NYT CoverNew Canaan-based photographer Jane Beiles has been photographing houses for decades. Along the way, she’s learned a few surprising truths about what defines a home. And while perfectly executed architecture and décor are common themes among the homes in her portfolio—most of which appeared in the The New York Times—Beiles says they are only part of what makes one beautiful. “I think of home as so much more than the structure of the place where one lives—it’s the energy of the family, feeling welcomed or embraced. A home likely houses collections, pets, some piles of clutter and most definitely laughter,” says Beiles. The photographer’s favorite examples not only look beautiful, but they also smell inviting. “I like to joke that a Diptyque candle in a home is a harbinger of good taste. The good smells can come from anywhere—scented candles, but also baking or fresh flowers that sweeten the air,” says Beiles. “Usually if something good-smelling is happening, it’s because the homeowners care about and love their space, and spending time there.”

To enjoy some of Jane Beiles’ gorgeous images from The New York Times, pick up a copy
of Home: The Way We Live Now (Rizzoli, $29)

Photo by Jane Beiles