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The House That Pinterest Won’t Build (Em’s River House Co-Designer, Max Humphrey And His “Backwards” Design Process)

Max Humphrey and I are in the beginning stages of co-designing this new river house (along with our architect Annie Usher) and boy do we have different design processes. The way he approaches a renovation is SO DIFFERENT than me, and I thought that I was a design rebel, being formerly “untrained”. He does whatever he wants to whenever he wants and it’s WILD to witness. I feel like I used to do this in decorating but my love of ALL styles made my homes too chaotic (especially before the Glendale home) so when it comes to renovation and picking permanent finishes, I HAVE to have my process in order for it to look cohesive. Anyway, it’s all to say that where I begin (pinning an overall look and feel, setting the vibe and style for the whole art direction) he DOES NOT. It was totally baffling at first but I’m into it. Luckily, we have GREAT working chemistry and neither of us have much of an ego, so it is so fun to work with him and witness his process – but it’s SO DIFFERENT than mine (and so similar to the style diagnostic!) and yet it totally works!!! Anyway, Max, you punk, take it away and teach the people how you design totally backwards (IMHO). ALSO, BUY HIS NEW BOOK BECAUSE IT IS SO GOOD.

Hi it’s your new friend of the blog Max Humphrey, Emily’s co-interior-designer on the River House project and recent author of the book Modern Americana. Emily said we need to do a River House post and it was my turn so here we go. I’m supposed to be talking about my design process in this post but I’m procrastinating. Writing blog posts is super hard btw I don’t know how Emily and her peeps churn these out every other day. I’m turning this post in a day after, two days after, three days after EHD editorial director Jess said it was due, sorry Jess!

I joined the River House team a little after the project kicked off. When Emily gave me the whole download she invited me to a secret Pinterest board shared with Em, architect Annie Usher, and our “clients” aka Emily’s brother and sister-in-law Ken and Katie. On this secret board, there are THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY pinned images and all of them are super awesome but in my own design process I tend to start backwards by sourcing specific items and specs and building homes up piece by piece and THEN maybe eventually ending up with inspiration to reference. I like to go shopping first and pick some tile, then source a few key plumbing fixtures, a pendant light or sconce or two, get flooring samples, eyeball some bathtubs and shower, door hinges, doorknobs, garbage disposal buttons and on and on and on until we have a whole house worth of stuff picked out. I don’t think about if things go together, I only think about if we love each piece individually. It all goes together because we say it goes together. Colors don’t clash. Hardware finishes don’t need to be matchy-matchy. We can mix art deco with mid-century modern with industrial and arts and crafts if we want. Some of the clients I work with love this approach because they feel very involved in the process and we can pinpoint exactly when and where we selected each item together. This way there’s a journey from beginning to end. Some clients don’t love this process and say things like, “we like this tile sample or chair you’re showing us but we don’t see how it fits in with THE BIG PICTURE.” That’s usually when we figure out we’re not a good design/client match and this is why I charge hourly instead of having a flat fee.

emily is pin happy

I relate my design process to clothing shopping. How often do you go buy an entire outfit (pants, shirt, shoes, socks, jacket, hat, bag, whatever) from one single store and wear all of it together? Probably never. When I buy clothes it’s because I need a pair of pants for some reason, so I get some pants and wear them with a shirt I already own and then maybe get a sweater a few months later when it’s colder and it’s usually from a different store by a different brand than the rest of the stuff. If you get the J.Crew catalog in the mail or walk past one of the storefronts and try and recreate the exact outfit the mannequins have on, it never looks as cool because those are mannequins. Same deal with designing a house by starting out with inspiration – you’ll almost never get what you want because that’s not your house. I got an ad on Instagram recently for an L.L.Bean camo sweatshirt with Snoopy on it that I HAD TO HAVE, even though I had no idea what I’ll wear it with. And I found some cool vintage chrome chairs on craigslist the other day that I know will be perfect for a remodel project I’m designing in Lake Tahoe but I don’t know which room they’ll go in yet or what fabric I’ll use to reupholster them in. I just know that they’re cool and I’ll make them work.

Camo Snoopy Sweatshirt

Designing For Myself

I try to design for clients the same way I design for myself. It’s no surprise that most people respond to projects on interior designers’ portfolios that are the designer’s own homes. For my own house, I buy one thing at a time as my budget allows, constantly reuse and move stuff from one room to another, do little DIY projects here and there, hire contractors when I’m out of my depth, and figure things out as I go. I’ve heard about designers who do whole 3 ring binder type presentations for their own homes – with every lampshade and cabinet knob picked out from the start but I can’t see that far into the future. I wouldn’t have even thought about creating a Pinterest board when I bought my house. I just took inventory of what I already owned and then pounded the pavement to fill in the blanks.

b4 = total snooze fest

This is a before and after of the living room here in Portland. It was a vanilla, drywall box when I bought it and piece by piece I started DIYing and decorating and scrapping and scrounging.

after = cabin vibes

Flush Mount | Shelter 2-Piece Terminal Chaise Sectional

Flooring can dictate a lot of the tone of a house, and is a big chunk of change, so that was the first decision I made. I found an engineered white oak that fit the bill and the budget and gave me a jumping-off point design-wise. Then I started buying unfinished knotty pine tongue-and-groove planks and installed them on the walls. I did this myself in phases as my $$$ and weekends permitted. The planks go directly on top of the drywall with a little glue and some nail gun brad nails so it was a pretty easy DIY. Eventually, I wanted to go full-on cabin vibes so I installed cedar (that’s the 3rd wood species in this room for everyone counting) on the ceiling. All the wood tones are cohesive IMHO but don’t actually match. Then I had some plywood (4th wood!) bookshelves and cubbies built, painted the fireplace, trimmed out the wall planks with baseboard (hemlock! #5 wood species!), and finally got around to decorating. I’m not sure starting with inspiration images would have helped me in all this. Likely the photos would have things in them I couldn’t afford to buy, materials I couldn’t source, details I couldn’t recreate – and why would I want to anyway? That’s someone else’s house.

Knotty Pine Edge V-Plank Kit

The sectional sofa I found at a floor sample sale at my local West Elm and on paper it might look like the orientation would cut the room in half but in reality, I think gives definition to the space. There was almost no lighting when I moved in and at this point I called in an electrician to add some junction boxes on the ceiling and walls and started searching for fixtures around town. The overhead flush mount is from Schoolhouse (with a brass finish canopy to go with the black iron drapery rod because why not).

Edgecliff Pull | Tile

When I finally saved up enough extra cash to renovate my kitchen I first decided on plywood cabinets and then stumbled on the polka-dot backsplash tile, then the faucet (stainless steel!), and then the hardware (satin brass FTW!). If I put all of those materials in a sample tray it would probably look like a hodge-podge. I dig all the elements individually which makes me extra dig everything as a whole. At the start of the process, I wasn’t sure where the design was going. It was fun and surprising to figure it out as I went, with each decision helping guide the next.

Denim Shirt | Blue Tile

When it was time to remodel my bathroom I was inspired by a chambray shirt with brass buttons I had found on a work trip to NYC. The blue tile is from Ann Sacks and then I went full brass everything with the plumbing, lighting, and medicine cabinet. My next big house project is replacing all my windows. The existing ones are vinyl and were installed poorly by whoever lived here before me.

Designing For A Client – Same But Different

For clients, I need to be a little more strategic since I have to include an itemized timesheet on my design fee invoices. Explaining my process can be tricky and it usually takes a few months of working together before there’s some design trust established. Here’s a before and after at a basement renovation I designed. I met this family through Emily actually, they’re friends of hers and she introduced us when I first moved to Portland and was scrounging for clients. The goal was to open things up and create a multi-functional space with different hang out zones.

Sectional | White Stool

I think the jumping-off point was when they saw this leather sofa at Rejuvenation and texted me a photo. We talked a bit about the different uses the room would have (games, movies, extra work-from-home space). You can see in the before photo that the existing ceiling was low and popcorn-y and once their contractor got on board I asked him if he could rip out a section of the sheetrock overhead to see if anything cool was hiding underneath. As it turned out there were exposed joists that I knew would look awesome with a fresh coat of paint. Even though we only gained a few inches of headroom it really makes the ceiling look taller than it actually is. There had been recessed cans in the dropped ceiling so the next step was drawing up an overhead lighting plan. There was going to be nowhere to hide the cables or conduit so I had the electrician run everything along the joists for an industrial look and then paint the conduit and junction boxes white. The next element I suggested was adding vertical shiplap to the walls which creates another illusion of taller ceilings since the lines draw your eyes up. We had to figure out what the flooring was going to be and I had originally thought about using some sort of large format patterned tile but we all agreed it would look busy. Instead, the contractor was able to clean up the concrete that was underneath the old carpet. This involved patching the concrete and then grinding it smooth and then it was stained gray with a satin finish. Area rugs were brought in to soften things up and define the ping-pong zone from the sofa zone. I taped the sizes out on the floor with blue painter’s tape to make sure all the rug sizes worked. I had sketched an informal furniture plan at the start that included the sectional and the family said they wanted some built-in seating along the back corner that could be used as a table for eating or working.

The banquette I designed for the space creates a bookmark across from the sectional since both are opposite L-shapes. The gingham fabric came way later after I started noticing a black and white theme happening with some of the artwork we found and even the little rubber caps on the metal stools that surround the banquette table. We finally had to figure something out with the now exposed HVAC duct that used to be covered by a soffit (you can see it if you scroll way back up to the before photo). These ducts are typically left in the original galvanized steel finish when you see them in commercial spaces but this is a home for a young family so I asked the contractor if it could be spray painted pink. Why pink??? Why not. And so it wouldn’t jump out as the only pink thing in the room I brought pink pillows and pink artwork to tie everything together. I wasn’t planning on a black, white, and pink (and tan leather) room but that’s where it ended up.

Designing The River House – Same But Different But Same (+ Emily)

This brings us back to the River House. As Annie finalizes the overall architectural plans, Emily and I have been able to dig into some kitchen design elements. We’ve been throwing ideas and specific products at Ken and Katie and it’s super interesting to see what they’ve responded to so far.

Tournant Single-Handle Semi-Professional Kitchen Sink Faucet | Purist Two-Hole Deck-Mount Bridge Kitchen Sink Faucet

Here’s the main sink faucet selections narrowed down – any guess as to which one we all decided on? Bzzzzzzt it’s the pull-down one on the left although we’re still nowhere near deciding which finish (if I had to put my money on it I’d say it’ll be dark but who knows!). This was my favorite of the faucet options but for some reason I thought Katie and Ken would be into the more modern bridge style one on the right. This faucet choice helps gives me something to springboard off of design-wise more than comparing inspo all day because it’s a SPECIFIC decision.

Pendant Option One

Pendants | Faucet

Pendant Option Two

Pendants | Faucet

For the kitchen island pendants, we all like the “modern farm” style ones from Kohler but depending on which finish we select for both the lights and the faucet it could take the whole vibe in totally different directions. The dark nickel pendant finish is one way we could go, the matte white finish is another. I kinda like the white ones right now since they’re a little unexpected.

For a ground-up build like this, my first step even before product selections is drawing the main kitchen wall elevation. Putting pen (or crayon) to paper (which then get translated into Autocad drawings by my talented colleague Jordan) helps get my head in the game and it’s almost like free association and helps spark creativity. I read Justina B’s post a few years back about how she does single-line drawings where she keeps her hand moving without hesitation. This is helpful for me when I start to overthink my design sketches. I just draw and see where it goes.

My Fancy Drawing

you folks have nothing to worry about. i’m a professional.

The Actual Fancy Autocad Drawing By Jordan

Here’s the first draft of the main kitchen stove wall and then the more flushed-out cad version. As you can see we’re planning on a pretty clean layout with plenty of breathing room around the section of upper cabinets. There’s more storage opportunities elsewhere in the kitchen so this area didn’t need to be maxed out. And we’re going big with tile by taking it up to the ceiling and wrapping the hood. Until we go tile shopping it’s anyone’s guess as to what the final look will be. Will we pick out a white subway tile or will it have some pattern? Or a bold color even? And what do you think the cabinets are going to be… all wood? painted? METAL? I sure as hell don’t know.

Green Snoopy Sweatshirt | My Book

As you can see I have my process. Emily has hers. You have yours. Some people are mood board people. Some pin the night away. Maybe you’re like me and just figure it all out as you go and design entire rooms based on button-up denim shirts. The point is there’s no “wrong way” to design. AND btw by the time I hit “save draft” and gave Jess and Emily a heads up that I was done writing this post I got an Instagram pop-up ad for another novelty Snoopy sweatshirt. Thanks everyone for reading and hopefully I’ll be back again soon sharing more River House non-inspo. And if you want to see more of my DIY vibes and design work please grab a copy of my brand new book Modern Americana HERE or at your favorite local bookseller.

***From Emily – Working with Max has been INCREDIBLY FUN, truly. We are friends. We laugh a lot at each other. It’s awesome. Getting to witness a different creative process provokes my creativity and challenges everything (in a good, fun way) and my brother/SIL actually loves just being shown product. I made a bad judgement call in an earlier version and condoned something that isn’t funny (speeding tickets). My mistake, my fault, my stupidity and it’s been deleted. Hee’s the truth – Max is a dad, doesn’t drive dangerously, but got two photo tickets that he didn’t even know about going 30 in a 20 near his upholsterer. So he jokes about it on his insta-stories and my just dropping it in the intro made it sound like we think driving too fast is cool. It is not. I’m sorry for my bad judgement and not fully explaining the situation. We hope you can appreciate the intent of the post which is showcasing a different creative process, how fun it is to work together and can forgive my bad judgement call. Thanks everyone for your positive support. Max, I LOVE WORKING WITH YOU and so does my brother, and my friends that havehiredhim. It’s a true joy to do my first new build with you (and thank god for you)

The funny thing is (still me, Emily) this is how I style, just not how I renovate. The style diagnostic was a LOT like this – showing people ‘style indicators’ and letting their response to teach me something about their likes and dislikes of a style, as semantics can get hard! Especially when clients don’t know the language, so this backwards approach can totally work (as seen above) and I think can help curate a more interesting home. xx

*All Designs by Max Humphrey
**After Photos by Christopher Dibble

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Sarah
20 days ago

I just don’t get why the speeding tickets are cute or funny. Drive like someone else lives there because they do. Even if it’s out in the middle of nowhere or whatever the excuse is. The rest is awesome and a great window into design process. Looking forward to seeing where the River house goes.

Catrina
20 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

Agree! Accumulation of speeding tickets is not a personality quirk or flex. In my experience, people who speed habitually have an inflated sense of their driving ability and are a menace to everyone else trying to safely get themselves (and their precious families) from point a to b.

sarah
20 days ago
Reply to  Catrina

100%. With one teen with a license and another one in training, I am hyper aware of kids pulling out of neighborhood onto a road where people like to speed. Or tail them because there are hills and curves that create no passing zones. Some day Max and the team at EHD will have teen drivers in the household and that it won’t be so punk rock.

Hana
20 days ago
Reply to  Catrina

Agree! Being proud of careless driving is such a boorish attitude. I love walking with my dogs in my town and have almost been hit too many times by people who have no business being behind the wheel. It is such raging ignorance to brag about speeding and it says volumes about his design style that is so slapdash. Not interested in this dude one bit.

Caitlin Rose Low
20 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

I truly thought I was going to be the only one put off by this opening. I guess I’m in good company.

Penny
20 days ago

Agree with the above. How ridiculous to think speeding is funny. We all make mistakes but to do it again and again just looks like selfish arrogance.

Sarah
20 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

I agree – not quirky. I am caring for a family member who is recovering after being hit by a driver who clearly thought his driving was a form of self-expression. For people who survive being struck by speeding drivers, the injuries are life altering.

Crystal
15 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

I agree. I have been mostly bedridden for 5 years because of a wreckless driver. It’s not funny, it’s not cute, and I am disappointed. Such a turn off.

Professor
20 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

I agree. It isn’t particularly “cool” to think that being banned from driving is something to be proud of. Wow. There’s a huge difference in values at display here.
And fwiw – there is nothing special about an old looking chambray shirt. What’s so inspirational about it ? There’s a million like that in our contractor’s closet, I think. Education, training and deliberate skill-building are actually things to aspire to. Something to value and I hope, something that is being taught to children. Working hard at understanding the nuances, the depth of your skill is not easy. Throwing a kitchen sink at the wall and waiting for someone in our world of 3.6 billion people to like it (which they will, just statistically speaking) is not actually creating something of value. You create value when you can explain WHY it is valuable. Otherwise it’s just a glorified hack. But even hacks are successful. So there’s that. I am just super turned off by this post and apologize for my candor as, I am sure some people will be turned off by it. I just do think it needs to be said.

Katherine
20 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

Let’s not portray reckless driving as a fun quirk. Reckless driving should not be lauded as an admirable form of self-expression- particularly when they are a 40 year old dad who presumable can have children in the car with them. A car in the wrong hands is a deadly weapon. Just as we would not praise someone for open firing a gun into a crowd, let’s not praise someone for speeding a car recklessly into open traffic. I hope you consider a retraction of this statement and a clarification that this is not in fact cool.

Catherine
20 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

OMG. Come on people, get a sense of humor. Yes, in reality speeding isn’t “funny” I have 2 kids, I get it. But relax.

Sarah
20 days ago
Reply to  Catherine

Welllllll, I ignored it the first six or seven times he bragged about it on his Insta feed. Today, I decided not to ignore it. Even though I am quite relaxed.

Admin
20 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

Hey all – Emily here. I just want to clarify (in addition to my below apology for poor judgement and updating the pot above) that Max is NOT a reckless driver and its just a running joke that unbeknownst to him he got two photo radar speeding tickets by his upholsterer (that he jokes about on instastories all the time in the most hilarious way). He was going 30 in a 20. i should have clarified that he is not reckless, its not cool to get speeding tickets and that of course I don’t condone speeding – i’m actually terrified about cars and pools (those are the two places where I still helicopter). Anyway, sorry for being an idiot and not fully explaining and assuming that people are in on the joke. My fault. My bad. Thanks for understanding and moving on to talk about creative processes. xx

Lisa
20 days ago
Reply to  Emily

Emily, I think we also have to acknowledge the privilege of being able to speed and have the worst thing that happens to you be a speeding ticket, when for black people a cop encounter over speeding can result in them to being murdered.

Teresa
19 days ago
Reply to  Lisa

Do we? She apologized…many times! God forbid you ever put your foot in your mouth

SC
20 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

Fellow portlander here. So tired of sanctimonious read-everything-literally and in-the-worst-possible-light commenters who can’t take a joke. How dare Max be a little tongue in cheek or joke sheepishly about his failings. How dare he use hyperbolic language to describe something and how dare he bring a little male energy to the blog. My god people, how about instead of fun-policing every post to death, show a little gratitude for the freshness of these bangin’ designs (including photos of Max’s house that I haven’t seen before-sweet!) and super interesting look into his design process. Max, please keep up the awesome work and quirk. I sure hope the vitriol today doesn’t scare him off because I absolutely love his work and his fresh perspective. And thank you Emily for introducing Max to a broader audience!

Ana
19 days ago
Reply to  SC

yes I agree thanks for your comment its so refreshing that we don’t have to pin everything but can start with a piece of clothing or a chair and design around that.
Who wants Pinterest houses the are unobtainable Max gives us a refreshing alternative!

Nora
18 days ago
Reply to  SC

Yes, I agree – granted, I read the post after it had already been edited, but I really enjoyed it and his fresh and creative approach. And I love his designs shared here, they pop and they’re unexpected and fun. Thanks for sharing and I hope you’ll post more in future!

Liv
20 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

I’ve read this blog for 5+ years and never commented, but the comments this morning are astounding to me. The self-righteous drive to correct and police ALL behavior is exhausting and a real disservice to the creation of an intentional community where people communicate thoughtfully, rather than falling over their keyboards to get their criticism in at every opportunity. I mean, really? No one here has ever gotten a speeding ticket and laughed about it? It’s not like Max is bragging about running red lights, texting while driving, or driving drunk…speed limits are somewhat arbitrarily designated (there is no moral element to Oregon’s 55 mph highways vs. Montana’s 80 mph highways), yet the tone here is that it is an ethical violation of the highest degree. Emily and her team have worked hard over the past year to address real problems of racial inequity and representation in a movement toward justice and greater self-awareness, and unfortunately some of you have taken that introspection and action as license to become the morality police at every opportunity, even when it’s inappropriate. You may find someone’s tone a little cringey or careless, but you have every right to click the “x” in the… Read more »

Teresa
19 days ago
Reply to  Liv

here! here!

Catherine
19 days ago
Reply to  Liv

Well said.

MJ
19 days ago
Reply to  Liv

Thank you, Liv. Good job everyone, way to welcome Max to this community… we won’t look at anything you write about design because we’re too busy nitpicking EVERY SINGLE THING and desperately trying to find something to be offended about. Agreed… Emily shouldn’t be beating herself up over this one and should have even needed to add the apology note at the bottom.

Max – I think your process is delightfully chaotic but much more similar to how a “regular” person would design their own home over time and it was super fun to read about. Looking forward to seeing more about the river house!

Shanna
18 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

We can probably all agree that all traffic laws are for safety.
Anyone here ever not made a complete stop at a stop sign? Ever changed lanes without a signal?
If you’ve never disobeyed traffic laws yourself, feel free to criticize Max/Emily (for a JOKE, nonetheless).

Allie
20 days ago

Did not make it past the really off putting intro to this Max guy – not really interested in someone who “does whatever he wants” if that means driving like a complete jerk and putting other people’s safety at risk. That’s kind of out of style right now last I looked with a global pandemic where putting the greater good ahead of doing exactly whatever it is you want to do right this second is a thing. A bit tone deaf IMO. Does this guy brag about this “habit” at parties? And everyone thinks it’s hilarious? I do not get it. But I find the idea of getting speeding tickets stressful and expensive and I don’t think it’s more important for me to get where I want to be quickly than to think about how I might endanger other people or make them uncomfortable.

Anyway, I miss the days when this was a design blog and not all these mismatched collabs where the bulk of the content reads like a social experiment of “let’s see what happens when we try to mix oil and vinegar”. Spoiler: it doesn’t work.

Jess
20 days ago

I can appreciate a different approach, but this would give me anxiety. Bless you Emily for your patience. This seems like it would lead to a lot of wasted time and money, and possibly an incoherent end product.

Professor
20 days ago
Reply to  Jess

Gosh I so totally agree. Bad call all around.

Cheryl
20 days ago
Reply to  Jess

I’d get that assumption if his style was all over the place. But he knows what he likes and he has style! I know I gravitate towards neutral clothing and pops of blue. I can never go wrong if I stay in that lane while shopping. I have a friend who surrounds himself with color and things that “make him laugh”. His home is joyful. No one is over there picking it apart because it’s a layered onion of his own personality! In fact he was featured in Apartment Therapy.
*I think the disclaimer here is he has an artistic eye. I’m positive those who don’t get aesthetics as much would need much more structure and assistance to create a space.

Admin
20 days ago
Reply to  Jess

No its been fun!!! Honestly. I need to edit the post to reflect that. xx

Susan
20 days ago
Reply to  Jess

Hi Emily, it was a mistake and I appreciate you owning it and editing it, but you can’t really cover for him bragging about his wreckless driving on his own social (even as you delete perfectly civil and respectfully dismayed comments from your own community here). But the undertone of critique you are getting is from a lot of women who are tired of dealing with men like this – not because he is “creative” or doesn’t plan, use Pinterest, etc…but because he is condescending and acts like he invented a lot of techniques many people use and takes credit for being out there because he mixes metal finishes, etc…? You literally advertise that he “refuses” to look at your Pinterest to collaborate with you on your project. How is that cool?

Susan Z
20 days ago
Reply to  Susan

Emily was probably joking when she said he refused to look at her Pinterest, and even if she wasn’t, can’t the guy design how he wants to design? Let’s give both of them the benefit of the doubt.

Susan
20 days ago
Reply to  Susan Z

Sure. I am going off of his tone in his own writing and it did not endear me. Lecturing people here who are passionate about design and diy about why we can’t just copy an outfit from a j.crew catalog and expect it to look the same (for instance) just reads like mansplaining to me. He wrote as if the EHD community was at a very remedial level and what he was doing was ground breaking and rule breaking when it was neither. I usually like the EHD contributors, but this one is a miss for me.

Michelle
20 days ago

I loved this breakdown of different designing styles! I love love love a good pinterest board, but I also love a room that feels collected and generational. This was a fun intro to Max’s style and I’m totally planning on checking out more of his work.

Noni
20 days ago

Absolutely loved this post! Thanks, Max. It’s liberating to be freed from the rabbit hole that can be Pinterest pinning! Great reminder to go your own way and not be frozen by pins (even though they have their place) and what everyone else is doing 🙂

Rusty
20 days ago
Reply to  Noni

As long as he “goes (his) own way” within the speed limit!!!

Sarah
20 days ago

I thought this was fun. 🙂

Susan
20 days ago

I’ve never used Pinterest in my life and I think most designers think you can (and should!) mix metal finishes and woods and as well as follow your intuition. But for those of us with budgets (who don’t have infinite resources to waste on speeding tickets and court dates, lol) the reason I don’t show up at the tile store clueless and buy whatever strikes my whimsy is because I have to price things out and factor in shipping and lead times (e.g. I fell in love with an unaffordable cle tile that needed to be shipped from Europe and managed to find a 75 yo tilemaker locally who does an even prettier version for a quarter of the price with delivery). I guess that is increasingly not the EHD way, but so much of this post is so weirdly posturing when so much of what it is trying to masquerade as unfettered, wild creativity is really just a lot of broadly accepted design industry standards implemented in a last-minute way where it would appear Max does not have to worry about cost or timeframe. And whether you pin your chambray shirt or hang it in your closet, it is… Read more »

20 days ago
Reply to  Susan

Except couldn’t I give Max my favorite dress and say, “Do this,” and wouldn’t he take my lead? And doesn’t he say that the clients chose that leather sectional, for example? Don’t get me wrong, dangerous driving shouldn’t be celebrated, but coming at this point in the posting, I am inclined to leaven the discussion with approval.

Elizabeth
20 days ago

I almost quit reading at the “speeding dangerously is cool” point – cause it’s not. But to the decorating process, it seems this is how I decorate my own home, and I always thought it was because I wasn’t a professional designer. I just finished my sewing room and realized I didn’t even use the inspiration fabric I started with.

Kim
20 days ago

Go Max! Love your approach, style and the way you think outside of the box.Kim

Janson
20 days ago

I am all for someone not following the Instagram and Pinterest mold, but this seems like it could truly go off the rails in terms of budget, and direction, especially if the client has one in mind. I hope I’m proven wrong, or that the counterbalance of Emily’s vision will make this feel cohesive in the end. This end product could have a cool Novogratz-esq vibe with a few unique arts and vintage finds, but I feel like the key to their success is having some quiet and coherent moments and not trying to make every piece the star. Good luck you guys, I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Cris S.
20 days ago

At first I thought “there is no way I can relate” to what felt like a very chaotic description of a decorating process. And then I realized that this is actually how most of my own process works because I can’t afford to start with a clean slate and decorate an entire space from scratch while ordering a suite of products (lighting, paint, flooring, rugs, seating, case goods, etc) in a coordinated way. Instead, I’m looking at FBMP and Craigslist and RH Outlet and sales floor items and eBay and building something piece by piece as I can and making it coordinate as I go. So, I appreciate your process description and how it comes together. I’d love to hear more about what you do near the end with pieces that were loved individually and now just aren’t working. How do you determine what isn’t working and why? How do you at that point find something else and pull the final room together? But to the other issue being raised here – I think that speeders often feel they are cleverer (or more important and entitled) than the people they are zipping around. But you can’t, as you speed by… Read more »

Margaret
20 days ago

Here to say I love this blog very much but this past was VERY tone deaf. “So that gives you some insight into how he navigates life – however he wants to.” If I had to bet – the women and POC who contribute to this blog turn their work in on time. But not Max! While I like his style, he comes across as an entitled white man.

Sarah
20 days ago
Reply to  Margaret

YES! 1,000%

Susan
20 days ago
Reply to  Margaret

Also, the part where “he refuses” to look at Emily’s Pinterest board?! Much collaborating there. Why can’t he look at it and show respect for his colleague’s work without feeling threatened? He gets to have his process that is by definition very opaque and dismiss everyone else’s approach because he is like, so outside the box, dude. I think we’ve all had to deal with a guy like this before.

20 days ago
Reply to  Margaret

I do think men are allowed to and therefore are better at making decisions without consideration of risk or disapproval but also if someone is here in warm good faith can we not be inspired?

Annie
20 days ago
Reply to  Margaret

Right? Love the pictures. But do I want to work with someone who can’t meet a deadline and won’t look at the work I’ve put in to our “collaboration”? And writes about it as if it’s cool? The pictures aren’t *that* great. Hard pass.

Kristi
20 days ago

Agreed on intro… I’d also agree that that’s how I mainly decorate unless it’s a room where I’m changing a lot at once ie bath or kitchen. Also, there’s a joy in the end result which I think comes from the joy of loved random found objects ..Pinterest assessment is more cerebral and I think those spaces have less overt joy. Joy and a bit chaos can go hand and hand and some folks just can’t live with that much energy in their spaces if they wanted to.

20 days ago

I love this! Sometimes there seem to be a lot of posts about deliberation and not being sure about style so this was a nice counterpoint – how to mix and build as you go but always with conviction.

Susan
20 days ago

So did you change the intro after negative feedback or am I missing something? The comments about speeding have me totally lost. Transparency would be great

Erika
20 days ago
Reply to  Susan

Yes, they removed the intro about how cool and rebellious he is for having speeding tickets. It was so tone-deaf. I’m glad they changed it.

Professor
20 days ago
Reply to  Susan

They changed the post. They removed all references to speeding and having so many tickets that he is banned from driving between midnight and 5 am.

Susan
20 days ago
Reply to  Professor

Not cool about speeding, and not cool about the lack of transparency

Susan
20 days ago
Reply to  Susan

He must not have kids because clearly he’s not had direct feedback (other than speeding tickets) about how his own careless reckless behavior directly impacts people other than himself. Sad that the issue overshadows the point of this post, which is a method for working that I actually relate to. I call this an “additive process” and it works if you have the right kind of taste that allows you to trust the creative process without a known outcome. I make art this way

Admin
20 days ago
Reply to  Susan

Yes it was my bad call, not his. thanks for understanding and still being supportive when we make bad judgement calls. That one was my fault. xx

Pamela
20 days ago
Reply to  Emily

I appreciate you saying that Emily, but it still speaks volumes more about him. The fact that he has likely bragged about this multiple times made it seem like such an integral part of his personality that you thought nothing of including it. I’m glad the comments and reflection made you update the post. That’s why we love you and this site, you are not afraid to continually learn, grow and make mistakes. Also, as others have noted he’s bragged about it on his Instagram before so he seems to think it’s one of his “cool” defining factors. Don’t beat yourself up for this one at all!

Teresa
19 days ago
Reply to  Susan

Why not cool about the lack of transparency? Because you missed your opportunity to shame Emily too?

Susan
20 days ago
Reply to  Susan

What was also gross about it, is it came from Emily’s intro, not a contributor saying something tone deaf. But Emily bragging about her “punk rock” friend getting so many speeding tickets he has a court-imposed driving curfew like this was a testament to his “street cred.” Huh? Like in EHD world this is a good thing?

He’s bragging about buying a camo sweatshirt with Snoopy on it from ll bean, “even though I didn’t know what I would wear it with.” Whoa, living on the edge. If Ben Stiller did a broad comedy playing the part of a “punk rock” interior designer based in Portland I’m pretty sure he would do the same thing.

Sarah
20 days ago
Reply to  Susan

Hopefully Emily will take the time to respond and reflect rather than just edit.

Katherine
20 days ago
Reply to  Susan

I appreciate that the post was edited. Thank you. I would also appreciate going beyond just removing the offensive part of the post, however, and showing some remorse or admittance of misjudgment. Just editing it out makes it seem like it’s being removed to shut up the masses, offering some form of apology begins to atone and show growth. I am particularly sensitive to reckless driving being portrayed as cool because as a child my parents routinely drove drunk with me in the car. So I realize that perhaps this is more my issue than yours, and I am not going to cancel-culture you, but I wanted to explain how far an actual retraction and apology would go for someone personally affected by this.

Admin
20 days ago
Reply to  Katherine

I’m sorry, Katherine (and everyone). That was my bad judgement call. It’s edited now. We made a mistake, we deleted, we are sorry and we hope you enjoy the intent of the post. If you only knew max you’d know how hilarious he is and how is “backwards” process is actually so creative and refreshing to be around. I understand that that tone wasn’t reflected. We will do better. I also don’t condone reckless driving and feel like a massive idiot for implying that I think its cool. Big old hand in emoji and i’m glad y’all called me out early. 100% my fault. Thanks for understanding. xx

Sarah
20 days ago
Reply to  Emily

His design is refreshing. His approach is refreshing. I’d love to order his book but the whole speeding is funny thing is all over his Instagram and has been since I started following him from your site. It goes beyond even entitled. I love that you see where others are coming from on this issue. And I hope that Max at some point does too and changes his tune before he hurts himself or someone else. The world needs free spirits and I need his book.

Rusty
20 days ago
Reply to  Emily

Emily, maybe edit again and include a statement to reflect what/why it was edited??
There are two versions that have been read.

Hana
19 days ago
Reply to  Emily

Hope that’s the real you Emily. And not just money talking. This one hit home and it hurt.

Alice
19 days ago
Reply to  Susan
Catherine
20 days ago

My favorite EHD post of all time.

Cheryl
20 days ago

Whew, I came to comment how refreshing it is to read about a process that isn’t tinged with self doubt but just a passion for design and beauty, even if it’s just a pink exposed beam. I must have breezed over the speeding ticket part because Max had me at that crayon drawing which matches almost exactly what I showed my contractor last month (except of a patio). My eight year old daughter was so proud of it, she stood by beaming while I explained the world’s least professional design rendering. But alas.
Well, I hate to miss a bandwagon of distaste but I get Max. I’m here for him. I’ll be here with a popcorn bucket.

Susan
20 days ago
Reply to  Cheryl

The offensive part of the post was edited out without comment.

Ann
20 days ago
Reply to  Cheryl

I agree, Cheryl! There have been quite a few design posts that focus on indecision and changing whole floor plans, so I think it will be refreshing to read about a completely different method! I understand this style wouldn’t work for everyone and all budgets, but it will be fun to read about designing being fun and a bit spontaneously rather than planning every single element in advance. Count me in!

Stefanie
20 days ago
Reply to  Cheryl

Totally agree with you, Cheryl! I felt inspired by his design process and aspire to be able to create spaces in my home that feel really tailored to me and my family rather than trying to follow all the design trends and worrying about making design mistakes. I struggle with a perfectionist mentality and it’s left our home feeling cold and bare and lacking personality because I constantly struggle with confidence in picking and choosing decor and furniture. I am that person with a bazillion Pinterest boards because I’m looking for others to show me what is ok to do and what’s not ok to do with interior design. But in that I’m also trying to recreate something someone has already designed for THEIR house because in my head, if it’s already been done by someone else, then it will look good and be safe, but in the end, I feel like there’s still a lack of connection and homeyness (is that a word?). Like walking into my grandma’s house…nothing matches but it’s just this amazing space that radiates that feeling of love and belonging and home. That’s how I want my house to feel and I’m grateful for Max’s… Read more »

Sara
18 days ago
Reply to  Cheryl

Yes, Cheryl! Me too popcorn in hand. I love how max talks about doing his own projects when he could, when he had the money. So relatable. And it makes complete sense in my brain to find particular pieces you love and continue that way. Designing from Pinterest just doesn’t land for me. Nor does buying so much stuff that seems so expensive but has no personal connection to me.

Max’s process totally makes sense to me financially and creatively. Look forward to seeing more!

emily jane
20 days ago

I was short on time this morning and so wasn’t going to read the comments before making my own -I wish I hadn’t… But since I have, I can’t help but ask: when did thoughtfulness and diplomacy become obsolete..? My goodness… I wish my enthusiasm -for Max, his process, his spaces AND his presence here!- could overwhelm the negative and judgmental tone in some of the comments.
Thank you to Emily and company + guest contributors for everyone’s hard work creating blog content with a diversity of voices, processes and design styles and gifting it to us -I really, really appreciate you ALL.

Susan
20 days ago
Reply to  emily jane

Emily edited the post so you are reading a different version than many of us read and commented on. It was basically “this guy has so many speeding tickets he has a court imposed driving curfew and that same reckless abandon and disregard for others is also how he approaches his design work.”

emily jane
20 days ago
Reply to  Susan

I see Emily (Henderson) has made some clarifications (as of 10AM Pacific time).

Lindsay
19 days ago
Reply to  emily jane

Emily Jane, I could not agree more! Everyone really needs to take a deep breath, and think about the fact that they likely read this blog almost every day, and count on adorable, smart, creative Emily and team to brighten our days and inspire us. Then, when she makes a blunder, she gets just pummelled by some of her “adoring fans”(and I’m sure they never ever blunder) Enough already people! Regarding Max and his design process, I loved getting out of my comfort zone and trying to get into his head, and how he does things. Psychologists advise that when you have a strong negative reaction to something, maybe it’s because there is something to learn? What is your reaction telling you about your own assumptions? Please, please fellow readers, play nicely in the sandbox with the each other! And with Emily! We all like this blog so much!

20 days ago

This feels super playful to me, and without fear, and I love how his places look and I would enjoy the work process.

Rusty
20 days ago

Max!!! 😳
This is how I do things too!
Ideas stem from actual objects in my hands and ideas while in the shower (seriously, I once had an Instant thought for an entire, finished, manufactured product for work from a short shower, including promo! BAM!).
I’ve always felt a bit ‘different ‘ in my creative process, like “How did I lose 5 hours in a ceramic studio in the middle of the night when I made that?!?”
Now, I don’t feel that way, thanks to you!
🤗

Rusty
20 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Um, I actually feel physically ill about the speeding glorification! 🤮
Rosie (my dog) was nearly hit by a speeding car.

I will not be buying Max’s book now, as a result.

Max, I relate to your creative process, but I’m also an adult who gives a damn about other people’s safety and my own.
Those attitudes reek of entitled, white, priveleged male.
Time to grow up??
Boom! 💥

Rusty
20 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Rosie was on-lead, BTW, not wandering. I couldn’t quite yank her off the road fast enough.

Anna
20 days ago

I LOVED this post!! I can totally relate to this way of designing!! Adding little treasures to my home along the way, often slowly over time… While I’ve been a long time reader of this blog and really really love it, I had sort of begun to think that I was going about designing/filling/furnishing our house the “wrong” way since I never had a final mood board or a giant pin board or a treasure trove of inspiration images… it’s always fun to read about the process and dig through them here on the blog, but for my own life, it’s so exhilarating to just (slooooowly) collect beautiful things for my home, without worrying if they fit into some grand vision or scheme for the space (but do they have to work functionally? And within our budget/means? Yes of course!). So refreshing to learn about another designer’s process!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

Rusty
20 days ago
Reply to  Anna

Lucky (?) you didn’t read the first version of the post about his dangerous driving habit and court kmposed driving curfew then?

Marie
19 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Can you please give it a rest? Emily clarified the speeding thing above. Going on and on about it on multiple comment threads is unproductive, unnecessary, and quite frankly, mean.

Michelle
20 days ago

I think that basement is AMAZING! The pink makes it so freaking cool. Can’t wait to see how the river house turns out.

Susan
20 days ago

It’s nice to hear about another designer’s process. Seems like it’s more practical for those of us who are designing our spaces on our own.

20 days ago

I love to read about other people’s thought process in designing. I’m a little ‘all-over-the-place’. I just know what I like and hope that things won’t look completely ridiculous together. I tell people my taste is eclectic. The only issues I have with some posts is the photo-editing (I get that you need to use it), but it irks me when blogs radically amp up the lighting just for a photo shoot. Great lighting obviously has the power to completely transform the room, but here in the case of the basement, I can’t imagine how they could have used ceiling lights to give that amount of light. So yes, the removing of walls/ceiling tile etc can visually enlarge a room – but the use of light editing gives a bigger impact and therefore an unrealistic view of what the room looks like in reality. Also, I know you probably have a relationship with Kohler, but there’s no way I could ever think about paying over $1K for a faucet; once I click on the affiliate links and see the prices I actually loose interest because I know that everything is completely outside of my budget.

Rusty
20 days ago
Reply to  Diane

That’s an i teresting observation about the lighting. I just went back to look at the photos (and to read the “new version” of the intro that has edited out his cgronic speeding/dangerous driving) and saw that none of those overhead lights are actually even on?!?

Rusty
20 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Meaning…there must be some powerful alternative light source to blast the room with that amount of artificial light.

Roberta Davis
19 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

I notice that lights usually are not turned on in photos- so I’m guessing that photgraphers bring their own lights that aren’t seen in the photos.

Roberta Davis
20 days ago

Thanks for the insights! I became happier about my own house when reading this, because we moved into a new (to us) house a few months ago and we have so many things that we just needed to use, rather than do all new everything. And I love all design styles (mostly) and don’t like sticking to one. It’s funny how a new setting will change how you see your stuff and make you like something that was hiding in a closet for decades. I am so looking forward to all the mini projects here as you move from room to room. I am a huge fan of both of you. And I find your “Modern Americana” style so exciting (although it’s nothing like anything I have ever had or done) because it’s fresh but nostalgic and comforting and reassuring. They are spaces that make you want to be in them.

Roberta Davis
20 days ago

I didn’t see and hadn’t known about the earlier version. I agree that driving recklessly is not something to brag about! Having worked in the auto insurance industry for over 20 years. And having a step-daughter who was hit and killed by a hit-and-run driver.

Rusty
20 days ago
Reply to  Roberta Davis

Roberta, I’m sorry about your step-daughter.
The earlier version of this post eou5ld likely have been really triggering for you.
I’m glad you didn’t have to read about the gung-ho, chronic speeding Max does.
Hugz, Rusty xx

Roberta Davis
19 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

thank you, Rusty!

Rusty
18 days ago
Reply to  Roberta Davis

💗

Victoria
20 days ago

Oh I love this. I’ve been frustrated when my designer shows me an inspiration image and then we can’t find anything like it that we can actually buy. Like some lovely colors – literally couldn’t find a piece in any of them. So then we have to shift but I’ve become attached to the inspiration idea. Give me specific items!

20 days ago

I love Max’s style and appreciate you all highlighting a different approach to design! Analysis paralysis is real and I love how he’s made these beautiful rooms come together with a build as you go approach 🙂

Lea
20 days ago

LOVED reading this and I have a V similar approach to you, Max. I can’t wait to see the River House!!!

Lisa
20 days ago

What a super fun post! 😀 Welcome Max, I absolutely look forward to reading more about your process!! I felt very seen and your house looks gorgeous – what a stunning living room and the plywood cabinets in the kitchen are just *chef’s kiss*

Jenny B
20 days ago

Poor Max! I bet he regrets ever writing a post here! I have noticed how commenters on this website have gotten more and more entitled over time, expecting everyone to think and talk like they do. I won’t read comments any more because it ruined what was a wonderful post. Sorry Max!

Susan
20 days ago

Max, Your design process is too cool for school – as is that Snoopy sweatshirt! Your process makes total sense, can’t wait to see what you and Emily come up with!

Erin
20 days ago

I am so on board for this design (un)process! When I started designing my families new home I felt overwhelmed by Pinterest, magz and blogs. The one thing that I was able to rest my soul on was this little ceramic teacup; handmade and wonky with slight vertical channels carved out. The handle was too small and the white glaze didn’t cover totally and it was utter perfection. When I couldn’t make decisions on materials I started pairing them individually with that teacup to determine what made the cut, it just felt right. If I love it and the teacup loves it then we’re good. Glad to hear I am not the only one with an unconventional design style. Max, I love your designs and your confident notgiveafuckery attitude toward the rules of design-“It all goes together because we say it goes together”.

Mitten
19 days ago
Reply to  Erin

I want a magic teacup! Love this comment ❤️

Kris
20 days ago

I really like Max’s style — not only did I get a copy of “Modern Americana” upon its release, I’ve given away two copies. The style evokes Emily’s three or four iterations ago. The mixing of woods and use of paneling even on the ceiling feels like a warm hug in a Pendleton blanket. (Portlander here.) Collaboration is a dance, and I don’t think it involves studying the other person’s Pinterest or Instagram; it’s bringing oneself fully to the table and then negotiating how to move forward.

Patricia
20 days ago

Max’s house is a “shut the front door” moment. Wow. He does not need Pinterest. I kind of do, but that’s my process. Up till now, I didn’t know I HAD a process.

K.H
19 days ago

Wow……this is exactly the way I like to design my houses. I always start with the small items that I love and build from there. This method has never failed me but it was terrific to hear it documented so well in writing. Thank you!

19 days ago

I relate to max’s design process so much! I actually love the way he designs, and it’s what I’ve always done. Recently, I’ve tried to go about it another way, with a plan and a Pinterest board. In fact, it’s the first time Im designing any space that way (our kid’s bedroom) so we’ll see what I like better.

But I just ordered Max’s new book and I can’t wait to get it!

Stephanie | SPV Living

alexa
19 days ago

I like the collected nature Max’s designs. It feels fresh. And it’s nice to get a sense of another designer’s process.

For a long time, the “bad boy”/ anti-hero stuff always played as being so cool. I think a lot of the comments reflect a total backlash against that. But, it also feels extremely judgmental to label Max as reckless or careless or entitled so quickly and based on so little information. At some point, these comments felt like piling on just for it’s own sake.

It’s going to be difficult for Emily to get a diverse set of perspectives on this blog, if we shut people down so harshly. It’s important to hear from people we don’t automatically agree with or identify with 100% off the bat.

Shannon
19 days ago
Reply to  alexa

I’ve been trying to put my thoughts into words, but have been struggling to do so. Alexa’s every last word here hit the nail on the head for me. So, in short, my thoughts echo what Alexa said so well.

19 days ago
Reply to  alexa

I completely agree. I appreciate reading other’s perspectives and I really love what was shared.

Nora
18 days ago
Reply to  alexa

I agree.

Tina
19 days ago

I enjoy reading about different working processes, but I personally am really turned off by this “modern Americana” vibe. To me it reads as obliviously white and privileged. I think the debate unfolding in the comments is about a lot more than a harmless joke that didn’t land. What does it mean to hang up a boutique-ironic banner (seen on the designer’s ig feed) reading “raise hell, kid,” and in whose home? Is this a genuine call to struggle, and if not, what is it?

Lisa
19 days ago
Reply to  Tina

Tina, thanks for saying this. You articulated what I haven’t been able to.

Sarah
19 days ago

LOVE THIS APPROACH. thanks for the reminder that there is no RIGHT way !

Amanda
19 days ago

Reading this comment thread has been fascinating… I hope everyone who commented something venomous about him seeming rude, entitled, reckless, etc. takes the time to really consider if they would’ve felt the same if he’d been anything but white and male. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been impressed by the speeding part either, and the “refuse” wording gave me pause as well, but reading those other reactions… well, it made me realize that I assumed the worst about his attitude because he’s a dude, which is really, 100% not acceptable. I bet most of us love snarky women with strong opinions and an irreverent sense of humor. Come on folks, we can do better.

Laurel
19 days ago

Forwarding this to all my classmates. I’m studying interior design (part time! At night! I’m nearly 40!) and find the deep dive of Max’s process so interesting. I have been reading/following/devouring all content a la Emily + Co. for a decade……so safe to say I’m influenced by this blog. So curious to see how the house turns out and what results in this collab!

19 days ago
Reply to  Laurel

me too! I am so interested in the way he designs. I read through the comments and I can’t believe how many people aren’t agreeing on that part. I love the way he finds items that truly mean something and then they all come together to make the space in the end. Instead of the other way which most of us design that way.

Alice
19 days ago

It seems like all he ever does is cover every available surface in paneling. Not my aesthetic and not very creative.

livelygracehome on Insta
19 days ago

As a decor loving, realtor searching, vintage booth side-hustling, diy designer of our renovated home, and career nurse, I appreciate seeing different design techniques. I’m not one to buy a full room of furniture from a pin board I created. We moved from a 3200 square foot suburb home to a 1930’s home we remodeled with currently 900 square feet of finished space. I had multiple kitchen layouts drawn on graph paper. I taped cardboard to the 2 X 4’s to gauge where to place the sconce wiring above the cardboard box I was using as a placeholder for the kitchen sink. I tried to envision the design as we made permanent decisions as we went. When we could move in, we started with , and still have, much of the furniture from our prior home including a metal headboard from a yard sale. I’ve upgraded with facebook marketplace finds including some nightstands I’m still swooning over; using drawer pulls original to the house. And I had been waiting to see more of the basement Max designed…. low ceiling basement owner looking for inspo right here. Count me in for the different collabs…. variety is great, and includes us not… Read more »

Sheila
19 days ago

I loved, loved this post. And yes, I read the original version early this AM but took it as inside elbow to the ribs here and there and not an endorsement of recklessness or disrespect and was quite surprised at the negativity when I came back to comment. I absolutely appreciate all the time Max put into describing the process in his own home and putting together all the other examples. Very much looking forward to hearing much more from him as this project moves along.

Ana
19 days ago

OMG! I get it, some of you people do not like him or his jokes, but don’t you have anything else to do but crucify him or make sure that other readers are aware of his “sins” so they can do it too? I find that this is just too much.
Desing wise, I do not like so much wood, but I find his style and process really fun and refreshing. I’m really interested on seeing the result of this collaboration.

Melissa
19 days ago

I just loved this post!! I am also an ‘untrained’ interiors stylist / serial renovator and can totally identify with both approaches. I have always followed quite a haphazard, experimental design process in my own homes but tend to go with a more structured process when designing for other people. So I love that Max just owns his process & wow, he achieves an amazing result .

arti
19 days ago

i like the sweatshirt.

and the post. the project sounds interesting.

Melissa
19 days ago

Enough with the apologies! Enough with social commentary! This is a design blog people take your judgement elsewhere and get a sense of humor. Better yet, go to church and learn about grace. You’ve been given much of it now learn how to extend it to others. Grace- look it up, study it. It’s obviously fallen way out of fashion and needs to make a comeback.

Suzanne
19 days ago

Love Max’s work and hearing his perspective. I love Pinterest, but I don’t think it’s necessarily how I design a room. I do like to look at what I pin to find patterns. Like Max, I find elements I love and collect them. On Pinterest, I can love a room, but not want most of the individual details for myself, so I have to ask myself what it is about the room that makes me drawn to it. It actually makes my own process confusing, because I’m going for a feeling. Of course, I really only design for myself and sometimes my sister. I can’t wait to see how the River house progresses.

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