Schoolhouse Living: Emily Katz
There’s something inescapably alluring about the energetic bohemian whimsy of the home of Emily Katz, designer and friend of Schoolhouse. It’s filled with dozens of house plants, mismatched bar stools, thrifted odds and ends, and one-off works of art, all of which we couldn’t help but share here. Emily, who studied printmaking at the Maryland Institute College of Art, fiber and printmaking in Italy, is now the owner of the Portland-based craft company Modern Macramé and on the cusp of releasing her first book of the same name. (We’ll be hosting the launch party in our Portland showroom on May 15.) We reached out to hear more about her wonderfully eclectic home and lifestyle.
Talk about the history of your home. When was it built? How did you find it? How did you know it was the perfect fit?
"The house was built in 1906 and was one of three in a row built at the same time by the King family. In 2008, my fiancé and his dad bought the house from the 2nd owners and completely renovated it down to the studs. Working with a small team of friends and family, Adam (who now works for Jessica Helgerson) redesigned and remodeled the house in his spare time. We met in 2011 and our romance was new when he invited me over for a kale and poached eggs breakfast at his home. I had a feeling he was going to be a keeper, but when I walked into his beautiful home, a place he had so lovingly handmade with so many thoughtful touches, I was convinced. Since then we have done a lot of updates on it together, I had a heavy hand in designing the wooden light fixtures, the kitchen, and the furniture and decor, all the time keeping the balance of his playful and masculine style in mind."
How much did you have to adapt it from the way you bought it for it to work with your personal style?
"We are both avid collectors and travelers, and thrifters and makers, so we have filled our home to the brim with things we love. Sometimes I wish we had less stuff, but I will always be a maximalist at heart with the dreams of a minimalist. I love collecting art from friends, surrounding myself with things that make me happy to use and to spend time with every day."
While your home is filled with many beautiful objects, the space feels very organic and livable. How do your design ethos and your lifestyle relate to each other?
"I strive for cozy. Natural fibers and materials are super important to me, as well as how my home smells. I love lighting beeswax candles in the evening, burning sage, and cooking delicious things in the kitchen. Design is more than just how your home looks, it's how you move through the space and how it makes you feel."
What’s your favorite spot in your home?
"Either the kitchen, or our bathroom. I love to cook, and try to eat healthy and eat at home as often as I can with my busy schedule. Baths relax me after a long day, and I love the tub and the curved tile bathroom. It was inspired by the Stumptown at the Ace Hotel in Portland. And I can't take credit for the idea... that goes to Adam's ex who also has great taste."
Final question: when you take a staycation in Portland, what’s on the agenda? Where do you go, what do you do, who are you with?
"Brunch at Sweedeedee, plant buying and browsing at Solabee, a pilates or aerial yoga class followed by a soak at Knot Springs (also a place where I made a huge macramé installation), and drinks at Ashbar (the tiny secret bar we designed inside of Nomadpdx), and then a beautiful meal with friends at Biwa."