december 31, 2018



I was invited to visit Delta Lighting in Miami, FL last summer and it was a jam-packed with showroom and factory tours, lessons in the latest lighting collections and South Beach tan times. This high-quality, French-based company offers some of the best recessed lighting out there - the photo above is from their SPY COLLECTION. These little heads pop up out of their recessed hole to be minimally obtrusive if you aren’t paying attention, but adorably cute and clever if you are into lighting and notice things like that!


october 31, 2018



Kettal makes beautiful furniture pieces and they maintain a long-standing relationship with my favorite furniture designer, Patricia Urquiola. I have been saying wicker is going to make a comeback for YEARS - and she did it, of course. If it was going to be anyone making it happen, it would be Patricia. I have a strong belief that if a generation didn’t see a fad, then they don’t have the negative associations of the previous generation (think the recent fad doing lighting fixtures and faucets in brass and bronze). Now wicker is modern and I feel validated that the secret’s out!


september 30, 2018

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Oyez : Oyez : Oyez

The podcast landscape is vast, but not always nourishing. Not actually offering value and sometimes missing a mark. Does this sound familiar to you lately? I have the anti-venom! More Perfect is a podcast that will restore your faith in podcast production. It’s highly researched, highly detailed and packs a punch. I got so deep into constitutional law that I went on to read The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin and that just kept the high quality research train running. That’s (2) items of value for this month you might enjoy.


august 31, 2018



We finally bit the bullet - we bought an espresso machine for the office. As if you couldn’t tell from July’s favorite Item of Value, the Heath mug, we are quite diligent about our coffee ritual here. Quick Mill is a well-crafted, Italian-made machine with only one distributor in the USA. Our simple, single boiler machine “Alexia” is only truly designed for doppios and americanos - the perfect drink of choice to make our office life complete!


july 31, 2018

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Heath ceramics only does a few things and they do them well. Their dish collection is small, but  mighty. These stacking mugs in the white glaze are part of our morning coffee ritual at the office. Our collection is building slowly because these babies aren't cheap, but well-worth the extra $ for their high quality. As an item of design::value, they deserve some care and space on our shelf for the delight they bring!


may 31, 2018



Leonora Carrington is quite a character, being the last one of the first-wave of surrealist painters to die at the age of 94 in Mexico City, her adopted home. She eloped with Max Ernst to Mexico when she was 20 [he was 46] until the war separated them and Max was deported, then she went insane and was forced into an asylum in Spain. She never let go of the tragic therapy and drugs she was given there. This painting is my favorite of hers, gracing the book cover of “The Hearing Trumpet”, that I just read. A wildly magical and sinister tale that reminded me of Master and the Margarita. Old women wage war on a nefarious manager in an assisted living facility and a hunger strike ensues, need I say more?


april 30, 2018

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People say gardening in the PNW is 'easy' because 'everything just grows here'. Yes our climate gives us a head start and a boost, but what people don't tell you is that, actually, much tending and care is still required. You still have to water. You still have to add composting tea to most urban soil here. And because it is so wet, drainage of the soil is oh-so important! I have found using local seeds is the very foundation for a good garden in the PNW and have my favorite seed grower is featured here: Deep Harvest Seeds from Whidbey Island. Now go be gardening pros - this summer is supposed to be a dry and hot one!


february 27, 2018

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:winter: love

Embracing winter is an easy feat for the first month. Being cold isn't as annoying, the gloom is welcome and altering food is delightful. Who doesn't love a warming bowl of soup? After a month, the lack of light and wanting to stay in result in cabin fever. Ways we have found to get over this test to our mental state is to find winter loves that bring mental sunshine when physical sunshine isn't reliable. Reading is one of those consistent joy-bringing activities we slow down for in the winter season. This book was knock-my-socks off delightful, the lyrical rhythm and complexity written into each character in the family of 8 is impressive. Hats off to David James Duncan - highly valued this novel. 


january 31, 2018



A current residential remodel of ours will be featuring a new and greatly improved kitchen. Cle tiles were the natural choice for the backsplash. Zingy angles, pops of color, and that handmade charm all factor into the San Francisco based tile producer. The image above is called 'Dartanian' and I just love them for the color names they give, this one being 'federal blue / mouse' which fits it so perfectly. Stay tuned for photos in the CURRENT section of the website when the project is finished!


december 31, 2017

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Kiersten Crowley is a jewelry designer that works in Portland, OR and I found her work there while shopping at a favorite local store called Noun almost 10 years ago. I treasure the little earrings I have of her making for their delicately imperfect hammered rings on delicately imperfect hammered stems. The hand-formed curving ear hooks are one of a kind to each piece. Uni is where you can find most of her work now and I continue to follow collections she develops. Her breadth of work is nothing more than stunning.


November 30, 2017



A perfect harmony of science and art exists in these custom light fixtures made in Vancouver, BC. Omer Arbel experiments with metals in this new series for Bocci. Copper mesh covers one ball of clear glass and then it's dipped in the second ball of molten glass to completely cover the metal mesh. Air bubbles ooze out of the holes in the mesh  - making this globe light fixture perfectly imperfect. Watch the video on how they are made here.



october 31, 2017

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furniture delight :: stellarworks // utility chair

Utility and Beauty? It's more beauty than utility, in the case of Stellarwork's Utility Chair. Sleek, barely there arms seamlessly cradle the back and seat, both made from plain, classic black leather. Enough buttons and seaming create intricate detailing, without being overwrought or too simple. And walnut legs?

Oui Oui, s'il vous plait!

Check out other Stellarworks collections:


september 30, 2017

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lighting favorite :: 360volt

Straight out of Amsterdam is a lighting manufacturer that procures vintage warehouse lights all over Europe and sells them online. In the USA, light fixtures have to be UL-listed (a testing process that makes sure they are safely wired) and these do need additional UL-listing after they are shipped here, but this can be easily done by those handy enough! 

They easily and effortlessly add designvalue to a space because of their larger than average proportion and their less than perfect paint job. Check out more fixtures on their website:


august 16, 2017


item of designvalue :: born//raised

I don't plan to shop when traveling, but I do plan to take home an item of designvalue to remember the trip and make a mark in time with a physical object I will associate forever with that place. On our trip to Copenhagen in June I purchased a pair of sneakers that were made locally in the neighborhood we stayed in, a company that has been making footwear since 1968. Like any other trip, I wasn't explicitly looking for a particular item. For me, I am on the lookout and fully trust something will 'appear' if it's meant to be. I do have criteria for the item of designvalue and it has to comply with 3 out of 3 to win:

  1. Something I will use and use often.
  2. Something that is durable.
  3. Something I can fit in my bag (at least I haven't broken this rule yet)

They are comfortable and well conceived, and beautiful. Is there more that design should offer? Check out Born//Raised footwear: