Yolanda Edwards knows a thing or two about travel. After exploring the world in search of secret places and hidden gems as creative director of Condé Nast Traveler, Edwards launched her own travel magazine in 2019. A quarterly treasure trove full of inspiration for wanderers, YOLO Journal is the perfect outlet for her curious mind and globetrotting ways. For the first installment of POV (Point of View), our new editorial series featuring unique and noteworthy perspectives on the travel experience, we asked her to choose ten homes from our collection that inspire her and explain a little of what motivates her choices.
You've chosen a collection of properties close to the water's edge. Can you tell us why you're dreaming about the sea right now?
While I love the seasons, when it hits early to late spring, I can’t help thinking about getting myself in front of and into the summer sea.
“I’m a minimalist and a maximalist—nothing in the middle.”
The homes you've selected are an interesting mix of contemporary and historical. What do you look for when you're choosing a place to stay?
I always look for a place that has character and hasn’t been stripped of its soul. I love a modernist box that serves to frame the landscape, and everything about its interiors is subtle to not compete with it. And I equally love a home that is rich with layers of history. Sense of place is so important. I don’t care about things like TV and marble islands (just good wifi!). I just want to be in a home that feels of the place.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I’m a minimalist and a maximalist—nothing in the middle. The thermal spa that Peter Zumthor designed in Switzerland definitely speaks to my minimalist side, and then my maximalist side loves the richness of the palazzi in Venice, or the chateaus in France.
Would you cross the world to stay in a specific home?
Years ago when I was a creative director at [Condé Nast] Traveler, we were trying to figure out the next “it” Greek island. In my weeks of research, I discovered this place called Skinopi in Milos and knew I had to visit. There were three little modernist bungalows overlooking the sea, and they looked magical. I went just for the way they looked, and ended up falling in love with the island which, in fact, did become the next “it” spot.
Can you tell us about a time you traveled to a place where photos simply didn't do the experience justice?
I think most of the time the experience far outweighs the photography—although there are some times that a photo uses cropping to make a place far more ideal than it is in reality, like cropping out the hordes of tourists.
When it comes to travel, do you consider yourself a creature of habit or an adventurer?
I have always longed to be more of an adventurer, but the reality is that I’m a creature of habit. I go back to Greece every summer and to Italy so much that we rented an apartment in Rome to have a base. After visiting the Médoc and falling in love with it, we found two 19th-century village houses that we combined into one, and spent most of our summers there. We love to travel, but we fall in love wherever we go and then have to return to it over and over.
From minimalist to maximalist, from Mallorca to Maine, here are Yolanda Edwards' picks from the BoutiqueHomes collection.
MALLORCA VILLA, SANTANYI, MALLORCA, SPAIN
ANISE & OUZO, NAXOS, GREECE
VILLA MARIANA, FOLEGANDROS, GREECE
CASA CONS, PUERTO ESCONDIDO, OAXACA, MEXICO
WOODHOUSE, VESTERVIG, DENMARK
WHITE CASTLE, EMPORIOS, NISYROS, GREECE
MAS EMPORDÀ 1844, GIRONA, CATALUÑA, SPAIN
IL CONVENTO, BRANDO, CORSICA, FRANCE
ITALIAN RIVIERA ESCAPE, MONTEROSSO, ITALY
HARBOR COTTAGE, MARTINSVILLE, MAINE, USA