A Charming Old Portland House Is Now a Natural History-Infused Tattoo Parlor

updated Apr 29, 2019

A Charming Old Portland House Is Now a Natural History-Infused Tattoo Parlor

updated Apr 29, 2019
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Name: Alice Kendall
Location: Wonderland Tattoo, SE Portland, Oregon
Size: 1,300 square feet
Years lived in: 5 months, renting

Alice Kendall is one of the most sought-after tattoo artists in Portland. She opened her shop Wonderland in 2013, and quickly established her ranking as a top artist in one of the nation’s most inked cities. Praise from the New York Times boosted her already successful career to the next level; clients travel from around the world for a few hours of her highly coveted time. Five years and thousands of tattoos later, Alice has amassed a team of artists and has opened a brand new Wonderland… in a vintage house next door to her first shop in Southeast Portland. She tapped artist Trish Grantham to completely rework the interior of the home, with the goal of creating a space that is luxe and feminine, and very intentionally “not the typical dude tattoo shop.” The new Wonderland has an upstairs nautical-themed apartment for the rotating artist-in-residence, Grantham’s signature hand-painted wallpaper is featured throughout the home, and Kendall’s original paintings adorn the walls.

Trish Grantham and Alice Kendall talk about how their creative careers have been parallel in many ways: “Trish and I have been following each other’s work for a long time. I’d seen her art around, I’d seen her murals and work she’d done in restaurants,” recalls Alice. When Trish reached out to Alice about the possibility of trading a painting for a tattoo, “I was like yes, of course! Let’s do it right now!”

“We’ve had similar paths, and just recently we finally merged. Custom designing a career is really what we’ve both done,” says Alice.

Kendall, whose professional life before tattooing involved working with San Francisco’s homeless population, values philanthropy, “Giving back to the community is really important to me. We do a lot of fundraising as individual artists, and as a shop.” Wonderland is a big supporter of the Portland Audubon Society.

This collaboration between the women on this house-turned-tattoo shop, was about creativity, mutual respect, and a shared vision. Alice’s energy is contagious as she talks about the project, “My drive is to create a really beautiful space that produces amazing art, and to work with other amazing artists. And who better to team up with than Trish, who has also crafted her own career. We both are driven in the same way, we both have visions and we want to manifest them.”

Trish Grantham has taken Alice Kendall’s beloved objects from the natural world and designed a tattoo shop that feels like home. Alice raves, “I want to be here all the time. I love being in here. It’s very inspiring, creatively. Everyone is so happy in this space.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Inspiration: Natural history museums and vintage tattoo shops.

Favorite Element: Alice’s Amazing Collection of Oddities.

Biggest Challenge: Wall space.

Biggest Embarrassment: The exterior lacks curb appeal.

Proudest DIY: Hand-painted wallpaper by Trish Grantham.

Biggest Indulgence: 1930s crystal chandelier.

Best Advice: Leap out of the box!

Dream Sources: Paris flea markets, natural history museums.


Downstairs Ceilings — Benjamin Moore “Black Iron”
Downstairs Walls — Benjamin Moore “Linen White”
Stairwell — Benjamin Moore “Dark Harbor”
Upstairs Bedroom — Benjamin Moore “Newberg Green”

Vintage Chandelier — Urbanite
Front Desk — Urbanite
Hand-Painted Signs — Canned Pineapple Co.
Benches —Custom made
Hand-painted Walls — Trish Grantham
Hand Lamp — Anthropologie

Utility Carts — Custom work by Jason Krzmarzick
Water Color Paintings — Alice Kendall
Custom “W” Embroidered Arm Rests — New Church Moto

Shower Curtain — Urban Outfitters

Day Bed — Joss and Main
Velvet Chair — Vintage
Art — From Trish’s collection

Thanks, Alice and Trish!

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