Drew and Jonathan on what’s behind the urge to improve our space.
You know what we need every once in a while? A little demo therapy. It’s not just about demolishing walls for the sake of it—even though that can be satisfying! It’s about what and who we’re making space for.
With any kind of renovation, things can get messy: figuring out which walls to tear down and where to put your time, money and energy; the permits, the prep, keeping your day-to-day going smoothly amid the noise and the surprises. (And, oh, there will be surprises. You wouldn’t believe the things we find beneath the floorboards). Trust us, it’s all worth it in the end!
“When the construction dust is gone, it’s clear why people bother with a renovation: We want our homes to reflect the best parts of ourselves.”
We’ve gone through this transformation process with hundreds of families, making the bad good, the meh marvelous, and the “ew” “ooh!” Come reveal day, when the construction dust is gone and everything’s in its place, it’s clear why people bother with a renovation: We want our homes to reflect the best parts of ourselves so we can feel our best in them; we love the people we live with and want them to be happy; and caring for our space brings us joy.
Over the years, we’ve been saving up handy tips for you to add to your tool belt—insight about timing, hiring, and other aspects that can be daunting. And for good measure, we’ve thrown in a few embarrassing stories along the way (page 58)!
We’ve also dedicated some real estate to cheerful wallpapers (page 36), hardwood floors (page 44), and mudrooms that do it all (page 40) because we read your questions and we hear you. Keep telling us what’s on your mind—you know where to find us!
In this issue, we have incredible families and designers welcoming us into their homes: Keia McSwain shares the journey of how she stepped into her role as president of the Black Interior Designers Network, leading the way in making the design industry a more diverse place (page 18). We talk to an Appalachian couple with a special addition: two foster children they adopted into their family of four (page 30). And we meet Joy and Bob Cho, who recently built their home and share how they stay connected as a couple and teach their kids to embrace imperfection (page 26).
Big or small, inside the home or beyond, we hope these pages give you the inspiration to kick-start something this season and remind you that this stuff—this life—is meant to be messy and fun!
By Drew & Jonathan | Photograph by Emily Shur