Northwest Renovation Magazine

A Home Improvement Magazine

On my usual trip to England last November, I made a weeklong side trip to Stockholm, Sweden. When people ask me, “Why Sweden?” I (half) jokingly tell them that I wanted to see if the whole country was run as well as that large Swedish home furnishings store we know so well. But my curiosity regarding Swedish efficiency was only part of my motive. Sweden in general, and Stockholm in particular, has a reputation for appreciating and caring for their historic buildings. Every city in Europe, of... more

We spend at least a third of our lives in a single room. We turn there for comfort, refuge, and daydreaming. So why don’t we give more thought to our bedrooms? Not to get too personal about it, but it may have something to do with our private and public selves. We give our all to impress and entertain others, so the kitchen and other main floor rooms get our primary focus. But the bedroom is private, and if no one else is going to see it, we may think it unworthy of our attention — to our own... more

As you evaluate a potential home remodel or a new purchase, you may envision doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor. Either way, you will find value in hiring an interior designer to help see your vision through from beginning to end. By engaging a professional designer, you become the direct beneficiary of his or her expertise, resources, passion, and innovation. The following speaks to what you should expect when hiring a professional interior designer. Your Needs Are #1 An interior designer’s... more

Next time you need a new sconce or dome light, try thinking outside the (big) box (store). Anybody can buy those lights! You want something different. You didn’t realize it before, but you do. You want something old. Something used, refurbished, re-wired. And I’m here to help you! While new is good, and it certainly has its place (new underwear comes to mind), it can lack character. And there’s also the danger of new being homogenous. Homogenized milk is good. Homogenized light fixtures... more

Agave in a Turkish field. We are so very lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest. I’m telling you this, as if you didn’t already know. We are even luckier to be gardening in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). The more I travel to different places and take note of their climate and available plant material, the more I realize how truly lucky we are. We can plant almost anything here. It’s kind of crazy. Even plants that you think, “No way, we can’t plant that here,” like olive trees, agave (my... more

Wall decorations go back to the days when people lived in caves. There, on the stone walls, are the images of hands and animals. Mystical beings look out at us as artistic memories of that time and place. Although the Chinese were using decorated rice paper to embellish their walls for thousands of years, the story of wallpaper in Europe started with the use of beautiful tapestries that were hung to both bring beauty into the space and act as a form of insulation. Castles with stone walls were cold!... more

I am ostensibly rebuilding my deck at the moment. In reality, however, I’m remodeling my back yard. I will have a new and bigger deck, plus new paths, new fence, a patio for my containers, and more. It’s a ginormous project. And, I’m trying to use primarily salvaged materials. I like the low-impact feeling and look I get from using salvage and I love the challenge of turning salvage into a beautiful space. If you don’t know, I have purchased about 30,000 pounds of salvaged metal from... more

There has always been a blending of decorative arts with functionality in the design of domestic kitchen tools, everything from painted scenes in the glazes of ancient clay vessels to the graceful curves in hand wrought iron kitchen tools. The Shakers, for example, were known for blending simple elegance with form and functionality in a way that parallels that of ancient Japanese artistry. General Electric marketed the first electric toaster in 1909. It was simply known as the D-12. Of the three... more

Click Cover to view a Digital Version of the current issue.