In the house

A Multi-Talented Artist’s Plant-Filled Portland Home

“Adam and I work really well together as both design partners and partner-partners,” says Emily Katz of collaborating with her fiancé to design their cozy Portland, Oregon, home. As luck would have it, Adam and his dad had already gutted the house down to its studs and renovated the basics when Emily moved in in 2011—and as an artist, interior designer, and the author of Modern Macramé, Emily was perfectly suited to bring a whimsical, fresh style to the finishes. “It was like we could read each other’s minds about what we wanted to add to the house as far as color palettes and materials,” she says. Her own magical skills with textiles, combined with Adam’s love of handcrafted pieces and Japanese design, resulted in the plant- and art-filled, open-plan home you see before you.

“When I first walked into the house, the piece that stuck out to me was the live-edge countertop at the bar in our kitchen. Adam originally said he was going to shave it down and sand it, but ultimately he even left the faint stripe of pink that was there from the mill. We like that it shows the hands that made it. The only time we really butted heads was when I wanted white, concrete countertops. Adam was nervous they wouldn’t age well, and he was right. We ended up with grey, and I actually love them. He pulls me out of the clouds sometimes and is always considering the logistics.”

“There’s a walnut-wood supplier in Portland called Goby. We just went and found the special pieces, like the shelves in our kitchen. I like that they jut out in front of the window a bit—it’s perfect for our plants.”

“We both have been collectors for most of our lives. Adam used to be a big thrifter. All of our furniture was either designed by someone we know, comes from a company we support, or is second-hand.”

“This self-portrait was part of a solo show I was doing in 2011 of my work in Portland, in my pre-macramé life. All of the black is freehand embroidery, and the color is gouache paint.”

“I love supporting artists and buying art that makes me happy. I have this great mask from a French ceramicist that I bought on a trip to Los Angeles at a store called Reform School, which closed, but its owners have opened a new store in L.A. It’s kind of winking at you. It was kind of expensive for something I bought on a whim, and I don’t even remember the name of the designer. But I love it. I look at it every day, and it brings me joy—so it was worth it.”

“The original living room, dining room, and kitchen were three separate rooms. We concepted the space so that we could fill it with people and energy and community. And everyone loves hanging out in the kitchen always, so having that bar where everyone can sit is great.”

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