Color and texture, luminance and hue, the key elements of great art are also a part of what makes fashion a mood, a reflection, a statement. Join us for an afternoon at the Lightcatcher in living color.
Cape Jacket: BCBGMAXAZRIA Macy’s $228 • Lace Top: INC Macy’s $58 • Pants: Alfoni Macy’s $59.50 • Hat Three French Hens $60 • Shoes: Intentionally Mi Shoes $198 • Necklace: Uno de 50 Three French Hens $715
Dress: Ted Baker Nordstrom $279 • Shoes: Sam Edelman Nordstrom $169.95 • Necklace Betty Be Good $16.50 • Bracelet Nordstrom $36 • Earrings: Uno de 50 Three French Hens $145
Dress: Margaret OLeary, Margaretoleary.com $268 • Knitted Vest: Margaret OLeary Margaretoleary.com $245 • Shoes: Vince Camuto Macy’s $119 • Necklace: Kendra Scott Nordstrom $120 • Bracelet: Uno de 50 Three French Hens $459 • Earrings: Thalia Sodi $16.50 • Ring: Uno de 50 Three French Hens $165
Bracelet Brighton 1 Paper Boat $74 • Necklace Uno de 50 Three French Hens $715 • Bracelet Uno de 50 Three French Hens $295
Dress: Ted Baker Nordstrom $295 • Jacket: Joseph Ribkoff Three French Hens $296 • Boots: Sam Edelman Nordstrom $190 • Necklace Nordstrom $58 • Bracelet: Brighton 1 Paper Boat $74
Shirt: Rachel Roy Macy’s $89 • Skirt: Komarov Burkett’s • Jacket: Joseph Ribkoff Three French Hens $258 • Shoes: BC Mi Shoes $80 • Necklace: Ficklesticks Three French Hens, $92
Dress: Colors Dress After 5 Fashion $288 • Bracelet: INC Macy’s $29.50 • Earrings: INC Macy’s $26.50 • Shoes: Nina After 5 Fashion
Dress: Issue After 5 Fashion $179 • Necklace Nordstrom $128 • Shoes: INC Macy’s $99.50 • Bracelet After 5 Fashion $22
PHOTOGRAPHY Tania Shepard, Azzura Photography, azzuraphotography.com | MODEL Emily Bylin | HAIR Jennilyn Michel and Megan Walker | MAKEUP Willa Crank and Portia Newman, Northwest Makeup | STYLING Lisa Karlberg | RETAILERS 1 Paper Boat, After 5 Fashion, Betty Be Good, Macy’s, Mi Shoes, Nordstrom, Three French Hens | Photographed at the Colorfast exhibit in the Lightcatcher | Artwork by Ashley V. Blalock, Elizabeth Gahan, Damien Gilley, and Katy Stone | Guest-curated by Amy Chaloupka.
Whether it be gift-giving, party-hosting, or just plain old everyday shopping, this is the time of year when many of us pull out all the stops. Holiday gatherings with good friends, good food, and of course, good wines, seem to make the season just a little more special, and if that means going over our anticipated budget, why not?
Certainly there are plenty of solid, value-priced wines to be had. But the holidays practically demand that you spend a few dollars more than you normally would for a wine to enjoy either on your own, with family, or perhaps as a gift for that special someone.
Just remember that the definition of a “wine splurge” is completely relative to your spending comfort zone. So while $20 a bottle may be considered a splurge by one person, something in the $40 to $60 price range might be more like it for others.
The key here, regardless of your spending limits, is that a step up in a wine’s price meets or exceeds your expectations for a step up in quality. If that happens, then the higher price was certainly worth it.
Here are a few suggestions of some special wines that you might enjoy any time of year, but especially during the holiday season.
Look to Europe for an incredible selection of food-friendly varietals at prices that fit the lower-end splurge category. Start with Italy’s Chianti Classico region, which offers Sangiovese-based red wines that pair nicely with everything from veal parmigiana to pepperoni pizza.
The Ruffino 2012 Riserva Ducale (about $25) and the Ruffino 2011 Riserva Ducale Oro (about $40) are two perfect examples. The Riserva Ducale displays savory touches of pepper and green herb that accentuate its core of red cherry fruit; while the Oro opens with fragrant violets and bright cranberry flavors that melt into darker dried cherry and a soft finish that is beautifully framed by a touch of bittersweet chocolate.
Those who favor bigger wines from France’s Bordeaux region should enjoy the Château Aney 2012 Haut Médoc Cru Bourgeois (about $24). This impressive blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot is beautifully balanced, with hibiscus aromatics, black currant and black cherry fruit, tart acidity and a nice, meaty tannic structure. It’s a great value and easily comparable to other wines from the region at twice the price.
Big, full-bodied wines are also the order of the day from Napa California’s Baldacci Family Vineyards. A trio of current releases include the 2014 Sorelle Chardonnay (about $38) with tropical fruit flavors of pineapple and guava and a hint of field clover and orange zest on the extreme finish; the 2013 Elizabeth Pinot Noir (about $40) with dense red plum and berry on the palate, slightly chewy tannins, and a trace of earthiness; and the 2013 Fraternity Red Blend (about $40) with currant and blackberry compote flavors, supple tannins, and a full, round finish with plenty of staying power.
Malbec has become a rock-star favorite for many red wine lovers and Argentina’s Mendoza region has achieved worldwide recognition as a “go-to” source for this increasingly popular varietal. Indicative of the region’s quality is the Domaine Bousquet Grande Reserve 2013 Malbec (about $25), comprised of 85% Malbec with a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah blended in. This is a gorgeous wine that delivers both character and elegance, with brambly raspberry and blackberry fruit, hints of baking spice, white pepper, and herbs, and a soft, velvety finish.
Rob and Donna Mellison from Washington’s Mellisoni Vineyards on Lake Chelan have put together a winning formula by offering wine enthusiasts a must-visit tasting room with stunning views, first-class service, and beautifully crafted wines.
Their 2013 Syrah (about $50) is a great example of what you’ll find on a typical tasting menu. It features a base of ultra-black plum with nuances of candied cherry, inky minerality, and firm tannins that suggest cellaring another three to five years for maximum enjoyment.
Oregon Pinot Noirs are sometimes a bit pricey, but the extra dollars can often pay off with an exquisite wine that really must be tried to be appreciated. A case in point: the Knudsen Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir (about $55) from Willamette Valley’s Dundee Hills.
A visual and sensual delight, this wine’s shimmering ruby hue is followed by a whisper of smoke and raspberry on the nose, dark strawberry and red cherry fruit flavors, and a seamless, silky finish with a lovely touch of rose petals. Serving suggestions include poached salmon, duck, goose or roast turkey.
From Italy’s Tuscany region, the Avignonesi 2012 Desiderio Merlot (about $65) is another red wine gem that’s worth the splurge. It’s packed with black cherry and blueberry fruits, undertones of clove, cinnamon, and cocoa powder, and ample tannins that will require a bit of aeration. The addition of 15% Cabernet Sauvignon gives the wine additional character, depth, and structure and allows it to pair well with anything beef such as Ossobucco or a crown roast.
And nothing caps off a holiday celebration better than an extra-special bottle of Champagne. The Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve (about $65) is comprised of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier, with nearly half of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir coming from reserve wines aged in stainless steel for an average of 10 years.
The Heidsieck’s striking gold color is highlighted with yeasty, fresh-baked bread and stone fruit aromas, layered, cherry-cream pie flavors, and a lengthy, nutty finish with a flourish of toasted vanilla bean. Exceptional!
On a warm autumn day, I found myself on the sunny outdoor patio of Artifacts Cafe & Wine Bar. The small space inside the Lightcatcher opened its doors in November 2015. Though small, it is chockfull of wine of every kind. The museum had approached the owner of The Real McCoy asking if he’d like to open another location adjacent to the museum. He declined, but pointed the museum to his father, Jeff Wicklund, known to friends as Wick. Wick, a veteran of the wine business (he opened his first shop, Wicked Cellars, in Everett in 1996), had been wanting to open a wine bar in Bellingham. The heart of Bellingham’s vibrant art district seemed like an appropriate location.
Wick teamed up with James McClure and Ellen Sheen. Each team member brings different strengths to Artifacts. Wick brings his wine industry knowledge and connections to the table. McClure is in the import-export business, allowing him to travel constantly and take home ideas and various flavor profiles from abroad. Sheen, a former Starbucks employee, brings the necessary organization, service knowledge, and hospitality experience that directly contributes to Artifacts’ unique ambiance.
The idea behind the wine bar is simple. Wick explained since wine is an “Experienced-based commodity, we try to create an ambiance that’s very conducive to wine. It’s hard to get excited about fine wine when you’re next to the produce section in the grocery store.”
Artifacts’ goal is to create an experience with wine tastings and light nibbles. Inside, tall shelves of wine bottles overlook intimate tables. The covered outdoor patio allows for large groups to settle in, or a couple to snuggle in the corner. Space heaters keep the area comfortable even in the cooler months. Outside on the sidewalk, people-watchers can sip wine while observing families, dogs, and friends amble down the sidewalk. With the atmosphere set, it’s time to focus on the wine.
Artifacts cares a great deal about the products they pour into every glass and are honored to link their commodity to the museum’s exhibits. Wick said, “Respect the art form of wine, art and wine are fruit off the same vine.” At any given time there are about 100 bottles of wine and four offerings on tap. The tapped wine not only reduces Artifact’s carbon footprint, but also allows for better preservation, since the lines are air-tight, making for a great tasting pour to the very last drop.
The wine gurus choose quality wine based off personal taste. Keep in mind, though, they have refined palettes and the knowledge to choose “correct” wine. This means, “If a wine is from a particular area it should reflect the terroir of that area. It shouldn’t be McWine, which is what’s happened in recent years,” Wick said. Further boosting their impeccable wine selection, Artifacts has the upper hand with exclusivity and access to wines that may not be available anywhere else in the county.
Wine newbies, don’t fret! Artifacts isn’t looking to intimidate people. McClure wanted to be clear, Artifacts “wants to take the snobbery away from wine.” They host wine classes to help guests learn their taste profiles, decipher the complexities of pairing food with wine, and just generally learn more about wine. Artifacts’ Wine Club offers three tiers based on how much wine you’d like to receive monthly. The Club’s wines are determined based on a monthly theme or region, and celebrated with a special tasting night complete with food pairings. On these nights guests can expand their wine horizons by trying related wines.
Artifacts isn’t just about wine. They have an espresso machine and offer small breakfast options like scones, yogurt, and waffles. Ideally, a guest would stop by for coffee before heading into the museum, then relax with a glass of wine after viewing an exhibit.
While munching on truffle buttered toasts smeared with Artifacts’ rich truffle chicken liver mousse, I eavesdropped on a tasting with a vendor. In between sips of wine McClure and Wick chatted with the vendor about the wine’s flavors, the latest industry news, and even family news. Not only was it was a friendly, comfortable scene to watch, it demonstrated their dedication to wine and the experience that goes along with it.
This home, located on 12th Street overlooking stunning Bellingham Bay, was past due for a kitchen remodel. I had worked with this client on previous projects in her home and was thrilled to have the opportunity to design her kitchen. By giving her tons of cabinet, floor and counter space, I felt this kitchen could be not only beautiful but a wonderful space to both cook and entertain.
I always start a design with an inspiration piece. To change up the famous line from the movie Jerry Maguire, “This kitchen had me at overhead beams.” They have such a rustic charm about them, and I love keeping that juxtaposition of old and new when doing a remodel.
One of the things this kitchen needed was more usable space. The old layout had only a few shelves for cabinets, along with only a lower cabinets, which meant the counter space was bleak. To give my client what she needed, I added plenty of upper and lower cabinets along with a much-needed pantry. I paired this with creamy quartz counter tops for a clean, no fuss feel. The backsplash is a glass tile with variations of soft blues, grays, and creams. When paired with a soft robin egg blue on the wall, it ties the room together with the rich cherry cabinets beautifully.
The icing on the cake or the finishing touches is really what dresses a room. For a kitchen, these are things like your appliances, your lighting, it can even be a special bowl you put out or even décor or art. A stainless steel farmhouse sink and top-of-the-line stainless appliances were added to this kitchen makeover and they blend beautifully with Cherry cabinets. I selected Kichler lighting both over the sink and in a center chandelier. Never underestimate how important lighting in the kitchen can be. When in doubt, use more than you need, not less.
Finally, I took out the original island that sat in the center of the room and replaced it with a connecting bar off the pantry. This allowed for a less constricted flow in the prepping area of the kitchen and also created a seating area. A new larger opening was added to the left of the refrigerator so that people seated at the bar could take in the views of Bellingham Bay and have conversations with family and friends while great food and memories were made!
This peaceful retreat on Guemes Island designed by David Hall (since retired) of HKP Architects draws on Finnish and Scandanavian summer houses for inspiration. Situated on the the north end of Guemes Island with expansive views of Bellingham Bay, this 625 square-foot cabin combines the best of comfort and tranquility Hall worked closely with the owners to ensure that the outdoor patios were integrated seamlessly with the interior. The rectangular floor plan provides a central space for relaxing, entertaining, dining, and reflection. Bedrooms, office, and utility spaces were added for full functionality. This lovely cabin is the perfect place to escape with friends on the weekend, or to spend a few weeks relaxing.
With special thanks to Julie Blazek of HKP Architects
Atomic Kitten stands out on Commercial Street, its painted blue bricks contrasting sharply against the surrounding dull red buildings. Guarded by a cartoon kitten, the brightly lit showroom beckons from behind the windows. The store, which opened in July, is home to a collection of vintage furniture from the mid-century
Oleniacz compared it to Mad Men and in some ways, it does feel like walking onto the set. If anything, The Atomic Kitten hits on a recent media trend. In addition to Mad Men the store shares certain commonalities with other shows like The Americans or games like Fallout.
It has the look and feel, “Like the house they grew up in,” as Oleniacz describes customers’ reactions.
Oleniacz owns the store with his wife, Jonna. Previously, the couple lived in Hawaii, but found that the island life was
better for vacations and not for living. With Jonna working as a physician’s assistant, the couple needed a place that was good to its medical community. Bellingham thusly became their new home.
Previously, Oleniacz worked with a non-profit organization, but left them in December. After looking around for a new place to work and finding nothing, Jonna suggested opening a mid-century store. After making the decision, it became a rush to prepare the store for its soft opening in July.
The re-touching, or as he calls it, “re-loving” of worn pieces, is done by Oleniacz. While, for the most part, he tries to keep it true to the era, occasionally he upgrades the piece to have a more modern feel to it.
If you’re not familiar with the pop-culture surrounding the mid-century, then stepping into The Atomic Kitten is like stepping into a time machine. You might even feel like you’re opening the door to your grandmother’s house.
Well-made furniture that has been re-loved lines the shop from wall to wall. While Oleniacz handles any kind of sprucing up that the wooden pieces might need, upholstered furniture is tended to by a professional. Pieces like those are re-done with textiles from the era whenever possible. The goal, of course, is authenticity.
In one section, lamps in all shapes and sizes line the shelves, dressers, tables and end tables. Period glassware is displayed by color and style. Chairs in different styles and colors surround the pathway that leads to where Oleniacz sits. Behind him, Frank Sinatra or other period musicians croon to the Kitten’s patrons.
“That’s like asking us to pick a favorite cat out of the four we have,” Oleniacz said. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, given all the love that goes into each piece that enters the shop. And like a cat, Oleniacz hopes The Kitten has nine lives.
Your holiday shopping just got a little easier, thanks to our neighbors to the north. Tsawwassen Mills Outlet Mall opened in October, and brings to our area many premium stores like Saks Off Fifth, Aritzia, Michael Kors.
Built by Ivanhoe Cambridge, it is one of the largest malls in Canada. And it’s waiting for us, right over the border.
Built in partnership with the Tsawwassen First Nation, who own the land, it cost $600 million to construct and employs 3,500 people, 20 of whom are members of the Tsawwassen First Nation. The B.C. Assembly of First Nations and the Business Council of B.C. signed a memorandum of understanding to make the project possible. This agreement is the first of its kind in B.C., and could serve as a model for tribalprivate-non-tribal governmental agreements. Through the lease agreement, the Tsawwassen First Nation will receive ongoing revenue to support social services, health, and education.
The stores are not atypical of what you’d find in any premium outlet mall, with one exception—the Bass Pro Shop. It not only serves as an outfitter to the recreation set, the store includes a massive aquarium stocked with sport fish like bass and trout, an indoor archery range, and an undersea-themed restaurant called Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl & Grill, and a bowling alley. Armed and dangerous, this massive store offers thrills and the “wow” factor that retail seeks these days as it competes with the convenience of online shopping. The food court is built to replicate a First Nations’ long house, and has a wonderfully cozy feel. The mall also offers a shuttle service from the SkyTrain, so shoppers can commute to it car-free.
So make your list check it twice, and maybe hop the border for some great gifts and a shopping experience that will put you in the holiday mood.
After making a splash in the Whatcom County fashion community, Betty Be Good has expanded into Bellingham proper. If you’re in the market for a cute plaid flannel dress, a new cardigan to complement your outfit, or a nice sweater to beat the Bellingham winter, then Betty is your girl. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a refresher piece, a brand new look built from the ground up, something new and fancy. Betty will have it.
Owned by Suzanne Smith, Betty Be Good is a local boutique option that doesn’t break the bank. Smith’s hope is to make boutiques accessible for young girls and keeps the bulk of her products priced under $60 (outerwear is the occasional exception). A plaid shirt that could run up to nearly $150 in Seattle can be bought from Betty Be Good for only $59. The goal is to keep customers from spending all of their money on one product. As Smith said, people want as much as much as they can for their budget.
You can expect honesty when you walk into Betty Be Good. The company is small enough that they can’t afford a bad image, which means they can’t have people looking bad in their clothes. They’ll be sure to make sure that you walk out with clothes that look good on you, rather than trying to force a sale.
Perhaps most interesting about Betty Be Good is the name itself. “Be Good” isn’t just clever wordplay. Smith is all about doing good through her business.
Women who have managed to escape trafficking often do so with only the clothes on their back. Smith explained that many of the girls have lost their sense of how to dress, an extension of losing respect for themselves. Betty’s Liberty Closet helps the women living in one of the Deborah’s Gate facilities for rescued girls by giving them clothes from the store. Two percent
of each purchase goes toward this fund. These clothes are not damaged or unsold goods, but part of the first collection that the shop receives.
So while Betty Be Good might not be that expensive, there’s no need to feel guilty if you splurge a little at the store. You’re doing good for those who need it.
It also means that by opening another shop, there is more opportunity for the girls. So far she has given $8000 worth of clothes to the girls at Deborah’s Gate.
Equally as important is the fact that the I-5 corridor serves as, as Smith pointed out, a sex-trafficking route. Spreading awareness along that major lifeline by opening shops along the way is in-line with those goals.
It’s important to note that it isn’t just a public relations ploy. As she spoke about the girls at Deborah’s Gate there was an unmistakable passion in her voice. When she reflects on a young girl who faced her abuser in clothes bought from the Liberty Closet, there is a legitimate note of pride in her voice.
At present, Betty and Smith are both easing back on the reins. Smith will be settling down and focusing on being on full-time mom again. While there is still more work to be done with the Betty Be Good brand, for right now, Smith’s priority is the online store. With all that in mind, Smith does hope that when she next expands her line, it will be further down I-5, continuing with her goal.
As of September 2014, there were about 2.7 million American veterans who fought in our recent conflicts. A study conducted by the RAND Corporation found at least 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression. About 50% of these veterans don’t seek help. Emotional vulnerability, access to services, and other problems are barriers for veterans.
In 2013, Chris Brown—a U.S. Marine veteran—sought to change the path of those exposed to stress in combat. After his honorable discharge, Brown pursued a degree in human services from Western Washington University while battling his own PTSD. His counselor suggested gardening. Brown became acquainted with many vets who benefitted from “dirt therapy,” and he germinated the idea for Growing Veterans.
Brown teamed up with a superb staff and wonderful volunteers, including Kenny Holzemer, the non-profit’s executive director. The soft-spoken, kind-hearted Navy retiree spent 22 years working as an Airborne electronic warfare operator. After hanging up his uniform Holzemer bounced around a few jobs, but felt hard-pressed to find a job with a purpose, that is, until he met Chris Brown at WWU in a grant writing class.
The Growing Veterans mission statement reads: “To empower military veterans to grow food, communities, and each other.” They accomplish the task by growing crops on three farms located in Mount Vernon, Lynden, and Auburn. The crops are either sold at farmers markets or donated to community food banks. You’ll see their stand outside the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Medical Center on Thursdays, and find their crops in the Seattle Tilth’s CSA and Good Food Bag programs. Of course volunteers and any veterans in need receive plenty of fresh grown produce, as Holzemer said, “Every bite of that food is important to someone.”
The model is simple, but effective. Veterans come to any of the farms and work the land. “They work shoulder to shoulder with other vets who are finding their way,” Holzemer said. A Peer-Support program adds to the experience. Staff and key volunteers undergo specialized training to better communicate with individuals suffering from trauma symptoms. All the staff members are trained in suicide intervention. Numerous non-profits around the country have reached out to Growing Veterans for more information on the peer-support program sparking a new Train the Trainer program. Additionally, the program has been lauded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and is currently being studied for its benefits at the Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (CINDRR).
The key to Growing Veterans is its informal yet supportive organization. Going out into the field and working with other people who have had similar experiences is beneficial. You don’t have to be a veteran to work the field either—civilian groups often come out and work alongside the veterans. It’s a setting wherein people can shed their worries and concerns to simply focus on nature and growth. Growing Veterans is always looking for help. So far generous donations have significantly grown the farms to include the Blue Diamonds Group funding a wheel chair accessibility project on the Mount Vernon farm. Growing Veterans is on the lookout for individuals with expertise that can be beneficial, funding to renovate on-site quarters for vets down on their luck, and, specifically, a tractor with a scoop in front and 3.PTO in back.
Holzemer felt particularly grateful to everyone who has supported Growing Veterans.“The lives we save are the lives you save when you support us.” On the Mount Vernon farm, overlooking a century-old apple tree and munching on almost peppery zucchini just cut from the vine, he told me there have been numerous vets who spoke highly of the program, but three stuck out in his memory. They are the three who told Holzemer that their association with Growing Veterans deterred them from suicide. That deserves a salute.
Two mysteries are brewing in the City of Subdued Excitement: on the corner of Magnolia and Cornwall, an underground resistance scrambles to find the name of the double agent working against it. Meanwhile, after a rickety elevator ride in the Herald building, a group is left with just 60 minutes to understand the mysteries left behind by a deceased sea captain.
Both stories, puzzle-based adventures created by Jesse Stanton, are part of The Eureka Room, the newest addition to the relatively recent trend of escape rooms. Participants have a set amount of time to solve a series of puzzles, to find the name of a double-agent, or perhaps to save their own lives.
Stanton’s first room, the tale of the resistance, opened in February. His second adventure began testing in November. In the second rendition of the Eureka Room, more heads have come together. Stanton reached out to the Foundry Makerspace, allowing for more special effects and in-depth puzzles. In the second room, story takes precedence, and the story leads the player through the puzzles.
The Eureka Room has a wide appeal. Business groups have come to the Room, using it for team-building. Bachelor and bachelorette parties have both spent their nights there. And with the help of Stanton, the new room was even used to host a proposal in November. For participant Ben Bodenhamer, it’s entertainment off the beaten path. “It’s an alternative to a night out. You use your mind instead of going out to drink.”
It’s not just fun for those who pay to be there, either. The excitement of opening the original Eureka Room never faded for Stanton. Before each appointment, he still gets a rush. Each time, he looks forward to the “eureka moment,” when pieces of the puzzle come together.
It’s not unusual for Stanton to be on his knees beside his customers. While he doesn’t provide hints, he does invest in his customers’ success. Coming in with multiple perspectives is one of the biggest advantages a player can have. A team doesn’t need to have a rocket scientist or a doctor, but having different people with different backgrounds can make a big difference, simply in how they look at the presented challenges.
As Stanton’s first foray into the world of escape rooms grows, so too does the anticipation for the next room. The immersion and depth of the new room has Stanton excited for the newest installment. The excitement is also building in the customers as well.“I’m psyched for the next one,” Bodenhamer said.
While the second room is still in its infancy, the first room is reaching the end of its life. Stanton plans to retire the room in December 2016, though the deadline could be pushed out further, depending on interest and reservations made for the original room.