Portland interior designer Max Humphrey is known for his low key, unpretentious approach. We’ve been stoked to work with him on multiple projects from designing City Home’s showrooms to staging local real estate projects including Goat Blocks and, most recently, Couch 9 apartments in the Pearl District.
Max Humphrey in City Home's SE Portland Central Eastside Industrial District Showroom
Max designed three unique units at Couch 9 utilizing products from City Home: a bohemian retreat, a modern cowboy’s hideaway and a globally inspired living space.
"My favorite part about the Couch 9 project was inventing the person that I imagined would live in each unit as a way to give each space its own personality. Living in one I was picturing an urban cowboy, one was an eccentric hippie, and the other was an international man of mystery." - Max Humphrey
THE BOHEMIAN RETREAT
A desert-inspired space featuring free-spirited notes of indigo dyed patterns, wicker and plenty of plant life. Products shown: Les Suite Sofa by Justina Blakeney, Doyle Chair, Guggenheim Rust Marble End Table
A gallery wall of golden sunburst mirrors accented by patterns and pops of color. Products shown: Gold Sunburst Mirror, Vintage Indian Wedding Table
A MODERN COWBOY’S HIDEAWAY
Textural delights include cowhide, top grain leather and sheepskin - a place to kick your cowboy boots off and relax. Products Shown: Genoa Cowhide Sling Chair, Dylan Chair, Vane Wishbone Chair, Sheepskin
An eclectic mix of rustic and modern featuring bold abstract art and two outside-the-box lounging options. Products Shown: Pioneer Sideboard, Oblique Wall Art Decor, Genoa Cowhide Sling Chair, Dylan Chair
GLOBALLY INSPIRED LIVING SPACE
Never be afraid to mix and match ALL the patterns. Products shown: Carmel Coffee Table, Kilim Pillow, Vasco Fabric Accent Chair, Custom Zola Sofa
Musical instruments doubling as chic decor paired with a small modern tulip dining table and Hans Wegner style wishbone dining chairs. Products Shown: Allie Tulip Table, Vane Wishbone Chair
All photography by Christopher Dibble
Q&A WITH MAX HUMPHREY
Q: Your latest collaboration with City Home was staging three units for a new apartment building, Couch 9, in Portland's Pearl District. What were the highlights of that project for you?
A: My favorite part about the Couch 9 project was inventing the person that I imagined would live in each unit as a way to give each space its own personality. Living in one I was picturing an urban cowboy, one was an eccentric hippie, and the other was an international man of mystery.
Q: What interior designers are inspiring you right now?
A: I mostly get inspired by prop stylists these days. I love the work of Sibella Court, Hans Blomquist, and whoever it is that styles the Ikea catalogs.
Q: Before you became an interior designer you spent some time as a bass player in a punk rock band. How has that influenced your designs?
Being in a band taught me that you don’t need to be an expert to be successful at something. I wasn’t that great of a musician technically but I figured it out along the way. I discovered that having a sense of urgency was more important than craftsmanship.
Q: You just launched a custom fabric line - how's that been going and what's your vision for the future of the line?
In the beginning I had no goals other than to see if I could do it. I have a couple of patterns now and at some point I’ll motivate to get the word out. For now I’m using yardage in my own design projects.
Q: What are your top tips for DIY interior design and home decor?
If punk rock taught me anything it’s to do everything yourself. I recommend just diving in and taking on any sort of DIY project in your home because it’s so fulfilling and the more you do the easier it gets. Paint your walls, build a bench, rewire a vintage lamp ... just do it. Also, get a Home Depot credit card!
Q: You've got a great Pacific Northwest feel to your interior design approach - how does this region influence your work?
A: I’m an interior designer because I’m a homebody. I get inspiration from looking out the window and driving to the grocery store. I rarely travel unless it’s for work so it’s impossible not to be inspired by my immediate surroundings. Plus, Portland is awesome and undeniable the best city on the West Coast.
Q: Do you have a favorite room that you've designed in your own home?
A: I bought my house about a year ago and have been slowly renovating and decorating - so right now it’s a work in progress!
Q: Has one furniture or home decor piece ever inspired you to the point of designing a whole room around it?
Bookshelves are my favorite thing to decorate around. Books are more important than any other furnishing.
Q: What's your current obsession?
A: The new Joni Mitchell biography. She’s the queen!
Q: Who are your top 10 favorite accounts to follow on Instagram?
A: Check out: @dibblephoto, @lakeaugust, @pendletonwm, @dinaravila, @emilyfarnhamarchitecture, @schoolhouseelectric, @katandmaouche, @fieldworkflowers, @davidtsay, @dinihanian, @katiehackworth, @hollymuellerhome