One of my neighbors told me the other day that we don’t show enough “real houses” in the pages of BH&G. She said some of the projects we publish make her feel bad about her own home. I truly hate to hear that.
Trust me, if you walked into my house right now it would not be photo-worthy enough for any magazine. I still have the bargain curtain panels in the living room that I tacked up as a stopgap privacy measure when I first moved in—and yes, they are literally hung up with tacks. My storm doors either stick or fly open in the slightest breeze when they aren’t secured by wire. My front threshold is a chipped-paint eyesore. All these problems, big and small, are on my ongoing fix-it list, but as always, tempus fugit.
As a colleague said the other day when she came over, “Isn’t it amazing what you learn to live with around the house?” It made me realize that we often stop seeing things until they’re observed by others.
We editors constantly juggle the level of aspiration we show with the accessibility in terms of what an average reader can take away. It’s a calibration between the high and the low, the real and the fantasy—not an easy balancing act when you consider that we are addressing 40 million readers.
For instance, not everyone can have a luxurious back entryway like Amanda Reynal’s mudroom (page 35). In fact, until I started working in magazines, I had never heard the term. My mom called the room near our back door a utility room. Though not all our readers will be able to splurge on Amanda’s beautiful custom cabinetry to transform a utility room into a mudroom, they can use the easy-to-replicate ideas we highlight. Like switching out cabinet hardware. Or installing mirrored doors. Or even swapping out a tired old ceiling-mount lamp with a statement lantern. We aim to pack our stories with takeaways and ideas that everyone can use, even if some appear inaccessible at first glance. So as you flip through this eighth annual Style Maker issue, we hope you find inspiring ways to make your home, your garden, and your cooking better every day. And to return the favor, please let us know how we can be better, too.