Hailed by the New York Times as the “Martha Stewart Living for the Millenials” Design*Sponge reaches over 75,000 devoted readers daily. Whether serving as online inspiration board, showcasing spaces across the country (and their respective “before and afters”), or dishing out tips, how-to’s, and finds, Design*Sponge is an utterly comprehensive, utterly awesome resource for design devotees and newbies alike (her book is no different – picture 400 pages of D*S goodness!).
Her companion on Thursday night is, as usual, host / Apartment Therapy founder Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan. Much like Design*Sponge, AT is a leading online resource for home inspiration, information, and DIY design. Championing the motto, “saving the world, one room at a time,” Maxwell’s website exhibits through real-life examples that happy, healthy living can be achieved in any home, on any budget.
In honor of their meet-up, we connected with Grace and Maxwell to learn more about “home.” And although the interviews were conducted independently, there are some uncanny similarities to their answers. Great minds?
To me, home means…
Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan: Home is the place where you feel most comfortable coming to at the end of the day. You can be yourself, whatever your ‘self’ is when you are not your ‘public self.’ There is only one place in the world you can do that, and that is home.
Grace Bonney: A place to relax, recharge and restore—preferably with my cats.
I wish my home had…
MGR: Our home is pretty much perfect, but probably a third room! It’s the difference between having to move or stay there.
GB: More closet space. I can never have enough. I love being able to hide things away when people come to visit—it just feels so much neater.
The item in my home I most treasure is…
MGR: I think at the end of the day, if everything were to burn down, the only thing I’d miss is the art. We have pieces of art done by friends and my mother – my mother is an artist. That is a treasure, the artwork; its irreplaceable.
GB: It’s not an item, but a part of my home. We have a covered porch on the back of the apartment, and it’s my favorite place in the world. A private place to get fresh air and see birds is hard to find in NYC.
One surprising thing about my home is…
MGR: The place that we were sort of famous for, that was 250 square feet … I lived in for a total of 16 years on my own then with my wife. We never moved partially because we loved the neighborhood so much. Well, we were at home one night and my wife was looking at StreetEasy. It turns out there was this open apartment that was right next door. We didn’t even know! So the surprising thing about my new apartment is that it is directly next door to where I used to live! And we found it online.
GB: It’s all white and minimal. Most people assume I live in a really colorful pattern-filled space, but my personal style has actually changed to be quite minimal and modern these days.
My secret to entertaining at home is…
MGR: I like to say, just have everything cooked and be ready. Also, as soon as people walk into the door serve them a drink. The worst thing about parties is if you get there and the host is still busy; which is a bummer because you want to see them, and you don’t have anything to do. So the first thing you need to do is offer guests a drink, because then they can start talking to people and not feel out of place.
GB: Easy pre-made food. I hate having to cook when guests are here—it stresses me out. So I like to have things people can “create” on their own: like small sandwiches, snacks or tacos. Those little steps of customizing your own meals -with pre-made or pre-cooked items – makes the food part of entertaining a lot less overwhelming.
A good housewarming gift is…
MGR: For a party or smaller housewarming gift, I try and give something edible. Nobody needs more stuff. Give them something they can eat or drink, like wine.
GB: You can never go wrong with a bottle of Prosecco or champagne. But if someone doesn’t drink, I like to bring something vintage that speaks to their personality—maybe a vintage serving tray, a cool napkin set or even a cookbook related to the night’s meal/theme.
What I am coveting in ABC right now is…
MGR: One of those one-off Cisco chairs! Or, I suppose, Conran plates – although I bought them last month.
GB: The Aquasilk rugs are all on my covet list. The colors feel so luxurious and saturated. I’ve never been a big rug person until recently and these feel like the ultimate splurge.
Thanks to Grace and Maxwell!
Although the event on Thursday is at full capacity, it will be available to watch on livestream. Want to ask Grace a question? Post it below or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll ask on your behalf!
-Alisha Prakash & Julia Sweeney, Grace’s photo via Jamie Beck; Maxwell’s photo via Chris New