Maxwell Ryan founded the website, Apartment Therapy, to help people make their homes more beautiful, organizing and healthy by connecting them to a wealth of resources, ideas and community online. According to Forbes Magazine it is one of the most influential interior design sites on the web.
In 2001, Maxwell Ryan quit his teaching job in New York to become an “apartment therapist” traveling by scooter to his clients' homes. Part interior designer, part life coach, his touch points were simplicity, comfort, and lack of clutter particularly for small spaces. Unlike typical designers, Maxwell didn't want to dictate where things should go or how people should live, he wanted to arm them with the tools and the confidence to decide for themselves.
Maxwell’s knack for putting together attractive, meaningful and personal rooms via practical, everyday advice led him to launch a weekly email service. His brother Oliver, joined him in to help turn the email posts into a website featuring a daily blog, store reviews, tips and photos of Maxwell’s design latest projects. Apartment Therapy, which was launched in 2004, promoting the idea that 'a calm, healthy, beautiful home is a necessary foundation for happiness' for couples that live in cramped spaces.
As the readership grew, so did Apartment Therapy. Between 2004 and 2008, the site launched a sister site Kitchn - devoted to cooking, family and technology. The diversity of its readership also led Apartment Therapy to create city specific blogs for Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington. Involvement is a big part of the website too, featuring house tours in which readers post pictures of their apartments and solicit suggestions for specific improvements. Since 2005, the site has held its annual "Smallest, Coolest Apartment Contest," open only residence of 500 square feet or less.
Today, Maxwell’s website has become the go-to site for design inspiration. Apartment Therapy has 14 million unique visitors every month, 745,000 Facebook likes, 207,000 twitter followers and 733,00 followers on Pinterest In addition, Maxwell has written 4 best selling books and has designed a home tableware and sofa collection.
Maxwell lives in Brooklyn with his daughter, Ursula.
So, why is he a #Houseproud hero?
Some people scour Pinterest boards. Some flip through glossy catalogues. And around 14 million others turn to Maxwell Ryan to help guide them through their home design and organising conundrums. He says
“The biggest myth about creating a beautiful home is that it requires a lot of money or space. We’ve all been in big, expensive homes that felt sterile. And we’ve all walked into small, modest homes that felt inviting. A constraint is never a problem, whether it’s time or money. It’s another opportunity to use your creativity to solve the problem.”