Ten years ago, Maxwell Ryan was known as the "apartment therapist," traveling by scooter to his clients' homes to help them make their spaces beautiful, organized and healthy. Part interior designer, part life coach, his touch points were simplicity, comfort, and lack of clutter. 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.
In April 2004, Maxwell, with his brother Oliver Ryan, launched Apartment Therapy, turning the weekly email into a daily blog post, reviewing stores, offering tips, posting photos of Maxwell's design projects and answering readers' questions.
As the readership grew, so did Apartment Therapy. Between 2004 and 2008, the site launched sister sites, including The Kitchn (created in 2005), devoted to cooking, family, technology and green decorating. Maxwell hired full-time staff, and an expanding pool of contributors.
In early 2012, Apartment Therapy re-launched in order to better serve its readers. Because family, technology and green living are integral parts of modern life, these separate sites are now absorbed into a more comprehensive site that focuses on the two centers of life at home, living and food: Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn. Defining a new approach to the good life, The Kitchn is a resource dedicated to those who care about the quality of their food, kitchen design enthusiasts and those who embrace the joys of a basic human need: food, cooked at home that nourishes bodies and households. The site covers all facets of the kitchen from recipes to cooking lessons, product reviews and kitchen design and renovation advice.
FROM BLOGS TO BOOKS
Maxwell also wrote two bestselling design books during this time, Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure in 2006, and Apartment Therapy Presents: Real Homes, Real People, Hundreds of Design Solutions in 2008. In 2010, Clarkson Potter published his most successful book to date, New York Times best-selling Apartment Therapy's Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces. The Kitchn plans to release its first book in October 2014.
Maxwell has been a regular commentator on the House & Garden Television show, Small Space, Big Style. He also appeared on HGTV's Mission Organization and NBC’s American Dream Builders and has been interviewed in various publications including The New York Times, The New York Observer, The Wall Street Journal and House Beautiful. He is also a regular contributor to Better Homes and Gardens.