Thoughts From Our Staff


As sheltering in place continues, we’re grateful that we can still keep in touch and create the relevant print and online content you’ve come to expect from our magazine. Sometimes, we like to take a break from that and get a little personal. Here, some members of our staff share their thoughts as we face the challenges ahead together.

Ren MillerREN MILLER, Editor in Chief

Reading Magazine

The tactile pleasure of holding a magazine, browsing the beautiful photos and reading the enlightening stories inside can be a comforting experience.

When events of the day cause me concern or confusion, when my thoughts begin to swirl and get tangled, I know it’s time to take a deep breath, take a break and put things into perspective. It’s no surprise that as a magazine editor, I find comfort and relaxation in simply sitting down, putting my feet up and reading a good magazine.

At times like that, I don’t look or read analytically. I’m not on the hunt for ideas or trends. I simply enjoy seeing beautiful pictures and reading interesting stories about other people. I want to know that they love their home, that they enjoy their backyard, that they look forward to returning home each day.

That sense of normalcy calms me. It doesn’t make me forget the challenges of the day, but it reminds me that, as the Persian adage assures, “This too shall pass.”

Meg Fox

MEG FOX, Associate Editor

The sights and sounds of water always soothe me — even on a cloudy day at the nearby Fair Haven pier.

I’m a news junkie. So after a few days homebound, it quickly became apparent that limiting exposure to the negative news cycle — or at least not beginning and ending my day with it — keeps me in a more positive state of mind. So does exercise; a virtual class to maintain that sense of connection with gym buddies, or a walk near the water — always a go-to source of comfort for me.

Instagram posts featuring beautiful homes and design inspiration from our NJ-based design community — and from around the world — remind me of the healing power of home. Many posts also reveal the heart and soul behind the business, just like the ER doctors in their currently viral rendition of “Imagine.” To quote Dr. Elvis François: “Music goes places that medicine can’t go.” That’s where design takes me. It’s powerful medicine.

Marirose Krall

MARIROSE KRALL, Assistant Editor

Organized Pantry

Baby steps. (Canister labels courtesy of Joanna Gaines/Magnolia)

These quarantine days are a LOT, aren’t they, as we try to hang on to some semblance of normalcy during a time that is anything but? The situation is certainly stressful, but it can be manageable. I think it’s important to try to fit in some downtime to enjoy a diversion.

I’ve always found scrolling through my favorite Instagram accounts to be both informative and relaxing. Now I’ve noticed that they’re helpful in ways I hadn’t anticipated. For instance, I’ve long looked to The Home Edit to provide great tips on one of my favorite hobbies, organizing. But lately, their Instagram stories have reflected the extraordinary situation in which we find ourselves. It’s comforting to watch Clea and Joanna face this crisis (sometimes gracefully, sometimes less so) and know that I’m not the only one who’s a bit unnerved.

Likewise, Joanna Gaines’ decorative aesthetic struck a chord with me from the first time I saw one of her shiplap creations, but I find her recent series of “Quarantine Cooking” Instagram stories soothing as she prepares a meal calmly and competently.

It’s hard to wrap my mind around these unprecedented circumstances affecting just about everyone on the planet, but I think it’s somehow reassuring that, even as we practice social isolation, social media has allowed so many people to share feelings and advice and even silly memes to help us through.