Weathering the Storm
It has been, without a doubt, a trying year for shelter magazines. More than a year ago, the more-than-a-century-old House & Garden folded, followed by other titles: Cottage Living, Blueprint, and, a favorite, domino. Critics everywhere questioned whether the shelter-publication market was too saturated with magazines about how to improve one's home. All many people really wanted to do these days was just save their home from foreclosure, not purchase that great find from 1stdibs for their Foxcroft Colonial.
Here at Home & Garden, we watch and we listen and we observe. We see that while the real estate market weathers highs and lows and another magazine falls apart, Charlotte, the city and the magazine, remains strong. The upside of the recession is that people are spending more time at home, beautifying their houses with whatever means they have. Maybe it means a new coat of paint, rearranging the furniture, or framing their six-year-old's artwork for the guest bedroom.
In this issue, there are three exceptional and resourceful homeowners who we can take cues from when reworking our own homes. Katharine Hidell Thomas, co-owner of South End's Hidell Brooks Gallery, added a fresh coat of white lacquer to the heirloom furniture in her midentury-modern dwelling in Myers Park. Kevin Carpenter, an interior designer with Meyer Greeson Paullin Benson, applied his eye for design and detail at his Plaza Midwood home by hanging photographs he took during his travels around the world. And always-resourceful architect Ruard Veltman didn't balk at the lack of materials on Bald Head Island. Instead he turned everday hardware into unique drawer pulls and used reclaimed barnwood to create a headboard in his island getaway.
This issue also offers ways to stay home and try something new. Need a new breakfast menu? Try the six best breakfast books, on page 12. Need to punch up your dining-room chairs? Learn about Modern Fabric's selection of designer fabrics from Knoll, Kravet, and more on page 7. Or if you want to try one of the city's best shrimp-and-grits recipes without having to foot the bill dining out, whip up Sugar Magnolia's version of the Southern staple on page 11.
And while I don't normally like to tout our honors, this year's awards season was good to us. Charlotte magazine's Home & Garden won two golds from the Magazine Association of the Southeast for best single issue and best design. Credit goes to the designers, editors, photographers, and writers who make this magazine happen. And, of course, our readers, who inspire us to put out a great magazine.
Enjoy the issue.