Saturday, May 9, 2009

What are you looking at??

I am totally addicted to pretty, shiny publications that have photos of homes I can only hope to someday own. Most of the mags I am lucky to get strip covered from work, so I'm not paying for nearly as many as I was. But it's still pretty bad.

This is what I'm reading:

House Beautiful (or, House Pitiful, as it's known around here) I totally love this, as their decorating makes sense to me.
Veranda Something which to aspire. When I am re-born into some family who owns Trump Tower.
Traditional Home--did you ever think an ex-heavy metal rocker would embrace anything "traditional"? Quite possibly the bible of my decorating taste.
Vanity Fair--in English and Italian (but in Italian just for the pictures).
Southern Living--good planting advice, but too much frou-frou otherwise.
Southern Lady--completely out of control, unless you are an ex-deb or pageant mother. Obscene fun.
Fresh Home--A new publication that has a lot of fixy-crafty-makey-things that I will never, ever do. But J. seems to enjoy the technicality of it all and it was in bathroom rotation for a couple of weeks. Plus, it has lots of pretty pictures of attractive, thin people living in homes you might actually be able to live in. I try to imagine myself as one of these folks by age 50.
Room and Board catalog--really modern stuff, but some good ideas.

And of course, stupid Pottery Barn. Even though their world is SO not real, it's so carefully and calculatedly constructed it's irresistible. I almost WANT to pay $15 for wooden soda crates I could steal down in the West End from the defunct Coca-Cola bottling plant.

On special occasions, I like to pick up Architectural Digest, or anything else that costs more than about $4.99 an issue. I also really like foreign home mags, but lately our bookstore has quit carrying the good ones, and I am not paying $12.00 in this recessionary climate for subpar, pan-oceanic fantasies. Oh, there is still
English Country Home, which is like the "Playboy" of home porn for me...totally lusty but very tastefully done. Especially when they have articles like, "How to Make your 18th Century Home Liveable" followed by 6 pages of restored wallpaper and boot scrapers and such. I can't even tame a cottage from the 1930's. My hat is off to the intrepid Britons.

And, R.I.P. to Cottage Living, which folded this year. I guess my patronage wasn't enough to keep them in business. I miss it already.

All this looking is very helpful for shopping and dreaming. I rip out my favorite pages, articles and pictures and keep them all in a huge expandable folder, organised by room or function. Then when I see something in a store or online, I can think--does this really fit the look and feel I'm going for? I've found it really helpful in deciding what it is I really like...since I can look at a room with a stainless steel sofa and think "awesome" and then see a chair with cabbage rose fabric and weep from the beauty of it all. Tearing out pictures has really helped my define to myself what kinds of objects I want to live among. When I start looking through the folder, I see themes emerging. It's all quite scientific.

Then I just go buy something nutty out of pure love anyway.

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