Monday, October 3rd, 2005

Customer Profile: Nanette W., Portland, OR


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
12 Comments » | Published in Customer Profiles, General, Real Rooms, What's New  |  12 Comments

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 hereand 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?

About Becky:
Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!

About Becky

has written 1620 post in this blog.

Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!



  1. jan says:

    October 3rd, 2005 at 2:33 pm (#)

    interesting interview. i always love looking into other people’s homes. as a kid when driving home from a dinner party with my parents, i used to look into the houses as we drove by. already then, disturbed with too high hung pictures. this is a great idea these types of interviews. also dig her letterpress designs, how dreamy to have a letterpress. nice blog. looking forward to coming back and of course you know how much i did design public – i could spend hours…

  2. jan says:

    October 3rd, 2005 at 2:35 pm (#)

    oops – i meant to say “dig” not “did”!!

  3. Drew says:

    October 3rd, 2005 at 2:44 pm (#)

    Hey Jan, thanks for stopping by!

  4. Becky says:

    October 3rd, 2005 at 3:53 pm (#)

    Thanks Jan! Customer Profiles are one of my favorite things to blog. I am also very jealous of Nanette and her letterpress and all of her design talents! My mother and I are the queens of peaking in people’s windows as we walk by – I LOVE to check out what people have done with their homes. Speaking of which, if you ever want to share your space with us, please let me know!


  5. Becky says:

    October 3rd, 2005 at 6:05 pm (#)

    Oops, I mean “peeking” not “peaking!”


  6. Amber says:

    October 4th, 2005 at 7:26 am (#)

    Great house, great choice of furniture, and the letterpress designs are really nice and clean. Beautiful!

  7. Becky says:

    October 4th, 2005 at 9:52 am (#)

    Amber, is letterpress among your many graphic talents? I’m dying to learn!


  8. My Aim Is True says:

    October 4th, 2005 at 11:05 am (#)

    Daily Click 10.04.05

    New Louis Vuitton facade design by Sung Jang. I wonder if I can do this in my yard somehow. Hmmmm. Design Public interviews a designer, letterpresser and good-picker-outer of furniture. How’s that for a description? Seriously I am jealous…

  9. Amber says:

    October 4th, 2005 at 11:23 am (#)

    Actually yes, Becky. My university offered a letterpress class just as a “topics” class to see how it would go, and I loved the precision of it, and working with type so physically. I ended up continuing in it for two more semesters as my printmaking medium even though they didn’t offer it again to the general student population. I even did my graduation announcements on the press they have there.

    The university got the press back in the 50s and that’s how they used to do all their flyers, posters, etc. Pretty cool huh?

    I have tons of prints that are laying around my studio. Just fun stuff I did in school. I could send you a couple (or to Drew to decorate the DP office) if you’re interested. 🙂

  10. jan says:

    October 5th, 2005 at 6:15 pm (#)

    thanks Becky for the invite on the space interview – i’ll think about this….yikes!

  11. joy says:

    October 11th, 2005 at 8:02 am (#)

    I LOVE this interview. Like Jan, I love looking at other people’s home too…your home gives a really great glimpse into your personality…all the things you collect, the choices you make…the shapes, colors, etc..tell a short story to others they wouldn’t have otherwise known.

  12. I Heart Blu Dot. And It’s on Sale! | Hatch: The Design Public® Blog says:

    October 21st, 2011 at 1:28 pm (#)

    […] Buttercup Rocker. This piece inspired one of our very first customer home features; Nanette had mixed her lovely Buttercup into a lovely room with […]

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