Inventing a new magazine is a little like designing and building a new house. They both take vision and hard work, of course, but most of all they require a team effort—a combination of talented people all doing what they do best and working toward a common goal. We hope you enjoy spending time with us in this house, and that you find it a warm and welcoming gathering place for the residential professional community.
While quite a bit is new to me in the experience of launching Residential Design magazine, much is also comfortingly familiar. First and foremost, I’m thrilled to serve my favorite people again: architects and custom home builders. Like you, I have an abiding passion for houses and I care deeply about how they are designed and built.
For me, working on Residential Design feels like a homecoming. I’m returning to the magazine world after a brief hiatus that included a major life change: My family and I moved from my hometown of Washington, D.C., to Atlanta, Ga. In the past year or so, I have sold two houses, leased one for a short stretch, and then bought another. You could say that, in a very practical way, I’ve been immersed in the business of residential design through all those transactions. The search for a new home for my family underscored how difficult it is to find a decently planned and executed dwelling, especially if you have a time constraint. It almost doesn’t matter what the budget, good houses are hard to come by. And that’s good for architects and builders.
While I was literally getting my new-to-me house in order, I began the task of house hunting for the magazine. I sent out calls for projects and story ideas to architects and builders across the country. The response was immediate and gratifying.
Dozens of beautiful projects came pouring in, and one in particular caught my eye: a beautiful contemporary house designed by Richard Williams and located in Rappahannock, Va., among the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Coincidentally, it’s a just a mile or two, as the hawk flies, from a house I had just sold and feel some considerable heartbreak in letting go.
It was a poignant homecoming traveling out and walking Richard’s project with him, gazing at the same mountains my house had looked upon. The damp overcast day deep into autumn was the perfect objective correlative for my wistful return. Richard’s mood was wistful, too, as this project is one of his favorites. It represents a quieter period in his career when he had time on his hands to deliberate over every detail. It had the dream clients and the dream builder—all in a beautiful, inspiring setting.
We hope this magazine feels like a homecoming for you, too—one you’ll want to return to again and again, to find community, design inspiration, and ideas that fuel your passion and strengthen the profession as a whole. This is a house we all can share. Please don’t hesitate to tell us how we might improve how it looks and lives for you.
S. Claire Conroy
Editor-in-Chief, Residential Design