On meandering into my local bookstore the other day, I was astonished by the selection of Interior Design Magazines available. Racks and racks as far as the eye could see…..well, there was one rack, a big one…and it was full! I counted thirty plus different magazine titles, some explaining bathrooms, some kitchens, there was one promoting country styles, while some claim to know the latest trends and the most modern looks. It was all slightly overwhelming, how to decide which ones were any use? This, I think, depends on what you will be using it for? General hints and tips, product knowledge, ensuring you’re never behind in the style stakes, DIY ideas or major home refurbishment ideas?
So, here is a list of four of my favourites (in no particular order), which cover most areas of the market:
- Glossy Cover of Frame Magazine
1. 1. FRAME: This is a thick glossy number with a considered arty graphic layout. A perfect coffee table magazine, devoted to all things interior, architecture, product and exhibition design. Every issue is loosely based around a certain theme and is packed full of images, in depth interviews with designers (such a Philippe Starck and Herzog and De Meuron) and feature articles that cover space designs from concept to completion. It shows ideas for the future and up to date coverage on new products available. It’s thought as a reference for professionals, but I believe anyone with an interest in design, or even art would appreciate it and indeed find inspiration from it. It is slightly more costly than the others but is more of a high quality book than a magazine and a visual treat for everyone.
2. Real Homes: This one is focus purely on residential projects, the real projects of the readers. It has detailed reviews of where, how and why these re-decorations and re-modelling were done, including floor plans so readers can see how to adapt them into their own homes and cost information so they have some sort of idea how much they will be spending if they do something similar. There are sections featuring products, the latest look and how to create them without spending a fortune by telling you where to buy your Cheap Blinds or bed linnen. There is a section where a builder answers readers design and construction problems and pages on how to accessorise a room. It real is a great magazine to pick up if you want to change your home and don’t really know where to start, as it contains many ideas and a lot of general advice.
3. DWELL: Is a fairly new magazine only being launched in 2000 and its focus is solely on the modern aesthetic and modern technologies used to achieve this , looking at both the interior and exterior of a home. It is also one of the only magazines to be actively environmentally conscious and demonstrates how to modernise your home while helping to improve the environment, such as energy saving systems or using recycled materials. It not only talks about how designs look but the theory behind them, meaning that those interested in Green design will find it an interesting and intelligent read.
4. Spaces: I like to think of Spaces as a compromise between FRAME and Real Homes. It has the sexy layout with the glossy pictures of glamorous interiors, yet it is focused on just residential. It has a contemporary feel but with product information that, although isn’t high street, is within most people’s budget if they are going to have a splurge. It contains information of wonderful interiors from all over the world and interesting articles – taking it away from a DIY manual and more of a guide to show what is possible if you broaden your horizons.
When all said and done, the choice of an interior design magazine depends entirely on what you want it for. If you’re just looking for some general inspiration to spruce up your living space go for Real Homes or In Style, but, if you want your living room to have that country feel, then choose Country Homes. If it is your bathroom you are decorating then use one specialising in bathroom design. Whichever one you pick up your bound to find inspiration and some innovative ideas.