A house in Portland by Osmose Design
In the quiet neighbourhood of Dunthorpe, just south of Portland, Oregon, stands a house built in 1960, a simple piece of dark-grey architecture that blends into the surroundings. But once you enter, the entire place has the atmosphere of a glamorous discotheque with unusual decorations and bright colours.
To begin with, the interior literally glows. Beneath the lip of each wooden stair is a strip of LED lights, which bathe the foyer in a violet haze.“ I find it fascinating to pass in front of the house at night. From outside, you see intense tones of pink and purple radiating right up to the hedge,” says Andee Hess, the founder of Osmose Design, which created the interiors.
Hess is known for her residential interiors for opinionated clients – in this case the Furlotti family. The homeowner, Allie Furlotti, wanted a house that resembled a unique art installation. Her husband Adam Kostiv, a multimedia artist, and their daughter Dylan wanted everything to be bright and luminous. The result is a characterful design that incorporates aesthetics and functionality. “To find the best solutions, we worked on the different rooms as if they were cartoon characters, studying every corner of the house as if it were playing the leading role. We managed to represent the family’s temperament and their interest in art.”
The remodelling was begun not long after Hess met Allie Furlotti, a comedian and philanthropist. They were introduced by a mutual friend, the founder of the gallery Fourteen30 Contemporary in Portland who “immediately knew that something adventurous would come out of our encounter.
And indeed it did.” The ground-floor hosts the shared spaces, while the upper floor is for the bedrooms and a playroom. “It was exciting to work with the Furlotti family,” says Hess. “They gave free rein to imagination and creativity. We received carte blanche to design installations and bespoke pieces.” In the main living room inspired by Italian design from the 1970s, two big floral sculptures by Adam Kostiv act as catalysts. The focus of the room is a large mustard-coloured sofa by B&B Italia and a glass coffee table by Glas Italia, both designed by Patricia Urquiola. Opposite them stands a long DJ station designed by Osmose Design containing the Furlottis’ substantial long-playing record collection.
In the cosy family setting, pieces stand out such as a lounge chair with a sled base by the Spanish collective Lievore Altherr Molina bought from a local dealer of modernist furniture. Hess had it covered with shaggy sheep’s wool, dyed to match the off-white coats of the couple’s Bichons Frises, Fred and Harry. “The chair is particularly appreciated by the dogs, the two mascots of the house,” says Hess. Everything has been selected in consideration of the family’s hobbies, such as crystals and the different vibrations they emanate, “which is why the door-knobs are either glass or spheres of labradorite. Labradorite is considered the stone of transformation; it has the power to strengthen intuition and physical abilities.”
Like the ground-floor, the upper floor is full of colour and contrast. At the top of the stairs is a long corridor with a ten-metre-long wool carpet in gradient shades of purple, ranging from lavender to plum. It leads to Dylan’s bedroom, decorated in one repeating print of succulent plants: curtains, walls, ceiling, bedspread and bed frame (also sheets). Next to it lies the master bedroom in pink and purple. “When we saw some of the owners’ experiments with dyes, for example the chair by Lievore Altherr Molina, we convinced them to do the same with the carpet and curtains,” says Andee Hess. “Perhaps we got carried away, but what counts is the result: a fantastically immersive bedroom, conducive to dreaming.”
Article published on the April/May issue of ICON DESIGN.