Thanks to my hoarding tendencies, I have every issue!
But this crazy economy has caused too many great magazines, like that relatively new one, to close.* Not enough people spending their money on home decor and improvements to support the advertisers who supported the publishers. So even more senior, well-respected industry favorites like Domino, Country Home, House & Garden, and Home are gone now too.
Two kind of quirky titles I purchased at the newsstand more times than not, Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion and Martha Stewart's younger, hipper spin-off Blueprint, were a lot of fun but they too are no more.
Yes, some of my favorites remain. Veranda, Elle Decor, California Home+Design and Southern Accents top that list.
And I wouldn't know what to do without the range of inspiration I find in Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Metropolitan Home and Western Interiors.
Recently, I even crossed the border and found a couple of fine replacements for some of what was lost. They're doing the job quite nicely too.
One each from Canada and the U.K.
But the one I'm most grateful for, the one I've read continuously since high school, is still going strong. Better Homes & Gardens. Thank goodness (and Meredith Publications) it's remained so popular. Ok, maybe not "popular" like a celebrity or the homecoming queen. It's not known for being the most stylish or artful or cutting-edge. But it's real. And it's comfortable. Like your oldest and dearest friend who would never make you feel dumb for not knowing what a fauteuil** is. Reading BH&G doesn't feel as much like homework as some of the other titles I use for research and inspiration. Even so, since the closure of so many, this magazine has really stepped it up design-wise. Take a look at these images from recent issues:
Pretty great, right? I think so. And where else can you find inspired decorating, region-appropriate gardening guidelines, parenting advice, health and beauty tips and ten recipes for potato salad all in the same issue? I don't know. I don't need to know. Because I have my old friend BH&G. And all of her little sister "special interest" publications like "Decorating" and "Beautiful Interiors". Curled up on the sofa with a stack of BH&G's to page through feels the same to me as watching a favorite old movie for the fifteenth time. Cozy, comfy, reassuring, familiar. So I guess I'll call this old friend my "new" favorite.
Left to right, top to bottom: covers from 1926, 1958, 1973 and 2009
Tubbs and Crockett image from my own personal stash of memorabilia. (kidding)
*If you are a design blogger or have been reading design blogs for more than a few months, you know that the subject of "dead magazines" has been discussed everywhere by everyone. But I'm new here. And I'm still not completely over the fact that I won't find the current issue of Domino or Country Home or Cottage Living (!) in my mail box this week. Or ever. And that makes me sad. So give me a break. Thanks.
NOTE: After writing and scheduling this post, I learned that Western Interiors was also closed a couple of months ago. Bummer. But no longer shocking. Also a bummer.