in the present life or state
Design Within Reach
1200 NW Everett St., 220-0200. 10 am-6 pm Monday-Friday, 11 am-7 pm Saturday,
noon-5 pm Sunday.
Furndamentals: This San Francisco-based dealer (which took over the space where Full Upright Position [F.U.P.] once stood) specializes in beautifully balanced modern furniture at prices that might make you gulp, but won't make you choke on, your Cheerios. Products are categorized for easy reference ("Classics" are modern reproductions of famed midcentury pieces like the exquisite Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Pavilion chair or the amoebic Noguchi coffee table), and the store carries many items for two digits ("Chairs Under $100" is a designated inventory block).
Froufrou Factor: DWR calls its spacious retail locations "studios," where customers can cull ideas and get to know products firsthand. Their slick shtick is making amateur shoppers feel like professional designers--the company is house-proud of its "to the trade" vibe and high aesthetic standards. If you are yearning for an in-crowd furniture-buying experience, this is it.
Why You Should Go: The Portland showroom is the first outside of California (where stores exist in Palo Alto, Santa Monica and other areas of major hipster concentration). It's a looong drive up to that Ikea in Seattle, and DWR's product quality is far superior. There is life after pressboard--discover it.
at, within, or to a short distance or time
815 NW Glisan St., 525-4355. 10 am-6 pm Tuesday-Saturday.
Furndamentals: Tim Bower's store takes its name from the futuristic modular housing experiments of the '60s, and there's definitely a Kubrickian compactness to the pillows, pitchers and daybeds that gracefully crowd his small shop. A Yorkshire native who migrated to the States to study film theory in the '80s, Bower came to modern design through cinema. The original vintage Godard posters clipped to the walls are obvious clues to the owner's expertise (he also teaches a film genre criticism class at Portland State University), and other items--notably the $5500 Djinn settee in the window--shout 2001 (the movie, not the year). Don't be scared by that price tag; the settee is by far the fanciest item in the shop.
Froufrou Factor: Sharp eyes may recognize a few larger furniture pieces from the old F.U.P. showroom--Bower was an avid bidder at the auction held when that mod emporium died. The prices, by no means a steal, are decidedly less than you'd shell out for the same items new. Other furniture comes from Bower's personal collection, built over years of thrifting. "My house is empty," he says wryly. For those on the cheap, the shop is also packed with brightly colored, geometric housewares--glassware, steel cylinder coffee sets, the odd vintage Ben Seibel ceramic bowl.
Why You Should Go: Bower radiates a pleasant blend of knowledgeable, affable and approachable. He wants Capsule Homes to make modern design appear "cozier" to the average buyer. By clustering the furniture into several imagined living spaces, Bower hopes to create a sense of couch-in-context: "I'm trying to work against that magazine image of the couch as a sculptural object all by itself in a big loft space." Bower had planned to open a store with Patrick Fisher, who launched Hive late last year, but space and economics interfered. Capsule Homes strikes an enjoyably unique note--more European, more '60s and, for once, not an Eames chair in the house.
immediately adjacent (as in place, rank, or time)
Watch for the opening of Motel in mid-February. Owner Jennifer Armbrust is transforming a storefront at Northwest Fifth Avenue and Couch Street (across from Just Be Toys) into a shop and gallery featuring home design items, accessories, and arts and crafts by local Portland designers.
14 designers and fleets of models take over Weiden and Kennedy for a night of fast 'n' forward indie clothing design.
A benefit for Outside In at a lesbian nightclub will feature a vintage fashion show.