The word home has a lot of meanings. The dictionary defines it as “a place of residence or refuge,” but over the years I’ve learned that a home can be anything you want it to be. A place to be inspired. A place to unplug. A place to experiment with pattern and color or a place to revel in the calmness of minimalism. At the end of the day, I’ve found that while style plays a part in defining a home, its importance pales in comparison to the people and living things inside. Our tastes, interests and passions may grow and change over the years, but the people who make up our families — both given and chosen — are what turn any space into a home.
This year, I decided to reevaluate what home means to me. For years I spent every waking moment of my life working to build the perfect home. My personal and work life blended into one continuous search for something that felt finished, flawless — perfect. That word was such a huge part of my vocabulary that it became a tether holding me back from trying new things, making mistakes and growing. Letting go of it has been, and continues to be, a difficult process. Every time I pick up a magazine or sit down in front of a TV show, I want to apply that same level of polish and shine to my life and my work. But then it always hits me — that perfect world isn’t real. And it certainly doesn’t look like my home or the homes of my friends. But my friends’ and family’s homes have something those places don’t. They have warmth and character and quirks and flaws, all of the things that make you feel truly welcome and at ease. And that was the feeling I should have been searching for, trying to build. So today I’m starting that search again. Not with the aim of building a perfect home but with the desire to create a space that feels welcoming, warm and authentic.
I want to start the first post of this brand new year by focusing on a new definition of home, one that is defined as a space or social unit formed by a family living together. The people I work with here at Design*Sponge have become my family. And those of you reading have become part of this constantly evolving family of people who have a united goal: to create homes that reflect who we are and welcome the people we love.
The door in the photo above is the entrance to our office in Brooklyn. Our space is always unfinished, constantly changing and covered in layers of paint, glitter or sawdust — in a word, imperfect. But right now, it is the place I feel most at home. It’s not perfect, but it’s us. It’s me. It’s Amy. It’s Kate, Max, Aaron, Kristina, Anne, Caitlin, Felice, Ashley, Stephanie, Erica, Ginny and so many other people that I’ve been privileged to work with over the years. But most importantly, it’s also you.
Some of you have been reading this blog since day one, and you’ve grown just as much as — and along with — us over the years. I want you to truly know that all of you have a home here with us. Our Design*Sponge family is tight-knit, caring and loyal, and we are united in our endless devotion to a single mission: to inspire, support and celebrate the people that make up the creative community. And we feel honored that we have another year to work on that mission together.
Thank you for joining all of us here this morning and every morning. We have so many exciting projects to share with you, and I can’t wait to get started. So let’s dive in; it’s going to be an amazing year.