House Beautiful Magazine Receives Its First-Ever ASME Nomination

house_beautiful_subscription_april2011.jpgThough they’ll have to wait just over a month to find out whether they’ve actually won, the team members responsible for House Beautiful magazine already have something to celebrate. House Beautiful is one of five finalists in the Food, Travel and Design Magazine category of the annual National Magazine Awards presented by the American Society of Magazine Editors.

This is the first time House Beautiful has been nominated since the awards began in 1966; the magazine, meanwhile, predates the awards by 70 years. It’s also a bit of a coup since the magazine got a new editor-in-chief last year, as did a few other titles.

House Beautiful’s editorial change, from Stephen Drucker to Newell Turner, happened during the first quarter; the June issue marked Turner’s debut.

While I’m a little surprised this is House Beautiful’s first nomination, I’m not surprised that it scored one for 2010. In fact, the magazine got my nod for Best Home Interiors Magazine for the year. One of the things it did particularly well in 2010 was discuss and use color–on the cover and in a monthly column devoted to choices for different rooms or parts of rooms.

House Beautiful’s April issue demonstrates some of the magazines best approaches to editorial, including the monthly “I Love My Bed” column in which a designer or celebrity talks about much more than his or her bed and bedroom. This time around, Cindy Crawford displays a wry sense of humor while introducing her new line of bed linens.

Quick hits of design are offered in the features at the front of the issue; this month that includes silhouette patterned wallpaper and “preppy” fabrics like gingham, a spring-like ikat in pink and green, and an argyle pattern. This month’s cover is another example of a compelling image paired with colorful (again, with color) blurbs and logotype. In fact, this cover deserves extra kudos because the dining room shown looks surprisingly devoid of color as pictured in the feature story.

Another nice touch in this and every issue is Turner’s editor’s letter, located at the start of the features as opposed to the magazine’s opening pages. Laid out like a designer’s inspiration/project file with photos and swatch imagery “clipped” to it, the letter puts the spreads that follow it into context.

Congratulations, House Beautiful–and good luck.