Southern Lady Magazine

Gracious Living in the New Year with Phyllis Hoffman DePiano

Phyllis Hoffman DePiano, CEO of Hoffman Media, publisher of women’s magazines, and author of The Ribbon in My Journal, shares her insight about gracious living with her family through the creation of inviting home spaces.

Gracious Living 
By Phyllis Hoffman DePiano

When we were designing our new home for the remodel, Neal and I planned one large room to serve as the living room, dining room and piano room with the kitchen opening right into the family room. It’s one room for all. I know all of you have noticed the same thing I have, people love to gather in the kitchen. So why not connect it all?

We challenged our architect to create a family room that would be perfect for everyone to gather around! The first thing that I wanted was my cook top to be in the island so that I could face the family room. I don’t know what it is about people wanting to watch people cook, but it is fun to do! I find myself doing the same, so putting my cooktop in the island was the answer.

Family rooms are the traditional gathering room for events. Many houses today have done away with a living room and have only one room. We decided on that too.

When I was growing up, we had a living room plus the den. When we women wanted to retreat from the sports shows on TV, we would retreat to the living room and take our needlework with us. It was a wonderful room, and had comfy sofas and chairs.

I marveled as I watched Downton Abbey at the rooms that were designed for men only and women only. And to think, they didn’t even have a TV from which to escape! Conversation was the order of the day and should be today. The only problem with the two rooms of my childhood and the rooms of Downton Abbey were that they separated everyone. Neal and I wanted to focus on a mutual gathering place where we could make as many memories together as possible.

Every family has ways of celebrating gatherings. The important thing is to be together. I love it when my family is all together. We always bring up old times and fun times growing up. I love it when our grandchildren enter into the conversations about their school friends and pets. These are the memories that make a house a home.

Celebrate your family and gather for a fun time… be sure and serve your favorite dessert!

Discover home décor inspiration to create warm spaces for your family and friends by ordering your copy of Southern Style  2017.