Inspired by Jewelry

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Inspired by Jewelry

In October, a jewelry maker came into Spectacular Design & I loved her energy and jewelry immediately. The colors, shapes, fluidity and buoyancy of Lilo Sermol's paper and metal creations were magnetic, matched only by her spirit. 

I asked about a trunk show, and she brought in an assortment of lovely pieces. I took her necklaces in my hands and started wrapping vases, thinking about pieces that would work for the home as well as the body. 

Spectacular-Design-www.spectacular-design.com-Portland-OR-home-furnishings-and-decor.jpg

For the holidays, I asked for pieces that would be reminiscent of Christmas tree garlands that would work as elegant table runners to dress a holiday table. I specifically asked for one for my black gloss desk. This is what Lilo brought in:

Spectacular-Design-www.spectacular-design.com-Portland-OR-home-decor.jpg

Experimenting with it, I also wound it around my neck as a necklace on my white cotton shirt.
Awesome!!! Multi-dimensional beauty!

Dress Your Table, Dress Yourself.  

Colorful, architectural, sometimes voluminous yet light as a feather — I think you will be bowled over by her work, too. Spectacular Design is excited to host Lilo's jewelry for the body and the home through the holidays. Buy what you see, or custom order for your vision.      

Spectacular-Design-www.spectacular-design.com-Portland-OR-decorator.jpg

Lilo will be joining us in Spectacular Design on
— Friday, Nov. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 28 —
to kick off our holiday merriment. 

Stop in for a treat, a sip, and a colorful afternoon. 

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Clocks

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Clocks

Spring forward—
it's Daylight Savings Time.
The world is a little groggy
from losing an hour of sleep,
at least I am,
and so today I am contemplating time.

What does time look like?

Here it is from the poetic side:

Curious how the giant clock looms so large, but feels welcoming, not stifling.
The colors, the Roman numerals, the club chairs — it's cozy, like time is a friend rather than a taskmaster.

photo courtesy of seamzero.com

photo courtesy of seamzero.com


• • • In Pensive View • • •

From a wall to a window. And much grander.
The man is silhouetted and barely distinguishable
from the Roman numerals. 

Must be a philosophical moment in there somewhere.

photo courtesy of bohemianseason.blogspot.com

photo courtesy of bohemianseason.blogspot.com


• • • A Modern Grandfather • • •

The romance of time has slipped away
in this minimalist interpretation
of a grandfather clock.
Stripped to the bare essentials,
and elevated on legs like stilts,
these angular timepieces carry on
a curious conversation with the arms
that sweep around and around the face.
For me the angularity highlights
the cyclical nature of time.

photo courtesy of gadgetify.com

photo courtesy of gadgetify.com


• • • Descending Time • • •

This blue space trimmed in white
focuses the eye on the view.
The clock is tucked in between the windows,
and echoes their curves.
It's a quiet cousin in the corner,
but completes the space to perfection.


• • • Record of Time • • •

Clock hands go round and round like the sun.
Keeping time is the heart of music.
Here, the two combine in a piece
that melds time, music, and the city of love.

photo courtesy of etsy.com

photo courtesy of etsy.com

As the sun is starting to descend
on our newly longer day,
my small meditation on time
and timepieces winds down with it.

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Step Up

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Step Up

As we plunge into 2015,
I am contemplating stairs.
Here, a meditation on stairs
to accompany your journey
in the year ahead.

Onward to grand things!


 • • • Rhythm• • •

Street art.
Musicality.
A lilting step.
They’re all here,
and aren’t they lovely?

photo courtesy of theplumednest.com

photo courtesy of theplumednest.com


• • • Scroll • • •

An ordinary set of stairs —
— well, ordinary until you factor in
the shape of the wall holding up the balustrade,
and the way that shape is echoed and reinforced
by the tufted banquette.
It’s like a giant headboard meets a stairway,
and this is what they wrought.

photo courtesy of thestudioentourage.com

photo courtesy of thestudioentourage.com


• • • Measured • • •

Same concept, different execution.
Button tufted velvet walls.
With a crisp white dressmaker-detail border.

I like.
I really really like!


• • • Walk On Water • • •

An ordinary stairwell, but wow!
Look what the swishy floor covering does.
Oh, the power of graphics,
combined with the power of color.

Yes, please!

photo courtesy of decordesignreview.tumblr.com

photo courtesy of decordesignreview.tumblr.com


• • • Dynamo • • •

On the topic of color and stairs,
how’s this for dynamic?

ombre-stairs.jpg

• • • Quiet Descent • • •

Simpler execution.
Minimalism at its poetic best:

photo courtesy of Lauren Jolly Roberts at flickr.com

photo courtesy of Lauren Jolly Roberts at flickr.com


• • • Supporting Scene • • •

Even a typical stairway
can be a beautiful backdrop
with thoughtfully-placed wallpaper.

photo courtesy of annesage.com

photo courtesy of annesage.com


• • • Rooted in Nature • • •

For the Pacific Northwest,
what could be better than
an organic stairwell that hugs a tree.

In my book, it’s a tree hugger.

photo courtesy of impressiveinteriordesign.com

photo courtesy of impressiveinteriordesign.com


• • • bathing beauties • • •

On the wood theme,
how about these bathing beauties?

photo courtesy of cargocollective.com/jocelyncostis

photo courtesy of cargocollective.com/jocelyncostis


• • •  Trans-Ascendant • • •

Finally, for those moments of exhilaration,
when you are floating on air,
surely this is the staircase to carry you there.

photo courtesy of themost10.com

photo courtesy of themost10.com

Wherever your journey takes you in 2015,
I wish you inspiration, great design, room to breathe,
and color inside & out.

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Exposed Frame

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Exposed Frame

• • • Exposed Frames • • •

The leaves have come off the trees,
revealing intricate systems
of twigs and branches.
Stormy November skies highlight their dramatic form.

photo courtesy of flickr.com

photo courtesy of flickr.com

The grand beauties' exposed branches
makes me think of exposed wood upholstered furniture. 


• • • Under Wraps • • •

Typically, the wood frame of
upholstered furniture is undercover —
— a utilitarian base that is wrapped
in foam, springs and down,
then layered with the wool, cotton,
linen, velvet or leather
that touches our skin.

photo courtesy of anneball.co.uk

photo courtesy of anneball.co.uk


• • • Elegant Frames • • •

Watch what happens when
the wood frame is exposed
and incorporated as part
of the finished piece.

photo courtesy of christopherguy.com

photo courtesy of christopherguy.com

Drama.
Elegance.
Fluid curves.
High contrast.

A piece of sculpture that offers
a plump and inviting seat.


• • • Simply Contemporary • • •

Exposed wood & upholstery combinations
are nearly limitless in materials, style, and tone.

Here, walnut and leather team up
in a contemporary sofa/daybed:

photo courtesy of americanleather.com

photo courtesy of americanleather.com


• • • Classic Art • • •

Dining chairs often combine
a wooden back and frame
with an upholstered seat.

This one raises the combination
to an art form.

photo courtesy of flickr.com

photo courtesy of flickr.com


• • • Glamorous Setting • • •

Here, a lovely combination
that is customizable in wood finish,
upholstery fabric, and even size —
—either as a chair or a settee:

photo courtesy of emersonbentley.com

photo courtesy of emersonbentley.com


• • • Architectural Perspective • • •

Frank Lloyd Wright is well known
for the wood/upholstery combination
as in this barrel chair from 1937:

photo courtesy of cassina.com

photo courtesy of cassina.com


• • • Solid Standing • • •

Encased in walnut side panels,
here is a tailored version
of an exposed wood sofa:

photo courtesy of emersonbentley.com

photo courtesy of emersonbentley.com


• • • Whimsies & Curves • • •

Those who like a little whimsy
with their wood might enjoy
this pouffy curlicue sofa
as much as I do:

photo courtesy of caracole.com

photo courtesy of caracole.com

The bare branches dotting our seasonal landscape
are dramatic in one way, quiet and meditative in another.
In this season of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for
the exposed wooden bones of truly wonderful furniture,
from the tailored to the dramatic.

For more exposed framed furniture inspirations, check out our Pinterest Board!

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Cartoony Done Right

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Cartoony Done Right

Cartoons.

We love them because they make us laugh.
Whimsical, quirky, and eccentric,
they can be as effervescent as champagne.

As costumes and masquerade take to the streets today,
some highly stylized, theatrical furniture feels right for Halloween.
A dash of this, a sprinkle of that —
— stir it up in the imagination
and out comes what I call

Cartoony Done Right.

In Cartoony Done Right, the pieces can be mostly

• • • Serious with a Touch of Whimsy • • •

photo courtesy of freshome.com

photo courtesy of freshome.com


• • • Or Plump & Frilly • • •

photo courtesy of polart.us

photo courtesy of polart.us


• • • Scaled for Royalty • • •

photo courtesy of desktopwallpapers4.me

photo courtesy of desktopwallpapers4.me


• • • Or More Demure • • •

photo courtesy of polart.us

photo courtesy of polart.us


• • • In the Box • • •

They can twinkle with a wry sense of humor like this bookcase.

photo courtesy of polart.us

photo courtesy of polart.us


• • • Flipped Over • • •

Or make you pause to admire the cleverness of an old school classic with an understated chuckle like this bookcase from Italian design brand, LEMA.

photo courtesy of raw-edges.com

photo courtesy of raw-edges.com


Here it is in situ — isn’t it clever how the bookshelf works like a console?

photo courtesy of raw-edges.com

photo courtesy of raw-edges.com


• • • The King, Judson Beaumont • • •

A few contemporary furniture designers specialize in the cartoony. Judson Beaumont is probably the most well known. His company, Straight Line Designs, produces imaginative furniture that is anything but straight-lined.

Here, in honor of the most famous mouse of all time and his special pal Minnie, animation overtakes the conventionally staid chests of drawers:

photo courtesy of theendearingdesigner.com

photo courtesy of theendearingdesigner.com


Traditional chests of drawers are made of wood. What happens when a beaver takes out after that chest with his two front teeth? In Judson Beaumont's world, it turns out something like this whimsical mind bender:

photo courtesy of rwarchitextures.blogspot.com

photo courtesy of rwarchitextures.blogspot.com


• • • Suit Up • • •

Grey flannel pin stripes define the quintessential men's formal suit. When grey flannel pin stripes are turned out on rounded rectangles supported by lime green legs, the friendly shapes begin to resemble conversation balloons.

photo courtesy of homeharmonizing.com

photo courtesy of homeharmonizing.com


• • • Bold Colors & Lines • • •

Bold animation meets minimalist shapes, sharp lines and strong graphics in Kelly Behun’s zippy, spirited bench:

photo courtesy of kellybehun.com

photo courtesy of kellybehun.com


So what is Cartoony Done Right?

It’s the animation of furniture through whimsy and imagination, just like Walt Disney brought a mouse to life in 1928. My favorite of his modern day descendants is a Romanian designer, Irina Neacsu, whose adorable cartoon chairs are the perfect meditation on Cartoony Done Right:

For more whimsical, cartoony furniture inspiration, check out our Pinterest Board!

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Inspired Workspaces

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Inspired Workspaces

Love it or hate it,
September is back to school.
The air turns,
sweater-and-boots weather rolls in,
and it’s time to hit the books.

Who doesn’t work better in an inspiring space?

Spectacular Design Original

Spectacular Design Original


• • • This work space has it all • • •

+ Work surface and reading chair oriented to the view,
+ Fresh air coming through windows that open onto a view,
+ Trees outside and in,
+ And a cat to keep things on an even keel.

Neither the space nor the elements are fancy —
— but the office is top drawer.

photo courtesy of reyesrobledo.blogspot.com

photo courtesy of reyesrobledo.blogspot.com


• • • Simple & Minimal • • •

For its simplicity and organic shape,
nothing beats this floating wooden desk
shaped like a river rock
accompanied by a stool
reminiscent of a whale’s fluke.

I can’t get back to work fast enough.

photo courtesy of victorklassen.com

photo courtesy of victorklassen.com


Another truly handsome minimalist
take on the essential elements
of a work space:

photo courtesy of babble.com

photo courtesy of babble.com


• • • Small Spaces • • •

Speaking of workspace essentials,
how about these spa blue file cabinets
under a clean white work surface —
— all on wheels.
House your stuff, and move it, too.
The wheels let you easily transform the space —
— perfect for small spaces,
where you have to make every inch count.

photo courtesy of indulgy.com

photo courtesy of indulgy.com


When you have very little space,
you have to make it multi-task.
Here, a super clever work space/dressing table
that gets the job done on multiple fronts.

Pull up a chair.

photo courtesy of banasty.com

photo courtesy of banasty.com


This Spectacular Design work space
sits in a compact condo,
where it interacts with its bold environment.
When you don’t have the space to devote
a full room to your office,
you have to make the workspace function
independently while also contributing
to the whole room’s ambiance.

Spectacular Design Original

Spectacular Design Original


• • • Close to Home • • •

One of the hottest trends in home renovation
is a backyard office/studio.
The commute couldn’t be shorter,
and yet you are out of your own hair.

Add a view,
and it just doesn’t get any better.

photo courtesy of design-milk.com

photo courtesy of design-milk.com


• • • Style & Flair • • •

The elements in this work space are simple,
yet the well-placed color creates killer impact.
Notice how the horizontal color contrast
carries right through the drapes.
Makes me want to sit right down
and get something done!

photo courtesy of 79ideas.org

photo courtesy of 79ideas.org


Every element of this workspace is lovely:
from the shapely legs
and perfectly placed nailheads
on the powder blue ottoman,
to the scalloped desk
and the tufted office chair.

Oh yes,
I can work here j-u-u-u-u-u-s-t fine.
My ideas are flowing already…...

photo courtesy of dailygeekshow.com

photo courtesy of dailygeekshow.com

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Sofas From The Gods

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Sofas From The Gods

When is a sofa more than a sofa?

 

When it's back is curved like a Mozart sonata:

photo courtesy of BentleyChurchill.com

photo courtesy of BentleyChurchill.com


 

When it stands at attention on ancient footing:

photo courtesy of shimna.net

photo courtesy of shimna.net


 

When it’s tailored and curved at the same time:

photo courtesy of  janshowers.com

photo courtesy of  janshowers.com


 

When the tufting is satin, and oh so unexpected:

photo courtesy of bentleychurchill.com

photo courtesy of bentleychurchill.com


 

When it's a piece of sculpture and sized for the living room on Mount Olympus:

photo courtesy of bentleychurchill.com

photo courtesy of bentleychurchill.com


 

When it's velvet, or better yet, tufted velvet:

photo courtesy of theurbanfarmhouse.typepad.com

photo courtesy of theurbanfarmhouse.typepad.com


 

When it floats on acrylic legs like a puffy cloud:

photo courtesy of seekingdecor.blogspot.com

photo courtesy of seekingdecor.blogspot.com


 

When it's pink, velvet, tufted, floats on charcoal, and calls my name:

photo courtesy of secondshoutout.com

photo courtesy of secondshoutout.com


 

When it's velvet, tufted, teal, and curved in the nicest way:

photo courtesy of fromgreenwich.tumblr.com

photo courtesy of fromgreenwich.tumblr.com


 

And when it’s a party waiting to happen:

photo courtesy of skylinedesign.com

photo courtesy of skylinedesign.com

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*header photo courtesy of citilug.com

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A Cat's World

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A Cat's World

“I love cats because I enjoy my home;
and little by little, they become its visible soul.”

― Jean Cocteau

For the cat fanciers among us,
home isn’t home without our feline friends.
Curiosity, agility, whimsy, surprise and independence
all traipsing around on little cat feet.

photo courtesy of homes.yahoo.com

photo courtesy of homes.yahoo.com


• • • Hide & Seek • • •

You know how cats like to
hide out in their secret places, like closets?
Here’s an idea I love for giving them
a hideout right in the mix of things:

photo courtesy of dornob.com

photo courtesy of dornob.com


If you live in a small space, like a condo,
you have to make use of every square inch.
In a larger home, the space demands aren’t as urgent,
but the fun of this idea might be irresistible:

photo courtesy of storageandglee.blogspot.nl

photo courtesy of storageandglee.blogspot.nl

• • • High-End Feline • • •

For the famously adept loungers,
a hammock coffee table offers
a whole new take on clean lines.

photo courtesy of supercoolpets.com

photo courtesy of supercoolpets.com

For those who live with cats,
work and love intersect at the desk.
Just about the time you want to sit down
and get something done,
your beloved feline wants to lounge on the desk,
in your lap, or better yet,
on your papers or keyboard.

To address the intersection of cats and work,
a designer from Hong Kong, RUAN Hao,
came up with the ultimate in
feline friendly desks, CATable:

photo courtesy of lycs-arc.com

photo courtesy of lycs-arc.com

As the designer describes it,
the desk speaks to both sides of the coin:
people who live with cats
perpetually have to get the cat off their laptop,
“like a sentimental ritual of temporary farewell,”
while “cats are irresistibly  drawn to a proper sized hole”

– so the desk draws felines to explore the paths
inside the desk while leaving the humans
to work in peace.

“It is a table for us, and a paradise for cats.”

photo courtesy of lycs-arc.com

photo courtesy of lycs-arc.com

photo courtesy of lycs-arc.com

photo courtesy of lycs-arc.com


When the task turns to reading,
there’s nothing like a reading chair,
books, and a great cat perch.

photo courtesy of makethemroar.com

photo courtesy of makethemroar.com


• • • Floating Kitty • • •

If you have cats,
especially indoor cats,
you know how much they love to climb.

If you give them a built environment
that lets them do what they are
born to do in trees and bushes,
they won’t be as likely to climb the drapes,
the furniture, or the humans.

A series of floating shelves, for example,
is fairly easy to execute, and does the trick beautifully.
It’s like the CATable — writ large.

photo courtesy of shirari.com

photo courtesy of shirari.com

• • • Kitty Dreaming • • •

After charging around
in great bursts of frenetic energy,
every feline needs to rest up.
Why not a curved, floating shelf
with kitty mattress to match,
for adorable relaxation?

photo courtesy of shirari.com

photo courtesy of shirari.com


While your felines are resting,
why shouldn’t you follow suit?
Here, a couple cat-inspired Spectacular Design bedrooms
for the cat lovers among us:


And a final note from the Master of Dreams,
who loved the mystery of cats
like he loved the unconscious:

photo courtesy of weheartit.com

photo courtesy of weheartit.com

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Ode to Chairs

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Ode to Chairs

Coming home from a long and busy day,
when you just want to plunk down and rest,
a comfortable chair is the center of the universe.

Isla Chaise by Bentley Churchill

Isla Chaise by Bentley Churchill


• • • Ultimate Coziness • • •

I call it sinky sinky —
— you sink into the down
and just don't want to get up.

Zellar Chair by Bentley Churchill.

Zellar Chair by Bentley Churchill.


• • • Reflective Comfort • • •

Down wrapped in
muted sky blue leather
and edged with mirror —
vintage inspired elegance
that sits like a dream.

Morgan Chair by Oly

Morgan Chair by Oly


• • • Conversational Accent • • •

For resting/recharging,
or socializing with friends —
seating supports you alone or
in conversation as it
defines your angle of repose.

Neely Accent Chair by Parker Southern

Neely Accent Chair by Parker Southern


• • • Bookworm Hero • • •

For the literary among us —

it's a library,

it's a chair........................

it's superlibrarychair!

photo credit: bookriot.com

photo credit: bookriot.com


• • • Eternal Style • • •

Stylized 1930's deco
for a period statement
that is eternally alive:

photo credit: oninteriordesign.com

photo credit: oninteriordesign.com


• • • Simplicity Rules • • •

The Most Clever Folding Chair Ever:

photo credit: improvisedlife.com

photo credit: improvisedlife.com


• • • Bear Hug • • •

From Gio Ponti —
the friendliest chairs.
I think of them as the
Pooh Bear of Chairs.

photo credit: hotelbristolnews.blogspot.dk

photo credit: hotelbristolnews.blogspot.dk


photo credit: namedesignstudio on etsy.com

photo credit: namedesignstudio on etsy.com

For more chair inspiration, check out our Pinterest Board!

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An Open View

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An Open View

They say that eyes are the windows to the soul.
As an extension, I believe that
windows are the soul's connection to the world. 

photo credit: homedsgn.com

photo credit: homedsgn.com

While plain rectangles in standard sizes
are the most familiar,
windows come in a vast range
of shapes and sizes.

Here are a few that I love
for the ambiance and poetic essence they imbue.

A 269-Sqft House That Looks Like A Living Sculpture, photo credit: fastcodesign.com

A 269-Sqft House That Looks Like A Living Sculpture, photo credit: fastcodesign.com

Finding as I walk down the streets of Portland.

Finding as I walk down the streets of Portland.

Hexagram windows never looked any better, photo credit: teenangster.net

Hexagram windows never looked any better, photo credit: teenangster.net

photo credit: John Cole

photo credit: John Cole


While rectangular, this trio of long, lean windows defines the contemporary living room as well as the view. Repeating the large picture windows would have been an obvious solution, but would have had much less impact than the three thin beauties. The frame breaks at the height of the window sill on the left ties them together through theme with variation.

On a final note:

photo credit: elizabethashleigh.com

photo credit: elizabethashleigh.com

For more inspiration, check out our Pinterest board!

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