Intimate Photos Reveal What Different Bedrooms Across America Look Like

American Bedroom by Barbara Peacock

“I love you with every atom. You are the tranquility of a calm stream and the excitement of a waterfall. You bring me all my favorite feelings. Forever isn’t long enough with you.” Hope (she / her / he / him), 16, and Kurt (he / him), 17 Homer, Alaska.
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Photographer Barbara Peacock has spent the last seven years traveling across the United States to get a glimpse inside our most intimate space—the bedroom. By photographing people from all walks of life in a room where they are their most vulnerable, Peacock paints a picture of modern America. Her forthcoming book, American Bedroom, is the culmination of this project.

My Modern Met first covered Peacock's series in 2017, just one year after she started her adventure. At the time, she was discovering the importance of listening to people and being let into their homes, and hoped to expand her work to the entire nation. Nearly a decade later, she accomplished her goal.

“I am learning that there are a lot of lonely people. I am learning that people have stories they want to share if someone will listen,” she shared at the time. “I am learning that people are fragile and conversely very strong.”

Published by Kehrer Verlag, American Bedroom incorporates quotes by the people Peacock photographed. This is a testament to the strong collaboration and bond between Peacock and the participants and to the photographer's belief in the power of their stories. Broken into five sections, the book shows the wide variety of people Peacock photographed. Americans of all ages, genders, races, and sexual orientations sat for Peacock and, in doing so, opened themselves up to demonstrate the many faces of the country.

Peacock's work also shows that home means different things to many people. A school bus and the great outdoors are just some of the spaces where people have carved out their bedrooms. But regardless of where people's bedrooms are located, Peacock's work shows that we aren't so different from one another. Many of us carry the same hopes, dreams, and struggles and use the bedroom as a sanctuary to rest and recharge.

“I believe the bedroom is not just a private place, but a sacred place,” Peacock shares. “We build it as a shrine to our lives (even if houseless) and spend nearly one-third of our lives in it. It exemplifies our being; it is a place to rest, to love, to comfort, to be, to give life, to restore, to recover, to grieve, to lay sick, and to die. The one thing I know for certain is that all lives are important, and everyone has a story to tell.”

American Bedroom by Barbara Peacock will be released on May 14, 2024, and is now available for pre-sale.

For seven years, photographer Barbara Peacock traveled across the U.S. to photograph people in their bedrooms.

Family living in a bus

“Endless possibilities and adventure! We sold our home and just about everything we owned three years ago. Little did we know what awaited us on the open road … freedom unlike anything we had ever had while on a quest to find a new place and community to call home.” Stephanie, 37. The Mathews Family Saratoga Springs, Utah.

American Bedroom by Barbara Peacock

“With the world moving ever so fast, these apples of my eye remind me to slow down and see the beauty in all things. They are the light.” Jamie, 44. The Seh-Nielsen Family Victor, Idaho.

American Bedroom is an unguarded look at people from all walks of life in their most intimate space.

American Bedroom by Barbara Peacock

“Our world revolves around autism and the whole family struggles to keep up. But it’s our hearts that keep us together and our large family bed where every night we reconnect. Nobody can love our family like we do.” Jordan, 35

American Bedroom by Barbara Peacock

“Love is accrescent. If you choose to love, there is no end to how big and all-encompassing it can grow. We choose to love each other daily and will keep choosing to love as we push on into the future. Micah, 35, and Kody, 40. Omaha, Nebraska.

“I believe the bedroom is not just a private place, but a sacred place,” Peacock shares.

American Bedroom by Barbara Peacock

“In the end, it’s all about love of family and one another.” Francisca, 42, and Lupe, 52, Guadalupe, Arizona.

American Bedroom by Barbara Peacock

“Finding love late in life has taught me many lessons, including not to be shy or embarrassed by my body. It is freeing to say I am big, bold, and beautiful. Laverne, 72, and James, 74 Big Stone Gap, Virginia.

Peacock photographed people of all ages, races, genders, and sexual orientations for the series.

American Bedroom by Barbara Peacock

“I have buried all seven of my children (sons) from alcoholism or heat stroke. I now live for my grandchildren.” Arlene, 81. Gila River Reservation, Arizona.

American Bedroom by Barbara Peacock

“While my physical parts feel safe among my living space, rested against a pillow, my heart yearns for my home, my community, our land. ‘Nunamnni – on our land (Siberian Yupik)'.” Mek, 29 Anchorage, Alaska

By telling their stories, she reminds us that many of us face the same struggles or share the same dreams.

Man sleeping on the beach in Hawaii

“I’ve been sleeping in the grass between the trees, sky, and by the ocean for six years now. My body and soul are clean. When I go I leave no trace.” Jeremiah, 45. Kauai, Hawaii.

Elderly man sitting on his bed

“When I wake in the morning, I try to be quiet so I don’t wake her. Then I remember she is no longer here.” Pepere, 88, Jay, Maine.

American Bedroom by Barbara Peacock is now available for pre-order.

Cover of American Bedroom by Barbara Peacock

Barbara Peacock: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use images by Barbara Peacock.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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