A Midsummer Night’s Dream

2015 Summer EventLast week, the Portico team headed over to Vanier Park for an evening of great food, fabulous company and hilarious comedy via Bard on the Beach.  During dinner, the team discovered that our fearless leader Lynn Clarke is not only a talented designer, but also a gourmet chef!  Her sangria and broccoli salad were definite highlights of the night.  The evening concluded with a viewing of Love’s Labour’s Lost, a humorous and jazzy performance that drew a standing ovation.

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If I was a Chair…



If you were a chair, which chair would you be?  The Platner armchair perhaps?  Or maybe you’re the iconic Eames Lounge chair?  In addition to answering this compelling question, all of Portico’s employees take part in a fun “If I was a chair” photo shoot.  Along with Principal Lynn Clarke, four of Portico’s newest team members recently swung by Inform’s Contract showroom to become one with a chair.  A great time was had by all and no chairs were harmed in the process.  A big thank you to our photographer Daniela Ciuffa and to Paul and Robyn at Inform Contract for lending us their lovely showroom space.

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San Francisco Through a Designer’s Eye

Recently, one of our designers got the chance to take a roadtrip down to San Francisco and had some great stops along the way. Here are some snippets of her trip down the Westcoast.

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Eureka, California (A bit mini-golf course meets Alice in Wonderland, no?)



Sea Ranch chapel in Sonoma, California


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Sightglass coffee, The Mission District (A great modern take on Art Deco!)



Smokestack at Magnolia Brewery (This place was located in what would be the Railtown of Vancouver, a lot of new buildings amongst an old shipyard.)


It might be time for another roadtrip!


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Another Successful Crawl

Is it really the end of November already??

Luckily for us, that means it is Eastside Culture Crawl time again! A wonderful way to really embrace fall and all that it has to offer. Along with all our friends from last year, we found some great new gems. Rain AND shine, it was a very  successful event this year.

Here at Portico, we are always on the hunt for new local artists to showcase in our projects. Whether it’s a model home, a lobby or a private residence, having that one special piece handcrafted specifically for the project, is always a great, thoughtful touch. Here are a few artists who caught our eye this year:


Eric Louie – Visual Artist



There is a great graphic quality to his work, with a softness in colour. Eric has a great website with many of his pieces showcased.







Cybele Ironside – Abstract Oil Painter

Cybele’s work is fluid and interpretive. The way she plays with light and colour, it was easy to get lost in the brush strokes.






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Johnny Taylor – Artist



Johnny’s ability to create a detailed, deep, cityscape from simple lines, shapes and colours was pretty breathtaking. Big and small, and on various interesting mediums, Johnny’s work is really something you need to see in person.




A vibrant scene that seems to be growing rapidly in our city are the talented woodworkers making anything from record crates, to growler carriers, to charcuterie plates, to intricately handcrafted pieces of furniture. Some great ideas for holiday gifts this year. Check them out!




Union Wood Company


Great handmade furniture and accessories, attention to detail, and just an overall great group of people to interact with. They’ve recently opened up their new work space and have launched a settings and rental division, called Bon Accord.







Hobo Woodworks


A brother team, these guys have a great little shop where they are creating some really lovely specialty pieces. You can tell they have a lot of fun doing what they do.







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Shipway Design


There is something so naturally balanced about mixing wood and concrete. Romney’s work is streamlined and simple; a perfect addition to any living space.


Thanks again to all the great, talented artists who opened up their studios this past weekend!

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Restructuring and Long Term Growth

Portico Restructure - Blog


Portico Design Group announces today a restructuring of operations that will optimize business for the long term. Lynn Clarke, one of two principals of Portico Design, is now in charge of day-to-day company operations while co-principal and company founder, Tara Wells, is spearheading Portico’s re-launch into the United States.

“For our B.C. clients, it’s business as usual,” says Clarke. “They will continue to receive the best design solutions from our award winning team of interior designers.”

Before the recession that began in 2007-2008, Portico was active in a number of U.S. states, providing interior design services to the hospitality industry in Florida, Colorado, California and Nevada.

“As we all know, the resort and hotel development industry was hit extremely hard by the world-wide recession,” says Wells. “Now as the U.S economy is gaining strength, that industry is starting to rebound. With our previous experience in the U.S., we see an opportunity to get back into that market.”

In addition to managing daily operations, Clarke will continue to work with clients to facilitate outstanding design and oversee staff and projects. Wells will continue to have involvement in local projects, but will steadily move her focus to U.S. opportunities.

“One of the advantages for local developers,” says Clarke “is that we will be stronger and more dynamic.”

Portico Design Group, founded in 1992, provides full interior design services for clients in Canada and the United States. Clients include residential and commercial real estate developers, resort operators and private home owners

Lynn Clarke

Tara Wells


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and that’s a wrap for our food drive this year!

IMAG0130_111 boxes full of food for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Thank you so much to everyone who helped us out this year. It’s going to be great delivering all of this to the food bank.

Happy Holidays to You and Yours, from Us and Ours!

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Eastside Culture Crawl 2013

Every year when the weather starts getting a little chillier, and we all start thinking about the holidays and gift giving, the wonderful artists of the Eastside open up their warm studios to us to see what they’ve been up to all year long.

The Eastside Culture Crawl is a great way for us, as designers, to find some new inspiration in the world of furniture, art, ceramics, accessories, and the like. Here’s a snapshot of some of our favorites.


Kate Duncan – http://kateduncan.ca/

In a field monopolized by men, it is great to see Kate Duncan taking strides in the furniture design and building world.  Her attention to detail is exquisite, and her style is clean, modern and refined.

Featured piece: she had her Parallel bed collection on display. A rich walnut frame, with dark accents, also had hidden storage underneath. Beautiful detail!


Jeff Martin Joinery – http://jeffmartinjoinery.ca/

What stood out about Jeff is that he seemed to really allow the wood to speak for itself and used it to lead his design. Instead of scouring for the perfect piece, he’d allow for its imperfections to create the design. With metal and wood inlays, his table tops were super eye-catching.

Featured piece: an unfinished project that appeared to be a table top. The metal ring details were really great, and it was really neat to see the piece coming to life.




Woodstone Design (Steven Pollock) – http://www.woodstonedesign.ca/

There is always something so intrinsically ‘design’ about mixing wood and concrete. Something about the mix of live and manmade materials really speaks to a well-balanced aesthetic. Steven does a great job of this over at Woodstone design.

Featured piece: wood and stone pedestals. These could really be an art piece in themselves.






Dahlhaus – http://dahlhausart.com/

A beautiful collection of handmade ceramics and prints. Simple designs with beautiful, fresh, colors. Their pieces really had a youthful whimsy to them and would make for great accent pieces.

Featured piece: Her tea pots with matching mugs. Great Christmas gifts!






Gregg Steffensen – http://greggsteffensen.tumblr.com/

Gregg’s work in mixed media images is super graphic, and has some great depth to it. Neon was a big thing in art this year at the crawl, and that definitely apparent in his work. Such a fun, unexpected pop of color.

Featured piece: Gregg’s Trans series had a wonderful variety to them, but still worked really great together as collections.

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Halloween…Portico Style!

It’s that spooky time of year again!

With all the candy, costumes, fireworks we could ask for, Halloween never fails to bring out the kid in us.

If you love to celebrate Halloween (like we do!) but find that your tastes have since ‘grown up’ a bit, here are some ideas to take a modern twist on some Halloween décor for your home.


With just a bit of spray paint and tape, it’s easy to make some bold colour blocked pumpkins for your mantle or door step. Add some numbers for a fun address finder for when your friends and family come over to celebrate.

Photo courtesy of The Mundane BlogPhoto courtesy of A. Clore Interiors Blog











Entry door:


Use those painted pumpkins to create a more sophisticated front entry. Stack them, carve them, light them; add a simple black wreath on the door and you’ve got yourself a clean, eye catching and welcoming front entry that both trick or treaters and their parents will enjoy.

Photo courtesy of: I Heart Shabby Chic Blog


Table settings:    

Halloween parties are always a blast, and a few simple centrepieces will certainly tie everything together nicely. White is always a nice, clean look and you could have some fun with different messages based on your party theme. Sticking to simple colour themes and creating custom labels is another fun way to add some personal touches to your refreshment table.

Photo courtesy of: Adore Your Place BlogPhoto courtesy of: Nazmiyal Blog












Have fun showing off your ghoulish style and Happy Halloween everyone!




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Congratulations Kulpreet!

Kulpreet Anant has truly earned the new title of “Associate” at Portico Design Group.   We welcome her to the management team.

Kulpreet has worked in both the Architectural and Interior Design fields.   In her 16 year career, she has designed interiors for luxury yachts, resorts, hotels, high rise towers and low rise multi family.

We are proud of Kulpreet’s achievements, dedication and great out of the box design.   Kulpreet holds a Bachelor of Architecture, R.I.D and is LEED AP.

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