A year ago, my husband and I downsized to a home better suited for life with only one teenage daughter at home, since our twins had left for college. “The boys will never be home,” we reasoned. Well, we know the punchline on this one. They’ve been home since March and who knows exactly when they’ll leave again. But we all have good perspective: we’re healthy (knock on wood), grateful for our home even if it’s close quarters, and, best of all, we all still like each other.
No matter how big or small or perfectly imperfect your home is, you probably have a whole new appreciation for it during this pandemic. This issue of HOME provides inspiration for ways you can maximize enjoyment of your surroundings inside and out. Perhaps our feature on flexible spaces—ideas to squeeze every bit of utility out of all areas of your home—will resonate more than ever; I know it did for me, as we now use every inch of our home with unexpected full-time occupants. With more time at home, you may be more likely to notice some dark corners or poorly lit spaces, so check out our expert tips on lighting specs and consider some new fixtures. Another easy interior pick-me-up is a backsplash; we explore the many options in tile and other materials that make for an interesting feature.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve also spent a lot of time outside these past few months, just looking and listening for nature’s simple pleasures—and also dreaming of things we can do and plant in our yard. In this issue, learn to make your gardening practices more ecofriendly; spice up your garden with a plan to plant peppers, or infuse it with show-stopping color with zinnias, a summer fave. Whether your next backyard cookout is family only or a small gathering of friends—who knows what the rest of the summer will look like?—you can take your menu to the next level with some elevated-basic side dishes.
At press time, the world is still uncertain. But we are certain in our hope for good health and good spirits in our community. We are proud to promote local businesses and are grateful for the opportunity to provide ideas and inspiration that help make your home the place you’d most like to be.
Thanks for reading,