You moved to Portland for “Grimm!” How do you like Portland in comparison to New York City? Do you consider Portland your official home now? Any thoughts on going back to New York City?
New York has a lot of important similarities to Portland. Both have epic food, coffee and cocktails, are very walkable and have awesome bridges, making them ideal locations for a person to set up shop. I’d say Portland edges New York when it comes to vintage shopping and coffee, while New York edges Portland on the transportation and cultural diversity front.
If you weren't filming “Grimm,” would you still live in Portland?
As much as I love making my home in Portland, I miss my friends and life in New York and there are only so many television shows shooting out here, so I’ll be heading back (to Brooklyn, specifically) when we wrap… Which is hopefully not for a few more years!
While you’re living in Portland, you have to be making the best of it! What are your favorite go-to spots in Portland? What are the places the everyday tourist should make sure they visit?
I have so many favorite spots in Portland! For food, my can’t-misses are Luce (the trout!!), Navarre, Beast, Oven + Shaker (their Parisian cocktail is perfect), Zupan’s (the world’s most heavenly grocery store), St. Jack (the most amazing mussels the world has ever known) and Måurice (everything is beautiful, but the tapioca pudding is legendary). For cocktails, head straight to Multnomah Whiskey Library or Kask. For coffee, the Barista on NW 23rd is my second home, mostly because it employs my favorite baristas (and people!) in town. The cold brew at Extracto should come with a warning label. It’s insane. For donuts, skip Voodoo and head straight to Little T for their currant donut + hole. So good. My favorite shopping spots are the aforementioned Schoolhouse Electric, Grand Marketplace (that’s where I discovered the unbelievably talented ladies of LR Designlab), Frances May, Billy Goat Vintage, Xtabay and Alder & Co. (which has the most well-edited apothecary in town). My favorite bridge is the St. Johns, but favorite pedestrian bridge is the Hawthorne. If you’re visiting, please don’t leave without walking over at least one bridge.
Well, you showed us some of your home renovation processes (which we love!) in your Portland abode. How would you describe your overall aesthetic?
I’d say the overall aesthetic is… Artful Rummagery? I love old things and repurposing - finding treasures and doing it all by myself. I am a homebody, so its incredibly important to me that my living space is clean, comfortable, inspiring, and that it reflects myself (and now that I’m married…ourselves!). When I had no money, garage sales and thrift shops were the best ways to get it done. Now that I’ve been on the show a few years, I still love old things and making something out of nothing, but can afford more well-curated junk (which saves a lot of time)! I love Grand Marketplace, Schoolhouse Electric and Christopher David in Portland. With an unlimited budget, Nickey Kehoe, Empiric Studio and Lawson-Fenning are where I’d spend all my time in LA. In New York, Ashe + Leandro has the most enviable aesthetic and they just opened an online shop, which will be dangerous when I get back to town.
What are some DIYs you're working on?
I have been doing a lot of refinishing and refurbishing of old furniture. I bought a couple of stacks of Globe Werneicke bookshelves last year at Unique Antique in Sellwood and have repurposed them as bedside tables, so I sanded and stained and polished them up. I’m also in the midst of having an old couch reupholstered, which entails more re-finishing and picking out the right upholstery fabric. Finally, I recently found an amazing old pinball game that I took apart, cleaned up, and added mounting to for my husband’s music room/office.
Is your husband working on projects too?
My husband isn’t really DIY-inclined…But he is incredibly appreciative of and patient with my ‘projects’! He is a musician and tours about 90% of the year, so I try not to put him to work when he is home.
How is the married life (now since you just got married!)?
Married life is the best. The absolute best.
Maybe you're not thinking so far ahead, but if you were to have children... What would you name them? Either for boy or girl?
I love dreaming up baby names! Some of my favorites are Polly, Ada, Clementine, Ruby, Cora, June, Maeve, Rose, Gilbert, Oliver, Arlo and Jasper. There is an awesome baby name site called ‘namberry,’ on which I spend an embarrassing amount of time.
Lastly, talk to us about what's next for you. What do you hope to achieve in the next 5 or 10 years?
In 5-10 years, I want to be able to speak French fluently and commute by bike, so we can take a 6-months sabbatical in France!
Photography // Briana Morrison