Ever since I discovered Kinfolk Magazine a few years back it’s been a huge aspiration of mine to visit their home office in Portland, OR. Unfortunately I do not see myself traveling out west anytime soon, so I got in touch with my photographer friend, Lisa (who’s actually done some shooting for Kinfolk in the past!) to take us on a little stroll through their headquarters. It is such a charming + beautiful space with that simple aesthetic that I love so much. It mimics the pages of their magazines so perfectly!
Where did the idea for Kinfolk come from? We came up with the idea in an everyday conversation with a few friends while we were attending college. We noticed a void in resources and inspiration for our age group that appealed to our interests as we frequented our get-togethers and meet-ups. There seemed to be a growing interest in breaking out of former weekend routines to explore different, more creative ways of spending time with friends (sans the loud club music and bar food). Perhaps what was missing was a reminder that it’s easy and satisfying to invite friends into our homes—a reminder that we don’t need to plan for weeks in advance, send formal invitations and make place cards to enjoy entertaining. We recognized this lack of inspiration, and decided to create the resource ourselves.
Who are the founders of Kinfolk? The core leadership team behind Kinfolk consists of two couples: Nathan and Katie Williams and their good friends Doug and Paige Bischoff. The Williams and the Bischoffs met while completing their university studies.The lead designer Amanda Jones has been there from the beginning, as well as community director Julie Pointer. Nathan is the editor in chief and creative director. Katie, Doug and Paige are on the business team focusing on operations and finance. Filmmaker and photographer Andrew and Carissa Gallo share a space in the Kinfolk office and create many of our original films.
What is Kinfolk? Kinfolk is a growing community of artists, writers, designers, photographers, cooks and others who are interested in creating small gatherings and finding new things to cook, make and do. We understand that coming together to share great food and casual conversation can make us feel balanced, grounded and energized.
Kinfolk is a journal where we share ideas about low-key, back-to-basics entertaining. Every element of the magazine—the features, the photography and the general aesthetic—mirrors the way we feel entertaining should be: comfortable, slow, fun and engaging. The magazine brings together our interest in art and design with our love for spending time with our favorite people. The essays and articles in Kinfolk encourage both quiet time spent alone and frequent meals shared with friends.
The magazine is designed to elicit the same feelings we have when we’re enjoying the traditional, simple, old-fashioned entertaining that we love. We use a lot of white space and clean layouts to encourage relaxed reading. We also want the elements of the design to resemble an old novel, hoping this will encourage the reader to sit down and read it as a book—to review it pensively, thoughtfully—instead of giving it a quick peruse like traditional magazines. We also keep the reader’s experience in mind by carefully selecting images that don’t feel busy, and don’t have background noise or too much action. Most of the images are very simple and straightforward, symmetrical, with a lot of clean space that is easy on the eyes.
The simple intention for our new subtitle (“Discovering new things to cook, make and do”) is to highlight the fact that our pages contain what we consider a blueprint for a balanced, intentional lifestyle spent in the company of others, where we share new things to cook, make and do.
Where are some of your favorite places to eat in Portland? One of our favorite restaurants is a Scandinavian-inspired place called Broder. We also love Cup and Saucer, Pok Pok and Bollywood Theater. Don’t forget to get some Salt and Straw ice cream from next door after! You can check out our City Guide section on our website for more of our favorites!