Dabito: An IKEA Catalogue Changed His Idea of Home

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Being Home With Hunker is a podcast where each week we chat with designers, artists, and creatives in the spaces that express and shape their identities: their homes.

"I remember in high school an IKEA catalog popped into the mail and I was like, 'What is this thick book?,' says Dabito. "And I started flipping through it and I was just like, mesmerized. 'Wow, look at these beautiful spaces.' I was flipping through it every day just dreaming about having my own space." He goes on to say, "I just needed a safe space for me to be me or to express myself, and I didn't have that. And so I was just like craving to carve out a space of my own and I would just daydream about looking through the spaces, pretending I'm in those rooms. It really was like my decor bible."

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On the Being Home With Hunker podcast we feature Dabito, an interior designer and founder of Old Brand New, a studio that specializes in design, brand partnerships, and art direction.

Dabito started his interior design career in blogging, where he has been able to put all his talents to work, including photography (he photographed all of Justina Blakeney's books!), printmaking, and art. He has a passion for thrifting and believes that decorating is really about celebrating your life.

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As he says, "fill [your home] with all the things you love." He believes that's what "makes a space unique, it's the weird things that really tell a story."

In this episode we talk about:

  • The many pivots he's made along his career path, including a stint as a flight attendant, printmaking, and graphic design.
  • Growing up in a low-income immigrant community where his family's "beautiful things" included take-out boxes and a karaoke machine.
  • How he never thought the creative life was going to be his future.
  • His experience of growing up in a three-bedroom home with three generation— and how he shared a room with his dad, mom, and sister until he was a senior in high school.
  • How an IKEA catalog became his decor bible and changed his life, allowing him to dream of one day having a safe space of his own one day where he could express himself.
  • How he has struggled with communicating through words, so art and decorating is a way for him to communicate (through color, painting, photography).
  • How blogging about thrifting and decorating his apartment led him into the design world – and blogging combined all the things he loves, including photography and graphic design.
  • Why he likes intimate and small spaces.
  • How color is like words to him.
  • His first book that will be available to the public in 2023.

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Learn More About Dabito

If you want to learn more, read more, discover more about Dabito, visit any of these places:

Being Home With Hunkeris a new podcast where we explore the idea of "home"​—​not just as a place where you live, but as an expression of your identity. Each week we talk with designers, creatives, and artists about who they are, how they create meaningful spaces, and what "being home" means to them.

If you like what you hear, please rate and review the podcast, hit subscribe/follow, and share with a friend. When it comes to podcasts word of mouth is how most people will find the show. It really does help. VisitHunker.com/podcastwhere you can find, follow, and listen to our show.

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