Sunday, December 11, 2005

40 Real + Life Decorating

Deciding whether a "special" is a true premier issue as I think of it, is tricky. They come and go. But sometimes they surprise and become a regular monthly, quarterly or bi-monthly filling in a niche. There are many decorating magazines out there, and this one says "It's time to get real." The editor, Jill Waage, writes in the Premier issue, Fall/Winter 05 "No gimmicks, no highfalutin price tages. This magazine is full of real people with real stories and great solutions you can use to make your home current and comfortable. . ." Jill has kids--she knows that "They spill. They smudge." She continues, "Real life isn't perfect, and decorating in real life is never really "done." You will make mistakes--and that's OK. We'll teach you how to make deicisions with resourcefulness, confidence, creativity, and a realistic budget."

OK, Jill. Watcha got? The first thing I see on p. 6 is a lamp that looks like that mushroom thing we bought in the early 70s. Well, 35 years is long enough for retro, if not antique, but truly it was one of the most ugly things we ever owned, and I'll never miss it no matter how often they reappear. P. 7 has some interesting clickable websites. P. 8 has a furniture-arranging kit for $99.99 (eek!), but I am married to an architect and we just use home made cardboard pieces drawn exactly to scale. They really do save your back and relationships. Some features about the decorators we see on cable; lots of reuse, repaint and storage articles. It is Better Homes and Gardens with a new, younger hair do. It will have great appeal for the young and first time nesters. One of my problems with the parent magazine is the overload of ads--makes it difficult to read. Perhaps because it is new, this title isn't carrying that weight--bad for them, but good for the reader. When the pages exceed 50% ad to text, I lose interest.

Meredith Publishing is one of the oldest names in farm and home magazines--beginning with Farmer's Tribune in the 19th century and starting Successful Farming in 1902. My grandparents subscribed to both of these. The founder E.T. Meredith eventually joined the cabinet of President Woodrow Wilson as Secretary of Agriculture, and in 1928 he was considered as a Democratic nominee for president, but he died that year at age 51. Fruit, Garden and Home published by Meredith became Better Homes and Gardens magazine as more and more town folk wanted a home magazine, but didn't have farms. The first issue cost a dime on the newsstand, and a one-year subscription cost 35 cents.

According to the Meredith web site, today "The Meredith Publishing Group features 24 subscription magazine brands, including Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, Fitness, Country Home, Traditional Home, More, Midwest Living, Parents, Child and American Baby.

Meredith publishes more than 150 special interest publications. Our special interest publications focus on decorating, gardening, crafting, remodeling, cooking and other subjects.

Meredith Books publishes nearly 350 home and family and special interest consumer books. One of the best known titles is the red-plaid Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book."

Real + Life Decorating; Better Homes and Gardens Specials
Premier Issue
Fall/Winter 05
Canada Post # 40069223
Canadian BN 12348 2887 RT
Subject: home decorating
Publication schedule, October and March
Publishing Group of Meredith Corp.
1716 Locust St.
Des Moines, IA 50309-3023
$4.99; $7.99 Canada
Editor: Jill Waage
Editorial Director: Gayle Goodson Butler
Editor-in-Chief: Linda Hallam
Art Director, Designer: Lynne Pekarek Belknap
Meredith Group President: Jack Griffin
Meredith Corp. CEO: William T. Kerr

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