Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Favorite Home and Design Magazines

In total, I am the proud owner of 8 magazine subscriptions. I know it's a lot. But I love pouring over shelter magazines, seeing the beautiful glossy photos of interiors, and keeping my finger on the pulse of design. When I was a teenager, I would request bundles of shelter magazines for Christmas. I also have a tendency to pick up magazines in line at the grocery store or drug store, so if there are any magazines that I anticipate buying 3 or more times a year in that situation, most of the time it's worth just subscribing to them. Here's a rundown of what gets delivered to my mailbox monthly and bimonthly.

House Beautiful
House Beautiful is one of the magazine subscriptions I've had longest, and it's still one of my favorites. The interiors are definitely my style. The use of color is fresh and modern, but the aesthetic is still very classic. They just look like rooms that I want to live in. It's fun and I'm always happy after I look at it. You can get 10 issues over 12 months for $15.99. 
In previous years when I picked up Elle Decor in line at the grocery store, I was never all that impressed. I think at the time I was more into DIY projects and accessible decor tips, and Elle Decor seemed a little intimidating. For some reason, I've really started to enjoy it. It's definitely not the type of magazine that has DIY projects, and it also doesn't have a ton of design tips or affordable furnishings, but I really like the eclectic and glam interiors they feature in this magazine. The rooms are great, and provide a slightly more contemporary, urban perspective than House Beautiful. Another great thing about Elle Decor is the price -- $10 gets you 10 issues over 12 months.

I had always thought of Veranda as kind of an obscure magazine, but when my color theory professor kept showing us interiors from this publication, I realized it was totally worth a subscription. It's a great resource for finding calm, sophisticated, monotone interiors. It's a little bit pricier than Elle Decor and House Beautiful in terms of what you get for your money, but still a good buy. $15.99 buys you 6 issues over 12 months.

I bought Dwell with a deal from Daily Candy for $12 in January. I am the first to admit that Dwell is not my style. I appreciate modern decor, but it's just not in my wheelhouse, and it's definitely not what I prefer in my own home. It's also tough for me to flip through one without thinking about the hilarious blog, Unhappy Hipsters, which pokes fun at Dwell ("It's lonely in the modern world"). Still, I think it's important that as a designer, I vary my influences across styles. And it's always good to have some modern decor images for projects. $19.95 gets you 10 issues over 12 months (unless you have a discount code like me!).

Martha Stewart Living
My Grandma buys me Martha every year for Christmas. It's not always home-focused, but I enjoy it. She was so influential in DIY culture and I her influenced has endured for so long. Also, the photography is always beautiful. Just the flower arrangements provide nice inspiration for rooms. Martha's magazine is one of the most expensive, but it's also one of the few that delivers a magazine to your door all 12 months. For $28.00, you get 12 issues over 12 months.

I wish I could remember what the deal was that got me a year's subscription to Real Simple for $2. Quite honestly, this is the magazine that I am probably least in love with. It's great, but it's just a little lower on my list of reading priorities. Still, I'm happy with the purchase. Real Simple was the magazine that I most often bought at cover price over the last year, so getting it at my door will be a cost savings for me in 2013. Real Simple is comparable in price to Martha Stewart Living, and also delivers an issue every month. $23.88 buys your 12 issues over 12 months.

Interior Design
Interior Design is a trade magazine. One of my professors recommended we subscribe, and I was able to get a discount through my student membership with the American Society of Interior Designers. It has much more commercial design features than most other magazines, and it's definitely a "to the trade" magazine. It doesn't get me as excited as House Beautiful, but like Dwell, it's a good influence for my work. This magazine is pricey if you don't have a membership discount. 12 issues over 12 months will run you nearly $60.

Home & Design
Home & Design is my latest subscription purchase. It's a publication that is dedicated exclusively to residential design in the DC-Maryland-Virginia region. I'm looking forward to this subscription because  think it will help me get to know the landscape of interior designers and trends in the DC area. As a designer, blogger, and sometimes retailer, I know it's really important to network, and I think this magazine will help me get to know the names and faces of people who are influencing design in my area. $19.95 gets you 6 issues over 12 months. 

Wish List

I've contemplated buying Traditional Home for the same reasons I get House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and Veranda. Don't let the title fool you. Even though they feature traditional styles, their rooms are far from stodgy or outdated. Don't think traditional, think classic. My mom actually gets this magazine so I check it out when I'm over at their house, and I know that I just don't need another magazine that is similar to three other magazine I receive. Traditional Home is on the more expensive side. $24.99 gets your 8 issues over 12 months. 
Architectural Digest is one of the publications that, like Martha Stewart Living, has long been an influential publication in the shelter arena. It's a little more text heavy than other publications, but has great content. I just can't commit to another magazine right now. $24.00 buys 12 issues over 12 months. 

I'm well aware that receiving 3-8 print magazines monthly is less than earth-friendly. Maybe someday I will splurge on an iPad or Kindle Fire, but for now, I like being able to use the images on design physical design boards and when we're pinning up inspiration in classes. I keep a lot of my shelter magazines for reference, but others like Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple I just can't keep around forever. Rather than throwing them out (in the recycling bin, of course), I take my old magazines that I don't want anymore and list them on Craigslist for free. I'm generally able to get rid of them within a day or two, and the people who get them always seem really excited. For privacy's sake I try to remove the label. The people who pick up the magazines may know my name and address, but I just don't need my name and address floating around to wherever they end up next. So that's my way of trying to re-use them and give them some extra life. 

I'm also aware that keeping track of 8 magazine subscriptions can be challenging. Which is why I was pretty pumped when I recently discovered that I can manage all my magazine subscriptions through Amazon.com's Magazine Subscription Manager. The subscription manager even allows you to add your existing subscriptions that you've ordered through other sources. You can access the magazine manager in the orders section of your Amazon.com account page. 

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon.com affiliate marketing links, which means I get paid commission on sales of those products I write about. My editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. I simply wanted to share some of my favorite sources for home inspiration with you guys. And my discovery of the Magazine Subscription Manager was something I was really excited to share with you!

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