A Roadtrip to Ignite Creativity

How cool is this photo?!

My business partner and sister extraordinaire is a former Hotel guru so when we travel we always start with a good hotel. This time, it was the brand new "The Nines" above Portland's Macy's store. It's the bomb! Hip and ever-so-laid-back cool. Thank you Tara and thank you "The Nines" $99.00 for 99 days. It was the perfect way to get the juices flowin' and the heart pumpin'!
We begin at Fabric Depot. A visually painful fabric store. But once in the design zone we are lost with killer creative ideas. If you don't mind the occasional drip of water from the ceiling on your head it can be a fabulous place to brainstorm on furniture and room transformation. I bought some shimmer white crocodile vinyl to cover a boring petite bench and turn it into a fashionable side table. I will show you the before and after upon completion (we just returned yesterday). I also got some silver & white sparkle vinyl to create a cushion for a chair that's in my head and not yet in our warehouse. Sometimes the cart needs to be before the horse. I'll show you that when the look is complete. We finished off our purchases with a geometric print to bring a bench into 2009 and beyond. http://www.fabricdepot.com/
Target is always a nice go to place for easy, current pieces . Don't they knock if out of the ballpark? Talk about a store that is not burdened by a bunch of old dinosaurs unable to shift at a moments notice. Love the people in charge. Which brings me to purchasing a bottle of wine at Target to take back to the hotel and spend time thumbing through magazines. http://www.middlesisterwine.com/ "because we think middle sisters sometimes deserve a little extra attention". This middle sister will drink to that! Love the "Rebel Red". As the visual girls that we are we will forever fall for a cleverly designed label.

After the wine we move to dinner (and more wine). South Park Grill & Wine Bar. Into the wine bar we went for some simple fare. Only to be approached by 2 men wanting to settle a bet. I know, I know, it's bad but it happened. Then a call to our older sister to bring her in on the laughs. The food was great! Once again, many thanks to the people at The Nines who sent us over duck confit and creme brule. How cool is that?! http://www.southparkseafood.com/

Day 2 we are clearly running out of time. 5 kids and 2 over worked husbands mean we start our road trip with our hair on fire from the crazy planning we have to do to get out of town. And that's just to get away for 1 night-Yikes. Back to the morning: we start via the Internet and check up on our favorite blogs, our favorite clients and favorite design sites. On to West Elm. We are again in the zone. We have 2 employees helping to move our piles of purchases to the front desk ready for check out-it's out of control! We have 1 car that has to work as a truck so we measure and calculate what pieces of furniture are coming home with us. It was comical. After spending a fortune and saving even more (designer discount & no tax) we spread the entire contents of 2 days work on the sidewalk of Portland's Pearl District to be reviewed and repacked (or stuffed) into the car. Tara was thrilled that the West Elm warehouse guy did not look at the treasures and then to the car and comment that it won't fit. I am always in awe of what my sister can do when it comes to shopping and space. She works her magic. The car is full but Tara has kept a small area available for a few more bags that will hopefully be filled with clothing by the hours end. We have 45 minutes to power shop and get on the road. On to 23rd Avenue. My all time favorite shopping destination. Most treasured shop for me is 3 Monkeys. (They're too cool for a website). I mean it, they're really cool. Bought a few ever-so-cute pieces and moved on to Galore Department Store. Definitely not a department store and again, too cool for a website? We grabbed our purchases and flew out to door to begin the road trip home and recap the whirlwind inspirational buying extravaganza. I'm pumped!

Erin Quigley/www.openhousestaging.net
Middle Sister