Last month Dave and I went to Portland, Oregon to visit my little brother Taylor and his girlfriend Meagan (and their two dogs, two cats, and five chickens). They bought their first home last summer and we were excited to get a chance to see the space and spend a few days as their houseguests while we explored a little bit around the town.
From the moment we walked in, I was enveloped in this amazing cozy feeling that lives inside a home that is filled will love and intention. These two have designed and collected, arranged and styled their eclectic, vintage-filled home beautifully. Every where I looked there was another little corner to admire and something special to see.
They kindly agreed to let me take a million photos of their awesome home and share them with you here.
Something you should know about Taylor and Meagan is that they are the real deal. Portland is filled with millennial hipsters who want to #liveauthentic and whatever that really means, but these two walk the walk. They buy used and salvaged all of the time which adds to the incredible character in their home. They eat true food, some grown in their own garden. They are fiercely loyal to their friends, local business, and caring for the environment. They are some of the most genuine and kind-hearted people you may ever meet. And inside their home everything has a story. Layers and layers of stories.
Taylor gave all of the design praise to Meagan who, he says, is rearranging things all the time. I couldn’t get enough of the combinations of pretty brass, natural wood, cozy textiles, and of course lots of plants. She’s a more crazy plant lady than I am, I think! They shared the same sentiment that I’ve always felt, that homes are always a work in progress and how they have plans to take out a piece of one wall, add different flooring upstairs, change out some light fixtures when the right ones come along. And in the meantime, enjoy it all the way it is.
There was some serendipity to the way they talked about thrifting. Like this amazing cream and read bookcase is actually two pieces that were found at different times. And clearly are part of the same original piece. They’ve filled it to the brim with interesting books about art and nature, politics and history. Also taxidermy and motorcycling, which fit the bill perfectly.
My theory that plants add life instantly to a space holds true in this cool home as well. Meagan has quite a collection all happy and healthy in classic terra cotta as well as some in amazing vintage tin cans and brass bowls. She also understands the power of thinking through the details. Putting things in a beautiful place and creating vignettes. There were so many interesting places to look and things to see.
And then I fell in love with the chickens. They’re usually not allowed inside the house, but tried to sneak on in a couple times during our stay. Each of the five ladies is named after a former CIA special investigation. I love that. Meet Monarch, Popeye, Northwoods, Paperclip, and Stargate. They have started laying in the last couple months (except for Monarch, whose eggs will supposedly be green!) and retrieving the eggs is a fun part of the daily routine.
That giant Great Pyrenees is Comet, who Meagan rescued this time last year. She is as big as a horse and as sweet as a teddy bear. We laughed so hard we cried watching her perch herself on the couch to look out the window as half of her back end hung in the air. Just too big to get cozy.
Boyo, Taylor’s black lab mix is around four years old. He’s wired with energy and is the biggest sweetheart.
The cats are Pancho and OJ, they roam and do what they will, as cats do.I was inspired all over again by the giant garden grow boxes that Taylor had, all overflowing with produce. We picked tomatoes, peppers, and chilies the first day in town, then added fresh carrots from the garden to a meal later in our trip. My own little herb garden is a good start, and this visit made me really excited to plant more next year. There’s just something about growing your own. This sweet guest bathroom is upstairs where we stayed, and Meagan thought of every detail to make it comfortable for us. In several places around the house she had used old produce boxes as shelves on the walls and they are so good looking. Such a cool way to create some extra storage and add beautiful details to a smaller space.
She also has the most incredible collection of handmade pottery, milk glass, and jadeite. I have been buying reproduction pieces for the last year or two and really love them. Meagan’s is all original. I mean, it’s so awesome.
I laughed after a little tour of the house when we arrived because I told them I had for some reason thought that they were more minimalists. But they’re quite the opposite. They’re collectors! Meagan’s dressing room is a vintage fashion paradise. She’s treasure hunted really beautiful clothing, boots, shoes, bags, luggage, and such pretty curiosities. You can tell she loves these clothes and is thoughtful about what she chooses to wear and how. I got a little lost in the lineup of polaroids along the wall. More stories, more memories. More love.
Taylor’s collections are amazing as well. His study is packed with vintage camera equipment (one of his favorite hobbies is film photography and you can see a lot of his gallery on his website).
His furniture is more masculine and hearty. Metal desks and drawers. (I love the juxtaposition of his black leather arm chair with Meagan’s black leather chaise.)
And where Meagan collects velvet dresses and beautiful vintage florals, Taylor’s closet is filled with hearty flannels, long johns, work jackets, and piles of white tee shirts to dye, draw on, and sell.
Quite fascinating was that with so many cool collections, and a lot of stuff, everything felt intentional and arranged. These belongings have a home and are well cared for. We went to grab a tripod to take a group photo and Taylor looked through his four or five vintage tripods, one dating back to World War II, and chose the best for the situation (right height, wet grass, etc.)
Industrial arm lamps, mid century furniture, metal tool boxes, and global blankets. These are all things I see trending in the design world, and all things I found in their original state in my brother’s home. They are the real deal.
More than the incredible treasures, intentional styling and obviously amazing design aesthetic that Taylor and Meagan have, I felt so at home in their home. They love each other, love their animals, love their garden, and made every effort for us to feel comfortable and welcome. They are wonderful people with good hearts and we felt so lucky to spend some time with them.