Home Economics was a required course in 7th grade. I learned how to make French toast and use a serger. After that, it was possibly an elective, but not a course that I knew of anyone taking during high school. Now entertaining/lifestyle blogs, interior design websites and cooking shows are everywhere, and having more exposure to the fundamentals of Home Ec in school would have been more relevant than I could have imagined in today’s world. Joseph Marini is a home ecomonics master. He grew up in a multi-generational family of home builders and homemakers, all with an emphasis on excellence and craft. Joseph earned a degree in Accounting, graduated from culinary school and launched a career in the high-end event design industry in New York and Connecticut called JOSEPH AND CO. His business led him to an opportunity to open a home and garden store in Essex, CT and he started taking on interior design and real estate clients with historic homes.
Bouncing back and forth between his home in New York City and his store in Essex was tiring and something was missing. Joseph didn’t find the craftsmanship and charm in NYC he had grown up to appreciate and expect, and Essex was lacking the community he was after. His love for historic homes and the study of home economics surpassed his love for his New England-based businesses, so he moved to Atlanta, GA to live in the charming South he had grown to love on visits. He relaunched his business in Atlanta with clearer goals. “I have learned through the years as I’ve watched generations change that there is a need to redefine and preserve the art and science of home economics, and so I have set out on the continuation of this journey to preserve the art of home economics, creating a home within a house,” Joseph explains.
His first house in Atlanta was a shotgun just outside of the city. Joseph updated it, sold it, and started looking for the charming home he came to the city for with his partner, Tony Pruitt, a wealth management advisor. When they came across an early-1900s Victorian bungalow, something about it drew them in. “This home was on the market and was actually an oversight at first, but something signaled to me [to] go look at it. From the moment Tony and I walked through the door, we could feel the great energy the home had… All of the original rooms were still intact. I personally am drawn to a home that has separate rooms for separate purposes. While I don’t dislike an open floor plan, I personally much prefer and have always owned homes that have had separate kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, etc. I believe ‘rooms’ in a home are very important for the psychology of the home. It had the perfect floor plan and it was the perfect size and it felt like I belonged there,” Joseph shares. “It is very hard to explain, but every home I have ever purchased, simply walking into it, either it spoke to me or it didn’t. This house was no exception, and when Tony said he felt the same thing, it confirmed that we should move on it.” Joseph and Tony moved in a year and a half ago and have since made it their own.
The heritage and history Joseph had been looking for in a home has been preserved throughout this house. Not only has it been perfect for Joseph, but it has allowed Tony to provide more of a personalized, independent approach for his clients through running his own firm out of their home. Joseph has turned the lackluster yard into an urban garden and the two have furnished the home room by room. “It is important to me that what furnishes the home is sensitive and respectful to the period and overall feel of the home. Trends come and go, but I believe much like a wardrobe, the simple classics stay forever,” Joseph says. “Our home houses all of our treasured items. I believe in a truest sense of home economics, it is a balance of aesthetics and purpose.” The love these two have put into this home is unmistakeable. Tony and Joseph have added to the rich heritage of this beautiful, century-old house through thoughtful design and the fundamentals of home economics. —Lauren
Photography by Rusty Echols
Image above: Joseph Marini (left) and Tony Pruitt (right) on the steps of their 2,900-square-foot home in Atlanta, GA.