Interiors Shopping in Honolulu

There aren't many places to shop for quality furniture in Honolulu. And what does exist is not cheap. But one of my favorite places to fantasy shop is Pacific Home on Ward Avenue. They've got amazing pieces that fit the island style, many of which can be custom covered with indoor/outdoor fabric. Here are a few of my current favorites:

  1. Ocean Breakers Console
  2. Baladi Mirrors
  3. Malibu Up Hanging Chandelier
  4. Lakehouse Platinum/White Area Rug
  5. Dorell Chair
  6. Geometric Coffee Table
  7. Olive Bottle Clear
  8. Ainsley Sofa

I Just Said "No" to a Potential Job

Aloha from paradise, 

I've been freelancing (aka unemployed) for 6 months, and a full-time student for 3. Its REALLY tempting to take graphic design job offers, but I'm holding out for an interior design job, even if its relatively entry level. It would be such a waste of my tuition, homework hours, and new endeavor efforts to jump on the first available/income producing graphic design gig.

Remind me this if I'm tempted again.

New Endeavors

On the eve of a return trip to Honolulu, I'm readying this blog to link to my other social media accounts. Up until now, I've been working in the comfort and safety of relative obscurity, only sharing it with a few friends, classmates and teachers. But writing a blog for a select few is akin to carrying on a monologue at a small dinner party. As an aspiring interior designer and natural-born hermit, I find this expanding level of exposure extremely uncomfortable. But my hope is that by sharing my learning experiences, and search for employment and legitimacy in this new professional endeavor, I'll grow creatively, become a contributing member of this industry, join the larger community of interior design bloggers, and inspire more dialogue. Aloha!

Tips for Picking the Right Size Ceiling Light

Sunset Magazine's April issue features a list of great life hacks for everyday problems and interior design tips. My favorite: #19 Pick the Right Size Ceiling Light. " ... To size a chandelier as the focal point of a space ... measure the room's length and width. Add those numbers together, and the sum (in feet) is the approximate recommended diameter of your chandlier (in inches)." Below are a five of my latest favorites.

  1. Schoolhouse Electric Isaac Chandelier - Natural Brass
  2. Pottery Barn Faux Antler Chandelier
  3. CB2 SAIC together pendant light
  4. DWR Drop 1 Pendant, Grouping of 11
  5. Lamps Plus Possini Euro Hemingson 33" Wide Edison Bronze Pendant Light

In Search of More Time

Full disclosure, I'm still in school full-time, studying interior design at the Heritage School of Interior Design. I'm in classes five days/22 hours a week. And, because this program is so rigorous, I average 24 hours/week on homework. Essentially, going to school is my full-time job. Updating this blog is my part-time job. I tell you this not to complain, but to explain why I'm not taking on full-service clients right now, just remote clients. In May, when I start the MBA program at the University of Portland, my schedule will actually be more forgiving, and I'll be available to do more full-service jobs. Until then, I continue to learn about my new trade, Portland's many industry resources, meet my local interior designer peers and mentors, and get inspired by the uber creative residents and verdant natural surroundings.

But sometimes I just need to take a break and feed the well of inspiration. Last weekend, I had a good friend in town, visiting from Palm Springs. We went to the Portland Art Museum. They have a great exhibit of indigenous art, a top-notch permanent collection of traditional European and contemporary American art. I highly recommend checking it out.

French Country

My remote-design client in New Orleans saw my inspiration board for a French Country livingroom, and wants to know where she can find similar pieces. Below are a few suggestions for basics.

  1. Ethan Allen Aged Silver Provincial Mirror
  2. Anthropologie Burnished Wood Console Table
  3. Sage & Co. French Market Botanical 12 Piece Framed Graphic Art Set (12)
  4. Anthropologie Luxe Fur Occasional Chair
  5. nuLOOM Handmade Country Floral Centerpiece Wool Blue Rug
  6. Anthropologie Navarra Dining Bench 
  7. Constanza Classic French Accent Chair
  8. Gilt Constanza Classic French Accent Chair

Mid-Century Livingroom

I have a remote-design client in Palm Springs who has asked me to pick out some authentic mid-century furniture for his living room remodel. He has specifically requested for no kitsch, no mint green. He wants furniture that is handsome and sophisticated. What do you think of the pieces below?

 1. Bertoia  Diamond Chair   2. Nelson  Bench   3. Nelson  Clock   4. Eames  Bent Wood Chair   5. Noguchi  Coffee Table   6. Saarinen  Tulip Table   7. Knoll  Sofa

1. Bertoia Diamond Chair

2. Nelson Bench

3. Nelson Clock

4. Eames Bent Wood Chair

5. Noguchi Coffee Table

6. Saarinen Tulip Table

7. Knoll Sofa

Furniture Ideas for a Studio Apartment

My studio apartment is currently over-furnished. I made the classic mistake of being so excited about furnishing it, that I started buying furniture before I moved in. I had the dimensions, but I should have waited and lived in it for a few days, then shopped. If I had it to do all over again, I'd consider the pieces below. What do you think? How would you mix and match them?

 1. Regina Andrew  Jute Pendants   2. Rejuvenation  Cedar & Moss Pendant   3. Rejuvenation  Haleigh 8" Pendant Lamp   4. MGBW  Ansel Chair Brass & Tibetan Fur   5. ddc  Gilda Chair   6. DWR  Cuba Lounge Chair   7. Crate&Barrel  Sierra Nightstand   8. West Elm  Natural Tree Stump Tables   9. Rejuvenation  Copper & Jute Bench   10. Pacific Home  Monkey Pod Sofa   11. DWR  Tuxedo Sofa

1. Regina Andrew Jute Pendants

2. Rejuvenation Cedar & Moss Pendant

3. Rejuvenation Haleigh 8" Pendant Lamp

4. MGBW Ansel Chair Brass & Tibetan Fur

5. ddc Gilda Chair

6. DWR Cuba Lounge Chair

7. Crate&Barrel Sierra Nightstand

8. West Elm Natural Tree Stump Tables

9. Rejuvenation Copper & Jute Bench

10. Pacific Home Monkey Pod Sofa

11. DWR Tuxedo Sofa

So Many Moves

7 moving.jpg

In the past 30 years since college, I have lived in 8 different cities, and in at least 20 different apartments or homes. I'm a pro at packing, moving & unpacking. But over the years, I've acquired alot more stuff. I've got it down to 27 large plastic bins (sustainable, because I use them over and over again), not including furniture or surfboards. What I could once pack & move in a weekend, now takes a week. And another week to unpack. Putting it all in it's place, however, is an ongoing effort. I love nesting, designing my living space to be both functional and beautiful. In this latest move to Portland, I have arranged and rearranged my furniture 6 times. I think it's less about being indecisive, and more about trying to create functionality in a small apartment. Plus, my home is also my office. I'll post photos once I get the arrangement JUST right. ;)

16 Portland Resources for Interior Designers

In my last post, I mentioned Bloomsbury Antiques & Curiosities, Grand Marketplace and Bernadette Breu. Below I've listed 16 additional resources for Portland's interior designers, in no particular order:

  1. Maison offers some of the most swell-egant home furnishings in Stumptown. They also have a cadre of interior designers. Check out their portfolio at
  2. Rejuvenation, located in an early 1900 historic building, you'll find lighting, hardware, furniture, decor, salvaged and restored antiques. It's a Wes Anderson prop stylist's dream. There's also a yummy cafe inside.
  3. Schoolhouse Electric for period/modern lighting, furniture & accessories.
  4. Bradshaw Frame Gallery custom frames everything imaginable and can print and frame your digital files.
  5. NW Rugs has 3 locations: Beaverton, Jantzen Beach and Wilsonville. They have rugs in almost every color, pattern and size imaginable; including natural and synthetic, machine-made and hand-made. Their prices range from $40 to above $16,000.
  6. Kravet's gorgeous showroom will make you want to design something, anything; just to use their beautiful textiles. In addition to carrying their own line of residential, commercial and indoor/outdoor fabrics, they also offer Ralph Lauren Home, Barbara Barry, Candice Olson, Diane Von Furstenberg, Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, Thom Felicia, and many, many more. They also sell furniture, trimmings, carpets, drapery hardware and wall coverings.
  7. Linde Ltd sells textiles, carpets, wall coverings, furniture and lighting. Their fabric lines include Anna French, Cowtan & Tout, Manuel Canovas, Thibaut and Vervain.
  8. Bedford & Brown Tucked away on NW Vaughn Street, this little store front masks a cavernous space of furniture, lighting, accessories, found objects, art, gifts, plants, and garden objects.
  9. Globe Lighting has multiple locations throughout Oregon. They sell every imaginable form of lighting, in addition to ceiling fans, bathroom hardware, and home decor.
  10. Nest Don't be deceived by Nest's website. Their showroom is a beautifully organized, and welcoming space to showcase the most sought-after names in home furnishings.
  11. Pratt & Larson OMG, please let me win the lottery so that I can design the house of my dreams with tile from Pratt & Larson. They sell their own line of tiles, plus national brands, in hundreds of glazes and shapes, including traditional and contemporary styles; and give tours of their on-site factory.
  12. Contract Furnishings Mart If you're looking for an in-town, quick and easy place to shop for all your carpet, flooring, tile, countertops and cabinetry, CFM is worth checking out.
  13. Calico This is not your grandmother's Calico Corners. You can find contemporary and traditional fabric, window treatments, furniture, bedding and accessories beautifully organized by color.
  14. ProDesign Located in Tigard, this is another convenient one-stop shop for carpet, flooring, tile, countertops, blinds, and cabinets.
  15. Castellano sells custom furniture and and also provides furniture refurbishing.
  16. The Rebuilding Center salvages and sells building materials from deconstructed residential, commercial and industrial projects. They also help projects qualify for the USGBC's LEED Certification.

Vintage Resources

In January, the Heritage School's Fundamentals class toured some of Portland's best vintage shops: the Bloomsbury Antiques & Curiosities, Grand Marketplace, Bernadette Breu. The gentlemen at Bloomsbury ( were a wealth of furniture history knowledge, were more than willing to share information, and help us find just the right piece to match a period or room. Grand Marketplace ( was a hodge podge of mostly second-hand, but some new furniture, accessories and tchotchkes. Bernadette Breu ( was absolutely stuffed with furniture from almost every period. 

Field Trips

 From current exhibitions: "Logos, Monograms, and Corporate Imagery: The Fine Ornament of Emblematic Hardware" and " Strength, Utility, and Beauty: Architectural Metal in the Gilded Age".

From current exhibitions: "Logos, Monograms, and Corporate Imagery: The Fine Ornament of Emblematic Hardware" and " Strength, Utility, and Beauty: Architectural Metal in the Gilded Age".

Every Thursday, the Heritage School Fundamentals class goes on a field trip to check out local resources for interior designers. In January, we visited the Architectural Heritage Center. Its a great source for anyone interested in conservation, architecture, building traditions, craftsmanship, culture and environmental sustainability. On display during our visit were architectural artifacts from some of Portland's historic buildings. Check their website for current exhibitions:

The Elwood

I live in an amazing building, The Elwood. It's part of the Hassolo on Eighth development, comprised of 3 LEED certified buildings. Vida Design created the interiors, including gorgeous original paintings and photography. Above is the lobby, and below is the community room. I love all the warm and cozy  furniture and textiles.

I am undoubtedly spending more to live here than I should. But its safe, secure, and located conveniently to a TriMet line, and both of my schools (Heritage and UoP). And it makes me happy to come home.

Rainy Days

I often get asked if I'm adjusting to the weather ok. Friends are genuinely concerned. Its really touching. Indeed, its much colder and wetter here than Honolulu, but the rains bring amazing, moss-covered forests and fun, shoe-sucking, muddy hikes. Right now, the cherry blossoms are going OFF. Today, I drove to Corvallis to visit a friend who also made the move from Honolulu. This beautiful tree was adjacent to a short, accessible, wetlands hike right in the heart of Corvallis. No, there are no palm trees here, but there are other beauties.

Hello again!

After a 3-year hiatus from the blogosphere, I'm back. We left off in 2012, at the end of my Honolulu condo renovation, and I was just so burnt out, I had nothing interesting left to share. I loved the final product, and my home was truly my sanctuary. I have since sold that condo (at a $110,000 profit, thanks to the renovation) and relocated to Portland, OR where I've been studying at the Heritage School of Interior Design. So far, I've taken an Intro to Hand Drafting course, AutoCAD, Sketchup and Revit. I'm in the midst a kitchen and bath class, and the foundation course which is 18 hours a week for 12 weeks. Next week, I start the advanced Sketchup class. It is much more rigorous that I thought it would be, but I love learning about this industry, especially surrounded by others who are equally as passionate.