Beacon Sound : Designing a Music Haven

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Before moving to their current location on N Mississippi Avenue, Beacon Sound was tucked away in a tiny shop four blocks from Shannon’s house. Once she discovered this gem of a record store, she was hooked, and quickly became friends with the owner, Andrew Nearman.

Andrew's eclectic tastes in music and fantastic selection of vintage vinyl has earned Beacon Sound a reputation for one of the best small record stores in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. In addition, Andrew and his friends also run a record label under the same name. The Beacon Sound label works with artists both locally and globally, organizing shows and selling vinyl and cassettes through their webshop.

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Several years ago, when it was time for the record store to relocate and expand, Shannon was excited to help. The new space was on N Mississippi, which has long been one of our favorite design-focused parts of Portland. We worked with Andrew to pull together a modern finishes package that would offer a stylish but understated background for the happenings in the store. There would also be an attached art gallery, so making the main store feel like an extension of the gallery space was a priority. Every surface - from the exterior paint to the interior wall treatments, flooring, and lighting - was selected with care.

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The space would also be used for in-store performances. The overall look needed to be contemporary and simple, not falling into any one theme that might clash with an artist's musical style or detract from the performance.

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Three years later, Beacon Sound operates as a record store and art gallery, an event and gathering space, and "a facilitator/instigator of unexpected connections." They've played around with the display layout over the years, but the overall look & feeling -- minimal, modern, welcoming -- remains the same.

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Next time you're on N Mississippi, be sure to stop in, pick up an album, and say hi for us.

Beacon Sound
3636 b North Mississippi Ave
Portland OR 97227  USA
Owner: Andrew Nearman
wearebeaconsound.com