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.”
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.