09 November 2009

devastated


yeah, i know- similar posts lamenting the loss of metropolitan home are going to be on every blog in the blogosphere, but the loss of met home hit me today personally like a blow. i can't say i've been terribly fond of it's editorial direction as of late- it seemed to be trying a little too hard to be zany, and to be what it's sister publication, elle decor, was not, rather then be what met home historically is (or was)- but that's ok, we all go through periods of being unsure of our voice and rediscovering it again. sadly, met home won't be sharing it's voice with us after december, and to me, that feels like losing an old friend...

you see, metropolitan home is the first design magazine i truly *loved*, and the first magazine i think i ever actually subscribed to. it launched in the 80's, right as i was transitioning from kid to adult, so we came of age together, it's modern sensibility was the antidote for stuffy upscale mags like architectural digest, or magazines my mom would read, like better homes and gardens- neither of which a budding 80's hipster would be caught dead thumbing through! during it's 80's heyday, it was THE home magazine- chronicling both cutting edge high design, as well as realistic interiors you could model your own home after- heady stuff for a broke wannabe adult. outside of spending my week's food money on an imported issue of domus or abitaire, it also was the only place i could find pictures of the cutting edge italian design, so important to me at the time. i literally worshiped at the altar of met home- it was my design bible- and i would read every issue front to back, and then start all over again.

to this day, met home had a viewpoint unlike any of the other shelter mags- it was modern, and inspiring, yet always retained a feeling of accessibility, not exclusivity. you could picture yourself in the homes they featured- if not now, then one day- and you wouldn't have to necessarily win the lottery to do so. it also focused on modern design, which many other magazines ignore, and brought modern design to us in a warm and user friendly way, which other more 'design' oriented magazines simply don't.

so goodbye old friend- i will miss your high and low features, (my fave) and your annual design 100 issue, introducing us to architects, designers and products we might have been unfamiliar with; i'll miss your regular reporting from milan (still with the italian design after all these years), and all the rest of your great features focusing on modern design in a way the other shelter magazines just don't. i especially will miss looking forward to getting you in my mailbox every month as i have for the last 25 years- you will leave a void that will not be filled-not by the internet, not by blogs and certainly not by a new print magazine- those days are gone.

again, goodbye metropolitan home, and thank you- though you may be gone now, for this designer, you will never be forgotten...

10 comments:

Tracy @ Comfort and Luxury said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Met Home may not have represented my personal style, but I studied and appreciated it anyway so that I could speak "modern design" when required. Not much left out there for us magazineaholics. :(

maison21 said...

thanks tracy! the loss of any shelter magaine is not just a loss to the it's employees and to the publishing industry, but a loss to the interior design feild as well. one less publication to be published in, to tout new trends, and most importantly, one less magazine for people to pick up on the newsstand and say "i want my home to look like that".

a terrible loss, and i don't know where it ends. i read on twitter, even sunset magazine, one of the success stories of the current publishing environment, had recently laid off staffers. i am truly scared that they all will go away...

Jaime @ DOXA said...

Met Home was one of the first shelter magazines I followed as it spoke specifically to my interest at the time, while my interest have grown as I have grown older, I continue to love and appreciate Met Home. I do agree, it made high design approachable, livable. And likewise, I will miss the high and low feature and the Annual Design 100.

My Notting Hill said...

That was a very thoughtful tribute to Met Home. I strayed away the last few years but you did remind me of their many innovations. I will treasure my older copies that I've saved.

red ticking said...

i hate to see any of them go...and i feel so bad for everyone losing their jobs... anytime but esp this time of year... rest well and know it will all be ok... x pam

mary said...

I echo everything you have said..I think that so many of our current problems stem from a business culture that makes decisions based exclusively on the "bottom-line" rather than on what is right and of benefit to many different intertwined cultural and social circles.

Tracy @ Comfort and Luxury said...

Hi Christian. I'm back to comment on your comment to me... You're so right about the lack of publications left to attract and inform potential clients and I had never really thought about it in such a concise way. I was talking with a friend recently, who asked my advice about a room she's redecorating and I advised her to go pick up a bunch of shelter mags and start her own tear sheet file so she can hone in on what she really wants. But when I attempted to recommend a few... Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Traditional Home and then what?... I was so sad to come up with such a short list that seemed to suit her purposes. Will I have to start loaning out my design and decor books to clients like I'm a library? Is it time to put together my own look books and source books a la Charlotte Moss? (yeah, like I could do ANYTHING like Charlotte Moss) My fingers are crossed that, when this stupid stinky economy straightens out, people will start spending again on their homes and some of the mags will come back or completely new ones will fill the gaps. So long as they don't all come back on line. Lonny is really pretty, but I'm a girl who likes a big stack o' magazines to pour through... and give to clients to tear up. Thanks for making me think harder. So much is changing, we'll just have to be more creative in how we respond.

h2urHome said...

It must be me because it seems everytime I finally decide to subscribe after years of picking it up at the bookstore my magazine calls it quits half way through my subscription, first Domino and now this! Sad day!

TOCHA said...

Oh M21, Met Home was also the first decorating magazine I subscribed to and loved! (And high-low was also my fave!) I think the magazine's heyday was in the decade from the mid-80s to mid-90s. Met Home lost me ages ago, unfortunately. (Weirdly, I started out modern and went boho.) However, I can never resist leafing through Met Home at the newsstand.

As far as Sunset goes, it's a shadow of the magazine you and I grew up with (which had a unique California lifestyle sensibility). A few years ago there was a bloodbath over there and tons of people were laid off. Sunset was one of the rare magazines that was almost entirely staff written and produced. (That's a lot of salaries.)

The current Sunset is produced on the cheap and while it may be "hipper," it has lost its original voice. (Have you noticed all magazines--except for Elle Decor--are starting to look like Better Homes and Gardens?)

You can blame the de-regulation of the 1980s for all of this stuff (thanks Ronnie and Gordon Gekko!). It's the media mega-mergers (such as AOL-Time Warner, which owns Southern Progress, which publishes Sunset) that have decimated the publishing industry on every level.

Lucinda said...

I choose not to believe Met Home is actually folding.