Veronica is a photographer and mother living with her two young daughters and husband in Long Branch, New Jersey. Her home is fresh and inviting – it feels distinctly like a sanctuary. Cosy corners and quiet nooks are filled with textural pieces in natural materials; timber, wool and clay, and trinkets from travels and adventures adorn the shelves. Her own framed photographs are hung on the walls, too, bringing peaceful landscapes into this ultra-serene home.
We loved getting to peek into Veronica’s home and to see the Pampa pieces she has included as a nod to her Argentinian heritage. We spoke with her about building a career in photography and her experience nurturing home and family life during a difficult season.
Tell us about your neighbourhood in New Jersey; where are some of your favourite places to go?
Long Branch is a beachside town rich in diversity. My neighbourhood isn’t fancy nor unique, but I love how many different types of cultures blend here. It’s important to us, and I am happy to be able to immerse my kids in it. We thankfully live about a mile from the ocean, which has brought us incredible joy and respite through every season. We are lucky to have close friends nearby, beachside parks, excellent traditional Portuguese and Mexican restaurants and even a small, lively brewery. Asbury Park is where we usually head for a bite out, coffee and local shopping. There are some amazing little restaurants and shops that we adore, including the people who run them with a lot of heart. It’s a passionate and progressive community that I’m thrilled to watch grow.
How would you describe the style of your home?
I’d say it’s a mix of coastal, vintage, Scandinavian but also thoughtful. It’s always evolving but my goal is to create a space for people to always feel at home, welcomed and cosy. Many pieces in my home are second-hand finds mixed in with some newer items and my photography framed and sprinkled across the walls. We are a family of sentimental water signs so including travel and family photographs, trinkets of places visited, special cookbooks and handmade ceramics that evoke emotion, memories and good energy are absolutely essential. There are two young kids, two adults, two dogs and a bunny living in our small casita, so chaos is our normal, which is why I try to keep a neutral, minimal and airy space. It seems laughable, but I am realistic when it comes to living with children and pets, having managed to somewhat keep my aesthetic. My eldest daughter pokes fun at me for my love for the colour white! I simply hide her giant purple barbie camper in a basket. See, minimalist!
We love the Pampa pieces you have chosen for your home, what drew you to Pampa?
I was first drawn to Victoria’s stunning photography, but I have deeply loved Pampa for many years. For me, it was mostly for the beautiful woven textures and neutral tones but also because of the artisans and products being from Argentina, where my father is from. Once I learned that, I was a customer for life. I really admire Pampa’s ethics and values, and their love for Argentina makes them one of my absolute favourites. ¡Qué cosas buenísimas!
Tell us about your love for photography, when did it begin?
Oh my, it feels like a lifetime ago since I first picked up a camera. I’d love to say I grew up taking photographs, but in reality, this hobby came to me in my late teens and early twenties. My camera never left my side during those years, with each trip I took, every outing, meal, beach visited, and memories with friends were captured. I’m grateful for the journey I have had so far with my camera. It became more of a career when I was in my thirties and began shooting weddings. My passion continued to grow, especially as I began shooting more on film. I’m fascinated by real human connections and celebrations so it completely suits me, far more than what I went to college for, which was health and exercise science!
We recently read about your renovations on the beautiful fireplace dining area, can you tell us a little bit about this process?
Our garage was a major labour of love. Where there once was a massive amount of asphalt and a dilapidated, junk-filled structure, we created a bright and cosy gathering space during quarantine. The whole project was possible due to talented friends and family who gave us their weekends and their helping hands. We’ve been searching for a little property in the Catskills for years (which hasn’t happened yet!) so this filled the desire for a cabin-like escape. It was worth the blood, sweat and tears and is very special to us. As for the grill, my father is Argentinian, and I grew up with a giant brick parrilla in our family backyard. Sunday asados were our traditions, full of family, wine and incredible food. Once we decided to stay in our current home for the foreseeable future, we finally pulled the trigger on the long-awaited outdoor parrilla/pizza oven of our dreams. It was custom built for us, including steel grates welded by a Portuguese family friend. My husband and I love to cook and host, so adding this culinary extension to our yard and garage was the natural next step for us. It really does feel complete! Our hearts and bellies are feeling full.
What is inspiring you lately?
Travel! Like many of us during this Pandemic, I have not been on a plane in over a year. The ache is strong to be able to finally (fully vaccinated) explore and get out of the country. Fingers crossed that we all get the opportunity to do so soon!
What does family mean to you and is there one space in your home that you all love to gather?
Familia means everything to me. I probably spend more time with my parents and family than most people do, but it’s time truly cherished. We are South American and Italian so the hugging/kissing/gathering/eating/talking runs deep within us. These wild times were incredibly hard for us, so I never take a day with them for granted.
One space in our home that is always hustling and bustling is the kitchen. It is tiny in size, but we frequent it the most. Music playing, multiple meals cooked, a snack for every hour of the day, a place where we begin with coffee and end with dessert. The garage was also a highly frequented space this winter, with many warm and cosy nights spent inside.
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