When we moved from NYC to California six years ago, a relative gave us a subscription to Sunset magazine, because we clearly needed to learn about "Life in the West," and quickly.
But with so many pages devoted to climate-zoned gardening and grand outdoor rooms, it didn't have much to offer us as urban dwellers. The target reader seemed to live on at least an acre in Palo Alto. We live in a small flat with a cemented-over backyard. Sunset quickly found a place on the bathroom reading pile. But there we slowly discovered that it was full of great recipes and some pretty tasty home design. Yes, the home pages also could be re-named "Life in the 'Burbs," but the overriding modern organic asthetic has wide appeal. And the how-to reporting and source coverage is fantastic, so adaptations for smaller spaces or urban lifestyles are conceivable. In recent issues we've noticed small but significant departures from the suburban beat: in March there was an apartment rehab here in SF, and in April there's a reinvented bungalow down in LA that may look familiar to AT readers. To wit:
• Victorian with Middle Eastern flair: We love the way the bookshelvs frame the doorway to the diningroom.
• Rethink the classics: AT:LA's own Vanessa gets some love. (also blogged here.) Here's hoping they continue to stray onto urban terra firma!