Elle Décor (USA)
Welcome to the Issue
ANY OTHER YEAR, AN ELLE DECOR ISSUE ON THE SUBJECT OF escapes would be about getting out into the world and relishing the perspective that travel gives us on our homes and ourselves. But this is 2020. So where do you go when you can’t go far? Quite simply, you go inward.
Our December issue is a celebration of the power of interiors—and of design in general—to inspire, nurture, and delight. In these pages, we explore the ideas of sanctuary and safety, and what it means to create a “sphere of agency” at home (page 21) in a time of pandemic and protest.
As always, we’re serving up doses of fantasy, too; we need every bit of glamour we can get in a year like the one we’ve experienced. Our annual holiday gift guide—produced via carefully (and safely) choreographed in-person photography sessions, plus, in true 2020 form, a bit of remote styling—offers dozens of gorgeous, glittering ideas that are sure to brighten your loved ones’ moods.
Speaking of mood brighteners, how’s your home bar coming along? If your answer is “What home bar?” it’s not too late to assemble one: We have thoughts aplenty (page 47) about how to gin up some fun and festivity this season. Writer Kathryn O’SheaEvans has the tea—a hot toddy, of course.
This month, we also visit the personal retreats of hoteliers Carlos Couturier (page 70) and Barry Sternlicht (page 82), whose sun-filled lairs—one in Mexico, one in Miami Beach— differ stylistically but are united by a common vision of home as the ultimate getaway.
Serenity and personality were the names of the game for designer Steven Gambrel, who renovated a 1930s hacienda for the cofounders of wellness boot camp the Ranch Malibu (page 56), and photographer Anita Calero, who returned to her native Colombia after five decades living abroad, constructing a treehouse-style hideaway high above the city of Cali (page 90) filled with the design finds that comfort and anchor her.
Like Calero, the editors of ELLE DECOR believe in the talismanic power of a beautifully designed object, and so we’re excited to bring you a story, written by Camille Okhio, about some of the young, digitally savvy dealers in New York City’s antiques and vintage-furniture vanguard (page 76). Their thoughtfulness, enthusiasm, and cleverness is opening up the antiques world to those who have felt, for reasons of race or class or simple opacity, that it wasn’t for them. Their rise is encouraging interest for a trendsetting new audience. What a gift.