Why We’re Launching a Series Called ‘The New Homesmiths’

published Mar 19, 2019
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Find more about Jewel’s home here. (Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

It’s our mission to help people feel their most at home—whatever home might look like. The beating heart of that work is visiting real homes every single day across the country (and the world) for moments of inspiration, teaching, and sometimes just pure awe.

Every time I edit or read an Apartment Therapy house tour, I’m amazed by the creativity of our community, and how they manage to transform just about any space into one that feels uniquely home. Over the past few years, we started noticing more and more people redefining the idea of what home can even mean in the first place. These people have left the traditional four walls behind, moving to Airstreams, tiny homes, shipping containers, and beyond. Of course, the idea of “off-grid living” itself isn’t new, but the movement is gaining momentum (exact statistics are hard to pin down, but one news report quoted a tiny home builder, for instance, that said business grew 200 percent in the past few years).

These stories brought even more questions than we could sometimes tell in our traditional house tour format: Why were these people choosing such unique homes? What does life really look like on, say, a bus? How much does it cost? How do you shower? How do they answer critiques about having the privilege to choose an alternative home, when so many people don’t have homes at all? We asked.

What we found were not only the stories of interesting homes, but more importantly the stories of the people who live in them. Their connective thread is wanting a change—the agent was home.

Our Director of Apartment Therapy Originals, Rebecca Blumhagen, has spent the past seven months working on six mini documentaries, which will be released every Tuesday for the next six weeks. Along the way you will meet nine people who we are calling “The New Homesmiths.” Rebecca brings each of their worlds to vibrant life—showing us what makes them different, yet at the same time universal. If you want to see what an airplane house looks like, now is the time to subscribe on YouTube so you don’t miss an episode.

Our first story is Jewel Pearson. She owns a 360-square-foot tiny house in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s truly one of the most personal, custom tiny houses we’ve ever seen (and we’ve seen a lot at Apartment Therapy). She’s also become a leader in the tiny house movement, sharing her knowledge to help others join the community, as well. Watch her full homesmithing journey (and check out her house tour) here.

Aside from Rebecca, who brought this project from a conference room idea to full-blown project, I want to thank the rest of the Apartment Therapy team for all of their work on it. Special thanks to Anita Chomenko, our associate producer, and Adrienne Breaux, our house tour editor. A much-deserved shoutout goes to Annie Carroll, our head of studios, for her leadership. And thank you to our CEO and founder Maxwell Ryan for giving a project like this the room and resources it needs to thrive.

We can’t want for you to join us for the next six weeks. Tell me what you think about the series in the comments below.

Laura Schocker
Editor-in-Chief, Apartment Therapy