Monica’s book Living With What You Love explores ways in which people celebrate their most treasured possessions, from the ordinary to the extraordinary on a daily basis. Whether you’ve got an entire collection or a single heirloom—and whether it’s worth $5 or $50,000—this column is dedicated to giving you ideas for living with whatever it is you love by peeking into the homes of fascinating subjects.
Photographer Sam Horine describes himself professionally as “a regular explorer of forgotten, abandoned and under-appreciated places.” This also extends to his home, where his sacred spot is a lone corner flooded with rare natural light. “We live on the first floor of a four story building in Brooklyn,” says Horine, “so natural light, especially in the winter, is at a premium. This is one of the few places that we can grow plants.”
The first plant to inhabit the corner was a spider plant given to Horine and his wife by friends—next came the Christmas cactus, inherited via a grandmother’s estate. Keeping the plants company is a random but harmonious collection of other special mementos: the couple’s wedding cake topper, old bottles collected from Dead Horse Bay, a hidden beach in Brooklyn; a Wedgewood salad bowl also inherited from Horine’s wife’s grandmother; ceramic animal heads purchased off Ebay and at a flea market in North Carolina; a small stone elephant purchased on a trip to India; and lastly, Horine’s favorite item, the nesting hedgehogs.
“All of the pieces on display have a strong personal connection,” says Horine. His advice to those starting collections: “Try and stay away from collecting just for the sake of collecting—collect things that mean something to you. That way, it will have a polished, curated feeling.”
Photograph: Courtesy of Sam Horine.