2020 has been a year full of surprises, challenges and growth for many. We rounded up the most ICONIC stories of the year as a way to remember this year with perspective.
Our top picks range from unique chocolate experiences to our first virtual ICONIC HAUS. Keep reading to see what everyone loved this year.
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AWE-INSPIRING NATIONAL PARKS | Livia Hooson
Natural is always beautiful, and, especially this year, people really craved a stronger connection to the outside world. This is why The Best Awe-Inspiring National Parks Across America was one of the top ICONIC stories of 2020. The story showcases the fresh air and wide-open spaces in these majestic and protected lands. For iconic places to stay on your visit to these parks, we sourced a selection of both charming—and chill—accommodations for a range of travelers including low-key campers and well-heeled glampers.
MODERN FARMHOUSE | Elyse Glickman
So many of our readers are HUGE modern farmhouse style fans, and The Genteel Charm of Modern Farmhouse Architecture Inspired by Architect C.P. Drewett remains one of our top ICONIC stories of 2020. Architect C.P. Drewett and developer Marc Nassos teamed up to weave down-home modern farmhouse architecture, a contemporary Southwestern vibe and Phoenix’s agricultural past into a design called Magnolia House. The careful thought that went into this reimagined design ultimately led to the National Association of Home Builders to award the Magnolia House its 2019 “Best in American Living” Award.
CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATING | ICONIC LIFE
Though this story was originally published at the end of 2019, 10 Elegant Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas We Love remains a reader favorite most of the year and one of the top ICONIC stories of 2020. Whether you love to plan early or simply enjoy beautiful Christmas tree design, this is the story for you. The elegant Christmas trees are beautiful holiday designs for your home. No longer the standard red and green, these Christmas tree decorations elevate the holiday decorating tradition with monochromatic themes, pastel colors and decor to match the home.
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DALLAS BRUTALISM | Elyse Glickman
We love stunning home design and architecture, and we particularly loved this story for its uniqueness. Strength, Luxury and Grace: Dallas Home is Brutally Beautiful shared with readers an Austin-based architect named Scott Specht who rethought the sturdy and industrial “Brutalism” architecture for a luxury home in Dallas by integrating unexpectedly delicate details. As Brutalism during its 1960s and 1970s prime was criticized for being too austere and forbidding outside of architect circles, Specht’s present-day interpretation counters some of the objections the public had about Brutalism.
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BEST SPA TREATMENTS | Nisa Ayral
While everyone was stuck in quarantine, Spending Time at Home? We Share the Best Summer Spa Treatments was a hit for those looking to feel glamorous in the most unglamorous of times. We shared our list of the best head-to-toe, at-home spa treatments in this story on our list of favorite ICONIC stories of 2020. To make it even more alluring: all treatments included natural ingredients that were ready to go in your home. The story included with recipes to follow based on your preferred type of spa treatment.
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CHOCOLATE EXPERIENCES TO SAVOR | ICONIC LIFE
Decadent, sweet and satisfying, chocolate is one of the most-craved foods on the planet, which is why people love Seven Positively Indulgent Chocolate Experiences to Savor. When you experience chocolate, your brain releases feel-good neurotransmitters, including dopamine. This might explain why some people can never get enough of this tempting treat. And why stop with merely eating chocolate? In this story, we rounded up some of the most unique, luxurious chocolate experiences around the world.
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IMPROVE YOUR GOLF GAME | Dan Smith
Swinging into 2020: How to Improve Your Golf Game was a massive hit amongst ICONIC stories. Before booking your next golf trip to one of these world-class courses and securing your functional and design-forward golf attire, you wanted you to make sure you follow these golf swing basics. One small mistake can throw the entire flow of your swing off and could end up costing you the game, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting it absolutely right each and every time.
BEAUTIFUL GARDEN DESIGN | Nisa Ayral
With so many people working from or simply spending most of their time at home this year, there was a strong desire to bring natural elements into daily life, as illustrated in a few of the top ICONIC stories of 2020. With that in mind, we explored how to Transform Your Home and Connection to Nature with Beautiful Garden Design. The San Francisco-based landscape architecture and urban design firm Surfacedesign focuses on creating dynamic parks, plazas, waterfronts, civic landscapes and private garden design ideas that cultivate a sense of connection to the built and natural world and push people to engage with the landscape in new ways.
CALIFORNIA BOARDWALK HOME | Elyse Glickman
Architect Chris Brandon believes the ideal California luxury beach house should complement rather than overpower its majestic natural surroundings. Building Castles in the Sand | California Boardwalk Home was a story about one discreet couple in Newport Beach that approached Brandon about creating a large home that not only framed their outdoor surroundings along the city’s fabled beachfront and harbor, but also their personal indoor/outdoor lifestyle in ways that could withstand the test of time. We love beautiful home, and this passion was definitely portrayed in our top ICONIC design stories of 2020.
ICONIC HAUS FASHION SHOOT | Jillian Vaughn
Our ICONIC HAUS Winter 2020 was the setting for this season’s hottest looks room by room, captured in a stunning fashion shoot among our style stories, directed by our publisher Renee Dee Twenty marquis interior design teams and influencers presented their visions for this Mod-iterranean estate, and our fashion team was inspired by these stunning designs to present fabulous looks to take you from fall into winter. HAUTE HAUS: ICONIC HAUS Winter 2020 Fashion Shoot was a visual story that left fashion lovers inspired.
FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER FRANCESCO TONELLI | Nisa Ayral
How do you teach a former chef a new trick? You give him a camera. And that’s how high-end food photographer Francesco Tonelli got his start. In our story Meet Masterful Food Photographer Francesco Tonelli, we sat down with Tonelli to learn more about the incredible world of food photography and how he has created such a renowned name for himself both in the kitchen and behind the camera with high-profile clients from Michelin-starred chefs to giant culinary brands. This story was an interesting take on our typical ICONIC food stories of 2020.
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PODCASTS FOR ROAD TRIPS | Nisa Ayral
Our roundup of the top ICONIC stories of 2020 would be incomplete without mentioning our podcast. With restrictions on traveling by airplane, road trips became the ideal form of travel. Anticipating that destination vacations closer to home were on the agenda this summer, we compiled a list of the best podcasts for road trips, featuring everyone from world-renowned chefs to powerhouse businesswomen in our story Make Time Fly: Best Podcasts for Road Trips. We love our publisher Renee Dee’s ICONIC HOUR podcast, especially considering that podcasts are a great way to pass the time while also stimulating your mind.
FIRST VIRTUAL ICONIC HAUS | ICONIC LIFE
After preparing for six months for an 18-day luxury showhouse home tour, we announced that in the best interest of community responsibility, public health and living beautifully, ICONIC HAUS would be presented as a VIRTUAL TOUR with photographic, narrative and video tours, a touring app, our luxurious print magazine edition with our favorite stories and daily social media content. ICONIC HAUS 2020 Luxury Designer Showhouse Tour Goes Virtual announced this transition and set the groundwork for future virtual showhouses to come. We debuted the next one this November, and you can find more stunning design here.