Sadly, a favorite magazine of mine called Domino dissolved a couple of months ago. Subscribers like me were offered other magazines from the publisher’s stable. My poor sister-in-law, for whom I had purchased a gift subscription, ended up with Glamour (which she promptly cancelled, understandably), and I started receiving Architectural Digest.
You probably could have guessed this, but I didn’t peg myself as an AD kind of girl. Domino worked for me because it had rooms painted entirely in chalkboard paint and lots of children’s pictures framed as art. AD is for a different sort of crowd—the crowd whose reflecting pools should not be confused with their swimming pools, who would take a copper sculpture and paint it entirely black because copper is so sort of shiny and vulgar, who could fit four (or more) of my house inside theirs and still have room left over for a high end steam room and Godiva chocolate facial center.
If you’re the kind of person who prefers her water in a water glass, then let me tell you, AD is the magazine for you.
Yesterday, thankfully, I was able to find the funny in a publication that could otherwise be known as Wealthy Pretensions Monthly (No offense, anyone, but wouldn’t your hard-earned money be better spent on an endowed scholarship or arts sponsorship? Isn’t there some welfare-to-work program calling out for funds? Maybe it’s just me, but aren’t there still starving people pretty much all over the world? Wouldn’t you rather change lives than buy a new lamp that costs more than my home, car, and wedding ring combined?). Ah, yes, the funny. It’s there; just look past the pictures and start reading the articles.
Here are some choice quotes from the July 2009 edition:
On page 80, about an eager, design-oriented couple furnishing their LA apartment: “To wit: when Allardyce [the designer] found some dining table candidates in San Francisco, they were ready to hop on the first plane to take a look.” (Hang on, I’m feeling like French toast this morning. Paris, anyone?)
On page 74, architect Lars Bohlander on his purchase of a French chateau: “…we went to speak to the architect in charge of it. He was Turkish but spoke fluent Swedish. So that was it. It had to be. We bought it. Of course we never lived in it.” (Can you say ‘shoddy paint job’ in Swedish?)
On page 66, designer Thad Hayes on his client’s storm cloud color palette: “It’s a blue green that’s not very happy.” (I prefer suicidally depressed pomegranate myself—does Benjamin Moore carry that one, Thad?)
On page 115, describing a painfully distilled Miami Beach residence: “A pair of custom-designed silk rugs are the exact shade of turquoise to be found in the shallows near the shore; the blue of a headboard, the color of the deeper water just beyond.” (“The murky brown of the Jersey shore on a particularly bad day; the completely unnecessary use of a semi-colon before a dependent clause; breathtaking.”)
And, my favorite, on page 33, the caption below a 24” statuette belonging to Yves Saint Laurent, which was recently sold at auction: “Probably Italian: $47,698.” ($47,698?!?!?!! Must remember that when the college bills roll around. Tragically deflated college fund? No go. Romanesque statue of dubious origin? Score!!)
For me, who yearns for honorary membership in the post-irony, enviro-conscious, genuinely bohemian thirty-something crowd, it’s hard to believe that such pomposity exists for real in this world. More my speed? Artist Stephen Huneck’s chapel for dogs, featured on page 14. So out there. So genuine. So ridiculous it’s loveable on the scale of a wet dog shaking itself down…except not in the home of anyone featured anywhere else in the pages of AD—just imagine the cleaning bill for that one.