Category Archives: Store Spotlight

Store Spotlight: Woonwinkel


One of my favorite things about blogging is sharing inspiring spaces, products and people. Today’s store spotlight post covers all three of those things. Woonwinkel is a beautiful space filled with lovely products, and it’s also run by two inspiring women, Kristin Van Buskirk and Erica Essink. Portland Monthly recently named Woonwinkel best design store, and I can’t help but think Kristin and Erica have helped shape the new modern aesthetic: clean lines, but comfortable and natural. Colorful accessories and furniture can be found throughout the store, and the space perfectly highlights products from designers both near and far.

This weekend, Woonwinkel is turning one and everyone’s invited to the party. That includes all you out-of-towners too! They are offering up to 20% off everything in the entire store AND the discount is available online too!

As for the in-store festivities, there will be champagne, treats, and discounts. My kind of party! Now, here’s Kristin and Erica’s story…

Names: Kristin Van Buskirk and Erica Essink

Store: Woonwinkel

Store address: 935 SW Washington Street, Portland, OR, 97205


Tell us about you – what’s your story? We dreamed up Woonwinkel when Kristin was living in The Netherlands and really becoming enamored with Dutch design. Part of it was the quirky, comfortable modern aesthetic, and part of it was the admiration of the independent design scene there. It’s very well established–independent designers in Europe have been quite successful in delivering cutting edge work partly because of free education and grants and there also seem to be plenty of venues for showing work. There are some great independent designers in North America too but it’s harder to stay independent here–designers have to rely a lot more on the salebility of their work. So we decided to help in a small way by creating a venue for them.

Tell us about your shop – what products and services do you offer? We offer a carefully chosen mix of furniture, home accessories, and gifts by independent designers from Europe and North America.

What’s your style and what are you “known” for? We call our style new modern: warm, inviting, tactile, quirky. The objects in our store are often made of natural materials–wood, wool, clay–but with clean, modern lines. But what we’re probably most known for is our love of color. We love accessories in bold, bright colors.

Favorite product in your store right now? Our favorite product right now is probably a good example of our style. The Perrette bowls by Y’a Pas Le Feu Au Lac are inspired by old buckets like the ones you’d find on farms in the Upper Jura region of France. They’re made of a light-colored lime tree wood, and the handles are painted in cheerful, bright glossy colors.

Story behind your store’s name: Woonwinkel means home shop in Dutch. Kristin was learning the language when we cooked up the idea of this shop, and we sort of used it as a code word. But we realized it had a nice ring to it in English too—it tells a lot about us—it’s not too serious.

Favorite part about owning your shop: It’s really fun to be surrounded by beautiful things but most of all we love getting to know the people who shop here and sharing the stories behind our products.

We also enjoy having our families in the store with us. Some of our most cherished moments include Kristin’s mom and baby boy playing for hours on a blanket on the floor while we did inventory, or Erica’s son lining up illustrations on the window sill of the products he’d like to sell.

Where do you find inspiration? Anytime we get a chance to travel we enjoy seeing the work of designers all over the world. Milan Design Week (especially any show at Spazio Rosanna Orlandi), Mint in London, Frozen Fountain in Amsterdam, Dutch Design Week in Einhoven…the list goes on.

Most memorable store moment, customer or client? I think the first time a journalist came into the store and starting taking pictures we both ran into the back room and did a little happy dance.

Hottest trend of the season? Indulgently sunny yellow.

What does the future hold for your store? Soon we’ll start bringing more temporary shows of designers’ work into our space–we’re looking forward to that.

Can we find your store on Facebook and Twitter? Yes! Find us on Facebook at and our Twitter handle is @woonwinkelhome.

Anything else you’d like to say? If you haven’t been to the West End neighborhood of Portland lately, come take a look. It’s changing every day and would be our favorite neighborhood in Portland even if we didn’t have a shop here!

Seems like this Saturday is shaping up to be a shopping day! It’s Portland Flea time and Woonwinkel’s sale…what else could you ask for?

P.S. You can find Woonwinkel at 935 SW Washington Street and they will be open 11-6 on Saturday. Happy shopping!

Store Spotlight: Vanillawood

Cheers to Friday, folks!

I’m super excited to bring you this store spotlight feature, because the team behind Vanillawood is super inspiring. They create beautiful, fun and unexpected rooms (think fabulous wallpaper and color!) and I love that about their style. Meet Vanillawood….

Name:  Kricken Yaker

Store:  Vanillawood

Store address:  1238 NW Glisan, Portland


Tell us about you – what’s your story?  Started Vanillawood 5 ½ years ago with my husband.  We started building spec houses and after being approached to design our style of home for others, the client part of our business was born.  Then about a year and a half ago, we were expecting our third son and looking to move our business from our home office, we stumbled upon this amazing location in the Pearl District and just knew it had to be more than a working studio, it begged to be a retail store where clients and anyone could touch and feel our work, ask questions and find something for their home.

Tell us about your shop – what products and services do you offer and what are you “known” for?  Full-service design & space planning, construction and interior design.  – Design. Build. Live. -  Custom furniture, vintage pieces re-envisioned with new fabrics, rockin’ wallpapers, lighting and those little touches that make a space your own.

Story behind your store’s name: When we were starting the company, we asked one of our dearest friends, Ezra, to help us name the company since he’s an amazing songwriter.  He came back with Vanillawood and we all knew that was it-it embodies what we are about and invokes a warm, organic feeling.

Favorite part about owning your shop:  That my kids can come and see where mommy and daddy work because bringing them along to client meetings is not always an option.  Meeting new people and seeing their reaction to our work – that it is meaningful and inspiring.  Sometimes it’s hard to know that when you are so close to it.

Favorite product in your store right now?  Graffiti artwork we had commissioned by a local artist for our one-year anniversary, I love the color and urban street feel against the modern aesthetic of our store.  Our new custom Beckett sideboard/buffet made of reclaimed wood from shipping palettes and high gloss white automotive paint.  It’s pretty slick and is made to order.

Where do you find inspiration?  Everywhere…shelter magazines, fashion, travel, film, my friends, my family…nature.

What’s your style? Organic contemporary with a touch of Hollywood glam

Most memorable store moment, customer or client?  Client – Trader Vic’s here in Portland.  Store Moment – Our grand opening a year ago, after running the design/build business from our home for several years, to have this space that we created and could share was a huge, huge moment for us.

Hottest trend of the season?  Pops of vivid color and wallpaper, but wallpaper is seasonless to me!

What does the future hold for your store?  Expanding our online store, which will mean more cool products, added to our specially curated offerings.

Can we find your store on Facebook and Twitter?  Yes! Visit us here and here.

Anything else you’d like to say?  Thank you, Kirsten!

Alright, what’s your favorite goodie in the above photos? So hard to name just one, isn’t it? Mine would have to be that square wood coffee table or that fun yellow pillow. So much eye candy, so little time. For all you out-of-towners, don’t fret. Many of these items are available online – visit Vanillawood’s virtual store here.

Thanks again to Kricken and James for letting us into their beautiful design world – wish we could stay forever!

Have a happy weekend:).

Portland Flea

A flea market? In my backyard? On a sunny Saturday? I am SO there.

Mark your calendars, fellow PDXers…Portland Flea is coming at us fast and furiously this Saturday, Sept. 17th.

Here are the juicy details:

Location: Outdoor market – SE 6th Avenue blocked off from Belmont to Yamhill

Time: 8 a.m. to mid-afternoon

Elevator pitch: A gathering place featuring vendors of antique and repurposed furniture, vintage clothing, and collectibles.

A worthy cause: Portland Flea is also serving an an instrument donation drive for Ethos Music Center. They’ll be collecting gently-used instruments for kids just in time for fall music classes to begin.

Seek the Unique (who I’ve blogged about here) owner Andrea Jones and Portland Flea’s Kate Keefe Sullivan have put their heads together to bring Portlanders this lovely market. With the Internet, strip malls and big-box stores pedaling flimsy merchandise from who knows where, there is something deeply satisfying about being surrounded by dependable, well-loved goods that have stood the test of time. With that said, Kate and Andrea decided to bring fellow shop owners, pickers, and vintage good lovers together in one place, on one day. And Portland Flea was born! A convenient, one-stop access to antique and vintage goods is what Portland Flea is all about.

Kate was kind enough to send me a few sneak peek pics of some of the items that will be sold this weekend…

There will be SO many more goodies on Saturday – these photos don’t do all the vendors and unique finds justice. Hope to see you there!

P.S. For more Portland Flea updates and photos, visit them on Facebook and Twitter.

Store Spotlight: Seek the Unique

One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday is to visit local Portland stores. I get to see parts of the city that I don’t usually visit and often times these small stores have the best stuff. Not to mention, shopping locally is near and dear to my heart.

Anyway, last weekend I hit up a new (well, it was new to me) Portland store. It’s called Seek the Unique and they certainly have some lovely goods. It’s a smaller shop, but it’s worth a trip. I managed to snap a few photos during my visit and I of course had to share what I found…. 

seek the unique

seek the unique

seek the unique

seek the unique

seek the unique

seek the unique

seek the unique

seek the unique

seek the unique

Good stuff, eh? For you Portland folks, Seek the Unique doesn’t appear to have a website, so in case you wanted to swing by for a visit, they are located right by Rejuvenation, at 931 SE 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97214. And for you out of towners, hopefully these pictures will do this place justice.

As for my personal favorite pieces…I’d take the wood coffee table and the white dresser any day – they both are just bleeding with character. LOVE.

Happy hump day!