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Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Designer Interview: Mary and Topher from makelike

Ali

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I’m really excited to share a bit of insight behind the creative minds involved with makelike. If I had to pick a new set of friends the Portland, Oregon based designers, Mary and Topher, would be at the top of my list. Why? Well, who wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who collects Boy Scout camp coffee mugs, framed photos of St. Mary’s Lake in Glacier National Park, vintage Brock dinnerware and photos of other people’s pets? Not to mention they are majorly skilled artists and seem like really fun, interesting, witty people. Enjoy!


photo courtesy of Adrian Gaut

Great brand name…what does it mean and where did it come from?

Thanks! We were inspired by the mysteriously undocumented folklore behind “makelike” phrases (makelike a tree and leave, etc.), so we chose it as our name (thanks to our friend Bob) and hosted a dinner party where our friends helped us write our own makelike phrases. We’ve also found that due to our “West Coast dialects” we end up saying it inadvertently in sentences when concepting ideas (e.g. “We could make, like, a really awesome tea towel.”)

Tell us about the process of starting makelike and how you got where you are today.

We got our official start in 2000…although we (Mary and Topher) had been working together at a Portland design firm called Johnson & Wolverton for several years prior. Our first job as makelike was a 200+ page spec magazine called MILK with CD Richard Christiansen (now Chandelier Creative, NYC), with whom we have collaborated with for the past ten years on various editorial (and other) jobs – including Suede and Radar (second iteration) magazines. We’ve always tried to incorporate pattern within all of our projects and our first intern (and now #3 man) Rob Halverson brought the hand-drawn stuff with him in 2000 from MCAD. Using self generated art successfully for our client’s projects for so many years, we finally decided to do it for ourselves in 2009 with our product line. We all love cacti, so we started with that as our first collection’s theme.

How would you describe your design style/philosophy? How has it evolved over the years?

We believe in making things that people want to keep – or better yet, cherish. What is the point of spending the time and resources to make something and then have it discarded or recycled? We try and make things with personality or soul – things you want to collect. For the product line, we’ve made things that we want to see in our own homes! A portion of our our time “designing” has evolved from something we do only for clients, to something we also do for ourselves. That’s made it a lot more fun. Aesthetically, when you take a step back and look at our client work over the years, you’ll probably notice that our style is diverse, flexible and capable of shape-shifting, but overall, we’ve stayed true to a consistent approach that ties everything together as a cohesive body of work – regardless of it’s complexity or simplicity.


You guys sound like you can do just about anything, photography, printmaking, sewing, installation…any favorite mediums? Any type of art you’ve been itching to try?

Well yeah, I guess we can….We all went to art school and we all studied some design in school – but none of us majored in it. That gives us a wide variety of skill-sets and the ability to do anything. Plus we live in the middle of a creative hotbed (Portland, Oregon), where it’s possible (and really easy) to remain curious, share and learn new things from the gifted people that surround you – every day!  Go spirit of collaboration!

Your dream project?

This.

Please share five things/people/places that inspire you.

M: Walking around my neighborhood, walks in the forest, camping, the Read the rest of this entry »

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Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

New Wallpaper From Bholu Inspires “Tweet Dreams”

Lindsey

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Bholu Wallpaper - Marjorie the Duck

Brand new this week on DP are a handful of adorable wallpaper patterns from Bholu. Marjorie the Duck (pictured above) was designed by Bholu’s Jodie Fried and inspired by the drawings of children in underprivileged communities of India. Be sure to check out our designer interview with Jodie to learn more about how Bholu helps support the women and children in India.

Click to view the Marjorie the Duck pattern or see what else is new from Bholu.

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Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Interior Design We Love: Gary Spain Design

Becky

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Yesterday I was cruising Tumblr, and one of my favorite rolls to follow over there, my farmhouse, had posted an insanely eclectic living room that made me very curious. It turned out it was designed by Gary Spain Design and I just had to see more. While I cannot seem to find a thorough “about” column, the pictures tell a lot. Gary Spain design’s service include not only interior design, but set design and styling as well. I thoroughly enjoyed going through each slideshow on the site, and there are a wide range of styles included. Here are a few more favorites (it’s hard to choose):

He mixes in bold art and classic busts:

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Arranges a perfect David Hicksian tablescape:

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Creates serene and beautiful work areas that blend right into any room in the house:

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And mixes color, art, and modern to perfection. Wow.

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all images via garyspaindesign.com

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Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

A Flash from the Past

Becky

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What was your room like when you were a kid? I had floral wallpaper and two antique brass beds, a huge shelving unit, an aquarium (all the fish died of some disease appropriately called “Ick”) and a rolltop desk. In Junior High, I covered the wallpaper with Duran Duran and Police posters, and eventually my mom let me make over my room. My pride and joy was my new white “Scandanavian” desk from Bova, primary colors, the blue file cabinet I covered in paint pen squiggles, and the pièce de résistance, the Boynton wallpaper border. Remember Boyton? I had buttons and stickers and notepaper before I worked my way up to wallpaper border. Yesterday I found a piece of the wallpaper inside of the rolltop. Here’s a little 80′s nostalgia for you…

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Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Sites We Love: Wallpaper.com

Becky

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Wallpaper*’s October issue was so good this month that I headed straight over to wallpaper.com to check out what they had going on. They have Cool Hunting as a guest editor (I have to say, I much preferred Cool Hunting to Karl Lagerfeld’s spread). They have tons of cool videos like this one of the straw barn being constructed. They have slideshows from far away fashion shows and furniture and design fairs that I would never otherwise be able to “attend.” Here are just a few of my favorites:

A slideshow of The Chabot Museum in Rotterdam. I was sure when I saw this it was designed by Corbusier, but it was designed by Gerrit Willem Baas and Leonard Stokla in 1938 as a private residence.

The slideshow of landscape hotels, entitled Cabin Class, has me yearning to take off for the woods. This is my kind of camping:

  • Top image is Paolo Navone for Reichenbach, as seen at the Maison et Objet Fair in Paris
  • Second image by Jannes Linders
  • Third image by Jae Feinberg
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