A jolt of colour – in the form of rainbow-hued tableware, painted glassware, richly textured cushions, and other contemporary housewares – has arrived in Portland, Oregon, just ahead of winter. Honouring a mutual commitment to craftsmanship and forward-thinking design, Danish brand Hay has chosen the Pacific Northwestern city as the site of its first US retail store, opening its doors to the public on 15 November.

The store, situated in a 3,400 sq ft Pearl District warehouse, features an open-plan layout that makes it easy to browse highlights of the company’s 16-year history, from furniture to kitchen tools, textiles to toothbrushes – all designed, in the brand’s own words, with the singular aim of making ‘good design accessible.’ (Even the shop’s colourful sub-architectural framework – which stands in eye-popping contrast to the building’s original, 1890s brick – is a Hay design, constructed using its New Order modular shelving system).

Known for collaborations with designers and manufacturers from across the globe, Hay’s founders hope that the Portland store will serve not only as a shopping destination, but as a hub for community events and activations with area-specific merchants.

The location, as it turns out, is just the first of several in the US – five more shops are slated to open across the country over the next year. ‘We have a great opportunity to grow in the US and learn from this new and exciting audience,’ says co-founder Mette Hay. ‘We have never considered Hay as simply a Danish project. To us, design is a global language. Ultimately, we believe a presence in the US will lead to creating better products for Hay customers throughout the world.’ §

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