House Beautiful Magazine Editor-in-Chief Newell Turner is on Capitol Hill this morning for a presser with Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) to promote the buying of American-made furniture and to address an issue that is of great concern to the industry. We caught up with the southerner to grill him about his furniture tastes. Experience: He worked at Conde Nast’s House & Garden for three years and at Metropolitan Home for more than a decade. He earned his BA in journalism and Southern studies from the University of Mississippi. Where he resides: He lives in New York City and has a farmhouse in the Catskills. (See a photograph of his dream house below.)
What’s the most comfortable chair you’ve ever sat in? There are more comfortable chairs than people realize, or maybe being tired can make a wooden stool feel good. Lee Industries makes a small square club chair that always caught my eye. The arms are narrow but padded, and the seat is deep. It looks small, but it’s really comfortable. I bought two!
What do you think of when you think of Washington? Do you like the cherry blossoms or are they overrated? I fell in love with Washington a few years ago. There may be a lot of politics in the city, but there are a lot of wonderful people living in DC. It’s a beautiful city. As for cherry blossoms, what’s there not to love about an explosion of flowers?!
How did you get your start in the magazine publishing industry? I was in graduate school in Mississippi studying magazine design. I met the editor in chief of Metropolitan Home and pursued a job with them. I was hired as an editorial assistant at the very bottom of the editorial ladder.
What tips do you have for young journos just starting out? Is the profession still worth it? I think the profession is more exciting than ever. There are many more opportunities to show what you can do. I believe without a doubt that the more information people have access to, the more they’ll need editors they trust to make sense of it for them. My best piece of advice is to be confident in what you can do—but with a big dose of humility. Find a mentor and trust his or her guidance.
If you had to furnish a room with stuff from two or three stores at most, what do you choose? No more than three, Turner. We’re watching you. Ha! Start with Crate & Barrel for basics. Visit Restoration Hardware for pieces with texture and some character. Then shop a vintage store or antique auction for pieces that have a history….you might even score a treasure.