Category Archives: landscape

Custom Design: Wood Shed

Wood sheds are a perfect example of functional + practical design. They are made for one purpose: storing wood.

   japanese woodshed

It’s simple, right? Not exactly. When SBaird Design was put in charge of designing a modern wood shed we had to think about all the design parameters that this structure had to follow:

  1. Hold a Cord of wood.  The cord is a unit of measure of dry volume used to measure firewood and pulpwood in the United States and Canada. It is the amount of wood that, when “ranked and well stowed” (arranged so pieces are aligned, parallel, touching and compact), occupies a volume of 128 cubic feet (3.62 m3). This corresponds to a well stacked woodpile 4 feet (122 cm) high, 8 feet (244 cm) long, and 4 feet (122 cm) deep; or any other arrangement of linear measurements that yields the same volume. 
  2. Provide Ventilation. Stacking the firewood in a shed with good ventilation lets the wood dry out without rotting so it will be ready for burning. In fact, stacking is so important that you do it ASAP.  If your wood is left in a large heap it will absorb ground moisture, attract insects, and start to rot.  Stacking firewood helps accelerate the drying process. The stacking pattern you choose can also increase the amount of ventilation your woodpile is exposed to.  The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that the space between each log should be “large enough for a mouse to run through, but tight enough to prevent a cat from chasing it.”  
  3. Give Protection. It might seem like a given but it is quite an important factor to consider. Wood is cellular, and will reabsorb water like a sponge. Here in the rainy Pacific Northwest, if you take dry, seasoned fuel wood and stack it without proper protection, it can soak up enough water to revert to its original water content in just a matter of hours.

Now that we had the 3 necessary functions defined, SBaird Design also had to meet the needs of our client:

  1. Public Storage. The wood shed is on a property that will be a vacation rental. There needed to be an area to store items that renters can access, like patio tables and grilling items.
  2. Private Storage. Although the property is a rental, it is the home base for the client when they are in town. They wanted a separate compartment to store their beach belongings, like sand buckets, clamming guns and beach chairs.
  3. Contain the Containers. The property is next to a public beach access point. The client wanted to eliminate strangers trespassing on the property to throw away their debris and trash in the private bins. The wood shed needed to be able to hide the trash bins and keep them locked up.

Armed with these needs and functions, we started thinking about the design. Modern. Mimic the main house. Simple beauty.

At one of SBaird Real Estate’s listings, we found this wood shed in the back yard. It was the inspiration and jump-off point for our 4

Our craftsman on the job is a god send and gave us some great information on the layout and parameters to stick with:

  1. The highest point of the wood shed can not exceed 7′. It needs to be aligned with the existing roof structure of the main house to create one continuous line.
  2. The slope of the wood shed needs to be 1:12 to match the host home.
  3. The maximum footprint is a 15’x5′ rectangle made of 8″ CMU block.

Here is SBaird Design’s initial mock-up of the wood shed. Top bay and largest bay to the right add up to hold a volume of 130 cubic feet. Enough room to stack a cod of wood and easily access it. Wood will be kept secure with locking doors made of open metal grating. Center bay will hold the garbage bins, while the bay to the left is for the owner’s private use. The large full size access will be the public/rental storage equipped with shelving and still have enough space to store the patio furniture. The exterior will be clad with Ipe to match the main house.

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It will be finessed and design changes will be made but it is a good start.

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Filed under construction, design, landscape, manzanita, organization, Remodeling, Uncategorized

Interior colors, furniture and fence for a home in NE Portland

Swiss Coffee OC 45 by Benjamin Moore – Walls

Cotton Balls OC 122 by Benjamin Moore – Trim


Furniture purchased at Look Modern, sofa, stereo credenza, love seat and desk

Rug purchased at Kush


New garage door and new fence ( design by SBaird Design )



Filed under color, design, Furniture, landscape, Paint, Restoration


I met Julie Pointer at a YU Contemporary founders dinner, while she was there observing the art of the table and assisting John Taboada from Navarre with the preparation of the food and serving. The table, in my opinion, is roughly translated in how people come together to break bread, and the ways in which magic can happen when meals are shared and when one least expects it.

She has been attending a 2-year joint MFA program between PNCA and OCAC, called Applied Craft and Design.
The program focuses particularly on merging craft/design solutions with relevant social and environmental issues, and has an entrepreneurial push to it.

Julie has been observing time, place and environment, recently completing the massive undertaking of providing an artistic backdrop, along with table settings and pot luck assignments, for an outdoor meal. Gifting this, her thesis, to her direct neighbors and community where she lives in SE Portland, she created what I believe is so desired by many, that of creating relationships around sharing food together. I have been following her blog for awhile now, and am always amazed at her perception of beauty in the natural environment, the simplicity in which she weaves items together to create a whole new world for this one event. Whether through the invitations lovingly prepared or to the thought in which she chose the dinnerware, and brought together perfect strangers for a captivating event on May Day. She is someone to watch. The inspiration pages that she created as a backdrop for where she was headed with the final project are something that seems to have come from my dreams, I love the way her eyes and design sense capture exactly what I think is quite exquisite and complete to me.

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Filed under color, Culture, design, Furniture, landscape, lifestyle, nature

Galaher Garden Design

I had the pleasure today, of meeting Megan Galaher who specializes in urban garden design for Portland homes. Whether modernization is the approach, or drought resistant gardens with year round interest, she is well trained to conceptualize and execute gorgeous gardens that require as little maintenance as possible.

Originally from San Francisco, she learned to love landscaping through her experience working in the garden of a private residence in her home town. She attended Lewis and Clark as an art major, and after extensive traveling came back to Portland deciding to settle here and choosing the garden industry as a way to express her art and design background.

Patterns and repetition are a theme that is often repeated in her work, along with color flow and exceptional layering techniques as evidenced in her keen eye towards height variations and the relationship of plants to each other.

For best results she may be hired for a full service approach including consultation, plans, plant procurement and installation, but also offers a one hour consultation, or can draft plans to hand over to a client for their own execution. – 503-235-2103

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( and i love her pots!) sw portland

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12 things that I could not live without + favorites from Danielle Delceppo {wallpaper designer}

i cannot live without:

1. my cats, chicken and waffles
2. eye liner and lipstick
3. something to read
4. travel
5. a beautiful night cream
6. rock music
7. sunshine
8. chocolate croissants
9. fresh flowers (preferably roses, orchids, chrysanthemums, dahlias, magnolias, cherry blossoms, rhododendrons, monkey paw)
10. sunglasses
11. scarves
12. olive oil (for skin care and cooking)
13. exercise

A. favorite hotel? Gild Hall NYC
B. favorite music? Neko Case
C. always in my fridge? brut champagne
D. favorite food? tomatoes in the summer
E. favorite clothing? my vintage indonesian dancer print bullet bra wrap dress that makes me feel like bridget bardot every time I wear it.
F. an odd thing in my house i cannot live without? my partner.

To see the lush and gorgeous wallpapers Danielle designs, and to custom order for your home or business, go to

hint: to see a collaborative project that resulted in a beautiful wallpaper or potential fabric option, look under pattern design – illustrative wallpaper and fabric, then check out ‘winter ink blot’ from a photograph that sbaird design took near the willamette river in a 1998 snow storm. danielle’s talents and creativity are unparalleled.

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Filed under color, Culture, design, Fashion, landscape, lifestyle, Music, nature, Uncategorized

Edelkoort and Bloom

There is almost too much to say, in a world where there is never quite enough to say, about someone and a magazine. A recommendation came to purchase Bloom by a dear friend and fellow creative years ago, however, I was discouraged by the cost. Receiving my first issue as a gift this year was very nice indeed. Forever inspired by flowers, trees and the natural world around me, I was pleased to find it all in one publication, specifically bent towards how these are interwoven in fabric, art, colors and surfaces. Perceiving trends before they are known and translating that to institutions, designers and branding leaders are just one facet of Li Edelkoorts broad range.

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Filed under color, Culture, design, design magazine, landscape, lifestyle, photography

Outdoor lighting

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Your Modern Outdoor Retreat

It is a common misconception that modern decorating should be confined to a home’s interior, especially when it comes to lighting. Truly, there are countless modern lighting projects that will increase the curbside appeal of your home for optimal outdoor nighttime enjoyment. Modern outdoor lighting is sure to impress partygoers during that perfect summer outdoor patio gathering, or it can provide an intimate retreat for personal relaxation after those long days at the office. Whether you are after a sophisticated or casual outdoor setting, modern lighting is the perfect way to add ambiance to your deck, patio or home façade.

Hanging Lanterns for your Hang out Spot

You can start off the project of improving your yard’s outdoor décor by adding some chic, overhead lights. These lights will highlight your landscape and create a setting that is conducive to outdoor celebrations. Most likely, you will be using your outdoor space in the summertime, so why not bring out the colors of summer with some bright, multicolored overhanging pendant lights?  Luceplan is a modern lighting design company that specializes in creating these outdoor pendant lights; their pod lens suspension lights work really well outdoors, especially when they are hung from backyard trees bringing modern vibes out of your landscape.  Now, pendant lights are not the only type of overhead lights that you can purchase. Hanging lanterns are also great for setting the right tone to your outdoor décor. The great thing about lanterns is that designs are etched on the outside of the metal coverings; because of this, there are a number of modern and futuristic outlines to choose from.

Green is Chic

Without a doubt, a new trend in modern décor is eco-friendly sustainability in terms of design. “Modern” and “eco-friendly” have just about become synonymous as companies are becoming more and more dedicated to environmental preservation. There are a number of eco-friendly outdoor lighting options that you can choose from without having to sacrifice style. Many of the modern-designed outdoor wall sconces are beautiful in appearance and feature finishes that are distinctly futuristic with stainless steel, brushed nickel, brass and chrome finishes. Not only that but most outdoor wall sconces are also dark sky compliant, which means that they help reduce glare and light pollution. Another wonderful outdoor lighting solution is the addition of a few solar walkway or garden lights. These solar reflector lights serve an aesthetic purpose, as well as an eco-friendly solution to curbside lighting. Enjoying your garden at night will become a new pastime after you add some beautiful solar lights to highlight the hard work you put into the garden during the day. You can even take it a step further by adding some chrome torches to light up your garden landscape.

All in all, outdoor lighting is a great way to enjoy your landscape or patio even at night. There are a number of exterior lighting additions that you can make that will be consistent with your contemporary designed household. In reality, the party doesn’t have to end during the day, just be sure to use mosquito repellent for total enjoyment!

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Filed under color, landscape, lifestyle, nature, outdoor lighting