from Southern Accents, designer Amelia HandeganIf you read shelter magazines, you probably have noticed they seem to be about to enter a Dark Age. Mostly blamed by the economy or the blogosphere, one by one, each of the more niche magazines has had to close its doors. The greatest loss for me was Southern Accents, a most fabulous publication depicting gorgeous interiors, imbued with color, comfort and charm. Accolades I would love to attach to my own home.
Now we are left with only a handful of magazines to entertain and educate the small percentage of the market still interested in such publications: Veranda, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Luxe. AD and Luxe are not my preferred resources. Both publications offer aesthetically pleasing homes, with a modern, sophisticated vibe, which in my book translates as cold and unwelcoming. House Beautiful, I think, is trying to capture the Southern Accents audience, definitly offering color and warmth like no other current shelter magazine in the stands, and nary a santos in the mix. I only started looking at it a few months back, and they have not disapointed.
picture from CotedeTexasTo the big one: Veranda! It has a following for sure, even though the parent company, Hearst Corporation, chooses not to disclose their online readership demographics unless you have some sort of approval (which they graciously provided upon my request). I have subscribed to Veranda for many many years. But, let me just tell you, that this last issue cover alone made me want to dunk the offending thing straight into the recycle bin. There were a couple of very small saving graces... Dan Carithers design of a lodge inspired home in Georgia was somewhat warm and welcoming, albeit a little "dated". Kay O'Toole's Houston home had a beautifully styled bookcase, but what was left over were perching birds, a teetering wall nest, and beans hotglued to a dinner plate. The cover story, about a Rough Luxe style, modern home in California sent chills up my spine. Maybe all the money they spent on the Axel Vervoordt pieces kept them from acquiring some art and other niceties.
I have to do a sidebar here / I just wish people would get over the Axel Vervoordt inspired look of bare necessities. PEOPLE, it works for him at his little lodge in the Swiss Alps, but I don't want to sit my Channel-knockoff clad derriere in your rough wood furniture at your next soiree. The Belgian look is soooo depressing, it must be used gingerly or scattered with more lush furnishings and trims, otherwise it is just painfully gray.
Here is another thing about Veranda, it's editor, Lisa Newson, is the mother of Wisteria owner, Andrew Newson. He is married to the daughter of Jane Moore, one of the more established designers in Houston. This explains two of the main icky feelings I have associated to this magazine: There is ALWAYS a Wisteria piece in at least one of the stories, and don't you just hate the feeling that you are trying to be sold on something? And two, Veranda has an unhealthy, one note feel to it, which can only be attributed to their preferrence to Houston or Dallas based designers. No diversity, to me, means boredom.
I absolutely don't want
Now that I have alienated half of you, my dear readers...I am saddened to say that the shelter magazine industry seems to be going in the way of our space program... fizzleing out into darkness.