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Three Women On How Their Homes Empower Them

Because personal space is a real thing.

Designed by Briana Gagnier.

Interior design is a world made of textiles, textures, color stories,  comfort, and — you guessed it — feelings. At Lonny, we often take a peek inside the spaces that garner and grow the creativity of designers and leaders. These homes are carefully curated, and the objective behind each home's design extends far beyond good looks.

In fact, many of these homes are built to facilitate a specific lifestyle and evoke certain sentiments. Clean, modern homes leave space for a clear mind and efficiency, while maximalist, artful homes open doors to new ideas and creative discovery. Regardless, each space is made to empower — to make one feel capable of doing, achieving, maintaining, and living. 

To find out what makes a home feel like sanctuary — a place that serves as more than a shelter to sleep in and keep our things — we asked three entrepreneurial women what makes their homes empowering. Artist Isabelle Feliu, illustrator Arianna Margulis, and graphic designer and art director Bri Emery weigh in on the core tenants of a good home. 

Three Women On How Their Homes Empower Them
Courtesy of Isabelle Feliu.

Isabelle Feliu, artist 

Is there a specific room or space in your home that recharges you?

Isabelle Feliu: Definitely my little office. My home is very small and I share it with my boyfriend, but I really feel like my office is my space. As an introvert, it is important to me to be alone to feel recharged. In addition to that, I love to paint and draw, it is not only my work but also how I relax.

How can our homes be empowering? 

IF: To me, what truly is empowering is not to feel trapped and tied up by too many material things. I like to think that if I want to, I can put my most essential things in a suitcase and move to another country. As a result, I tend to like clean and minimalistic aesthetics. I think it is empowering to be able to choose well and decorate your home with a few things that you truly like and will want to keep for a long time, and to not clutter your living space with purposeless goods that you don’t really need.

What are three non-negotiable items you need in your home?

IF: A good closet, big windows with good light, and a desk where I can work.

Arianna Margulis, artist

Three Women On How Their Homes Empower Them
Courtesy of Arianna Margulis.

Is there a specific place in your home that makes you feel empowered? 

Arianna Margulis: Oh yes. Well, it’s the only room! I have a huge window so my apartment gets amazing light. In New York, if your place is small it doesn’t matter as long as there’s some sunshine! I wake up in the morning and the light makes me so happy. It’s like a whole body “ahhhhhh.”

Three Women On How Their Homes Empower Them
Illustrated by Arianna Margulis.

How can our homes impact our self-confidence? 

AM: I think your space, especially in a big city, needs to be an all-in-one. Especially if you’re working from home a lot like I do! Somewhere to cozy up and rejuvenate, and a space to kick it into high gear — even if it’s just separate corners of a studio! I also have very minimal furnishings, just the essentials. My brain is so cluttered that I need my space to be empty. My home lets my mind breathe easy.

What are three non-negotiable items you need in your home? 

AM: Plant life! Something living. A friend. I have a cactus named Steve. I also need a high-top table. It makes me feel like a have a minibar. I require a dining table and a place of business, too!

I’ve had a vintage ladder in every apartment I’ve ever lived in. It adds height and some levels to my space, since a lot of my artwork is stacked on the floor. And, it’s another creative or decorative storage unit.

Bri Emery, graphic designer and art director

Three Women On How Their Homes Empower Them
Courtesy of Bri Emery.

Is there a specific room in your home that makes you feel good? 

Bri Emery: Lately it’s been our kitchen. Cooking is bringing me a new joy right now and provides me a space to let my stress go.

How can the design of our homes lend itself to empowerment? 

BE: I spend a lot of time at home, so surrounding myself with beauty in little ways is very valuable and inspiring. Also, entertaining makes me happy, so creating a space that’s comfortable and inviting is important.

What are three non-negotiable items you need in your home? 

Lots of natural light, hardwood floors, and calming paint colors. 

For more stories on female empowerment and design leaders, check out What The Coolest Designers Want To Buy Now and The Incredible Organizations Creating New Homes For Women.