Every home and family that lives in it has their story. Those stories are measured in more than the many trends that graced a home’s walls over the decades – they are measured in the craftsmanship and happy little secrets that only a well-loved house can reveal, the conversations shared around the dinner table, and the pride we feel in our homes and community.
Inhabit Your Home showcases how we as neighbors can share our homeownership experiences. No matter it’s size, style, or age, to most of us home is a precious space where we live and love in comfort. The art and design found within is a unique reflection of the personalities who inhabit it. And while our giddy infatuation with home may wane when we realize we need to repair the leaky faucet for the 10th time, it’s where we write our stories. It is our intent to give you a platform to learn, to peek inside, to inspire.
CARLA LABIANCA, FOUNDER & LEAD CONTENT STRATEGIST
This blog is a creative outlet for the love of home design and art, doable DIY, indulging in good eats, and throwing a good party. While I write many of our articles, I’m not the only voice. Interior designers, architects, tradespersons, makers, and good friends with special talents share what they know.
I live in a gorgeous 1895 Victorian, No.139, with my husband Gary McDaniel, our three kids, a cranky old cat, and a golden retriever. While only four other families have called this place home, some of them made really bad choices that altered its classic design. And there was a cheap flipper in the mix too. Now, we’re cleaning up their messes.
My day (and weekend) job as a Real Estate Salesperson with COMPASS Real Estate in Northern New Jersey gives me a unique opportunity to peek inside homes. Whether it’s a sparkling or still-in-the-rough kind of diamond – all are dream-worthy. In 2018, Lisa Danbrot and I co-founded the annual trade show, Resource Home Show.
LISA DANBROT, MANAGING EDITOR
Having grown up in 1970’s Brownstone Brooklyn as the only child of a mother who was a writer and a father who was a designer, both valuing the arts above all else, aesthetic preferences and creative interests have driven my life. My foundations are as a dancer and a painter. Professionally I have managed art galleries and worked in publishing for an arts quarterly.
Maintaining my relationship with movement through yoga, I’ve been teaching classes and trainings since 1999 in Brooklyn, NYC and most recently to the communities of Maplewood and South Orange, NJ where I’ve lived since 2011 with my two sons (artists in their own right!) and my husband who is an exceptional creator of food, design, music, objects, paintings, and humor.
I obtained my Real Estate License after moving to SOMA and now practice at COMPASS Real Estate. I was inspired by the housing stock and the opportunity to assist people with the city-to-suburb transfer. I approach my work in Real Estate as a creative practice–matching home seekers with homes, and the artistry of negotiations and service. I am delighted to be involved in the project of Inhabit Your Home.
AIMEE HERRING RYAN, PHOTOGRAPHY
Growing up in Littleton, Colorado, I spent a lot of time outdoors exploring nature, skiing and hiking in the Rocky Mountains and gardening in my mother’s backyard. My love for photography began very early, mostly capturing the passions of people around me – family and friends eating, playing and living everyday life.
It’s an intense feeling I get when I’m invited to photograph a space –a feeling of excitement, curiosity and fascination to see how people live, what they like to eat, and how they play. Textiles, colors and natural elements within a space are what excite me the most. And if there is good food there, too, that is a bonus! When I’m not working or photographing nature, I’m either looking for textiles to sew on or collecting seeds for my garden. But most likely I’m is leading my son’s cub scout meeting or making dinner.
Sarah Gee, Resident Interior Stylist
I am an interior stylist who creates comfortable, eclectic spaces tailored to the lifestyle of my clients. After graduating from The Pratt Institute, I landed a position at Bunny Williams Inc in Manhattan. It was there that I learned how to build a room, the importance of scale, and how small details like accessories can really elevate a room.
I believe our homes should evolve as our lives do, and that curating rather than decorating is the key to building comfortable, layered spaces. A well designed home doesn’t need to be expensive or precious and our belongings don’t have to be designer to be beloved. I live in a home with kids and various pets, and I believe that all members of the family should have access to every room in the house. I see a home as an ever-evolving entity, one that must grow with its inhabitant’s always shifting needs and so I believe that curating a home, rather than decorating it, is the best way to create a comfortable space fit for the people who inhabit it.