There are plenty of clichéd cultural sayings that convey the meaning of home: It’s sweet. It’s where the heart is. There’s no place like it. But as I write this on day number “let’s potty train the kitten” of quarantine, none of these adages seem to capture just how important home has become to all of us lately. Home isn’t only sweet; it’s a source of security and comfort when the outside world feels overwhelming and unsafe. It isn’t only where the heart is; it’s where life happens and memories are made. And true, there’s no place like it, because at the moment it’s an office, a gym, and a (virtual) happy-hour hangout all in one.

If this socially distant season has taught me anything, it’s that our home environments have a profound impact on our daily lives and well-being. It’s a sentiment we heard often during our interviews with the brilliant minds who make up our first-ever list of Top 15 Home Industry Influencers, a group of forward-thinkers shaping the way we live through their work in architecture, home design, real estate, and craftsmanship. They spoke about how a home can facilitate personal growth and self-confidence, keep our local history alive, provide a canvas for artistic expression—the list goes on.

Whether you grabbed this issue because all the extra time at home has inspired you to revamp your rooms, or if you’re just looking for a much-needed break from the news, I hope it reminds you that the most important place on earth may be much closer than you realize. It’s good to be home!