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First Person

What it’s really like to give up plane travel

A design journalist attending a sustainability-minded architecture fair reflects on her experience traveling from London to Oslo by train instead of a plane.

My TaskRabbit gig in a stranger’s fancy kitchen 

Watching Tim invest in his home reminded me that right now, my life wasn’t about feeling comfortable or rooted.

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When I became pregnant with twins, my mess stopped feeling cute

I hoped hiring an organizer would force me to take it seriously.

Leaving the houses my father built

After his brain injury, my dad could still build a house—so he began a lifelong pattern of selling a house, building another, and doing it all again.

Learning to make my bed and lie in it

During my past decade of singleness I’ve slept on half the bed, and I’ve filled the other half with pillows, books, and a laptop streaming TV.

The previous tenant left with the kitchen. I made a new one from scratch

My Berlin apartment would be an oasis amid rising rents, but only if I built my own kitchen.

Can a $1,300 baby bed make me a better mom?

The Snoo promises more sleep, but the problems families face are too big for furniture to fix.

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A vision of what Downtown LA might have been

For years, neighbors tried to revive a coral tree left over from the days when planners starting building out—but never finished—a Jetsonian vision of street life.

The storage unit that became a portal to my childhood home

In the grip of early grief, I still felt as though my parents’ things kept me close to them.

State Rooms for Shitty Behavior

No amount of decor can cover the truth in Succession: It’s not the furniture, it’s the humiliation.

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Only a duplex allowed me to tolerate my partner’s cat

I wanted to be easygoing and compromising, but I didn’t see a way to share a space with this particular, peculiar pet.

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I'm a super commuter between Philly and New York City—this is why I do it

Lola Arellano-Fryer owns in Philly and works in Brooklyn. Here’s how she navigates her double life.

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Choosing to live with my boyfriend—and my sister

It’s not a scenario that would work for everyone, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Rebuilding my home—and my life—after an earthquake

I didn’t fix the cracks that cut through my walls, first telling myself that I’d get around to it eventually, and later actively avoiding it.

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My family has lived in the same house for 72 years

Our generation gap is a flight of stairs.

How to design your home like it’s on ‘Terrace House’

We stan the Japanese reality TV show bringing sleek, modern aesthetics to co-living millennials.

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How I learned to stop killing houseplants

I grew up among Californian oaks and wildflowers; after the loss of my father, I developed a green thumb in a tiny Queens apartment.

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Need one last summer getaway? Binge Netflix’s ‘Instant Hotel’

This addicting reality series streaming on Netflix is like one big adventure around Australia.

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Making a home in the mansion on my phone

The illusion of agency coupled with an ever-improving digital estate scratches my fixer-upper itch.

An accessible neighborhood needs parks

For many families like mine—with members who are on the spectrum or have other sensory or mental disorders—parks and playgrounds are vitally important.

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5 reasons why ‘Queer Eye’ is the best design show right now

Queer Eye shows the transformative power design can have for people, and it shows it in a way that’s intentional, thoughtful, enriching, inclusive, and beautiful.

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The choice between rent control and pest control

The city’s high housing costs are not just a financial burden—for me, they were also dangerous.

Why I declutter my home via Craigslist

For years now, I’ve been getting cheap—indeed free—thrills merely from regularly giving away my possessions.

Why this vintage-style camper is the future of travel trailers

Measuring just 72 square feet, the HC1 by Happier Camper is an adorable take on modular, functional design.

What ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette?’ meant to me as a woman in architecture

The catharsis of watching Cate Blanchett star in the movie version of the best-selling book.

Beginning again when a home falls apart

Building and destroying and building again wasn’t as terrifying as I imagined.

Beyond the hashtag: A love letter to #VanLife 

On a recent trip around Vancouver Island, the rhythms of van life soothed our family’s souls.

The dark side of living in a secret space

After a while, you just want to live in a normal building on a normal street, where no one ever tries to take a selfie.

Finding myself in strangers’ homes

My family’s open-house hobby gave me a way to understand other people’s lives.

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The unexpected gift of couch arrest

Sitting at home all day every day, I noticed the small ways my apartment had changed.

The dish store that is my home away from home

Replacements reminds me of my house—it’s a place made for collectors.

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What will happen to the Happy Foot Sad Foot sign?

A beloved neighborhood landmark is leaving its Silver Lake location.

Confronting change in Beijing’s historic hutong alleyways

The city’s stated aim was to restore the alleyways to their original appearance, which meant any hutong home with more than one story had to go, including my landlord’s.

Housesitting made me want a life I thought I didn’t need

I believed a radical queer life meant solitude. But staying in friends’ homes changed my mind.

Finding the perfect furniture to remember my dad

My dad and I were incredibly close—and I wanted the right shelf to keep him with me.

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Losing a home you’ve already left

Family dinners, backyard chickens, and unrequited love defined my years at a Brooklyn commune.

Why Marie Kondo’s method is ideal for my ADHD

For me, ADHD turned the luxury of storage space into a hazard, but KonMari circumvented some of my habits.

I grew up without a fixed address

I lived in an estimated 70 places before I graduated high school. For me, and others like me, entire chunks of my childhood don’t officially exist.

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Walking is LA’s future—but the city keeps designing streets for cars

It’s the only way to climate-proof Los Angeles streets.