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The Home of Ashley Hosmer & Matty Sumida

Dining room in the home of Ashley Hosmer

One of the top questions I get as a designer is “what do I do if my partner has a different style.” And the truth is, I think that answer is going to be unique to each couple, and that’s why I’m starting Group Project.

Group Project is an interview series with people who live together about creating a home that blends their styles and meets their needs.

Today’s inaugural Issue features the home of Ashley Hosmer @ashleyhosmer and her husband Matty (star of my fav IG story series Matty Tries), who moved to Portland just over one year ago and have been making magic in their 1895 home ever since.

Pink armchair in the home of Ashley Hosmer

How would you describe your own individual personal styles at home, and have they changed since you moved in together?

Ashley: Oh my gosh, they have changed SO much! Matty’s apartment when we met was filled with nostalgia and fandom. He had movie posters done by artists and he collected - and proudly displayed - hundreds of blu rays. I hadn’t really found my own style but I did have a display featuring hundreds of nail polishes.

Six months after we met, we moved into our first apartment together and that was a really collaborative process. We picked our sofa while on vacation, we had his blu rays displayed and my nail polishes hung on our bedroom wall. We were really learning what worked and what didn’t as a couple.

"Six months after we met, we moved into our first apartment together and that was a really collaborative process."

Now, nearly ten years later, Matty describes himself as a minimalist. My interior style is ever evolving and hugely impacted by the style of the house but right now, I’d describe it as vintage traditional.

Matty Sumida & Ashley Hosmer's Portland home

Is one of you more opinionated when it comes to designing your home? If so, how do you navigate creating a home that meets both of your needs?

Ashley: Definitely me. When Matty and I first moved in together, we made most of the decisions together. By the time we moved to our second apartment, I was really discovering my love of interior design and started to branch out with styling and documenting our home on my social channels. By the time we moved to our third apartment, I rarely consulted him. In fact the one time I did loop him in - asking him if he liked a chair - he was adamant he did not. I ordered it anyway (it was perfect for the space!) and when it arrived, he loved it. So now, in our fourth home and first house (!!) I pretty much do my own thing. For bigger projects like adding wallpaper and painting, I ask for his input but he encourages me to do my own thing and very rarely has an opinion or strong preference.

We’ve been together for so long now that our needs are intertwined. Early days, in our first apartment, I would have opted for a more aesthetic piece over a comfortable one. Now, I prioritize comfort and functionality over aesthetics - but don’t get me wrong, I’m not buying any divorced dad lazy boys, I’m finding the most visually pleasing yet comfortable thing I can.

Dining room bookshelf in the home of Ashley Hosmer

Congratulations on buying your first home! What has the process of making longer-term design decisions been like for you?

Ashley: Thank you! It has definitely been an adjustment. Prior to purchasing our home, I would think of each apartment as being home for a couple years and I would decorate with that in mind, thinking of each space as being short term. When you buy a house that changes! We own this house now and we don’t intend on moving anytime soon so we can really slow down and take our time. There’s also no landlord to ask permission from, it’s up to us to decide what to do, that is both freeing and a little daunting.

Our home is also old, it was built in 1895, so there are a lot of old home quirks and with each design project we have to think about what will be uncovered in a reno. I keep saying, I have no desire to open any walls - I want the walls to hold on to their secrets, I am on a need-to-know basis.

We have some down-the-road projects - renovating the single bathroom, updating the kitchen, adding a closet to our primary bedroom, maybe refinishing the basement. I’m typically the kind of person where once I decide something, I’m ready to act. I know what I want to do to the bathroom and kitchen so mentally, I am ready but financially? Not so much. It’s been really hard for me to not move at the same pace, granted I have never taken on projects this big, but it has also been really nice living in our home for a year, seeing how we really live in our home and dreaming up ways to maximize each space since our home is on the smaller side at just over 1000 square feet.

Gucci wallpaper in Ashley Hosmer's home

Your favorite thing about your home, and why?

Matty: The feeling. It feels right. Especially the kitchen. Kitchens can be small or not conducive to lifestyle but food brings people together. Our kitchen feels like a space you want to hang out in as much as you want to cook in. At the end of the day, I’ll be in the kitchen cooking dinner with Ashley sitting at the island, it’s where we recount our days and share meals, it really is the heart of our home.

Ashley: The charm and style of the house. My interior style is really fluid and it’s changed with every move we’ve made. Our last apartment was a Spanish style duplex and I leaned into that by decorating with a lot of warm tones and plants. This house is a Queen Anne Victorian that was built in 1895. I brought next to none of the furniture from our last apartment and really started from scratch. It was only through doing that that I found my love of traditional interiors and started learning more about that time. I love it.

Kitchen in Ashley Hosmer's home

Have there been any contentious pieces / design decisions?

Ashley: Not in this house. We talk a lot about things we may want to do in the future and at times we agree and at times we don’t. When we first moved in, we were really excited about the idea of finishing the basement and doubling our square footage but in the year we’ve lived here, my perspective on that has changed. Our home is small and the basement is where we store things. It's really nice having a basement and using it as a basement. I may change my mind but that would be an extensive and very expensive project, we have a lot of other things we want to tackle before we’d be able to even think about redoing the basement.

Pink armchair in living room of Ashley Hosmer's home

In addition to creating a home for the two of you, we have to talk about Mia! How does owning a dog impact your home design decisions?

Ashley: Mia rules our world. Like many millennials, we really wanted to get a house so that our dog could have a yard. So, that was the first win but coming from apartments with little or no outdoor space to a house with a yard has been a big adjustment. We didn’t know how to take care of a yard, in truth we still don’t, but we are learning and we hired some professionals. Now, a year later, we are finally working on the yard and hoping to spend more time out there with Mia this spring and summer.

Mia is also getting older and she has weak hind legs. For the most part, she gets around ok but getting on furniture has become more challenging for her so I keep that in mind. Our loveseat, which she has totally claimed as her spot, sits in the bay window in our living room and this is where you can find Mia up until bedtime. At first, she couldn’t jump up on her own so I unscrewed the legs and now it sits lower, making it the right height for her to be able to jump up on her own.

I also kept this in mind when we were shopping for a bed frame. In our previous apartments, we had benches or ottomans at the foot of our bed that Mia was able to jump on to get to our bed. The primary bedroom in our home is small and there isn’t room for steps or a bench so we got a lower bed frame. The funniest part of all this is that Mia was Matty’s dog and when we moved in together I was adamant about her not sleeping on the bed, now I buy bed frames with her in mind and she has permanently intended the back cushion of the loveseat.

Open Spaces entryway storage rack in Ashley Hosmer's home

How does your home reflect your relationship?

Ashley: It’s funny, our home really does feel like a reflection of us and everything we love. We’re in a really central location, close to so many of our favorite shops and restaurants, and really, that’s all we want to do in our down time - go out to eat, go to a boutique.

It also perfectly suits our work situations. Matty works from home and the detached garage gives him privacy and a space to really make his own that is outside our home while I draw inspiration in styling our home from the home itself.

And aside from that, it just feels cozy here and really lends to what we like doing as a couple - cooking, hosting, getting cozy and watching tv. It’s really the perfect home, size and location for our life right now and we feel so lucky to be here.

Wallpaper dining room in Ashley Hosmer's home

The best part about living together is:

Matty: Being with your best friend.

Ashley: Being together.

The challenging part about living together is

Matty: out of sync sleep schedules.

Ashley: sharing a bathroom.

What’s one piece of design advice you’d share with other people who are creating a home together?

Matty: Don’t put pressure on yourselves to fill your home with forever pieces. Normalize changing furniture, art, decor as your taste evolves.

Ashley: Take your time. Live in your space, see how you use it as a couple and style to fit your needs.

"Take your time. Live in your space, see how you use it as a couple and style to fit your needs."

Thank you Ashley & Matty for your thoughtful responses! I hope this peek into their approach at designing a home gives you food for thought if you too are walking the design path with a partner.

Office in Ashley Hosmer's home

Living room in the home of Ashley Hosmer


Meet Cristina Cleveland

Interior Designer

I created the Interior Style Quiz to give you the tools and language to express your style more cohesively in your home. 

Book a call if you need help closing the gap between your home right now and the personal style you want to be expressing.

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