The November issue of House Beautiful arrived last night and that's the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the cover.
I was a little shocked at my reaction. It's a lovely room, right? But I actually have a hard time looking at it. It's not that I don't like cream and light blue - quite the opposite. This room is just so cold, so devoid of personality. Then I read more and found out that it was for a show house. Yeah, I can tell. A real person doesn't live here.
And when you see the shot without the titles, you see just how empty it is. It has cool elements - love the lacquered ceiling, love the long pillow in the middle of the couch. But something huge is missing. Soul? Life? Substance? And is that white canvas actual art or just a decorator trick? The blah-ness of the room makes me think it's the latter.
She added taupe lampshades and a red floral centerpiece and in the shot below, the blue chair looks quite cheery, but still - all you see is this dull, boring white. This flat, personless apartment.
I am not a designer. I can barely figure out what to do with my own house, much less decorate dozens of houses and show houses. But I do know that there are such lovely rooms in the world, lovely all-white rooms, lovely all-beige rooms. And lovely rooms by Phoebe Howard. I normally really like her designs so am sure she could have done a little more, a little better with this one. And House Beautiful could have picked a better picture for their cover. If I didn't have a subscription, I would have left this one on the shelf.
Side note: further into the magazine there was a living room that I ADORE. Cream couch, blue and green pillows. I love it so much I'm thinking about framing it just so I keep the inspiration. But I can't find it online! I'll keep looking and report back when I find it - or scan my copy.