By Alexandra Rosario
It was a rainy New York City day, but that didn’t prevent a fabulous crowd from attending the Debut Garden Party at the Garden of the James Beard House. Hosted by the editors of the newly-redesigned Garden Design magazine and the James Beard Foundation, interior and landscape designers got a peek at the beautifully renovated Garden. Photos of the Garden will be published in the magazine and online, showing the step-by-step evolution of the design process.
Photo courtesy of Robin Blair Riley
The beautiful Greenwich Village brownstone has a small narrow garden that had fallen into serious disrepair over the years and was simply no longer useable as a functional space for the foundation. The collaboration between Garden Design and the Foundation was sparked by Garden Design’s sister publication, Saveur magazine.
“Saveur’s relationship with James Beard became our relationship, so we ventured into this collaboration,” said Lindsay Taylor, style director for Garden Design.
This collaborative project has been in the works for much of the past year, with talks beginning in January. Garden Design partnered with landscape designer Paul Keys to help create the new look. One of the challenges of renovating the garden was making it as functional and beautiful as the Manhattan space could allow. Plans for the garden were specifically designed with New York City in mind.
The renovation came at the perfect time, as the James Beard House celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
"It’s a face lift for our 25th anniversary,” said Victoria Jordan, director of house operations and events for the James Beard Foundation. “Paul Keys is a miracle worker! And Garden Design was incredible. We now have a space that is both functional and beautiful.”
Photo courtesy of Robin Blair Riley
A number of outside companies, including Bartlett Tree Experts, Just Terraces, True Professional Series and Barlow Tyrie, generously donated their services and goods to help transform the garden.
“It was an honor to partner with the James Beard Foundation to renovate this historical site,” said Norman Vanamee, editor in chief of Garden Design. “We hope our readers will be able to draw some ideas from our renovation for their own gardens and to see how, even when working with a small budget, it’s possible to make a big difference in a garden renovation.”
The Garden Party also made public the new redesign of Garden Design magazine.
“We really looked at making the magazine more of a resource for the end user,” said Jodi Bech, the publisher of Garden Design. “We want people to look to us for inspiration, design-saavy how-to’s and how to infuse the indoors with outdoors.”
Under the direction of Vanamee since December 2010, the magazine has also recently introduced a redesign with a new focus on offering the ultimate in resources for professionals and design enthusiasts who want inspiration on how to integrate nature into sophisticated home design. “Garden Design refects the future of the home: a new era in which the boundary between indoors and outdoors is erased, and nature is an integral part of sophisticated design,” said Vanamee.
The magazine and website will introduce many new features including a new fall series: What Makes a House a Home. On Wednesdays, a different blogger will write about his or her home. Currently, Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge shares her tips for bringing the outside in, and the magazine showcases three homes (and home-decorating ideas) from the brand-new Design*Sponge book.