sneak peek: julie pointer


For the past three years, Julie Pointer has called this house in the Buckman neighborhood of Portland home. The neighborhood is filled with large old trees, narrow avenues (the curbs still have iron rings for tethering your horse) and huge historic homes. Julie works for Kinfolk Magazine, coordinating the dinner series and helping on the editorial team. (You can see all the dinners here.) Her job entails everything from making sure the dinners actually happen, scouting locations (online) and gathering local partners to choosing tableware, styling the tables and writing thank-you notes to everyone involved. With such a social job, it’s been important that her home is a quiet respite. Julie has an MFA in Applied Craft and Design, so her house has been the great beneficiary of all the things she made while in grad school. Nearly everything in her home is from the side of the road or a second-hand shop and has been rescued from some other (generally sad) fate with just a little reworking on her part. She’s particularly drawn to natural tones and textures, so her eye is constantly on the lookout for beautiful materials that will also last: wood, wool, linen, earthenware, glass, etc. Like many artists, Julie has a tendency to collect, and if she’s not careful, those collections can quickly overwhelm the house. Luckily, much of what she collects are objects from nature — driftwood, pinecones, stones, shells and plants — so if things become too cluttered, she simply releases her collections back into the wild. Thank you, Julie! And a big thank you to Laura Dart for the lovely photographs. — Amy Azzarito

Image above: This chair was my first real exploration in reupholstery, and it certainly proved to be a labor of love. The chair itself is probably at least 60 years old, which means it’s had a good long time to be broken in — it’s very cushy. A friend told me that it looks like a prairie woman inviting you into her arms, and the image has stuck for me. The cubbies behind hold a lot of my favorite treasures, reminding me of the places I’ve been and the people that have gifted certain items. The desk behind was part of a project I did in grad school.


Image above: This chair was another reupholstery project, but much more lazily done than the first! The piece of weathered wood behind it was taken out of a dumpster and has served me well as a mini-bookshelf.


See more of Julie’s Portland home after the jump . . .


Image above: I end up spending a lot of time at this table; it functions in many different ways! I love eating long breakfasts here, using it as a workspace, and it becomes the surface for a lot of photos since the top comes off the sawhorses. The giraffe print is one of my favorite pieces of art I have, done by my friend Sean Keeley. The photo below is, of course, Pablo Picasso. He makes an interesting addition to all of my meals!


Image above: This image shows most of the apartment! One of the best things about living in a corner studio is that I have light on two sides of the house, which makes all the difference. Every object, piece of furniture, and bit of art has a story to it, and it makes my house feel full of the people that are part of those stories, and the places I’ve been in my past, even when I’m home alone.


Image above: This little chair is still a work in progress! It has ended up staying in this temporary state for quite a while, ever since I found it on the side of the road. The books are a series of atlases, dictionaries, and a Joseph Cornell biography — one of my big influences. The photograph is by Will Adler, given to me by his brother, who is a dear friend.


Image above: The whole house has become a canvas for inspiration, and in some cases there are just more concentrated pockets of it. I love the impermanence of chalkboards — I can always change up my notes and thoughts on them. In this case, I’ve covered it with photos from a trip to the Oregon coast.


Image above: I absolutely love having a wood-burning fireplace, especially for all the dreary, rainy days we have in Portland. It makes everything instantly cozy!


Image above: I’m not sure why, but I’ve collected matches all over the house. You’ll see bunches of them everywhere.


Image above: I love this Le Creuset pot that I found at a second-hand shop, particularly since I make about five cups of tea a day.


Image above: The kitchen is one of my favorite rooms to collect things for. It’s a ridiculously small space (and probably my one big hang-up about the apartment), but I manage to enjoy cooking and baking in it despite that. I think because of how small it is, I tend to find small things to fit in it.


Image above: This is a very familiar scene in my house!


Image above: My bathroom is full of treasured pieces — the tin and the wooden box found at flea markets in Provence on a trip with my aunt; the ceramic cup made by my friend, Matt Williams; the matchstriker sent to me as my first housewarming gift when I moved to Portland. The collage is part of a project I did in college, when I made a collage every day for a year.


Image above: It’s always nice leaving and entering the house with a bit of green!

  1. sara lim says:

    this lovely home looks so relaxing! love all the vintage touches.

  2. UNBELIEVABLE. I’m movin’ in.

  3. Kat says:

    So cozy and inviting! I love her style. The mini book shelf dumpster find is amazing!

  4. K says:

    This apt. is so dreamy…I could sit and drink tea in it for hours!

  5. E.R.S. says:

    It’s beautiful how her home has distinct style but also looks so comfortable. And the little comments about finding things at the Goodwill or in dumpsters is so Portland!

  6. la nacotraficante says:

    where would one get a masters in applied craft & design?? sounds perfect!

  7. Jennifer says:

    Fresh, warm and comfortable. Love all the wood and touches of nature everywhere.

  8. LeeLee says:

    What a lovely home. The treasures and mixed furniture give it so much character.

  9. So wonderful! As a fellow Buckman resident, I can appreciate the need for ample tea and fires in the fireplace. Such a wonderfully eclectic and equal parts cozy home. Thank you for the tour!

  10. Julian Hazlett says:

    I lived in Portland in the early 70’s and enjoy visiting. I love the apartment. There are so many great ideas for decorating. So cozy and warm.

  11. Abigail says:

    Lovely, warm and inviting.

  12. Erica says:

    What a beautiful home! I feel more relaxed and cozy (also jealous!) just looking at the pics. I bet it is stunning in person. :)

  13. I love how cozy it feels! Definitely perfect for Portland weather! I’m such a collector and it’s so fun to see what others collect and gather and reuse.

  14. Paige says:

    A beautiful home! Happy to say that I have been in it. The pictures don’t even do the justice of how beautiful it is.

  15. shalini says:

    Such a wonderful house, so full of character and personality. And so welcoming too, like one could put one’s feet up and really relax.

  16. Annie says:

    Wow, this home feels so right. Please invite me to spend time at your table. :)

  17. karoline says:

    wow, i love so much about this home!

  18. Emily says:

    Normally I have a hard time with clutter, but this home is beautifully curated and organized. Everything has a place and nothing seems oddly positioned. Makes me want to hit up the antique stores around and find some treasures of my own!

  19. Isabelle says:

    So very organic. Almost like living in the forest. I find it very reassuring and makes me feel I would like the creator should we meet.

  20. Eden says:

    This home is in my Portland ‘hood and exactly my style. So cute!

  21. What a stunning house – beautiful and stylish but so homely too – the perfect combination!

  22. Courtney says:

    This is definitely one of my favorites. Beautiful and earthy and full of good vibes. I love it.

  23. Allison says:

    Wow, this has to be one of my favorite sneak peaks you’ve ever done! Beautiful, breath taking photography. I so want to live here now.

  24. Melissa says:

    This is so inspiring to me! I love it, and am so comforted by it! Can’t wait to incorporate some of the ideas into my own space.

  25. katerina says:

    This house is just perfect! I want one like that please :)
    xxxFiC.

  26. Maria Paola says:

    Simply love it! It feels so natural and cozy. This place tells you many stories, it has a soul.

  27. Jamie says:

    My kindred spirit! I have the same pages of the anthropologie catalog on my pinboard and my shelves are full of rocks & sticks. And unfinished projects linger in my corners. I could keep going. Lovely home!

  28. anthony says:

    I am OBSESSED with Sneak Peaks, and i’ve got to say this one tops my list. Julie, if you’re ever in Toronto and want to hang out and go home shopping with me, i’ll buy you a beer!

  29. Jonesy says:

    Wow, I can’t believe I’m the only one who sees a cluttered mess here.

  30. Kate says:

    Simply gorgeous. So homely and full of personality and natures gifts. Love love love it.

  31. voltta says:

    wish i could have a home like that someday :)

  32. dea says:

    nostalgia or melancholia?

  33. Jennifer says:

    What a pleasure to take in the details of your cozy, inspiring home!

  34. PaulaPM says:

    How super cozy! Love it.

  35. Cottage says:

    This place just says, relax & read a book :)

    1. Kate Pruitt says:

      Totally! I couldn’t agree more. :)

  36. ashley says:

    LOVE your home. It is exactly my style. When I read that you have your MFA in Applied Craft and Design, AND you live in Portland, my heart started fluttering a little. I am about to apply to schools for my Bachelors and have been wondering if there is a degree out there like this… If any one has any info on this major, or schools, I would love to hear about it! Thanks!

  37. Robyn says:

    Julie, do you or anyone else have suggestions as to where I could find similar fabric like the one you used for the chair? (the second pic from the top, with the red pillow) Just lovely.

  38. Katie says:

    this sneak peek is perfection. thanks for the shots of your beautiful home!

  39. Megan says:

    Love your home!

  40. Vanessa says:

    Of all the wonderful homes that we have been invited into on DesignSponge, this is by far my favorite. It looks so wonderfully comfy.

  41. I love all the displays around your home. It tells a story! Awesome.

  42. Amber says:

    This home is so dreamy! The photos seem so *honest* compared to other house tours I’ve seen. The space feels lived in and curated beautifully. Thanks for sharing!

  43. Heather says:

    This is one of my favorite homes featured! As a young fellow Portlander it gives me hope for a space I could one day have. :)

  44. Rose says:

    Thank you for opening your creative and personalised home to us. It speaks of someone who is happy for her home to express who she is and what she loves. I enjoyed the visit.

  45. hillary says:

    This is my all time favorite sneak peek!!! Thank you!!!

  46. reba pierce says:

    This space reminds me so much of my daughter, Sarah, who lives and teaches art in Louisville, KY. So may interesting nooks and crannies, such a personal feel. Most of Sarah’s furnishings and accessories are rescued, either from the street or from “junk”
    shops. What a wonderfully personal space!

  47. Cathy says:

    Where are those chairs from?

  48. Taylor says:

    This is so eclectic and beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  49. mandy says:

    Ahhh, I feel like I am in my favorite vintage shop. I love it!!

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