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How to Make a House a Home: Creating a Purposeful, Personal Space Hardcover – Illustrated, April 14, 2020

4.5 out of 5 stars 222 ratings

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From the Publisher

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About the Author

Ariel Kaye is the founder and CEO of Parachute, the fast-growing home essentials brand based in Los Angeles. Ariel established Parachute to fulfill consumers' needs for high-quality bedding and a good night's sleep. The brand has been called one of the "25 Hot Los Angeles Startups to Watch" by Business Insider, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, and Elle Decor.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Welcome Home

Your home should tell a story of who you are. Like the clothes you wear, your home’s design is an outward expression and point of pride worthy of your attention, thoughtfulness, and time.

First, what is the difference between a house and a home? A house is a structure filled with pieces that have function—a table, a bed, a chair. It is a roof and walls that together form rooms, and the corridors that run in between to connect them. But a home is something else. A home captures a feeling the moment you walk through the door. A home is the combined essence of colors, shapes, and textures that evoke emotions in you and in others.

At its most basic, a house provides shelter, while a home is so much more.

A home welcomes, nurtures, and gives you a sense of security
A home feels authentic, distinctive, and personal
A home inspires, keeps you curious, invites rituals, and tells your story
A home engages your mind, body, spirit, and senses

The idea of “home” is more than a place; it’s a sanctuary that gives a feeling of belonging.

About Me

My passion for a warm, inviting, beautiful home started early. Growing up, my parents’ home was the place where friends and family gathered. I learned from my mother and father to value what my home expressed and how it made people feel. They created a place where people in our lives wanted to come by and stay for a visit or a meal.

When I moved into my first apartment, I embraced the notion that it was a space I could make my own. The ideas and aesthetic were mine alone—not my family’s and not a collective idea with a roommate or partner. I considered each room and then each area within the rooms, seeking an easy comfort. I relished the minutes—okay, maybe hours—spent tinkering, finding ways to improve or deepen my connection with my home. And I always wanted it to welcome others.

Over time, I realized that my home, more than any single possession, spoke to who I was. I cared less about being noticed for a new handbag, preferring a conversation sparked by a piece of vintage art hung on my wall. My friends started to come in looking for what I had added or changed that week, whether something substantial, like a new wooden bookshelf, or little things that added character, like rearranging the items on my coffee table. My home was a canvas where I could experiment with new ideas of who I wanted to be.

Since then, my focus on my home has evolved with me, and has remained a constant creative outlet. My interest became my passion. Soon, friends were asking me for help with
their spaces. They knew I wasn’t a professional designer, but they were seeking the sense of home I’d fostered in my tiny, cramped apartment. I relished the opportunity to guide a girlfriend or my sister through flea markets and furniture stores selecting hanging shelves, an upholstered storage bench, or a cozy chair. I would rummage through their drawers and discover a perfect scarf to frame and place over the bed.

I quickly realized I was gaining more enjoyment from these informal design projects than from my professional work in advertising. I had unlocked a new aspect of my creativity—and I wanted more! Ultimately, I was inspired to create Parachute, a company where we now make modern bedding, bath, rugs, and tabletop and other decor for a more comfortable home and at-ease lifestyle.

The name Parachute is inspired by the movement of the fabric when you make your bed—the billowing sheet floating through the air and gracefully landing. I wanted the brand to capture that effortlessness and beauty. It was a simple idea in the beginning. We spend one-third of our lives sleeping, and our sheets and towels touch our skin every day. The fabrics in our home should be stylish as they take care of us and provide warmth, comfort, and a sense of serenity.

I believe this philosophy applies to our personal spaces as well. At Parachute, this overarching concept is our foundation. Our collective purpose revolves around our vision to make your house your home. The same passion and philosophy that inspired me to create Parachute inspired me to write this book.

My home began as an address on a street in a neighborhood. But it’s much more than that now. My home is a state of mind. Where I land. The physical structure I depend upon for a feeling of comfort and safety, of acceptance, of permission to let go and to be myself. Countless times I have thought, “I can’t wait to be home.” Home is where I laugh, cry, love, mend, mess up the kitchen, sleep in, stay up late, and curl up.

My underlying principles remained constant as I switched coasts from New York City to Los Angeles, moved into a bigger space with my husband, got married, and started a family. When we first moved in, we had a house. It was a bungalow with walls and floors and a roof. Right away I knew the closets were too small but the backyard was ideal for gatherings. How would my husband and I—sharing each room and bringing our own identities—fit together and make this place work for both of us, day in and day out? How would we make the house into a home?

I began, as this book begins, with finding the flow and I moved from there. Step-by-step, I went through the process described within these pages. Just like with a good friend, my home and I had to build a relationship. We ultimately had to “get” each other.

And of course, once I got our home to a place where I could say, “Done!” our life changed. I was pregnant. We would be welcoming a baby, which triggered the beginning of a new journey to discover what this home means to each of us individually and as a family.

Now I laugh when I remember that I ever thought we were “done.” Just as I hope to continually evolve and grow, my home is never finished. What feels right today may feel questionable down the road. It’s why my big-ticket items are simple and neutral, so they can be more permanent as I alter and modify other elements.

My perspective on home is similar to describing a mood. We have quiet moments when we want to kick back. Then we can quickly transition from resting to being energetic. We crave inspiration and aspiration. We are curious and dynamic. These characteristics add up to an intriguing person—and to a flexible, vibrant home that changes with us from dawn to dusk. When I have one more touch to add to the sofa or a wall, I wonder, “How does this reflect a part of me?” Our home reflects who we are at our harmonious best.

Thank you for joining me. Whether you're updating your bedroom or redoing your living room or taking on the whole house, enjoy the journey.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Clarkson Potter; Illustrated edition (April 14, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1984826468
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1984826466
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.5 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.8 x 0.95 x 8.8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 222 ratings

About the author

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Home is everything to Ariel Kaye, founder and CEO of Parachute. While it began in Los Angeles in 2014 as a digitally native brand, Parachute has since expanded beyond its roots — premium-quality bedding — to include essentials for all rooms in the home. In the last five years, Ariel has evolved Parachute into a beloved home lifestyle brand with numerous brick-and-mortar locations across the country, with each retail store serving as gathering spaces within their neighborhoods. Under Ariel's leadership, the brand also launched a hospitality collection, partnering with top hoteliers and interior designers.

Within the Parachute community, Ariel has created a culture committed to wellness and kindness, which extends from Parachute’s team and partners to its customers and the planet. Social responsibility has been a core tenant of the brand from the start. Parachute partners with the United Nation Foundation's Nothing But Nets campaign to donate one life-saving malaria-prevention bed net with any one purchase of their signature bedding set.

Parachute has been featured in such notable publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Domino and Vogue, while Ariel has participated in prestigious speaking opportunities with Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, Create &amp; Cultivate and Fast Company’s Innovation Festival.

Parachute is committed to inspired, comfortable living. Beyond her design and business acumen, Ariel is spearheading a movement around comfort — both in Parachute’s stores and for customers around the world.

Ariel currently resides with her family in Venice Beach, California.

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