The reason I hate shelter magazines (rant)

I got my last Domino yesterday. I thought I would be sad, but after reading it, I'm not at all. You see, I realized that between shelter mags and HGTV- I blame them for this economic downturn. Why? I was watching an episode where a couple with a baby were looking for a new house because there old one was "to small" for them to live in. Their old house was over 2000 sf. They were looking for something "bigger" because they had "outgrown" the first one. They didn't need a bigger house. There was plenty of room. But they wanted a bigger house. That's the problem. Because of outlets such as the decor magazines and tv we no longer can tell the difference between a need and a want.
The shows are all there to sell you on a lifestyle that many can't afford and don't need, and to try to make you feel bad if you can actually tell the difference. I mean, do we all need stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops? No. We do not. I hate my almond stove, but it works. Well. When it no longer works well, I will buy a new stove. A white one thank you, because that would look better in my kitchen. No matter what snotty real estate agents tell you during an episode of "sell that house" not every house looks better with stainless.

Then we get to this-

Pretty, isn't it? Domino was involved in some re building in New Orleans. They wanted to make it from healthy materials and be eco friendly. I'm ok with both of those goals. But the fabric on these chairs was 125.00 dollars a yard. The chairs were 988.00 each. The rug that they sit on is a abaca fiber rug that is about 2660.00. I don't know about you, but I could have found very similar items for about 90% less than that.
This is the lower 9th ward of New Orleans. They still have not been able to rebuild after Katrina. This was one of the poorer parts of our entire nation and they spent 125.00 a yard on fabric. How about if they spent 10 bucks a yard on some fabric and spent the rest of the money on RENT or FOOD???? The people trying to rebuild need help, not some holier than thou frou frou decor crap to get on the pages of a now defunct magazine.
And then this-

I don't care how nice your linens are- a bed on the floor, suitcases for a table and a rolling rack of your clothes should never be considered a nice enough decor to get on the pages of a shelter mag- even if it is going out of business.


Colleen said...

yeah, I like the pictures in shelter mags, but reading the sources/prices/etc makes me crazy! how many other homes could they have built if they used some cheaper fabrics? I am sad though that all my home eye-candy magazines are closing...

Mella DP said...

Agreed, though I'd say that, in terms of propagating skewed perspective, the shelter media is just one voice in a choir.

But stuff like the NO example you cite *really* annoys me. Extreme Makeover: Home is unwatchable (and not just because Ty is intolerably annoying).

lorijo said...

why I won't watch extreme makeover is because they use those families suffering and loss for ratings. If they cared about them they would fix up their house to make it useful- not make some huge mcmansion that the family can't afford the property tax on when it's finished.

The NO thing just really pissed me off. I used to live down south and spent time in New Orleans. I have never seen such abject poverty before in my life on such a large scale, except maybe the Appalacian region. Spending that much money on one house- even if it a show house for a magazine and "green" - is just unforgivable. If they really had wanted to help, then they would have fixed the house and gotten a truckload of furniture from Ikea of their ilk.
AAAARG-how tone-deaf can a magazine and industry be?????

drwende said...

I'd been meaning to comment, as I'm totally with you on the NO thing... but I think everyone else has already said it.

Back around 2000, I jokingly gave a group in my PR class the assignment of coming up with a campaign for "the laundry room as the heart of the home." I stopped reading shelter magazines when they started running SERIOUS articles on the laundry room as the heart of the home. I wish I were making this up, but I'm not.

lsaspacey said...

Yes, that NO story really got to me. When Cottage Living did a home in New Orleans it was in the style of the home the family lost, still small in stature, raised above flood level, and was furnished reasonably.

But then that Global Green house is already not financially accessible to the people in that area so I already had a bad taste in my mouth when I started to read the story. They designed and furnished a house thinking eco-consciously for the future, but they need to design a home that's affordable for the present first.

lorijo said...

thank you! I kept thinking they could have worked on making the house "green" if they wanted- solar, passive heat and cooling, etc... instead- they went with 998 dollar chairs.