement from the ground up.”





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Ideal for breaks or breakout sessions, the lounge area at Fine Design Group includes a Dania sectional sofa, an Eames plastic armchair with rocker base, and a swing suspended from the ceiling.

serious play Fine Design Group’s new Portland headquarters, by Boora Architects, melds fun and functionality. Written by BRIAN LIBBY : Photographed by JON JENSEN, Courtesy Fine Design Group




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GRAY ISSUE No. SIXTEEN Feel good about it


When it opened a Portland office

in 2006, branding agency Fine Design Group worked out of an old Craftsman house just off fashionable N.W. 23rd Avenue. Employees enjoyed the casual, funky charm. “It very much felt like a home,” founder Kenn Fine remembers. “People would work on the porch in their shorts, with their bicycles tied up beside them.” But the mishmash of extension cords and warren of small, dim spaces didn’t send the right message to clients or allow enough staff collaboration. And the firm’s rapid growth, after successful campaigns for clients such as Kimpton Hotels, Clarisonic, Ste. Michelle Wine



Estates, and Anchor Brewing made for tight quarters. After purchasing one floor in a small downtown office building, the firm hired Portland’s Boora Architects to create a more professional and contemporary headquarters—a functional yet current space that evoked the previous office’s charm while displaying the firm’s upbeat energy. “They were looking for something that’d be transformative,” explains architect Michael Tingley of Boora. “They didn’t want to lose the sense of being welcoming and having a relaxed place to work, but a new space would »

The open floor plan is complemented by what Fine employees call a “sales barn” for private work and meetings.




“Boora was selected for THEIR personability, refined sensibilities, and noT-huge egos. That’s very impoRtant to me. they’re Also very good at collaboration.” —Kenn Fine, client

reveal to everyone the kind of operation they’d become: not just a fly-by-theseat-of-our-pants situation but a serious firm doing significant work.” But not too serious. To emphasize the agency’s playfulness, Fine gave Boora a remote-controlled inflatable shark to fly around its offices during the design process. Meeting LEED Platinum specifications for sustainability, the design agency’s new space has a crisp, cleanlined style enlivened with color and a sense of whimsy. The 5,475-square-foot headquarters is also open enough for natural light to penetrate its interior, with the help of custom low-rise Antenna workspaces by Knoll. “They wanted to preserve that sense of a big, slightly raw kind of space,” Tingley says. “But they also wanted to have a lot of areas where people could quickly gather to work through ideas.” To that end, the blue-tiled kitchen doubles as an impromptu gathering place, with coffee-mug-clutching employees frequently hanging around its large central butcher-block island. The lounge area is equipped with the expected sectional sofas, but also a plastic rocking chair and a swing



suspended from the ceiling. Meeting rooms floating within the larger space in a pinwheel-shaped cluster—collectively called “the barn”—have silvery wood-grain-patterned walls; like many surfaces in the office, they’re writable. Tucked behind these rooms is a combination ping-pong–pool table. “I don’t care where you are,” Fine says, as he gently sways back and forth in the rocking chair. “You’ve got to play.” »

top and above: A billiard table encourages camaraderie, while the kitchen pairs blue Heath Ceramics tile with a custom butcher block island by Made.




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“If you wander around, you’ll notice that at any point, you’ll see something extremely playful and whimsical. We intentionally plant things.” —Kenn Fine, client

An eye-catching wall of walnut bookshelves expresses the firm’s eclectic DNA and is paired with a George Nelson Extra Large Bell Lamp by Modernica. h




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resources 19. SCENE Boise Art Museum Boise, ID Museum of Contemporary Craft Portland museumofcontemporary Museum of Vancouver Vancouver Portland Alternative Dwellings Portland

The Cross Décor & Design Vancouver

Old Faithful Shop Vancouver

Cupcake Royale Seattle

Olio E. Sasso Portland

The Emerald Supper Club and Lounge Vancouver

Opus Hotel Vancouver

E. Smith Mercantile Seattle Expatriate Portland

Portland Art Museum Portland

Fieldwork Flowers Portland

Room & Board Seattle

Frances May Portland

Seattle Art Museum Seattle

Glasswing Seattle

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Hammer + Awl Seattle

Vancouver Draw Down Vancouver

Homer St. Cafe and Bar Vancouver

23. TRAVEL: HOT SPOTS 33 Acres Brewing Co. Vancouver Ada’s Technical Books and Café Seattle Alice Noon Seattle Angel Face Portland

Hotel Vintage Seattle House of Castellon Portland Imogene & Willie Portland Janessa Leone Litchfield Vancouver

A Peace Treaty

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Ask for Luigi Vancouver

Meadow Gifts and Apparel Vancouver

Bar Cotto Seattle

Miller’s Guild Seattle

Beam & Anchor Portland

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Blacktail Florist Vancouver

Museum of Contemporary Craft Portland museumofcontemporary

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Pepe Le Moko Portland Peter Miller Seattle Prism Seattle Rachel Comey Red Lion Seattle The Regional Assembly of Text Vancouver and Victoria, B.C. River Pig Saloon Portland Sentinel Portland Shourouk Strada Cycles Vancouver Una Portland Union Way Portland 503-922-0056 Violet Boutique Vancouver Vitreluxe Portland Wine World and Spirits Seattle Winn Perry & Co. Portland 35. ESSAY Olson Kundig Architects Seattle

38. SOURCED: STYLE SOUVENIRS Betsy & Iya Portland

52. SOURCED: OUTSIDE JOB Frye Art Museum Store Seattle

Hygge & West

Gallant and Jones Vancouver

Plumed Portland 40. ESSAY James KM Cheng | Architects Inc. Vancouver 604-873-4333 Shangri-La Hotel Toronto, Ontario 42. INTERIORS Peter Wilds Design Vancouver Big Dog Boat Tops Victoria, B.C. The Cross Décor & Design Vancouver Jespersen Boat Builders North Saanich, B.C. Katharine Edwards Soft Furnishings Vancouver McGuire Furniture Co. 46. OUTDOOR Lilyvilla Gardens Portland Benjamin Moore Multiple locations Champa Ceramics Tukwila, WA Circa50 Manchester Center, V.T. Fermob Multiple locations Sunbrella Multiple locations

Grayl Seattle Moorea Seal Seattle Proof Various Locations Scout Seattle Seattle Snow Peak Portland The Original Nomad Portland Yves Delorme Seattle 54. PROFILE Hana Pesut Vancouver 58. FEATURE: GUEMES ISLAND Bosworth Hoedemaker Seattle The Color Store Seattle Craft Stove Mouth Vernon, WA De Padova Dog Star Cabinets Ellensburg, WA 509-925-4333 Kenneth Philp Landscape Architects Seattle Margaret Mazurkiewicz Design Seattle and Port Townsend, WA 206-527-2015, 360-379-0877 Morsø Available through: Craft Stove

workshop The ultimate buyer’s guide. Your resource for everything from design studios and artisans, to trades- and craftspeople. Filling Spaces India meets N.W. style • Quality craftsmanship • Indian artistry Custom textiles and exclusive furniture, lighting, bedding, pillows, and drapery Visit our beautiful showroom, 935 N.W. 19th at Lovejoy, Portland 503.222.2028

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resources Restoration Hardware Multiple locations Smith + Noble Waterworks Available through: Chown Hardware Portland and Bellevue, WA Willkens Construction Bellevue, WA 66. FEATURE: QUADRA ISLAND Patkau Architects Vancouver Avonite Surfaces Corian Dornbracht Green Over Grey Vancouver Hirschfield Williams Timmins, now part of WSP Group Victoria, B.C. Inform Interiors Vancouver Ital Interiors Toronto Irwin Solid Surface Design Services Sooke, B.C. J Toelle Construction Quadra Island, B.C. Kohler

74. NANOOSE Angela Robinson Interior Design Vancouver 18Karat Vancouver

West Elm Multiple locations

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92. ARCHITECTURE Boora Architects Portland

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CB2 Vancouver The Cross DĂŠcor & Design Vancouver Dinghy Dock Pub & Restaurant Nanaimo, B.C. Homewerx Vancouver Ikea Multiple locations



3Form Dania Portland FINE Design Group Portland Heath Ceramics

Inn the Estuary Nanoose Bay, B.C.

MADE, Inc. Portland

Janis Nicolay Photography Vancouver


Jonathan Igharas Brooklyn, NY

106. MY NORTHWEST Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption Seattle

MacMillan Provincial Park Nanaimo, B.C. Mint Interiors Vancouver Parksville Beach Parksville, B.C. visitparksvillequalicum

Straight Street Design Ltd. Nanaimo, B.C.

TULA Foundation

11. Room & Board Seattle

BoConcept Multiple locations


Quest Metal Works Vancouver

7. Hammer & Hand Seattle and Portland

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Rocking Horse Pub Nanaimo, B.C.


Wieden+Kennedy Portland

6. Best Plumbing Seattle

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Peterson Galloway, now part of WSP Group Victoria, B.C.


86. STUDIO VISIT Pearl+ Luxury Soaps Portland

West Elm Multiple locations 80. INSIGHT Amanda Ringstad Seattle

Kate Wallich Seattle Seattle International Dance Festival Seattle Velocity Dance Center Seattle AD INDEX 2. Hive Portland 4. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Portland 5. Tufenkian Portland

12. The Modern Fan Co.

15. Keller Supply Multiple locations 18. Kush Handmade Rugs Portland 21. Dwell on Design Los Angeles 22. Interior Design Show West Vancouver

85. Atelier Lapchi Portland and Los Angeles and available through: Salari Fine Carpets Vancouver 89. Design Stage Seattle 89. EWF Modern Portland 91. Alchemy Collections Seattle 91. Garrison Hullinger Portland 93. Chown Hardware Portland and Bellevue, WA 93. Collins Multiple locations 95. Saniharto Indonesia 95. Wood-Works Cabinetry + Design Seattle

27. The Nines Portland

97. 360° Modern Seattle

33. Maison Inc. Portland

97. Coates Design Architects Bainbridge Island, WA

34. All+Modern,, Dwell Studio 39. OPUS Vancouver Vancouver 49. Gelotte Hommas Bellevue, WA 51. Loewen Available through: Sound Glass Tacoma Windows Doors & More Seattle

97. K & L Interiors Seattle 97. Vanillawood Portland 99. Civilization Seattle 99. Digs Seattle 99. Joshua McCullough Photography

53. Christine Warjone Art

99. Lisa Staton Design Seattle and Bellingham, WA

53. Ragen & Associates Seattle

51. hip Portland

57. Driscoll Robbins Fine Carpets Seattle

Back Cover: The Fixture Gallery Multiple locations

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Indigenous Influences Hand-carved reclaimed cedar and copper art by Geoff Ross of Vancouver. “Inspired by family, early Pacific Northwest Coast art and contemporary design, my goal is to present abstract forms asking the viewer what they symbolize. Hopefully every individual will see something different.” (778) 833-2298

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my northwest Kate Wallich walks past the 1961 Greek

Orthodox Church of the Assumption almost every day, twice, on the walk between her Capitol Hill apartment and Velocity Dance Center, where she teaches contemporary dance. “Every time I see it [the church], I think ‘I love that, I love that, I should do something in front of it,’” she says. “I think a lot about spatial design when I’m making work—how can I use the body as architecture? I see that sense of line here. Plus, the geometric shapes on the façade look like the kind of jewelry that’s really hip right now.” Wallich has plenty of opportunities to appreciate the building these days, as she zips back and forth to the studio while preparing a new solo piece (it will debut at the Seattle International Dance Festival on June 17). She’s busy—and grateful, too. “I feel really supported as an artist in this city, and like what I do is important. Seattle is a city that encourages creative risk.” h


kate wallich Choreographer/dancer

WHERE: Church of the Assumption, Seattle Photographed by zach gross

“I think a lot about spatial design when I’m making work—how can I use the body as architecture?” 106


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