• About A Space: Emily Katz's Portland Home

    Filled with rich textiles, jungly plants, and beloved relics, Portland weaver Emily Katz basically has our dream home. Last week we chatted with her about her amazing artwork and creative process, but now we're diving deep on a tour of her space to learn more about her amazing treasures. 
    Photos by Michael Spear

    Emily moved into the Portland space in 2012, after her partner Adam gutted the house and "created an amazing and beautiful shell for me to style and add my decorating touches to," she explains. "The main room in the house used to be three rooms, and Adam rearranged and thoughtfully redesigned the entire place. The first day I walked in on our second date, I was in total awe of how amazing the house was. I was smitten." Together, they loaded in their joined collections, including over 100 plants! 

    What are some of your favorite possessions?
    We were in LA at the beginning of the year, and I had been featured in the LA Times about my macrame workshops and they all sold out. I decided to buy myself this beautiful ceramic mask that reminded me to be playful, not take myself seriously, and enjoy life.  

    [Another favorite is] the piano. One day Adam's friend Meggie asked us if we wanted a free piano. Neither of us really play, but we were like "Sure!" and then we paid for it to be delivered, sight unseen. When it arrived, it was painted such a special off-white color. I immediately fell in love with it, and am now taking lessons from another friend who is in a local band (and is always on tour so we haven't had many lessons...) It fit perfectly into the living room, and I can't imagine a better-looking piano. 

    Where have you sourced the objects in your home? 
    Adam and I are thrifters by nature. Whenever we travel, and we go on A LOT of road trips, we stop at the local thrift shops. We also have a lot of ceramics. Most are vintage and collected, a bunch are Heath, that I buy a few at a time when I visit the factory in SF, or some are by our friends, Martina Thornhill, Ben Medansky, and Steve Kelly. 

    We have a great mirror by our pal and studio mate, Brendon Farrell. I love big mirrors. They really enhance the space. Another piece of art I love in the house is a photo by Chantal Anderson. It is of plants and a mirror in the desert... 

    My favorite part about our home is...
    The kitchen, or our bathroom. I LOVE soaking in the clawfoot tub surrounded by plants. 

    Can you tell us more about the artwork in your house?
    One of my favorite art pieces in the house is by Mark Warren Jaques. He is an amazingly detailed painter and friend from a long time ago. I fell in love with this big painting of his, but it was $1000. So I offered to trade him: I made him a suit in exchange. He got the jacket, but I never finished the pants. It was totally out of my comfort zone, but a fun project. Hopefully he doesn't have hard feelings about it…"

    The main art pieces in the house are ones I have done, like the large self portrait that is freehand embroidered and then watercolored in the living room. It is from a big show I had about 3 years ago. I really love it. It shows my Arizona desert roots, and then my NW Spirit animals...

    What are your favorite textiles?
    I am an obsessive rug collector. I have found rugs on Craigslist, at flea markets, and on trips. I made a friend in Turkey through Instagram who has sent me some of my favorite ones. 

    Textiles and other things I always pick up on adventures. I bought a big stack of woven ikat textiles in Bali in February; I had to limit myself! The Mexican blankets came from my dad's trips South, or from vintage scores. Some of my favorites literally cost $14 and were thrifted in the desert somewhere. I think people have learned to gift me textiles, since I love them so much. 

    Can you share a tip for displaying textiles in an unexpected way?
    We have a TV in the living room but you would barely notice. Adam's dad wanted it for when he comes to visit but we have maybe watched it two times in four years, and I hated looking at the blank screen. A rich indigo Balinese textile hangs over it now. I also like to throw them over the sofa, or hang them on the wall above a bed to make a space cozy. 

    What's the creative community like in Portland?
    The community in Portland has really grown and evolved in the 12 years I have been designing and making art here. There are so many people creating and supporting themselves. It is so inspiring. Many of us would say we draw inspiration from nature. I believe that to be true, we are so close to it. I feel like Portland is a city where anything is possible.

    My favorite neighborhood spots are...
    1. P’s and Q's or Sweedeedee for brunch 
    2. Lowell (for textiles!) and beautiful discoveries 
    3. Angelface (not in the neighborhood but worth it) for steak tartare and cocktails 
    4. World Foods market downtown (I love spanakopita, and they make the stuff that reminds me of my childhood, I could eat it every day.) 
    5. Ned Ludd. The food is all cooked in a wood fired oven, the servers are cute and smiley, and they have the most incredible bottle of rose on the menu...And they are 3 blocks from our house. 

    The last great thing I read...Eating Wildly, by Ava Chin 
    I want to visit…Where don't I want to visit? Japan is on my list. I am going to Copenhagen, London, Amsterdam, Norway, and maybe Ibiza in the fall, and Costa Rica in November. So pretty much wherever calls at the time. 

    What do you eat for lunch? I forget to eat lunch sometimes. But I always regret it. Today it was spanakopita from World Foods, with a beet salad, kale salad and alcoholic ginger ale... 
    Favorite menu for the summer? Steak, with fried squash blossoms stuffed with goat cheese; watermelon, mint, feta salad; caprese with nectarines instead of tomatoes; a bottle of rosé eaten on the front porch with the animals sunning themselves. 
    5 dream dinner party guests: Joni Mitchell, Steve Martin, My dad, Georgia O'Keefe, and Ray Eames. That would be a real treat... 

    I am into…Solo backpacking and solo road trips. 
    I am over…Negativity. 
    My #1 advice is...Follow your heart, and stay positive. If you can dream it, and fully see yourself in it, surrounded by it, then you can be it. Also, be good and kind. Do nice things for people. And keep a few really good friends who will love you no matter what.

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