What does ‘home’ mean when it’s your job to travel? The former Creative Director of CN Traveler and founder of beautiful new travel magazine Yolo Journal tells us about how her travels have influenced her homes in France and Brooklyn
YOLANDA EDWARDS IN FRANCE. IMAGE: YOLANDA EDWARDS
Where do you live and why?
I live with my husband, Matt Hranek, and our 16-year-old daughter, Clara, in the Médoc region of France in the summer and in Brooklyn, New York, during the school year. We live in this very sleepy part of France because it is so quiet, so removed, which is an antidote to our New York life throughout the rest of the year.
Did you know when you first saw the house in France that it would become your family home?
We definitely saw it and fell in love at first sight. It was just a feeling that both my husband and I had. It was two small two-bedroom houses next door to each other and we connected the two by opening up a wall on the ground floor. We still refer to them as 2 and 2bis, their original addresses, but it is now one house with a garden. We bought it five years ago and are slowly renovating it.
YOLANDA’S HOME IN FRANCE WAS ORIGINALLY TWO HOUSES WHICH THEY JOINED TOGETHER WHEN THEY BOUGHT THEM FIVE YEARS AGO. IMAGES: YOLANDA EDWARDS
As the founder of Yolo Journal and the former Creative Director of CN Traveler, travel is an essential part of your job. How do you balance it with your home life?
Up until our daughter was eight, I never travelled without her. I was the travel editor at a parenting magazine called Cookie, and part of my agreement with the magazine was that she had to travel with me all the time. Once she got older, she couldn’t miss school, so we just made sure we only travelled on all her breaks—which was a challenge but with lots of planning we managed. I travel more without her now, but not so much, and we have close friends in the neighbourhood who are like family, so she stays with them. Sometimes everything goes seamlessly and she is happy we are away, as she likes the freedom—and other times, if a trip is making her wish she was there, she gets upset, and then I feel awful.
Have your travels influenced the way you’ve decorated your home?
Definitely, I have little vignettes around the house that are finds from all over. Our Brooklyn house definitely has more of these!
YOLANDA AND HUSBAND MATT ARE GRADUALLY RENOVATING THEIR HOME. RIGHT: THE POTS ON TOP OF THE KITCHEN CABINET WERE FOUND IN THE ATTIC, WHERE THEY WERE USED TO COLLECT RAIN WATER. IMAGES: YOLANDA EDWARDS
What is your favourite home away from home and why?
Well, our house in the Médoc is definitely our favourite home away from home, but a home away from here would be the Sunset Tower in LA, which is our favourite hotel in a city we go to all the time. Every time we walk in, the staff who have become friends make us feel like we are coming home.
What was your childhood home like?
My parents didn’t take us on many trips, and didn’t care at all about decorating the house – aesthetics just aren’t their thing. So, I grew up always embarrassed of how our house looked, and always wanted to make a house I was proud of. Now when I go back to my parents’ house I always have guilt that I was ashamed that they didn’t care about nice furniture and design, and I’m so proud of them for being themselves and not caring about it.
IMAGE: YOLANDA EDWARDS
What’s on your bedside table?
What does your home mean to you?
Our home in France means something completely different to me than our Brooklyn home. The French house is more like ‘we are crazy’ – it’s this really great adventure. Our Brooklyn house is stability for me.
THE LIVING ROOM AT YOLAND’S FRENCH HOME. IMAGES: YOLANDA EDWARDS