Valentine's Day is on the way, and this year, we're celebrating by asking designers to share some of the reasons why they love the place they call home. Yup, that's right, we asked pros to pen love letters to their spaces—and believe it when we say their sentiments are awfully moving and sweet! We won't blame you if you have to grab the tissues.
Just Like a Hug
It's the little things in life. The moments that stop and make you smile. Every day when we are together, you make me feel loved. From the beautiful window treatments to the textured wall coverings and soothing color palette. I always want to head back to your welcoming arms.
You inspire me both professionally and personally. In fact, it led me to trademark a tagline to share with my design clients: Let's make your home feel like a hug®. After all, who doesn't want a hug when they return home."
—Anne Mahoney of Anne Lydia Designs
A Project Worth Having
Somehow, we knew from just the little photo in your Craigslist ad you were a project worth having. We have grown together, through piles of hoarded junk to broken water lines and tedious inspections to emerge together a beautiful family of wood, brick, and flesh. You protect us from frigid winds and embrace us when we come back salty and sandy from the nearby sea. We are grateful for all your creeks and cracks and your aged wisdom. Our souls are nourished by the bright summer mornings and dark, fireplace-lit evenings we spend together. Your exposed beams, reclaimed brick, and high ceilings welcome our friends and bring forth inspiring conversation. Through it all, we have fallen in love with you. That feeling deepens each day, as the love story continues to unfold within these walls.
—Thayer Ortelli of Thayer Woods Home + Style
Beloved Quirks and Secret Spaces
You have become a piece of our family history, just as you are a piece of history yourself. A storybook home, we fell in love with your mystery, surrounded by overgrown shrubbery, swirling stories of wild parties from the roaring ‘20s. We knew when we saw you that you were meant to sparkle again, with us.
Wrapped up in your horsehair plaster walls and gracious rooms, you bring us warmth, comfort, and happiness, as well as great pride. Your beloved quirks and secret spaces are treasured, we care for your every need. We have molded ourselves to you, forever intwined in your story. I often wonder what the future holds while we grow with you in this generation; until then we are honorably and respectfully yours.
Your current occupant,
—Jess Green of Deepdale House LLC Interior Design
Rainbows and Sunshine, Always
Remember when we first met? I do! As soon as I opened your green front door, it was clear that we belonged together.
You wanted to be loved, and I wanted to love you.
We're "never-too-much" soul sisters...
Never too much color, pattern, or florals for us!
You're always happy about another room makeover, and I'm happiest when I'm with you.
Thanks for making movie nights cozier, kitchen discos cooler, working from home way brighter, and our memories sweeter.
You're rainbows and sunshine even on the cloudiest days!
—Ju De Paula of Blueberry Living & Co
An Oasis of Happiness and Peace
My Darling Home,
You, my colorful friend, are an oasis of happiness and peace for our family. We were so happy to have found you, our little harborside cottage, and have so enjoyed the years transforming you into a comfy home for our family. At day’s end, I love coming home to your layers of meaningful things in our life; books we’ve read, memories of trips we’ve taken, and family heirlooms. We have joyfully used every space in your modest 1929 frame to work, lounge, and play. And while I confess planning to redecorate you often, the thought of moving from you fills us with dread—as it's too hard to leave the home in which we’ve made such happy memories.
—Amal Kapen of Amal Kapen Interiors
A Convenient Classic
As a designer, I feel it is incredibly important to love your own space. And I do. You are a renovated three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom condo located in a historic building designed and built in the 1940s by a New York architecture firm. What drew my husband and me to you six years ago was your classic Italianate architecture on your exterior, while your interiors boast high ceilings and beautiful parquet wood floors. We also love the fact that you are conveniently located all on one floor. Not to mention all of your space—not common for a condominium!
While the style of your previous owner was not ours, we could see past your dated furniture and color scheme and made you ours. Being more contemporary, we went with a more neutral, calming color scheme with pops of color in artwork and accessories. You are always a work in progress, but I truly love you!
—Amy Youngblood of Amy Youngblood Interiors
The Inner Beauty You Hold
I knew I loved you the first time I met you. Beyond the flowery wallpapers, soggy stained carpets, and the beige tiles, I saw the inner beauty you hold. A space that you are able to bring me joy, comfort, and safety. With a little imagination and lots of love, you have allowed me to create this new found wild and fun space, where I can call home.
—Gladys Tay of Gladys Tay
A Real NYC Gem
What I love most about you is your good vibes. We lucked out with your high ceilings, large windows, southern exposure, high floor, and lovely neighbors. You are a real NYC gem in my book.
Your sense of light and volume is such a luxury. Even on dreary winter days, it just feels so *good* to be here! You are filled with our kids' artwork, tons of books, travel souvenirs, an ever-growing collection of plants and are a beautiful reflection of our life and family. There's truly nowhere else I'd rather spend time.
—Lauren Stanley of Alive + Kicking Design
A Testing Ground for New Ideas
Where would we be without you? This cozy spot has seen the many phases of our life. You’ve welcomed not one but all three of our little ones home. Your striped rug, which feeds my appetite for stripes in every scheme, has provided a dance floor for our at home dance parties and transformed into the roadways of Lego villages in this new phase of life. As our children grow they’ve filled larger spots on the sofa, its deep seats providing a respite from the chaos of the world nowadays.
Even during lockdown the architectural details and hardwood floors original to your construction helped us feel like we were still a part of a city with a rich history that we couldn’t physically enjoy. Now that things are back to the new normal, you are a retreat we crave returning to after school pick ups and days working in the field. You are my testing ground for new ideas, inspiring me to try things out to see how they might work for our family and others along the way.
—Lexi Brandfon of Lex & Hudson Interiors
You are my shelter. I find comfort in your softly painted walls. With your hand scraped white oak floors, that support the footsteps of family and friends that gather. The kitchen that nourishes us and allows us to create healthy meals and conversation with a soft blue backdrop that reminds me of the beach.
You are the reason I wake feeling refreshed, and I am excited to return to you at the end of the day. As Jane Austen said, “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.”
All my best,
—Shannon Willey of Sea Green Designs
To our new home,
It is a remarkable feeling knowing we built you brick by brick and are the first to call you home. While we’ve just met, we have big plans for you! There are going to be a lot of firsts for the both of us. For starters, an upgrade to the lighting in our most covetous space in the house; the open concept kitchen and dining rooms! Customizing the lighting was important, because lighting can have such a positive impact on how someone experiences a room. Lighting to architecture is like jewelry to any outfit, so it was our first gift to you. Next, we wanted a dark yet warm dining table to ground the space. Get ready for lots of "tag, you're it’" games with our pup and the kids running around the table. Sweet smells of whatever is cooking in the oven and the sounds of our Saturday playlist playing in the background.
When the world opens up again, we can’t wait to share you with our family and friends! There will be many more celebrations and playdates! Until then, we would just like to thank you for being our safe space to our family. We already can see how you will be the perfect backdrop for many memories to come.
—Anita Williams of PLD Design Studio
A True Embrace
To our brick house in York Chester Historic District.
Thank you for loving us beyond our understanding of pride and security. Your textured wall embrace we’ve grown to appreciate has always met us with grace as you’ve made space for us to live out our ancestors' greatest prayers. Each room lends memories, growing pains, literal labor pains, goals set, goals met, celebrations, loss, tiny steps, and so much more. There isn’t a version of our life to this point where we’d comprehend life without you, so thank you for choosing us. You have been lean enough to love more of our life at home. and for that we are forever grateful for the moment in time where we have you to come home to.
—Ashley Ross of Muse Noir Interiors
Your Welcoming Arms
I knew when we met that you would hold my hand forever. I would feel comfort in your welcoming arms when life’s moments become tough.
I love cooking in your renovated and perfectly laid-out brightly painted kitchen. The ease of making a hot cup of tea from the insta-hot by the sink and taking it to snuggle on the soft, comfy sectional in front of the fireplace eases my tension.
It’s the little things that make me smile, stop me in my tracks, and let me breathe. Watching the morning sunrise from the floor to ceiling windows, experiencing the different seasons from the back deck, and witnessing the leaves change are the things that bring me joy.
I smile when I look at the artwork hanging on the walls: Whimsical yet refined or "elegant whimsy" as is the style that I have developed. Refined yet livable.
I feel safe and secure knowing you are here and you are mine. Creating spaces you love clearly defines the space I have created with you, and I thank you.
—Lori Miller of LGC Interior Design
Sturdy and Spacious
You've been so good to us. You're sturdy and spacious and have sheltered our growing family for our kids' entire childhoods. We've put in hours and lots of hard work cleaning you up and giving you a facelift, but we loved you from the first moment we walked in even before all that. We want to keep taking care of you, polishing and refreshing and choosing the right accessories, and we know you'll always be there for us. We are so grateful for you!
—Suzannah Stanley of Create/Enjoy