GRAY No. 19

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The Design Magazine for the Pacific Northwest

om! o B t s e w h t r o N eed n u o y s r e n ig The des to know now


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Featuring: DAMON SOFA in billiard-graphite, FELIX SWIVEL CHAIR in bromley-graphite, DEAN II CHAIR in muskogee-slate leather, FRITZ COCKTAIL TABLE, FRITZ ROUND SIDE TABLE, LINCOLN LOG TABLE in onyx, DRY GOODS, SAILING, LAKE SIDE, BARNSTORMERS, COWBOY, PORCH, FERRIS WHEEL, AFTERNOON SWIM encaustic photographic prints, MADISON LAMP in vintage brass, POWERSHAG RUG in natural, LACQUER TRAY in black, GEO SCULPTURES in vintage brass



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W W W. M I N OT T I . C O M




cont 28



december.14 –january.15

14. hello

Reasons to celebrate.


25. news

Tom Ghilarducci is Portland’s metal man, but he’s got a new charge as head of Skylab Architecture’s brand-new construction division.

28. news

Exciting openings and what’s hot on the scene. Plus: Jan Kath, who designs carpets for royals, opens his first Canadian boutique in Vancouver.

43. in season

Erica Knowles fashions a winter floral arrangement for GRAY that whisks away the chill with a hint of the tropics.





45. shopping

73. cabin fever

Style insiders in our three big cities reveal what they’ll be gifting this season.

52. fashion

The beauty of the Pacific Northwest is woven into every fiber of fashion designer Suk Chai’s stunning Spring 2015 collection.

58. interiors

The Cross Décor & Design renovates a condo in Whistler, with style as pure as the driven snow.

66. interiors

A tightly knit design team and their beloved client build a guesthouse and garden that turn a former dumping site into a delight.

The dramatic angles of a Bohlin Cywinski Jackson–designed cabin slice through the snowcovered landscape in Golden, British Columbia.

78. at last, home

Seattle interior designer Lara Taylor layers vintage and new designs to create a seriously sexy home for a jet-setting bachelor.

84. cool and collected

The team at Stuart Silk Architects thoughtfully renovates a blocky 1980s house into a gracious, lightfilled home for a family of foodies.

tents 73


107. hot new next

GRAY shines a light on the Pacific Northwest’s top talent— the people, places, and things that are moving and shaking the design world right now.

148. studio visit

The husband-and-wife team behind Studio Gorm instructs the next generation of product designers and develops pieces that are lessons in artful restraint.

152. architecture

With new high-profile projects, Allied Works Architecture emerges triumphant again in Portland.


158. resources

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

162. my northwest

The multitalented cofounder of Design Week Portland muses on the places and things that bring people together.


On the Cover

Hot New Next! A graphic interpretation of GRAY’s issue theme by Seattle creative firm Civilization, our first-ever guest cover designer. See page








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Brian O’Shea

courtesy vancouver design week



sPeCiAL ANNiVersAry editioN CoVer By CiViLiZAtioN

The Design Magazine for the Pacific Northwest

Behind-the-Scenes: Of his design for GRAY’s December/January cover (left), Civilization’s Gabriel Stromberg (above), says: “I was trying to capture the energy of being in the midst of the creative process.” For more on Civilization, turn to page 132.

Boom! Northwest you Need the desigNers to kNow Now

ISSUE No. NINETEEN : $7 US; $9 cdN

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During Vancouver Design Week’s press preview, back in September, attendees were asked to complete this sentence: “Design is/can ____”. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson (pictured left) proclaimed “Design can—and should— make the world a better place.” Amen. At GRAY, we believe in the power of design—not only to beautify and elevate our surroundings, but to transform the world for the better. It’s a value many in the Pacific Northwest share. This issue, in celebration of our third anniversary, pays special tribute to a handful of the many creative and innovative thinkers we’ve come across this year who we believe are changing the landscape of design—both here and on a global scale. That includes the talented founders of Civilization, a Seattlebased creative agency, who we brought on board as our special guest cover designers. The firm’s cover design, inspired in part by the Memphis Group, an ’80s movement known for its use of bright colors and asymmetrical shapes, expresses the vibrant and bold design community in the Northwest. “The pillars and vessel are meant to represent classical and more traditional influences,”says Gabriel Stromberg, Civilization’s creative director. “There comes a moment in most designers’ development when, to move forward and find their voice, they must break from tradition. They must break from the past to create something that is contemporary.” What’s contemporary now? Luxurious 180-square-foot homes that redefine downsizing (page 138). Digital lockets that shine new light on the potential of wearable technology (page 146). Young designers who fund their fantasy projects via crowdsourcing (pages 130 and 142). By creating fresh concepts, objects, and spaces, Pacific Northwest architects, designers, and artists are catapulting their prospective fields forward. We’re thrilled to come along for the ride. Cheers,


11/18/14 4:30 PM

Shawn Williams

Founder + Publisher

Overheard on social media “because here at gray we always make sure to match our interviewees.” @rachelcgallaher with @builtbycivilization’s @michaelellsworth And @g_stromberg




facebook /graymag instagram @gray_magazine pinterest /gray_magazine twitter @gray_magazine

we believe in

american-made quality | natural materials | exceptional service | comfort

personalization | warmth | beauty and function | modern living | breaking the rules | mixing and matching | following your heart | timeless style | collaboration | trusting your instincts creating your ideal home

Callan chair $1899 GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN


Torsion >> Bright Nickel with Maple Blades


Founder + Publisher

Shawn Williams editorial director

Jaime Gillin editor

Rachel Gallaher Style Director

Stacy Kendall Managing editor

Lindsey M. Roberts Landscape and Culture editor

Debra Prinzing Associate Style Editor

Nicole Munson Photo Editor

Alexa McIntyre Assistant Editor

Courtney Ferris Contributing Style Editor

Jasmine Vaughan Portland contributing editor

Brian Libby Assistant to the Publisher

Tally Williams Intern

Nessa Pullman Contributors

Dina Avila, Tim Bies, Erik Bishoff, Phil Chester, Deanna Duff, Rachel Eggers, Laura Goldstein, Zach Gross, Laura Harger, Alex Hayden, Nic Lehoux, Matthew Millman, Janis Nicolay, Fiona Pepe, Suzi Pratt, Redstone Pictures, David Strongman ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

Craig Allard Miller Jennifer T. Reyes Kim Schmidt Erica Clemeson ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Editorial inquiries Subscription inquiries No. 19. 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

Celebrating the modern idiom



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515 NW 10th (at Glisan), Portland, 97209 Monday - Friday 8:30am to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm T U F E N K I A N P O R T L A N D . C O M


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A R T.


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BRIAN LIBBY pg 140, 152

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Fiona Pepe pg 52

Suzi Pratt pg 124

Redstone Pictures pg 50

David Strongman pg 46

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Skylab Architecture






news “Tom and Skylab have collaborated during our whole history, and we’ve built up a great relationship. He’s not just a fabrication partner, but also a design partner, which is one of the main things that makes him stand out—he’s an excellent designer.” —Jeff Kovel, Skylab Architecture

Pedal to the Metal

Architects and designers seek out Tom Ghilarducci for their fabrication projects because he’s the best, but that’s been an industry secret. Now an exciting announcement from Skylab Architecture will thrust him into a deserved spotlight. Written by stacy kendall : Photographed by ZACH GROSS




| news


sk about the best source for metalwork in Portland and designers exclaim: Tom Ghilarducci. You’ve most likely seen his work, even if you’ve never heard his name. You might have spied his handiwork over the bar at Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge—an imposing sculpture made from salvaged two-by-fours encased in a half-cylindrical metal frame. And there’s the Multnomah Whiskey Library on Alder Street, with its high-drama brass bookshelf ladders and full-wall bottle displays. Kelly Ogden of Elk Collective, the firm charged with the bar’s transformation from auto-body shop to tony watering hole, says: “When we have a custom project that demands a high level of detail and a specialized aesthetic eye, we turn to Tom.” The architectural-drafter-turnedmetalworker is a triple threat. “I do the structural, mechanical, and aesthetic,” says Ghilarducci, who cut his teeth in the business with Potestio Studio and Trovo Design Works in Portland before starting out on his own. Thanks to his deep background knowledge, “people generally don’t come to me with fully realized plans,” he says. “They come with concepts that still need to be developed, and that’s the most fun part.” With a crop of recent high-profile projects under his belt, including intricate wallpaper racks for Flavor Paper’s Brooklyn headquarters and museum displays for the Denver Botanic Gardens, Ghilarducci is ready for his next evolution. He was handpicked by Jeff Kovel, founder and principal of Skylab Architecture, with whom he’d frequently collaborated, to direct Skylab Construction—a brand-new in-house company that will carry out the architecture firm’s most innovative residential and commercial projects. “Construction is something we’ve been experimenting with for 15 years,” Kovel says. “We were just waiting for the right time and the right project.”



boone speed

That project, the brainchild of a prominent businessman and philanthropist in Portland, is going to be an arts foundation focused on urban culture. Mum’s the word on further details for now, but Kovel says the building will highlight Skylab’s cross-discipline talents in both design and construction. Skylab Construction is so new that Ghilarducci doesn’t yet have a formal title, but Kovel says he will serve as superintendent while also handling installation work and special construction details that reflect his technical know-how. Apart from timing and a sweet project, Kovel cites a more philosophical reason for his firm’s expansion. “Over the years we’ve found building contractors to be risk averse. The more innovative the idea, the higher the costs,” he says. “Sometimes—correctly or incorrectly—good ideas have been killed in the pipeline because of that fear factor. The projects we will take on will need to be innovative enough to merit an alternative.” While taking charge of Skylab Construction, Ghilarducci will focus on developing the sales and marketing arm of his metal shop. He even hints at some furniture designs he’s created that are just waiting for the right time to emerge. One thing that won’t emerge, however, is any hint of bravado in the slightly enigmatic Ghilarducci. “I’m just super patient and have the stick-to-itiveness, I guess,” he says when asked what makes his work stand out. “I would rather demonstrate my work than project about it.” No doubt his multitude of fans will help with that. h

above: Ghilarducci works out of a studio in northeast Portland, and collaborates frequently with other designers. Top: In 2009, he created, in collaboration with Jeff Kovel of Skylab Architecture, a dramatic wallpaper display system for the Flavor Paper headquarters in Brooklyn. A series of 14-foot-wide steel frames on turntable bearings fan out from a central post like a deck of cards.


SieMatic Seattle 2030 1st Avenue Tel: 206.443.8620




| news

“Screening Richard Mosse’s impactful piece The Enclave supports our goal of bringing the world to Oregon. The often unseen issues facing the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, many of which can be traced to larger global forces, are made visible by this powerful work.” —Brian Ferriso, Director, Portland ART museum >>

Through Jan. 11


Courtesy Lui Bolin and Klein Sun Gallery, New york

must see Written by COURTNEY FERRIS

EXHIBIT Through Jan. 4

Avant-garde Portland gallery Disjecta’s latest exhibition, “Sightings,” will have you sprawled out on the floor, taking a virtual drive from downtown L.A. to the Pacific Ocean without ever leaving the room. Using video as their medium and walls and ceilings as their screens, artists Kevin Cooley and Jessica Mallios dive into everyday experiences and challenge our perceptions. ��

Through Jan. 4

In his debut exhibition at Tacoma’s Museum of Glass, internationally lauded Rhode Island–based artist (and Portland State University alumnus) Howard Ben Tré will present a forest of abstract vertical sculptures, some up to 8 feet tall. Ben Tré creates the bronze-accented cast-glass sculptures, which explore architectural abstraction and the human form, by pouring molten glass into sand molds and cooling them for months at a time. ��



(3) Pop art fans rejoice! From Warhol to Lichtenstein, the best of the best in American pop art— bright, bold, flashy, provocative, and surprisingly current—has made its way to the Seattle Art Museum for “Pop Departures”. The exhibition’s scope is wide, ranging from the original visions of American pop artists in the ’60s to the subsequent generations of artists for whom the movement has been an inspiration and a point of departure. ��

Through Feb. 15

(2) The Enclave, a powerful video work by Irish artist Richard Mosse, is now on view at the Portland Art Museum. It’s the first U.S. museum to exhibit the piece, which documents the ongoing conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and premiered at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Using a discontinued military film technology that registers a spectrum of infrared light, rendering the landscape in shades of hot pink, Mosse’s immersing installation brings international focus and visibility to a humanitarian disaster often overlooked by the mass media. ��

Jan. 31–May 24

(1) Coming soon to the Boise Art Museum, Chinese artist Liu Bolin’s “Hiding in the City” series dramatizes anonymity. Combining performance art, photography, and peaceful protest, Bolin uses paint to conceal himself, camouflaged within the backdrops of various cityscapes. A silent struggle, his work draws attention to issues of identity in the face of rapid urban growth and development. ��


Portland’s The Makery is back for its annual holiday market and will once again have you crossing names off your gift list in a flash. With in-vogue goods from such

2 makers as Vitreluxe, Grey Goods Portland, Studio ERG, and Nell & Mary on the roster, you might end up buying a few presents for yourself as well. ��

Courtesy Richard Mosse and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York


Through Dec. 22

Good news. Hey Jude, one of Vancouver’s coolest pop-up shops, is settling in for an extended stay this holiday season. Expect a carefully curated selection of on-trend vintage pieces, accented by chic, minimalist jewelry by the likes of local designers Broken Promises. �� »

Courtesy Collection Simonyi GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN



| news

4 EXHIBIT Through Jan. 11

(6) The façades of Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery and the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station now host Brand New View, two new commissions by Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg. From a distance, these evocative murals, shifting and transforming in the light, resemble cosmic mandalas, but a closer inspection reveals that they are made up of corporate logos from Canadian low-cost and high-street stores. ��

Through April 6

(4) Some things change, some stay the same. This winter, the Vancouver Art Gallery is examining modern twists on tradition in Chinese contemporary art. “Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art” features three generations of artists, including Ai Weiwei, Sun Xun, and Xu Bing, who subvert the conventions of traditional Chinese art, utilizing new, progressive mediums and challenging longestablished aesthetics. ��



Courtesy of Sun Xun and ShanghART Gallery

LECTURE Jan. 5-7; Jan. 26-28


In 2015, the Alaska Design Forum’s annual lecture series, “Signal/Noise,” will focus on how design confronts and responds to the hyperabundance of information in the world. The series runs through April, but January’s speakers— Helsinki-based industrial designer Harri Koskinen (5) (January 5–7) and Seattle-based firm Lead Pencil Studio (January 26–28)—will surely be highlights. ��

Jan. 22; Feb. 5

From professional rivalries to formal juried contests, competition has played a central role in shaping the discipline of design. Portland State University’s School of Architecture will bring this topic center stage for its lecture series “Vs.” Up next: London and Zurich– based architect Adam Caruso (January 22) and Los Angeles–based landscape architect and urban historian Alison B. Hirsch (February 5) will discuss how competition has shaped their work. �� »


Courtesy Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin and Stockholm








| news

AWARDS GRAY congratulates the myriad designers honored this season in a flurry of events that shone a bright spotlight on the talents of the Pacific Northwest. Highlights included the IDIBC Shine Awards and inaugural Urban Design Awards in Vancouver, which recognized, among others, Gair Williamson Architects with Ankenman Marchand Architects’ Paris Block Project, and the AIA Seattle Honor Awards for Washington Architecture, which went to Lead Pencil Studio’s stunning Oregon State Hospital Memorial Columbarium and a residential addition for a client with Alzheimer’s disease by Architecture for Everyone. GRAY sponsored both the IIDA Oregon chapter’s Design Excellence Awards and the IIDA Northern Pacific chapter’s INawards; for more on the winner of the inaugural IIDA GRAY Award, turn the page. »

B+H CHIL Design took home an Award of Excellence at the IDIBC Shine Awards for the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Conference Centre in Regina, British Columbia. The designers derived the blue-and-ochre palette, used throughout the hotel’s public spaces, from the region’s wheat fields and open sky.



Courtesy B+H CHIL design




2 0 2 9 2 N D AV E . SEAT T L E , WA 9 8 1 2 1 T. 2 0 6 . 4 4 8 .3 3 0 9 WWW. AL C H EM Y C O L L EC T I O N S .C OM 9 0 9 WE ST E R N AV E . SEAT T L E , WA 9 8 1 0 4 T. 2 0 6 . 6 8 2 .7 5 7 5 WWW. C AM E R I C H SE AT T L E.C OM





architecture: Fieldwork Design & Architecture construction: Modern Organic Construction structural engineer: Munzing Structural Engineering

The 2014 GR AY Award goes to ... The 2014 GRAY Award, announced during the IIDA Oregon Design Excellence Awards on October 23, went to more than just a pool with a view. Stepped back within the dense evergreens of Portland’s West Hills, this remodel by Fieldwork Design & Architecture transformed an unfinished basement into a wine cellar and changing room and updated an existing indoor swimming pool to better connect with both the outdoors and the home’s original midcentury modern character. The clients were looking for a tranquil spalike space that could be enjoyed by their family for years to come. With this in mind, the Fieldwork team opted for timeless and durable materials. Locally sourced western red cedar lines the ceilings, walls, and columns. Slate tile and a four-panel sliding door system from Fleetwood further diminish the barrier between indoors and out. In the wine cellar, powdercoated steel rods accommodate around 900 bottles. GRAY editors appreciated the level of craft apparent throughout the project, the result of close collaboration and full-scale prototyping by Fieldwork, a truly multidisciplinary design studio with its own fabrication shop. GRAY congratulates the firm on a successful project, a quality space from the largest to the smallest of details. »

above: A renovation of an existing pool room in a Portland home creates an easy transition from indoors to outdoors. Below: A wine cellar outfitted with customdesigned wine racks makes the most out of the previously unfinished basement.

Brian Walker Lee, courtesy Fieldwork Design & Architecture







Photo/room design: Chris Jovanelly Interior Design Interlam wall panel: ART DIFFUSION | SOU-014

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| news

Arthur Hitchcock


... And the L A M P winner is ... The evocatively named Droop light, the winner of the international, Vancouver—based Lighting Architecture Movement Project (L A M P) competition, sponsored by GRAY, is a dramatic unification of form and function. In a nod to the competition’s “fiber” theme, Portland designer Spencer Staley hung 130 unique lengths of rope from a waterjet-cut aluminum plate. Attached to the plate is an integrated thermoformed acrylic shape that houses four dimmable LED lights, helping to wash and subdue the light. The design was selected by a jury from over 50 submissions from 13 different countries. In explaining Staley’s success, L A M P cofounder Annika Hagen explains, “We think it is a universally appreciated aesthetic; it is conceptually unique; and it speaks very clearly about fiber with his use of rope as the foremost material.” Staley, owner of Portland furniture and design house the Good Mod, has been exploring organic swept shapes for a few years, drawing inspiration from the ethereal aesthetic of flying machines, spacecraft, and even the curves of a human body. Yet Staley arrives at these geometries through mathematical algorithms that he writes as part of his development process. “I have been fascinated with writing algorithms that can help make these sorts of geometries possible and streamlined for production,” he says. “I guess you could say I get as much of a kick out of designing a process as I do out of designing an object.” What’s next for the freshly lauded lighting designer? He’d like to do an entire series based on this model and process, emphasizing the scalable nature of the design. h



Designer Spencer Staley was selected from among 50-plus submissions as the winner of L A M P, an annual lighting design competition held in Vancouver. His Droop light is made from 130 strands of rope looped around a curving acrylic shade. Founded in 2013 by Annika Hagen and Nicole Fox, L A M P aims to showcase light and form through the lens of architectural design.

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BLANCO SILGRANIT速 Kitchen Sinks Made in Canada and engineered in Germany, BLANCO SILGRANIT速 kitchen sinks offer exceptional quality, durability and design. CANADA: USA: Made in Canada Engineered in Germany GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN



| news

Carpet-design virtuoso Jan Kath talks to GRAY about running away, designing for royalty, expanding to Canada, and revolutionizing the industry. Written by Laura Goldstein

established hand-knotting techniques to design rugs with a modern aesthetic. Yet his rugs, with their skewed rules of composition and color, are so striking you might prefer to hang them on your wall. At his newest showroom, Finlay and Kath, which opened this October in Vancouver’s Railtown district, you can see his full repertoire: rugs recalling the worn patina of an 18th-century Italian wallpaper, a spectacular distant galaxy, a dilapidated Oriental rug, and a neon Tokyo streetscape. All are vibrant works of decorative art that embellish some of the world’s most prestigious floors, from Louis Vuitton and Salvatore Ferragamo boutiques across the globe to the homes of European royalty and American celebrities. Raised in the industrial Ruhr area of North Germany as the third generation in a family of antique carpet dealers, the young Kath often traveled with his father to visit manufacturers in Iran and Nepal. “I never knew who I would be sitting down to breakfast with, as my father would invite the most exotic people back to our home,” he reminisces. Kath, now 42, never intended to follow in his parents’ footsteps. “I ran away at 20 to India to live the life of a hippy, organizing raves in Goa,” he laughs. “I ended up in Kathmandu, out of money. By sheer coincidence, I met one of my father’s suppliers, who needed someone to run quality control at his factory, and I jumped at the opportunity. Three years later, he retired and I bought the factory.” Now, with six showrooms in Germany, plus others in London, Moscow, Zurich, Vienna, New York, and Miami, Kath is on a mission to further globalize his brand. We sat down to chat with him in Vancouver as he put the finishing touches on his showroom and premiered his new Angles collection, a line of carpets inspired by 20th-century Cubist art, at Interior Design Show West. »

dream weaver 38



German carpet designer Jan Kath uses long-

Stefan Emmelmann

“Perfection and smoothness are boring for me. I’m really inspired by the look of derelict walls of abandoned buildings, like those where I grew up in Germany.”—Jan Kath

OPPOSITE: Earlier this fall, Jan Kath and partner Jenni Finlay unveiled a new 6,500-square-foot Vancouver showroom, which Kath calls “a cathedral of rugs.” THIS PAGE: The Japanese streetscape-inspired patterns in Kath’s Tokio collection are based on photographs by the artist Stefan Emmelmann; millions of pixels from the digital images were translated, knot by knot, into the silk-and-wool carpets.




| news

Preserving tradition is clearly important to you. How have you honored this in your recent rug collections? Our Erased Heritage collection is an homage to traditional carpet patterns from hundreds of small villages in the east. We’ve created a special antique finishing technique that makes it look like the rugs have been lying in a palatial estate for years. Parts of the carpets are deliberately designed to appear obliterated, soaked with acid, and corroded. These errors are actually computer programmed by our senior designer, Dimo Feldmann, and his team. Pixel printouts showing colors and stitch counts are sent electronically to our workshops. In our weavers’ homes in Agra, the directions are traditionally sung aloud, and the weavers, two or three sitting side by side, repeat the instructions in a chant to keep the pace. Hand-weaving is an extremely labor-intensive process; our rugs have 100 to 300 knots per square inch and take up to five months to complete. Why did you choose Vancouver to open your first Canadian showroom? Vancouver is attuned to ecological and social standards, such as an awareness of fair trade, and we share those commitments. Secondly, my good friend Jenni Finlay is my partner in the Vancouver showroom, and having worked in the industry there for 20 years, she really knows our customer base. In 2014, you won the International Domotex Award [the highest award in the industry] for your flat-weave Haik Collection. You’ve also created new rug-making techniques. Tell me more about your weaving innovations. In our Thailand workshop, instead of hand-knotting, threads are hand-shot from a tufting gun onto a prepared canvas. This method is so much faster without sacrificing quality, and results in a quicker delivery to clients. Almost any of my designs can be created this way. These carpets have incredible depth, especially when made with the highest quality velour textures, silk, wool, stinging nettle—even hemp. To give you an example, when Prince Albert II of Monaco and his bride, Charlene, were married in 2011, they walked down the aisle on a 103-meter-long red carpet that I designed, weighing 1.3 tons, with a fine white silk border. It was produced in just two months. If it had been hand-woven, it would have taken three years! We set new standards that affected the whole tufting industry. h



Kath’s rug design inspirations are far reaching. Left: For the Erased Classic rug, a traditional pattern is rendered to look partially obliterated. ABOVE: The new Angles collection, influenced by 20th-century Cubist art, made its debut at IDSwest this past September. BELOW: Recalling photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spacecrafted collection has a photorealistic quality that only a select group of weavers in Kath’s Kathmandu workshops have the skills to create.






in season To defrost the wintry air, Erica Knowles of Botany 101 gathers bunches of local verdure for an arrangement inspired by distant tropical lands.

bundle up Written by DEBRA PRINZING : Photographed by alex hayden

Here at GRAY, we embrace the arrival of winter’s moody, moist weather. But that doesn’t mean we have to be similarly subdued in our décor. We asked designer Erica Knowles of Botany 101 to reinterpret the Northwest’s lush forests for our wintertime delight. “I was dreaming of someplace warm,” she says. “Even though this arrangement has locally foraged woodland greens, it also has the tropical feel of a rainforest.” Rooted in a dark clay vessel, the assemblage contains sprays of native Western red cedar and sword fern,

evergreen Southern magnolia leaves, juniper boughs, bamboolike Nandina domestica, and viburnum buds, most gathered from Knowles’s own backyard in Lake Forest Park, Washington. Crimson-throated yellow lilies, greenhouse-grown by Norman Peterkort of Peterkort Roses in Hillsboro, Oregon, provide some yearned-for warmth. Those vivid golden spikes? They’re fragrant winter blooms of Charity mahonia, a cultivar of native Oregon grape, illicitly clipped from a shrub in a parking lot. Knowles found their midwinter brilliance irresistible. h GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN


There is always more at Moe’s. Find these beautiful pieces and so much more at our newly renovated and expanded Flagship Vancouver location.



North Vancouver





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design register Take it from these devastatingly chic shoppers: What they want to get, and give, this season are sure things if you’re stumped for gift ideas. But go ahead and take the credit. Written by stacy kendall

Brass Candleblocks by Apparatus Studio. See page 48 for details. GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN



| shopping

No. 1


“The new One Under Urban Golf club in downtown Vancouver is now officially open to the public. With Six state-of-the-art golf simulators at hand, you can play some of the most famous courses in the world in the comfort of an impeccably designed space.”

Two-hour golf session, $88 at One Under Urban Golf Club, Vancouver,

Joann Pai



Tanner Wilson Art director and graphic designer, Vancouver,

Having developed branding and communication materials for many of Vancouver’s high-end development projects and restaurants, graphic designer and mondain Tanner Wilson knows what’s up in the City of Glass. Portrait by DAVID STRONGMAN 4

1. “The Found and the Freed have sourced original bus scrolls from old, decommissioned Vancouver city buses. My wife and I have one of these in our house, and we love it. It’s a nice bit of local history to put up on the wall.” Vancouver Bus Roll, from $219 at the Found and the Freed, Vancouver, 2. “This is a great gift for the scent fiend. Each of these

locally made soy wax candles is named after a notable Vancouver neighborhood like Strathcona or Kitsilano.” Candle, $28 at Vancouver Candle Company,

3. “If you have to shave, shave well. Made of boar hair bristles with a handle and bowl turned from locally harvested walnut, this little combo makes a real ritual out of your daily routine.” Walnut Shaving Brush and Bowl by Landon Dix, $114 at Litchfield, Vancouver,


4. “This blanket is very similar to one that was produced by Hudson’s Bay under contract for the Canadian Army during World War I. I think this is about as manly a blanket as one could ask for.” Grey Point Blanket, from $258 at Hudson’s Bay, Vancouver,



5. “I’ve been eyeing this jacket from local designer Wings + Horns. It’s a modern interpretation of the classic Mac coat. I’d throw this on with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and call it a day.” Shrunken Twill Mac Coat, $433 at Wings + Horns, Vancouver,


6. “I’m partial to locally made goods, but this ceramic flask

by Misc. Goods Co., made in Oregon and Kentucky, is way too awesome to leave out. Fill it up with your best scotch (or gin—see below) and pass it around with confidence.” Ceramic Flask, $81 at Misc. Goods Co., 7. “This gin is handmade in small batches on Vancouver Island using wild-gathered and organic botanicals. Enough said.”


Gin by Victoria Sprits, $44,










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“My mom gives me a design-related coffee table book every Christmas.

I love the tradition, and it keeps me fresh and inspired for the new year. Commune just released a book, and I love their take on Southern California style.”

Commune: Designed in California, $60 at Abrams Books,



Jasmine Vaughan Interior designer and founder of Made & State, Portland

1. “I am dying for a membership to this local wholebody spin cycle studio. The classes are lit by candles and feature motivating music—all in a beautifully designed studio. It sounds lovely after a season of decadence.”

Jasmine Vaughan brings flair and glamour to the city of Portland through Made & State, her interior design firm and online blog featuring ultra-cool American-designed and -made goods.

First month of unlimited classes, $120 at Burn Cycle Whole Body Cycling, Portland, 2. “I have been a longtime fan of this lighting studio based in New York City. I am beside myself with excitement that their accessory line has finally arrived, and it does not disappoint. Everyday objects are elevated as art.”

Portrait by PHIL CHESTER


Brass Candleblocks by Apparatus Studio, $760 at Apparatus Studio, 3. “I’m borrowing from the boys on this one. I love the unexpected camo print and wooden handle on this umbrella—a necessary evil in the Pacific Northwest. Looking good assuages the pain of the long, gray, rainy winters.” London Undercover Camo Umbrella, $183 at J.Crew, 4. “Everyone should be able to enjoy an espresso like an Italian. The Bialetti Moka Express is a design icon, considered to be the first stovetop coffee maker. It’s like having a mini Italian vacation in the morning. I pair it with espresso from my favorite local coffee company, Ristretto Roasters.”


3 5


1-cup Moka Express, $21 at Kitchen Kaboodle, Portland, 12-oz. bag of coffee beans, $14 at Ristretto Roasters, Portland, 5. “I’m perpetually on the hunt for cute yet comfy boots. I have finally found the boot that is gorgeous enough to squelch my high-heel tendencies. They’re made by Anine Bing in L.A.—where boho meets bling in the most beautiful way.” Boots with Gold Studs, $699 at Anine Bing,



Custom solutions with detailed design and meticulous implementation

401 S. Brandon St., Seattle, WA 98108

206.257.3335 GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN



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“Inspired by traditional Native American tapestries depicting mountains and timelines, these one-of-a-kind masterpieces suggest impeccable style and grace. They’re made 1in the U.S., and each one is as unique as its predecessors.”



Multi Lightning Strikes by Native Line, $595 at Totokaelo Art Object, Seattle,

Brandy Brown Creative director and founder of Marabou Design, Seattle,

As an artist and event stylist, Brown lends a fun yet sophisticated style to everything she touches. Her handcrafted prints and party décor, as well as new giftwrap, tags, and notepads, are designed, she says, for the “modern family and their extraordinary friends.”

2 3

2. “Wash your fruit and have a gorgeous display all in one piece! This colander–bowl combo is an ideal gift for anyone on your list.” Fruit Bowl and Colander by Alessi, $255 at Chartreuse Modern, Seattle,

Portrait by Redstone Pictures

3. “Mac of the Month Club members receive a pack of 25 different flavors of Lady Yum’s macarons. That’s plenty of goodness to share with family, coworkers, or friends.”


Macaron of the Month Club, $130 for three months at Lady Yum, Kirkland,



4. “E. Smith Mercantile is a must-see, -taste, and -shop destination nestled in the heart of Pioneer Square. They use only use the highest quality-ingredients for their handmade line of vegan body care and fragrances. It smells as good as it is for you! “ Essentials Package, $48 at E. Smith Mercantile, Seattle, 5. “I love the clean lines and luxurious fabric of this velvet sofa. I have my heart set on the Vance Emerald fabric!” Murphy Sofa in Vance Emerald, $1,399 at Room and Board, Seattle, 6. “I designed this updated version of the Periodic Table


of Elements to inspire viewers to see the beauty in nature and science. It makes a perfect gift for kids, teens, and adults alike.”

Elemental art print by Brandy Brown for Marabou Design, from $28 at Minted,


7. “Wade was established in 1810, and its mortar and



“I want this clutch in every color! The design, quality, and versatility are simply brilliant, and the matching accessories are an added bonus.”

Prima Clutch by Matine, $104 at Moorea Seal, Seattle,

pestle proves that good design and quality materials never go out of style.” Milton Brook Mortar and Pestle by Wade Ceramics, $220 for the set at Butter Home, Seattle, 8. “This classic mason canvas bag was made in the U.S.

and crafted using heritage leather and Army duck fabric. My husband would love this gift just as much as I would.”

Leather Mason Courier Bag by Apolis and Heritage Leather, $228 at Glasswing, Seattle, h

1611 nw northrup

maison inc


503 295 0151

interior design




| fashion

sea change

Rising fashion star Suk Chai gives GRAY an exclusive sneak peek at her new, aquatic-inspired spring line. Written by RACHEL GALLAHER : Photographed by Fiona Pepe

Bellevue, Washington–based fashion designer Suk Chai took inspiration from the sea for her aptly named Water collection. A background in corporate fashion—including stints at Tracy Reese, Adrienne Vittadini, and 14 years at Nordstrom—gave Chai a meticulous eye for garment construction and a heightened appreciation for textiles. (It helped that her first job in high school was at a fabric store.) opposite: Dreamy digitally printed modal-cashmere scarves are hand-frayed and feather light, the perfect spring accessory for layering.




fter a grueling 16-year career in the corporate fashion world in both New York and Seattle, Suk Chai was completely burned out. In 2011, the Korea-born, Bellevue, Washington– based designer was on a self-imposed fashion sabbatical, having left her job as a senior design director at Nordstrom, when she wandered into Barneys New York. A cashmere Lanvin coat caught her eye. She reached out to feel the luxurious, high-quality fabric and was overcome with emotion. “My heart was beating out of my chest and I had goose bumps,” remembers Chai, who admits to having a textile obsession. “The texture is what made my heart jump so hard.” With this fresh inspiration, Chai dove back into fashion, launching her own line, Schai, in early 2014. Her spring–summer 2015 collection, Water, is an homage to her father, who worked as a fisherman in Alaska when she was a child. She uses Chinese silks and Italian textiles and leathers, all in weathered grays and watery blues, to capture the ephemeral textures and shades of water, sand, and light found in the Pacific Northwest. »



The Polygo Leather Tunic is made of lambskin tanned in Turkey. Chai wanted her spring collection to contrast with the harder, more structured look of her fall–winter 2014 line. OPPOSITE: The silky, versatile Utime Shirt Dress, constructed with delicate French seams, can be worn as a dress, shirt, or woven cardigan. “The fabric is sheer, with a tonal stripe,” Chai says. “It represents the wispiness of the summer breeze by the water.” »




| fashion




| fashion See more of schai’s spring line at schai

The metallic Jo’gori Polygon Jacket is an easy, versatile piece that works just as well with a little black dress as it does with a pair of dark denim jeans. The shape of the jacket recalls Korean farmers’ traditional work shirts, and the multi-dimensional tones are meant to reference the shimmer of a sunset when it hits the surface of the water at the end of the day. h





The Cross Décor & Design transformed a Whistler townhome from dull to dashing with a gray-and-white palette, rich textures, and many personal touches. OPPOSITE: Designer Joanna Vagelatos painted the onetime moss-green walls white to contrast with the original walnut floors and complement the client’s sideboard from Spencer Interiors. The dining table, bench, and chairs are from Inform Interiors. “This room is the main pathway through Phuong’s house, so we didn’t want to have bulky chairs around the table,” Vagelatos explains. “She tucks the bench under the table when it’s not in use.” Five chairs upholstered in pale wool felting add sensuous forms to the otherwise geometric scheme, while a LightForm chandelier adds contemporary edge. »

WINTER whiTES In a contemporary chalet in Whistler, wood finishes and natural fibers warm up a streamlined design aesthetic. Written by Debra Prinzing : Photographed by janis nicolay




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interiors: The Cross DĂŠcor & Design construction: Matthew Barry Construction painting: Boardwalk Painting GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN




| interiors


In the living room, a silk-and-wool-blend rug from East India Carpets warms up the floor and provides a soft play space for the client’s daughter. The generously proportioned Harris-style sectional is by Montauk Sofa; the side chair is from Inform Interiors; and the pillows, throw, and lighting are from the Cross.

Highway expansion for the 2010 Winter

Olympics in British Columbia shaved nearly 45 minutes from the Vancouver-to-Whistler weekend trek. But Vancouver resident Phuong Banh made her family’s weekend and holiday commute to the slopes even faster in 2013 by purchasing a townhome in the resort community’s White Gold Estates. The three-level, four-bedroom unit was brand new when she acquired it. The place had some charm, including a travertine fireplace and walnut floors. But that’s where the pluses ended. Mossgreen walls and a lack of window coverings led Banh to the Cross Décor & Design, a Vancouver design studio and shop known for its colorful, eclectic interiors. Her request: Convert the generic 2,800-square-foot townhome into a personalized, light-filled getaway. “Phuong wanted a cleaner style than our clients are generally looking for,” says Joanna Vagelatos, head interior designer at the Cross. “She also wanted to move away from a typical Whistler space—more traditional, with browns and taupes— toward the feeling of a modern chalet.” While adhering to the existing floor plan, Vagelatos achieved a brilliant sleight of hand with new finishes, furnishings, and accessories. She lightened up the palette with coats of white paint and a white faux-bois-style wallpaper that lends depth to a dining room wall. In order to harmonize with the mostly neutral palette, the designer opted to accent the home with natural textures—tactile fringes, piles, loops, and weaves—rather than prints and patterns. An 8-foot-square custom-framed mirror in the dining room reflects light, pattern, and movement in the room. An eclectic mix of shapes and materials keeps things interesting, and streamlined furnishings maintain an easy flow. The living room is dominated by the floor-to-ceiling travertine-clad fireplace. Vagelatos repeated the pale stone hues and granite-colored veining with gray flannel pillows from the Cross, a throw, and a generously sized sectional. A sheepskin-clad side chair and a silk-and-wool area rug infuse texture. “My daughter spreads her toys out on the rug, which is one reason why we chose not to have a coffee table,” Banh points out. So where does Banh stash her ski equipment? Vagelatos upgraded a small utility closet, converting it into a functional wood-paneled space where cubbies, shelves, and an L-shaped bench “nod to the ski-chalet concept,” she says. Adds her client: “Now, when I go to Whistler, I don’t take one item of clothing with me. Everything we need is there.” » GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN



| interiors

“Bringing in a bit of warm wood adds to the chalet feel. However, we kept the lines and shapes really clean to feel modern.” —Joanna Vagelatos, interior designer

Clockwise from top: The custom-upholstered wall and bed base are from the Cross; Vagelatos designed them to soften the principal bedroom while visually lowering the 15-foot ceiling. Lacquered wall-mounted side tables, lighting, and Venice Collection bedding are from the Cross. A vase of purple sea holly lends botanical texture to a side table. The bathroom is finished in Carrara marble and walnut cabinetry.



A guest bedroom also features an upholstered wall, as well as Mobital two-drawer side tables and Robert Abbey lighting from the Cross. The overall mood reflects the homeowner’s desire for a calm, contemporary environment. 




| interiors

The Cross worked with local contractor Matthew Barry of Matthew Barry Construction to refinish a generic electrical-utility room using wood paneling, custom cabinetry, and a storage bench. h





A Place in the Pines

It took a village of talented Northwest creatives to make this guesthouse blend seamlessly with its scenic surroundings. Written by NICOLE MUNSON : Photographed by Tim Bies


construction: Krekow Jennings architecture: Marc Brown Design landscape: Planting Design interior design: NB Design Group



OPPOSITE: French doors open from the kitchen into the gardens, ensuring easy access to fresh vegetables and flowers. This page: A low bookshelf separates the entry from the living space. Nancy Burfiend, the interior designer, “understood immediately that we wanted the inside of the house to have its own personality but also reflect the garden,” notes the owner. From the Four Hand oak-and-walnut coffee table to the Room and Board Boden chair, every choice speaks to an organic palette that echos the surrounding landscape.


an a piece of land experience déjà vu? A onetime homesteading site in eastern Washington, this property had fallen into deep neglect over the years. The barn had collapsed and the land was battered from illegal dumping and earthmoving. “Despite that,” notes the current owner, “the location is gorgeous. I had wanted a large garden for years, and it seemed like an ideal place to reestablish a homestead and garden.” She and her husband inherited their parcel of the large property, 200 acres lush with ponderosa pines, from her parents, who divided the land among their children. The couple initially built a main house on their triangular piece of the family estate, splitting their time between it and

another home in San Francisco. Later, they decided to build a guesthouse, situated just downhill, to accommodate their own children’s families—or themselves, when they craved a cozier, closer-to-the-land experience. The clients envisioned the structure as a “garden house … designed so we could be anywhere inside and see out to a unique and beautiful vista—a maple tree, a stone wall, blossoming flowers, or colorful shrubs.” For the cottage design, the pair hired the same architects, Marc Brown and Michael Moore, who had drafted their main house. Rodney Juntunen, of the Edmonds, Washington– based landscape company Planting Design, handled the landscape. The gardens were such a key feature of the design that they were planned and planted prior to the construction of the home, which made for some challenging moments »



The client’s antique wooden table has pride of place in the cottage’s farmhousestyle kitchen. The Pental Chroma quartz countertops and painted-gray cabinets provide a muted backdrop that makes the edgier, contemporary elements pop, including the stainless steel Wolf range and hood. The interior designers chose Translite’s Sonoma fixtures in both pendant and suspended track lighting formats to ensure adequate task lighting from the pitched ceiling. »





on the ground. “Plants want to be put in at just the right time, and the construction schedule doesn’t always follow their rules!” the client says. “So there were some points when we had garden installers and construction workers working side by side. Everyone did a wonderful job, but it can be tricky moving huge equipment and timbers around an already planted site.” The resulting cottage’s floor plan radiates from a central beam that leads up to a ceiling monitor ringed with clerestory windows. There’s a living room and farmhouse-style kitchen on one side and a single bedroom and bath on the other. The builder, Krekow Jennings, fully embraced the owner’s mission to coexist seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. “We set out to involve as many local people as possible, and utilize common local materials,” says John Blackham, the company’s co-owner. Proof: “The rough-sawn Douglas fir siding came from a mill less than two miles away from the project,” he says, “and the timber wall was built from reclaimed Douglas fir beams used in the construction of a World War II–era warehouse in the Northwest.” To pull together the interiors, the owners brought in Nancy Burfiend and Lana Noble of Seattle’s NB Design Group, who had also worked with the couple on their main house. “We chose relaxed, organic finishes, avoiding a too-precious aesthetic,” Burfiend says. “It was important that the house maintain a casual and comfortable feel not only for the clients, but for visiting family and friends as well.” The neutral palette ensures a peaceful arrival into the home from the outdoors. True to their original homesteading dream, the owners now grow a large variety of herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers just steps from their guest cottage, allowing for easy food preservation, such as canning or freezing, in the large kitchen. Beyond harvest time, the home’s clever design allows for year-round use, both indoors and out. “Summer or winter, we can be under this large roof, protected from the hot sun or from snow. Yet it all feels connected and of a piece. Sitting in the shade in the breezeway, looking out over the garden, is one of our greatest pleasures.” h



Opposite from top: “Given that the guest cottage was situated literally in the middle of an established garden, there was less emphasis on points of entry being considered front or back, since one might approach the cottage from virtually any side,” explains Krekow Jennings’s John Blackham about the unusual arrangement of the aligned back and front doors. This page: The reclaimed Douglas fir wall stops short of the pitched roof, creating an open feel to the cottage while allowing light to seep into the bedroom and bathroom on the other side. The custom steel coat niche has a magnetic surface, allowing for varying configurations of magnetized hooks.








Matthew Millman


With Sexy angles, room to sleep 20, and après-ski amenities galore, this is no average ski house.

Written by Lindsey M. Roberts : Photographed by Nic Lehoux, Matthew Millman

The black-stained and clear-finished cedar façade of a reinterpreted ski chalet in southeastern British Columbia, designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in association with Bohlin Grauman Miller Architects, shields its residents from neighboring houses while artfully funneling the views to the woods and mountain nearby. » GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN




ince 1885, when the Canadian Pacific Railway came up over the Rocky Mountains, Golden’s history and survival has been tied to forestry. The British Columbia town is peppered with spruce, Douglas fir, poplar, and aspen trees, and its environs are populated with mills. In town, Canada’s longest freestanding timber-frame bridge rules over the Kicking Horse River. A mountain retreat designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in association with Bohlin Grauman Miller Architects points to a new source of economic vitality for the former boomtown. The 3,500-square-foot holiday home sits near Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, an endeavor started back in 2000 to capture the year-round opportunities for adventure sports in the region. When a family of five came to principal Ray Calabro with a piece of the action at the resort—a parcel of land just west of the ski lift and main lodge—they told him



they wanted a place to gather with friends and family in the winters. The husband had very specific size requirements for each room, but the wife had the most unique request: “I want it to feel like James Bond, years later, had a family and a ski chalet,” she told the architects. Sunken living rooms and shag carpets were top of mind. With a tight window to design—snowy winters and short summers pinch construction schedules, and the resort caps overall property development time—Calabro and his team created a vision much larger than the cabin’s small footprint. They designed two volumes, one for public functions and one for private, with a glazed connection in the middle for skiing in and skiing out. The public side, an open, polygon-shaped volume with an angled ceiling, »

exterior: Matthew Millman; interiors: Nic Lehoux

architecture: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in association with Bohlin Grauman Miller Architects structural engineering: Cascade Engineering Group mechanical engineering: ReEvolution Engineering construction: HR Pacific Construction doors and windows: Point Five Windows & Doors


A large, wood-wrapped living area includes a board-formed concrete fireplace and a Hiroshima table and chair set designed by Naoto Fukasawa. A ship’s ladder, with rails whimsically painted in the Benjamin Moore hue Apple Lime Cocktail, leads to the bunk loft. One level down from the ski landing is a built-in bench and boot locker. OPPOSITE: One side of the house rises over the snowpack, while the other sits in grade, enabling a ski-in, ski-out experience. The steep-sloped side contains the bedrooms and other private areas. The polygon volume contains the openplan dining room and living area.





Matthew Millman

holds the living and dining areas and is anchored by a board-formed concrete fireplace. The private side is longer and taller, with a steep roof and three stacked stories encompassing garage, mudroom, playroom, guest room suite, master bedroom suite, and two bunkrooms. Windows are strategically placed to highlight views of the Whitetooth Mountain peak, and the glassed-in central area leads down to a boot room with a built-in bench, ski storage, and boot warmers. After skiing, family and guests can soak in the outdoor hot tub or head to the family room for video games. One of the biggest challenges to the project ended up shaping the home’s expressive form. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort’s development guidelines require all roofs to have a steep 5:12 pitch, something that initially challenged the firm. Then Calabro and his team realized that they could tuck a bunkroom under that roof, with six double beds to accommodate children and extra guests. And the client’s original James Bond–grows-up inspiration? There are faint echoes of 007’s style in the sleek fireplace, the open-concept living and dining room, and the ski-in, ski-out connection, to be sure. “Did I get my sunken living room?” the client asks. “No. But I’m crazy about the cabin. I just love it.” h

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort required a steep 5:12 pitch for the roof, a challenging design limitation— until the architects realized they could tuck a sleeping loft beneath it. Each bunk, equipped with Tolomeo wall sconces by Artemide, is a double bed, so the loft can technically sleep 12. “The kids just love them,” the client says. OPPOSITE: The family can ski right into their house after time on the trail. The standing-seam metal roof folds over the loft bunkroom and provides venting for light and air. GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN


Left: A custom console with onyx doors that interior designer Lara Taylor designed with Jeff Fernald greets people as they walk in the front door. Graphic inkblot-style wallpaper by Porter Teleo is hand-painted on Japanese rice paper. Right: The formal sitting room features a custom table constructed by Fernald and lamps purchased from Veritables in Bellevue. Taylor recovered her client’s Restoration Hardware sofas with Christian Liaigre linen and topped the surfaces in the intimate space with art books and objets d’art by Kelly Wearstler. »

At Last, Home Interior designer Lara Taylor transformed the inside of a once-joyless Mercer Island contemporary into a showstopper, with a level of sophistication befitting its jet-setting owner. Written by STacy Kendall : Photographed by alex hayden




interiors: Lara Taylor Interiors custom furniture and accessories: Jeff Fernald and Codor Design




t’s generally a compliment to call one’s home a showroom— an approving acknowledgment of good taste and stylish coordination. When Jim Burgett bought his contemporary, new-construction house on Mercer Island, Washington, he thought that was what he was getting. After all, he purchased the 7,010-square-foot residence complete with its staged modern furniture. For the busy, jet-setting executive, it seemed like an easy way to furnish the place. Trouble was, soon after he moved in, he knew it was all wrong. “It was just cold and generic,” says Burgett of the minimalist Italian furnishings. It was serendipitous timing, then, that a chance meeting brought interior designer Lara Taylor into his life, and living room. Upon her first visit to the house, Taylor perceived instantly that it was going to take a lot more than a few lamps and rugs to make this house feel like home for Burgett. Taylor’s vision for the space was almost immediate—create a warm, substantial, and timeless space that undid Northwest modern clichés such as stainless steel everything. Initially, Burgett agreed to let Taylor bring in some accessories and art to liven up the spare interiors. As designer and client built trust, the scope grew. Burgett now admits that he had been planning to give up on the house, sell it, and move on. Taylor took that as a personal design challenge. “Jim always had one foot out the door,” she says. “My goal for this project was that when we finished, he would want to stay here and that it would feel like a real home to him.” Making it feel like home would inevitably mean getting the OK from Burgett’s artistic and tightly knit family. One of his sisters owns an art gallery, another is an interior designer, his niece is in school for fashion design, and Burgett’s two grown children stay with him from time to time. Taylor refers to the extended family as “the Committee.” If this »



OPPOSITE: In the formal dining room, Taylor paired the chairs, which Burgett inherited from his family, with a custom gold-leafed and lacquered 10-foot-long table. The chandelier is by Lindsey Adelman, purchased through Totokaelo Art Object. This Page: A vintage pair of Mastercraft cabinets, found at Susan Wheeler Home, sit on either side of vintage chairs and a Codor Design side table.





opposite and left: The master bedroom sitting room showpieces are a custom brass light fixture by Codor Design and Tamara Codor’s first series of artistic panels. The vintage sofa by Milo Baughman is flanked by two limited-edition Flos Kelvin lamps and faces an antique cocktail table and two goldenhued occasional chairs by Kelly Wearstler. The rug is hand-knotted lamb’s wool from Amadi Carpets in Los Angeles. Below: The sink in the first-floor powder room was originally stainless steel, but Taylor had it replated in a warmer bronze tone that she continued in the hardware throughout the house. She commissioned the custom wallpaper from Porter Teleo and added a custom bronze mirror with inlaid tile.

were a sitcom, the situation would spell constant strife, but diplomatic Taylor capitalized on the family’s closeness to glean insight into what Burgett would require to love the space. “Lara was brilliant at working with them and not getting defensive,” Burgett says. The family’s late matriarch designed and ran several family homes here and abroad, and incorporating this worldliness and some of the family’s heirlooms into the design was Taylor’s first stop for inspiration. “Jim is kind of this international man of mystery,” she says, referring to Burgett’s transcontinental upbringing and refined sense of style. “I wanted this modern house to feel Old World, and using the family’s Asian antiques gave it that vibe.” When choosing the subdued neutral tones for the walls and rugs, she had to work around the realities of the house’s west-facing layout, which caused the natural light to tinge everything yellow. As a California native, Taylor admits that she likes to challenge Northwest canons of design. “The prevailing idea here is that the gray outside is our ‘problem,’ and so people tend to use warm tones to try to counteract it,” she explains. She prefers to use shades of green, blue, and other cool casts to brighten and enliven her projects. Over almost two years, Taylor, with feedback from Burgett and the Committee, inched through the entire house, cladding the floors with custom carpets from Jan Kath and Driscoll Robbins, changing out the original stainless steel and chrome light fixtures, and choosing art for the freshly painted walls. In the meantime, Burgett has settled in quite nicely. The final verdict? “I think I’ll stay here for a while,” he says. Sounds like mission accomplished. h

“My goal for this project was that when we finished, he would want to stay here and that it would feel like a real home to him.” —lara taylor, Interior designer



In the living room of this 11,290-square-foot house outside Seattle, a Knoll Barcelona daybed and Danskina area rug connect two Minotti Albers Classic sofas from Inform Interiors. The fireplace surround features an Idyllwild stone slab from Ann Sacks. The abstract painting is by Kirkland, Washington, artist Beth Adams. OPPOSITE: Architect Stuart Silk worked with Richard Hartlage, formerly of AHBL Landscape Architecture and now principal of Land Morphology, to reshape the land around the house. All windows were replaced with Fleetwood windows.

Cool and Collected Written by Deanna Duff : Photographed by alex hayden




architecture and interiors: Stuart Silk Architects construction: Schuchart/Dow landscape: AHBL Landscape Architecture cabinetry: Whidbey Designworks

A savvy couple gathered their favorite design features of houses past to bring an outmoded manse luxuriously up to date.


ometimes little things make the largest impressions. For one couple, it was a series of small details drawn from their former residences that helped to elevate their latest home—an 11,290-square-foot, once oppressive structure outside Seattle—into a welcoming, sophisticated space for a family of three. The home’s original style was “very 1980s. Visually, it resembled a business-park building,” says Andrew Patterson, the co–lead project architect at Stuart Silk Architects, along with principal Stuart Silk. “It was a big project with an extremely intense schedule.” Fortunately, his clients weren’t daunted by the challenge. They frequently hopscotch around the country due to work-

related assignments and have renovated and lived in six houses, from New York to Indiana to Arizona to California, over the past 20 years. Their newest home is an amalgam of some of their favorite design moves, observed and accumulated over the years. It began in 2010 with a career relocation to Seattle. The family quickly bought the house, drawn to its large, private lot and lake views. They lived onsite during construction in a 1,500-square-foot apartment over the garage, accessible by elevator, that builders Schuchart/Dow renovated for them. The proximity allowed for an unusually high level of hands-on client involvement, including daily walk-throughs. “Every single day I bet I made 50 to 100 decisions,” the homeowner says with a laugh. “But it made the process a lot easier with less back and forth.” »



This page: Two islands with Caesarstone Blizzard countertops provide extra storage and workspace in the kitchen. A custom bronze pendant from Hammerton Studio hangs above. “We explored the notion of asymmetry throughout the house, but it’s particularly evident with the kitchen,” Silk says. Custom white-oak cabinets are designed so the grain flows unbroken from one panel to the next. The dining area features a Fritz Hansen PK58 table and Oxford High Back Chairs. Opposite: In the adjacent family room, the relaxed Flexform sectional, ottoman, and lounge chair encourage sprawling out.



The couple, who have a teenage daughter, are selfproclaimed foodies, with the iconic Modernist Cuisine series on their bookshelf to prove it. When they purchased the four-level home, they envisioned remodeling just the front entry and kitchen. Plans for a proper dining room soon followed to accommodate dinner parties. Within 30 days, the minimal refresh became a comprehensive renovation as the team kept uncovering structural issues that needed repair, and they expanded the focus to include two kitchens, a new dining area, a redesign of the façade, and a 630-squarefoot deck for grilling. The main kitchen is an elegant frame for culinary art. The large area is defined by a pair of steel columns, linear light fixtures, and two islands. The clients suggested the oak ceiling feature to help visually connect the kitchen to the dining area. “The idea of reflection came from a house we had in upstate New York,” says the husband. “It was our first house after marriage, and it really was dynamic in the way it made a room shrink and feel more intimate.” Tucked out of sight, accessible via a separate street entrance, is a second kitchen that can serve as a

“kitchen-behind-the-kitchen,” intended for use by guest chefs. “That idea came from a neighbor’s house in California,” says the client. “We loved the idea of keeping a clean, fresh look for entertaining.” The original floor plan did not include a formal dining room, a significant issue for the clients. The designers carved out the necessary space by removing an eyesore— an industrial office–style stairway—and replacing it with a stunning open staircase that is as artful as it is functional. “We wanted it to feel super light and weightless even though it’s made from steel,” Silk says. “It’s very structural yet has the feel of floating.” Though the house exudes a sense of no-cost-spared luxury, it’s a comfortable and welcoming family home, and that’s exactly what the clients envisioned. “We’ve been in homes that blow your socks off, but you also sometimes feel like there is a velvet rope across every room,” the husband says. “You can stand anywhere in our house and there is a view, an interesting intersection of lines, or something that catches your eye and draws you in.” We feel the attraction. » GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN




The master bedroom features a painting by Beth Adams, custom fireplace, and walnut side table from Design Within Reach. Wood panels in the ceiling add a hint of Northwest style. OPPOSITE, clockwise from top: The architects carved out space for a formal dining room by replacing an enclosed stair with an airier, open version. The powder room stars a custom metal wall-hung vanity. The master bathroom’s minimalism is offset by a slab of richly textured Brazilian granite in the shower (reflected in the mirror). The WS Bath Collections Touch 205 bathtub riffs on the aspects of asymmetry found elsewhere in the house. The floors and countertops are both Caesarstone.  GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN


“We’ve been in homes where you feel like there is a velvet rope across every room. You can stand anywhere in our house and there is something that catches your eye and draws you in.”—homeowner



OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The lounge, which leads

onto an expansive deck, features a leatherlike wall covering from Cannon/Bullock. The Jacobsen Egg chair and stool are from Design Within Reach; the daybed is from BoConcept. The large walnut pivot door makes for a grand entry into the house. The new steel stairs between the first and second levels have a wood inlay detail that resembles a runner. THIS PAGE: Silk and his team reskinned the exterior of the house with new stucco-andwood siding and replaced a solid stucco parapet with a steel-andglass railing to open up views to the lake. h




a look inside

We often see their ads, yet we seldom hear their stories. Throughout the

following promotional pages, we invite you to take a closer look inside these dynamic companies to hear their inspiring stories ... why were they founded, what keeps them going, what’s most exciting to them right now? Visit their websites, drop them a line, source them for your next project. And be sure to let them know GRAY sent you! Enjoy,


Shawn Williams

Founder + Publisher






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They were the first to do sleek gas fireplaces, and continue to raise the bar. The

inimitable company’s cofounder, Tom Healy, has the last word on industry success.

opposite: A home in Austin, Texas, designed by FAB Architecture, features Spark’s signature, completely customizable Linear Burner System. right: Spark’s propane- and natural gas-fueled fireplaces come in both direct vent and vent-free formats. All models share the same streamlined aesthetic. “A Spark fireplace is as much about what’s not there—no distracting or superfluous detail—as what is,” says founder Tom Healy. “Our designs are about focusing on the flame itself in a very minimalist environment. Our mantra is less is more.”

Ever since its launch in 2005, Spark Modern Fires has

set the design industry ablaze, pioneering an entirely new aesthetic for gas-fueled fireplaces. This is not your grandpa’s fireplace: Spark’s minimalist designs can be inset or hung on the wall like art, without a mantel or hearth, and are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. And because they’re customizable by clients and designers, no two are identical. Here, co-founder Tom Healy talks about Spark’s past, present, and glowing future. What is the story behind Spark Modern Fires? I was a custom high-end homebuilder for 15 years, and clients and designers kept requesting gas fireplaces with a modern aesthetic. People loved the convenience and efficiency of gas, but at the time, the market didn’t offer much beyond that fake-log look, which didn’t give designers a lot of room to be creative. We couldn’t find what we needed, so we set out to create state-of-the-art, cutting-edge designs. That was really the start of Spark. What makes you stand out from other gas fireplace companies? We pioneered this contemporary category and continue to break ground with the latest technologies and meticulous manufacturing. Our relationship with the design community informs our development—we’re not guessing what the marketplace wants, we’re actually being told. The proof is in the pudding—we’re in A-list hotels, restaurants, and high-end homes across North America. Spark is a boutique company that sells directly to the trade and public, and we service directly, too; if an issue arises, you call us and we pick up the line. It’s a very high-end product, with high-end service to match. Do you have any options for people who are unable to make structural alterations in their homes? With most fireplaces, you have to build two feet into the room, occupying valuable space. But our Slim line, which we introduced in 2011, is only eight inches deep and can hang on the wall. Designers love them for retrofits and renovations, as a way to add a functional focal point with minimal space. It’s a paradigm shift in fireplace design.

Casey Dunn

What’s next for Spark? In addition to new versions of our very popular Fire Ribbon line, including see-through models, we’re also launching two ventfree versions of Slim. Versatility is their trademark; you can mount them on interior walls and in rooms that otherwise couldn’t contain a fireplace. We’re also introducing two larger-format outdoor fireplaces. Their stainless steel interiors cast a beautiful, ethereal glow.


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THIS PAGE: Armen Gharabegian, founder of Lounge22, pushes furniture design forward with his innovative, American-made pieces. “Our design goal is always to produce an absolutely beautiful object that makes sense, and has personality, comfort, and ergonomics,” says Gharabegian. “We strive to make timeless, signature pieces.” opposite, clockwise from top left: Lounge22’s furniture line includes the bent bamboo Osaka Chair and Nara Table; the midcentury-inspired Arctic 5 Chair; the sleek Concorde Chair; and the Basic Sofa and Ripple Side Table.

armen gharabegian With a commitment to american-made, heirloom-quality design, LOUNGE22 turns out innovative, eco-friendly furniture destined to be future classics.

Designer Armen Gharabegian founded Lounge22 out of a

need—he couldn’t find the modern, high-quality, American-made furniture he was looking to use in his projects. Instead of settling for less, he decided to create his own sleek, timeless pieces, and so launched Lounge22, a burgeoning furniture brand that handcrafts every piece in L.A. The company sells to both consumers and trade; in 2014, its contract divison began working directly with architects and interior designers on hospitality projects around the world. Here, Gharabegian sheds more light on Lounge22’s commitment to creating beautiful, heirloom-quality American furniture. A lot of companies carry the “Made in America” stamp. What’s distinctive about Lounge22? From the get-go I was adamant about defining us as an American brand. When we launched, in 2004, we were one of the first companies to use the tagline “Handcrafted in L.A.” I’m completely anti-trend. I don’t think that furniture should be a commodity. We don’t change our look and we don’t do seasonal pieces or seasonal colors. I want to create pieces that people will remember 20 years from now—that somebody’s children will find in their attic and say “My god, that is an amazing piece.” What keeps you motivated as a designer? Process is what excites me. I might be inspired by plants, insects, or the most mundane objects like erasers. When I was a furniture and exhibit design instructor, I always told my students to try to not get inspired by second-generation pieces. When I’m designing a chair, I don’t sit there and look at pictures of chairs. Instead, I might look at a beetle and see how its exoskeleton works, and that starts a chain of inspiration. We’re currently patenting a chair inspired by caterpillars. What else are you working on now? We spent six years working with a Japanese factory to develop a new way to bend and use bamboo as a luxury material for contemporary furniture, and we’re currently designing an ecologically responsible office chair that’s an ode to Eames. We’re also designing an outdoor line that will come out in 2015. We’re inspired by Southern California—the surfing culture mixed with the hot rod culture mixed with post-modern aesthetic. Our other focus is expanding the reach of Lounge22 and building relationships with multiple stores around the country. We want people to be able to interact with our products. In Seattle, our line is carried at Loft 63—and we’ll be introducing additional locations in the Northwest over the coming months. h


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InHaus founders Peter Kefalas and Dave deBruyn are setting a new standard for green urban residential development—and two new projects in Seattle epitomize their values and approach.


After collaborating since 2008 on several successful real estate development projects in Vancouver, Peter Kefalas and Dave deBruyn joined forces to launch InHaus Development, a multi-family development company known for high-quality, sustainable design. With six projects built between them in British Columbia, ranging from LEED Platinum single-family homes to mixed-use and townhome buildings, InHaus has ventured into Seattle with two midrise buildings in Ballard. What sets InHaus apart in today’s residential building market? We place a high value on good design. Sustainability is key; we independently certify every project through a third party—typically BuiltGreen or LEED—and build with high-quality materials, energy-efficient fixtures and appliances, and the latest green technologies. We also specifically select building sites in thriving, walkable communities that are close to transit, shopping, services, workplaces, schools, parks and outdoor activities. We take pride in building high-quality, innovative, and energy-efficient homes that cost less to own. Our homes are healthier for you and your family—as well as the planet. Tell me more about your two projects in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. Ballard offers the perfect mix of small town feel with the amenities of big-city life. It’s also extremely walkable, which is a fundamental value for our company. Our first building there, Solo Lofts, will be completed in June 2015 and is already 80% sold. It is a boutique building with only 20 units, ranging from smaller one-bedrooms to stunning two-story penthouses with amazing views over Ballard. The BuiltGreen 4-star project is sleek and contemporary—very different from the large, bland apartment complexes that are currently springing up in the area. Its follow-up project, Salt Condos, begins construction in 2015 and features a mix of industrial materials, such as brick and metal, and a range of large one-, two-, and three- bedroom floor plans. What drew you to developing property in Seattle? Seattle is a city poised for big growth, yet there’s an extreme lack of inventory for those seeking to buy new condominiums. From a development standpoint, land prices are very attractive compared to Vancouver, which allows us to develop a quality product and bring it to market at prices that our home-buyers can afford. It’s a win-win scenario, and we look forward to continuing the growth of InHaus throughout the Pacific Northwest. h

Opposite: InHaus’ second Ballard Project, Salt condos, designed by PLACE Architects, is now selling and is expected to break ground in spring 2015. top: Beachaus I, an award-winning LEED Platinum residence located in White Rock, B.C. above: The luxurious two-story penthouse units in Solo Lofts, designed by Chris Pardo: Elemental Architecture, have 18-foot ceilings and a modern, open plan.


Driscoll robbins The visionary behind Driscoll Robbins

Fine Carpets not only sources the world’s best rugs—he creates them, too.

What excites you most about the rug world these days? This is the most creative time in rug weaving in easily 100 years. Over the last 20 years, producers have raised the art form to a whole new level—not only pushing the boundaries of design, but also introducing other natural fibers like linen, hemp, and silk to create subtle variations in texture. The appreciation for the art of weaving has come a long way. You have a loyal following among designers and rug aficionados. What’s the secret to your success? People are always amazed at the breadth of our selection. We also work with designers and workshops to create custom sizes, colors, and designs. Additionally, our service is unmatched. We will deliver as many rugs as our clients want, free of charge, to their home, and we’ll leave the top choices for as long as they need. We want people to take time and really be happy with their decision because it’s a lifetime purchase—these are heirloom rugs, made to last. Tell us about your new rug collection. I’d never felt compelled to do my own collection, because there are so many great rugs being made. But in 2012, I discovered a producer in Nepal who is doing something completely different in the industry: creating very subtle dye changes and tweeding a single ply of silk into the wool, which together creates a subtle watercolor-y effect. It really inspired me, and I started looking at artwork and isolating and altering small sections of paintings for the weavers to translate into rug designs. The first piece I created became one of our most popular rugs. I now have 30 designs in the collection, and the response has been incredible. h



portrait: Redstone Pictures

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Looking back on Driscoll Robbins’s early life, you’d think he was fated to be in the carpet business. After all, his parents were prominent antique carpet dealers in San Francisco, and as a child he often traveled with them through Asia on their quests for great carpets. Yet it wasn’t until his mid-twenties that Robbins found himself drawn to the industry, attracted by a new wave of rugs that blended old techniques and modern aesthetics. Inspired, he opened a showroom in Seattle in 1997. In 2013, he doubled his square footage and inventory with a light-filled 4,700-square-foot space, where he sells long-established lines alongside a stunning new collection of rugs of his own design.

This page: Driscoll Robbins’s 4,700 square-foot showroom on Western Avenue in Seattle carries many of the most highly regarded rug producers in the world. opposite: Robbins’ own line is born from a prolific history in the industry and an eye towards what the customers are clamoring for. “The trend is toward more subtle patterns which define the space and act as a backdrop,” Robbins says. “The rug is the glue that holds the room together.” His intricate designs contain up to twenty colors and patterns that are so complex the weavers must constantly change the yarn colors as they weave. It’s an intensive process that results in truly stunning carpets.




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the vivacious founder of Beyond beige interior design lets her clients’ individuality take center stage to create distinctive, one-of-a-kind spaces.

pollard 4


Opposite, left, and below: Reisa Pollard and her team at Beyond Beige Interior Design created an office, living room, and bedroom with custom millwork and refined, masculine touches for a bachelor. bottom: Pollard infused this dining room with eclectic character, mixing industrial details, playful pattern, and a painting that nods to the client’s Italian roots.

Reisa Pollard founded Beyond Beige Interior Design, a boutique Vancouver firm, in 2003. She and her team take on a wide range of projects— residential, commercial, and hospitality—and their design process focuses on two important things: The client, and the depth of the imaginations of the BBID team. Pollard spoke with GRAY about this process, her approach to design, and a dream project that’d really bring the house down. How does Beyond Beige approach a new project? We take a lot of pride in having a chameleon-like ability to take on the client’s personality—or the company’s brand—and formalize it in design, so that at the end of the day it speaks to them as much as it speaks to us. There’s no cookie-cutter formula; we work “from the client out,” so that what we end up with is truly unique to each project. The first part of the process involves a ton of questions for the client. Are you essentially taking those answers and translating them in design terms? It’s like going through an interpreter. Clients often proclaim that they have no idea what their aesthetic is, but if we start asking the right questions, they really do. We learn as much about them as we can— including their lifestyle—and then we find ways to bring that out through specific design choices.

Be Moved Media

What is your approach to design? I always want to evolve. I never want to leave my fingerprints on something—“that’s Reisa’s thing”—because I love the challenge of meeting different visions. Right now we’re doing a really industrial renovation while working at the same time on a home that looks like Versailles, and on yet another that’s very West Coast contemporary— they could not be more different! But I would be so bored if everyone was coming to me to produce a look I’d already done. I always want to end up with something new, something a little left-of-center. If you could have any historical person as a client, who would it be? Oh, gosh! No one has ever asked me that. I would have loved to do Liberace’s home—just serious glam—and I’d also love to do some aging British musician who lives in a crazy castle, but then inside it’s totally rock star. Maybe Keith Richards. He’d have money to spend but would just want really weird stuff—which I would be happy to source for him. h



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The COLOR Issue Bight and Bold Architecture & Interiors Tips and Tricks For Using Color Living Big in Small Spaces

interiors: Hyde Evans Design photography: Alex Hayden


Featured project: Abodian Design team for Sage Homes NW

Colorful Ideas Brought to Life

Photography by Josh Garretson

We created Abodian for a simple reason—because there was no company out there creating high-quality, high-design, highly functional cabinetry that was financially accessible, and that’s exactly what we needed. We unite all of the above at Abodian, where all of our products are sustainably made in the Pacific Northwest. Call or visit our Seattle showroom today for a design consultation.

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As part of our mission to reduce our carbon footprint, Abodian has designed the QŪB—made from 100% salvaged materials, these upcycled boxes come with shelves or doors and stack or mount in any configuration you can think of. Free shipping through January 31st with promo code Graymag2014




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John Hogan’s art-glass pieces catch and reflect light in surprising ways. Turn the page for more.


edge GRAY’s first annual roll call of the people and projects that are catapulting Northwest design forward. We’ve combed every corner of the Pacific Northwest to compile a list of who’s hot, what’s happening, and what’s next in the fields of interiors, architecture, industrial design, retail, and accessories. These 20 people, places, and things are really moving the needle in our part of the world—and the world at large.

David clugston

Written by Courtney Ferris, Rachel Gallaher, Stacy Kendall, Brian Libby, Lindsey M. Roberts, and Lindsay J. Westley




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LEFT: The Phaedra lamp is a collaboration between John Hogan and Erich Ginder Studio, who work jointly under the name Professional Associates. It features a blow-molded glass shade over a turned-cork neck and reclaimed stone base. BELOW: Hogan’s geometric and richly colored glass sculptures illuminate the designer’s interest in the way light interacts with glass. OPPOSITE: The South Side of the Sky pendant from Professional Associates features a mold-blown glass shade with a mirrored interior.

JOHN HOGAN Paving the way for the new look of glass.



“What I do is not about form as much as it is about light, about how I can hold and project light using glass as a filter. It’s an endless game to play.”

Amanda Ringstad David clugston; charlie schuck (portrait); David clugston; erich ginder

—john hogan

The Northwest is widely known as a glass-blowing hotbed, and the scene has been

dominated for years by the often large-scale works produced by Dale Chihuly, the eccentric man with the eye patch. But over the past few years, Seattle designer and artist John Hogan has begun using old techniques to create compelling objects that are propelling the Northwestern glass movement in a contemporary direction. It was a childhood in Toledo, Ohio, that exposed Hogan to the art at a very young age. “That’s where the studio-glass movement started in America,” he says, “so there were a lot of facilities.” Hogan grew up next door to a glass-blowing studio called the Glass Apple, which provided his first look at the craft. At 15, he learned to blow glass at the Toledo Museum of Art. In 2008, after graduating from college, he moved to Seattle to pursue a fulltime career as a glass artist. In 2013, Hogan was chosen as one of six artists for the prestigious Emerging Artists in Residence program at the Pilchuck Glass School. Unlike many of his local peers, he makes sculptural cut glass using a kiln-casting technique that he learned two years

ago from the artist Milan Handl in the Czech Republic, crafting molds out of plaster and silica, filling them with solid glass, and then melting it at 2,000°F for up to 28 hours. After the glass has cooled, he cuts and polishes it into geometric shapes that catch color and reflect light in mesmerizing ways. He’s currently experimenting with microgeometric sculptures less than 3 inches long, and he hopes to create them in large quantities so people can mix and match individual pieces to create their own series. Hogan is also hard at work on collaborations with Los Angeles’s Atelier de Troupe and Seattle’s Iacoli & McAllister. As he attains new success in his career, he credits the oftentimes monotonous tasks of glass production, in which he sees multiple iterations of the same objects over and over before they are blown, as inspiration for his experimental work. “I thought, Why not even take it further? So I started sculpting things that were simple and solid. I realized that what I do is not about form as much as it is about light, about how I can hold and project light using glass as a filter. It’s an endless game to play.” h GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN



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A rendered view shows Works Partnership Architecture’s highly anticipated Block 75, a proposed half-block redevelopment at the Burnside Bridgehead that breaks ground December 2014. Containing a mix of residential and commercial spaces, the modulated façade helps to break up and frame views out toward the city.

carrie strickland

Principal architect and community leader.



courtesy of Works Partnership Architecture

Rising to the top is difficult in any field, but in a city as designobsessed as Portland, high-ranking success is a hard-won victory. Making it look easy is architect Carrie Strickland, who has become an indomitable force in the city’s design scene through, most notably, her position as principal of Works Partnership Architecture (W.PA), the firm she cofounded with William Neburka in 2005. She has also served as a visiting professor at local universities, chaired the City of Portland’s Development Review Advisory Committee, and cofounded, in 2005, Project Cityscope, a nonprofit aimed at elevating conversations about design within the urban fabric. Her commitment to city landscape can be seen in W.PA’s clear conceptual diagrams and minimalistic aesthetic, and the firm has made a name for itself through thoughtful designs that don’t compromise the bottom line. “One of the great things about how we approach our practice,” Strickland says, “is that we don’t have a particular specialty or project type, other than being a smart, design-focused firm. Each of our projects takes on a unique life and weight of its own.” How does it feel to achieve such success as a woman in a profession often dominated by men? Strickland says, honestly, that she hadn’t, until recent years, put much thought into the rarity of her situation, but she hopes that she can inspire young women to pursue leadership roles. As for what’s next for W.PA, Strickland explains, “We love the challenge of doing something new and pushing ourselves to stay innovative and sharp. Our future will be more of the same … which is never the same.” h




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Portland’s latest fashion-forward success story. Looking to add instant visual appeal to your wardrobe? Lizzie Falkenstein has got it in the bag—literally. Following the success of Lizbags, her first company, which she started in 2009 while she was still in college, Falkenstein launched a new venture, Primecut, in December 2013. The line features handmade, one-of-a-kind bags that are crafted from cow, goat, and lamb hides that would otherwise be discarded by the meat industry. Her pieces are elegantly minimal, designed to amplify and celebrate the material they’re made from. Falkenstein says that Portland, with its large creative community, has been a good place to grow her business: “The overall support and enthusiasm that Portlanders have for local companies is a huge motivator. Events such as Content at the Ace Hotel make it possible for young designers to gain traction.” Falkenstein’s advice to designers dreaming of striking out on their own? “Go for it! The biggest hurdle I’ve faced is executing my ideas. I try to prototype a bag as soon as the idea pops into my head. If I don’t, I end up overthinking it. The same advice goes for launching a brand. You can only improve upon what you put out there.” h



Portland Supply Co.

ABOVE: Lizzie Falkenstein sews each Primecut bag

by hand in her home studio in north Portland. BELOW: The Black Furry Purse is made out of Spanish goat hide with leather accents and a brass zipper.


Not This Old House anymore.

Courtesy Rejuvenation

If you haven’t looked at high-end lighting and house parts source Rejuvenation lately, it’s time to take notice. Last year Alex Bellos, the company’s young vice president and general manager, uncovered an original advertisement for Rejuvenation that was handwritten by founder Jim Kelly almost 40 years ago. Bellos was amazed—the ad presented the company as a general store, not as simply a lighting supplier. Inspired, Bellos coaxed the company to broaden its vision. In addition to lighting and hardware, Rejuvenation now offers new and restored antique furniture, plus accessories and fixtures— just as a general store might do. And, in keeping with the collaborative spirit of its home city, it has undertaken design partnerships with three Portland-based lighting and accessory studios: Caravan Pacific, Cedar & Moss, and Pigeon Toe Ceramics (see page 114). These offerings are the first in a wave of modern designs, released throughout 2014 and into the new year, that share the shelves with Rejuvenation’s typically vintage-inspired wares. More collaborations with designers and architects are in the works, says Bellos. “The more we can do in Portland, the better,” he says. The company’s work is “all very rooted in material and function, but also very beautiful—that’s what it means to be made in Portland.” h

The table lamp from Rejuvenation’s collaboration with Cedar & Moss and the Simon Pebble Wingback Chair exemplify the recently expanded scope of the 40-year-old Portland-based company.




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pigeon toe

They can’t stop—won’t stop—with more projects and new designs. Most small artisan outfits enjoy a period of popularity that eventually wanes as people move on to the next pretty thing vying for their affections. But one studio has doubled down and won’t be going anywhere any time soon—anywhere but up, that is. Portland’s Pigeon Toe Ceramics expanded into lighting in 2014 with colorful basket-weave lamps, and then with porcelain and walnut midcenturyinspired sconces and pendants created with Cedar & Moss. The studio’s first-ever holiday collection is currently underway with artistic accessories creator Shanna Murray of New York City. Even Target is getting in on the artisan action. This season, pop-up shops in select flagship Target stores will offer handmade goods in partnership with the popular online small-batch-design source Of a Kind, which currently represents Pigeon Toe and other chic makers. As if that weren’t enough to keep Lisa Jones—the designer and founder of Pigeon Toe—busy all year, November 2014 saw the soft opening of a new retail space in Portland called North of West, her new venture with the textile design studio Nell & Mary. By the time the shop has its grand opening, planned for February, the “design-driven mercantile” will carry about 40 Portland- and Americanmade brands, including the founders’ own. Jones will use the location to debut both Pigeon Toe’s limited editions and new designs under the North of West house brand. Although Pigeon Toe’s star shines brightly, other Portland retailers and designers shouldn’t fear life in its shadow. Jones tells us that a large part of the decision to expand was driven by her observation that the Portland market is responding to more high-end offerings than it ever has in the past. And that is good news for everyone. h

Brittany Chavez

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Founder and designer Lisa Jones in her Portland studio. The Woven Solo Pendant was Jones’s first foray into lighting design incorporating weave detailing, which she also employed in her design for the Bound Pitcher with silicone rubber cord. The Safe Travels mug is part of Pigeon Toe’s accessories collaboration with Shanna Murray.



The Archilume Luminaire system can be customized to fit the unique needs of a space. The LED light travels through a fiber-optic tube to create a minimalist spotlight effect.

saleem khattak LEDs lead the way in lighting innovation.

Innovation in lighting technology—its materials, its energy, and its colors and versatility—seems to move at the speed of, well, light. Talk to Vancouver designer Saleem Khattak for an insider’s view of these advances, in which he’s played a role, and you’ll get the feeling that it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a household name. His flagship lighting line, Archilume, utilizes both fiber optics and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in a design that is “about an expression of light and its qualities rather than about its form,” as he explains. “The end result is a warm, intimate quality without the glare of a visible light source

because of the total internal reflection optics of the Archilume lens.” What’s next for the genteel and contemplative Khattak? He plans to grow Archilume’s offerings into modular chandeliers, an exciting departure from the one-size-fits-all approach of most contemporary chandelier and pendant designs. “The great thing about this line is that it can be subtle in appearance, with one or just a few units, or [it can] create a grand statement when clustered in multiples,” he says. We expect to see him at the forefront of thoughtful architectural lighting for years to come. h




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ste. marie

Hesam Ghaemi

The design group with the Midas touch.



It seems that whenever the seven designers behind Ste. Marie touch a restaurant or retail store, its business booms. It’s a remarkable feat, especially considering that the principal of the firm, Craig Stanghetta, started his career in film. A working actor in Vancouver, Stanghetta realized that he would be happier creating a different kind of drama, one aimed at the hospitality industry. The change felt like going home: two of his grandparents were chefs, and, until recently, his family owned and operated the oldest hotel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, his hometown. Today, his firm is so busy that Stanghetta and his team turn down about 80 percent of the work that comes their way—although they’ve been around for less than five years. The magic lies in Stanghetta’s idea of beauty: a merger of the familiar and the unexpected. At Blacktail Florist, an eatery focused on Pacific Northwest ingredients, wood paneling evokes the regional aesthetic, and a dreamlike bay of live ferns and flowers is a surprise. “Make people feel like they’re comfortable and at home, but add a bit of a spark—that’s the sweet spot,” says Stanghetta, who frequents Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie, the firm’s first “top to tail” project. Ste. Marie also partnered in launching the Good Animal Lamps lighting firm, and it hopes for a showroom of its own one day. This we know: If Ste. Marie builds it, people will come. h

“When I travel, I organize my itinerary around two things: food and culture. This job is the nexus of those two things. It is hands down the most fun and interesting thing for me to wake up and do each day.” —Craig Stanghetta

Hesam Ghaemi

this page and opposite:

Ste. Marie’s redesign of the high-end South Granville shop Boboli brings together a mix of new and custom furniture and lighting and high-impact vintage items, such as the modernist chairs by Boris Tabakoff and statement light fixtures by Good Animal Lamps. “Our strategy for the store was to honor its past while at the same time making it irreverent and progressive from a design standpoint,” says designer Craig Stanghetta.




// new // next THIS PAGE: McCormick’s Halo Pendant breaks the mold of traditional lightbulb and hardware fixtures. OPPOSITE: The designer’s large-scale installations for public spaces, including 33 Acres Brewing Company, the lifestyle shop Litchfield, West Oak restaurant, and several locations of Earls Kitchen + Bar, share a contemporary artistry.

matthew mccormick

Jordan Dery

A lighting newcomer with a bright future.



clockwise from top: Luis Valdizon; Tom Nugent; Tom Nugent; Ricky Alvarez

Our roundup of what’s hot and happening in the Northwest wouldn’t be complete without a wunderkind: 34-year-old Vancouver–

based lighting designer Matthew McCormick. As a child, McCormick discovered his passion for drawing—an activity that kept his young mind focused on details for hours—as a method to overcome dyslexia and ADHD. His astounding proficiency led, at ages 11 and 12, to exhibitions of his work at Ontario’s Robert McLaughlin Gallery. “I jokingly say that dyslexia is my superpower,” McCormick says. “I see things twice and a little differently than others do.” Later career phases, as owner of an electrical contracting business and as an art director and graphic designer, set the stage for a chance project that has garnered McCormick great success in the world of lighting. In 2012, an electrician working at Fable Kitchen, a Kitsilano restaurant, suggested that McCormick create a light for the space. The designer constructed it in the parking lot across the street from his house, drawing upon knowledge gleaned from his past careers to not only dream up a unique piece, but also to wire and weld it. That commission attracted another, and then another. His fixtures, with their graphic quality and artistic composition, have since made a splash in the Vancouver design scene.

Canadian restaurant giant Earls Kitchen + Bar took notice, and now McCormick is designing signature pieces for its expansion into the U.S. Another McCormick installation, undertaken with Vancouver’s Shape Properties, will tower five stories inside the Deerfoot Mall in Calgary. He’s also collaborating with sculptor Marie Khouri to create public art installations in Vancouver and the States, as well as a limited-edition sculptural light for retail. Although McCormick’s first commission came only two years ago, he now works out of his own 10,000-squarefoot warehouse. Luckily for consumers, McCormick plans to develop a residential lighting collection, aiming for a spring 2015 release. “I want the new collection to be something unique, something that stands out,” he says. “I take every opportunity to appreciate the bespoke nature of this work—I’m going to put everything into it.” If he could actually slow down and work on the collection, that is. He’s recently been fielding calls for commissions from as far away as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Soon we’ll stop calling him a “Vancouver-based designer” and move on to “designer at large.” h GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN



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Rarefied air for our elite athletes. 120


The Seattle firm Teague developed a concept, in collaboration with Nike, for an airliner that serves traveling sports teams. Each section of the aircraft is custom-designed to measure, increase, or maintain a player’s performance. 




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Northwesterners are natural sports fans (ahem, Seahawks!), and

Seattle-based design firm Teague, with input from Portland-based Nike, has just developed a concept that will keep athletes in peak shape off the field—way off the field. Teague’s new highly optimized jetliner was designed with every aspect of a traveling athlete’s comfort, recovery, and health in mind. To get into the mindset of players and coaches flying to and from games, Teague approached its concept with the precision of a trainer molding a body into Super Bowl–ready shape. Its research found that the effects of travel on the body can lead to diminished performance, which in turn impacts the bottom line of professional sports teams. Teague consulted athletic-wear behemoth Nike to flesh out its understanding of how to design for athletes, as well as to collaborate on optimal interactions, via wearable technology, between players and their plane. We’re not talking just about major legroom— the interior layout is nothing like a typical plane’s. It’s segmented into activity zones focused on sleeping, preparing meals, watching game film, recovering, and even celebrating. In this flying tube of tech innovation, unseen design plays just as big a role as sleek fabrics and finishes do: Wearable sensors for players alert staff when hydration, rest, physical therapy, or nutrition is needed, and all data is stored to track each player’s state of mind and body. We wouldn’t mind having all this available every time we flew, but then again, our single-game rushing stats aren’t quite as good as Russell Wilson’s. h



ABOVE: Conditioning areas and rest areas are used to minimize the negative impact of the time spent in the air between games. LEFT: John Barratt, the CEO of Teague.

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THIS PAGE: The expansive main room at Trove has a private dining area in the back, with custom wallpaper created by Electric Coffin. “From a distance, the pattern looks like an ornate, oversized damask,” says E.C.’s Duffy De Armas. “However, upon closer inspection, it’s actually a scene of Godzilla attacking Seattle.” OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP:

The Erupting Rainier painting in the bar. The diorama-esque world beneath the volcano is inspired by classic science textbook cutaway diagrams. A closer look at the wallpaper in the private dining room. The restaurant’s ice cream truck is painted, De Armas says, with “magic sparkle.”

electric coffin

Restaurant and retail spaces that blur

the line between art and design. Photographed by Suzi Pratt

Riding the crest of next-wave commercial design, the Seattle-based

design collective Electric Coffin combines the artistic backgrounds of its three founders to create eye-popping environments for some of the most popular restaurants in town. Established in 2012 by Justin Kane Elder, Stefan Hofmann, and Duffy De Armas, Electric Coffin first garnered



attention with Joule, a Korean fusion restaurant, for which the team created hand-painted turquoise wallpaper and a custom vintage-looking neon sign. Afterward, the fine arts–based trio (De Armas and Hofmann studied sculpture at the University of Washington, and Elder attended Cornish College of the Arts) took on additional commissions for restaurant feature pieces, »

“Our goal is to figure out unique moves that are ultimately simple but Touch on the right thing so people don’t forget them.’’ —Duffy De Armas




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between the main dining area and the bar at Trove opens up, allowing diners to peek into the next room. The red paint on the ceiling makes a unifying run through the entire restaurant. Whimsical details abound in Trove, from the artwork to the intricate wallpaper pattern. For the walk-up frozen custard window service, the Electric Coffin team “bought the truck on Craigslist, chopped it up, sectioned it, repainted it, and put a window and bar in it,” De Armas says. Simple as that.



including, for Westward, a multimedia, ship-inspired diorama over the bar that features an abominable snowman, classic WWF wrestlers, and spaces for the alcohol stock. Its largest project to date is Trove, a playful space for noshing noodles under bright-red exposed pipes or sipping cocktails next to street art–inspired walls. In keeping with the founders’ love of the unexpected and the absurd, Electric Coffin modified a panel van to look like an ice cream truck and installed it through the front of the restaurant, creating a walk-up window for Trove’s seriously tasty frozen custard parfaits. The team also designed installations for the new Portland outpost of Evo ski and snowboard company, including a storefront façade that resembles a bakery but leads to the technical shop. “We like to say we build future landmarks,” De Armas says. “Our goal is to figure out unique moves that are ultimately simple but touch on the right thing so people don’t forget them.” h




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The iconoclastic up-and-coming interior designer.

After working from her Belltown condo for a year and a half, Michelle Dirkse’s interior design business was growing so quickly that she decided, this September, to open her own studio. It’s a place she can bring clients, express her personal style, and rotate work from local artists, including Dana Mooney, whose paintings are pictured at top right.



portrait and studio: hayley young

Looking at Michelle Dirkse’s colorful Seattle office, you would expect her to work in vivid palettes. She even runs a cheeky #StopBeige social media campaign, which isn’t a plea to designers to stop using neutrals in their projects, but a call for individuality. “I want to design spaces that break the mold in a way that fits my clients’ personality,” she says. “StopBeige is a reminder to take risks and design for your own unique taste.” Dirkse launched her firm, Michelle Dirkse Interior Design, in January 2013 after several years of working with other companies. Before getting her interior design degree, she studied psychology and did social work—training that gives her an edge with clients. “I’m always trying to figure out who they are and what makes them tick,” she says. “I aesthetically translate that into their spaces.”

Practicing what she preaches, Dirkse takes a strong, individual approach to each of her projects. Though she’s generally inclined toward color, for a recent update of a condo in Issaquah, Washington, beige, that fraught hue, proved to be just the trick. For her client, a dentist, Dirkse chose a calming earthy palette, using textural details such as Innovations wallpaper resembling hair-on hide, sourced from Kelly Forslund. These subtle elements are a mainstay of the project. The warm tones of Kentwood engineered walnut flooring are a rich backdrop, in the living room, for a cowhide rug and a leather loveseat from Seva Home. The finished condo is surprisingly subdued and masculine. But unpredictability is exactly what Dirkse is after. After all, it’s hard to pin down a rising star. h

For a project in Issaquah, Dirkse chose a neutral palette and focused on textural details and muted hues. The Innovations wallpaper, used in the powder room and family room, “reads as a stripe overall at first, then unfolds into a beautiful detailed texture as you get close to it,” Dirkse says. alex hayden GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN



// new // next Mazama’s stoneware pieces, such as this Cocktail Set, are handmade on a potter’s wheel and formed with great accuracy; the potters use templates and calipers while throwing each piece to ensure a consistent size and shape.


Meet the designers behind your new ceramic heirlooms.

Alex Nguyen

Portland loves its craft beverages. When the six founders of Mazama realized that their city was full of great things to drink but lacking in great vessels to drink them from, they ran to fill the niche. Their clean-lined and smoothglazed collection of hand-thrown sake cups, mugs, and serving bottles helps to elevate the experience of imbibing, whether it is morning coffee or small-batch IPA. Mazama has seen an overwhelming show of support from the community since its inception; its owners supplemented their start-up funds with a blockbuster Kickstarter campaign that almost doubled their original goal and raised $24,000. “Not only were we able to raise enough money to hire our workforce, but we were able to get great feedback on our product line right away,” says co-founder Meghan Wright. The campaign enabled Mazama’s team to connect with people who shared its passion for well-made wares— a validating and encouraging experience. The future is looking bright for Mazama, too: new products and collaborations are in the works. As Wright declares, they are “taking over the world, one cup at a time.” h



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Up front

gray enlisted civilization to be our first guest cover designer; the firm created this ’80s memphis group–inspired cover to celebrate those who are catapulting Northwest design forward.


sPeCiAL ANNiVersAry editioN CoVer By CiViLiZAtioN

The Design Magazine for the Pacific Northwest

m! Northwest Boo Need you the desigNers to kNow Now

ISSUE No. NINETEEN : $7 US; $9 cdN

COVER NO. 19_1214 NO SPINE.indd 1

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: This fall, the team at Civilization (pictured in their studio) led a campaign for the Frye Art Museum, using social media such as Instagram and Twitter to create a “crowd-curated” collection of paintings that will be on display through January 4. The agency also created jewelry boxes, with custom illustrations in copper foil, for retailer Totokaelo; a website for retailer Project No. 8; and a new branding campaign for global architecture and design firm NBBJ.


A creative agency that’s taking Seattle by storm.

Look at the sponsor page of almost any design event in Seattle and you’ll see the sawtooth-edged rectangle logo of Civilization, the city’s burgeoning two-and-ahalf-year-old creative agency. The brainchild of Michael Ellsworth, Corey Gutch, and Gabriel Stromberg—all of whom have worked previously in the creative and tech fields—Civilization joins with clients such as the World Economic Forum, the architecture firm NBBJ, and the Frye Art Museum to create branding and visual and Web design solutions. But the eight-person firm doesn’t simply build websites and sketch graphics; in 2013, it launched a free four-part lecture series that brought design luminaries such as Stefan Sagmeister and Ken Garland to Seattle. It is also heavily involved in the globe-spanning Death Over Dinner and Drugs Over Dinner campaigns, which encourage people to bring together friends and family to talk about these often hushed-up issues. Working with clients whose businesses include a social-purpose angle has always been a goal for the firm. “We have found new, nontraditional ways to operate,” Ellsworth says. “Usually a client hires you to sell more product. We love to take on projects we are personally attached to and figure out how to fund them so we can set the stage for the design.” h



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“My grandfather was a builder, my father was

a builder, my brother was a builder. I grew up with a hammer in my hand.”



—Walker Templeton

walker templeton Is there anything this multitalented architect can’t do?

Some people get more done in an average day than others do. Walker Templeton is one such person,

ABOVE: Architect Walker Templeton works with a team at Sera Architects “to push the needle on workplace design.” OPPOSITE: The award-winning, LEED-certified Marriott Pearl District Residence Inn is clad in bright-yellow perforated screens.

a designer on double time. Right now, the 37-year-old architect is concurrently working on two sustainably designed spec homes, two residences for clients, a project for Nike, a winery, the student union building for the University of Oregon, and concepts for a new hotel in Portland. Templeton also convinced his firm, Sera Architects, to build a workshop in the office basement and a model shop on the second floor so he can exercise all his creative muscles. Oh, and he’s also building » GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN



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the kitchens in those spec homes at night and on weekends. “I can spend all day at my desk here, but tonight, I’ll spend three hours working with my hands. That allows me to not go insane,” he says. It’s not just his breadth and prolificacy that make him one to watch; his values are in the right place, too. No project is above or beneath him—he approaches all design, whatever the scale or budget, with the same vim and vigor. To further hone his craft, Templeton started developing sustainably designed spec homes on the side five years ago. “My goal wasn’t to set out to make money. It was more of an experiment,” Templeton says. “I wanted to build a house that would still be here in 100 years.” His high-design houses are triple insulated and made with as many reclaimed and made-inAmerica products as possible. All six, to date, have found a buyer within a week. And this year, in recognition of his commitment to green design, one of his projects won the AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Award. One wonders what he will do next—and where he finds the time for it all. For his energy, at least, he credits his overworked college days: “I’m used to a few hours of sleep a night.” h

In his first spec house, in Northeast Portland (minimalist to the point of looking like a graphic icon of a house), Templeton built the kitchen and all the doors, cabinets, bookshelves, and built-ins. “The simple form allowed for money to be spent on materials and a rigorous floor plan that uses every square inch,” he says.



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tiny heirloom

The past few years have seen a growing interest in tiny houses, both for their sustainability and for their minimalist aesthetics. The market is thick with rustic cabin-style designs, but Tiny Heirloom, which launched this past April, breaks the mold. The company is run by three couples, Michelle and Tyson Spiess, Brianna and Jason Francis, and Hannah and Zach Francis, who see their ideal client as someone interested in downsizing—really downsizing—but not downgrading. They have partnered with Portland companies to outfit the tiny homes, including the Joinery (for custom furniture that fits perfectly into tight spaces), Rejuvenation (for hardware and lighting), and Garrison Hullinger (for interior design). Each home is custom designed, in sizes ranging from 100 to 400 square feet. Several orders are currently in the works, and Tiny Heirloom is poised to become the next big thing in small-scale luxury. h



Ian Pratt

Big living in a tiny, sustainable (and stylish) package.

THIS PAGE AND OPPOSITE: The carefully refined layout, creative storage spaces, and compact appliances in Tiny Heirloom’s custom homes—such as this 180-squarefoot model—squeeze maximum impact out of minimum square footage. Even the most basic package includes luxurious touches such as granite countertops, bamboo flooring, and wind or solar power.



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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: An archival view of the Skidmore, Owings and Merrill–designed Veterans Memorial Coliseum shortly after it was built in the ’60s. The arena remains in use today, hosting over 100 events annually—and stunning visitors with its 360-degree view to the outdoors from the seating area.



veterans memorial coliseum Portland bands together to save a landmark poised to reclaim its former glory. Five years ago, Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum was saved from demolition when citizens protested a plan to build a minorleague baseball stadium on its site. The circa1960 coliseum, an architectural gem designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009, is one of only a few arenas in the world with a 360-degree view to the outside from its seats. Although it is almost twice the size of a Portland city block, the structure, remarkably, stands on just four columns. Over the ensuing years, plans to renovate the city-owned arena, formerly home to the NBA’s Trail Blazers, have failed to come to a City Council vote. Now Mayor Charlie Hales

has commissioned a new study of the building that includes both demolition and renovation as options. The grassroots group that led the original preservation effort, Friends of Memorial Coliseum, has intensified its efforts to see the building saved. “In a city that prides itself on being a capital of sustainable design and innovative architectural preservation, the coliseum represents more than just a historic building to preserve,” says Brian Libby, a cochair of the preservation group and GRAY’s Portland contributing editor. “It’s a measure of our values and our creative capacity. The question of whether to save or demolish it is a referendum on the kind of city that Portland wants to be.” To join the fight, check out h

clockwise from top: courtesy city of portland archives; jeremy bittermann; brian libby



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The conceptual Floating Sauna, designed by Jon Gentry and Aimée O’Carroll of goCstudio Architecture + Design, is set to become a reality in the summer of 2015 thanks to a crowd-sourced funding campaign that raised almost $44,000 for the project. The structure includes a deck, a wood-fired sauna, and a roof platform. And if you can’t take the heat, there is also a “cool-down” hatch that allows for a direct cold plunge.



goc studio A Kickstarter-approved floating sauna is just the beginning for two architects.

In late 2013, when architects Jon Gentry and Aimée O’Carroll of goCstudio Architecture + Design dreamed up the concept of a floating sauna, it was nothing more than a mental sketch of a project they might tackle years down the road. “Initially we weren’t really thinking of building it,” Gentry says, “but it was a representation of the kind of work we wanted to pursue in the future.” The two had met in 2011, when O’Carroll, who is originally from London, was interning at Seattle’s Olson Kundig Architects, where Gentry worked. After she returned home, the two decided to collaborate on projects via email, phone, and Skype, working around the eight-hour time difference to enter several international design competitions. In 2012, they placed second in the International Design Ideas Competition with their reimagination of Lake Washington’s 520 floating bridge, dissecting it into a series of site-specific island installations that included parks, benches, and bike paths. Gentry says that the competition sparked an interest in floating structures that eventually led to the sauna, which was fully funded, to the tune of $43,725, via Kickstarter over four weeks this September. They hope to launch it in summer 2015. The sauna will be transportable so that it can be moved easily among Seattle’s many bodies of water; once afloat, it will be anchored in place and publicly accessible by kayak. Back on land, goCstudio’s projects include a yoga studio in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and COR Cellars winery in the Columbia River Gorge. “From the beginning, we’ve looked at clients who are willing to take a risk,” O’Carroll says, “and that doesn’t mean the project has to be big. A low budget doesn’t mean that the project isn’t going to be exciting. Those restrictions just add to the challenge.” h




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As design director for Nike in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Toronto-born designer Sean Pearson perfected the art of creating bold, eye-catching design. His retail concepts for Nike elevated the already iconic brand with youthful, fresh designs executed in media from plywood to glass cubes. He left the company to start his own multidisciplinary agency, Rural / Urban / Fantasy Project, a.k.a. RUFproject, in Vancouver in late 2008. One year later, when Nike needed someone to design to completion, in just six months, a 14,000-square-foot soccer training facility and AIDS awareness–oriented health center in Soweto, South Africa, Pearson was on its speed dial. The project carries all of the style and graphic awareness of the brand, yet retains Pearson’s commitment to what he calls “a certain Canadian sensibility. It’s a way of listening and looking at things reflectively,” he says. “Like South Africa, Canada is a country that’s always watching the massive culture playing out around it. Good Canadian architecture is very respectful to the people within it.” Since that award-winning project, Pearson has continued to observe and contribute to the designed world, taking



on projects ranging from luxury houses in Lake Tahoe, California, and on Salt Spring Island, off the coast of British Columbia, to on-going retail design and modest projects for people who “don’t have the means but are keen on good design,” he says. While remaining grounded in built environments, he also brings an element of playfulness to his work, picking up on the “fantasy” part of his firm’s name with conceptual projects such as Camo-Density, an urban infill proposal using prefab building units screened by green hedges, and Ferris Wheel, a rotating housing concept that gives each owner of its condos a view for a short period of time before the wheel turns. “I want to make sure in our practice that we’re also doing stuff just for fun or for beauty, or to push an idea,” Pearson says. “When you get established, it’s too easy to keep doing things people pay you to do. I want to stay open to the creativity and the concept.” h

sean pearson

Award-winning and boundary-pushing spaces for a global community.

above: RUFproject’s vision for a stadium in Qatar is embedded in a park designed like an undulating carpet. right: The firm’s work ranges from conceptual designs, such as a pie-in-the-sky proposal for a housing complex that resembles a Ferris wheel, to challenging large-scale built work, such as a 14,000-squarefoot soccer training facility in South Africa.




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Product design 2.0

Modern living, with its smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and laptops, has revealed a modern scourge: wall-set outlets that are too far away from the devices they power. Thankfully, Seattle’s own Tactile design firm is attempting to combat this inconvenient evil by creating Power. The clear-coated reclaimed fir block functions as an attractive side table, but it has a hidden secret: multiple outlets on its back bring electricity into the center of the room, where it’s needed most. “We wanted to create a power source with a warm, contemporary aesthetic that serves the same function as a plastic tech appliance while fitting into the world of architecture and furniture,” says Jared Randall, the company’s vice president and design director. Though it hasn’t yet been made in multiples, we hear that the Seattle-based furniture studio Ample might have the honor of making Power our new must-have home accessory. h

Great minds at work to solve our modern problems, beautifully.


Through innovative, gorgeously designed objects, Seattle digital-innovation company Artefact is changing the way we think about and interact with everyday technologies. For example, it helped shape Lytro’s gamechanging Illum light-field camera, which records visual experiences in an interactive, almost 3D way and allows users to refocus or change a picture’s perspective postcapture. Its lens weighs just half a pound and can take both large-scale and up-close images very quickly. The firm’s latest project emerged from Artefact’s in-house think tank, Startefact, a forum in which employees pitch and vote on ideas they are passionate about. Purple is one such idea. The current state of wearable tech is—how should we put it?—meh. Purple, in contrast, takes a classic jewelry form, the locket, and gives it a 21st-century makeover. Inside, a screen relays messages and images from loved ones via social media outlets of your choice. The minimalist item belies its high-tech insides, making it seem less another gadget than, perhaps, the future of jewelry. While Purple remains a proof-of-concept prototype for now, we speculate that this design will prove to be a gem. h



Artefact’s Purple locket, while just a prototype for now, is evidence of a promising future for wearable technology. Wearers can flip the hinged metal cover to reveal digital images sent from loved ones.

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9/17/14 11:01 AM


studio visit Designers Wonhee Jeong Arndt and John Arndt of Studio Gorm stand in their Eugene, Oregon, studio with prototypes of two products they presented at the 2014 Milan Furniture Fair: a bent metal basket and the Sprung side chair.

Finding Beauty Studio Gorm, a husband-and-wife creative team based in Eugene, Oregon, elevates the mundane with their quietly elegant designs. Written by Jaime Gillin : Photographed by Erik Bishoff

Wonhee Jeong Arndt and John Arndt, founders of Studio Gorm, met in 2004 at the Design Academy Eindhoven. John grew up in Wisconsin. Wonhee is from South Korea. For three years they were outsiders studying and living in Holland, which “made for a very stimulating design environment,” John says. “We always discussed everyday objects, from traffic lights to kitchen utensils to electrical outlets and plugs. We were aware of everything around us, rather than taking things for granted.” Those early experiences inform the work they produce even today. “We’re still always looking at simple objects and figuring out how we can reinterpret them,” John says. “We’re always rethinking traditional typologies or archetypal forms.” Since 2008, they’ve both worked as professors in the product design department at the University of Oregon in



Eugene, a sweet gig by any measure. Because the University is a research institution, “you’re required to spend 40 percent of your time working to benefit your field,” Wonhee explains. For Studio Gorm, that means developing new products in its on-campus studio and taking advantage of the university’s myriad resources—CNC routers, laser cutters, ceramics studios, and more—to build and test prototypes. Even with the wealth of cutting-edge technologies at their disposal, their most important laboratory is their own home. Before a piece goes into production, the couple lives with it for a long time, testing and refining it until it’s pared down to its essence. As a result, Studio Gorm designs are never flashy or glamorous; rather, they are quietly confident, intuitive to use, and extremely well made and well thought-out. They’re timeless pieces you’ll want to live with for a long time. »

“we don’t wait around for someone to give us a brief. we are self-driven and interested in making work all the time. our own curiosity and desire to make stuff pushes us.’’ —john Arndt

Studio Gorm first developed its Peg series in 2009 and continues to refine and expand the line. The idea came from a dinner party the couple threw when they first moved to Eugene. They took a door off its hinges to create a large table, and their creative gears promptly started turning. “In Korea, they have traditional wall-hung tables, and you sit on the floor for eating,” Wonhee says. “We thought it would be nice to take something off the wall when you needed a table, something that could be low, or a traditional sitting height.” The modular system includes a Shaker-inspired peg rail and individual components including tabletops, bench seats, legs of varying heights, and accessories including a bookshelf and a lamp. Other Studio Gorm designs include, from bottom left to right, Milk Bottle lamps, Wire baskets, Peg stools, a Camp Bench, and Cap floor lamp. GRAY ISSUE No. NINETEEN


studio visit

Both John and Wonhee have art backgrounds and like to work with their hands to shape new designs. They frequently build physical prototypes and sketch together as a way to generate ideas. “Sometimes we make small paper models as a quick way to explore form and proportion, or to figure out if a chair is stackable,” says Wonhee. “We make our students make them, too. They usually say, ‘Oh, cute!’”

“When we go out to dinner or lunch, we always bring a sketchbook, and pass it back and forth or draw on either end of it. A lot of our best ideas happen in restaurants when we’re waiting for food. It’s the most productive time for us. We don’t mind slow service.” —Wonhee Jeong Arndt

LEFT TO RIGHT: Studio Gorm’s most recent pieces include the Step Shelf, which packs flat and assembles with little hardware; the curvilinear Shell desk, with a hinged wooden lid based on a traditional Chinese door; and the Sprung chair, made from a plastic sheet bent on an ash wood frame and upholstered in wool. Upcoming projects include a cork-and-wood doorstop with a rope handle that will be available through the Danish company Hay in early 2015. h



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151 11/7/14 2:15 PM

architecture OPPOSITE: Architect Brad Cloepfil poses with a series of pinup study renderings at Allied Works’s offices in Portland. LEFT: The new Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, the main campus building for the relocated Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), will be carved out of a historic federal building in Portland and is slated to open in early 2015.


After designing landmarks in a host of U.S. cities, Brad Cloepfil and Allied Works are making their mark at home in Oregon again. Written by brian libby : Portrait by dina aViLa

Fifteen years ago, architect Brad Cloepfil and his firm, Allied Works, skyrocketed to national prominence with two modern Portland landmarks: the Wieden+Kennedy building, which transformed a former cold-storage warehouse into a light-filled headquarters for the acclaimed advertising agency, and 2281 Glisan, a five-story mixed-use building with a poetically pristine interplay of concrete and timber. Following that architectural double-header, Allied shifted its focus beyond Oregon, designing great public buildings across the United States, from New York to Dallas to St. Louis. The firm is especially renowned for museums and cultural institutions; the three-year-old Clyfford Still Museum in Denver has won Cloepfil some of the biggest raves of his



career. (Los Angeles Times critic Christopher Knight called it, for example, “nothing less than a marvelous model for what a single-artist museum can be.”) Despite the nationwide attention, however, Allied has kept a relatively low profile in its hometown. Cloepfil, age 58, is currently based in New York, but travels to Portland every month. As of late, his firm is enjoying a renewed presence in the Rose City—and Cloepfil couldn’t be more pleased. On a recent visit, the architect was all smiles as he sat in his sunny corner office, located in a turn-of-the-century building in Portland’s Stadium district. “It’s like coming home again,” he says, dressed in his usual tieless white shirt and jacket. »






this page and opposite: The National

Music Centre of Canada in Calgary, which Allied Works was selected to design in 2009 via an international competition, is scheduled for completion in 2016. The building is composed of nine separate towers connected by a series of curving terracotta forms that reverberate the sounds of the Centre while bringing in a bounty of natural light.

Allied Works’s latest project, a renovation of the circa1916 511 Broadway federal building, is the firm’s highestprofile project in Portland in more than a decade. Set to open in early 2015, the new Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design will serve as the main campus building for the relocated Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). Allied’s commission also represents a chance for Portland to remake this stretch of Broadway, which straddles the gritty Old Town Chinatown to the east and the tony Pearl District to the west. As a historic building with a massive atrium, 511 Broadway harkens back to Cloepfil’s first great project, the Wieden+ Kennedy headquarters. Both presented the chance to reimagine a century-old building, retaining its character while carving out modern, light-filled, wide-open volumes. But while W+K had been a humble warehouse, ready for gutting, PNCA’s Schnitzer Center calls for Cloepfil and company

to balance the existing building’s gilded classical-revival grandness—its marble floors and curving archways—with casual energy reflecting its new purpose and young artschool occupants. “It’s like surgery,” Cloepfil explains. “Where can you touch it to have the most impact? We knew we wanted a kind of gathering space, so we opened up this atrium. But what’s the identity? This is a very proper old institutional building that’s going to be occupied by these irreverent, irascible, inventive kids. There needs to be an energy of the old and the new, and something a little raw, a little unexpected.” Cloepfil’s design achieves a cutting-edge building that establishes its own fresh identity without eliminating the original character of the space. “I think Brad is a sculptor, an artist,” says PNCA’s president, Tom Manley, who first began working with Cloepfil in 2005 on a master plan for the school. “It isn’t just, ‘Tell me what you want and I’ll design »




it.’ It’s a dialogue.” For example, Allied Works designed a cable-suspended mezzanine in the building’s new atrium, an architectural move that initially worried his clients. “A lot of us were saying it was way too much; it should be simpler,” Manley recalls. “And there was pushback. Brad said, ‘On some of these things you just have to trust us.’ And I can see it now. It’s going to be phenomenal.” Last fall, Cloepfil completed a new tasting room and event space for Sokol Blosser Winery, located in the Willamette Valley. Though smaller in scale than the PNCA building, the Oregon native calls it a dream project—a chance to build thoughtfully into the same landscape that inspired him as a youth. “I’ve been wanting to do a winery basically since I started Allied Works,” Cloepfil says. “When I was a child, my uncle and cousin farmed out there, right over the hill [from Sokol Blosser]. I’d spend a lot of Sundays out there on their farm. I could almost feel the landscape in my bones.” The project is composed as a series of striated wood-clad terraces carved into the Dundee Hills, each corresponding to a different view and forming a series of open and walled gardens. At the same time, Allied Works continues to make its mark beyond the 503 area code. Currently under construction is the National Music Centre of Canada, in Calgary, set to



open in 2016. The firm is also completing blueprints for a new U.S. embassy in Mozambique, as well as a veterans memorial and museum in Columbus, Ohio; a new home for Clemson University’s architecture school in Charleston, South Carolina; and outlets for the fashion houses Helmut Lang and Theory in New York. “For me, the really gratifying thing is that these projects show a maturity to the office. What I call the mastery of our voice has evolved,” Cloepfil says. He has worked with many of the same designers in his Portland office for over a decade, and believes that their shared vision has enabled Allied Works’s strong, wideranging portfolio. “We can just finish each other’s sentences. I think the level of work we’re able to do is at a much, much, much higher level because of that growing up together in architecture. Which is really, really fun.” Given that many acclaimed architects such as Frank Gehry and Philip Johnson have done their best work in their 60s, 70s, and beyond, perhaps Cloepfil’s most memorable work is yet to come. Whether it’s in Portland or far beyond, the architect is ready to seize the moment. h

THIS PAGE: Allied Works’s design for Sokol Blosser Winery’s new tasting room in Yamhill County, Oregon, comprises terraces carved from the contours of the surrounding Dundee Hills that provide a succession of wood-clad indoor and outdoor spaces. OPPOSITE: Cloepfil and his colleagues create models of projects using digital renderings (a study of the PNCA mezzanine is at far left); wooden blocks; and card stock.

“it isn’t just,

‘tell me what

you want and i’ll design it.’ it’s a dialogue.”

— Tom Manley, president, PNCA



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“The virtual world has given us so many ways to connect, but none can come close to what it’s like to be in the same room with other people.”


tsilli pines Graphic and interactive designer, co-founder of Design Week Portland

WHERE: Hollywood Theatre, Portland Photographed by PHIL CHESTER

“ALL MY LIFE, even before I knew what design was, I’ve been interested in finding ways to engage with the world and the different types of people in it,” Tsilli Pines says. That helps explain the breadth of her C.V.; Pines is simultaneously a graphic and interactive designer, an artist, the host of the Portland chapter of CreativeMornings, and the co-founder of Design Week Portland, the citywide festival, held this past October, that’s tripled in size since it was founded in 2012. It’s a lot to juggle, but Pines thrives on variety and bringing people together. It’s her personal passion, as well as the zeitgeist. “The virtual world has given us so many ways to connect, but none can come close to what it’s like to be in the same room with other people,” she says. “I think that’s why festivals and events of all kinds are having a bit of a heyday.” The Hollywood Theatre is Pines’s local movie joint, as well as a creative institution that shares her values around community building. Through live events and interactive programming, “it’s creating a cultural hub for the city, and exploring how to create invigorating experiences, beyond film-watching, that get people out of their houses,” Pines says. “It’s an inspiring model for me.” h



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