Sunday, May 11, 2008

I Read Domino So You Don’t Have To: May 2008

Magazines, in theory, are relatively inexpensive splurges. But, like so many other things I enjoy, my magazine consumption has turned into a bit of a problem. It got bad when, a few years ago, I was buying so many magazines a month that I was occasionally purchasing a duplicate of a magazine issue before I realized I had read it earlier in the month.

Then, I found out I could spend extra frequent flier miles on magazines. Love it! The mail situation is still occasionally a bit nutty—especially when I go a bit crazy and start subscribing to things I’ll never read just for the hell of it, like The Economist and The Oxford American. (But man, oh man, wouldn't I be so cool if I actually did read The Oxford American?)

But I know that all five of our WBB readers don’t have the time to peruse magazines like I do. Introducing my new feature (which hopefully will last for more than one post)… I Read Magazines So You Don’t Have To. Basically, when I pick up a mag, I’ll try to summarize one or two takeaways for you guys. Starting now… with the May issue of Domino. Julianne Moore’s on the cover—with the cover line: “Julianne Moore in her best role yet: decorator!” Yeah, I’m pretty sure if I were Julianne Moore, I would find that offensive.

I love Domino, but you’ve either got to have an ass-ton of disposable income or an incredibly shitty personal finance strategy to actually shell out the big bucks for most of the items they refer to as “steals.” Now that I think about it, I guess you could actually just steal them… that would at least be somewhat economically savvy. The point: I mostly read the magazine for the decorating and design ideas.

This month’s issue has a few interesting articles—a feature on an enclosed patio inspired by “The Graduate,” a cute article on using unexpected items as vases, and a renovation challenge that has three design teams building a kitchen around store-bought cabinets.

But the article I actually got something out of was the monthly column “The Adventuress,” penned by one of Domino’s founding editors, Cynthia Kling. The headline: “Stealing household tips from the super-rich.”

Basically, Kling goes and hangs out with some uber-wealthy people for a few days to see if she can parse any housekeeping tips (you know, the things these people actually have maids around for) that she can translate to the rest of us middle-class peons.

Some of it was laughable and obvious—including a tip to arrange your pantry with items you use most in the front—but there were a couple of suggestions I liked.

Make a home bible. Basically, take a binder, and put all the info you could possibly need for house stuff—account numbers, a number for the handyman, electric company contact info and so on—inside and keep it in a handy place. That way you don’t have to scramble for old bills or dig in the filing cabinet or hop online every time you just need to make a quick call. I’m incredibly disorganized, so this seems like a smart, easy solution for me.

Choose signature colors. Ok, this one might be a tiny bit laughable, but it totally appeals to the part of me that likes the idea of executing perfect etiquette. The idea: Choose a color combo, and then load up on wrapping paper and ribbon in those colors. One, you’ll always have supplies on hand, and two, you’ll have a bit of a signature style when you bring gifts to events, even if no one else notices. I’m a big fan of that robin’s egg blue/chocolate brown combo you see everywhere now.

So yeah, that’s that. Stay tuned for more magazine babble. Any suggestions/input to improve these long-ass diatribes would also be most helpful.

Also, just realized that this is WBB's 200th post. Someone should bake us a cake or something. Yippee!


brenner said...

Hey, sweet, it's like having our own personal Larry Dobrow!!!

And congrats on your 200th. Let me know if there are any good recipes for cake in the next Real Simple -- maybe you can read that so I don't have to.

Anonymous said...

Who would have thought we'd make it long enough to see our 200th post? I'm so proud of us!

Loree said...

Ha, I actually picked up Real Simple seconds after I finished writing this post yesterday.

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