I teased you with a little information and a photo of our customer Nanette’s place in Portland, Oregon a few weeks ago.
Nanette has a fantastic eye and accordingly, she is an artist/designer/illustrator. Her own website is under construction at the moment, but here is an example of one that she designed for ipseity. To see some samples of her letterpress work, click here…and here…and here. There really is nothing like a beautiful, crisp letterpress design.
I asked her if I could ever learn to do it, and she told me that there are classes. If you happen to live in Portland Oregon, the IPRC is a good place to start. Back to Nanette’s place – she was kind enough to answer some questions for a customer profile* about how she accomplished such a well balanced space. While you read the following interview, check out photos of Nanette’s place in our Flickr group.
I am really impressed with these photos. I love the way that you have balanced a collection of modern furniture in a space with more traditional moldings, and a minimal aesthetic with personal touches. Do you do a lot of experimental arranging and rearranging? “That particular room, the living room is somewhat long and narrow which adjoins the entry and a very small dining room, it’s a problematic space to work with. I have arranged and rearranged furniture combinations in the room for years, finally this spring I finally achieved the perfect combo of furniture (vintage along w/ some new pieces including the Blu Dot Buttercup Chair from you guys), which made it all come together. “On a side note all furniture in the space is pet “friendly” or rather easy to clean (does not attract pet hair), with no fibers that the cat would enjoy tearing into. This was a one of our #1 concerns, creating a space we could enjoy without the need to cover up with blankets to protect from animal hair and cat scratching.”
When did your interest in modern design begin? Was there a particular piece that had you at hello? “Hmmm, that’s hard to say. In my late teens I started collecting vintage clothing and things. I always appreciated modern design, was more interested in 2-D art & graphic design early on though, not so into modern furniture until about 13 years ago. “The first modern piece, still one of my favorites, the Arco style lamp that hangs over the Buttercup Chair. Bought it for $25 at a super junky “antique” store!”
I really think Blu Dot needs to buy these pictures from you. It highlights how beautifully their Buttercup Chair shines when integrated in such a carefully considered collection. OK, that was just an observation, not a question! “Thanks, we love that chair! A bit hard to capture the ambiance of the space but the lighting really finishes it off.”
I want a rug like yours, but I fear it would always be dirty in my high-traffic living room. Are they difficult to keep clean? “Yes it is difficult to clean actually, it’s a high pile brushed wool. The pile is so high that most vacuum cleaners choke on it. We found a super cheap vacuum that works wonderfully on it though, just enough power to clean it nicely. On top of that we don’t wear shoes in the house and the dog has been taught to stay off that rug. I wouldn’t recommend this rug for a high traffic area or for any area people are wearing shoes.”
Your art looks very interesting, though I am squinting and cannot really see it. Are you an art collector as well? What kind of art are you drawn to? “I don’t think I’d call myself an art collector but I have been collecting art for many years… In the living room it’s entirely original limited edition prints, monotypes, woodcuts, etchings,and lithographs, that’s what really draws my interest. Over half the art in that room I received as trades from fellow printmakers. (I have an art degree w/ an emphasis in printmaking, drawing & design; currently I have my own graphic design & letterpress studio).” Now, from Nanette’s fantastic taste upstairs, you’d never guess the dirty little secrets she has in the basement.** She describes it as “outfitted with original screen printed wallpaper, linoleum floor tile art, knotty pine & a wet bar all from 1945. The basement houses my bad art collection including a supreme velvet Elvis, dogs playing poker … among others and well a lot of stuff that just ends up down there.” Here’s a picture…if you’re a total design snob, shield your eyes…
Nanette, thanks so much for sharing with us! *Everyone Else: We are ALWAYS looking for customers to profile. It does not have to have anything to do with our products whatsoever – we just want a peek at your abode. We’re nosy. If you’d like to show off your favorite space, PLEASE email me! In order to show our gratitude, you will receive a free gift from Design Public. **Personally, I LOVE that about her place – I cannot stand when people do not have a sense of humor when designing. My favorite bad art is my $4 poster of the Elvis stamp that I bought at a discount store in Charlottesville VA in the 90′s. I think I wound up giving it to my friend and travel companion to Graceland Amy Koozer for her Elvis bathroom. I wonder what percentage of bad art involves Elvis and velvet?