Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Home blog—a multifaceted compendium of the latest and greatest tips, personalities, and products in the home design and retail arenas that goes far beyond what is covered in the pages of the magazine. In reading it, you’ll not only get a ton of fabulous solutions and info, but you’ll also get to know the Home editors a lot better. That’s because they’ll be the ones bringing you all this added insight—in their own unique voices. These folks are entertaining, totally in the know, and they love sharing their finds and ideas—in fact, they’re all but obsessed with the subject of home. I mean, why else would they walk around with pictures of their childhood homes in their wallets? (Well, okay, not all of ’em do, but they’re all willing to write about the same stuff they cover for the magazine, which is lots more work—and why on earth would they do that if they weren’t fixated?) I don’t carry a house photo on me, but I do have a shot of the place I moved into back in 1965 hanging on my bulletin board. I can trace my personal preoccupation with the topic of home to that period.
My mother designed this house, very irreverent in its time, and hearing her discuss the details and traipsing around with her to stone yards and the construction site got me hooked on design for good. Not to mention the place itself—its shape was the clean-lined square and triangle I used to draw on my Red Chief tablet in second grade, but I can assure you the materials were unlike any that my southern teachers had ever seen. White brick (with dark gray wood trim) reflected the searing Texan sun on the outside, while white-and-gray terrazzo floors broadcast a coolness throughout the interior. Edging one side of the soaring living room was a wall of white quartz stone with pale green veining. (I recall challenging my twin sister to find the specks of fool’s gold in these shimmering boulders.) A floating dark-stained wood wall divided the entry from the living room. This divider featured bookshelves and cabinetry on the living room side. On the entry side, a large-scale modern painting hung above a white-brick planter (with cacti) that spanned the width of the divider, at its base.
This house was as remarkable for what it didn’t possess as for what it did—it had no dining room or den, for example. Kumbaya, Herb Alpert, Nana Mouskouri, and hors d’oeuvres were served up around the white marble coffee table in the living room; homework, breakfast, and dinner took place at the white Saarinen Tulip table in the kitchen; and Batman and Bewitched were viewed on the portable TV that rested atop a tall rolling cart in the piano room. My sisters and I would sit cross-legged on the thick Persian carpet, which was the only decorative item in this space other than the etching of musicians that hung above the piano. We had two choices of what to look at here—the TV screen or the yucca plantings outside the window. I bet you can guess what we chose. However, I think those spiky leaves hiding behind the concrete screen at the entrance to the house shaped my agenda for what I wanted to see in the future far more than any of the television shows I watched.
Looking back, it’s clear to me that my interest in home is rooted in those odd plants and the fascinating juxtaposition of the surrounding pebbles, bricks, and stones. The Home editors have equally evocative memories of their childhood dwellings. Click on the gallery to see their pictures and read their comments. This is just the beginning of many compelling contributions from the Home Team. —
Hometown: Houston, Texas