Local Furniture Designers

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Inspired by the most recent issue of Oregon Home magazine, we decided to pull together a list of furniture makers located in or near Portland.

This is definitely not a comprehensive list, so you can find additional craftspeople via the CustomMade directory and the 2014 exhibitor list from ShowPDX (the biennial furniture design exhibition returns in October) or try an Etsy search.

Are You Planning Spring Trips?

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The latest newsletter from PGE included a reminder that email and phone reservations for campsites and picnic shelters at PGE parks open on March 28. (Online reservation can be made now.) Inspired by that notice, we gathered up a few new resources for possible spring trips. Consider this an update to past posts like Quick Getaways from Portland and Apps for Park & Recreation Month.

campnear.me

Campnear.me is a beta site created by a friend and it was recently presented during Portland Startup Week 2016. Use it to easily search by location, travel time, and/or features and amenities, including things like ‘accessible by public transit’ or ‘has a yurt’—including some search filters you won’t find anywhere else! You could cross-reference with SoakOregon.com, which lists every hot spring in Oregon (California and Idaho have maps, too).

A Week or a Weekend

Friends also run the travel blog A Week or a Weekend, specializing in making the most of your travel budget. Relevant recent posts for outdoorsy types include Snowshoeing in Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park and Backpacking Mt. Rainier National Park’s Wonderland Trail; non-campers might prefer to check out their review of the Cannery Pier Hotel in Astoria.

Portland Monthly

Portland Monthly just published a series of Ten Once-in-a-Lifetime Cascadian Journeys. Their recommendations could take you on the Empire Builder train over to to Whitefish, MT, or draw you to gorgeous Tofino, a remote spot on Vancouver Island. Each journey sounds and looks wonderful.

Online Tourism

Finally, a few links for the armchair travelers among us or anyone who can’t get away this spring. Fullscreen 360 shares panoramas from sites all over the world—and beyond. You might also check out these recommended accounts on Periscope, a Twitter app that allows users to live-stream their experiences.

A New Checklist for a New Month

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In the past, we’ve shared handy home checklists from the folks at Houzz. Now, another of our favorite design sites, Apartment Therapy, is getting in on the action with their Happy & Healthy Home Checklist:

Pop your choices from these ten tasks onto your own to-do list — or print out ours — for a well-rounded, low-stress way to keep your life running smoothly and your space functioning at its best. It’s all part of maintaining a happy and healthy home in 2016, and keeping it shipshape and ready for relaxation all year long. The checklist is a series of suggested to-dos for February — or a collection of things that make sense to do this time of year, or that you need to do sometime. Why not now?

These downloadable checklists will be published on the website, but you can also subscribe to their Weekend Projects email newsletter to get new suggestions in your inbox (see the sign-up form at the bottom of the article).

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

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Happy (belated) New Year! Two weeks ago, Apartment Therapy published a post called My Home Intentions for 2016, in which the author, Eleanor Büsing, admitted that it usually takes until mid-January for her to think clearly about the upcoming year. (This is true for us, too, with our annual resolution to get blogging again right away…) The way people write about this theme often boils down to the same basic items—get organized, reduce costs, and keep it clean—but you can still find different angles and perspectives if you look. Check out these lists for inspiration, since each one takes a slightly different approach:

So, what are your home intentions for the year ahead?

‘Smart’ Ideas for Your Home

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We first wrote about electrical wall sockets with built-in USB charging ports back in 2013, and the connected home market has only exploded since then. You’ve probably heard of Nest products or seen ads of a guy chatting with ‘Alexa’ on his new Amazon device. Recently, Netted picked a few favorites, including the latest version of the USB-friendly wall socket, and these are the gadgets that stood out:

  • Keen Home — a smart air vent? who knew!
  • SnapPower — in either USB or night-light configurations
  • Zuli — control whatever is plugged into the Zuli converter via the associated app (see also: WeMo Insight Switch)

If you need a little help understanding how to approach home automation, check out these posts from Smarthome, CNET and Time. There are online courses available for the home automation DIY-er, like this one from Udemy. And, lastly, don’t forget the security considerations when you install a system and when you leave one behind.

Will our homes soon be smarter than we are?!

P.S. In the latest PGE insert, we read about smart surge protectors that let you turn off groups of items or only send power to occupied outlets. Definitely something to check out.

Learning About EMSWCD

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Did you know that the East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District offers free workshops? Billed as for all skill levels, these workshops focus on topics like landscaping with native plants, water conservation, creative stormwater solutions, and chemical-free gardening techniques. Neighborhood Notes posted about an upcoming workshop on native plants, which has since filled, but it drew our attention to the full schedule, which currently runs through early December.

EMSWCD covers all of Multnomah County east of the Willamette, and their website is chock full of information, including a directory of local businesses that can help with conservation projects and a Manure Connection (!). You can also learn more about naturescaping, rain gardens, and native plants by listening to the Urban Lands Program Supervisor’s interview with Grow PDX.