Friday, March 30, 2012

Hunt and Gather: ScarfShop

By Amanda Rickenbach

The ScarfShop creates beautiful handmade scarfs using silk and cotton. Trained as an architect, Martha, the designer, turned to her passion of making things by hand. It's easy to see that she loves what she does by the care and attention that goes into each scarf and the way she captures their beauty on camera.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


By Amanda Rickenbach

Succulents seem to be all the rage right now, and why shouldn't they be? They are cute, colorful, and since they are water retaining, they are very easy to take care of. There are so many ways to display your succulents - from wall gardens like the photos below, to cute little planters and pots, to terrariums. Do you have any succulents in your home?

The last photo is from Life in Bridgetown's blog. She also has a great little tutorial on how to create your own terrarium if you are interested in making one or hosting a little terrarium making party.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Illuminate Color - Parisian Threads

By Amanda Rickenbach

Spring is officially here! Yes, it's raining in Portland (a lot), but Spring is here none the less and it's time to start pulling out the skirts and sandals. Or at least it's time to start thinking about it!

1. Sherwin Williams - Naval
2. Benjamin Moore - Orange Blossom
3. Benjamin Moore - Whirlpool
4. Miller Paint - Thunderstorm

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Portfolio: Oak Street Colonial

By Jenny Guggenheim

Today I am happy to share a few scenes from Fig's Oak Street Kitchen project located in the heart of Portland's Laurelhurst neighborhood.  The final product conveys a sense of history, permanence, and livable scale.  The fine craftsmanship convinces the viewer that this kitchen has always been a part of this beautiful 1923 center hall Colonial, and the careful millwork details further support the sense of longevity.

Oak Street is home to a beautiful and active family of five, with a sincere love for the meaning and connection to their space.  Our priorities were to first support their family's lifestyle then follow with aesthetics and texture.  This kitchen was created for copious amounts of cooking and baking, craft projects, origami folding, and welcoming parties.  I for one can't wait to see the patina develop on that 8 foot solid butcher block-- for which I'm sure their active 3-year-old will have no trouble helping out.

The decorative lighting and hardware were all sourced and fabricated only a few miles from the site.  While we were mindful with material choices, I do believe the most sustainable feature of this design lies in it's longevity.  There is nothing more sustainable that a space that never needs to be torn down or remodeled again.

Products and Materials:  Ann Sacks Tile, Caesarstone Countertops, Kohler Plumbing Fixtures

This project was a pleasure to complete and particularly special to me as I gained new friends as a result of the design process.  I predict many fun-filled evenings around the massive kitchen island and an unlimited supply of family time.  We are happy to be helping our client furnish their Sunriver home in the near future.  Stay tuned for more.

Project Team 
Architect:  Giulietti/Schouten Architects
Contractor:  Hammer and Hand
Custom Casework:  Bob Anderson
Photography Credit: Josh Partee Photography

More more, check out the Oak Street Album on Fig's Facebook Page.  We've included additional rooms and detail shots.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hunt and Gather: Blackline Stoneware

By Amanda Rickenbach

I first stumbled upon this simple and elegant collection while picking up pendant lights at School House Electric, for a Fig. project. These pieces are designed to withstand the rigors of daily life and are made out of lead-free, fully vitrified stoneware. A natural color glaze is finished with a hand-painted black stripe for understated simplicity.

We all lead busy lives, and let's face it, we don't always have time to prepare a beautiful meal for ourselves and our families. Blackline Stoneware pieces can be used in the freezer, oven,  or microwave, and they dishwasher safe. Perfect for our fast paced lives. We also love to support American designers and manufacturers, and Blackline Stoneware is made in the USA.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sister Magazine

By Amanda Rickenbach

The sister's idea - sisterMAG is a new digital magazine for widely interested, active women. Regularly we will cover topics ranging from Career, Technology, Future Trends to Fashion, Lifestyle, Traveling and DIY. Women's magazines have always mirrored social movements and developments in their content and foci of coverage. With sisterMAG we want to target a group of females which has been neglected by traditional publishing houses and editorial departments: the many up-and-coming, well-educated, very active and independent women, which are enthusiastic for the digital world and want to be presented with new and exciting content in a visually appealing way. (From the sisterMAG website.)

The sister blog is pretty fun to check out too. Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Nur ein bisschen? They are located in Germany but don't fret, you can click the English button at the bottom of the page to understand all the interesting things they have to say.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pinterest - A Tool For Clients

By Amanda Rickenbach & Jenny Guggenheim

Are you on Pinterest? It has swiftly taken the world by storm - but if you haven't figured out what all the hype is about, read on for a few tips.

Have you ever ripped pages out of magazines and put them in a binder or on a pin-board? Pinterest is pretty much the same thing– sans paper cuts. Say you are cruising Hive's webshop and you see a funky side chair you can't live without,  just click your PIN button and suddenly it’s a part of a designated inspiration board. It’s as easy as that!  Fig. keeps boards to help organize tear sheets, product descriptions, architectural details, and general inspiration for later reference.  We also keep client boards to help wrangle in ideas as we collect them.

It can be challenging for clients to articulate how they want their space to look and feel without the use of visual aids. With Pinterest, designers can pin ideas to boards for clients to see; but it’s also a fantastic tool for clients to use because they can create inspiration boards for their space and start pinning their wish list! Clients can brainstorm side-by-side with their designer to reach the best possible results.  Fig. is currently working with a client in Washington DC who's created a great set of pinboards to convey the look and feel she desires for her home.  Fig. is able to distill and build upon these ideas despite the geographical distance.

Pinterest certainly doesn't replace in-person meetings or the design process, it's simply a way to quickly and effectively communicate basic ideas.  So, if you aren't already pinning away, check it out and start dreaming!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Out and About: A Short Guide to Hood River

By Amanda Rickenbach

What do you know about Hood River? Probably that there are a lot of fruit trees, that it’s a windsurfing haven, and that it produces some pretty great booze – and you would be right. It’s a sweet little town tucked between two mountains on the Columbia River and it just happens to be my home. Hood River folk tend to love the outdoors (not unlike Portlanders) and it’s the perfect place to be for skiing, hiking, windsurfing, kite boarding, kayaking, camping, and cycling; really anything that involves installing a Thule rack on your Subaru. If you think there are a lot of Subaru’s in Portland, drive east an hour. And in case you want to go check out the Subaru population, I thought I would give you a couple of other things to investigate while you are there. I could go on forever about what to do and where to eat, but I narrowed it down to a few of my favorite places so I didn't end up with a novel.

Walk the old highway. 
On the 5 mile stretch from Hood River east to Mosier you will find the old highway that has been converted into a pedestrian/cycling path. It’s great for a jog, walk with the dog, bike ride, or leisurely stroll. There is even an old tunnel and of course fabulous views. 

Walk the stairs.
I grew up just a few hundred feet from the Hood River stairs and until a friend recently informed me, I had no idea that they were the second longest flight of stairs in the country. During my teens we would attempt to ski down them, race slide down the hand rails, and even make some of my friends carry me up on their backs. So if you want a good workout and some nice views of the town and Columbia river, check them out. They are smack dab in front of you when you drive into town from the second I84 exit. Can't miss them.

Brewery Tours
Hood River is home to Full Sail and Double Mountain – and they are only two blocks away from each other! I am partial to Double Mountains KÖLSCH, but seeing as that they are so close; why not have a beer and maybe a tour at both.

Wine Tasting
The micro-climates in the Hood River Valley make it ideal for growing a variety of grapes and because of this there are are more than a handful of great wineries in Hood River. My favorite is Cathedral Ridge. They have fantastic wine and a peaceful outdoor space that is perfect for a picnic with friends. Taste Katrina’s Chocolate while you are there too, a local chocolatier. 

If you like jewelry and home accessories then check Twigg out. They have some really unique and pretty jewelry and the people that work there are super nice. 

This shop has something for everyone. I have a plethora of rings I’ve gotten at Silverado over the years and still love every one of them.

Doug Sport
If you need sports wear, this is a great place to stop by. It's also a great place to pop into if you are looking for some cute clothes, sunglasses, shoes, or maybe a bathing suit. 

It honestly doesn't take long to stop in every little store downtown - it's not a very big place.

Stonehedge Gardens
Stonehedge is a fine dining restaurant but they definitely have inexpensive options. I worked there as a teenager and whenever I was home from college and have always loved the place. During the warm months they have lots of weddings, concert, and parties. The restaurant itself is an old house, one of the first built in the Hood River area. There is even a secret wall that opens to get to a private apartment upstairs.

6th Street Bistro
If you are wandering about downtown this is one of the many good restaurants to eat at. They have a variety of options and a nice little patio that is open in the summer.

Hood River is also a whole lot sunnier than Portland, so if you are growing tired of the clouds in our beautiful gray city, and hour drive might just bring you sunshine.

Photos: Mountain, Stairs, Old Highway, Beers, Winery Lavender, Shops (amanda), Restaurant.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hunt and Gather: Sholten & Baijings

 By Amanda Rickenbach

Sholten & Baijings is a Danish textile and product design firm. They work with traditional crafts, such as hand-painted work, screen printing, willow braiding and glass-blowing.  Their minimalist designs use colors, layers, transparency, grids, structure, textures, and patterns to create interesting and simplistic projects.

I love the way they combined pastels and vibrant colors on the modern color block quilt - perfect for hitting the hay! Color block is all the rage right now, as is ombre, which is a French word for gradation. The ombre effect on these lights is sweet and simple; a great way to bring just a little pop of color into a space. I wonder what they look like illuminated?

They are famous for their paper porcelain - a porcelain series in which models are formed out of paper or cardboard and then used as molds to create the porcelain pieces. You can see the tape marks and folds. Neat right? One of my favorite pieces is the felted ball rug. They are made out of 100% felted wool and then hand-stitched together. The hand-stitching aside, have you ever felted before? I have, and it is a ton of work. I can't imagine creating an entire rug! I can imagine owning one though, they are beautiful.

For Sholten & Baijings it isn't about getting from A to B, it's about the process and how they get there.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Illuminate Color: Hawaiian Stream

It's cold here in Portland so the thought of hopping rocks across a warm Hawaiian stream sounds really lovely. I can almost smell the warm rain forest air, can't you? These colors are perfect for creating a relaxing and calm retreat from the grey skys over our city right now.

1. Leather Saddle - Mythic Paint
2. Paradise Green - Benjamin Moore
3. Palest Pistachio - Benjamin Moore
4. Devine Jacquard - Devine Color

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