(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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