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Pastiche perfect

Lake Oswego home decor shop is known to stop traffic with its eclectic mix of furniture and decorative items
by: vern uyetake Ramona Martinson sets up her morning display at Pastiche on Bryant Road in Lake Oswego, featuring affordable home decor items. Recently, the store expanded to include both sides of the historic building.

You'd think it was rush hour in Los Angeles from the never-ending honks. But instead of inconsiderate hand gestures, every motorist driving by Pastiche smiles and waves as they pass the storefront.

'Half the people who drive by and honk I went to high school with,' said Ramona Martinson, the shop's owner of 27 years.

To begin each work day, Martinson sets up vignettes on the sidewalk outside her home decor store at 16780 Bryant Road in Lake Oswego - highlighting anything from tables, vases and birdcages to personalized lettering and freshly painted chairs.

'I don't know how many, but I'd guess 15,000 cars go by here each day,' Martinson, 64, said of the busy corner sandwiched on a steep hill between a railroad track and Plaid Pantry.

'I've had people call me as they drive up the hill ... saying, 'how much is that red table?'' she said.

And, since the shop expanded into square footage next door, there's more of Martinson's finds on display in the historic building, constructed in the early 1930s.

'It seems like colonial things are really coming back - and reusing and repurposing. We're all into a better look for less money and more individual, not the kind of thing you can buy at a big furniture store,' she said. 'Older things, unusual things and kind of wonky one-of-a-kind things are the popular items.'

Martinson points to a little green chair priced at $95. It may have been someone's grandmother's, but now takes on a new life. She also paints furniture and does upholstery work for items purchased outside her store.

'I use a lot of Sunbrella fabric (on seat cushions) so it can go indoors or outdoors,' she said.

Versatility is one of Martinson's signature traits. Recently, she said that she's enjoying decorating the homes of a younger demographic.

'Now the mom's that I've come to know are bringing in their daughters,' Martinson said of decorating college apartments or the home of a newly married couple.

And many of them bring pictures of the empty rooms they're trying to redecorate and run ideas by Martinson. While the shop doesn't work on consignment to find items, Martinson said that if a customer has something they're in the market for, she'll look for it on 'one of my furniture-finding trips.' The store's mix of new decor items and antiques plays into current design trends with affordable prices, such as metal wall letters modeled after antique typewriters.

'Collect a bunch of differently (shaped) letters of the same letter, like all a 'K,'' she said. 'I'm seeing a lot of that.'

Framing is also a large part of what keeps Martinson's workdays busy.

'There's a framing project for every day of the year here - if not two,' she said. 'Some people have moved five times and I've done frames for five of their houses.'

In November, the store will display holiday gifts, but year round, Martinson said her biggest gift is helping the clients she's gotten to know through the years.

'If I get a good deal,' she said, 'I want to pass that on to my customer.'

To contact Pastiche, call 503-636-0208. The shop is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.