Pacific Northwest | December 7, 2003Pacific Northwest MagazineDecember 7, home
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The 'Indigo Mountain' pocketbook is by Angela Adams.
A pattern of distinction

Well-known designer Angela Adams began her career as a decorative painter enhancing furniture, walls and ceilings with her signature palette. While looking for alternative mediums, she began to explore floor coverings, specifically hand-tufted rugs. As Adams simplified her painting style to accommodate the textural rug material, what emerged was a unique combination of pattern and color. Now, as she has expanded her canvas, her patterns appear on everything from belts to handbags, fabric, personal journals and drinking glasses.

Many of her rugs are available at Kasala (1505 Western Ave., Seattle, 206-623-7795, or 1014 116th Ave. N.E., Bellevue, 425-453-2823). Her handbags, stationery and other products can be purchased at a variety of stores locally. To track down a store near you, browse her collection or place an order, check the Web site at

From clocks to pillows
A reproduction of George Nelson's 1950s sunburst clock is one of many available at Velocity.
You probably had a similar clock in your kitchen while growing up. Now, they're considered a modern classic. The Sunburst Clock ($198) designed by George Nelson in the early 1950s is one of many the designer created with hopes of providing a bright alternative to the less-than-exciting time pieces that had decorated kitchen walls. His classic designs are now reproduced by Vitra. You can find a complete selection at Velocity in Belltown (2118 Second Ave., 206-781-9494). While you're there, take a moment to browse the collection of Thomas Paul pillows, ranging in price from $56 to $80 each. Graphic and colorful, they can mix and match with any décor. If you don't feel like trekking up to Belltown, owner John Tusher hosts a popular e-commerce site for modern wares at that features great selections of artwork, furniture, textiles and pottery.

Pots with presence
 Photo Frost-proof urns by Robert Provasoli can lend a garden a sense of antiquity.

Containers add texture, style and atmosphere to a garden, acting more as pieces of sculpture than simple flower holders, and now the choices are far more interesting than traditional, fat terra-cotta pots.

Robert Provasoli is a chiropractor in Yelm who crafts frost-proof vessels that look as if they might well have been unearthed from an Etruscan archaeological dig. His designs lend a feel of weathered antiquity to the garden, with their muted surfaces, urn-like shapes and curvaceous handles. Their textured finishes in shades of cream, ochre, taupe or brown have an affinity to all the greens of the garden. Provasoli can be reached at 360-894-2097, or you can find his work on display at Gordon's Garden Center in Yelm and at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in February.
Nichols Brothers carries a line of Frank Lloyd Wright reproduction vases such as this one from the Frederick Robie house.
Nichols Brothers Stoneworks in Maltby is licensed to bring the work of a master to the garden with a line of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed urns, vases and pedestals. Their best-selling vase is an accurate reproduction of a Wright design from his landmark Frederick Robie house. A low, open bowl set on a short pedestal, it comes in sizes ranging from 30 to 60 inches. Nichols Brothers uses a labor-intensive Old World technique called dry casting, which creates a surface texture that looks like carved sandstone. The classically handsome material is sturdy enough to take the wettest and coldest of winter weather without cracking or peeling. Nichols Brothers containers are available through landscape professionals, can be ordered by calling 800-483-5720, or viewed at

Modest modern
Parant tea lights from Ikea can help brighten any room.
Ikea, whose mission is to offer affordable solutions for better living, has many products that offer homage to the well-known modern-furniture designers. New this season is the stackable Gilbert chair by Ikea designer Carina Bengs. For $39.99, it comes in birch, medium-brown or white.

The rich-hued Parant tea lights are very similar to a set offered by the MoMA Design Store in New York City. The Ikea set includes four votives and four candles; it comes in a red/yellow/orange/purple combination as well as a blue/green one. A real bargain at $2.99, and affordable enough to buy several sets. Both items are available at the Renton store (600 S.W. 43rd St., 425-656-2980).

On the rise in remodels

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) has compiled a list of popular remodeling projects for the dream home of the 21st century. NARI foresees the most popular remodeling projects as home offices, family entertainment/media rooms, master-bedroom suites and baths, home fitness centers, sunrooms and extra-large walk-in closets. Trends for kitchens include granite and quartz countertops, and commercial-looking, stainless-steel appliances. Heated floors, solid-surface shower walls and earth-toned tiles are popular for bathrooms. If any of these projects sounds irresistible, a wise first step might be to call the association's national hotline at 800-611-6274 to request a free copy of the brochure "How To Select a Remodeling Professional." The brochure is also online at

Shelves of and for books
"A Thing of Beauty," a bookshelf made of books by Jim Rosenau.
"Turning books, which once were trees, into lumber has a pleasing symmetry."

What? Books sawed, cut and reshaped into shelves and bookcases? What kind of sacrilege is this? An environmentally conscious one, according to artist Jim Rosenau of Berkeley, Calif., who says right up front, "No books that could change the course of world events are harmed in the production."

Calling what he does "This Into That," Rosenau wanted to use less new lumber in his woodworking projects. But the craftsman in him desired elegant natural materials. As he peered into the discards of city life, he came upon books. When he can, Rosenau removes and recycles the pages, keeping the jackets. He makes stock items and custom pieces. You give him one book or an idea and he'll build a one-of-a-kind piece. The book titles are feedstock for a sort of three-dimensional haiku of one theme or more. Common themes include law, writing, medicine, science, pets and murder mysteries. Stock shelves start at $85, and free-standing bookcases range from $400 to $800. He can be reached at or by calling 510-845-0106.

Seattle Times copy editor Rebecca Teagarden and Seattle free-lance writers Valerie Easton and Robin Fogel Avni contributed to this Design Notebook.

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