Read Our Editor’s Note on the May 2021 At Home Issue

French Tudor home in Santa Ana with garden design by Heirloom Potager, photographed by Emily J. Davis

The mission of this magazine is to help readers live better in their communities. That means you’ll meet intriguing people and discover where to shop, what to eat, and when fun things are happening in O.C. For this issue, though, the goal is more specific and literal: how to live better in your space.

After a year at home, many of us are ready to spruce things up even more than the usual spring cleaning. We have a new perspective. If you’re looking to adjust your entire house or just shift a few things in one room, here are suggestions from designers, safety experts, realtors, and landscapers (Page 58). You’ll find examples of serene home office spaces, kitchen designs that bring the outside in, plus the biggest mistakes people make when buying a house. The idea that most resonated for me? Designer Bobby Berk’s advice to do a thorough edit and get rid of stuff.

Illustration by Martha Napier

As our house got crowded and privacy diminished—one kid Zooming in the TV room, another with schoolwork spread across the dining table, a parent working in the home office, and another on the front porch—my family focused on improving our outdoor space. Our county, with its nearly perfect year-round weather, is the ideal place to spend time outside for all kinds of activities—weddings, entertaining, gardening, and building a backyard coffeehouse are a few of the examples you’ll discover in this issue. We even talked to a mental health expert about how to maintain boundaries between work and other activities, especially when everything happens at home. Maybe you just need ways to make your space feel welcoming and soft, a respite from the no-touch world we’ve been in. We hope you find ideas here for whatever you’re craving when it comes to home, so you can most relish your time there.

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