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Top Design Trends with Trisha Guido

Interior designer and Relish store owner Trisha Guido gives her top thoughts on modern design, amazing products, and fun local finds.

By Amara Holstein May 9, 2011


Photo credit Rachel Hadiashar

Since opening her store Relish in 2002, Trisha Guido has consistently had some of the most interesting and compelling home accessories and furnishings in town. With an emphasis on modern that’s warm, organic, and innovative, her store showcases brands from Iittala to Rosenthal to Design House Stockholm. She’s also consistently giving lots of local love; almost 40% of her products are made in the Pacific Northwest, and local artists are showcased at the store on the first Wednesday of every month. Now offering a full range of interior design services, as well as her carefully curated store, I recently caught up with Trisha to get her take on current design trends—and favorites.

AH: What do you find most inspiring about design these days?
TG: What excites me most, more than anything, is a throwback to more thoughtful design and a “less is more" mentality. I have noticed an increased awareness about the longevity of furnishings, wanting to know where they are made and having an emotional connection beyond the brand or price. In other words, creating spaces that have meaning (i.e. an art/sculpture piece from travels, photo wall of life and family experiences) versus the ‘home from a catalog’ approach. Lastly, I really love asking my clients to take me into the garage, attic, or storage areas of their home to really bring those into the mix. I am really drawn to homes with stories and spaces that breathe and have life. In other words, they are never ‘done’, but evolve and morph over time. I’ve learned that this sort of design takes longer and has layers of emotion and imperfection—just like people. I don’t feel that homes are ever "done." It is an organic process that can take years to shape with love and meaning.

AH: When people are thinking about making a design change to their home, where’s the best room to start?
TG: I usually always ask clients to start with their ‘pain points’ (i.e those areas or items that simply do not function or flow in the home). You get the greatest impact by starting at the most frustrating place. Plus, I know it sounds basic, but you can transform the mood of a space with paint and lighting for only a couple hundred dollars. I would say to start there before buying even one item of furniture.

AH: Any trends that make you cringe?
TG: I have never been a fan of mass brands and knock-offs of original works. I am not making this statement thinking that all design should be expensive – not at all. I really believe that great design should be accessible to everyone. Start by buying original works at a local art fair or Saturday market or flea market. Just not the same poster print art at the big box store that you find in every mall and in every city.

AH: What are your favorite things at the store under $100?
TG: Hanging blown glass terrariums, Saikai Japan cups and vases, Marimekko kitchen accessories, and some local ceramics from Kris Paul and Leah Nobilette.

AH: Any cool new Portland artists or designers that people should keep their eyes on?
TG: I really love Sally England’s work at the PNCA/OCAC program. I don’t think she has everything online yet, but just created some gorgeous macramé planters with a modern edge as well as some macramé and modern quilting designs. Also, I really love Therese Murdza’s paintings. She is a wonderful person, the work scales in personality and medium, and I find her continually developing her practice.

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