It’s easy to get carried away with pretty pictures and lush interiors. But when you spend your money for a magazine, here’s how to make it worth the cover price:
1. Pay attention to the advertisements. When I was at Victoria and Better Homes & Gardens, I used to have readers who resented ads in the midst of the magazine. But remember that these companies have paid a pretty penny to get your attention for their products. Most magazines seek advertisers in line with their editorial content and mission. The ads actually keep you up to date on what’s new in the market and what companies think is their best product line.
2. Read front and back matter carefully. Editors spend a good deal of time and research in these sections of the magazines, which readers sometimes pass over. There are rich nuggets in these pages to mine. New products to benefit you and your home is one of the beats that editors follow. A story that might not be big enough for the main editorial pages may just be the one you’re looking for, so don’t skip these recurring sections.
3. Seek the real people stories. Good editors and designers follow main street trends. There are many creative people leading lives just like yours. You’re likely to find a good neighbor story that is not too decorator for your tastes and helpful because it’s in the range of your own lifestyle and budget.
4. Have fun with the over the top looks. All of us love to be dazzled by homes we can’t imagine ourselves living in. But here’s where you’re likely to find that inspiration to do something wonderful in your own home. If there are six pillows on the sofa, you might decide to have just two that are unusual, like the ones in the photo with this blog.
5. Take note of how rooms are arranged. Wow–you can make a major change and exciting improvement in your home by moving things around. Magazine photos are a great source for innovative and interesting room arrangements. Many of us stick to very conventional ways to place furniture, chairs, lamps, etc. The editors and decorators creating magazine pages often break the rules in ways you can really enjoy in your own home.
6. Learn a lesson in coordinating colors and patterns. In a good magazine story, you can learn a lot about how to use color and how to employ patterns in your home. Magazines try to bring you fresh looks–and there is probably no quicker or easier way to make home new and exciting than to paint, paper, and add fabric choices to your home. You can also confirm some of the ideas you have already been wondering about. Decorating magazines spend a lot of editorial pages in these areas, so don’t miss out on these abc’s.
7. Be a clipper or a ripper! It’s hard to keep magazines piling up around your home, but when you see something you like–a product, a piece of furniture, a new paint color–clip and save. Having a file for your decorating interests is just about a must in getting the most from your magazine purchases. Every editor I know is a constant clipper. Pages that inspire you might hang around a long time–then one day–you have the perfect reference for what you want to do.
8. When to be a skeptic–a few cautions: Enjoy the flowers, plants, stacks of books on the floor–I know the editor’s bag of tricks to make pages look appealing. But you just might want to look beyond the things that make a great picture that might not be something you want (or can) repeat in your own home. Again, enjoy the fun, but realize that the editor’s budget might not be yours. Wander the garden, but pick what suits you best in all respects.
What magazine story inspired you to take action? I’d love to know. Leave a comment & share.