An 1890s Farmhouse Gets a Purposefully Slow Rebuild

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories beh…

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories behind their transformations. We’ll explore their takes on sustainable living, how they express their identities through design, how they create beautiful spaces that center around accessibility—and so much more.


At the height of the pandemic last year, my partner Casey and I bought a second home. We had always dreamt of owning a place we could escape to on the weekends, as so many in the city long to do. We began our search just prior to the outbreak of COVID.

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A 60-sq-ft London Kitchen Gets a Spacious Makeover

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories beh…

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories behind their transformations. We’ll explore their takes on sustainable living, how they express their identities through design, how they create beautiful spaces that center around accessibility—and so much more.


Every kitchen has its (hey)day, and Meera Sodha’s London kitchen was no exception. Originally belonging to her parents, the apartment (which dates back to the 1800s) saw her, and an interesting cast of roommates, through their 20s and 30s. One of those roommates, Hugh, eventually proposed to her and stayed on in the apartment as her husband. It was also where the food writer and author wrote two bestselling cookbooks, Made in India and Fresh India.

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A Sensory Garden With the Power to Heal

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories beh…

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories behind their transformations. We’ll explore their takes on sustainable living, how they express their identities through design, how they create beautiful spaces that center around accessibility—and so much more.


Over the past two years, my husband and I have been slowly renovating and restoring our Victorian terraced house in North London. It wasn’t love at first sight (at least for me), but Darius saw the potential. It had three bedrooms, good proportions, and a big (for a city) garden. However, the layout was terrible, it had a non-functioning bathroom upstairs, and a rundown extension on the end of the kitchen. The electrics were outdated, the windows leaked, and all the original features had been lost over the years.

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Putting Down Roots in a 221-Year-Old Kitchen in Italy

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories beh…

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories behind their transformations. We’ll explore their takes on sustainable living, how they express their identities through design, how they create beautiful spaces that center around accessibility—and so much more.


We bought a home in the midst of the lockdown. I'm not sure how we did it—we are still pinching ourselves—but it was probably a combination of the right timing and a bit of luck, with a lot of patience thrown in (these things in Italy can take months, even without a pandemic).

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Lessons in Sustainable Living From My 100-Year-Old Japanese Farmhouse

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories beh…

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories behind their transformations. We’ll explore their takes on sustainable living, how they express their identities through design, how they create beautiful spaces that center around accessibility—and so much more.


At first it was only a daydream to own a farmhouse in Japan.

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