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Sara Peterson, editor in chief of HGTV Magazine, took time out of her hectic, making-a-brand-new-magazine schedule to talk to me about what it was like to see this project come to life.

Sara Peterson

Sara Peterson at home. Photo by: Squire Fox

LZ: Can you tell our readers in a nutshell what it’s like to create a magazine from scratch?
SP: It’s exhilarating, but also a lot of work! We spent months thinking about and discussing all the reasons people love HGTV, and then how to translate this hugely popular TV network into a fun, fresh, new kind of home/lifestyle magazine that was unlike anything else out there. Some days, I watch so many HGTV shows that I’m surprised my DVR hasn’t exploded.

LZ: What was your biggest accomplishment?
Getting the magazine out with a cover that I’m proud of—it says fun, fast makeovers in big colorful letters. I love that cover line, and I’m hoping that will speak to a lot of HGTV fans.

LZ: In one word, how would you describe HGTV Magazine?
SP: Happy.

LZ: Is there any particular story that’s your absolute favorite from the inaugural issue?
SP: That’s like trying to name your favorite child! I can’t do it. We put 100% effort into every single story. That I can tell you!

LZ: Tell us a little bit about your staff: Where do they come to the magazine from?
SP: One day the whole staff talked about where we grew up and all the places we’ve lived. We hit on every part of the country—the South, the Midwest, the East Coast, and the West. We’re a very diverse staff, which is so important when you’re creating a national magazine that needs to speak to homeowners and renters everywhere.

LZ: What’s the best part about your new digs in the eco-friendly Hearst Tower?
SP: The views are incredible. We’re on the 35th floor (the Hearst Tower is in Midtown Manhattan, at 57th Street and 8th Avenue), and we face south, so on a clear day, we can see all the way downtown and a long stretch of the Hudson River. I also like that we have an open floor plan in our office, and the offices all have glass walls. It’s a team effort to create a magazine, and this openness makes constant collaboration even easier. We talk face-to-face with one another more than we email. I appreciate that.

LZ: Any sneak peeks or secrets from the magazine you can share with our readers?
SP: We photographed Sarah Richardson’s farmhouse in Canada—but not just the rooms. We sneaked around and took photos inside her closets, inside her kitchen cabinets, in her medicine cabinets. Sarah has such amazing style, so it’s great to get her tips for making a family home extra comfy—but it’s also really fun to find out what’s in her pantry, what’s in her coat closet, even what’s under her kitchen sink! Also: David’s Bromstad’s current paint color obsessions. Who doesn’t want to know those?!

67 Responses

  1. col says:

    I too, cannot find the survey.col

  2. Judy R, says:

    Loved my October magazine. Could not find the survey contest however. My husband loved the informative page on light bulbs. We are planting some trees so that was a timely article. We are remodeling our bathroom in the near future and appreciated the "10 reno, No-no's" I watch the Property Brothers often.
    Thanks for the inspiration, Judy R.

  3. Robert F Bolick says:

    Hi Sarah I have just recived my first issue of HGTV magazine. what i like in the magazine is the way you have shown, the way i can do something simple and low costly and turn it in to something beautiful. like the chair and steps you painted diffrent colors,the fire pit in the back yard, with the wrap around bench at the top of it. I am at the age and time in my life .that i need to think of a handicap bathroom. just in case if i need one on down the road . like if i was in a wheel chair and needed to take a shower,i would beable to roll right in

  4. Irene Burzak says:

    I have had my HGTV magazine three days,and every time i sit down. i pick it up ,and read it again.I have never seen a magazine that has inspired me so much.its the greatest.My head is spinning with all the thing i want to do.and dont know which yo do first,A great Big Thank You

  5. rosalinda says:

    I am an older women who had dreams of being an interior designer, your magazine is wonderful, it shows all kinds of ideas that are really different, so many years people throuhjt that i was crazy about useing different ways to create a christmas tree , and design a room with different colors, useing brick, and all sort of materials, i am so grateful for this magazine, you show every thing that i think that this new generation needs to know about color and different designs. Thing I have been sayying for years, color is life designs that are different is a breath of fresh air, I admire you Sara for your designs , and use of color and for showing a christmas tree, and be decorated in any color or design, as long as it is with love. That goes for any thing in your life. Thank you for your love of color and a ringbow of lifes colors. Rosalinda

  6. Sandy Hill says:

    Why is HGTV hiding their phone number? I previously canceled my subcription because after getting magazine the monthly issued stopped. I called and they said they make that months issue. I thought I would try a subcription again and mailed a checked in November and it has been cashed but no magazine but a bill saying second invoice for payment due now and now customer service number available it disappeared. What gives??

  7. Sandy Hill says:

    Correction to above comment, they said they didnot make that months issue so some months they did and some months they would'nt so I would not get regular issues. So I canceled, but thought after several months I thought I would try again and now having problems again.

  8. tom rhyne says:

    yes i got the hgtv magagine,and i love it,i like thekitchen updates,and the new look.ihave enter all of the sweepstakts onhgtv.the sweepsta giveway on the beach i enter ever day,i did noe win,i will try agan.think you.

  9. ellen says:

    Looked all over for "survey" – cannot find it anywhere!!!!

  10. flowerhouse says:

    I was looking for a portable greenhouse when i came here. Could not find it anyway.

Lili ZarghamiLili is Editorial Director of HGTV.com. Her personal obsessions include looking for just the right sofa, ogling real estate listings, and reading floor-plans. She has an admitted "chair problem," collecting...


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