Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Time is Now

Urban Living... it's about the living!
The Portland Home & Garden Show is underway. Months of planning, thinking, creating, and executing are finally on display, now through Sunday at the Portland Expo. A caring collaboration of designers, installation contractors, Crate & Barrel, and the Portland Home & Garden Show has created a truly dynamic display of garden and home. Imagine an urban sized, 50'x100' lot with a very cool house surrounded by four of the city's most talented landscape designers. Add interiors by the designers from Crate & Barrel. The result is stunning, and on display for all to see!

As best I could, I grabbed some pictures in a veiled attempt to capture just how cool the display turned out. We were blown away by the quality and attention to detail each of the installations required - and then remembering that we went from an empty show hall to "this" in less than a week!
While everything was going on all around the house, some amazing things were going on inside too. Our talented craftsman readied the interior, preparing for the design team from Crate & Barrel to do their thing. And what a thing they did. We have long felt that the design direction we strive for with ideabox was in keeping with the quality of design and expression of materials, colors, and textures of Crate & Barrel. Even with that said, the marriage of house and furnishings offers inspirational living, completing our fundamental goal of designing houses that are all about "the living." 
A terrific result of all this great work is the reception by the media in Portland. We spent most of Wednesday with all the local television stations who were all captured by the concept of creating an affordable design solution for smaller urban lots. For me, one of the coolest moments was when after touring the entire display with a TV crew the reporter's eyes lit up, and she said so simply " can live in this" Not as in the normal live of keeping up the house and mowing the lawn, but the idea that you can truly live experientially where the house and its landscape are about the interactions of each day. "It's about the living!" It was a great moment.... I hope it came across on TV!
Special thanks has to go out to an incredible design team. Rick Schultz & Teresa Long of Schultz & Long pulled off their ambitious modern architectural landscape of metal, pavers, plantings, fire and water. Truly inpirational. Terry Gibson's landscape as urban garden demonstrates that you can have a designed landscape solution that sustains your stomach as well as your eyes! It's very cool to think you can eat what you're growing, as opposed to just mowing it! Jack Hayes created peaceful serenity with a series of decks, plantings, sculptural elements, and sail cloths. Feeling like a nap just writing about it! And if want a cool place for kids to play, the creative use of rock, sand, and some very cool trees designed by Kristine Hanson of Green Leaf Design is both clever and sustainable!
And special thanks goes to the Portland Home & Garden Show team. They are simply amazing. First for allowing this creative collaboration to come together. And perhaps more than that their tireless efforts making sure everything goes together smoothly. It's a big deal to do these shows, and this one required a lot of attention. Terry and Karin O' Laughlin are incredible, making the work of it all seamless and a terrific job of PR and marketing. Phil Parker was kind of our creative director, seeing the vision and guiding everyone in.
The best thing is to come see it. The time is now! (Well, now through Sunday...) So get down to the Expo. Come by and say Hi!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's Getting Closer!

It's Sunny Outside! It's going to be incredible inside!
The showcase gardens at the Portland Home & Garden Show are coming together before our eyes. The entire room is filled with incredible displays by some amazing talent, not to mention our own collaborative group surrounding the new "fortino." The architecture of modern landscape by Schultz & Long is really taking form. You can almost see the harvest from Terry Gibson's urban garden. The fascinating series of deck spaces and plantings by Jack Hayes are terrific. And a very cool kids are being created by Kristine Hanson is really clever!

Tomorrow Crate & Barrel begins the interior transformation from cool shapes and volumes into a modern lifestyle that will truly inspire. We can't wait to see how it all works together!

Thanks to Handyman Bob for his interview with us on "Around the House" yesterday on KXL AM 750.  You can hear part of the interview on the ideabox website.. 
Also special thanks to Mrs. Handyman Bob for the terrific birthday cupcakes making a special day even special'er!

Friday, February 19, 2010

ideabox on the radio

And it begins! The transformation from empty show hall to an amazing urban living experience is underway! You can see the beginnings of Schultz & Long's ultra modern urban landscape scheme. What you will see when complete is a series of experiences from lush plantings, to moving water, to entertaining spaces, to evenings by the fire! 

Of course, the house is pretty cool too!

ideabox on live radio. ideabox's Jim Russell will be live on 750 KXL News Radio, tomorrow  (Saturday) from Noon 'till 2:00 on "Around the House" with Handyman Bob. It's always fun to be in-studio and Bob is a great host. Jim will be talking about the Portland Show, the new fortino house, ideabox's new 2010 urban series of houses, and the ideabox optimized energy program.  There is so much cool stuff coming from ideabox this year! Lot's to talk about!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

ideabox landscape designers in the news!

Three design firms create gardens for an Ideabox at the Portland Home & Garden Show 

By Kym Pokorny, The Oregonian

A great article focusing on the gardens and their designers appeared in today's Oregonian newspaper. The focus of the article was about the amazing landscape designers we are so fortunate to be working with at this years show. These designers are truly talented, their designs are inspirational, and from what I've seen already in their execution are going to be absolutely sensational.
Show Update - the fortino house arrived Tuesday and was installed in the middle of the exhibition hall. An amazing crew finished getting the house ready today. Not long after the arrival of the house the landscape installations began. Rick Schultz and Teresa Long were working with the metal aspects of their design. Terry Gibson began laying out blocks to form his landscape walls. Decks for Jack Hayes garden were underway. Designers from Crate & Barrel came by to check out the house readying their staging plans. So much planning, so much work, and so much talent. 
If you love design, you're gonna want to experience this!

The link to Kym's article is above.... or here! 

The show starts next Wednesday at the Portland Expo Center. Come join us, and make sure to say Hi!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

getting ready for a show!

And what a show it's becoming!  I know, I know, we've talked a lot about the upcoming Portland Show here and on our website. It's like enough already! And for those who have been by our office or talked with us, we've probably talked a lot about it too! One can only wax poetic so much I guess, but so what. It's our blog. 

But here is my thing about it.... the ideabox experience is really is going to be something special. The "Showcase Gardens" at the Portland Home & Garden Show is one of Portland's best kept secrets. So few people know its there! For many, the show is just another home show. That's what I thought. I didn't know about the Showcase Gardens until we had our home there. And it wasn't until our house was being installed, and until we were watching all the work going on all around us as the entire room was being transformed by these amazing gardens did we realize just how incredible it all was.

These are not just gardens. It's a display hall filled with creatively designed landscape displays that take over a week to build. Concrete trucks, full size trees, cranes, and bobcats running all over the place moving dirt, pavers, all sorts of stuff. As these natural "wonderscapes" come together, lighting scaffolding is being assembled with dozens of lamps of various colors that are raised to the rafters. Perimeter walls of the building are draped with black fabric, suspended with cables that are hardly visible. The entire room is darkened, the walls becoming invisible, and the only light is coming from above. Projection lamps highlight key elements of each garden, making each a theatrical presentation. So much design talent, incredible executions of space and material, resulting in inspired spaces. If you are interested in design of any kind, you want to see the "showcase gardens." 

New News! We've added a fourth landscape designer to the "urb appeal" ideabox display. Now the new fortino home will be completely surrounded with gardens by Portland's leading landscape design talent. The resulting collective gardens will be both breathtaking and demonstrate how a house and landscape together can create a truly magical living experience.

The inside is pretty cool too! As previously noted, Crate & Barrel is staging the ideabox fortino model at the show. Yesterday, we saw more of what they are bringing. Gotta say here that design talent is an amazing thing, and the assembly of furnishings and accessories being put together by the designers at Crate & Barrel will be something to see. It's amazing to me how just the right balance of materials and colors can transform a room. We thought we designed some clever spaces, but wow! It's like a showcase interior garden... 

We're soon to announce the new urban series! Really, we are. And soon too!  For real's. We've had the designs for a little while now, but given we handcraft the design, engineering, and construction of our houses, getting all the details just right is important. And there are some pretty cool details coming - we're making the concept of modern living fun!