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House Beautiful

House Beautiful

June/July 2021

The House Beautiful reader is someone whose home is her bedrock. She is always improving it because the process – and result – delights her. Happiness in her home comes from easy luxury and highly personal style. Her home is a gift to share with family and friends.

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United States
10 Issues

in this issue

2 min
woven tales

PROJECT TELL ME records the wisdom and life experiences of Black Americans ages 75 and older by connecting them with a new generation of Black journalists. The oral history series will run across Hearst Magazine, Newspaper, and Television websites around Juneteenth 2021. GO TO HEARST.COM/PROJECTTELLME FOR MORE. I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERent from what I had learned growing up. I decided to do something which came from my own ideas.” That’s how Mary Jackson developed her unique take on a sweetgrass basket weaving technique that dates back to her ancestors in West Africa. The art form made its way to the American South during slavery; now Jackson practices it in her studio on Johns Island outside of Charleston, where a community of sweetgrass basket makers still thrives today. “When they were brought here…

4 min
the waiting game

1 YOU START AT THE BACK OF THE LINE. If you just bought an American-made sofa and made any choices about the piece—its length, leg style or finish, upholstery fabric, or the type of filling in the cushions—you’ve got a made-to-order piece in the works. (There isn’t some giant warehouse containing every potential combo just waiting to be sold.) Even a year into the pandemic, it takes manufacturers about 9 to 14 days to make a sofa—that hasn’t changed. But because of the industrywide delays you’re about to read about, you’re at the end of a long queue of backlogged orders when you click “purchase.” Once the manufacturer gets to your order, your piece gets scheduled for production in the coming weeks. 2 FABRIC PRODUCTION HAS BEEN DISRUPTED. Belgium, India, Turkey, and countries…

5 min
walking on sunshine

“IT’S JUST A REALLY SPECIAL LITTLE JEWEL.” Set atop a hill in Marin County, California, the 1925 home had great natural light and good bones—and was designated as a historic landmark. Practically speaking, this means “the front of the house and the size of the house can’t really be changed, but internally, you’re able to do pretty much whatever you like,” explains designer Mark D. Sikes. He worked with Ken Linsteadt Architects and Denler Hobart Gardens to give the place a spirited remodel for a young family of four, all while respecting the original architecture. “[The clients] wanted something that was timeless,” Sikes says, “but also happy and colorful and fun.” The first order of business was to turn what was originally two separate rooms for living and dining into one large…

4 min
a long winding road

THIRTY-FOUR YEARS AGO, A bike ride changed Hadas Dembo’s life. “Cycling the back roads of Columbia County, New York, my husband and I stumbled upon a small cedar shake house for sale,” the designer recalls. Though house might be a bit of a stretch: Built in the 1800s as a stable for a neighboring property, it had been updated with plumbing and electrical but little else. “We were instantly smitten,” says Dembo, “and decided to purchase it, naively undaunted by the task we were about to take on.” Bit by bit, the couple made upgrades to the property—insulating, adding radiant heating and imported stone floors, painting and furnishing with antiques, and eventually installing a pool—but at a completely unbothered pace. Originally, the only bathroom opened into the kitchen. “We lived with that…

3 min
love shack

“IT’S NANTUCKET—without being so pastiche.” With its awkward ’90sstyle features—like an oddly shaped room and green, bar-height kitchen counters—this two-bedroom Massachusetts cottage was begging for a light renovation and some cosmetic updates. So designer Kevin Isbell decided to infuse the ocean-facing property with an unexpected coastal-casual look—that also masked its illogical architectural features. “We obviously allude to the cottage’s nautical history throughout, but it’s in a much more exciting and different way from what most people think about—no lobster trap side tables for this family,” says the Los Angeles–based designer. The home’s showpiece? The so-called Whale Room, a family room that not-so-subtly nods to the island’s status as a whaling port in its heyday. To distract from the uneven ceiling— which soars to nearly 15 feet on one wall—Isbell installed a mural featuring…

4 min
inn with the new

IN THE WORLD OF HOME RENOvations, things rarely go according to plan, though often it’s for the best. Several years ago, a young family acquired a coveted plot of land on Martha’s Vineyard with a former inn they dreamed of converting to a single-family dwelling. But a host of structural ailments (“vines growing through the windows, it was like Miss Havisham’s house,” the homeowner says) forced them to start from scratch. For the new build, they stayed true to the Vineyard’s classic Shingle Style vernacular while adding modern, eco-conscious upgrades. (Thanks to solar panels and a few other smart features, the home is net-zero, meaning its total annual energy consumption is equal to the amount of renewable energy it creates!) The clients called on James Huniford of Huniford Design Studio to…