The October Issue of House Beautiful

More magazine talk today...the new issue of House Beautiful was released on Zinio and I plowed right through it hoping to find lots o' inspiring interiors. Once again HB didn't do it for me, at least for the most part.

I did love the following bedroom that was designed by Pat Healing. Believe it or not, this is a teenage girl's room. Um, what a LUCKY girl, right?? If my parents had given me a room like this, I probably would have never moved out! The color scheme is very fresh and the overall style is really cool - it's just the right mix of being both tasteful and fun. The Quadrille Paradise Background wallpaper looks pretty amazing with the Canopy Designs' Sara Chandelier, doesn't it?

Image via House Beautiful, designed by Pat Healing of HB Home, photo by Maura McEvoy

It was also fun to see the Kitchen of the Year in this issue, which was designed by Tyler Florence. I think it's good to have a chef design a concept kitchen like this because that ensures that function doesn't fall after form. With that said though, I was surprised to see a rather tiny induction cooktop instead of a huge gas range. The outdoor kitchen looks pretty awesome and I wish that HB had included bigger photos of that part in the magazine (the ones below are from the HB site). Anyhow, I need to circle back to this feature and actually read the interview!

Here's a shot of the main part of the kitchen (along with Tyler, chopping vegetables). I like the dark cabinetry against the classic white subway tile and the huge island is a great feature. I'm not a big fan of the open shelving because realistically, anything stored like that will get dusty unless it's used weekly. And you can't see it very well here, but the breakfast area is a bit of a train wreck with a motley collection of upholstered chairs. I wish they'd just gone with one statement-making style.

Image via House Beautiful, designed by Tyler Florence and Lori Yeomans, photo by Francesco Lagnese
Image via House Beautiful, 2011 Kitchen of the Year with Tyler Florence

Image via House Beautiful, 2011 Kitchen of the Year with Tyler Florence

Image via House Beautiful, 2011 Kitchen of the Year with Tyler Florence

Image via House Beautiful, 2011 Kitchen of the Year with Tyler Florence

Have you seen this issue yet? Since I don't get this one in the mail anymore I never know when everyone else receives that version. If you have read it, did you love it or hate it? Did any of the features stand out to you?

Like I said before, I'm just not excited by the content in HB at the moment. I don't want to disparage the magazine or discredit their staff or the designers that create the published projects. But the fact is that I am not inspired by the features that I've been seeing lately and I always have been in the past.

The overexposure to trends that blogs and Pinterest have caused is not to blame here either. To me, the content being produced right now is underwhelming. And I know that there are PLENTY of designers out there that are executing outstanding projects, so I don't think the design community is the problem. I think the publishing industry is simply going through a difficult adjustment period.

With new EICs, a changing of the guard has taken place at some of the major shelter pubs (including HB and Elle Decor) and I think we're seeing the result of those changes. As Anna Wintour and Margaret Russell have proved, the EIC's vision shapes a magazine and an exceptional EIC creates a consistently exceptional magazine. I'm hoping that Newell Turner (of House Beautiful) and Michael Boodro (of Elle Decor) will find their mojo...and I hope that Margaret Russell can keeps hers at AD! Basically, I've long loved shelter mags and feel like a parent that doesn't think their child is fulfilling his/her potential. But maybe my expectations need to be adjusted :)


  1. I think the remaining shelter magazines are desperate to keep advertisers happy and increase the number of eyes on the pages, which could mean a purposeful shift to more mainstream styling that will impress the masses and make new readers out of those who were busy flipping through Southern Living and Traditional Home last month. They can't afford to cater only to those with a refined taste level and hope to inspire the rest.

    I don't mean for that to sound snobby - I am definitely a fan of HB in it's current form, but I can see the reasoning behind what I think they're doing.

  2. Love that kitchen. I can not imagine having a kitchen that big. Love your blog. So glad I found it.

  3. You know, so many people (and designers!) think a HUGE gas range is a must in a well designed kitchen. Well, some of us hate cooking with gas and love the easy clean up of a flat cooktop. Realistically...how many of us use more than 2 or 3 burners at one time????

  4. Anon - every chef I know cooks with gas which is why I found it surprising that Florence would be ok with the induction top (I assume that product placement/sponsorship had something to do with it).

    I am just an amateur cook and definitely prefer gas, but I haven't used one of the new induction cooktops yet. Also, I only have 4 burners at my house and find myself constantly wishing for a 6-burner range because I run out of space...especially if I'm cooking a big meal or am working with large pots or my enormous Dutch oven.

    As a designer I like the look of gas too...especially for a traditional style kitchen like this. The smooth, black induction cooktop works in a sleek modern kitchen but I don't think the style works as well here.

  5. When I graduated from culinary school 12 years ago everyone was lamenting about why induction hadn't been embraced in the states.. I think there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding induction still. Induction is not the same as electric- and is better than gas. It is faster and cleaner than gas, but still has they same great control that gas offers. My home does have a large gas cooktop, but I so wish it was induction (especially when I am waiting for water to boil). The ccoktop surface itself won't mar like a glass electric cooktop will- because it only heats the pot. Many commercial kitchens have single induction "burners" which they utilize for catering or prep. It will become more mainstream as people get more comfortable with it. I think the resemblance to electric is why it is so misunderstood. I do agree though that the shiny black is more suited for a sleek, modern kitchen than a traditional style one- design wise. I love Tyler Florence and this kitchen- it would be so fun to host a party there!
    On a separate note, I also am hoping HB clicks into gear soon... Maybe I am just being spoiled by reading fabulous (free) design blogs,

  6. Hi Kyle, I am home decor blogger and addiction to publish beautiful home decor photos on my home decor blog. Today, I have published one home decor blog post about large and mini chandeliers. I can't stop my self to re-publish your blue chandelier in my recent blog post. http://www.vistastores.com/blog/large-and-mini-chandeliers-add-value-and-charm-to-home-decor I hope you will like it, pin it and tweet it. :)