sneak peek: joel henriques

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Joel Henriques is an artist and toy designer who lives with his wife and their four-year-old twins in Portland, Oregon. Author of the blog Made by Joel, Joel just finished writing a modern toy/craft book, Made to Play, due out fall 2011. This 1950s house has been home to Joel and his family for three years. They’re lucky to have a beautiful park up the street and great neighbors. Overall, this family likes to keep things simple, functional and minimal. Thanks, Joel! — Anne

Image above: Upstairs, down the hall from my art studio. A painting I did based on my wooden elephant puzzle design, and a work-in-progress wire sculpture commission hangs from the ceiling. [Joel is also a painter, and you can see his work here].


Image above: Our kids loved eating at this small table so much that for almost a year, my wife and I sat here on the floor for family meals. The kids are now big enough to sit on the benches at the dining room table, but I still eat breakfast with them here every morning. We like looking out the window at the bird feeder and the people walking by.


Image above: In my art studio. Homemade paint rack and brush holder, a couple of my paintings. Also, my favorite Alexander Girard doll (holding twins) that my sister gave to me for creating the artwork for her Lullaby Piano album.

CLICK HERE for more of Joel’s sneak peek!


Image above: Corner of our living room with one of my mobiles and a painting. Also, my favorite latch-hook pillow that my mom made just after I was born.


Image above: Bedroom. More toys and a little vintage chair (originally sold by Costco as a child’s car seat) that we found at a shop here in Portland.


Image above: Upstairs, just outside my art studio. Red vintage chair found by my wife at one of the many fantastic Portland thrift stores. Vintage abstract painting by my Grandma. And a bicycle painting that I just finished for a show in Portland that will be up through the month of March.


Image above: My art studio. More toys, lots of art books and an original Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Table that we inherited.


Image above: Kid’s bedroom. A partial view of my son’s collection of “buggies.”


Image above: More art studio. My desk, at which I never really sit. I mostly sit on the floor and work at the Barcelona Table with my laptop.


Image above: My espresso machine. I love coffee, and used to work as a barista. I also built a coffee roaster 15 years ago, and still use it to roast my own beans.


Image above: Our dinning room. Every day we have to clear off all of the paper, watercolors and kids’ artwork so we can have dinner. It’s a well-used table.


Image above: Our guest room, down the hall from my art studio. It’s a peaceful space and really beautiful when the dogwood tree blossoms outside the window.


Image above: Kid’s bedroom. Playing with some yo-yo balls that I made. Also, the “Twin Birds” painting that I made for their room just before they were born. And the dress my daughter is wearing is from the fantastic Etsy shop, mette.


Image above: Here is the backyard playhouse that I made for the kids two years ago. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and get out of the house when it’s raining outside. The kids love it. I painted one wall with chalkboard paint, so we end up doing a lot of drawing (and practicing letters lately) in there.

  1. Thanks!

    Maria – Yeah, the hanging light in the playhouse is IKEA. Nice!

  2. Anne-Marie says:

    I love Joel’s blog and I love to discover his beautiful house, …

  3. Cayla says:

    I just love everything you’ve done for your home. The artworks are so much fun, simple yet powerful!

  4. Anna says:

    Really sweet place. makes you want to dabble around in fun things from your childhood- i hope to bring my kids up in the same way- plenty of exploration with drawing and great toys!
    You have a nice balance of things in your home too :)

  5. Shay Faye says:

    Wow! Everything is so well balanced and visually appealing. It makes me think of the symmetry and lines that you’d see in a Wes Anderson film. In your art studio, I was wondering what the dimensions of your paint brush holder were? Thank you! And thanks for the inspiration as well!

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