The other night I was breezing through the grocery store and stopped at the magazine section, which is a rare occurrence for me these days. Ever since www.Zinio.com – the digital magazine company – started selling issues online, I subscribe to as many design magazines that are available via the computer. It’s so easy! The magazine comes directly to your laptop and stays there – no more mailing in subscriptions or schlepping across town to a book store. And best of all – there are no longer enormous piles of old issues staring at you while taking up precious storage space. But it’s not all great in Zinioland. You would think that the digital Zinio issue would arrive to your computer faster than the supermarket racks, right? But there it was – the new December issues of House Beautiful and Veranda sitting on the grocery shelves, while Zinio still hasn’t updated my computer. I must say that I was so proud of myself when I resisted the overwhelming temptation to buy those two issues anyway instead of waiting for Zinio to update. But, I digress.
What really caught my eye that night was the new Architectural Digest. The cover looked so fresh and so, how do you say…un-Architectural Digest-ish. I eagerly flipped through it and got all giddy! Finally!!!! Architectural Digest is back!!! There were so many features that looked interesting I could hardly wait to run home and read it. Wow. I haven’t said that about an AD issue in years. In fact, everyone has been so down on the magazine lately, including all three of us on the Skirted Roundtable, that I was eager to spread the word that AD’s new editor Margaret Russell’s touch is really evident. So many of the houses in this issue look like they could have been in Elle Décor – the magazine that Margaret had headed up during its entirety.
Former Elle Décor Editor Margaret Russell now on tap to head up Architectural Digest.
In case you were out of the country earlier this year, the magazine world was rocked when it was announced that Margaret was leaving Elle Décor for AD. More shakeups was news that domino’s Dana Caponigro was coming to Veranda and Stephen Drucker was leaving House Beautiful for Town & Country. Dara and Stephen’s influence on their new magazines has been subtle so far, changes haven’t seemed all that dramatic at either magazine – yet. But, it’s all perception. Still, Margaret at AD – wow, now that’s some change. Looking at December’s issue, the differences are sooo obvious! I just couldn’t wait to spread the good news. Like I said - what an idiot!
Luckily before I printed this, I checked the Editor’s Page at Architectural Digest to discover that Margaret Russell hasn’t even taken over yet! Her first AD issue won’t be until January!!!! The egg on my face was dripping all over my computer. All I could think was THANK GOD I checked that Editor’s Page!!! I had totally forgotten that Margaret wouldn’t be at AD until January – the announcement had been made so many months ago. I would have blabbed on and on about how WONDERFUL the new AD is because of Margaret Russell. What a complete idiot!!! Still, my assumption DOES tell me that the January issue is probably going to be fabulous, because the December is pretty damn good itself.
First, there is this house by Stephen Sills that really got me blood pressure up. Look at those WALLS!!!! They are burlap! Pattern painted on burlap!!!! Can you believe that?!?! Gorgeous. And look – wall to wall carpet. Over stairs – when was the last time you saw that – and how fresh is it? It looks so warm and inviting. And those two globes. The lantern. The mushroom family. This is a library for this decade, young and sophisticated. It’s hard to see but there is a banquette against the shelves on the right. Notice the fabulous library table – just waiting to be opened and piled up on. But, those WALLS!!!!!! Gah!!!
Next, over in London, is this little townhouse by the incomparable Nicholas Haslam. Owned by two art collectors, they wanted a home, not a cold contemporary museum. I mean – is that just any painting over the mantel? It’s a PICASSO!!!!!!!!!!! I have never seen such a large Picasso handled so casually before. And I love the color of the paneling – it looks like Iced Coffee. Notice the chartreuse skirted table next to the fireplace. The back to back sofas are divided by a console table that also picks up the chartreuse in the painting. Light pink French chairs. Total eye candy. YUMMMMM.
A closeup view of the fabrics: I love how Haslam still unashamedly still uses those blowsy English chintz fabrics. I adore the curtain fabric. He says this room is in the spirit of Nancy Lancaster and he is so right. That chair!!!!!
Then, there is this little guest room in London by Haslam. Notice the French curve on the alcove. Is there anything in life prettier than a Louis XV inspired curve? I love his mix of the two fabrics. He is wonderful.
The next beauty is a beach house by Alexa Hampton in Bridgehampton NY. Another view of what a library for a young family should look like. Loving the striped rug and pillows. So casual for a beach house, yet still sophisticated. Not an easy mix to do right.
Alexa Hampton: Great kitchen. But something about this kitchen seemed familiar? Those chairs with their plaid half slips, the two lanterns. Seem familiar?
Remember this blog famous kitchen in a showhouse? The same exact chairs – with the same plaid half slips, similar double lanterns. But it’s not the same house. I wonder if the owners were influenced by this picture – or vice versa?
I thoroughly enjoyed this Architectural Digest even though it wasn’t edited by Margaret. Now, I can’t wait for her first issue next month. I am so anxious to see her changes – I wonder what they will be?
And for more idiocy from moi! Last month, I blasted the new Veranda. I think I spoke too soon. The new December/January issue to TO DIE FOR. The cover story is a house in Houston designed by the incomparable MILES REDD!!!! YES!!! This must be the first house in Houston that Miles has done and it’s a stunner. Look at those rich green walls, with tufted sapphire blue velvet. That floor!!! Veranda always has the best photographers and this Miles Redd story was snapped by the world’s best Fritz Von Der Schulenburg. For once, we can finally see big, huge pictures of Miles’ interiors – bright and clear, every tiny detail visible. What a rare treat.
The Miles Redd Houston living room with stripes, icy blues, persimmon accents, chintzes, and a fabulous center table by John Rosselli Antiques. Is there anyone out there that would or could do a fancy living room like this? Every room Miles does is so different, so completely original and unique. What a genius. And what a coup that Veranda got this house.
A peek at the Saladino house shown this month in Veranda. The Master.
Also in this issue is a new project by John Saladino – worth the price of the issue alone, and another one by Vicente Wolf. Stellar issue! A keeper. The only ho-hum is the house by Veere Greeney seen a few times before, but it’s such a fabulous project it’s worth the second glance. Dara – you outdid yourself!!! I could have cried over this issue!!! Fabulous!!
And a note to Cote de Texas readers:
Harrison Howard print – last week’s giveaway.
The Harrison Howard print giveaway is now history. It was a great success – so many people entered it. Be sure to visit his web site www.harrisonhoward.com if you are interested in purchasing one of his prints.
And – this week, I am having a NEW giveaway that will be the biggest ever. EVER. Think crystal, think lighting, think gilt.
Look for it in the next few days. You will be sooooo excited!!! I PROMISE you! I can’t wait!!!!