Contributing Editor

Susan Bady has been writing about the housing industry for 25 years. She most recently served as senior editor of design for Professional Builder and Custom Builder magazines, and is now a contributing editor to those publications as well as the portal Web site HousingZone.com. Bady has also written for such consumer magazines as Cabin Life and Better Homes and Gardens’ Home Plan Ideas. You can reach her at susanbady@sbcglobal.net.

Where do you find inspiration?

I subscribe to the print editions of several publications, including Architectural Digest. Go ahead and call me old school — I know I’m not the only one who prefers to flip through the pages of a glossy magazine when there’s a big story beckoning.

The February 2013 issue of AD grabbed me instantly with its cover photo and language, “The Power of Design.” Inside, spectacular buildings from around the world blow the doors off conventional approaches to architecture. Glass-and-steel constructions like the Guangzhou Opera House in China or Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay are breathtakingly different with their billowing curves.

The residential projects are no less impressive. The Nashville residence featured on AD’s cover delights the eye with its soaring, two-story living room enveloped in glass.  A Manhattan penthouse duplex, a modernist home in northern California and a hillside retreat in Texas also play off powerful indoor-outdoor connections.

Then again, sometimes I fixate on one thing, like the Italian vanity on page 104 (those curves!). That vanity will probably stick in my mind longer than the Guangzhou Opera House, but that’s okay. You never know when or where inspiration will strike.

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