Objects of Affection: Kim Ficaro


As our first official story post-relaunch, we are ecstatic to introduce a new series on the Journal entitled Objects of Affection.

In this series, The Setting will feature the prized decor pieces of our favorite influencers, boss babes, and innovators, discovering why these items hold such a special place in their hearts ㄧ and home in the owner’s own words.

Our inaugural Objects of Affection feature tells the story of Kim Ficaro, an NYC-based photo stylist and and founder of the home collection Totem where the gorgeously unique pieces are handmade in Morocco and Oaxaca, and her special home decor piece. As a modern creative woman, she inspires us to look beyond our foresight and find creativity in every aspect of our lives.

Original text has been edited for clarity.


1. What is the backstory of the item? How did you obtain this piece?
Kim Ficaro: My Object of Affection is a beautiful, hand crafted mobile I found at a market in Cape Town, South Africa while there for a shoot I was prop styling for.

2. What is it that makes the object so special to you? (Is it one-of-a-kind? Passed down from family?)
KF: During prep days, I usually spend all day going to markets and stores searching for anything and everything. I saw this particular mobile hanging at an outside market. I looked up and saw these beautiful handmade figures of people almost dancing and floating in the sky. Each one had their own movement in the bodies and different colors and clothing. I thought it was such a beautiful, magical piece, that speaks to movement and lightness.

3. Did it take long to find a place for the object in your home?
KF: When I returned home, I immediately hung the piece from an exposed pipe I have above my sofa, alongside the other artworks I own. I love mixing a three dimensional object with two dimensional artwork as it adds dimension to the space.

4. Does the piece garner a lot of attention when guests are over?
KF: Friends who come over are always drawn to it because it evokes a real subtle playfulness and beauty.

5. Any tips for helping readers find their own object of affection?
KF: I think the best advice for anyone searching for their own special piece is to always look everywhere. When you’re out in the world there are so many treasures that they might pass right by you. Taking time to look but also remembering that as soon as you bring it into your world and your home, the context changes. It’s your own treasure that may or may not provoke a story, a feeling, a moment, a memory, and to me that is what I love most about finding those special pieces and living with them.


Click here to visit Totem’s website or follow both Totem and Kim on Instagram @totemhome / @kimficaro


The Setting