Design

Harling Ross’s Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

When writer Harling Ross and her fiancé Austin first saw this Manhattan apartment listing, they immediately wrote a love letter to the owner. “I remember describing us,” she says. “It was the most boring description ever: we are very clean and do not make noise and don’t have pets.” That letter worked, and now here’s a peek inside their lovely place…

LIVING ROOM
Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

Sofa: Interior Define. Checkerboard pillow: Jonathan Adler.

On a mini gallery: These built-in shelves were in the apartment when we moved in, and we wanted to do something fun. So, we printed black and white photographs — some of them are professional photographers’ photographs and some are personal to us.

Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

Blue vase: Muuto.

On favorite pieces: I took a few things from my late grandmother’s apartment — with her blessing — like this green waterfall coffee table. She had really cool taste. My mom wants to claim the coffee table so it’s on temporary loan. Also, our couch isn’t vintage but I love the color. It’s allergy season green!

On an A/C hunt: The apartment’s windows are big and beautiful, so when we put in the A/C, it was such a bummer. It blocked so much of the view. I put up an Instagram story, like, Why don’t chic A/Cs exist? It’s a million dollar idea! A year later, I found out about this company called July, which makes A/Cs less of an eyesore. They even come with interchangeable covers.

Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

On thrifting tips: My favorite places to find vintage furniture aren’t radical but are truly the best: Chairish, Etsy, eBay and 1stDibs; and I love Instagram accounts like Claude Home and Abigail Bell Vintage. I often search for certain designers, like ‘Bitossi’ or ‘Eames’ or ‘Vladamir Kagan.’ Their pieces can be really expensive but when you type in the names, it will bring up stuff that’s similar, so you can find things within a better price range. Also, know that you can negotiate price. I’ll often get a 10% to 15% discount. They often bake into the price the fact that the customer will negotiate.

Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

Bouclé chair: Total Design.

On quarantine shows: All our friends were raving about Money Heist and I thought it would be a gritty drama, but it’s very soapy in an entertaining way. We also started Mindhunter, which is creepy. Back at the very beginning of quarantine, we rewatched all of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. That’s my marker of time — the fact that we were able to finish all of those means we’ve been in this for a really long time.

DINING AREA
Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

Chairs: Wayfair.

On entertaining friends: We had a big housewarming party a year ago. It was such a different time! It was the best kind of night — we sent a Paperless Post inviting friends to come over from 6 to 8 p.m. Of course everyone stayed until 3 a.m. and people were flopping onto the bed. I have the best memories from that night.

Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

On party plans: This table folds out, and in my fantasies I think about having dinner parties. Our favorite Italian restaurant is Frankies Spuntino. We love their cavatelli with sausage and sage, so my plan is to make that.

Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

On an apartment soundtrack: Austin loves music so he’ll choose the playlist, and I’ll make requests. He loves slow melancholy indie music and sometimes I’ll want a beat. I love Vampire Weekend and Patti Smith and Dolly Parton. And we just watched Walk the Line, so we’ve been obsessively listening to Johnny Cash.

KITCHEN
Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

Wallpaper: Rebecca Atwood.

On go-to dinners: We’ve been cooking more this year, but we also like ordering takeout from Nami Nori (Japanese), Lovely Day (Thai) and l’Artusi (Italian). And we do a lot of Emily Pizza.

BEDROOM
Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

On a personal bedspread: Happy Menocal designed the monogram for our wedding invitation. Then my mom surprised us with this bedspread as an engagement gift. It was really thoughtful. It was from an old-fashioned bedding store — the guy was like, it’s very improper not to use her married initials, but since I’m not changing my name, using our first initials (H and A) was the only way to have us both represented.

Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

On a special headboard: The headboard behind our bed is an antique room divider. It was SO heavy and hard to get in here, and we bolted it to the wall. I love how it looks, especially when the morning light reflects on it.

On a bedtime ritual: I’ve been trying to read for an hour before bed. I just finished Girl, Woman, Other, which I really liked. The Most Fun We Ever Had was amazing. I also loved The Vanishing Half.

Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

On a meet-cute: Austin and I first met in fifth grade and started dating in ninth grade, broke up for college, got back together right after college — and we’ve been dating ever since. Our families are really close, and we go on joint family vacations. We all do Christmases together. It’s so wild to me. There has been so much drama and so many ups and downs — there were times I liked him more, times he liked me more, and to net out in the middle is truly miraculous. The me that I am now is so different than the me when I was 11, and there were multiple mes in between, so it feels like a very three-dimensional knowledge when you’ve known someone this long.

Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

On decorating compromises: Austin saved all his books from childhood. He had this intense organization system as a kid, where he’d do it by author. I prefer organizing them by color, which people make fun of, but it brings me joy. It was nice of him to let me do that here.

Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

On a curly hair routine: My hair is fusilli pasta. It turned curly when I was 13 and I had no idea how to do it. Back then, the internet didn’t really exist, so I couldn’t look up hair advice. After I graduated from college, I finally learned how to take care of it by watching Instagram tutorials. Now I wash with Low-Poo shampoo and conditioner. I use IGK Mistress Hair Balm and Davines This Is a Curl Building Serum when I get out of the shower and my hair is still wet. Then I do this thing called ‘plopping,’ where you wrap you hair on top of your head with a T-shirt. Then I let it air dry the rest of the way. I sleep on a silk pilllowcase, which helps my hair not get frizzy or tangled overnight. (When I don’t sleep on one, I’ll wake up with knots in my hair!) This is the most basic routine I could come up with that would get me results I am happy with. It’s really fulfilling to like something that you hated for a long time.

BATHROOM
Harling Ross's Apartment Is Full of Vintage Treasures

On bathroom wallpaper: The kitchen and bathroom wallpapers were both here when we moved in. I was like, should I re-wallpaper? It felt intimate to have someone else’s. But a) I got lazy and b) I started to like them. At first, this micro floral wallpaper felt granny-ish and old-fashioned, but now I’m into it. It goes with the old apartment and the old building. And a lot of our pieces are really modern, so it’s a nice contrast.

Thank you so much, Harling!

P.S. Many more house tours, if you’d like to see. Craving color? Here’s a Seattle home and a Brooklyn brownstone. Love the outdoors? Check out this Sonoma house, a New Hampshire cottage and a spot in the Japanese countryside. Want tips for small living? Here’s a Toronto loft packed with clever storage solutions and a 175-square-foot Brooklyn apartment.

  1. Anon says...

    Oops, it looks like part of my previous comment was lost.

    I was just mentioning that lots of tours have been done that are very inclusive in the past (POC, gay couples, tiny sustainable homes, old homes, new homes). Some are out of reach for many budgets but that is the nature of house tours as they are eye candy. There was a tour a long time ago that made a big impression on me – it was a house completely filled with plants. Beautiful, magical, I fell in love with it. Yet there is no way I would want to have all those plants, the commitment to care for them, and I doubt I could keep them alive. But i loved the post! That’s the fun of house tours… seeng something different.

  2. Anon says...

    alive! Yet, I loved the post and still Remember it. That is part of the fun… seeing a variety that might be different than my home. There is room for all these homes tours. If you don’t like a post, just wait a week and another one will soon come along.

  3. Pam says...

    I love this apartment, I love Harling, I love Joanna and Cup of Jo, and I also agree with all of the criticism on here. Guess what, both things can exist, and we can both be supportive and critical. True critique is a gift, and people only give it when they care about the receiver a great deal. No one is hating on Harling- they are pointing out a totally valid point about privilege, honest communication, and representation. So cup of jo, as I’m sure you are already thinking since I know the whole blog team are caring and compassionate, here is a big you’re welcome from everyone who bothered to come here and write their honest and valid feelings

  4. Megan says...

    Loved seeing this apartment! Lots of inspo for my own home. Thank you for sharing :)

  5. I took a few days and sat on these comments before I said something. The truth is it feels like the world is made up of two groups, people who love these features because they perpetuate fantasies which many of us have little to no access to … and people who are not exactly digging the lack of realism about wealth advantages and what it provides and for who what.

    But this idea of women should just support women end of is something called “white feminism”. And it’s not a good look. If we want to actually provide an equitable world where everyone gets a fair shot at the dream job or being featured on a cool blog like Cup of Jo, it’s time to have these conversations. And if you don’t like it … there’s plenty of other blogs on the internet where these sorts of conversations never take place. I know, because I’m been reading some of them through out my twenties and rolling my eyes until I stopped because it became painful to me. But I’m here for many of these critical yet valid comments while still thinking Harling’s apartment is very nice. We CAN do ALL THE THINGS, people.

    • Alexa says...

      I agree. The reality is that the world of media in NYC has long been out of reach for people who don’t already come from privileged backgrounds. In order to be seen as someone with “style” you had to be able to afford designer clothes and accessories on minuscule salaries – which meant the only people who could get in the door were people with family money, like Harling. Alexa Chung had a pony growing up, FFS. It’s easy to be chic and an “it” girl when you can afford anything. I had a roommate once who worked in fashion, who would furiously bid on last year’s purses on Ebay so that she could fit in. Of course, the joke was on her, because there are so many subtle signifiers of “in” status that you can’t know unless you grew up in that world. Then, when only people from privileged backgrounds have a chance at success in junior roles, they will likewise comprise the majority of upper editorial positions, and perpetuate the cycle. It isn’t bullying to say that people like Harling have had a very, very unfair leg up in media for a long time, and that they should at the very least be transparent about their privilege, rather than pretend their chic apartment is the result of superior vintage scouring skills that anyone on a shoestring budget could replicate with enough effort. I loved the brief shining moment when bloggers were forced to admit which items were gifted or loaned from fashion brands, because it was eye-opening how much these already wealthy people were getting for free. I’m not saying that Harling should have to preface every post with “by the way, I come from family money” but pretending to be on a budget (haggling with Etsy sellers, really?) when you’re not just rings false. MR’s rebrand failed with Harling at the helm as “brand director,” but she won’t feel the impact of the closure like the less privileged employees who are now unemployed in the middle of a pandemic.

  6. M says...

    Love this house!!!! Thank you for always currating such fun content to read :) Great work team!

  7. CK says...

    I would love to see a home tour of someone who has had to get creative with their environment due to their physical situation! Perhaps someone who lives with a disability, and needs to have a space that’s accessible, or someone who has a chronic illness like asthma and has to decorate without dust collecting decor (no rugs, drapes or upholstered sofas!) I think it’s so cool the way people design their homes to be functional and beautiful!

    • R says...

      Oh that would be wonderful! +1

  8. Elina says...

    Yes, I agree- it doesn’t sit right with me that every time there’s someone able to afford more expensive items, the comments blow up about how it’s not representing normal people, etc. Harling too is a “normal person”. She should not be shamed for the fact that she decided to spend $300 on a vase. She has that money, COJ is not trying to say that everyone should spend money like this. I appreciate the diversity of this blog. Thank you, Joanna and Harling.

  9. Gayle says...

    Came here to congratulate Harling on growing to love her curls and HOLY H-LL this comment section is on fire!

  10. Lynn says...

    I just hope all the outraged, hate-filled commenters here have enough mental capacity and big-picture thinking to still be able to vote for Biden/Harris instead of writing in their particular brand of opinionated progress.

    Take a walk. Support a local fitness instructor and take their boxing class if you want to punch something. Stop shopping on Amazon. Improve your own writing with a class so one day you may be picked up by a blog and paid pennies. There are far more productive ways to unleash your anger than on a women-run site that is actively trying to do better.

  11. Hayley B says...

    A lot has already been said about how those who don’t like whatever content is on here should just go somewhere else instead of asking the blog to change to suit them, but I just wanted to point out that Joanna’s openness/receptiveness to her audience and willingness to adapt to the requests/gentle demands of her readers and her graceful stewardship of the team thus far is EXACTLY why I love this blog so much. Never change that ethos!! To me, the readers aren’t saying never show another aspirational house tour ever again, they’re saying maybe include a note or 2 about how these home owners lucked into/came to be able to afford such luxury especially in places like Manhattan. (It doesn’t have to be an in-depth guilt-ridden confessional about how they were born wealthy; indeed no one is asking for that — another commenter said if home owners were to say something simple to acknowledge their good fortune/circumstances, for example if they were fortunate enough to be able to not have student debt etc thanks to inheritances, etc, it would be a much-appreciated insight for readers. As I recall this was something many readers had been asking about even way back with much earlier home tours, about how seemingly young ppl/families could afford to buy/renovate huge places in expensive locations like the Bay Area etc without any mention of how they were able to do so.) Readers aren’t saying never work with another ManRepeller alumna again, they’re saying maybe give the writers of colour — who maybe don’t have the financial wherewithal and opportunities as the (I presume) more well-off white writers from the same place — a chance instead. Readers are not saying Joanna and team must bend over backwards to accommodate their every demand; they’re saying that since the COJ team had done such a good job of being inclusive and forward-thinking and socially aware before, they should be able to take readers’ suggestions now about not letting COJ possibly turn into/make the same mistakes as MR in their stride.

    Not too long ago I recall there was criticism over Joanna hiring people who seemed to be carbon copies of her — Lexi Mainland, Caroline Donofrio, Jenny Rosenstrach, Stella Blackmon, to name but a few off the top of my head, who were nearly all brunette white women with an almost identical Madewell-type aesthetic/fashion sense — but to Joanna’s credit she seems to have taken that insight to heart and now she’s got women like Kim Rhodes, Christine Pride, Erica Chidi, Christine Han, and before that Ashley Ford on her team, women who don’t look like carbon copies of her and who can bring a different worldview to the table, and is giving them a global platform to speak their truths. She didn’t have to out herself as a liberal with her posts on Kamala, anti-racism, getting the vote out, contributors’ posts on what it feels like to be a Black woman in the US right now, and Kim’s most recent post on her experiences growing up as a Black woman in predominantly white spaces and her resulting struggle with personal identity, BUT Joanna did it with warmth, inclusiveness and authenticity, even at the risk of alienating a big part of her readership who identify as conservatives. Sure there were a few missteps along the way like with the heavy-handed Nike sponsored post, but on the whole she’s navigated these treacherous media/Internet waters with grace and aplomb.

    How many of these readers’ suggestions COJ chooses to take in or not is of course up to Joanna and team and their vision for the blog going forward, but I have every faith that they’ll navigate that with their trademark thoughtfulness and accountability. It’s not going to be easy to juggle everyone’s views but I know that if anyone can do it, COJ can. Honestly they’ve just been a beacon of hope in the dumpster fire that has been 2020 so far and this has turned into an unexpectedly long-winded love letter to the team, but this long-time reader just wanted to let you know that I’m cheering for you guys. Keep up the excellent work! 💕❤️💗

    • Hilz says...

      Thank you Hayley for this thoughtful comment that gets to the bottom on the reasoning behind the comment fury

    • Meghan says...

      Yes to this!

    • JYT says...

      This is such a thoughtful kind comment. I second this.

  12. Jill says...

    Jo and team, just wanted to offer a thanks for making the blog such a wonderful community. I don’t have anywhere else on the internet that I come to as regularly as your site. Your content and your wonderful writers are warm, critical, funny, frivolous and serious all at once. This house tour was lovely (esp the wallpapers!). I wasn’t a regular MR reader though have followed the controversy. I can see all kinds of efforts you’re making to make CoJ more inclusive. Some – discussions of race, sexuality, featuring a range of women’s bodies and experiences etc – are wonderful and enriching and make me value your blog even more. Others, esp catering to a variety of price points after grumpy commenter requests, personally draw more of an eye roll (aren’t many of us here because we enjoy the aspirational nature of the design and fashion Jo has always featured?) But anyway, this is truly one of my favourite places on the Internet and I appreciate how hard you all try to make it a community where we all feel welcome and entertained and enriched.

  13. Sara says...

    What a beautiful apartment. Thank you for sharing your home with us. That headboard is just wow. Enjoy it all in good health!

  14. Jennifer Lubarsky says...

    Where is the kitchen vase from? I want to purchase it. Thank you!

  15. Denise Rodriguez says...

    I came here to ask if anyone knows where I can find the swirly vase? Then I started reading the comments, Yikes! I have read this blog pre-Toby and still enjoy it.

  16. Ella says...

    I don’t think the largest issue here is the financial disparity, even though that’s obviously more on people’s minds than ever and it deserves discussion. It also makes sense that when an alternate platform shuts down (MR) the writers will look for work elsewhere. Not knowing how Harling ended up here, if she submitted pieces or was approached by CoJ, I think my question is why didn’t you absorb any of the other writers from MR instead? A company is dismantled because of internal issues of racism and the writer that you bring on board is the white woman with absolute financial security? Harling is not MR, but if her lesson learned was to jump ship like Leandra and find a new platform for her old content it doesn’t feel like much was accomplished.
    I’m curious if cup of Jo tried to bring any of the other MR writers on board now that they’re all unemployed? Or perhaps one of the minority writers who was let go at the beginning of Corona.

  17. Anon says...

    I absolutely love that “headboard”. How joyful it must be to see it last thing before sleeping and first thing in the morning. The light reflecting off it – that is the kind of thing I would notice and that moves me, too! Beautiful. I also love the bathroom wallpaper… keeping it was such a good call!!!
    As for the critical comments here, I am absolutely confused by them. How is this house tour any different from so many of the other house tours we’ve seen? She seems like such a lovely person! Thank you so much for sharing this!
    Ps: I also have curly hair that I used to hate and learned to love. :) It is now one of my favourite things about my physical appearance.

  18. Kim says...

    Came to the comment section to see if anyone had asked about where the living room rug is from and holy crap.

    • Samantha says...

      I’m interested on that rug too!

    • Kristina says...

      Same same! Rug deets plz!

  19. Sarah says...

    If y’all are mad about this young white woman spending $300 on a vase, wait till you hear about this guy called Jeff Bezos.

    I’m happy conversations on wealth inequality, privilege and capitalism are taking place in a space like this. I would urge people to look in the direction of extreme wealth inequality in the US, of which there are too many examples (this ain’t really one of them), and which has been steadily, no, exponentially rising in the US since the 1970s. If all the frustration at this one blog post could be channeled towards dismantling such inequality through actions such as voting with your dollars (not buying from certain companies), petitioning your congresspeople to enact tax laws that disfavor the wealthiest among us, and just generally giving capitalism a big F U, we would be well on our way to seeing the type of world where an apartment tour wouldn’t make us so uncomfortable.

    • Jessica says...

      THANK YOU. I’ve been wondering how many people who have been critical and calling for those to do their part in dismantling classist structures regularly shop at Amazon and Walmart? These companies are a huge part of the problem. Bezos has made an unbelievable amount of money during the pandemic alone, and he certainly hasn’t used it to provide health insurance or job security to his large, vulnerable workforce (which he can more than afford to do).

    • Elizabeth says...

      YES!! Let’s redirect this vitriolic energy to look at the bigger issues at hand; lets focus on how we can help to dismantle the systemic inequalities we have in this country and it starts at the top.

    • But like can’t we do all the things? Can you not criticize Jeff Bezos (something I do regularly) while also pointing out why this feature didn’t satisfy everyone’s needs? Is that not possible? Because I want to live in a world where it is.

  20. Anna says...

    Thank you so much for your comment!! Fellow European here… I don’t get the negativity – and CoJ has always been such a positive place. I cannot afford some of the displayed pieces myself but enjoy looking at them very much.

  21. Danielle says...

    Oof, this is a rough comment section. I think some of the criticism is valid but I feel for Harling and the COJ team who have to read this. I am a long time reader (pre-Toby, ah!) and the site has grown and changed drastically over time. What amazes me is how much I still love it. I can’t think of another site I visit every day for this long besides perhaps a news site. Have I loved all of the changes? No. Have I connected with all of the content? Certainly not. But I appreciate how much Joanna and her team have tried to adapt to a changing world.

    I will say though, that the recent new content has felt a bit different. I was only a very occasional ManRepeller reader buy I was surprised to see Harling writing multiple recent posts here. I love her cool apartment (that coffee table!) and her curls but just felt that if there were going to be new writers, this is not who I would have asked for as an addition to this space. Joanna has an incredibly successful blog and that means she can elevate new voices that have not necessarily had a platform. I think many of the people are the comments are saying that’s what they are hoping to see. There is also a vibrant, diverse, and obviously engaged readership that would be happy to contribute content. The recent reader question posts have been some of my favorites.

    Thank you COJ team for the hard work you’re doing during the total disaster that is 2020. These last couple of weeks pre-election are driving me up a wall so I think we could all do with some added kindness right now.

    • Anon says...

      … COJ posts twice daily, 5 days a week. There is plenty of room for all voices here – including Harling.

  22. Kari says...

    This apartment is lovely. Harling, thank you for sharing it with us. I hope you can zero in on the positive comments here; I know the negative comments often ring louder. You have put together a special place—what a great eye you have!

  23. RETTA says...

    Dear Harling,
    I don’t blame you for being white or wealthy or for having way better real estate than I do. I can love your style and admire your coffee table without feeling that I’m owed the same thing (My grandma definitely did not have the cool taste of your grandmother). I don’t think you are solely responsible for the shortcomings of MR and I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you learned a lot going the MR’s turmoil this summer. Your apartment is lovely, but the best thing about the internet is that, if something had offended me about your apartment or your past working from MR, I could just opt out. I could choose to look at a different blog. I don’t need to feel offended by you looking different than me or having a different family situation than I do. I’m going to put any feelings of dissatisfaction I have into working hard and improving my own situation. I’m honestly worn out by this nonstop conversation about how offended everyone is. Do I believe that inequality exists? Yes. I’ve been living it my whole life. But I don’t think we are helping the conversation by constantly being offended by white people or wealthy people or people who got a lucky break that I didn’t. If COJ feels tone deaf to me, I can stop checking in here (I mostly have already). You want to fight inequality? Good. Write your civil servants, get out and march, do deep work about your own personal biases. Do the things. But don’t make it about Harling or her pretty apartment. Harling, I’m sorry your beautiful space got torn apart by the perpetually offended. It’s not you, it’s us.

  24. Rue says...

    I’m a Jewish woman from a family of refugee socialists and in my 21st century American life I now live in a small city in the south, like real deep south. Anyway living here has shown me that there’s just this way that white Christian women are around each other? Even as a white woman I don’t get it because I’m not “in” enough. I’m not culturally neutral in America, not the way white women are who “aren’t religious, just that my grandmother likes when we all spend Christmas together.” There are some things on CoJ that just feel… very White American Ladies. And no matter how white and American I am, that won’t ever be me.

  25. Emily says...

    This apartment is beautiful, and Harling seems really sweet! I especially love all of the different colors and textures that go so well together, particularly in the bedroom. There are so many homey touches and details here!

  26. Claire says...

    The comments on this are so thought-provoking. I’m an avid CoJ reader and think Joanna and the team do a wonderful job, particularly in showcasing a diverse range of voices. (I’m not familiar with Harling’s work, but she also seems lovely and very talented!) And, like many other readers, I enjoy looking at beautiful clothing and homes that I could never myself afford.

    But–this post bothers me, too. There’s a economic shift happening right now, and many people seem oblivious to it. Some facts: the wealthiest 1% of Americans own 40% of the wealth. (40%!) Two-thirds of people who file for bankruptcy in this country do so because of medical bills. There are so many people struggling.

    So, it feels a bit–I don’t know, maddening?–to see a site that prides itself on being so inclusive provide a platform for someone to flaunt their wealth. (Subtly, tastefully. But it is still flaunting.) It’s wonderful for Harling that she has an apartment like this–truly. But it feels very tone deaf to be showing it off at this moment in time.

    I’d love to see the home of a teacher or a nurse featured on CoJ. Sure, maybe it won’t be as “aspirational”, but these home tours are always more about the spirit of the home. And that is aspirational in a more meaningful way!

    I’m sorry that this is a tough week and don’t mean to pile on. I just think that the class/ inequality perspective is a really important one that should be kept in mind. Thank you for engaging with everyone’s feedback, Joanna and team!

    • Debbie D says...

      I fully agree, and particularly maddening to me were the copy of Atlas Shrugged in the bookcase and her advice to haggle. These, to me, are signifiers of a class that just doesn’t consider the disadvantages of others.

      I read the whole article not knowing who this person was since I stopped clicking on any MR links a long time ago, and while the home IS beautiful, I found the article increasingly frustrating. Then I read here about the problems at MR and was so disappointed!

      That said, the comment section (aside from the head-in-the-sand folks) always makes me feel better and I appreciate the writer’s work very much as even the non-hits engender thoughtful discussion. Thank you, COJ Team, I look forward to more diverse (be it class, color, or country) content.

      And thank you fellow readers for your wisdom and compassion!

    • Yes the Atlas Shrugged book is a fascinating decorating choice. Would love to read an Ayn Rand apologist post lol. It’s a A favorite book amongst tax evading billionaires who don’t believe in universal healthcare or a livable wage :).

    • R says...

      This is a very thoughtful take, and sums up some of my own misgivings reading this. The underlying context, and what is elided and overlooked, strikes a discordant note IMO.

  27. K says...

    I LOVE the bathroom wallpaper! I think it’s so nice that you kept it, I can see the grandma-y aspect, but it seems grandma-y in a comforting, elegant way. I love my grandma!

    I’ve found “sleeping on it” to be helpful for all decisions. I imagine myself as a swirling cloudy cup of water by the end of the day, and by the next morning, week, month, etc. if I just wait, all the dust settles and it becomes clear what gold nugget ideas are worth keeping, and which are, dust.

  28. Tina Crisas says...

    Okay, this might be the most out of touch comment here, so please forgive my ignorance. I live in Europe in a very financially strained country (greece). I’m just a bit baffled that a 300 dollar vase would be considered extremely expensive? Like unattainably so? Is that really the case? Her apartment is considered lavish and luxurious? I’m not doubting that Harley herself comes from wealth, but what I saw depicted really is viewed as crazy expensive? My husband and I are redecorating our whole living /dining room this year (we are home owners only thanks to my parents who had immigrated and worked their butt off for over 35 years in Australia) but our monthly wages are extremely low, yet spending over 2,000 dollars for our 2 pendant lights, 400 hundred dollars for a bench to be placed in one corner and so on seemed legit to me. Of course we have budgeted and cut back in other areas etc. Etc. But I just don’t see how that is considered extreme extravagance? While browsing the site -restoration hardware for inspiration, now that for sure seemed like extreme extravagance, but I just don’t get how a 300 dollar vase could cause such an uproar? (The only thing that really irks me is when one showcases a life wherein they have it all, do it all, are supermoms. Etc. When in reality though a good chunk of being able to have THAT kind of luxury is due to outsourcing )

    • Rose says...

      For reference, the median income in the US is 33K (before taxes). That is not a lot of $300 vases. NYC is a particularly expensive city and for lots of people it’s half or one third of their rent (it’s common for people to share an apartment with several roommates, well beyond their early twenties).

    • Anna says...

      Thank you so much for your comment!! Fellow European here… I don’t get the negativity – and CoJ has always been such a positive place. I cannot afford some of the displayed pieces myself but enjoy looking at them very much.

    • S. says...

      Tina, the average salary in Greece is just above 1000€ – or it was, pre-pandemic, it’s probably even lower now. Spending a months’ salary on one pendant light IS unattainable for many people. Most, people, actually. How is that so hard to envision?!

    • Chloe says...

      Hi Tina, also coming from Europe here and totally agree with you. I think the truth is that the author used to be a writer at Man Repeller and she is just being judged for that. Character assassination. People imagine she is extremely wealthy and hence hate her (how distasteful to show that you come from upper-middle class. How priviledged! She should hide forever and not be able to work! She is a classist! What? She is not anti-racist (like 99% of people BTW)??? She is racist then!!!) , but Probably most of it are projections. I have seen flats when I was living in New York that were much much much more impressive than Harley’s. So my guess is some readers here are offended just by Harley’s existence. I don’t think Joanna should act upon it, based on what has happened to fantastic businesses led by women who where frankly trying to do better, much better than most companies. She should keep up with the fantastic content she brings to the Internet. And if people prefer to see ugly houses (please, don’t feature readers home tours as suggested if their houses are ugly!), maybe they should not come to Cup of Jo for their content?

    • Rose says...

      Liz, my comment reflected income per person, not per household! I should have clarified :)

    • I think possibly those of us from countries where inequality isn’t *quite* as extreme as it is in the States do struggle to understand the level of wealth resentment. Obviously most countries have wealth inequality, but the States really does seem to suffer much more from it. What is interesting to me is that the resentment is leveled at people like Harling, rather than the extremely wealthy, of whom there are many! I don’t know why that is – visibility maybe? Or maybe because Harling’s level of comfort seems like it *should* be attainable but it’s not, and that knowledge is what hurts people (whereas I feel confident that most of us don’t feel it’s attainable to be a billionaire). After all, Harling rents, buys used furniture, and has hand-me-downs from family – on the surface this is perfectly normal for all income levels, but if you know Manhattan and you look at the photos it quickly becomes obvious it’s not as simple as that. Something about that seems to bother people, more than private jets and private islands do. I’m not American, I may be way off. But I have lived in multiple places, including New York, and know this place/lifestyle depicted wouldn’t garner the same reaction in the other countries I’m familiar with.

  29. Emilie says...

    There is a lot to read in this comment section. Just wanted to add my voice to the group who is concerned about class privilege and white privilege and exclusionary impact they can have.

    That said, let us not cancel women!

    Yes, Harling is white and rich! She is also not a perfect human; none of us are! She cannot change her rich whiteness. She is not some grand orchestrator of the issues at MR. She can change the voices she chooses to amplify through her privileged platform, and she’s working on it! I am white, I am not rich, and I do not live a cool urban lifestyle with a fiancée and monogrammed bedding. Who cares! I can enjoy these cheerful pictures, laugh at Harling’s description of her “6-8 p.m.” housewarming that went until 3 a.m. and admire her grandmother’s coffee table. I do not need a disclaimer that she is white and rich (it’s obvious?), nor is Joanna required to police her content to the extent some commenters are asking for.

    We are all stressed and tired, but this is a fun post and I think a lot of folks have missed the mark with what are frankly quite personal and mean comments here. Thanks for sharing, Harling and Jo!

    • K says...

      Well said!

    • No one can change their circumstances but people can choose how they show up in certain spaces and why. I think that’s an important distinction here. I liked the apartment and still understand the frustration in the comments.

  30. Anon says...

    Hey-
    I think we are trying to say it hurts when we feel we are not being heard, seen, and represented. Please consider asking your writers to position themselves in their writing, I think it could go a long way and clear confusion.
    PS. thank you for creating spaces that are safe enough to voice these concerns.

    • Chloe says...

      Hi Anon –
      I understand the anger and the sadness but not the logic behind the “not wanting to see anything that is different than me anymore”, especially if you come for content to Cup of Jo (the blog of a white woman doing pretty well for herself after all. And that’s fine, i’m happy for her. Because she is smart and thoughtful and compassionate and strives to do better). Cup of Jo seems to be doing a great job at representing diversity and what strikes me is suddenly people like Harley (whose home, let’s be frank, doesn’t seem as the house of a millionaire to me) should not be featured?
      Also about the positioning… how? Why? It’s a home tour. It’s obvious she is white. It’s obvious her family has given her nice things. She says so herself. What kind of further disclaimer do we need? Readers don’t seem confused as they seem ready to cancel her because she was a writer at MR. But cancelling her will not change the fact that huge inequalities still exist. What will, is a better redistribution of wealth through a better (and more demanding) fiscal system. What will, is a change in school curriculums to teach students how unfair the system is. What will, is to have more representation of BIPOC (but that doesn’t entail canceling other people. The same way feminism doesn’t entail canceling men) through positive discrimination laws, etc.
      PS: i agree with you PS :-)). I love this community so much!

    • liz says...

      agree with Chloe, but I would add, I don’t understand the feeling of entitlement of some readers here to dictate the content on this blog. Be inspired and entertained by what you read and see, or don’t. But make demands with regard to authorship and content? completely baffling to me.

    • justifyreply says...

      Not feeling sufficiently represented here? And hurt and triggered by a house tour on a blog?

      You are choosing to consume this internet entertainment on offer here. Maybe it’s really not for you

      Start your own blog, and let us know how you get on…
      .

    • Jen says...

      I completely agree with Chloe.

    • Kath says...

      Agree with Chloe. The internet seems to becoming more and more curated content for the individual which I think has played a large part in the current climate in the U.S. Be open to seeing and hearing about a diversity of people! Requiring a blog to only show you what you want to see is a dangerous path.

  31. Cécile says...

    I’m a lifestyle magazine editor (in Europe) and I don’t think it’s been easy to be Joanna this week, but most of all, I envy her for having such a dedicated community of thoughtful readers, who take time to share their emotions, ideas, suggestions and objections with care. Rich people’s house tours is something I’ve published too & have grappled with too in the year I’ve been doing this job, and I’m definitely looking for a new way of doing/framing/representing things. I wish I had an audience like this to challenge me and help me move forward. I’m grateful for a place like this where I can read and take part in honest discussions with dedicated readers from different backgrounds. You’re doing a great job, Joanna.

    • Hayley B says...

      Agreed. I’m also in media and I would absolutely kill for a thoughtful, devoted and intelligent readership base like COJ’s, that lets you know what kind of content they respond to and would like to see more of, and that engages in smart, measured discussions on multiple topics without ever devolving into toxicity/trolling. Those who argue that the ppl who don’t like what they see on the site should go elsewhere is doing Joanna and team a disservice, as they need every last reader they can get in order to get more sponsorships/advertising dollars and in turn more favourable terms with those advertising partners. Because it’s all a numbers game and ultimately that’s one of the main ways that they can continue to provide the content all of us love so much while also providing fair and equitable compensation, healthcare and benefits for their staff. And I for one would want COJ to stick around for as long as possible.

  32. Katherine says...

    It strikes me that many of the writers, influencers and websites that have been targeted as “out of touch” are women or sites created by, or that cater primarily to, women (e.g., MR, BA, etc.). When we cancel those sites, we also cancel female voices, female media entrepreneurs (like Joanna) and media outlets catering to women — which in many cases are REALLY trying to listen, learn and do better on issues of diversity. Sure, there are problems with many female-focused sites, and with many female creators, and there’s lots of work to be done (and that IS being done, sometimes successfully, sometimes less so) to make sure a diversity of perspectives are represented, but if we keep criticizing them literally to death, we’re going to end up in a world (again) where only the people who have enough money and privilege not to care (heeyyy, white male media moguls) get to shape who gets to talk and what they get to say.

    Also — it is, and will continue to be, the case that most people who become professional writers come from positions of great privilege, because they have the financial freedom to choose a career that is usually low-paying and often lacks health insurance and in which connections are crucial to success and advancement. That is a huge issue, but not one we should or can address by cancelling someone like Harling or demanding that she constantly remind us of how privileged she is. We need more, and more equitable, funding for the arts and culture community, so that more people have a shot at what Harling has been able to achieve. If you are angry, don’t rely on Joanna to reverse hundreds of years of inequity; write your senators and representatives and demand that they support programs that fund BIPOC and socioeconomically diverse artists, writers, musicians, etc.

    • Justine says...

      Love you comment – thank you.

    • Mel says...

      Thank you so much for this comment. You have managed to articulate what I’ve been also thinking so well.

    • Neela says...

      Hear, hear.

    • Allison says...

      Yes to this

  33. KJ says...

    I just want to say thank you to the Cup of Jo team for all you guys do, every single day, with such grace. I can’t imagine it is easy to get such criticism (seems like this is happening on more and more posts over the past couple of months). You guys are great and I love the blog.

    • Jane says...

      I have always enjoyed Harling Ross’ exquisite writing. Her humor and humility come through so visibly in it. She weaves together such an engaging story no matter what the topic is. And, how fun it is to see her lovely apartment and hear how it all came together, too! I so appreciate the history behind the various pieces. Thank you for sharing!!

    • Lauren says...

      Yes. As a Democrat surrounded by mostly right-wingers I’m VERY aware of things that give left-leaning people a bad image. There’s becoming less and less of a line between parodies of political correctness and the actual opinions of real people themselves and it’s embarrassing and also ironically not inclusive at all to people who haven’t had the privilege of attending college and learning the ‘accepted’ way of talking. It is vital and fantastic that people are realizing how pervasive racism is; it’s not so great when more and more people are afraid to talk. In my experience that just makes people defensive and less likely to listen.

  34. Annie says...

    I find many of the comments on this post and Wednesday’s very problematic. Harling is a person who worked at Man Repeller. She is not Man Repeller. Claire is a person who worked at BA. She is not BA. I get that people may contribute to work cultures that are unfair and discriminatory — and maybe that is the case — but we should be really careful when we treat individuals as representative of institutions and corporations. In the same way that Kim is not representative of all Black people and Alex is not representative of all white guys at the NYT. I don’t think any of these commenters indicated they know or have worked with these two white women personally, so calling them out feels harsh and misplaced when the anger and frustration should really be targeted at institutions, policies, and leadership that are toxic. I have a job, but I really hope people don’t hold me personally accountable for everything my employer or organization does. Can we give each other a little grace? Especially since we are talking about a home tour and brownies, geez. Thanks CoJ for allowing dialogue and continuing to include different voices and perspectives.

    • Cat says...

      +1

    • liz says...

      Yes to this comment.

    • K says...

      YES. A million times yes to this comment.

    • K says...

      I agree. Theory of Enchantment often tries to remind us that we should think of people as individual people first and foremost, not as part of some monolithic identity. We are all fallible, and we are all worthy of redemption. It’s extremely vital to look deep within ourselves to figure out what exactly we are angry and unsettled about before we criticize others in order to decide whether the criticism is productive or not.

    • Lauren says...

      Yep. Honestly this feels like the majority position in real life. I think it’s a case of the internet segment of a public conversation being more extreme or out-of-balance.

    • Louise says...

      Agreed! I think it’s important to give individuals room to grow, and if a person is willing to change and is taking the steps to do so, why tear them down for not changing “fast enough”? I think cancel culture can be useful — but it should be employed against organizations who adamantly refuse to change and work to protect abusive, toxic, unapologetic individuals who serve as gatekeepers to the field. Canceling/silencing people who are making (even delayed) efforts to be more inclusive seems counterproductive.

  35. Ana says...

    I genuinely think this home is lovely. It looks cozy yet modern.

    I wrote a brief comment earlier regarding my concern with former ManRepeller writers showing up more frequently and I want to add more clarity, especially because this space has meant quite a deal to me throughout the past decade. What a wonderful and thoughtful community that Joanna has created. Thank you.

    My concern is that there were serious allegations of racism and anti-blackness at ManRepeller. There were reports of a toxic work environment and a oppressive culture that often represented exclusivity and failed to make space for those with different abilities, non-binary folks, and BIPOC. I am concerned that perhaps these writers were complicit in the problematic practices that occurred at ManRepeller either unconsciously or by remaining silent.

    If you did not read ManRepeller, I can understand that these comments may be confusing.

    • K says...

      I understand and share your concern re: Man Repeller… But I take real issue with the public dressing down of women without solid evidence that they’ve committed (or have been complicit in) wrongdoing. Please see Annie’s comment above re: holding individuals responsible (seemingly for all eternity) for the actions of their (former) employers. I am all for accountability, public discourse and healthy criticism. Truly. But it seems like people have forgotten all about evolution and nuance. This feels like a case of cancel culture gone too far.

    • R says...

      +1

  36. maywyn says...

    Is it safe to ask what’s the name of the gorgeous fabric the bed throw pillows are made with?
    Love this tour. The bureau is stunning. As for the coffee table, it should stay, imho.

  37. Kate says...

    I enjoy all the house tours (including this one!) and I also appreciate the thought-provoking comments readers have offered here—they are leading me to examine why I love house tours so much and what they represent. Mostly, I am so grateful to the Cup of Jo team for providing a forum for a respectful exchange of ideas.

  38. Ali says...

    I love this tour. I think it is a put-together, pretty apartment. I wish I had such style, regardless of my budget. I love looking at homes on Dwell and Remodelista. The furniture and style are often way out of my teacher’s price range, but I’m grateful for the people who put their homes out there. The criticism is inevitable, and that can be really hard when you are sharing your sanctuary with the world.

  39. Jessie says...

    Although I have seen a lot of tension in the comment section of posts lately, and I have felt bad for the COJ crew at times, it’s also a very tension-filled time right now and COJ isn’t exempt from that. We are all trying to figure it out together. As a website that makes money because of its large reader base, I think readers should be able to share about how the content makes them feel. A few people have mentioned that anyone who doesn’t like it should go find something else to read and I disagree. Sure, if as a whole you don’t like any COJ’s team does then go elsewhere! But- if you see small issues here or there, I’ve always appreciated how Joanna listens to her readers and adjusts gracefully. I’ve been a long-time reader and honestly reading COJ is the highlight of my day. I love to sit down and read the posts and all the thoughtful comments from a diverse group of women. There have been a handful of posts that have read as elitist and tone-deaf to ME, but in general, I find the content usually just feels like a big warm hug. In fact, I called my sister about Kim’s post this week and told her how beautiful it was and how much it affected me. This home tour didn’t do the same for me, but it seems like it did for other people. I don’t think Harling should be criticized here, I think the COJ team just needs to be aware of how some content makes some readers feel. Every post might not be for every person, but I agree that it’s important to not slowly, accidentally morph into MR type content. So, for what it’s worth, this reader would love continued content from diverse writers with diverse backgrounds. Don’t cancel Harling as a writer, just sprinkle her in as part of the confetti cake. When I’ve seen what feels like 5 recent posts highlighting items that are over $200, it starts to feel fatiguing. Thank you COJ for listening and providing content that we all, obviously, feel passionate about.

    • Kiersten says...

      Agreed. You’ve put into concise words just how I feel about this post.

  40. Sophia F. says...

    CoJ, in the same way we have reader outfit posts, maybe we could have reader rooms/apartments/houses? I’m thinking “show us your spot where you cozy up and read,” or “the place in your home that brings you the most joy,” or even something more straightforward like great bookshelves/happy dining rooms/fun kids’ rooms. Harling has excellent taste, but I am much more excited to see the spaces of people who manage to express their personalities and bring life to their home without necessarily having boatloads of cash to do it. Also, I’d love to see more homes of people with kids! CoJ consistently has beautiful home tours, but it seems lately they’ve been from childless people/couples with homes that are utterly impractical or unachievable for those with kids (see: 300$ vase, white rugs, and tons of antiques).

    • Rachel Allmen says...

      I love this idea. Where do you CoJ?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I love this idea, too. Thank you, Sophia!

  41. Susannah says...

    Sigh. Some of these comments strike me as unfair. On one hand, I can appreciate the high standard to which readers (myself included) hold Cup of Jo — to represent a wide range of perspectives, backgrounds, even aesthetics. But some of what I read below is unusually personal, speculative, and harsh from a community I’ve generally found to be very warm (though incisive and thought-provoking).

    So many assumptions. So many labels. Does Harling owe us explanations about her family? No. Is it fair to assume, based on the sliver of her life she’s invited us to see, how hard she works, or the burdens she carries, or the connections she has (or doesn’t have)? No. Can’t we just enjoy the aesthetic delight of a uniquely decorated apartment without conjecture and ad hominem jabs? (And I am having a hard time understanding how this is “MR-style content,” versus any other home tour on CoJ.)

    I wonder whether some of the grievances being aired are not personal to Harling (or the vase on her coffee table). Perhaps both are convenient targets for complicated emotions as we wrestle with a particularly challenging, fraught moment in time.

    Personally, I am choosing to enjoy a bit of escapism this Friday: the thrill of peeking into someone else’s home and taking away a bit of inspiration. Thank you for sharing, Harling.

    • justifyreply says...

      The vase has been a flashpoint!

      Vasegate

  42. Emiley says...

    I have to say that your comment reflects how I feel EXACTLY, Jessica. And you worded it all perfectly. Amen to this.

  43. Alex Pearl says...

    I’ve read a lot of the comments here and I think, more than any other site I peruse, COJ is doing a great job of shining the spotlight on many different people, viewpoints, etc. One post about a wealthy girl’s home, which is lovely, is not tipping the scale in the wrong direction. Are we never to see another well-off white person’s life/home at all – are they banned and cancelled now? I’m not saying that’s all I want to see, but one post about a white woman’s home among many other posts showcasing many different people/bodies/homes cannot be this large of an affront…

    It’s all about balance.

  44. Karen says...

    I just wanted to say thank you for posting links for the books that direct you to supporting independent book stores instead of Amazon. These local businesses need our support more than ever!

  45. Jessica says...

    I’m perhaps not surprised by all the criticism of this post, but I don’t feel it’s fair or warranted. Anyone who follows Cup of Jo on a regular basis recognizes they showcase a diversity of voices that differ in wealth, race, age, disability, body type, geography, etc. I’ve always appreciated just how inclusive and diverse it feels. There’s a lot of calls for featuring so-called “regular” house tours, but what does that even mean? I’m working middle class with a lovely modest home, but to a struggling poor working class individual, they might view my home tour as classist because it’s beyond what they can afford. Where do we draw the line? There is always someone with less or more. It doesn’t feel fair to me to judge cup of jo on one post featuring a wealthy white women, when you look at their entire body of work. Yes, sometimes it’s about a wealthy white women. But also often enough it’s not.

    • Nigerian Girl says...

      Thank you for expressing this so simply and wisely.

    • rc says...

      I completely agree with you. I actually think that this is a nice one bedroom apartment owned or rented by a young couple- its not like a Hamptons mansion or an UES duplex. Its a put together apartment. I do wonder where the critical posters would draw the line. I say this as a female POC 100 hr a week working professional- I know my home tour would inevitably be called classist even though none of my grandparents had any education, and my father immigrated here with $200 in his pocket. I think that the blogs team regularly features POC and interesting educated women, and not every post can please every person

    • Amy says...

      THANK YOU.

    • Celine says...

      Wisest comment here. Thank you.

  46. Justine says...

    The comments on this post were interesting, but somewhat frustrating. I grew up very poor, no extra money in our household for anything, hand-me down everything. My mum was a part time librarian and would bring us home old fashion and decorating magazines and I would pour over those, cutting out and scrapbooking pictures of clothes and furnishings we could never afford but that delighted me. I knew I would likely never be able to have those specific things or the lifestyles represented on those pages, but I was inspired and motivated by them, and learned how to style things thrifted to look expensive.

    I still pour over blogs, pinterest and online magazines, daydreaming about things I could have if money were no object, and also realizing there are things I would never pay “that much!” for, but I can admire anyway. There are onlines spaces I go to because they support my tastes and opinions, but I don’t want everything I look at to be reflective of my personhood, lifestyle or life experience; how would that challenge my worldview? I don’t expect bloggers to speak specifically to my needs. If I don’t like a blogger’s content anymore, I move on. Why should that blogger have to change to meet my needs?

    • katie says...

      This is my favorite comment of the week. The harsh criticism on this post and on Wednesday’s makes me sad.

      While I didn’t grow up poor, I definitely grew up lower middle class. I remember my mom would occasionally pick up one of those house plan magazines and would dream about the kind of house she wish we could live in. I would often look at them too, wishing for bigger. Like more than one bathroom. And a dining room. And maybe a bedroom with a door. All my mom wanted was a big kitchen and a wraparound porch with a porch swing. Anyway, it didn’t make us sad. I still had an extremely good, happy childhood. Now that I’m an adult and could afford that big house, I don’t want it because all I would do is fill it with things I don’t need. While I’m still in the process of decorating my first condo. I find these posts helpful when figuring out my own aesthetic.

      I’m saying this because I agree with what you’ve written. It’s always interesting to see the way other people live, their preferences, their lifestyle. I enjoy nearly all of the posts on this site and if there is one that doesn’t interest me, I don’t read it that day. Not every post has to be perfect for every one every day. People can simply choose to move on.

  47. E says...

    I’m a little confused at the critique that her apartment has already been shown on a different site. Pretty sure I’ve never looked at MR in my life, so this is brand new to me. Having homes showcased on different sites/platforms is not a new or unusual thing – the post on the Baltimore apartment with all the plants awhile back used many of the same photos as were in his book but not everyone would have been familiar with it. It’s a lot of work to arrange a photo shoot of a home. I have to assume that the criticism is about MR itself? There are millions of things on the internet. Not everything is going to be 100% unique. I don’t get mad if they discuss a book that I’ve already read – it’s new to someone else.

  48. June says...

    Oof. This is a tough one because I know how much it stings to get online criticism (sorry Harling!). For all the reasons above this just didn’t do it for me, plus seeing something that was already published on ManRepeller felt very out of touch for CoJ, who usually does such a good job of sharing original content from people we would never have access to otherwise.

  49. Amanda Griffin says...

    I love this beautiful home tour! Thanks, CoJ!

    The more New York City tours, the better — especially now. I so look forward to when I can safely visit again.

  50. JRay says...

    I only started reading the first 20 comments but I have a sense of what’s further down the pile…

    I have several blogs that I love to follow, each with a different flavor and perspective. I refer to CUP OF JO as “my affluent, white woman’s daily lifestyle blog” because Joanna and many of her writers are affluent and white. Even with an increase in diverse topics and people (and I have noticed that there are more writers and more spotlights on BIPOC, people with disabilities, plus-size, etc) this is always be a wealthy, aspirational, makeup/clothes sponsored content, career-woman/professional, amazing-girl-turns-into-amazing-wife-and-mom aspect to this blog. That is who Jo is.

    If you want something that blog doesn’t provide, sure, ask for it. But really, why not just go find another blog that provides what you want more authentically? For example, I love the motherhood content here but I don’t like the social justice warrior aspect…so I go to my Christian homemaker mommy blogs for more motherhood articles which approach social issues without the SJW lens. Same thing with the politics of this blog–so self-righteous and naive. But I’m not here to change this blog’s spirit…I take what I can and I leave the rest.

    Be your own curator of content…instead of asking for a known commodity to change to fit your needs, go and find other places that are ALREADY doing what you are interested in.

    Harling, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Your apartment is beautiful. You work hard and you hustle and it’s working out for you. I’m happy for you even if I never reach your level of income or fam support. And some ppl will always be dissatisfied with their own situation even if it mirrored yours. All the best.

    • Emiley says...

      Well said, JRAY, well said.

    • Kellerie says...

      “social justice warrior”
      “self-righteous”
      “naive”

      Why are you even here?

  51. Grace says...

    I just want to say- if you have the money to pay full price for an item on etsy or ebay (Or DePop or whatever), please don’t haggle the price down! No one is getting rich on ebay or etsy (I mean, maybe some folks are, but generally… nope!). What may seem like a fun “hunt” for you is actually the income of the people you’re shopping from. The sellers I know are definitely not building haggling room into the price- they just make less money and have to sell more things to meet their needs if they give in to a lower price.

    • Jessica says...

      thanks for saying this! I sold vintage housewares on Etsy for years and, as you detail here, struggled with wanted to please customers when they tried to haggle. I priced things according to what I paid, market value, Etsy fees, and other overhead costs. Being asked to come down on a price just undercut my income, which already was far below a living wage.

      On the other hand, I also have extensive experience in the high-end antiques business (particularly Danish mid-century modern). With furniture pieces that often sold for thousands of dollars, we would expect customers to haggle. For example, we would price a dresser at $2600 and expect to sell their piece for $2400 (usually 10% lower). But, I will stress that this was done in a retail setting (no online seller fees) and in a very high-end market. Haggling, say, on a $60 vase ridiculous.

    • justifyreply says...

      I’m sorry but you are completely over-generalizing here as many people (self included) regularly buy and sell on ebay / depop etc; in fact when someone wants to haggle over the price of an item – at least I know they are very keen on the item and hence I am open to negotiation! I certainly don’t take it as an insult or feel as though they are trying to rip me off. Now ebay/etsy/depop sellers need special consideration and protection of their feelings because a buyer wishes to negotiate? Really?

    • I’m with you on this. When I sell my clothing in certain spaces I get so annoyed by people haggling with me when the prices I offer are already more than fair. I have a general no haggle rule for myself unless I truly cannot afford what’s being offered. If it’s already a fair price, then I just buy the item because that’s fair. However if it’s something I truly love and truly cannot afford, I will (on rare occasions) send a very gracious email to the seller explaining my situation and my budget and letting them know that if they don’t get the price they want … I’ll happily pay what I can for the item if they’re eager to rehome it. Usually no one’s insulted by that because people can tell I’m being earnest, not just bargain hunting for the sake of.

  52. SJ says...

    Agreed. I paid no focus on the price of her items.

  53. Jes says...

    While I love looking at beautiful, well curated (and expensive!!!) NYC apartments from time to time, I am echoing the sentiment shared multiple times above about showcasing homes from real Cup Of Jo readers!! Where can I submit my apartment photos!

    • Lauren says...

      Harling probably reads this blog, and as far as I know she’s real! Trust me, you do not want to see my house, and I do not want some ‘team’ messing about in it!

  54. Judy says...

    We have radiators throughout our old 1940’s house, and I’m drooling over the custom radiator covers/built-in bookshelves! Such a clever idea.

  55. Rae says...

    I appreciate the thoughtful discussion happening in the comments section here about class and wealth. For me, it’s not about *not* featuring the lives of people who come from wealthy backgrounds — it’s just strange to me when that’s not talked about. The amazing thing about CoJ is the open and honest discussion, and when that applies to so many parts of life *except* class and money it’s confusing. For instance, this article would have felt much more engaging, honest, real, and generally true to the spirit of CoJ if it had included a simple sentence like, “My partner and I were very fortunate that our families helped us make the down payment on this apartment” or “We’re incredibly lucky that we don’t have student debt, which has made it possible for us to afford this rent at this point in our lives.” I’m making up both of those as examples, and it wasn’t clear to me from this article whether they rent or own this apartment, but whatever it is that their circumstances are — just acknowledge it! I understand that that wouldn’t satisfy all of the criticisms here, but for me (and this was the problem for me with Manrepeller too), the wealth itself isn’t the problem — it’s when it’s not talked about or acknowledged as part of that person’s story. I also understand that this could be tricky ground to navigate for the CoJ team, and that it’s one thing to ask someone for an apartment tour and another thing to ask them about their personal finances. But that’s part of the wonderful thing that this site does so well — ask its community about ALL parts of them.

    • Mel says...

      Hi Rae, I understand your point and in some ways I agree, but also I’m not sure this would be the solution. I don’t think I agree that people should basically have to justify their wealth. Readers can start judging them just based on whether they think they deserve their wealth or not. I grew up poor and raised by a single mother, but I’m a very hardworking and educated engineer now, and I’m quite affluent now. It seems absurd that in order to showcase my home, I would need to provide personal information like this.

    • Kara says...

      Rae, I love your comment and completely agree! It would be such a relief to hear people be open in this way. It’s typically so taboo in the US to discuss or reveal these things, which is exactly what helps keep our country’s wealth disparities in place. You see a beautiful apartment like this and wonder how such a young woman could have created that for herself, and without the context of class and wealth you may start to think that you yourself are less than for not being where she is (even being older with many accomplishments in my case). When wealth and class is hidden, you make it about your perceived individual shortcomings when in reality it is mostly about the class systems in our country. COJ team I am confident that you can successfully do this and be an example of how to do so thoughtfully.

    • SR says...

      Yes to everything Kara and Rae are saying! We do need to normalize these conversations around money and privilege. Podcaster and author Aminatou Sow called this “secret white people money” and described a certain responsibility to disclose this, especially in friendships—it’s so true! Secret White people money could be, as you described Rae, a contribution to a down payment from parents, being student loan free because your parents contributed to college. My secret white people money is that my mom gave me her old car, and she’s paying for most of my college degree! I think we have the responsibility to disclose this so those around us who can’t afford the same lifestyle aren’t left confused and wondering why they aren’t “achieving” the same, as Aminatou Sow has said.

    • Rae says...

      I’m so glad to read these thoughtful replies to my comment! Thank you.

      Mel, I hear you on this. For what it’s worth, I’d be really interested in reading the same sentence that you share here about your career and hard work as part of your home tour — it’s absolutely personal, and maybe more personal than some would want to share, but I love the way that CoJ home tours often do touch on the personal and share many dimensions of people’s stories and lives.

      Kara, I completely agree that not talking about it is part of what perpetuates income inequality.

      SR, thanks for sharing that phrase of “secret white people money” — I hadn’t heard that and it’s so true! I think that the more we talk about these things, also the less judgment there is — when we’re not used to hearing people talk about it, there can be shame and judgment associated with having debt or not having debt or growing up working class or growing up wealthy or anything in between. But it’s amazing how open conversations can lead to shame/guilt/judgment dissipating — and accepting/normalizing so many different backgrounds and ways of being. That’s so much of what the ethos of CoJ is for me and why I come here, and I’d love to see open discussion of money woven into more of their posts too.

    • Mel says...

      Thanks Rae, this discussion has definitely given me food for thought! :)

    • Brenna says...

      It’s always interesting to hear about people’s finances but I would never expect it. If someone looks strangely poor should they have to give an explanation as well? How people could have money isn’t a ‘secret’: they either inherit it, earn it, marry into in, or less commonly steal it or win it. I’m trying to understand what could be confusing about people having different amounts of money.

    • Katie says...

      Yes Brenna, what you said exactly!

  56. leah says...

    i actually really enjoy Harling’s style, and voice, and her apartment is definitely beautiful and inspiring my own aesthetic. i’m an avid thrift store shopper and even though the products here may be expensive, i believe one can achieve a similar style on a budget.

    i’m a non-Black POC who lost her job at the beginning of COVID and had to move into her parents’ house recently, but i’m not going to hate on Harling just because she’s wealthy and white, and i’m certainly not going to hate on Cup of Jo. they’ve been creating so much inclusive content way before this year, and are we just going to expect them to not post about wealthy white women anymore? Joanna IS a wealthy (to most people’s standards, and i believe she has worked hard for that wealth!) white woman so it would be silly to think that ALL posts moving forward are not going to be about women that relate more to her.

    i’m tired of seeing Joanna bashed every time there is a post about a white woman. Joanna is obviously going to post about her friends and acquaintances and i think she and her team have been doing a great job including more and more content that is diverse and also requested by their readers. she is not going to be able to please everyone and there is no blog on earth (albeit one with free content) that will cater to every single person’s opinions and needs. in the winter post a few days back i saw that someone was upset about it because it’s not winter where they are? but why on earth would Joanna post about summer when it’s not summer where she is?

    my main reason for commenting that we’ve already seen this exact apartment tour on Man Repeller, and i’d love to see content that is more unique. as much as i love this apartment and have pinned every photo of it, i do think that Harling and Cup of Jo both have more to offer than recycled content.

    • AE says...

      When you oversimplify the argument by making it about “bashing white women”, it’s clear you’ve missed the point. Saying you’re a POC also doesn’t automatically validate your comment. People are tired of the status quo and the deceit- whether intentional or not- of how money and opportunity and freedom of choice works in America. That’s much more than “hating on white women”.

    • leah says...

      @AE – in no way was I saying that being POC would “validate” me, I only stated that I was POC (and also mentioned my current financial situation) to show that I don’t at all relate to Harling or many of the white, seemingly financially stable women featured on this blog on those levels, but that doesn’t mean i can’t appreciate what they have to offer.

  57. Jean says...

    I, for one, absolutely love this house tour! Your blog does a better job of literally any other media I consume thoughtfully incorporating diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Keep it up and please, more like this!

  58. MariaE. says...

    I like this series about others’ homes. I basically like to look at interior design, bookshelves, photo frames, stories behind certain pieces, little details here and there as I am into those little accents that make homes homey and warm. I am happy to see that people are open to share their private spaces with others. I love to look at interior design magazines/books and dream on for a bit. Some furniture, art, etc. are unaffordable, but I like to copy ideas and get similar things based on my budget. Once in Paris, we took a ‘Paris at night’ tour and the tour guide told us to look at the apartments with lights on, no curtains or blinds closed. It was mind blowing. Some people leave them like that so that others can see the interior from far. Then, a few years ago, while visiting Iceland, my girlfriends and I noted the windows of most houses. They had things hanging like hearts, flowers, etc. Things with meaning they want to share with others. They also leave their lights on and, at night, you can see what they are doing. Another mind blowing moment. Back at home, I decided I wanted to create my ‘Icelandic’ window. Not many can see it closely as I live on a third floor, but I love my window. I don’t know who Harling is, where she comes from or whether her family has money or not. To be honest, I can’t remember her face from the picture right now, but I love her place and those little/big accents that make it so special and homey. Except from the Marston House couple, I can’t remember any of the owners of the places featured in this series, but I DO remember their places. I love this blog and I look forward to seeing many more cool places in future tours. I love to be inspired by others.

  59. Anna says...

    I am from Europe and I really don’t get the fuss over her appartement in the comments. Over here (Western/Northern EU) most of the flats look like hers (more IKEA less designers in average though). Why is displaying it such an affront? I know that the US is in large parts a really poor country but I really don’t get the level of critisim here.

    • S says...

      Well, I would say the issue is not the the US is a poor country, but more that there is massive wealth inequality. A small, powerful majority holds the vast majority of the wealth, where as I understand it, Northern Europe has a much more equitable distribution of wealth.

    • S. says...

      I’m from Europe too and uuuh where do you live? None of the flats I’ve lived in, or my friends’, or my parents’, have looked like this. Even in Paris. Actually, especially *not* in Paris. This tour definitely ranks as “aspirational”!

    • Kate says...

      I think it’s more related to her background. She worked at Man Repeller, which was recently criticized for being an exclusive space for rich white women. This magazine just shut down this week after being called out over the summer. They received some criticism for not treating employees of color equally and for being elitist. So I think it’s less this apartment in particular and more in context with the background of the author. I don’t think she needs to never be featured or anything, but I do think it is telling that COJ is featuring white women who left the magazines called out as discriminatory and not the POC who were forced to leave because of said practices.

    • nadine says...

      Hi Anna, I understand your comment and I can tell you about my perception.
      What put me off in this article is not necessarily the apartment, I find it cute and indeed not very different than many others.
      What is actually worrying me is that it’s highlighting a former writer from a website that has a weird and uncomfortable history. And this happens the same week that a former contributor of Bon Appetit was featured here. It makes me worry that just as we started to see those companies being held responsible of their actions and messages, the people that were part of those systems are moving on and taking the same spots in other places. Hence change and accountability becomes just a facade.

      I have been a Coj reader for many many years. It truly has being making me be a better person and I believe in the good intentions from Joanna. I also understand that on the surface we seem to just be talking about brownies and bookshelf organizing. But I think in this moment of our time, we have the opportunity to really imagine and act for an authentic, diverse and inclusive society.

    • Kara says...

      I think it’s less about the apartment in particular and more about the timing in relation to the Man Repeller controversies. I had to look it up as I’m not a MR reader, and it sounds like one of the central issues was exclusion around class. In the MR reader comments Harling was noted as being one of the writers who was extremely wealthy but did not acknowledge her privilege and therefore contributed to the exclusionary environment. Because many COJ readers are also MR readers and because COJ also reads MR (based on various past recommendations to articles on their site), I think the commenters here want to make sure COJ doesn’t make the same mistakes MR did.

    • RWD says...

      Kate, Jo also just featured Nora Taylor, another ManRepeller alumna, so it’s not just a White Women of ManRepeller Reunion Tour over here.

  60. S says...

    Here’s my current thought process when it comes to the jealousy and frustration I feel upon reading posts like this: We’d all (at least the vast majority of us) have great personal style if we came from the means that Harling clearly comes from. And yes, it feels unfair to see her crowned a leader and trend-setter in the world of fashion commentary, because so much of her success, it seems, comes down to good connections and the world of wealth she comes from (e.g., being able to afford the expensive products she promotes), and not that she is somehow more charming, talented, witty, & creative than “we” are. Yes, she probably works her butt off, but so do the rest of us, and our apartments will never be featured on Cup of Jo.

    At the same time, I can be grateful for my self-sufficiency, because a beautiful vase or one-of-a-kind headboard cannot mean as much to someone who has been handed that kind of lifestyle as it does to someone who has actually had to build it themselves. Like, I can’t just pop into a vintage store and walk out with a few items for my chic, spacious NYC apartment. I have to save for months and restrain myself from impulse shopping. But, it also means that the vase, when I finally own it, is all the more cherished by me, and in a sense, all the more representative of me.

    In that sense, I feel bad for people like Harling, who can never know the pleasure of having built a life for themselves without substantial help. (I know I’m making some assumptions about Harling here, but this seems to be the impression people have of her.) I love the look around my apartment at the few precious treasure I’ve been lucky enough to acquire over the years, but I also feel empowered to look beyond the things I own to get a sense of what makes me “me.” Building a life of my own means a greater awareness of what I’m capable of.

    • Vero says...

      I understand what you’re saying. It’s hard when you see someone who has what you would like for yourself, and harder when there is little acknowledgement of privilege. But ok ease don’t hold yourself to the standard of having a home that’s able to be featured on a blog or magazine! That’s probably setting many of us up to feel like we don’t measure up or are inferior. It’s true many people in this world have privilege, advantages and connections that we don’t have. However, I think if we can look at spaces like this and see them as inspiring rather than allowing them to make us feel bad, it would serve us better! And I don’t think we need to take digs at Harling or feel sorry for her. I’m sure she very much appreciates her thrift scores just as you do yours. I think it’s nice to have our own visions and goals and let others inspire us along the way rather that using another’s experience to make us bitter. I’ve lived that way in the past and it’s a much less enjoyable life.

    • Penny says...

      This is….incredibly condescending and rude.

  61. Cynthia says...

    I really enjoyed this house tour. The room divider screen reminded me of the Japanese screens my in-laws had. Sadly, they went back to my stepfather in-law’s side of the family when he passed. It’s really a lovely apartment, and I am sorry readers are upset because Harling is from a wealthy family.

  62. Elizabeth says...

    The mirror over the dresser – so cool and brings so much movement to the space! I learned something design-y new-to-me that I liked from this piece.
    Agree completely w/ Mazarine’s comment above. No need for a Reign of Terror at Cup of Jo, or anywhere; it does a disservice to all. Thank your for your efforts to bring balance to your site, which I did not find tipped inappropriately by this beautiful apartment.

  63. cynthia says...

    Very cool interior – love all the mixing

  64. Sivan says...

    Disappointing to see this on CoJ.
    There’s a reason what happened at MR happened.
    This feature is exactly the content I was running away from at MR, not to mention her apartment was already on there a couple years ago…
    Seeing ex-MR writers contributing on CoJ is, well… sad.

    Give room to new voices, different voices. Let’s learn something new about someone who represents a unique pov. I’ve always loved CoJ for the real-life, intimate, relatable content, and I hope to continue seeing that on here.

    • E says...

      Granted I’ve never read Man Repeller, but how is this content of a home tour significantly different than another CoJ home tour? Sometimes a tour is just a tour and I equally love seeing one from a someone like Harling as well say someone like Kim. I don’t read a home tour to try to recreate their home. I honestly don’t understand the disappointment shown here in many of the comments.

  65. AS says...

    A lot of wonderful women have already expressed quite elegantly the many issues that exist within this piece. I would just like to add, as someone who has been following CoJ daily for years, since before you were engaged (!!) – I have always felt like an observer looking in through a window. As an immigrant and a woman of color who is plus-size and working-class – most of what is featured on this site, I cannot afford or dream of pulling off. There are several posts about sustainable brands that are worth the price tag, that I can justify saving up for and reusing for years. But most of it, like the $300 vase mentioned earlier, just seem like signs of a life I’ll never understand, of a class I don’t strive to inhabit, and of a perspective that has no idea what it’s like for $300 to be half of your monthly rent. The few pieces in between, by BIPOC authors and of working class and middle class women have been the few moments where I felt I truly connected with the content you were sharing.

    I know I am speaking for a lot of women and POC when I say that most of my life in America feels like watching a story about others, about white folk. It’s nice to feel seen and connected when the narrative focuses on the stories of women of color. CoJ has been consistently improving in that realm and I look forward to seeing the changes that come.

    Much appreciation.

    • Alex says...

      I wholeheartedly agree with everything you’ve said.

    • Vish Gupta says...

      I’m torn here, as to what to say, I am a POC, but one that has had a future paved by my parents who were very bright and lucky to study at the top universities in their country and make it here, they were able to work for companies that paid well, and as a result, I received the ability to pursue a masters and secure a successful career, my husband has a very similar background, and while we are unlikely to purchase $300 dollar vases, we are able to afford items like this. I think it is not a race issue but a wealth disparity issue, and I would be eager to see if it would be possible to have submissions taken from multiple perspectives, possibly the author of Maid or Nickeled and Dimed to weigh in/make a recommendation where we can feature folks from this background or perhaps COJ can link to a few blogs already doing this, however in defense of COJ, I do believe they are very honest and open in their communication and one does choose to read this publication out of the free will. COJ has every right to promote and position content that it would appear many readers, myself included, enjoy.

  66. caro says...

    Yes, this is a lovely apartment but I feel conflicted while reading this post. Manrepeller published what is essentially the same article January… and I have to question why we continue to see the same content about wealthy white women. Also, I know it was no intentional, but the fact that this was published the same week that repeller has imploded feels…weird. This post feels as though COJ is ignoring the larger conversations and reckonings that are occuring in media. I feel a little worried that COJ will morph into MR and become classist and clueless. I hope not, I trust the COJ crew but this gives me pause.

  67. April says...

    I love wallpaper and that print in the bathroom is beautiful. I would love to have that in my home.

    I also have curly hair which I specifically remember appeared when I was in eight grade, so was probably around 13 as well. I always wondered if was due to hormonal changes that caused it to appear at that age. It’s interesting to hear that it started then for others as well.

  68. Jess Mill says...

    Unpopular opinion: I like looking at nice shit. Sometimes it’s a beautiful dress, a gorgeous kitchen, a face free of pores, etc. I’m not saying representation isn’t important, I’m saying that I sometimes want to forget my real life “blehness” and see something I don’t have that is superficial and appealing.

    Felt it important to note I like seeing different things from different people. And maybe there is a better way to support all woman. Let’s appreciate this post and see COJ’s continued integration of inclusivity.

    We can want more diversity and not trash posts like these. I love Kim’s articles as I do Harling’s. A rising tide raises all ships.

    • Chloe says...

      100% agree! Thank you for articulating it much better than i could.

    • Liz says...

      Agree 100%. Also I think Harling is doing more work to showcase brands from POC! She’s not perfect but she has been doing that monthly as she said she would. And it’s just a pretty apartment that brightened my day for a few minutes

    • D says...

      Amen!!!!!!!!

    • R says...

      Except that a rising tide does not raise all ships.

    • E says...

      Agreed. I feel like CoJ is one of the blogs/places that has consistently been getting better at showing more diversity over many years, not just jumping onto the trend this past year. It makes me sad to see them get slammed because of one post.

    • Justine says...

      I agree.

    • a.n. says...

      YEP. agreed!

    • Kay says...

      Except, no. A rising tide does NOT raise all ships. Look around this country, there are a lot of sinking ships and the tide is rising for only a small minority of very rich people. We are days before an election that is a probably the most significant referendum on democracy in America in generations. So many people are out of work, on the edge, and really, really worried about the future. But, by all means, look at “nice shit.” There is a reason why so many commenters take issue with this post. It’s because, once again, in a place that we all love, we see a rising tide raising the ship of someone with significant wealth and privilege, from a troubled media outlet, benefiting once again from systems that systemically exclude those without wealth, social privilege, and, yes, whiteness. And, honestly, it HURTS. I’ve been following this blog for over a decade and I AM TIRED. Looking a pretty lamps does not make for a “good escape” or a “safe place” during difficult times, it’s hiding your head in the sand while the world burns. No, thank you. Also, VOTE. But why would talk about that, and ALL of the issues surrounding it, when we could just admire the nice scenery, no?

  69. Darden Cave says...

    Harling is alway s such a breath of fresh air in a world where you feel like you have to be “perfect” or live according to others’ standards. She is a great addition to the Cup of Jo family!😊

  70. Kat v. says...

    Hi Joanna,
    I’m so excited to read that you’d like to feature more content from diverse sources. I’m a Queer, genderqueer single mom of a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old who has poured my heart and soul into decorating my Portland 800-square foot jewel box of a home with bright color and to highlight POC and queer artists. I’d really love to humbly submit my little gay house to COJ for a tour. How would I go about doing that?

    • Elizabeth R. says...

      I REALLY hope you have a tour here. Sounds like an apt that is right up my alley, Kat V.

    • Kate says...

      Your home sounds amazing, I hope it is featured!!

    • Claire says...

      Please submit! I would love to see your home!
      signed, former resident of the PNW who misses it very much

    • Gretchen says...

      Kat, seeing your home would make me so happy!
      I recently came out as Queer, and something that I did not at all expect was how that would influence how I think of my home space and how I want my home to feel.
      The relationship between home and identity is such a deep & fascinating one.

    • Sophia F. says...

      Hi Kat V., I’d love this too!

    • Margaret Forsey says...

      ohh, I would love to see your home! It sounds delightful!

    • Em says...

      Dying for this little gay house tour! Count this vote as ten in favour for Kat!

    • Sasha L says...

      A little gay house tour!! Count me in.

    • I’d love to see your house!

    • Sean says...

      Yesss, I want to see your home too, Kat!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      kat, i’m reaching out to you now! thank you so much!! xoxo

    • I very much want to see this home, and would also love a submissions feature/option for more people to be able to do this!

    • Kat v says...

      HOLY CANOLLI!!!! What a response, thank you all, you lovely people! What a nice thing to read a few days after posting! Joanna, just e-mailed you back – a sentence I never dreamed I’d be able to write. 2020, you sure are a trip.

  71. S. says...

    OK I have a question… How weird is it to see yourself reflected in the mirror when you lie in bed? I’ve been wanting to try that look, but thinking about constantly catching a glimpse of myself when I’m reading (or, worse, waking up at night) gives me the creeps!

    • S- I was worried about this too when we flipped our bed (trying to make our space feel new any way we can that is freeeeeeeeeee)- but for us at least the mirror on the dresser is higher than the bed and angled, so I can wave at the top of my head if I’m sitting up reading, but lying down or uh, most other things are out of the reflection.

    • K says...

      You get used to it, or at least I did. It’s almost like when you put something new on your wall. After a while, your brain stops registering it as new.

    • S. says...

      @Grace – lmao thanks for understanding the subtext here, this is exactly what I was worried about. Good to know!!

    • E says...

      I think I have read through all of the comments, as I became curious about the controversy (maybe some were removed? I don’t know). I’ve been reading this blog for an embarrassingly long time and have noticed and appreciated the growing diversity of contributors and staff. I’m basically a straight white woman, but I come here as a form of escapism and expansion in many ways: I love hearing from diverse voices. I appreciate that COJ actually seems to do that.

      The timing of this post with the closure of Man Repeller seems ill-conceived, but I have also noticed a general uptick in complaints and criticisms of the ‘lack of diversity’ represented (and compensated). Critique is valid and important and vital to a *lifestyle/culture* blog.

      But something that I also wonder about is whether the staff and contributors who are not straight white women ever feel somewhat overlooked when the comments section starts to jump on this train. I wonder to what extent white women commenters are partially exemplifying unconscious bias–disregarding the many posts by and about queer people, BIPOC, etc., and fixating on the posts by and about white women.

      Everyone makes choices. And everyone inherits a world. In the US, we are among the richest nations in the world; to many other countries, we are ALL privileged, regardless of race or precise class background. At the same time, there is growing economic inequality. However, it’s important to remember that it is in the interest of the tiny percentage of the most wealthy–not talking people fortunate enough to have a cool coffee table on loan from grandma, but people who have hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to foreign companies yet can pour millions into their own political campaigns–for “the rest of us” to fight amongst ourselves, to be divided as much as possible.

      To Joanna and team: I do think it’s worth considering the timing of this post, and the conspicuous silence around the issues going on at Man Repeller/that situation. However, to fellow white-lady readers of COJ who can’t find the non-white voices on this site, it would be worth LOOKING FOR and SEEING them! There is always, always more work to do–but part of the reason I can handle reading this blog, which is not super relatable to me in many ways, is that there is such a range of perspectives and so many different kinds of people seem to be genuinely valued. I spend a lot of days literally shoveling tons of gravel, I do not have children, and I wear the same beat up clothes every day without makeup (I don’t even use shampoo, ok!)–the idea of being a creative professional with a nice apartment in NYC is so ludicrously unattainable to me that it’s funny–BUT I also feel no hint of being “less than” because of that, in the eyes of this blog.

      Also, how many people who are ready to ‘cancel’ because of a $300 piece of furniture have taken unnecessary flights? Bought one or two expensive pairs of shoes? Spent money on flowers on a regular basis? Bought a pricey bottle of wine at a restaurant? Spent money on cheap furniture which they later threw out? Bought more clothes than they actually needed? Glass houses/throwing stones/ etc. etc. In our current times we need to be careful about what we label and vilify as “elitism.” We need as many people as possible working together for greater equity because we are in a serious moment of upheaval.

  72. Ciara says...

    Has CoJ ever done a user demographics survey? It would be a great way for readers to get a better visual of the community here (I can imagine a great post with lots of infographics and I’d love to know more about the backgrounds of this community) and might help the wonderful team better pitch their posts whilst continuing to encourage diversity.

    • jen says...

      Would love to see this happen!

    • Neela says...

      Oooh, interesting idea! Would love to see that infographic series!

  73. Lainey says...

    I am a super non-fancy, working-to-pay-the-bills person, and could never really relate to MR. I’m also pretty sure that I’ve commented on past COJ posts asking for more relatable home tours. That being said, Harling’s home really spoke to me. I love the mix of old and new and the sense of collecting meaningful items at a variety of price points. While clearly many of her choices are out of my price range, I can still appreciate and take from her style. Her tips for sourcing vintage finds are great, too!

  74. Jill says...

    In response to many of the below comments – sometimes a cool apartment is just a cool apartment. Sometimes it’s fun to see someone who spends $269 on a vase, because although I could, I NEVER would. Sometimes it is a fun escape to just have a peek inside others lives. Just because she has more than you, does not mean she stole from you. It’s just her fun quirky apartment, not a political statement. This article is a way to bring a bit of joy and fun to others, during some really stressful times.

    • m says...

      amen!

    • J says...

      “Just because she has more than you, does not mean she stole from you” – Yes.

      I love home tours that showcase high end, aspiration, unaffordable dream furniture, as much as I love home tours that showcase vintage, thrifted, low-budget, affordable finds (most of which fill my own home). I love home tours by PoC, and non-PoC. Thanks to CoJ for continually diversifying their content. That does NOT mean they should never post a tour of a wealthy white woman’s home. Or that the tour needs a disclaimer.

      I love Harling’s style, and quite honestly even if it’s expensive stuff, I can imagine replicating this style without a large income.

    • R says...

      Actually, slavery and colonization mean that accumulated wealth is ABSOLUTELY stolen.

    • Kristin says...

      Yes, thank you for saying this, R!

    • Elle says...

      I thought the same thing as R when I read Jill’s comment.

      Slavery, Jim Crow laws, etc. mean that White wealth is in effect stolen, especially multi-generational inherited wealth. White people benefitted from free labor for generations, plus exclusive access to education which opens doors to make more money.

      Even if all persecution had ended with slavery, this advantage and often wealth was passed down. Unfortunately, the abolition of slavery didn’t end the persecution. White people upheld a near monopoly on land ownership, access to higher education, and career opportunities through explicit laws and racism as well as bias. Creating a monopoly barring a whole race of people from meaningfully participating in the economy is stealing.

      Of course there have been improvements over the generations, but without reparations ever made, Black people continue starting out life at a deficit and White people continue to start at an advantage. This advantage was purposefully created and continues to be purposely upheld.

      I don’t think the comments here are to hate on Harling, but are rather to point out how showing off this level of privilege during a time when so many are suffering deeply, a time when the country is grappling with racial and wealth inequity, feels tone deaf. I agree with what Rae said above that an acknowledgment of privilege would have gone a long way to help. Including recommendations of lower priced versions of some of the items could also have been more inclusive to a wider audience. 

      There’s an interesting This American Life episode called “Three Miles” that addresses how painful it can be to be confronted with a level of privilege that one had no chance at experiencing.

      I really appreciate that CoJ is a space where these important conversations can happen, that the CoJ team supports this work and continues to listen to feedback with such grace. It’s why I keep reading this blog while I have stopped reading others where feedback was met with defensiveness.

  75. Emily says...

    Love this tour! Always so fun to see real homes with a flair for style. It’s really helped me to embrace a lot of the things in my home that came in via necessity but gathered value from nostalgia. I didn’t have the same negative feelings as many with this, but was also not an avid reader of MR. Always a loving fan.

    • Sarah says...

      Wow. I love this home. It is so thoughtfully decorated! That wallpaper is so cozy. I find this very inspirational to my own decorating. Thanks for the the curl hair products too because I’m always on the lookout for an easy curly hair routine!

  76. Colleen says...

    “There has been so much drama and so many ups and downs — there were times I liked him more, times he liked me more, and to net out in the middle is truly miraculous.
    This spoke to me so much. It reminds me of a conversation with a volunteer at a museum I was working at many years ago. She was in her 90s and told me the secret to a happy marriage was understanding that relationships are 70/30, meaning there’s always one partner who’s giving more at one time and then it will switch. I don’t know that it’s perfect advice but I can definitely relate now after 6 years of marriage. And,really, when I think about it maybe it’s relevant to all kinds of relationships.

    • Vishakha Gupta says...

      This also spoke to me as I married a man who I dated early in my twenties, and then we broke up and reconnected in his 30s and my late 20s, we both are very much different from the versions of ourselves we initially met.

  77. Karin says...

    As a longtime fashion-magazine lover who also loved Manrepeller in its prime and has gone down the rabbithole of “what went wrong at MR” discussions on Reddit, I appreciate the other commenters bringing up the MR issue.
    I’m so torn enjoying this piece as
    1) this is one of my favorite home tours you’ve ever shared (the wallpaper is amazing!)
    2) Harling is a talented writer and shouldn’t be cancelled or punished for her privilege. It is not her fault and she seems to be a nice person.
    But ….
    3) seeing former MR writers who were a large part of readers’ issues with the site’s classism and racism move over to CoJ feels somehow like kicking the can down the road.
    Classism is so built into the entire NYC editorial/writer industrial complex (insultingly low publishing starting salaries = most people can’t afford to get into publishing in the first place unless their parents subsidize their lives) that it will take a long time to undo.
    I have no answer and am not even sure how to feel about this myself, but I’m glad the topic has been brought up.

    • Lauren says...

      Agree 100%, you said exactly what’s on my mind

      I really enjoy this home tour … it’s so my style. And Harling is a talented writer. But … seeing the same voices again and again?

    • Sarah says...

      well said, thank you for adding this!

    • Kay says...

      THIS!!

  78. K says...

    every piece is like a sculpture, so thoughtfully chosen. i feel a soul in each piece, not merely a pretty face.

  79. Kumi says...

    The apartment is fun and charming; but, I need to ask, where is that lovely dress from?

    • A says...

      I think it’s Doen’ Carlota dress

  80. Liz says...

    Gorgeous apartment (that headboard is particularly amazing!). Love Harling, thanks for sharing!

  81. Tovah says...

    Harling, I also have hair that turned curly around age 13! What is up with that?!
    I went down a major curly hair video rabbit hole this quarantine summer, and I’m also finally happy with my curls thanks to styling while sopping wet (who knew?) and plopping for awhile before drying.
    Anyway thanks for sharing your home; I love it!

    • Katherine says...

      Me too! Bonus points: I had long straight hair and initially cut a fringe and just that went curly. Horror! Later when I cut all my hair into a bob, it all curled. My hairdresser said she saw lots of people have their hair change radically at puberty, but it feels totally unexpected when it happens, that’s for sure.

    • Lee says...

      I also went down a curly hair care rabbit hole during quarantine! Got a silk pillow case… And discovered gel! Who knew!! Still trying to figure out exactly what products work well. It is so hit or miss and I don’t want to spend too much on products that won’t work! Curly hair is so high maintenance! Even once you find the routine that works for you!

    • Hilary says...

      I’m wondering if it’s the hormones? I know a lot of women have very different hair after pregnancy, which I imagine is the same hormone-tie in. Bodies are wild!

  82. Mere says...

    I was reluctant to leave a comment, but this (extremely beautiful) apartment tour is so frustrating to read.

    Harling comes from a very privileged upbringing (the Bitossi namedrop and the $250 Muuto vase and Happy Menocal wedding monogram, to name a few, say so much in wealth code, even if you don’t know of her). When the issues at Man Repeller came to light early this summer, Harling publicly and forcefully made a declaration of her privilege and committed to learn, share and feature BIPOC small business owners, amongst other things, on her platform (see her June 1 Instagram post). She did not follow through with this pledge, insofar as was visible in any way to her followers, and continued to post beautiful images of her hair and wedding flowers and rainbow light across her face.

    Harling was able to leave MR to freelance in a pandemic (not to mention leave NYC for months at its apex to quarantine against quirky wallpaper with her family) amidst its chaos and downfall because she has a stable safety net of wealth. Most do not, including most of your readers.

    It’s disappointing to me that CoJ continues to celebrate wealthy white girls whose apartments are obviously, charmingly, quirkily beautiful. You need to do the work to do better.

    • PK says...

      Agreed 100%.

    • LC says...

      Thank you for saying this.

    • Emily says...

      Omg THIS. Personal (but valid) criticism of the author aside, featuring wealthy white people who have the capital to have expensive, out of touch with reality apartments and lives goes against the everywoman vibe of CoJ although ultimately it is a reflection of the heart of CoJ.

    • AK says...

      Yup, you summed it up perfectly!

    • Harling says...

      Hey Mere! I wanted to clarify my commitment to offering free ad space to BIPOC business owners on my Instagram, since this is something I’m really passionate about and trying to do thoughtfully. I chose the words “free ad space” intentionally as my desire is to do more than just feature these brands but actually give them devoted, customized ad space as I would with a partner who is paying me to do so. Since writing my original post in June, I have partnered with a BIPOC-owned brand every subsequent month. Two of these partnerships, with Vanessa Bellan and Zou Xou have manifested as dedicated in-feed posts and the third, with Actually Curious, as a series of Instagram Stories since the goal for this one (conversion!) was best executed via a swipe-up link. I’ll share the in-feed posts below in case you want to check them out — and look forward to sharing the content I have planned in this vein for October, November, and beyond.

      https://www.instagram.com/p/CCJjbXbByfn/
      https://www.instagram.com/p/CDg61kWBfdT/

    • Mandy says...

      I have to say, I’m no great fan of Harling, but this comment had me scratching my head…. especially the mention of “wealth code.” What now??? Happy Menocal herself was featured on this blog. People routinely have higher end items in their house tours and no one is commenting mean-spiritedly about it. Bitossi? Huh? John Derian, whose items are often featured here are way more expensive. So specific tastes and knowledge of brands are reserved for specific income brackets? No one can read an aspirational magazine, or peruse the world wide web or go to design school or have tastes a little outside their own budget? I never thought I’d be defending Harling, yet here I am.

    • Olivia says...

      Thank you for this comment, I couldn’t agree more. I usually love CoJ house tours but this just made my heart sink – beautiful and chic yes, but also obvious and unrelatable. I’ve also been following the Man Repeller controversy over the summer and tbh I have very mixed feelings about this.

    • Anne says...

      Hm… It is a point for sure and I agree that it is important to show diversity . It is also a point to remember that CopofJo do not ONLY celebrate rich white girls nor is Harling ONLY a rich white girl.
      CoJ is a lifestyle blog and Joanna (bless her) is making a real effort to run content that is diverse and sustainable and with a remark like that it just seems that you have no idea and just see this one article and go “well this is clearly wrong and I will say so on the internet”.

    • Mazarine says...

      Hello,

      I am French so I am sorry in advance for my grammar.

      I don’t get your comment but maybe you could explain it better to me?

      I loved Harling’s articles on MR. I never cared about the amount of money her parents might have or if she had a countryside house when I was reading them, often because it did not matter! For me, she was just an American girl, living in New York (which when you think about it, makes her wealthy and privileged in the eyes of the rest of the world!), talking about body issues, relationship issues or fashion.

      I do totally agree that we need to hear more voices, from different background and not only from privileged white lucky girl.

      But her voice is interesting, her writing beautiful, and she has very nice taste in decoration! But because she comes from a privileged background it should not be seen?

      Maybe I am naïve, but could you explain me how you would have live your life differently if you were her?

      Is she, because of her background, constraint to a life where she can not write because no one can relate? How do you explain then, that far from NY, I could relate to what she was writing? Because it was more than just about money and color.
      Comment like your seems so hypocritical. Let’s more voices be heard, absolutely ! But don’t replay the French revolution and cut heads…Its way too bloody and absolutely does not work in the end. The actual French Republic was not born from it…

      I am sure it comes from wanting more diversity of background in journalism (and you are so right about it) but your comments is not constructive and again, maybe I am naïve, but I found it also mean.

      I would love to read an article about that issue on Cup of Jo or even a longer explanation from you, I am sure you mean well (Robespierre did too!).

    • Georgia says...

      Agree. So disappointing. What about some context?

    • Ann says...

      Thank you so much for bringing this up. I did not know this. I’ve been a long time reader (rarely feel the need to comment) and am pretty disappointed. Ugh.

    • Kate says...

      I actually really love Harling, but I have to agree with this.

    • Dina says...

      Thank you for saying so much of what I was thinking.

    • R says...

      Thank you for this comment and accountability.

    • Sarah says...

      Mere, thank you for saying this. I firmly agree with all of your points. This apartment tour feature, while beautiful, felt misaligned given Harling’s history. Unfortunate timing with MR closure too

    • Hayley B says...

      Wow, this is an amazing comment. I don’t follow Harling on Instagram or anywhere on social media so I have to admit I was completely unaware of the “wealth code” until you pointed it out, as well as the deeper issues at play here. I’m inclined to cut CoJ some slack as they have been very tangibly working towards better representation of BIPOC on the site for some time now, but it is nonetheless interesting to note how social connections (and perhaps even entrenched unconscious biases) may be at play when deciding who to work with, just as it is in the larger macrocosm of the working world. As they say, it’s not what you know but who you know.

    • Joanne says...

      I hear this, but I follow Harling and do remember at least one BIPOC post. (Zou You shoes.) I feel like there were some stories promoting brands/donations/amplifying black voices as well. I do agree that there’s a ton of privilege there, but I don’t think she’s been entirely ignorant. Just chiming in, not trying to negate your whole comment.

    • r says...

      Hey, I agree Harling has a lot of privilege, that’s no secret! But she did follow thru on bestirring BIPOC small business on her feed, and it was visible to followers (VBellan, Xouxou shoes, and a few others in her stories).

      MANY home tours featured here are from privileged people, I mean that’s who can afford a nice house in NYC! I agree CoJ should take responsibility to change this pattern of featuring wealthy white women, but is bashing Harling in the comments really achieving that?

    • Chloe says...

      Harling’s apartment is beautiful and i love to learn about Monograms and Bitossi and Muuto vases, which i did not know anything about before reading this post.
      I also love to know about other people’s apartments (from the tiny studio to the hamptons villa) and I think Cup of Jo does a fantastic job at diversifying the point of views. I don’t think that cancel culture helps make the world a more diverse place. PS: Man Repeller has closed and the people it employed no longer have a job. I just wish cancel culture did not just target small companies led by very visible women that make mistakes and try to make it better. I wish it targeted more the Sillicon Valleys of this world which are the ones getting a pass for beeing racists, mysoginists, “youngists”, etc.

    • courtney says...

      Mazarine, I agree. While it is absolutely worth acknowledging a subject’s privilege and understanding everything within context, that doesn’t mean we need to blind ourselves from that person’s experience and what they have to offer. Particularly considering that this person of privilege is committed to better herself in relation to how she can lift up those without the same level of privilege.

      I so deeply appreciate that this blog has made a genuine and real effort to be a platform for sharing diverse lifestyles. That doesn’t mean they need to not include a subject such as Harling. It just means not being all about people coming from where she is. She has something of value to offer. Personally, I wouldn’t be interested in this blog if it were homogenous in being 100% about characters like Harling or 100% about any other single type. It seems Harling is genuine and using her situation in life to be a positive part of society and living a good life. There’s nothing wrong with that. Of course we don’t want a barrage of the same type of person over and over, but I think it’s certainly worth giving this site credit for offering diversity. There is always more work to do – of course the blog and all of us, in our own lives, can be constantly improving. But there’s just no reason to hate on the blog for posting one piece featuring someone of privilege.

    • Rachel says...

      I’ve read through a lot of comments on this post, and while I don’t have strong feelings in either direction, but I find this particular perspective a bit intense.

      How is vilifying a wealthy white girl for sharing her home accomplishing anything? Is her house tour lovely? Yes! Is it completely unattainable for me? In many ways, absolutely! It’s also not new to CoJ. The vast majority of home tours feature people whose wealth is out of my teacher-salaried grasp. How about every $150 sweater that’s linked on a weekend post? I’m certainly not paying for it, but I’m not offended by it. I agree with another commenter who questioned whether Harling and others like her should be excluded from writing careers because their points of view can be seen as “exclusive”. While the burden of doing the hard work of reckoning with issues of systemic racism and privilege should fall on the shoulders of those who have benefited from the system the most, it’s important to remember that it can’t happen over night and that it takes time to unlearn and grow from. I think CoJ has shown that their team is working hard toward that goal.

      Does this article seem out of touch? Yes, in some ways, but also, can’t it be just a brief pause from your day to look at pretty things? Do we always have to assign such deep meaning?

      I’m glad to be seeing a more diverse cast of writers and contributors to the site, and really do hope it continues- of course in regards to race and identity, but also in regards to the financial status of writers and costs of products promoted.

      I think we could all do to extend a bit of grace to those around us who are trying to do better.

    • Traci says...

      I mean, why not show wealthy people’s homes? Isn’t that what people want to see? I’m white, upper middle class, but who the heck wants to see my normal suburban home that wasn’t professionally decorated?

    • MC says...

      Not everyone who knows (as an adult) what Bitossi is or is a fan of the visual language of monograming came from wealth and privilege.

      I was raised in a very poor rural town, by a single mother who lived pay-check to pay-check. My curiosity and love of beauty, even as a kid, is what got my butt to the paltry local library, checking out poetry books I could hardly read and really old fashion and interior mags.

      I’m not denying that Harling comes from wealth but you dumping on people who know of things that you don’t, only shows a narrow estimation of people’s backgrounds. So what if she, or anybody, finds joy in how a very specific and unexpected combination of light and reflective surface creates a rainbow? We all deserve to find joy where we can in the hellscape that is not just 2020, but that was the world before 2020 and will be the world after 2020 for many many people.

    • Kay says...

      I had the exact same response to this and I 100% agree. I’m so, so, super disappointed in CoJ right now.

  83. Katie says...

    Heading off to the internet to search for a green vintage waterfall coffee table….

  84. Jane says...

    I am a HUGE cup of jo fan and love the unique, raw, and relatable voices of joanna, Caroline, kim, and some other past CoJ contributors, but I honestly agree with Jenny here.

    I stopped reading ManRepeller a couple years ago, mainly because I found it full of homogenous voices that did not speak to me (young, thin, mostly white, and with tons of disposable income); I didn’t have anything against it, just wasn’t for me. I would too love to see the contributors expanding in more diverse directions, because that realness is what’s always drawn me to CoJ.

    • Ana says...

      Agree. It is disappointing to see former ManRepeller authors here, a space that has seemed intentional, thoughtful, and willing to do the work. I would love to see more diverse voices that don’t include wealthy, white women.

  85. Lynn says...

    Some good lamp game here. Vases too!

  86. jeannie says...

    Could you tell us the type of floor and color? It is so pretty!

  87. Kristin says...

    Lovely!

  88. Sarah T says...

    “It’s really fulfilling to like something that you hated for a long time” – what a great comment. It’s amazing to reflect on your journey with your self over time. It also reminded me of Fleabag – “hair is everything”! ha ha

  89. Em says...

    Where is that lovely living room rug from?

  90. Erin says...

    Jenny, thank you so much for putting this in such a kind yet challenging way. I had similar thoughts (especially as this was posted just as I was seeing the news about MR shutting down – weird timing?), and felt a bit turned off by this feature, lovely though the apartment is. Also, I don’t want to bring MR drama here, but I do hope that more blogs are willing to look at class as an aspect of diversity to address as well – I love this apartment and would also appreciate some tours of ones without $300 vases… Anyway, I’m happy to see Joanna’s prompt response to your comment, and agree that I’m excited to see CoJ grow in this positive direction.

    • Jane says...

      Thanks to all of you who have put into words so well what I am feeling. First: This is a lovely home and it makes me glad that its inhabitants seem to love it there.
      BUT I find it highly difficult to show these modern, quirky, “young” apartments and not ever mention how people get to own these unique antique pieces of furniture from their grandmothers, or (another tour, linked in this one) gigantic oil paintings of their grandmothers as young girls dressed as a princess and the like.
      I understand the need to display these kinds of things, people have every right to be proud of their families etc pp, but to just mention in passing / nonchalantly “oh, this was just my grandmother’s, I thought it looked fun here” and NEVER acknowledging the immense wealth that these items speak of, is very difficult, I believe. This kind of money does not come from simply working hard or maybe saving a lot and being frugal in other areas, it is amassed over decades or even centuries and people like these get a massive headstart over every- and anybody else and I believe this should at least be admitted. We are not talking about (only) young, hip, stylish people with a good eye for thrifting and home decor and unique pieces from flea markets, we are talking about a class so high above almost everybody else that yes, they can simply BUY good style, even though the saying goes that you can’t.
      I do not envy these people their money, I just think this should be said out loud – I have this great style and these amazing pieces of furniture because I can afford them and always have been surrounded by beautiful, well-curated items, all my life, and this is not something that comes naturally to most people. So, basically, I see my privilege. That would be a start.

      Also: I realize that comments like these might be hard for people who they are directed at. It would hurt me to read sth like this, for sure.
      But I think it hurts people who do not have a background like this MORE when they always see such beautiful, seemingly effortlessly stylish homes with comments like, Oh, I just got this from my relative, no big deal, … like it’s normal. Because it is not.

  91. Jessica says...

    Gorgeous apartment and I concur that ‘The Most Fun We Ever Had’ was an amazing book!

  92. “very clean and do not make noise and don’t have pets” – that’s the same thing I said to my wife on our first date! 😊

  93. Katie says...

    Such a fun apartment! Any details on the pink and blue portrait above the table? I love it!

  94. Michele Trickey says...

    Can Harling come decorate my house, please?

  95. Jenny says...

    This is a beautiful home! Can I mention something bummer-y, with respect? Lately there’s been a lot of content from white lady escapees from content homes (Man Repeller, Bon Appetit) that are in the process of major overhauls because of the harms they caused and inequalities they perpetuated against Black, brown, and minoritized colleagues. I know Claire Saffitz from BA ultimately left, “in solidarity w/POC,” but I’m left wondering if that’s a thoughtful enough discussion of the writers CoJ brings in now. I love CoJ’s diversity of voices, and am looking to see more. For those of us who were really not welcome in the former Man Repeller space (real questions about queer appropriation in the entire DDL chapter, etc), I’m interested in watching diversity at CoJ continue to grow.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you so much for your note, Jenny. I really appreciate your feedback and thoughtful points.

      We are excited to continue to grow our diversity at Cup of Jo across the board (with editors, writers, columnists, illustrators and photographers). As far as former staffers for content sites like Man Repeller and Bon Appetit, we have featured Harling and Hayley here and there, as well as Eric Kim (he was formerly at Food52) and Nora Taylor (she was formerly at Man Repeller):
      https://cupofjo.com/author/eric/
      https://cupofjo.com/2020/10/a-week-of-outfits-nora-taylor/

      And of course we have our new columnist Christine Pride covering race and relationships: https://cupofjo.com/author/christinepride/

      We would be thrilled to bring more POC onto our team of contributors this year and next. And we always strive to feature a diverse group of people in our content (in terms of race, sexual orientation, career, location, budget, style, marital status, family structure, etc.)

      Thank you so much, again, for being so thoughtful and holding us to high standards. I really appreciate it.

      Joanna

    • Meg says...

      I thought the same thing, Jenny! Long-time lover of Cup of Jo and Idk, I just feel like if I wanted to read all about the Man Repeller crew, I would’ve, well, read Man Repeller…

    • Paula says...

      Thank you for putting this into words, Jenny. I think I feel the same way, but have trouble identifying my emotions, to be honest (in part because English is not my first language).

      It felt really strange seeing Harling in CoJ right after everything that happened with Man Repeller (in the article about home office gadgets). I followed MR for several years, and only in June of this year did I realize how badly it was affecting me. I remember Harling posting on Instagram that she had a lot of work to do around systemic racism and her role as a white woman. But a few months later she’s writing the same type of articles she used to write for MR, only on a different blog (my favorite one <3). It just feels weird. Like nothing happened.

      At the same time, I know that Harling can be doing her work while freelancing! And I don't want to "cancel" a woman who has admitted to her shortcomings and committed to work on them. But then again, there are so many content creators in the world and in New York, so many new perspectives to be heard. Let's make room for them as well.

    • G says...

      Hi Jenny! Thank you for this post. I had also noticed the white former Man Repeller writers, and am interested in the ways in which race and social connections work together to shape how our careers are able to change.

      I wasn’t a reader of Man Repeller, and I am now really interested about the queer appropriation you mention. Is anyone able to point me to some of the content in which this was happening? As a newly out queer woman, I am finding myself really interested in this subject.

    • K says...

      hi Joanna,
      this might go without saying, but please continue to choose talented, thoughtful, articulate people that happen to be a minority, rather than trying to fill in a rainbow quota of some sort. again, it might be duhhh obvious, but i’ve seen the arbitrary quota thing happen, which doesn’t benefit anyone, imo.

    • Claire says...

      Thank you, Jenny, for voicing this important concern, and Joanna, too, for listening to feedback from your readers. I, too, wasn’t excited to see more of MR-style posts as it was a blog I could never engage with, even as a white woman. It often felt like an exclusive club that you’d hear about but would never be a member of, largely due to the nature of their posts which did not pertain to the vast majority of its audiences’ lived experiences. Hearing the criticisms from its readership and past employees has shed light on many of the problems that resulted from having a limited view of the world. Harling is a talented writer and her home is beautiful, but it feels like a magazine.

      What I’ve long admired about COJ is that it feels representative of real women. I’d love to see and hear about one of the homes of a COJ reader — how do you deal with clutter? How do you make your Ikea and second hand furniture look good with the maybe one or two nicer pieces you saved up for? I’d also get a kick out of seeing how people are setting up home workspaces during Covid. My little desk setup feels like it’s taking over the living room and it’s hard to shut off work at the end of the day!

    • Y says...

      I nearly clicked away as I thought for a moment I was on MR instead of CoJ.

    • Emily L says...

      I appreciate your comment Claire and agree – I too would love to see some reader homes, similar to the occasional posts on reader outfits. On this type of blog, I like the mix of “aspirational” with realistic things that I might actually be able to afford or recreate.

      I’m not sure I’ve ever read Man Repeller and hadn’t heard about the controversy, and I appreciate the thoughtful comments here discussing their issues with it.

    • o says...

      I agree with everything you’re saying here. But tbh I think most of the “queer appropriation” claims about MR are unwarranted. Queer appropriation isn’t the same thing as other more harmful types of appropriation. If you’re talking about the way Haley dressed and how some used to call it “queer-bating” I think that’s unfair… since when did we say people can’t express themselves how they want? (with different expressions of masculinity and femininity too). I don’t think wearing beanies and straight leg jeans or things that are stereotypically lesbian or queer are comparable to appropriating cultural dress. -Sincerely, a Queer Woman :)

    • J says...

      She was appropriating from Daniel Day-Lewis, in truth. But honestly––shouldn’t we all? He’s a giant among men!

      (Sorry, I felt like a little levity might be in order!)

    • The queer appropriation/DDL thing was, I think, less about queerbaiting and more about the complete lack of acknowledgement that queer women have been dressing that way for YEARS, often at great personal risk/cost, and this was presented as something she discovered/a new fun trend. She also didn’t seem to really get that seemingly straight, white, thin, able-bodied women have worn men’s clothes and called it fashion for decades…something that relies on a contrast between the cute/feminine wearer and the men who the clothes are designed for, basically. This old Racked article about “boyfriend” jeans is a good primer for some of this, though it had nothing to do with the MR DDL post: https://www.racked.com/2016/9/26/12907446/boyfriend-jeans-shirts-heteronormativity-expectation

  96. Heather says...

    “Levels, Jerry, levels!”

    Ugh I love levels, why aren’t they more of a thing?!

  97. Sarah says...

    UR KIDDING ME. Been needing this!!!

  98. b says...

    This is so good. I love your bedtime ritual, Harling. I used to stay up until all hours reading. I can’t do that anymore, but I can definitely do an hour.

  99. Emma says...

    Gorgeous apartment! I would love to know where Harling got her living room rug, please.

    • Amelie says...

      I agree with Meg!

  100. Carolyn says...

    What a beautiful home with old world charm! I would love to know the paint colour(s) on her walls!

  101. Libbynan says...

    I just want to say that, “I got lazy,” is the best excuse ever. I cannot tell you how often it has saved me from doing something really stupid. Many times just being lazy gives me time to acclimate, or think things over, or even completely forget about some idiocy I was going to perpetrate. I’m glad younger women are learning this trick. The apartment is lovely and calm and I too love the wallpapers.

    • Jean says...

      That is so true, and such great advice! I would’ve done myself and others less harm in my life if Younger Me hadn’t been in such a rush to fix something (i.e. do something stupid).

  102. Kirstin says...

    I hope you get to keep that coffee table! It’s perfect.
    This is a beautiful home in every way.

  103. Kat says...

    Wow that divider/headboard is stunning!