Do you hear that sound? That airy sucking sound? It’s the sound of an ever-expanding black hole in the universe that used to be home decor mags. With the inexplicable demise of Blueprint, Home & Garden, Home Magazine, and now Domino, what in the world am I supposed to subscribe to?
I have very distinct criteria for my industry-related subscription material: (a) I don’t waste my time with titles that primarily feature products and environments that are beyond my or my clients’ average budgets, like Interior Design or Wallpaper; (b) I prefer monthlies rather than bi-monthlies or quarterlies; (c) I get a bit bored looking at anything stuffy or too traditional, like Traditional Home or Veranda.
I decided to hit the newsstand and investigate some of my remaining options:
ReadyMade I know I said I prefer monthlies, but I love this magazine with a passion. It’s the only subscription I have left and I have an emotional death grip on it. Includes DIY projects with high design sensibility…similar to Todd Oldham’s Handmade Modern, but with an environmental twist. I especially love checking out their monthly reader challenge, where they pick a common item that would normally end up in the trash and challenge their readers to come up with an interesting way to recycle it into something interesting.
Martha Stewart Living I love the decor features of this mag but loathe all the cleaning tips and gardening/food stuff, which I’m just not that into. If a Martha Stewart title was going to go down in flames, I wish it’d been MSL and not Blueprint.
Real Simple To me, this is just an MSL wannabe, and not a very interesting one at that. Bores me.
dwell This definitely appeals to me as a designer, but tends to be too minimal to offer anything that might be applicable to my typical client.
Elle Decor Any magazine that features $780 Hermes scissors on their “What’s Hot” list is not clued in to what real people need or want. If you are spending $780 for a single desk accessory, you are doing your life wrong. Fine for inspiration, but I’m never going to spy the perfect (affordable) table/lamp/sofa/bed for a client in these pages.
Metropolitan Home Closer to the mark. Would be perfect for me if there was at least one single DIY feature and/or a variety of budgets incorporated into the mix.
Livingetc Although this is a British mag and therefore will make it harder for me to use many of the products and materials featured, this is so close conceptually to Domino that I can’t resist it. I’d subscribe ASAP, but it’s actually cheaper to buy each issue from a bookstore ($8.50/issue vs. $118.75 annual subscription).