Feasting on style


Molly’s Choice award: The Room Stylers

My kid wanted a dollhouse. She may as well have asked for a pink sparkly dress to compete in a Honey Boo Boo beauty pageant. A dollhouse? I was of the generation that equated domesticity with lobotomy. I wanted more for my daughter. In the toy store, I showed her a set of click-together building blocks in screaming primary colors. “You can build your own house!” I said. She didn’t want to work that hard. I tried to talk her into a flame red fire truck. “It makes real siren noises!” I spoke with more exclamation marks than a teen text message.

“Mama,” she asked. “Why don’t you like girl toys?”

What the heck? In my efforts to liberate my daughter from gender stereotypes I’d managed to imply that girl’s things were inherently less interesting than those enviable boy things. I could practically hear her speed dialing Dr. Freud.

On her birthday that year, my daughter unwrapped a pastel plastic wonder mansion so ridiculously girly it would make a pink cupcake frosted with ruffles and bows look butch in comparison.

She spent many imaginative hours decorating her house for tiny families of moms and dads, moms and moms, feral children, various zoo animals, and even miniature vehicles. The racecar and pickup truck had extraordinary taste in home furnishings.

The point is, true creativity is not stifled by a few arbitrary rules.

Jason Ball Interiors

Case in point: Serving Up Style. The annual design event raises money for Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus. If you’ve never heard of lupus, well, neither had Molly McCabe when she became seriously ill with the autoimmune disease at age 28 in 2005. The event aims to raise awareness and offer support to those diagnosed with Lupus.

This year at the 4th annual Serving Up Style event held this past weekend, 20 participants took the challenge to transform a small barren space at the Portland Expo Center into a fantasy dining room. The results included lush displays of organic abundance to the downright sparse. One designer imagined dining on an urban rooftop overlooking a sparkling cityscape. Another pictured picnicking in the ancient ruins of a castle. And a third fashioned a luxurious bedroom one wouldn’t want to leave, even to eat. A group of student designers played up their youth by imagining a child’s view beneath a table where a furry-legged yeti supped.

Below are some of the design teams that were involved. For details on all the winners, check out the Facebook page for Serving Up Style.

Storytelling Awards: Art Institute of Portland and Ikea Portland


A Penny for Your Thoughts                          
Smell. Sip. Smile.
Breakfast in bed
La Vie Boheme
Boho Artistry
Where does the butterfly go when it rains?
Dinner at Tiffany’s
Modurne fine furnishings + funktional interiors
Jane & Tarzan’s Hollywood Retreat
Where to next?
Lost & Crowned
Sustainable Lifescape
Merry Mary!
Beyond Nourishment
Nature’s Skybox


Vivian McInerny is the managing editor of Oregon Home.