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Domino responds:

So, if you have been reading, you know I posted an open letter to Domino with some gentle (ok... not so gentle) feedback about the issue.

Good news - - Domino has responded:

I'm Catherine Halley, the web editor at domino. Thanks for your honest remarks. I'm so sorry to hear that so many of you were disappointed in this issue. I will make sure everyone around here sees this discussion.

If there's anything you'd like to see on the website, feel free to let me know. You can post something here or on my blog and I'll see what I can do.

Catharine, thanks for responding, especially since the readers of Decorno have helped make this blog a place where we can all be particularly honest about trends and publications, and some of the comments probably weren't as pleasantly delivered as they would have been if, say, we had run into you at a cocktail party.

Nevertheless, I do think the message was clear: we love Domino. Domino is my PORN, no question. I think everyone who reads this blog feels his/her heart race a bit when we see the new issue in our mailboxes or on the newsstand. It's a great publication that we expect to continue to get even better.

So... where does this leave us? What would you like to see more of? What should Domino feature? What kinds of homes and trends would you like to see?

Now that we know they are listening, this is your chance to tell them what you're willing to keep paying to see.

Here are some suggestions:
I *love* reading about stores. I would like to see expanded city-guide sections ("Destinations") with more photography of these stores. I think a lot of readers are avid travelers and would like this.

What about manufacturers? I would like to see a feature on Oly designers, or makers of Bungalow 5. I think that the internet has taken down the wall between consumers and producers of goods and it would be cool to know more about the designers behind the scenes.

More home features, especially funky homes (like Diallo's) that really reflect a collected-cool kind of style. Something achievable and not too Elle Decor-ish.

Features about what to buy when you're starting out... this blog had an interesting reader discussion about how to furnish your first place. In many respects, people still have a lot of their "first apartment" furniture when they are in their 30s and 40s. It would be great to have a recurring feature on what to collect & when and feature people who made interesting design investments (even if it was a $50 flea market chair) when they were younger... something about avoiding reaching age 35 with nothing more than a house full of Ikea. I would love to see profiles on stylish people who have made a point of decorating with great finds NOT picked up at their local Poverty Barn.

What else do you guys want to see? Here's our chance.


The Nerdy Fashionista said...

Decorno, I second your suggestion to feature more profiles on emerging designer/manufacturers--not necessarily their homes, but more about their businesses, and decorno stores in different cities.

Anonymous said...

More VARIETY in the people who are profiled. Show some regular office-worker shlubs who happen to like and be good at home decorating. Not everyone the magazine reports on has to have fab jobs designing jewelry made of fossilized fern fronds or what-have-you.

PLEASE kill the day-in-the-life thing. Or at least interject a little reality: "2:30 pm: Buy Fritos and check out TMZ."

In general: NOT SO PREACHY.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect: Replace Rita Konig and "the Environmentalista" as bloggers.

S. said...

Wow. I'm thrilled that Catherine responded. I think many of us post here in more of a ranting and letting off steam frame of mind than imagining that our comments will ever be taken seriously. How lovely to think that we can stop b*tching (if even for a brief moment) and actually make some constructive criticisms that might be followed.

- I'd love to see some more features (heavy on the photos, light on the commentary)on hotels. Many ideas that I have culled from my own home come from rooms and lobbies at (usually European) hotels. Hotel Seven one Seven in Amsterdam or the Tuilerieen Hotel in Bruges were two that tickled my fancy but perhaps they are too frumpy and for Domino... Maybe even the occasional hip restaurant, too.

- Along with Decorno's excellent suggestion of how to pick non-Ikea pieces for your first home, I guess it would be great to see how people have grown with certain pieces instead of dumping it and getting something new. Repainting, recovering, re-loving is too often overlooked in this Dwell/ Jonathan Adler/ Kate Spade disposable home fashion world.

- Along that same line, perhaps, how hipsters live with items they've inherited from grandparents or parents: how do people take items that aren't necessarily of their own design sensebility but incorporate them in their homes because of the sentimental value the piece holds?

- perhaps a piece featuring homes or "preferred items" of design bloggers? No, I don't have my own blog so this ain't self-promotion. But, decorno, peakofchic, Patriciagray, etc. have their fingers on the pulse of what's happening and give fun, fresh perspectives

- Do you remember, back in the early 90s, Allure Magazine had an amazing piece in which they gave 5 fashionable women a hot pink Chanel jacket and asked them how they'd wear it? It was visually arresting and great fun to see how the downtown artist, the hip young wife, the society matron etc. all created such different looks with the same staple. I would love to see the same kind of thing done with a classic piece of furniture: say, a Sarineen Tulip table.

- Please, less makeup and less fashion.

-Maybe a few more international homes. I'm guessing it's prohibitively expensive to set up shoots in Capetown but I'd imagine there are some great houses in Montreal, Mexico City, Bermuda and other places that don't cost a fortune to photograph

S. said...

Agreed. Please no more rita Konig!

Mint Julep said...

Cheers to Decorno!!

Dear Domino,
If I never see a green issue again, my life will go on.

beachgrl said...

As I was sitting reading the latest issue I became aware of how expensive many of the decor items are that they feature in the magazine. I for one, cannot afford the price of many of the items featured in the magazine. Case in point is the "Green List". Guess you have to make the green in order to buy the green. I mean, Come on, look at the prices of those things...outrageous.
It would be nice if they can feature decorating tips for the "tag sale", T J Maxx, Home Goods type of crowd.

Habitually Chic said...

I'd love to see more behind the scenes photos and videos. In fact, I would love to see a Domino design show on HGTV. They profile a lot of amazing people and homes so why not turn it into a half hour tv show. They could also add travel features.

Anonymous said...

The "Things That Make Me Happy" column: Can't Domino find people who are happy with more accessible stuff? I get tired of reading about some woman who can't live without her special hand cream made from the thyroids of virgin sheep in Switzerland.

Anonymous said...

I second the motion to replace Rita Konig and the new Environmentaliste. I didn't like her at H&G and I still don't like her now.

And what about profiling bloggers and their homes or what they are loving now. Domino steals ideas from bloggers anyway, they might as well give them credit somewhere.

Paola said...

Cathy and I hooked up when she was in Seattle over Thanksgiving and she's a tremendously nice and down-to-earth person.

I told her then and say again, that I liked Domino best of all the US magazines, but still found it tremendously 'safe' in comparison with Living etc. and Elle Deco in the UK. I'd love it to feature more modern design, more funky loft apartments, more 'grit' (though not necessarily all out modernism a la Dwell). But at the moment it's cover-to-cover quietly tasteful pastels with pretty soft furnishings...

Oh and I can't bear the cheesy grinning people on the front covers...

Melissa said...

I love that Catherine responded. When I saw the first decorno post I thought, yea I agree, but we'll have to suffer and deal.But alas, not so! This is uber exciting. My heart races when I see a new issue in my mailbox. I can't wait to sit down and read it. I was really upset with this month's magazine. It took me 3 days of casually flipping through to actually get through it. I didn't like the plastic wrap on the outside. If you have another mag trying to get your subscription can't you just include a card in the beginning? If you're trying to be green, why waste all tha plastic? But please, no more green overloads, makeup or fashion. (Don't get me wrong, I do love fashion but not in my domino. Leave the fashion for Lucky).

I'd like to see some local features, but really I would just love to see unique items featured. Also, features on picking up items as you travel would be fabulous.

I would like to see a feature on people's homes.. not just home the same person has changed style through the years but different styles at the same age.

I'm 23, have my first place, love design but lack a big budget. I would hate to live in all Ikea. I've been picking up pieces here and there but I am always on the lookout for new ideas, finds, how-tos and general design advice.
Design tips on how to be stylish on a minimal budget would be very beneficial.

In closing, love the magazine but please lose those awful travel profiles (maybe move to a web feature?) and all the green pages. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

If Rita Konig has to stay, tell her to do her own research, and not rely on readers to do it for her. She's paid to provide information, we've paid to receive it.

Brilliant Asylum said...

The best thing about the magazine is that they feature the youngish and hip actually living in their not-perfectly-beige homes. I love the innovative party ideas and the open door policy on closets. Domino shows that home decor seeps beyond four walls.

The least appealing thing is the velocity with which Domino can chew up and spit out a trend. To create a stampede over antler accessories only to declare them "over" within months is just mean to the readers irresponsible to the environment. I would like to see more sustainable classics used in innovative ways. I would also like to see more creative poor-man-substitutes in the resources. By now, we all know about Kartel Jolly Tables and West Elm zebra pillows.

Love the magazine though. Even if they did not change a thing, it would still be my favorite.

SGM said...

Wow, Decorno!
I agree 100% with the first anon, and would also like to reassure Domino of my love. So many things right, just a few things wrong.

Anonymous said...

The "green" issue had FIVE subscription cards! In a copy sent to someone who ALREADY SUBSCRIBES!

This is a smart use of paper???

Decorno said...

Brilliant Asylum, you said it perfectly. And yes, even with a few faults, it is far and away my favorite design mag.

Anons - - honestly, I would *love* it if the magazine lifted ideas and inspiration from bloggers. In fact, we're asking them to listen to us, so I think it's great when Rita asks bloggers for tips. The design-blog-readers are often the first to know what's great in their cities, so why not pass that on to Rita?

Anonymous said...

More Men! It all comes back to less Women's fashions and more home candy. Sometimes I feel as if I am the only man reading this magazine. I can't be alone. I know Domino has their demographic nailed, but please don't exclude me. I was especially ticked when they showed the talented designer Nick Olsen's place on the cover, but instead of his handsome face they felt it to be more palatable to their readers to have a female model stand-in. Come on -

Anonymous said...

I want them to listen to our ideas, our wishes-- not our information. We're paying them to supply that. They're supposed to be the journalists.

It comes down to customer service: Why should Domino (i.e., Rita) ask me to supply information, if all they're gonna do is regurgitate it back to me and then charge me for it?

And it's lazy of Rita, frankly. (As are a lot of her posts.)

Pigtown-Design said...

I, for one, like Rita Konig. She's got an international perpective that a lot of other writers lack. She also has a perspective on high-end design and resources through her mother, Nina Campbell.

Of course, the writers ask for suggestions. All writers do. That's how they learn about new resources in other cities, or even areas of their own city.

In addition to the zillions of press releases and pitches writers receive, there are always places that don't send them, but are treasures none-the-less.

Brad said...

I've been hooked on Domino since the first issue. I've always loved the "Turn this ____ into a Room" feature--wish it were in every issue. I love that so many of the Domino interiors are strong on personal style, although Brilliant Asylum is right about D going overboard with the trends.

I agree that the beauty/fashion stuff is a waste of space--I grumbled about Blueprint for the same reason.

S's idea for a "furniture I inherited" feature is absolutely BRILLIANT. It'd be truly great if it weren't just "look how I reupholstered my grandmother's couch," but more like "here's how I deftly incorporated my great aunt's giant walnut sideboard into my Eamesy downtown flat." If Domino doesn't do this one, somebody else will.

I also love S's suggestion to give 5 different designers the same table/lounge chair/whatever and see what they do with it. (I vaguely remember a great Domino story on the same entry hall done 3 different ways . . . )

Along those lines, I'd like to see stories on how designers have modified or reinvented their style over the years--one in which they're encouraged to recount both their successes AND errors in judgement. It ain't just hoi polloi making decorating mistakes out there. I'd love designers to explain why they think some of their interiors are more enduring than others. (This would be more interesting to me than "Watch how today's hot designer reinterprets this 1975 interior by Francois Catroux. . .")

I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to read Mayer Rus again. (Anybody know who he's working for now that H&G has folded?)

I don't believe that everything in the magazine needs to be affordable. Consider the inspiring , zillion-dollar interiors NYT's T Magazine.

I would like to see more diversity among the Things that Make Me Happy folks. How about the occasional man?

Thanks--to Domino & Decorno--for the lively dialogue!

Anonymous said...

Rita's blog posts have that scrounged-together quality, like papers I wrote in high school the night before they were due.

S. said...

oooh, I agree. I'm guessing that women make up most of your readers/ target audience but I (a woman) would welcome seeing a few more men featured.

I also agree that while affordable items are lovely, I also very much enjoy seeing pieces that are out of my price range. For me, the blend of within reach & aspirational is what Domino does best and is a modern space to fill.

I realise that Dominio loves and/or receives heaps of $ from West Elm/ Dwell Studio/ Stevie Gambrel etc. but I'm a bit tired of seeing the same old names in every other issue.

And finally (well, for now, at least) I quite enjoy seeing good-looking people smiling on the Domino's cover. "Normal" and "sullen" can appear between the pages sometimes but I see enough of that at my local Starbucks, thanks.

Anonymous said...

A Domino cover showing a sullen, overweight, dirty-haired guy surrounded by a bunch of mangy cats would be perversely fun. But realistically, all magazines whore-out when it comes to the cover. It's a newsstand reality.

The Nerdy Fashionista said...

I for one actually like the effort to include all the green ideas, but I think it might be helpful if that content were edited down a bit more, and included green ideas and technologies rather than just products. So much of it is so simple, like positioning a new house to make best use of the site's wind patterns, or putting deep eaves on a house in a hot climate instead of running the living hell out of the air-conditioning when the house gets drenched in sunlight. I think that's important to focus on, because the high cost of green products can be alienating to people, whereas energy and resource-saving green technology costs more at the outset, but pays for itself quickly and then starts paying dividends.

I also love the how-I-work-with-my-heirloom idea, and the one piece, three days idea (which, we should all note, Lucky does with a piece of clothing in every issue).

And I second the call for Mayer Rus--great idea! There is just not enough snarky wit to go around these days.

Anonymous said...

I gotta admit: I just wouldn't subscribe if they started covering wind patterns and deep eaves. I'm in it for the products. Pretty, pretty products. (Craven, I know...)

Anonymous said...

My favorite Domino article of all time was from a few years back. It was about a woman who just couldn't get her furniture to look right in her living room. So they showed three ways she could do it: Good, Better, and Best. That was it. Strong photographs and straightforward explanations of why each arrangement was better than the preceding one. No special emphasis on the pedigree of the fabrics or the furniture. All her stuff had already been bought, so no designer name-dropping was necessary. And no big fuss made over the woman having some glamorous job. The focus was simple: How to make this furniture work in this room. That was it.
It was their best article ever.

Anonymous said...

I loved that Good, Better, Best feature! My other favorite was the very cool Houston home of a young designer. Can't remember her name, but it was kick ass. Oh, and that couple who lives in Nashville and who've had their various homes in umpteen magazines, each one cooler than the next.

Here's what needs to go:

(1) The eco issue. It sucked last year. It sucked this year. Please make the suckage stop.

(2) The Renovators Notebook issue. Also sucky. How many people are actually renovating at any given time? Do you really need to devote a WHOLE issue to it? No.

(3) Please stop with the 47 table scape photos per article. One, fine. Two is pushing it. I want to see the WHOLE room, not just what's on the damn table. Maybe you should hire photographers that are less artsy and have more interiors experience.

(4) The home of anyone who has named their child Five, Six or Seven. Or Eight. That's bad, too.

What I love:

(1) Pictures of cool homes. My favorites are people who have normal backgrounds (ie, no designer wives of rockstars please) and manage to put together an amazing home on a manageable budget. But I like seeing the blown out budget houses, too, if they're cool and the pictures are nice to look at.

(2) Homes that have a groovy mix of modern pieces with vintage ones. I just love that look -- deco looks so amazing when pared with something sleek from the 70's.

(3) Homes of people with kids. I know this is my own personal bias, living with small ones as I do, but I LOVE seeing houses that manage to be fashionable even when there are toys that need to be corralled.

Cote de Texas said...

TO: Domino editors -
take heart, not everyone hates you! This issue was wonderfully and totally satisfyingly received over at another much read blog:

So, check out her and her readers' comments, they LOVED it! So, it's not all bad.

Just trying to spread some good word. Personally, I always dislike the green issue - why not just do a little eco friendly column each month and do away with the whole issue devoted to green?

Lindsey said...

I would LOVE a "how-to" section that shows you each month how to tackle a project. Domino used to have such a feature, if I remember correctly, but I haven't seen it in awhile.

For example, I'd love to see how to reupholster a chair on your own, or how to make a slipcover. You could also show how to wire a lamp from a found object, how to put up crown molding, how to arrange furniture comfortably.

I don't mind the "green" stuff, but let's be honest: buying new "green" stuff just to replace what you already have is in no way, shape, or form, "green." Promoting a must-buy-it-now culture isn't helping matters. Help us learn how to incorporate what we already own into our designs and that will truly be green.

Please, please, PLEASE get rid of the "Day in the Life" and Muse Marian. They make me want to hurl. (Sorry, I know that's harsh, but they're so preachy and condescending. Your readers aren't idiots.)

Anonymous said...

I have just discovered the world of decor blogs and I LOVE THEM. It's feeding my decor-porn addiction right now MORE than the glossies that I am spending WAY too much money on. (This from somebody who has 12 yrs of Elle Deco UK under her bed. No lie). For the most part I stopped buying US mags, Elle Decor, Met Home etc a few years ago (other than the odd issue). Why? Too fake, too much about money, too much about buying style, not about having it. Wouldn't all our homes look fab if we could hire the designer of the moment and hand over a blank cheque? But that got really soul-less for me. The euro mags (Elle Deco UK and France, Marie Claire Maison, Living Etc.) are just more interesting because they are about WAYS of living -- with personal style. And that can be a castle or a bedsit -- as long as it's REAL its inspiring. That was why Domino hit the right note for me -- and is the only US decor mag I subscribe to. It was (mostly) about small spaces, realistic resources, cool people with great taste and ideas. Somewhere tho, Domino you've gotten off track and gotten onto the fakey fake. Fake profiles, fake day-in-lifes. Fake expectations of your readers. Fake pricetags that few of us can ever achieve (or even aspire to). (Personally, I aspire to Carolina Herrera Jr's spain apt in one of your first issues..remember that one?) This is where the Decor Blogs are kicking your ass and stealing your readers. What the really good ones offer (like Ms Decorno here and the majority of her Blog Roll) is authenticity It's their voice and their personal taste and their opinions. It's real. And when I don't agree, I appreciate seeing another view. I think all the readers do -- they LOVE the debate! And doesn't everyone LOVE TO SHARE. I love that! That's where trad media falls down - and I don't think Domino is alone here. I think all print media must really ring true for their readers - or die. Domino ... just curious ...what is the vision statement for your magazine? When your editors read every article, do they ask " Does this ring true?" Almost all the suggestions here are about demonstrating authenticity: real solutions, real stores, real furniture, real people, real travel destinations, real inspiration. I think we're all saying the same thing: Domino we love you, but please GET REAL again.

Decorno said...

Sounds like our design-minded compatriots who read Apartment Therapy had the same reaction to this issue:

maison21 said...

more maison21 would be a good start.

Jen in MN said...

I adore domino and page through the magazines again and again.

I am not a fan of the green issues.

Some issues really hit the goldmine and others leave me cold. One example was the Organized Home issue in Feb. I expected much more and was disappointed. I agree with others about items with insane price tags-- a $335 conran trash can featured as a recepticle for junk mail? come on.
I can do without the shopping by city features.
Another thing that is getting tired: Wallpaper.
What I love:
Articles featuring homes with children. Spaces that mix modern and vintage/found finds. Small garden spaces. Kitchens and living rooms.

Anonymous said...

Oh you can bet there's going to be some eye rolling and groans at staff meeting when Catherine presents these.

Okay, here are my comments. (And btw, I've never tossed out any of my dominos. Not one.)

1.) I know edit has nothing to do with this but my domino arrives late every f*cking month! I'm talking DAYS after issue date and weeks after newsstand release. What up with that circ people? I know other bloggers have also complained about this, so i'm not the only one whose subscription doesn't arrive on time.

2.) Marian Muse, yep gotta go.

3.) Domino blogs. Rarely read them. They seem half baked. The posts are short and the bloggers don't jump in enough into the comments section.

4.) My BF reads my domino. His beef? He wants more meat in the features. And you know what? I'd like that too.

5.) Thanks to blogs, we really don't HAVE to buy decorating magazines. Keep that in mind when planning every page. Just like "regular folks" porn has practically put "legit" porn out of business, so will "regular folk" decor put out magazines like domino out of business. Unless we get what we want.

6.) More like Chloe Warner.

7.) No renovating stuff. Renovating is out anyway.

8.) More about rethinking, repurposing pieces.

9.) NO BEAUTY OR FASHION. Yeah, I know I'm dreaming. This is what pays domino's bills. Just know your readers hate it. I already subscribe to Allure (which I promptly toss into the recycling bin 30 minutes after I crack it open).

10.) More Q&A's, advice from designers, service, service, service! Take note. HB is now doing their features as Q&As with designers. It's brilliant. The readers want to know the thought process behind a room.

11.) More MILES REDD. FULL FRONTAL. Less midcentury modern KWID-inspired interiors.

12.) No more green issues. THis feels like design spinach crammed down our throats.

13.) Keep the stuff affordable. Don't go HG on us!

Louryne said...

Wow, there are many suggestions that I completely agree with. Can I just second everything that S. said and add two more ideas of my own:

-Domino has a ton of young readers and people who live in apartments etc. etc. Is there anyway that there could be something for those who live in spaces that are 500 sq. ft or less? Or at least ideas on what do with your decor if you have to live within the confines of a lease? I see these beautiful apartments, but I feel like most of the places featured are owned by fantasy landlords who let their tenants do whatever they want.

-Is there anyway that the magazine can continue to be green conscious but not by having entire issues on it. I agree with living a or at least trying to live a green lifestyle but I think that there are people out there who are so sick of the "green movement." Its almost too trendy and overexposed that its making people care less about it. Why not have a small segment each month about one new green item or tip to be more green each month?

-I'm not into the day-in-the-life thing either. . . can it.

Anonymous said...

Tell Domino what they need to hear. No more eco crap, hate Maid Marian, send her and her glue gun packing, give us fresh options, more Good, Better and Best, that was useful, still have that issue. Did you actually read what Laura Bush wrote/said? "Wake in panic, neglected to offset carbon emissions for flight, make mental note to do this later"/pure tripe, the woman is wearing $1,095.00 beaded shoes, beaded by child slaves in India? Nice "Feed Bag" though. More Ruthie Sommers, Miles Redd, love their work

Anonymous said...

Marian McEvoy is embarrassing. Her little cottage with the shells she glued on every single surface and object just depresses the hell out of me. I can't take advice from someone like that. I'm sorry to be blunt.

Anonymous said...

I also dug that little one-page history lesson from Louis Boefferding. Three painless paragraphs on Billy Baldwin or klismos chairs or whatever--just right.

What happened to that feature?

Anonymous said...

I swear, there's been a Cote de Texas in every single class I've ever taken.

Cote de Texas said...

Ok, I truly believe that subscriptions are sent late so that you'll double buy at the newstands. Of that, I have NO doubt. It's a marketing ploy - just like the same issue - different cover. How many times have you fallen for that one? Country Homes did it this month. the old - we had TWO covers and couldn't decide which one to go with - you decide! BS - more like you go out and buy the same issue twice becuase you think it's a different one. they toy with us to make more money. that's why you don't get your subscription for weeks so that you break down and buy it at the checkout stand.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:14 pm:

"Keep the stuff affordable"


"More Miles Redd"?

You're gonna have to pick one or the other.

Cote de Texas said...

And ANON - what the hell does that mean? what to spill out - why don't you email me and tell me to my face.

Decorno said...

Kids - - don't make me come back there! I will STOP THIS CAR AND MAKE YOU WALK.

A different anonymous said...

Joni, you get into more knife fights lately, I swear...

PS: Who's "mrballbox"? Are you running a gay-porn mail order biz under a different name?


Anonymous said...

Dear Domino: Thanks for listening, now that's smart! Here's a few more suggestions: How to arrange your furniture in different room shapes(narrow, with odd placed fireplace/radiator/etc.; would love to see the styling interpretation of the same room by different generations in the same family or different friends personality, how about 3 different price points for a similar furniture object ala, "atm, gold and platinum" versions? More international interiors, already featured rooms re-done later to see how the style of the individual evolved? A room feature with the following: "just starting out, in my 30's, now I have some money and a point of view", more renovation diary entries - Shelley

Anonymous said...

I also have to say that the reason I subscribed to Domino in the first place was the issue with Ms. Sommers beach bungalow. It was different, pretty but livable, interesting, and real. Like a cool, well-traveled, sophisticated friend's place. Then I was blown away by Carolina Herrera's daughter's Spanish home. So creative. I wanted to move immediately to Spain and find a place with that fantastic tiled floor living room. The pics were large, you could see all the objects and little details that I could never see in the other design mags. That's what was exciting. Fresh views. Shelley

s. said...

If folks don't like an entire issue devoted to the Renovator's Notebook -- I loved it, but perhaps I'm alone in that -- how about a monthly Renovator's Notebook column with just one or two suggeted items? And since Domino's editor is so enamoured of the binder that Mr. Gambrel lent her, perhaps he could write the column (and they could stop featuring his homes in every FRIGGIN' issue!) (I've grown mighty weary tired of his twee tablescapes and pastel walls)
Even better, perhaps a different designer could write a Decorator's Notebook column each month, just giving us the one or two items he/she always falls back upon.
- YES: I love the idea of showing several different ways to tackle any given spaces. Sort of like a variation on the "one saarinen table, 3 looks"/ "one wee entry-way, 3 ways to make it work" theme. For instance, I have 2 square rooms that have their fireplaces in the corner, on an angle, but not quite centred. How's a person supposed to deal with that?
- I, for one, don't give a rat's a$$ about decorating with children but decorating with pets is another matter altogether. I'd love a feature that deals with cat toys strewn about the floor, puppy accidents on the sofa and curtains shredded by enthusiastic claws.
- Great suggestion on designers admitting to mistakes they've made and what they learned from those mistakes. But also, what about the homes of non-designers, just regular-if-sylish folk who actually live there day in, day out. If they had to do it all over again, what one thing would they do differently? I realise that it takes a "big man" or woman to admit that his/her home isn't sheer perfection, but I really want to know what purchase they regret or where they wish they hadn't cut corners...

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a "decorator's advice" column written by real decorators, not one of the editors (no offense to Dara Caponigro). If they had a different decorator every month, the column would be even stronger.

lsaspacey said...

F.Y.I. - Catherine Halley definitely knows about apartment living, affordable furniture, and uses thrift and vintage pieces; she's the author of the Domino Blog, .

Basically, she's one of us.

Anonymous said...

I love the suggestion of smart looking was to incorporate living with pets instead of having them take over our spaces. The editor of Elle declared on "Design Star" that "we don't decorate around cats". Well I have news for her: Lots of us love our pets and our spaces, and would love to have the best of both worlds. Come on Domino show Elle Magazine how it's done with style!!

Cote de Texas said...

What the hell? knife fights? I think its very valid to say to domino that HChic and every single one of her commenters loved the issue - not one negative comment. Not everyone hated the issue. Myself, as I've stated three times today, hated it. ok? hated it, couldn't even read it- just two articles interested me slightly. give me a break. And Mrballbox is not porno, it's the name of my daughter toy who set up the account 80 years ago when she was 8. why does everyone think it's porno and they do!!! hehe

cut me some slack. ok. mom! help me!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see more on eclectic style decor, such as how to mix vintage pieces with modern and also some creative articles about re-purposing furniture. I love picking up old vintage pieces and refinishing them into something useful and beautiful again, so I'd love to see projects that others have done. Before and after pics would be a plus.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see them drop the people from their front cover. I'd much rather see a nice room of furniture without some Barbie/Ken lookalike with a toothy grin. It just starts off the whole issue with a negative.

Habitually Chic said...

Why do I always get dragged into things??? I guess I should be glad I'm not being called a lemming this time but in my post, I focued on the two features that I loved which was the timeline of apartments of Mary Jane Pool and the Brooklyn home of Lili Diallo. I didn't mind the rest of the Green issue but it's never been my favorite. I think everyone has figured out by now that I'm not exactly a tree hugger. But I'm glad that Decorno has opened up this discussion. Domino could stand to make a few improvements and also get back to the kind of magazine it was when it first premiered.

Anonymous said...

URGENT MEMO to Domino Exectives:
Cancel the Focus Group! Cancel the Consultants!. Decorno has just provided this service FOR FREE. (As she and her fellow bloggers-of-taste do EVERY DAY, making most monthlies kinda....obsolete... unless relevant.) Consider this an INTERVENTION to prevent you from going the way of HG and Blueprint. We love you. We want you to stop those bad habits and get better.

Anonymous said...

One I noticed absent in Domino is a "letter to the editor" section. Can't we write you, Domino, and tell you what we love/hate, outcomes of your own advice, good ideas, etc?
I agree with most of the posts here, so I'll be short:
1. No beauuty or fashion.
2. I just read in another magazine a really cool segment where they pick one item (pitchers, wall hangings, door stoppers, etc.), and showing you lots of different options.
3. I love vintage stuff. Maybe we could have a monthly "Ebay/antique/vintage find" section?
4. I find it very hypocritical to have a green issue and then swath it in pastic to send it to me.

Anonymous said...

Domino, please see open letter on your forum, also:

Anonymous said...

Can we all just agree never to use the term "treehugger" again to describe anyone interested in treading more consciously on our little blue planet?
Anyhoo, I sent Domino to some artist friends with a jewel of a 50s home as my gift subscription this year. I'm afraid that after they saw A Day in the eco-Life of Lauren Bush they probably spit up their cereal and will never read it again. Me, I'll keep trying (this year). More funky, creative use of vintage, modern, low and high mish-mashed, please!

Anonymous said...

Hey domino, one of the easiest ways for people to go green is to cancel all their magazine subscriptions. Just keep that in mind for your next green issue.

It's like Real Simple magazine. If you want to simplify your life, do you really need another magazine subscription?

Anonymous said...

Dear Domino:

I don't care about Lauren Bush's $1,100 sandles, or her airplane apple.

If you're so committed to a green planet, why didn't you ask her what she does to further these issues when she talks to her uncle, our idiot president?

Anonymous said...

All this sounds right along with what I have been thinking. I agreed with anonymous "It was (mostly) about small spaces, realistic resources, cool people with great taste and ideas." It seems to have drifted a bit. I think that variety is important and I enjoyed the feature on NC designer Barrie Benson's home and also loved the graphic designer in Houston's home.

Cote de Texas said...

Anonymous - great idea! Anonymous - I agree.
Anonymous - wonderful point.

Come on people - at least make up a name - it's free. It gets so confusing with all the anons out there. I, for one, love to read the anon regular from Decorno - but I can't tell where he is here now. Can we all agree on this? Make up a name - so you can at least claim your fame?

Anonymous said...

I don't know, Joni, I'm starting to think we should all go Anonymous now. It's kind of chaotic and thrilling, like a cocktail party held in a completely blacked-out room.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see thrift store finds or inherited items and what people have done with them. I also really like the one item, three different ways idea.

I'd also love to see floor plans with featured homes. Especially with small space features!

d.Sharp said...

I love Domino and would love to see it improve.

I would like to see things a bit more accessible. Some of the interiors seen on blogs {Design Sponge's Sneak Peeks, for example} are more intriguing than those in many of the shelter magazines.

Variety in terms of price-point and people profiled.

Anonymous said...

We're all saying the same thing (except for the one person who defended Rita Konig), and that's reassuring. The magazine's diagnosis is pretty clear.

Anonymous said...

Sue :

These are ideas adapted from all my other favourite shelter media.

I would like a page on art. House and Garden UK has a great page on classical artists, explaining the meaning and origins behind the paintings. Domino could do this for the Etsy set, feature their art and prints and even their cool homes. Teach us how to collect and display art.

I love the makeovers on Oprah's show so makeovers would be great, with many details on how to get the stuff.

I'll like more practical advice on homestuff. Like how to buy a knife, a paint or a wineglass, what features we should look out for in any tool.How to match paintings to a frame. More advice in all areas of the home.

More diversity and ethnicity in the people and wares profiled. Kidada Jones had some great Syrian or Morroccan furniture in the last issue. I would love to know the history and origins of these cool wares.

A travel page. Alkemie just did a great post on the Hotel Crillon in Paris. I think it's a dream interior and a dream travel location.

A story on the home or relating to the home. The Financial Times Weekend edition always has a evocative story or confessional piece by a writer on the front page of its House segment.

A page on organisation. How to organise one thing with aplomb and creativity every month. It could be pens or earrings or teacups.

Anonymous said...

Domino used to have a semi-regular dept. on how to buy art; I remember enjoying the one they did on how to buy photographs, and they did others. Did they stop that?

Anonymous said...

I'll push you over the edge, babe:

***70*** Comments!!!!

A new design-blog record!

Anonymous said...

Yh-oh, I feel a lemming post coming on from the great state of Texas.

E. Love said...

Color, Color, Color!!! Being a decorator, I find it very uninspiring to look at the ever-so-beige and grey walls that have been gracing pages upon pages of decor mags. Give us texture, give us color, give us livable but gorgeous interiors and beautiful photos to look at and to give us hope... In the words of Metallic, "Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire..." Iknow....CHEEEEZY, but true.

Amanda said...

Here's what I want:
- pro's tips on how to decorate your first/new house
- more room layout options. I love when we're shown several ways to arrange a room based on lifestyle and furniture pieces
- more garden/backyard articles and showcases. Keep up the good work here, Domino
- spend/splurge articles. We all complain about how expensive the featured products are. Give us some price justification for the expensive one, but then show us some lower-priced alternatives
- a new renovator's blog on the Domino site. I'm living through the same experience and followed that faithfully, if only to empathize.

Amanda said...

Oops, I meant save/splurge in my post above

Sarah said...

no more freakin green articles. if they're so environmentally minded, start a green magazine printed with soy ink. i agree with who ever up there said it's hypocritical to send a magazine in plastic for a green issue. the old domino needs to be resurrected or it seems they'll be losing their fan base.

Anonymous said...

For balance, Domino should do an annual Toxic issue. They could get advertising from DuPont, American Napalm, US Radon Corp., International Lead Industries, etc.

Anonymous said...

Rita Konig gone. Marion and her glue gun gone. More great homes from new designers or just regular people with great style. What I love about Domino is that we finally have a decorating magazine focused on women and women designers and accessible design. I want to learn about more of the new hot designers. I didn't know who Ruthie Sommers was until Domino discovered her. We all loved Chloe Warner. More more more of that...

Decorno said...

Holy bananas - 77 comments so far on this post??? You guys are incredible.

I have really loved reading everyone's suggestions. I also enjoyed that a near knife-fight broke out amongst us. You people are FREAKS about decor. This is why I love you all.

marlazz said...

I finally received my March domino today (as usual, nearly a week after I saw it on the newsstands!) so now I know what all the fuss is about. There's very little about the March issue that i like. I do agree with most of the comments here, so hopefully Catherine can present this to the powers that be:

-- firstly, get your circulation area fixed. subscribers should get their magazine BEFORE they appear on newsstands. that's why we subscribe.
-- minimize the fashion features--why am i reading about mascara here? I already get allure, or teen vogue, for that matter.
-- we don't need another green issue.
-- less models on the cover. cute creative types yes, but if i want josie maran or shalom harlow on the cover, i'll get an old issue of glamour.
-- i don't mind rita, but how about featuring others like habitually chic, decorno, more ways to waste time, every now and then?

many of the posters here have suggested great ideas. in addition to those, here's what i'd like to see:
-- homes of creative types, not necessarily designers. the first issue's feature on carolina herrera's home is still one of my favourites.

-- decorating on tv/movie sets and where to get the stuff. sometimes i watch shows and movies because of the sets -- 'ugly betty', 'cashmere mafia' and i'd hate to say it, previous seasons of 'the apprentice', come to mind. show us how to get the looks.

-- one room 2 ways -- hi/low, save/splurge. how to get the look for less. and by less, i'm saying Target, not Williams Sonoma Home. don't focus too much on low end but a monthly feature would be nice.

-- home offices, or just tablescapes of desks. i bet a lot of readers spend a lot of time in their home offices, staring at their laptops on a desk. show us how to make it pretty.

-- more perfect pairs, like console/mirror, table/chair, desk/chair.

-- home decor in certain cities. i'd love to see a Paris, New York, Barcelona, or a Cleveland issue. focus on a city and show creatively styled homes in these cities in different price ranges. for example, office shlub's Paris studio as the low end and Diane Von furstenberg's atelier for the high end.

Thanks for listening!

Anonymous said...

Pushin' it over to...80!

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

mudrick said...

Domino recently held a decorating contest and received fabulous entries. The only result I saw was a slideshow or two on their Web site. They could have followed up with their/our favorites to shoot some great magazine features. In fact I saw other blogs follow up with some of the entrants to feature more of the homes.

Anonymous said...

Oh, they had a bunch of slideshows, and showed dozens and dozens of entries. I think there are still a bunch on the website, broken down by room (living room, kitchen, bedroom, etc.). The editors were very generous with those images.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I just got the green issue today. I must be the last person on the mailing list. Wow, it DOES suck. So disappointing. About once a month or so, I snuggle up with half a dozen or so of my favorite domino back issues in bed and look at them all over again. This issue will definitely not be making the cut for the "snuggle pile." The beauty coverage is really a turn off. Raw food? Blech! Never mind that this is so done. I could go on, but I have a bunch of design blogs to catch up on.

Anonymous said...

I love the mudrick suggestion.
There were some great homes from the recently held decorating contest, really fabulous entries. Real homes, real people, REAL Budgets!

Why not feature some of the awesome bloggers and photos of their homes each month, something similar to design sponge's guest blogger section.

Now there is an idea. Some people mentioned that the blogs now are 'half baked' maybe take a page from design*sponge.

Anonymous said...

I definitely think Domino needs to refresh, rethink, regroup and brainstorm some new ideas and there certainly has been some great suggestions put forward here. These are my thoughts for the record which have been said by many other above but I had to have my say even as an anonymous commenter.

1 - No more green issues. Maybe some green suggestions here and there but a whole issue devoted to green??? way!

2 - I love the idea of featuring more about design bloggers and their homes/ideas/suggestions - maybe featuring 1 a month in a regular column.

3 - More international design/homes. One of my favorite blogs is Absolutely Beautiful Things written by an Australian designer Anna Spiro - what about her? She's young and fresh and would offer a new perspective from down under??

4 - No more smiley ladies on the front cover.

5 - Finally, I buy Domino to look at and read about homes, design, interiors not beauty! Please no more beauty!

More of that good old Domino eye candy would be appreciated!!!

I love your mag but I would love it even more with a fresh new approach. Thanks Decorno for opening this fantastic discussion.

Anonymous said...

I second the idea of featuring more about design bloggers and their homes/ideas/suggestions.

And yes, more international design/homes. I can think of several international blogs and designers (Hong Kong, UK, Australia). Great suggestion. Keep it real.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a few smiley men on the front cover ;-)

Anonymous said...

The one issue you guys will have to sacrifice is the cover. Magazines have to do the whore-iest stuff on their cover ("Exclusive interview with Jonbenet Ramsey!" etc.). It's an industry-wide reality. Put up with the smiley size-0 chicklettes on the cover and concentrate on the crapola inside.

Lisa said...

Here's what I would like to see in Domino: HOUSE & GARDEN.

Domino seems college-dormish, although my 73 yr old mom-in-law loves it (although she loves America's Next Top Whatever too)

Anonymous said...

Lisa honey, That's like going to church and then coming out and complaining: "I didn't like it, it was so religious."

S. said...

To expand on a point I made a while back... I would love to have a "column" (well, a minimum of writing and heavy on the photos, of course) created by a different blogger each month, about one or two products/ trends/ paint colours/ techniques/ hotels/ well-designed restaurants/ stores they are digging at the moment. It has to be something they promise not to feature on their blog, so it's not merely regurgitated stuff that we've all read online months before it comes out in Domino.

Blogs use magazines as a source of content, so why not do the same with them (how very post-modern!) and let them help Domino make your magazine feel fresher, more geographically diverse (some great bloggers out there live in the Southern and Western US, Australia, Canada, South Africa...) and with a variety of "voices?"

Christine said...

Coming a little late to the discussion, but I pretty much agree with what everyone said before me. I hate the green issue,too. I mean, you're a design magazine about shopping which is aquiring which is not green...maybe have green options as a featured page each month or something, but parading as "green" is a bit much, as others have posted.

Ditto on the fashion/beauty. I purposely don't subscribe to those types of magazines.

Hate day in the life. Hate things that make me happy. Hate anything that involves rich socialites who are only there because they know someone. (For example, that feature on the restaurant with the two gals from the upper east side who looked about 22 made me squirm each time I saw it).

I would like to see more real ideas. One of my favorite spreads was when a designer redid the 1 br apartment of someone who worked for him, on kind of a budget. I loved it. I have kept that article.

Anonymous said...

It's very simple - just go back to the first year of issues and do that again.

Kill the "green" issue and the Day in the Life Of.

Would also like to see how to arrange the furniture in a room. Or how to choose the right rug; the right scale pieces; whether to put a tall or low chest in a certain space; how to mix patterns, etc...some easy decorator tricks that make the room feel put together.

And please give us more sources. I hate when you only tell us where a few of the pieces in the room are from. Why not tell us where ALL of it came from or at least an alternative source.

Skip the fashion/beauty crap.

Subscriber issues should arrive BEFORE they appear at the newstand.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the idea of telling us how to recreate a room in a movie or TV show. We got some smart cookies on this blog!

All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

Oh well, better late than never :-)

I'd love to see as special features:

1. Major bloggers homes featured

2. Have major bloggers do guest articles


3. More beautiful pictures to use on my blog

4. International features

5. A "Letters to the editor" section.

LAte Subscription Anonymous said...

I'd just like to reiterate the subscriptions arriving late line of thought.

I have been directly contacted by Domino to feature their magazine on my blog in return for free magazine issues and perks.

I would happily feature them but because my subscription arrives so late in the month I fear that everyone's already seen the articles/pictures as a result I rarely feature their magazine.

Anonymous said...

I posted this on the other thread: "I agree with all of the above. I have been feeling for sometime that my favorite decor mag has evolved into Town & Country Light. Pages and pages of high-end waspy Stepford Wifian homes. I'm eager to see spaces that are not over decorated but reflect owner's styles and perhaps done (imagine this) on a budget (!) and maybe some that are actually decorated by the owners themselves. I loved this magazine initially because it took the mystique out of interior design- it said- "yes- anyone can do this- here's how it's done". It doesn't really feel accessible like that anymore. & yeah- WTF w/the MOST EXPENSIVE WAY TO BE GREEN issue?" To add- if we want Martha we'll read Living.

All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

For Catherine - I would like to add this link to the list :-)

Just for the other side of the story - those who loved the green issue :-):-)

Vie Chaotique said...

Folks I had a simply lousy day and this whole discussion has cheered me up immensely. (Just what design is supposed to do!)

Domino - Your first issue is still my favorite. Just go back and retrace your steps and try to find where you got lost.

if you are going to have bloggers at least have the courtesy to reply to comments.

Someone mentioned that old Allure doc with one jacket five ways. I agree would love to see that with iconic pieces of furniture. I am glad everyone else hated the green and the day in a life. So do I but thought it was not PC to admit in this day and age.

Marian step away from the gluestick before someone gets hurt (like my retinas) Keep semi celebrities interesting. W had Britney Spears on the cover recently (Domino - there's lesson here: bad things can happen to good magazines.)

Finally since Blueprint is gone pick up a little of there slack. Interesting DIY.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Cage fight! Marion McEvoy and her glue gun versus The Environmentalista and her woolen "rocks"! The winner gets her own website: "The Absurdista"!

Anonymous said...

I would like to see some more 'before and after rooms' - or houses, that give me inspiration to re do my home and my rooms

jax said...

I would like to see more diversity in the people they feature in the magazine.

Please, please stop with the "day in the life" that has got to be the most obnoxious article ever.

Please feature products wit lower price points. At this point in my life a 2000 dollar console table is not in the cards.

I like the idea of having silver, gold, and platinum feature stories.

I would also like three designers design the same space, item, whatever in three different ways.

How about some regular peoples homes please. People who are not impossibly thin, with regular 9 to 5 gigs, and perhaps children or pets.

A "do it yourself" feature where you show readers how to recover a chair, make a duvet, create a fabulous window treatment, hang blinds, put up a shelf, etc.

jax said...

Also, please start labeling more products even they are not the feature product. For example, on pp 120 of April's issue the stereos featured are on a console. Where could I get that console if I wanted it? What about the stool in front of the console? If this is to be a magazine about home shopping, let me know where and how I can buy these things.

Anonymous said...

I like Rita Konig's column and especially like the current issue's feature. I HATE anything "green" because it is politically correct but over-the-top boring, not to mention ugly. Do NOT turn Domino into another Metropolitan Home with all modern decorating. Love anything related to Ruthie Sommers-style decorating.

Lynn said...

Agree with most comments -- I always get my issue late each month; Marian is the mistress of the obvious.

Instead of Rita Konig traveling to cities and visiting stores that locals recommend, why not have a local design blogger write the article?

I'm surprised no one has commented on the "She Does What We Would If We Had the Balls" column. I like it and am secretly gunning for her job. It definitely varies in quality month to month, but I like the concept in general.

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