Welcome to the Neighborhood

Oregon Home spoke with Blu Dot founders Maurice Blanks and John Christakos, who were in town to celebrate the grand opening of the modern furniture company’s Portland store.

Oregon Home: Why Portland?

John Christakos: Portland is our seventh store. There are bigger cities that we were looking at, but our people are in Portland. We know we have a strong following here. Portland is really a kindred city to our hometown of Minneapolis. I found this spot on my first trip, and it was ideal: the perfect corner, the right neighborhood. It happened super fast.

OH: What would you say to people who aren’t yet into modern furniture?

JC: Design can certainly improve your life — the way a piece solves a problem in your home while also being beautiful, or the way it brings joy into your day.

OH: What do you mean when you talk about the democratization of modern furniture?

JC: In 1997, if you were interested in good design, you had IKEA or you had to have an architect to walk you around a European showroom. West Elm, CB2, Design Within Reach — they didn’t exist. When we were first trying to furnish our homes, there was nothing for us. We wanted to create something of lasting quality that was affordable, a kind of middle ground in terms of price.

OH: Tell us how Blu Dot thinks about comfort.

Maurice Blanks: Comfort is non-negotiable. If it’s not comfortable, it’s not a chair — it’s a device to keep you off the ground.

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