In the corner of the blogsphere known as Homedesignland there was a party yesterday. It was a coming out party for a new on-line magazine called Lonny. Its been a tough year for print media and an especially tough one in the world of “shelter” magazines. So the launch of Lonny by several Domino alums had been anxiously anticipated by many. Design blogs were all a twitter, literally, ewing and awing at every vignette and hyperventilating at the fact you could click on a product and immediately go to the e-commerce website for that item and buy it. I wasn’t so impressed. Some of my thoughts:
- I still find reading a design magazine on-line difficult. I either need a bigger screen or they need to use a different size and proportion for their pages. Its difficult to read the print without zooming and then you cant see what you are reading about. I think this will always be a issue when you are digitally reading something that depends on a visual like design mags do. And besides, I want to get into bed with these types of magazines and have the tactile experience of paging through the magazine with my head on my pillow.
- If you loved the late Domino (as they referred to it several times in the copy) you will love this new mag, its almost exactly the same visually. It is not a problem, I was just expecting maybe a new spin. But after Domino folded people were despondent over its end and I guess there are a lot of happy campers now.
- I would suggest they stay away from fashion. It seemed like an afterthought and the clothes and the model were boring/bored.
- The photography was good, but you know I see great photography on home related blogs from self taught people every single day…good photography has become a commodity
- I am not sure how I feel about the click to buy feature. I think of interior design mags as inspiration and not as a design by numbers tool. I understanding its helpful to see sourcing info but again, I think it takes the creative process out of creating a home if you are slapping someone else’s template on your home.
- This is the thing the bugs me the most and I see it on blogs and I saw it yesterday in Lonny; styling rooms within a inch of their lives. I bet if you looked at design mags from 10 years ago you would see more real spaces with furniture and paintings and objects that actually have meaning and belong to the people who inhabit the space. Examples: Vintage bowling ball bag under nightstand in bedroom, tall pile of books on the floor (not good for bindings FYI), a frosty drink glass on an end table, colored juice glasses lined up in the dish dryer on the counter waiting to be put away (the stylist couldn’t do that?)
I asked friend, who is a real life designer why this compulsion to set design for these pictorials? her answer:
… To be a stylist now is to offer your services pro bono and have absolutely no other way to fill out your day. Also–if you are a designer, photographer, or ex hooker sleeping with an ex hedgie, or if you have ever shopped don’t you think you could style your shoot?? It’s like hiring a specialist to bring flavored mouth washes to the dentist…
With all that having been said, if I could get my hands on a glossy version of Lonny, I would gladly climb in bed with it.