so we've been thinking about the changing state of decor- not specifically changing the decor of the atelier (we always think about that) but thinking about the big changes our nation is going through, and we can't help but wonder how they will impact interior design. we know they will, but how?
we got a big hint about the changes to come on the cover of the very first magazine delivered to m21 in the new year. we were on the phone with a good friend (and savvy business adviser), while absentmindedly going through the day's mail, when we squealed (sounding like a 12 year old girl, no doubt): "oh my god- there's a BEER BOTTLE on the cover of house beautiful!". think about it, have you ever seen an open beer bottle on the cover of a decorating magazine? the content of the magazine inside was pretty much the same as usual, but the cover? that's new...
maison21 and his marketing guru friend proceeded to have a lively discussion of the significance of that bottle, and we agreed we are probably going to be seeing a lot more down to earth decor in the coming months (and years). not as many aspirational new york townhomes, with 100% custom decor and bazillion dollar antiques, but rather more inspirational spreads- like the home featured on the cover of house beautiful- interiors that the rest of us can imagine living in, beer bottles and all. sure there will still be custom gorgeousness- the magazines want to inspire, right? but we predict the pricey custom decor will be mixed in with pieces already owned, along with vintage, and DIY, and some true discount pieces as well (think our beloved target). we also think the discount pieces will be start to be given the same editorial emphasis as the 'spensive scalamandre fabric on the curtains- the mags are going to want to hit every level of the market they can. we predict lots and lots more "champagne taste on a beer budget" stories in every magazine, even the high end ones. whaddya wanna bet we'll see budget DIY decor tips in elle decor? maybe some target or ikea finds in AD? that's our prediction anyway, and we like to think we're ahead of the curve on the trend- it's what maison21 has been doing all along, after all .
the new decor reality- before and after, as envisioned by maison21 - a mixture of custom, mass market, recycled and vintage, at every price point (yes, we hear your groans- we're milking the bachelorette's living room yet again. we'll try to "change" that in the future, ok?)
we also agreed that there will be a greater emphasis on the reuse and recycle aspect of decor- resources on our planet are shrinking, not growing, so it just makes sense to be green in this easy way. sometimes you need a custom sofa due to size or design constraints, but more often than not, there is something already out there that can be re-purposed with a little new fabric, and another tree needn't be felled to make the frame. the reuse and recycle philosophy also fits in with our new economic reality- used furniture is often cheaper and of better quality then new, so why wouldn't you want to use it? everybody is watching their budgets these days- even the truly wealthy- so this kind of green, budget-saving decor just makes sense for our new times. maison21 also loves the idea of reuse, because it means not only using items of quality that cost less, but using items that are often unique and one of a kind- like snowflakes, it's almost impossible for any two recycled interiors to look alike!
our own one-hundred percent recycled living room- everything was once owned by somebody else, right down to the thrift store art turned into a DIY project by m21 (ok, we exaggerated a bit- we had the lampshade custom made, but the tree in the photo was rescued from the curb- does that make up for it?).
another decorating change that occurred to m21, is that perhaps style will no longer be dictated from the top on down, but instead transform to a more individualized process, where everyone can have their own unique vision and style catered to, and m21 thinks in part, the blogs are fueling this change. like vintage? visit maison21. like french country? go to cote de texas. anglophile? off to the house of beauty and culture for you! as with with the greater economy as a whole, this change is going to create some casualties, and we've already seen some unfortunate losses in the shelter mag industry, as publishers and advertisers figure out how to reach their increasingly fragmented audiences. while we hope no more magazines close, we can can pretty much guarantee they will (if oprah can't make a go of it, what chance do magazines published by mere mortals have?). we are certainly saddened by the losses, since the rise of the internets and the blogs are probably part of the reason for the demise of the decorating magazines; at least hopefully we bloggers will continue to inspire and entertain, and fill any the voids left by the shrinking publishing industry, and we sincerely hope that as magazines expand online, bloggers will help to be a part of the solution to the problem. we think the blogs and the magazines could make great, mutually beneficial content together! on a side note, maison21 thinks the magazines should also think about raising their subscription prices to cover more of their costs- m21 will gladly pay cover price for a monthly dose of pretty delivered to his door! call us old fashioned, we like to hold and flip through a new magazine- makes us feel good.
the last issue of o at home- a magazine with it's emphasis on budget, and DIY tips, we thought would be a good fit for the new economy. we were wrong (shows you what our predictions are worth). shame, we grew to like it quite a bit. (and oprah,? please stop trying to bill us for our subscription- the magazine is no more, ok? it's not like you really need our 5 bucks, anyway)
this change will undoubtedly also wreak some havoc on interior designers too. does maison21 think his profession is going the way of the dodo? no, actually kinda the opposite- people have become more sophisticated in their tastes, and they want their homes to be as sophisticated as the hotels they stay in and the restaurants they eat at, and since not everyone has the time or the talent to do it themselves, we'll still be in demand. however, designers who don't adapt to the new times and find a way to connect with changing tastes and audiences, are going to be in trouble- just like the many magazines that have closed. some people will always want to hire michael smith to come in and drop his signature style, but others will want somebody like maison21 to come in to refine their style, and make their lives a little more glamorous then before, but without wrecking either the planet or their wallets in the process. we would have done it for you too, michelle, if you had only asked us. maybe you'll call if you need someone to freshen up camp david, k?
what do y'all think will happen to the state of decorating? do you think that m21 is right, and decor will become more down to earth? or do you think the opposite, that it will become more of a fantasy and an escape from troubled times? more democratic, or more exclusive? are decorators dinosaurs? or much needed co-creators? m21 would love to hear your thoughts in your comments to this post. we'd also love to see our fellow bloggers possibly weigh in with posts on their own blogs- let's talk about change (of decor), while change is the air!