HB July/August: Inspiration Galore

I have to be honest.  Lately, I’ve been feeling really uninspired. It happens to the best of us, and with the stifling heat and humidity that Boston has been forced to bear, I think it’s fogged my brain and crippled my design desires a bit. Not to mention that I came home to flooded apartment this weekend. Killer. But this week WILL fix that.  Wednesday I head to Brimfield with photographer/friend Sarah Winchester (and some sunscreen). Check. I got photos of amazing progress on two projects (check, check) and in addition, I Twittered yesterday that I have not been so inspired by an issue of a shelter magazine since the demise of Domino as I was by the July/August issue of House Beautiful (giant, neon pink CHECK). From the saturated color and absence of it, to the amazing variety of small spaces covered, I dogeared nearly every page for one reason or another.  Perhaps it’s because small spaces are not only romantic and interesting, but also tend to be more accessible.  While I love seeing what someone has masterfully done with a sprawling six story townhouse or 8,000 square foot country residence, I’m personally more inspired by what someone has done with a one bedroom apartment.

Lets’ start with the color saturated cover story- a 390 square foot Manhattan residence designed by owner David Kaihoi for him, his wife and their daughter.  There are so many fabulous things about this space- the daring choice of color, the multi-purpose furniture, the jaw-dropping wallpaper in the bedroom and cherry red closet interior!  The only thing I wonder about is the kid sleeping in the same room as her parents every night on a trundle. That would get old fast for me, and I have to imagine it’s  abit of a drag on their “relationship”. But let’s gloss over that and focus on the space:

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Next up, what might be my favorite of the spaces covered- a one bedroom in NYC’s Gramercy Park (I lived there in college and LOVE that area).  I absolutely love the light in this place- and the decor just amplifies that with the white floor, the neutral but interesting color palette and the slight dollhouse feel to it. I would live here in a heartbeat.


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And finally, a California bungalow that undoubtedly will cause you to smile and fire up your desire to blend up a fierce margarita! I adore the whimsy, sense of fun and LIFE in this space.

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  1. Smitten by the California bungalow! so many bright colors! that’s a home that will definitely cheer you up, Erin! And yes, I agree that small is the new big, important is to know how to organize/decorate a small space to make it look big :). have a great week!

  2. Hi Erin-I love the airy feel in the California bungalow and the NYC apt. Do you have any recommendations for “white” wall paint? I know it is important to choose the right one, so as not to be stuck with the egg-shell yellow that blesses so many apts.

  3. I totally agree– I read this issue cover to cover. It is so much more impressive to me when a designer can take something so cramped and humble and turn it into a completely livable, if not grand and impressive space.

  4. I am with you…definitely one of the best issues of any magazine I have seen in awhile! I loved seeing how people made their small spaces work for them and how stylish small can be.

  5. The one bedroom in Gramercy Park – wow, wow, wow! And I completely agree with you, I am always more interested to see how someone effectively tackles a smaller space than see how someone decorates their sprawling mansion with their endless budget.

  6. I also want to give kudos to the new HB editor in chief, Newell Turner, on his first issue. I’m glad to see he’s keeping the format that worked well with Stephen Drucker.

  7. I also loved this issue. But I also wondered about sleeping in the same room with your child when you don’t even have a spare bedroom to escape to. Hope that works out for them! It is a great bedroom though.

  8. That Manhattan apartment/loft is so fantastic. The purple is a perfect shade. The floor in the computer/study is beautiful and I’m sure that wall paper is hand painted.

  9. I completely appreciate this post, and am getting out of bed RIGHT NOW to get dressed and go buy that issue.

  10. I knoooow! The whole idea of a little studio that overlooks Gramercy sounds dreamy to me, and my fave part of the beach house decor? That hot pink otomi as tablecloth = perfect!

  11. To quote Randy Jackson, “I am in mad love” with the apartment and the california home, I just can’t stop looking at them. They sum up my love of all things pale and natural which constantly fights with my love of color pops!

  12. I totally agree!!!! I could not put the magazine down and when I looked back through I had a sticky note on almost every page!
    My favorite spaces were the 1 bedroom apartment…..going to paint my closet red right now…….and the beach bungalow. This bungalow is true inspiration for my future beach house……if I ever get one!

  13. I know – this month’s House Beautiful was INSANE! I’m feeling totally uninspired as well – I think we need to ask Michelle to make Lonny a monthly!

  14. Totaly amazeballs as you would say. Can’t wait for Brimfield. Too bad Rebecca and Stephanie :) can’t come but we will all have to do dinner soon.

  15. I picked that up the other day too and agree- LOVE. The only thing that freaked me out a little was that postcard chandelier- it seemed way too Pottery Barn in a “Catalog Living” type of way. HB is my fave decor mag since Domino folded….and I have to say I’ve been a little caught off guard with how much I’ve started to love it. I feel like it’s gotten cooler and hipper lately. Didn’t it used to a stuffy hoity toity decor publication? Kind of like Architecture Digest?

  16. This issue did the same thing for me…Gave me a good kick in the butt to get the creative juices going again. Love the way you summarized it!

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