9 Great Local Home & Design Finds

From retro chairs and internationally inspired wallpaper to raised beds made out of legos, we've rounded up a new class of inspiring Portland products.

October 10, 2014 Published in the Design Annual: Fall 2014 issue of Portland Monthly

Clockwise from top left: Courtesy Revolution Design House; Courtesy Autoctona; Courtesy Finex; Courtesy Togetherfarm

Revolution Design House splits the difference between Adirondack classicism and lawn-chair lowbrow with the Belmont chair. $1,050 at

Autoctona jewelry’s creator, Alessandra Murgia, combines sleek modernism and cryptic mysticism. “I like to take opposites and merge them,” the Italian-born designer says.

Finex cooked up an octagonal reinvention of the cast-iron skillet to allow for multiple pouring angles. $95 at

TogetherFarm invents Lego-like agriculture: modular, snap-together blocks to build garden beds of any shape. The first production run recycled three tons of yogurt-container plastic. $50 at

Clockwise from top left: Courtesy the Good Flock; Courtesy Alo Audio; Courtesy JuJu Papers; Courtesy Escape Collective; Courtesy Nomad

The Good Flock designed its Aurora lamp, made in the Oregon town of the same name, for small spaces: it can sit on a tabletop or mount on a wall. “Many city dwellers don’t have much horizontal space,” says GF’s Marco Murillo. “But everyone has wall space.” Approximately $169 with bulb;

ALO Audio battles the earbud era with premium headphones and related gear. From its Central Eastside headquarters, the company offers the PanAm ($499), a headphone amp with both tubes and transistors that promises to ennoble even lowly MP3s. “People don’t know how good personal audio can be,” says company “maestro” Ken Ball.

Avery Thatcher’s original wallpaper inspiration came on trips to South Africa and Indonesia. “People papered every inch of their walls with colorful stuff,” the Portlander says. Her Juju Papers stay true to that spirit with bold, graphic prints, which designers (and civilians) prefer for accent walls.

In Portland, love for the geodesic dome remains strong. Escape Collective consulted 1970s manuals to design elegantly rough-hewn “Escapehatch” domes, and built 14 retro-futurist pods for Utah’s Summit Series conferences last summer. Meanwhile, artist-designer Cole Gerst’s self-published Buckminster Fuller: Poet of Geometry tracks the dome’s famous inventor with a charmingly quirky biography and immersive illustrations. “I saw an opportunity to bring him back for a modern audience,” Gerst says. &

Courtesy Joe Diemer

Q: Joe Diemer, why do you make insanely exquisite birdcages?
I love architecture. This way I can express that without getting permits.

How do you make them?
Resistance welding, braising, electropolishing.

How much?
From $600 to $6,000, depending on clients’ desires.

Do people put birds in them?
About one in five do. They’re all functional.

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