For a lot of small businesses, “shopping local” isn’t just a lofty notion, it’s a lifestyle. So, when Emanar Cellars embarked on the task of furnishing their newly-unveiled vacation rental, owners Richard and Mar Meyerhoefer pulled a Bob Seger and went “down on Mainstreet,” albeit with nobler intentions.
“We wanted to support the local economy,” Mar said. “We could’ve gone on Amazon but we found great pieces locally.”
In fact, Richard estimated that 75 percent of the furnishings procured to fill their 1,800 square-foot apartment were purchased from Battle Ground retailers. Rusty Glamour, Posh & Tattered, and Urban Basics earned most of their business and high-quality mattresses were purchased from Mattress Superstore.
Lovingly dubbed “Casa Emanar,” this two-story apartment located above Emanar Cellars in the Battle Ground Village features two bedrooms, each with an ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet. At the top of the steps leading from the living floor to sleeping quarters, guests are greeted by “Madrid.” Anchored by a 6-foot by 5-foot photo of Gran Vía in Madrid, this room is an homage to Mar’s home country and the city she grew up in.
“Gran Vía is just a lovely spot in central Madrid. This is a replica of a famous shot of that street and we thought it represented Madrid really well,” Mar said.
The color palette for the Madrid room was pulled from the photo and duplicated in the bedding, pillows, headboard, and curtains.
Down the hall, a second master bedroom is named “Marbella.” In Spanish, this translates to “beautiful sea” and is a popular holiday destination along the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. It is also where Mar and her family spent their summers, her father’s favorite destination and the place that Mar is named after. Again, the color scheme was pulled from the Marbella street scene.
Guests of Emanar over the years might find the large photo in the dining room of Casa Emanar familiar. A different perspective of Patones de Arriba, this medieval town avoided the Napoleon invasion and captured the hearts of Richard and Mar several years ago when one of her sisters introduced them to its charms. Known for its black slate cottages and stone streets, Mar mimicked the earth tones from the photo in the décor of the eating nook, even choosing wicker-backed barstools over a more industrial look.
In the powder room of the dining/living area, travelers are treated to another local touch: custom-made soaps. Richard and Mar met the owner of Monkey Puzzle Soap Company at last years’ Craft Winefest and commissioned her to make a supply of soaps for them. Known for unique ingredients like hops and sweet orange chili pepper, Monkey Puzzle presented Emanar with a supply of soaps infused with their wine and the Meyerhoefers are considering carrying a larger size in their on-site gift shop.
Now that the last throw pillow is fluffed, Mar has a few tips for home decorators. At the beginning of their project, Richard and Mar walked around all the vintage shops in Old Town, making mental notes of what they found. Then, they went back and bought the pieces they felt the most strongly about because items move quickly in these popular storefronts. From there, they scheduled a block of time every three to four days to check back in because the vendor’s wares change regularly. Mar stressed the ability to be open when shopping at vintage stores. Unlike big box stores, items don’t come in multiple colors. However, the quality tends to be much better and solid woods are the norm.
“If you find something white and want it to be black, the stores sell paint,” Mar said. “Be creative. It may not start exactly how you want but you can customize it.”
Casa Emanar began welcoming overnight visitors in January and they have already hosted travelers. From time spent in Spain with wine exporters, leading wine and gastronomy tours, visiting family and personal holidays, it is thought that these international connections will precipitate some European travelers to Casa Emanar. They already have the month of December reserved for an Italian family.
Perched above a Spanish wine and tapas bar, Casa Emanar is the type of lodging travelers would find in any European city. Down a flight of stairs, visitors will find a cozy neighborhood spot serving great wine and small plates and a short walk out the front door is a plaza/piazza/palazzo vibe with several restaurants, a coffee shop, and the Battle Ground library.
“We meet interesting people (at Emanar Cellars) and that’s the benefit of owning the bar,” Richard said. “We want our overnight guests to have the same experience as they’d have at Emanar Cellars. We’re not pretentious. We’re always eager to meet new people and become old friends.”