Editorial Eye & Ire

Okay, Apartment Therapy, thank goodness you're through with that year-in-review nonsense and back to business. Without your controversial topics I had no outlet for my snark. I can't believe I made it through the holidays without venting into my usually well-mannered blog.

Well, I almost made it.
Over the extended weekend I picked up a copy of Fresh Home, a design magazine that premiered in June. 

I bookmarked instructions for applying silver leaf to furniture, and I found several lovely images, but on the the whole, it just didn't speak to me. This is strange, because Fresh Home is supposed to be targeted to the frugal under-30-year-old who wants to infuse their own style into their home. That's me, right? 
The thing is, I turn to magazines for images that inspire and success stories that I can aspire to. I don't think frugality limits us to childish crafts, canned advice, or furnishing our homes in one stop at the mall (as a "round-up" from 5 stores would suggest). As I read Fresh Home, I couldn't help but feel that their cutesy editorial copy integrated too cleanly with their advertising- and I didn't like what I was being sold. I can't be too critical, because let's face it- the deceased Domino and the living Living set the bar high. That being said, if Martha can put out a flawless magazine every month, I see no excuse for sloppy editing in a quarterly publication.

For example. Here, a kitchen spread.

A page or so later, the same kitchen appears (upper right corner): totally different oven. 

How does that even happen?

I'm disappointed, because I so want to support a new design mag and keep the industry alive... but next season I'll save my $5.00 for a Craig's List find or a can of spray paint. If I want a DIY project, I better do it myself. And if I want a style idea, I'll refer to my Domino archives and shed a tear for the late great.

4 Have Spoken.:

denise, the prime magpie said...

The quality of the photos are nice, and from a production end, I'm sure it's a fine magazine, but you're right -- if it's easy to spot the half-hearted content attempts, it kind of deflates everyone else's efforts that were put in to make it. Magazine publishing confounds me sometimes; there's some really great things out there, but so many so-so publications. And they wonder why print is dead, when they're the ones holding the smoking gun?

Elizabeth said...


Exactly. It's particularly disappointing to watch print publications disappearing- for me especially, as I used to dream of being a design mag editor someday! This watered-down magazine is not helping the cause, but only distracting from those that are truly beautiful and deserving.

By the way: I was irked to notice that the photographs that I was drawn to were all credited to Getty images. Isn't that rather like using clip art?

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Oh this was such a good post! I am so glad you wrote to me on my blog! I never heard of this mag before and I am with you . How frustrating. I was a contributing editor for a design magazine and I had no control over my layouts. I always dreamed of having my own magazine....I think so many magazines are missing the mark, but getting a wrong stove? I can't answer that one either. Serious photoshopping being shoplifted.

If you want a kitchen make-over on a budget, while it may not be your style, you can see what I did for $500 for an entire kitchen. It is on my blog - check look on labels under "kitchen."

Yes, feel free to use the photos in your post as you need. Thank you for asking and for the compliment! Just identify and link, please. And let me know when you are using them so I can visit you again. I really like what you are doing. And BTW your name is great ;-)


Elizabeth said...


Thanks so much for stopping by! I'll be beyond thrilled to pass on your lovely styling- I'll let you know when I get a post worked up!

As for this magazine, yes, it's a disappointment. It feels like a "side project" to me, and it just can't compete with magazines or blogs that receive such devoted attention from their editors. It could be that Fresh Home just hasn't hit its stride yet- I'll read their next issue and hope for the best!