Daring by Design
Photograph by Melani Lust
Think back to the biggest risk you ever took. Whether it was a career 180, a zigzag in your personal life, or a move to a different town, the stakes were high. Would you thrive or fall flat on your face? Would you navigate uncharted territory like a pro or stand there, frozen, a veritable Bambi in headlights?
athome was my risk, my zigzag, the fearless passion project I was lucky enough to be part of.
Five years ago, when we were putting together our launch issue, I broke the “plan it to a tee” model and let my gut be my guide, drawing upon pages of inspiration I’ve collected over the years. Admission: I am a shameless magazine junkie who has torn out enough design articles to wallpaper a guesthouse. Three cherished clips from my collection revolved around an amazing designer, Barbara Garfield of Rowayton, known for her deft simplicity in designing modern homes of steel, glass, and wood on Jo’s Barn Way. Rather than sit down to construct a formal prototype for the magazine, what was the very first thing I did? Recruit Barbara. Armed with a teenager’s enthusiasm, I convinced her to be in our first-ever issue. I didn’t know exactly where that issue was going, but I did know that Barbara was going to part of it, and athome was headed somewhere very, very special.
After our photo shoot, Barbara and I drove around in my Mini Cooper scoping out houses, and during our two-hour conversation, a friendship took root. When I asked her where her design inspiration came from, she sighed, “my travels.” Soon after, a subscription to the magazine Cote Sud mysteriously appeared in my mailbox. I recall her telling me that I needed to make time to get to France—for now, she was certain the images in this foreign publication would fuel my passion for design and heighten my interest enough to go there one day.
As our talented athome team puts our fifth anniversary issue to bed, I have one hope: that it will transport you in some way. That it will move you to take little risks in how you approach your living space. Help you infuse your home with the essence of far-off places and memorable people, or nudge you to rip off an idea or 20 that, fused with your own personal flair, will make it uniquely yours. And where would this blueprint for stylish living come from without the help of each and every designer, architect, landscape architect, builder, photographer, writer, stylist and homeowner who has graced our pages over the years? To this gifted group of design gurus, I thank you, and I can attest that your projects, which showcase your carefully considered decisions, will live on in our pages (and in so many magazine stashes and mood boards everywhere) long past the date on the cover.
Barbara is sadly no longer with us, but I think if she were here today, she would give an approving nod to the magazine she was so pivotal in shaping. (I think she’d also tell me to hop the next direct flight to France, for more inspiration, of course.) In a way, this issue is itself a journey: a celebration of how far we’ve come and where we are headed. Stay tuned—we have a few surprises waiting for you athome.
Without a little risk, where’s the fun?
Amy Vischio | Creative Director, Vice President Editorial + Design