La Dolce Vita
SURE, THERE ARE PLENTY of home décor stores that sell the couch, vase, or color di moda. Cielo Home is just not one of them. In fact, owners Matthew Boyes and Frederic Koeleman make a point of offering what the chain stores (and their catalogs) don’t: an urbane mix of elegant furnishings, decorative objects and indulgent gifts that celebrate a joyfully eclectic approach to life. The result is a subtly luxurious environment that the big-box shops and their corporate trend directives can’t hold a (French beeswax) candle to. “I think we’re all creatures of comfort who want a dose of the romantic in our surroundings,” says Boyes, a former OBT dancer who opened the Pearl District shop with Koeleman, a veteran retailer, in 2000.
Inspired by the Italian phrase sono in cielo, meaning “I’m in heaven,” Cielo Home is a favorite destination for Portlanders wanting to create a unique domestic paradise. Boyes and Koeleman travel worldwide to collect the often one-of-a-kind items that fill the European-inspired boutique, including découpage pieces by A-list artist John Derian, handmade jewelry and imported chaises longues that the owners (who also do private design work) have reupholstered in fresh fabrics.
And while good taste may come naturally to the owners of Cielo Home, they’re careful never to doubt their customers’ own stylish evolution. “We don’t have to explain a $60 candle anymore,” says Koeleman, referring to the store’s notable Diptyque selection. “Now everyone wants to know why we don’t have more.”