Schoolhouse Creative Manager Jorie with her partner Trevor at home
If you follow this blog, at some point you’ve heard our Creative Manager, Jorie Garcia, weigh in on one of the many topics on which she has deep experience. After ten years developing products and styling homes with Schoolhouse, Jorie is the person we turn to when we have questions on anything from textile manufacturing to home styling to throwing a perfect backyard happy hour. She’s also a fountain of joy and humor in the studio, enlivening each day with her quick wit. What can we say, everyone loves Jorie!
This week, Jorie was kind enough to offer our followers a peek inside her space and answer a few questions about her evolving design sensibility, her passion for the art of weaving, and her favorite vintage shops in Portland.
Describe your home and decorating sensibility.
"For me, the goal of the home should be to reflect the people that live in it. I have a friend that says, 'your home has your face.' It makes me laugh. For that reason, I’m drawn to objects with their own stories to tell. I love an eclectic assortment of objects that coexist in harmony. These things form layers over time. My space is an expression of my life and a capsule of the experiences I have had. When you see that, it’s much easier waiting to buy something you love instead of something to fill a space. There is something really calming about making those decisions in the moment because you know your home will take time, and it will never really be done."
Has your style changed after so many years working at Schoolhouse?
"I have realized more and more that having style is about creating your own rules. I think over time I’ve started to question the inherited wisdom of what things match, coordinate or complement each other. The longer I have been at Schoolhouse, the more I am confident about my space being a reflection of me and my personality. My time at Schoolhouse has helped me to train my eye and trust my gut. I don’t need to follow rules or feel like I need to do what other people are doing, I need to listen to myself and know my home is where I return to be re-energized and be inspired. I want my home to inspire me to do more and be better. This helps me set the intention to go after what brings me joy and be confident with my sense of self."
You’re something of a textile nerd. What are some of your favorite woven pieces in your home?
"Nerd with a capital N. Where to begin... the wool woven coverlet purchased on an antiquing trip that we used as the jumping off point for the Winter + Summer Cotton Coverlet; the traditional textiles from a trip to Portugal; my vintage cotton blanket from Kat + Maouche in Portland, which is a company excited about telling the story of the maker and celebrating craft and tradition."
Wall hanging is an original weaving by Jorie
What’s an underrated style or design movement that you enjoy?
"Sometimes I think the most underrated styles come at the margins. The eclectic artist. A Sicilian grandmother. Quirk and humor aren’t always associated with design, but are integral to my style. I am also excited that there is a call to quality. For example, I’m excited about the renewed appreciation for Shaker design. There’s something timeless about celebrating the importance of material and the skill that comes from really understanding the materials being used."
What’s an overrated one?
An overrated style is going after the look of something over the feeling it provokes in you. Objects and space are similar to a well-cooked meal: you can taste the care and consideration one takes when preparing a meal with love. I believe one can experience the same care with objects and space. Good intentions can’t be faked.
It almost seems like you don’t own anything new, but that can’t be the case, can it? How often do you purchase something brand new off the shelf for your home, and what kind of things excite you enough to do so?
"The majority of what we have in the home is either vintage or Schoolhouse. There are some items that we have built ourselves—my bed frame, for example. If I’m going to buy something new, it will probably be something unassuming that solves a practical problem. One really exciting thing about being behind the scenes at Schoolhouse is being involved with a development for nine-plus months in advance of a product launch. By the time pieces are available for purchase I have known for months that I want to take it home with me. I think it also helps me edit purchasing new items because I can quickly analyze their life cycle. If I don’t see wanting it in a few years, I don’t need it now."
Do you have any secret thrift shops or flea markets in Portland you’d be willing to share?
"Twist my arm. I have some spots. I have to say that the Marie Kondo documentary has increased available stock at thrift stores and specialty spots. I love Red Snapper, Artifact, Goodwill, occasionally popping onto Craigslist, Stars Antique Malls and Urbanite. I also have family in the Midwest and spend most time visiting antique malls with day trips throughout Michigan and Indiana."
Finally, what’s an ideal weekend at home like for you?
"It is really important for me to make time to exercise my creative interest, so spending time sewing, reading or weaving on my loom. Simple moments are also important, like morning walks on the beach with my pup and breakfast at home, or perhaps a backyard dinner with friends and magically sleeping in the next morning. Rinse, lather, repeat."
Photography by Ellie Lillstrom