Largest DWR Studio cuts ribbon to wows in Portland.

The Light Cloud, a signature feature of the Portland Studio, seems to dazzle guests at the grand opening party.

Despite a snowstorm that dumped almost a foot of snow on Portland on Jan. 10 and 11, the new DWR Portland Studio in the Pearl District opened the following week and then was fêted with a grand-opening party days later.

Several hundred guests from all over Portland were on hand to enjoy refreshments, explore the space and meet CEO John Edelman and President John McPhee. They appeared to be universally wowed.

“We know how much the people of Portland love modern design,” Edelman said. “And it really thrills us to open this beautiful space, the biggest in our company. Portland is such a dynamic design city, our Studio fits perfectly with that vibe.”

CEO John Edelman cutting the ribbon at the grand opening with President John McPhee, blue suit, to the right.

The Studio occupies a former warehouse, the oldest in Portland, at the corner of 13th Avenue and NW Kearney in the Pearl District, an area of restaurants and shops in what once were rail yards and light industry. The building was constructed around 1890.

Spanning two floors, the space is arranged into 44 fully realized rooms, complete with rugs, lighting and accessories to help customers visualize how furnishings could fit into their homes. The signature feature is the billowing Light Cloud of pendant fixtures towering over the atrium and leading up the grand staircase. Other highlights include two Swatch Walls — eye-catching displays of design themselves — that each hold 300 swatches representing thousands of custom fabric and leather offerings; ample displays of dining and task chairs; and the Chilewich Boutique, a cash-and-carry shop within a shop stocked with placemats, floor mats and napkins by Sandy Chilewich.

The new Studio replaces a smaller one, also in the Pearl District, and follows a pattern of opening bigger Studios over the last three years in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Scottsdale, Arizona, among others. The grand opening party was celebrated with Gray magazine, a dedicated design publication covering the Pacific Northwest and western Canada.

The Maharam Lounge, made up of cushions covered in Maharam fabrics, proves snap-shot worthy.


A Gather Table and CH36 Side Chairs provide a focal point for one of the 44 fully realized rooms in the Portland Studio.


The grand staircase, Light Cloud and Swatch Wall made for a dramatic bar area during the opening party.


Not only is the Spun Chair a delight for those trying it out but bystanders seemed to be having just as much fun watching.


Exterior of the Studio, snow long gone.


Not hard to understand partygoers’ taking an interest in light in winter from the Bell Table Lamp.


The Dining Test Lab, versions of which are installed in DWR’s larger Studios, is a place to test out the world’s largest collection of modern chairs.


Even Portland pooches were invited to celebrate the new Studio.