A good friend of mine let me snap some photos of her family home on Aquidneck Island one sunny day this fall because I was so excited about the spaces that I wanted to be able to share them on Hope State. There are a lot of fancy homes in this town that feel sterile and un-livable to me; something about an interior decorator swooping in from New York with ‘aesthetically pleasing’ antiques and knick-knacks to furnish a family’s home really creeps me out. To me, those objects lose all significance and are reduced to mere props in a showroom. Not this house. There was absolutely nothing impersonal about it. For lack of a better word, it was just incredibly real. Each object felt intentional and important because some member of the family had at one time brought it there. It was also a place of contrast: there were areas that were well loved and lived in (like couches that still had the impression of someone sitting on the cushions), and then there were dusty stacks of books and objects that looked as though they had been sitting there for a decade. Some corners and rooms were so dark your eyes had to adjust to them, while others seemed to be wall-less they were so bright. And amid incredible antiques and paintings were displays of the kind of sentimental objects that grandmothers keep around them to remind them of their family when they are alone: children’s drawings, family snapshots, old toys and embroidered pillows. My favorite room in any old house is almost always the kitchen: to me, this is where most living actually happens in a home. Suddenly evidence of everyday chores, like bottles of cleaning solution and a watering can, become apparent: it’s like peaking backstage.