WhoWHATWhereWhy: 'The Houses of Veranda'

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Ask any shelter magazine junkie -- when Veranda arrives, everything else is put on hold. It's not just the gorgeous covers or the sumptuous interiors that make it the best design magazine in America. The quality of the magazine itself is superb, from the thick paper to the luxurious layouts that let rooms breathe in full-page spreads. After all, the photos are the best part of a design magazine, and Veranda has always recognized that good photography is worth more than a thousand words.

But what has truly set Veranda apart has been the discerning eye of its founder and former editor, Lisa Newsom. Her appreciation for color and design, and for the work of some of the most talented people in the business, has given the magazine its sophisticated voice. It's therefore fitting that the magazine's 25th anniversary is being celebrated with the publication of "The Houses of Veranda," a beautiful new book by Ms. Newsom that features some of the finest interiors from the magazine's history.

"The Houses of Veranda" (Hearst Books, an imprint of Sterling Books, $60) is a visual feast designed to be savored page after page. The caption information is minimal -- almost too minimal, with few furnishing credits or details. The text tells the story of each residence, offering a frame of reference in which to enjoy the photos. And at the end of the day, it's the magnificent photography of magnificent interiors that we most want to see. The beautiful reproduction complements the exquisite design that fills the book -- and our heads -- with dreams.

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