(WAY) Better Homes and Gardens

Trenna Lange’s Lovely Living Room

When Better Homes and Gardens started arriving at my home a few months ago, I was puzzled. I eventually realized that it must have been my replacement for the now defunct Cottage Living. Needless to say, I have never waited on the newest issue of Better Homes and Garden with baited breath. Normally, I would just pass them along to my mom or mother-in-law without a glance. However, this month was different. I decided to leaf through the May 2009 issue and I was completely floored! This was not the Better Homes and Gardens I was expecting. It was young, fresh, and completely relatable. Honestly, I was very impressed and glad to see that the tide is turning.

I am glad that publishers are paying close attention to what readers truly want to see and are infusing their magazine with fresh, new ideas. I definitely saw a bit of both Cottage Living and Domino style in this issue of Better Homes and Gardens. They noticed that there was an absence in the market that people really miss and they did something about it. Kudos to you, BH&G!

This is most definitely a new chapter! Isn’t this a great dining room? The built-ins are gorgeous, as is the fabulous flooring. I absolutely love the tulip table.

This living room is part of the same home as the dining room in the previous image. I love the combination of chocolate and orange, along with the great coffee table and graphic rug.
The kitchen in the same home is decidedly modern. Notice the pedestal table and mid-century modern chairs. I really like the built-in bench and the beautiful turquoise subway tile backsplash.
Isn’t this craft room fantastic? I would love to have a room like this to keep me organized. Instead, the closets in our secondary bedrooms are stuffed to the gills! I love the little pink chair.
In this story, designer John Loecke redesigned a 12’x13′ spare room and transformed it into a more usable space. I don’t recall ever seeing lucite or punchy, citrus colors in BH&G before, but it looks really great.

John was really clever in the way that he used the room’s two tiny closets.

This 1850s Victorian home was given a much needed update by Joel Snayd of Rethink Design Studio in Savannah through the use of both mid-century mod and traditional pieces.

In this article, Trenna Lange discusses ways to breathe new life into pieces we already have. She modernized this old wooden chair with new paint and turned the old desk pictured above into a bedside table. By the way, I am positive that I have seen this same lamp at Homegoods for like, $40. Check out the magazine to see her children’s adorable rooms.

Trenna brightened up her originally gloomy office, by painting everything white and adding color through accessories.

“Trenna believes that even utilitarian storage should be visually inspiring.” I couldn’t agree more!

Finally, I thought this outdoor space was so beautiful and serene. I love the different textures and neutral palette, but my favorite piece is the carved bench. The view of the ocean isn’t so bad, either!

All in all, I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised at what I found in the new issue of Better Homes and Gardens and I am now looking forward to what they come up with in the future. I think it’s fantastic that they understand the importance of interiors that are beautiful and attainable. Sure, I love looking at museum-quality interiors, but it’s depressing to think that there is no way that you could afford the same look. I love that the magazine features ideas for taking what you have and making it feel new along with great bargains, like Trenna’s Homegoods lamp.

All images via Better Homes and Gardens

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  1. P.S.- Paloma, where are those lucite tables from, I love both of them, the wavey one and the rectangle…I am looking for one for a project. Does it say where he got these?

    I love the bright colors too!

  2. BH&G came in the mail yesterday for my mom and I thought ehhh no reason to flip through it but now I have to! Can’t wait to check it out.

  3. I am on the same page as you- was never interested in BH&G but I have subscribed for a year now, and I can honestly say that some of my favorites houses are from BH&G. Not to say that it replaces Cottage Living- but BH&G usually has a great suprise each month!

  4. I LOVE this spread. As beautiful as all white/neutral palettes might be, I need color in my life.
    This shows a tasteful way of bringing colour into the home! Thank you!

  5. I was wondering what I should replace Domino with as Glamour is a little beneath me (it’s not interior design and therefor i don’t have time for it. sad.) but this looks awesome! Thanks for the tip.

  6. I have been loving BH&G for the past year with a few misses. It only gets better and better. I can’t wait to get this issue in the mail. It looks like the best yet.

  7. Wow, that is certainly not the Better Homes and Gardens I remember last flipping through! These spaces are all beautiful, and I think I may need to pick up this issue!

  8. While I am glad they are trying to “fill the gap”, I just don’t think we are ever going be able to adequately replace Domino. It truly was the best shelter mag I have ever laid my eyes on. I just miss how real it was. So sad, you don’t realize how much you enjoy such a simple little thing until it’s gone!

  9. Hi Paloma,
    Yes, I did see your Grey Gardens post and had left you a comment that day, it was wonderful.
    Will be picking up the latest issue of BHG and likely wouldn’t have so thanks for telling us, love that craft room.

  10. hm, BH&G is published by Meredith and wouldn’t have been sent as a replacement for Cottage, which is was Time, Inc title. maybe someone over there thought you might like a complimentary copy!

    I’ve had an on-off love affair with BH&G — they published some of my favorite homes, but sometimes I find issues totally uninspiring. glad to see that they seem to be on the upswing again!

  11. I picked up this issue last night because I love the kitchen you showed here and wanted to see more. The whole issue was pretty good actually; I’m very surprised.