Depending on the day, you can find Taylor Hall O’Brien behind the camera, photographing a house, or in front of his computer in his home office — filled with books and magazines — editing photos of other people’s homes. If it were the weekend, Taylor and his husband, Shane Humphrey, would likely be either at the park across the street with their son Henry, or at their favorite stores at Xerxes and 50th Street in Minneapolis. The continuing thread is always “home,” which he and Shane settled into easily a few years ago after moving back to the Midwest (Shane is from Minnesota, Taylor is from Wisconsin) to start their family. “When we left New York City, my only rule for house hunting was that our neighborhood had to be quiet,” Taylor says. “I didn’t want to hear traffic or sirens or screams.” They landed in St. Paul’s cozy McGrovland neighborhood.

What is your earliest memory of an encounter with design? My Aunt Jean is the first person I met whose home inspired me to think more deeply about interior design and design. She is an amazing seamstress and maker who is constantly creating. I text her regularly to ask her about my latest vintage finds or sewing questions.

What does your dream home look like? To be honest, I’m already living in the “dream house” I used to think about when I was a kid. I pinch myself every day that this is the life I’m going to live. Our home is old and full of character, and feels like a warm embrace when our friends and family walk in.

“We love the historic charm, original woodwork and details, plus ours is the best!”

– Taylor Hall O’Brien

What’s an everyday thing you can’t live without? My camera. It is not only my livelihood, but it nourishes and satisfies me creatively.

Relatively recently, I’ve delved into more interior photography. Why is that? When we moved home from New York, I left my fashion career behind. I didn’t really have a plan for what I was going to do next. While we were buying our house, our real estate agent and friend, Marti Estey, asked me if I would like to take photos of her properties. I have never photographed a house. After about a year of photographing real estate, I realized I wanted to work in high-end interiors.

What inspires you in your work? I am constantly absorbing images and texts –The world of interior designs; Home and Garden UK; Cabana; Books on the history of art, design and interior decoration. Collaborating with other creatives (like my friend Jason Burke from Warmhouse Story) and watching others’ creative process inspires me. Photo projects are a huge collaborative puzzle, and when the pieces fall into place, it’s very rewarding.

“Our house is vintage and full of character and feels like a warm hug.”

– Taylor Hall O’Brien

You’re also a big outdoors person. I like to go for a walk or run to get inspired. I usually stop by the Spyhouse on our corner, where our morning crew of friends always have a life tip to follow to get my wheels turning. I’m also a big music person. SG Goodman has been on repeat over the past couple of years. She’s an incredibly talented folk artist from rural Kentucky. I once drove 12 hours to see her perform a little show in Lexington, Kentucky, and when I met her, I probably cried my eyes out.

What does “Home” say the most to you? I come from a large family, my father is one of 16, my mother is one of six, and I have 69 cousins. The most important thing to us is our family and friends and the memories we make with them. Without these people, our home would be an empty place.

Design details

Square footage // 2,218

style // Craftsman bungalow

distinguishing features // Original moldings, chair rails and panels, built-ins and bookcases, French doors, mirrors, leaded glass, glass door handles, and real added details (including antique wallpaper and fixtures)

September 19, 2023

6:22 AM

(tags to translate) News

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