Thursday, April 24, 2008

Where is my issue?



Seriously. I didn't even know the new issue was out yet, until someone mentioned it in a comment on the last post.

To be fair... I wonder if my subscription lapsed. But if not..... Oooooooooohhhhhh, I will be so angry. So very, very angry.


But let's talk about Julianne Moore. How much did you love her in Safe? And in Far From Heaven? (Oh, and don't even get me started on Dennis Haysbert... I think he's in my free-pass five.)

I think Elle Decor featured JM's place. Very sort of organic modern. Nice. Clean. Tidy. Not pretentious. Livable and cool. I am sure this is just how she decorates for her stylist in the room featured in domino. But I wouldn't know. I don't have my copy yet.

89 comments:

Creme de la Mode said...

Is it wrong of me to love the celeb covers of Domino? Am I a total sellout? I think there should be Celeb Cover groundrules - like, 1) you have to be over 34, so we don't sicken at the thought that you have made enough $$ in your 21 years to afford a house like that and; 2) you have to have had at least 50% involvement in the actual decor selections; and for that matter 3) I don't want to see Britney/ Jessica/ Jessica/ Ashley/ Ashley, etc. Just the grown-ups.

Kelly Anne said...

I've got a subscription and haven't seen mine yet, either. Possibly a local distribution issue?

j. said...

I'm not a fan of the celeb covers. Meh.

I haven't gotten my copy, either!

pve design said...

I saved the spread from a few years back with Julianne Moore and her place so I can cling to that even if it is worn and well loved. Trying to cut back on spending and not getting subscriptions.

Miss Z said...

I only got my Domino yesterday. I was just excited to get the May issue before the end of April - I am used to getting each month (relatively) late in the mail. It really irks me about Domino because I firmly believe that if I paid for a subscription I should get the magazine before you can buy it on the stands.

mygiltrip said...

I was looking for mine as well yesterday after seeing a post. Maybe today? I like having celebs on the covers as well. It seems to me that there homes feel real and less "done". Something that is achievable for those of us who don't have a designer coming in to our homes. Domino falls into the category of the "everyday person" design mag. I expect glossy finished rooms from Elle Decor, etc. So I say, let Domino have their fun and bring on the celebs or other creative types.

Anonymous said...

Hey Decorno -
If you go to the dominomag.com, you can peek at the new issue and see the opening spread of JM. I don't buy subscriptions due to the fact that A) If I see them in the store before I get them in mail it makes me crazy; B) I start getting renewal notices the month after I order a new subscription and that makes me crazy. I don't understand why magazines care - I spend much more at the newsstand/bookstore. Love your blog - you are hilarious! Idea for discussion: expensive design mistakes.

Anonymous said...

worst issue ever - especially the horrible layouts

I'm a subscriber, and as it happens I did receive the May issue yesterday - I live in a rural location out in the middle of nowhere, which means I'm used to stuff typically arriving way later

what's happened to my (formerly) favorite magazine?

Anonymous said...

I always get Domino on Saturday. Always.

kelly said...

I haven't received my issue either.

Domino make me mad sometimes... it better be good. The last issue wasn't bad, maybe they will start listening to us! No beauty and fashion! Only good design please!

Shannon said...

Haven't gotten my copy yet, either. Maybe tomorrow?

Side question - does Julianne Moore have a movie coming out? She's on the cover of Harper's Bazaar, domino, and Paris Vogue. I don't know why I know that.

Anonymous said...

I have been crossing my fingers every day this week on my way to get the mail. Around this time of the month I become anxious! I can't wait to get my hands on a fresh new Domino!

Anonymous said...

haven't gotten my either! what is with them?

Sacheverelle said...

My Domino arrived yesterday.
Not a strong issue IMHO.
i.e. a feature on the return of wicker *shudder*.
But it mentions Julianne's home was featured in "World of Interiors".
I ended up getting Domino as a substitute for House & Garden which I still MISS very much.

Porcelain said...

Haven't gotten mine either! And I generally always get mine on Saturdays too, how odd!

~M said...

I haven't received my issue either. Grr. Makes me crazy. Though I am starting to feel "over" Domino (I am totally over Lucky, yech).

Anonymous said...

This was the worst issue of Domino ever. The interior spaces they featured were just plain ugly. And most of the layouts were dark and depressing. In regards to JM she should stick to acting, decorating is not her forte. Anyone else feel the same way or am I just crazy?

Decorno you ain't missing anything!

I think you might want to post a discussion on "what do you want to see from design magazines". I think there is a major disconnection with what is being published and what the public wants to see. I have noticed a lot of unhappy readers of Domino and the fact that we are loosing so many design mags, how will these remaining publications influence the general public and keep us interested. Do you and the readers of your blog feel the same way?

Love love love your blog!

decorno said...

Hi Anon 10:00.

Thanks - I love that you love Decorno.

You might have missed this series of posts... lots of opinions on Domino and suggestions for improvement.

http://decorno.blogspot.com/search/label/Domino

I actually loved last month's issue, so I am hoping this one is great, too.

Anonymous said...

I emailed Domino about the delay in receiving my subscription as well - which also always arrived on a Saturday. They sent me a snotty reply stating that they could not control when newsstands display their magazine before their suggested date and that as a subscriber I was receiving the subscription at a significant discount from the newsstand and was conveniently having it delivered to me. Having worked in advertising this really irked me as their discounted subscription price is not out of the goodness of their heart but a reflection of the extra money they will receive in advertising dollars by having a larger subscription base. Fine if they can’t control when the newsstands put out the magazine but don’t treat me like an ungrateful brat my not appreciating their “generous saving.” Needless to say, though I used to love their magazine (it has been lacking lately) I did not renew the subscription.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, do any of the readers here have an inside scoop on what's happening with the Domino staff? I don't pay enough attention to the mastheads, but I wonder - has much of the original talent left the magazine? Why is it so different, so uninspired compared to the first year or so of publication? Are they facing tighter budgets, like everywhere else these days?

I don't understand how the magazine business works - a fresh new upstart that's enthusiastically embraced by instant fans from the beginning - wouldn't that be a formula for growing success and therefore increasing budgets? And wouldn't that create a work environment that would attract and keep the best talents?

I too tossed my renewal letter in the trash today - the current May issue is just horrible, makes me so sad. I'm too cynical these days, and feel like they're taking me for granted now that I'm a subscriber.

Every other mag story I've ever seen about Julianne Moore's homes/decor efforts have been "bookmark this" worthy -- but definitely not this one

just the humble opinion of a random reader
(but I love your blog, Decorno :)

Anonymous said...

Still haven't received my subscription copy either...although given the reviews here maybe they should just keep it. (Sigh)... I had hopes that Domino was actually listening to us after the editor responded here...I guess not.

Joanna Goddard said...

i love julianne moore! she was just in cookie so she must be doing the conde circuit. :)

no worries, i haven't seen this issue yet either -- i don't think it's out yet.

i agree that any celebs featured should have a major hand in their home's decor. it was annoying to read about drew barrymore's house that was designed by a team of thousands.

Kwana said...

The mail is just very late. I just got mine today. I'm on the fence with the celeb covers. The Domino ones don't annnoy me as much as the fashion mag covers do. Those really bug me. Taking food away from poor starving models:)

Linda Merrill said...

I don't have mine yet either here in Massachusetts. I have to say that the cover colors don't look particularly "happy" to me, but I guess I'll reserve judgement till I see it. I have no idea when mine comes usually, so maybe tomorrow?

As for celebs on the cover - I guess I have no opinion as long as their interior spaces are fantastic. But, celebs sell the magazines and they need to be sold to make money...

Miss Z said...

Second comment in one post! In Domino's defense (and believe me, I haven't been loving the last few), I actually found a lot of stuff in this one I really liked. Given it wasn't whole pages or layouts, but tons of bits and pieces here and there. For example, I loved the herringbone subway tile in one of the kitchens... I fold down corners of pages I like to refer back to later and I had way more folds in this one than the last few.

Anonymous said...

I haven't received mine yet either...sort of sad, although tomorrow is Saturday so fingers crossed. (I think?)

Although sadly this appears to be the worst issue yet, and I'm sad to see them taking the slide into obscurity with no fight. After H&G closed up shop I thought Domino had a chance to fill the void...alas, it's just becoming tacky like it's sister Lucky.

Whoever picked out JM's outfit on the cover should be fired, as well as the person who thought she looked remotely sane in that photo - she is laughing like a crazy woman and looks bizarre.

Maybe our friend Rita is in charge now? egads.

Decorno said...

Yes! I liked the herringbone subway tile, too.

That big ol' spread on whatshisname designer guy was my cup of tea. I loved his place.

I flipped through an issue on the newsstand today. I think my subscription has expired. Oddly, I didn't buy the issue.

I will say, I was very annoyed to see the bullshit waste of space on the Wonder Woman-themed fashion. I mean - please. Just stop.

Sunset, on the other hand, has a promising little section on refurbishing Craigslist finds... they lost me when they put Imperial Trellis fabric on some puny Danish chair. I mean - if you want to talk about jumping the shark, THAT was it. I'm just sayin'....

Fifi Flowers said...

I thought Domino magazine would start bringing in elements that were in House & Garden since they switched H & G readers to Domino... loved H&G! I like D a lot... always excited to see the next issue... BUT this subscriber is still without the May issue... hmmm!

alis said...

what yo talkin about? I subscribed in January, and recieved my first issue in mid-april (the april issue). Now I kind of hate Domino. It's an international subscription but really, it shouldn't take 4 months to process an order..

mrlfvl said...

I totally agree with sacheverelle - one of the worst EVER issues of Domino. And, while I do like JM as an actress, I think it is a bit premature to say she is a talented interior designer. I was extremely unimpressed with the interior she did for her Stylist. She appears to have no sense of scale and proportion. As a design professional having worked my butt off to learn the trade through a series of grueling and demeaning jobs, I feel that I have earned the right to be called an Interior Designer. I am so sick of celebrities who think they "have a flair" being featured in national mag's with their sub-mediocre efforts. so annoying...

mrlfvl said...

...And another thing - what the hell is wrong with Traditional Home????? VERY disappointing lately...

Anonymous said...

mrlfvl- I cannot agree with you more. We (as designers) work our flippin asses off. And for some actress to say she is now a decorator is (I hate to say it) not fair. Maybe if the article was about how JM for "fun" decorated her friends place on a budget I might give her some respect. Shit for all I know it was Domino that was behind it."Hey lets get this actress to say she is a decorator maybe we'll sell more of the magazine". So then that leads me to why do they need to put and actress on the cover? Is it because they are in trouble. Hummmm. Inquiring minds what to know.

I say if your gonna have a popular design magazine just put a real designer/decorator on the cover with a "well decorated space". For god sakes throw us a f**king bone.

Decorno thank you for your blog I find it extremely therapeutic. I am sure other readers feel the same way. Your topics and questions to your readers are so smart and to the point. I think you should start your own mag. Move over Domino, there's a new mag in town!

mrlfvl said...

To take the Domino bashing one step further anonymous, I'd love to hear your thoughts on whether Domino is out to HELP or SABOTAGE the trade. I am on the fence, though I think I am starting to fall off on the side of sabotage. They are about 5 minutes away from publishing an article titled "how to have access to everything at wholesale without having to use a pesky designer." After all, everything designers do is just for fun, right? What we do requires no real talent, nor training, and it is all just a cake-walk. I guess that's why dealing with clients drove me to therapy...because it is SO fun. Everyone has to jump through hoops in order to do what they love, but for some reason, people think the design industry is full of very talented people who do not deserve to be paid. There you go Decorno - a new topic to discuss - sorry to vent, I just got carried away...bad week.

birdy said...

Just finished reading my new copy of Domino.

The first half, I was horrified. The wicker . . . the coral . . . the BABY SLING (did they really just figure out that baby slings exist) . . . the Can You Make Off The Shelf But Still Very Expensive Kitchen Cupboards Look Expensive When You Add Astronomically Expensive Anne Sacks Tiles Into The Mix article. UGH.

But I actually liked the house tours this time around. Right up until I got to the Julianne Moore article, which was so frigging pretentious, I nearly gagged. Are we really supposed to be impressed that she picked out some furniture for a friend? And designed a teeny-tiny apartment on ONLY (only!?!) 15k? So what we've learned about Julianne Moore is that she's really, really talented at spending money at expensive stores. And she likes to brag about how she buys her friends expensive presents. Cue the hurling vomit.

Domino has tanked this year. I don't think there's been one decent issue yet. But you have to give them props for one thing in the latest issue -- no beauty products and it looks like they FINALLY got rid of that pretentious Day In The Life feature.

Anonymous said...

Lets be clear: an Interior Designer is someone who has actual training, a degree in Interior Design, and credentials. Someone who has taken the NQIDQ exam. Do you know what the NCIDQ is? Have you taken it? No?? Then you are not an Interior Designer, end of story.

A DECORATOR is someon who is paid to have good taste. This person does not have a degree in Interior Design, professional training, etc...

Anonymous said...

uh oh, this is not gonna end well...

Anonymous said...

Note to The Adventuress:

Your next adventure needs to be at a decent hairdresser.

birdy said...

~m --

I'm over Lucky, too. They used to have great clothes and accessories . . . now they have great clothes and accessories for 22-year-olds. It's basically morphed into what Mademoiselle used to be.

The magazine I've really been missing is Budget Living. Not the BL of the final year or so, but the first year when it was so brilliant.

mrlfvl said...

Point understood on the Designer/Decorator distinction. However, I must make this point. No, I do not have a degree in Interior Design. However, I have worked for the last 10+ years for several noted and talented Designers - Only ONE with a Design Degree. I began as someone's "bitch." I learned the industry from the ground up. Most recently, before starting my own business, I worked for 4.5 years at a wholesale showroom to the trade. For 4.5 years I helped "decorators" (and yes, some DESIGNERS) pry their heads out of their asses - saving them from the most pitiful mistakes because they are so ridiculously incompetent and have no more right to be considered a part of the design trade than a neurosurgeon. So there's my dilemma. I concede that I am not a "Designer" by degree, but I am also definitely NOT a Decorator. Especially if that puts me in a class with JM. Oh yeah, and lets not forget that Deborah Norville has also put in countless hours towards her title of Decorator. So what am I?

Veronique said...

So I got my issue on time. I'm glad about the comments on JM "design" skills. I'm neither decorator nor designer (although I am interested in taking classes and getting some actual credit) but I didn't particularly care for her skills.

My issue with Domino is the price of everything. While I realize thing come with a price, can we have a mix? Must everything be unattainable?

I cancelled my Lucky subscription. If my 22 yr old daughter wants to renew, she can pay for it. Who's life are they addressing?

Thank you for the baby sling comment. I personally hate overpriced pretentious baby accessories, put it towards their collage education. when did children become accessories? they aren't LV handbags.....

Anonymous said...

And since we are on the subject of celebrities "acting" as designers (no pun) hahahaa...remember this crap, I mean apartment Ivanka Trump decorated.

Awful just awful.

http://www.glamour.com/lifestyle/articles/2008/04/make_over_my_dump

This also reminded me of the discussion that took place on http://jackiebluehome.blogspot.com/2007/09/designer-homage-or-blatant-rip-off-you.html
about Barrie Benson and how she clearly ripped off a room from Tom Sheerer. The readers were pissed that someone would be featured on the cover (a yeah again) who admited to "snaking" a respectable designers look. Can she really be called a decorator? Why cant Domino feature talented and credible designers (or should I say a designer for that matter) and put them on the cover? WTF?

Domino gang I hope your reading this and taking copious notes!!!!

Anonymous said...

mrlfvl - First off bad week for me too, so I hear ya! I too am a practicing designer without a degree. I will also add that almost all the designers I worked for did not have a degree either. I totally agree with you that design is a talent, just like upholstery or painting (without tape like my painter does)and freehand drawing. You are born with it. Pure talent.

To answer your question regarding is Domino is out to sabotage the designer? I dont think they can fully do that unless they had each designer who is featured give away their vendors information. And at that point we are screwed! But I have to mention that stupid list of "top 10 up and coming designers to watch". Did you see this ridiculas article and the fees they published? UP and COMING and your charging $150 an hour and 30%? I could not believe that bullshit. When I was starting out I didn't charge that, did you? You have no idea how that bothered me!

But what I have noticed and see more and more is everyday people (and yes some bored housewives as well) thinking they are designers. They make costly mistakes and guess who gets called to clean it up, me. And its now happened to me twice. These magazines like Domino combined with all the available merch on line makes it incredibly easy for anyone to decorate a room. The problem is these people should have hired the designer or decorator from the start. It would have saved them a lot of time and money. Have you had to clean up some jobs?

I wish Domino would publish an article about how to not make costly mistakes by hiring a designer for your home!

This is for anon at 5:43 (not sure what planet you live on) Decorators: decorate, which means they bring in furniture, paint walls etc. Designers: design, which means they design permanent rooms ie kitchens bathrooms, you work with CAD and or Sketch Up and if you don't know those programs then you must be a bored housewife. You don't have to have a degree. Even you should know that.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm in the "bored housewife" column . . . if by bored housewife you mean someone who works their ass off, at both home and work, and at the end of the day wants to relax in a nice house, even if I can't afford to have Ruthie Sommers jet in and pick out some $200 a yard fabric for me.

There are a lot of us out there who simply can't afford to hire a decorator, and yet still would like a nice home. So yes, I'm glad that there are magazines out there that give ideas and source information.

Besides even if I had the odd three hundred grand to throw at a decorator, I like my own taste better than that of a lot of the decorator designed rooms in my area (a non-hip, not urban area). My place is thrift store and eBay purchases thrown together with a few bigger ticket items I saved to pay for. Designed by me. I don't have a degree in interior design, but I have spent years pouring over magazines and books for ideas. I'm not sure why that's such a bad thing?

mrlfvl said...

Well, anonymous, you have now started the "victimless crime" debate. I'm not blaming you though, the responsibility lies with the vendors not protecting their products, nor the industry professionals. Having worked on the vendor side, I got to witness first hand high end vendors opening wholesale accounts for totally unqualified people. People who then turn around and sell to people at cost because it is "fun." I have no problem at all with people selling remnants on e-bay - I buy them all the time. There is no guarantee about the quality of those products - I do have a problem with "designers" auctioning off access to their wholesale pricing. I do have a HUGE problem with any website that proudly sells high end products at cost as it hurts the industry. So you see, there are victims in this situation. The professionals who bust their asses trying to sell products at a fair markup who then get slapped in the face by someone giving it away at cost.

mrlfvl said...

So, no, I do not think just anyone should be able to purchase the $200 per yard fabric - especially if they are only paying $100 per yard or less. If you can't afford it, buy something else. We've all seen the articles and shows about how to "get the look for less." I have no problem with that notion - I spend a fair amount of time substituting fabrics that are too expensive with ones that are less but gives a similar look. If you can afford Dolce & Gabanna, you buy it. If you can't you shop elsewhere and try to achieve the same look. You shouldn't just be able to go to the source and but the D&G at cost.

Anonymous said...

I have not received the last two issues and I emailed them and they sent me a curt reply saying it got returned from the post office as "undeliverable" and that I need to give them my new address. MY ADDRESS HAS BEEN THE SAME FOR ALMOST 4 YEARS! I looked at the address they had for me and it was correct. I sent them another email to that effect and got another curt reply saying that they will extend my subscription by the two I've missed....SOMETHING SEEMS FISHY, FOLKS!

Anonymous said...

But as "bored housewives," how do WE benefit by letting decorators have all the access to "to the trade" stuff? If we can get it for half what you would charge us, why SHOULDN'T we go for it? If we can get to-the-trade pricing, however we manage it, I'm don't see why we should deny themselves. How do WE benefit by insisting: "No, I'd rather pay a 30 percent markup and bring a stranger in to the process who may not share my vision at all"?

I know, I know, we bored housewivesl "make mistakes" and then you professionals have to come fix them. But hey, that's work for you, right?

And what about all the "bored housewives" who get it RIGHT? As a decorator, you don't hear about them. But there may be tons of talented amateurs out there, and you have no way of knowing.

Jessica said...

I always get my Domino's late...after Apartment Therapy has already blogged about the new issue...this upsets me...

mrlfvl said...

You answered your own question - TO THE TRADE means just that - TO THE TRADE. Pardon me for taking great offense to your comments. I don't doubt that you can decorate your own house just fine on your own, but I strongly believe that you should not have wholesale or bastardized pricing access to exclusive, high end products that I bust my ass day in and day out trying to sell so that I can make a living and feed my family.

A Bored Housewife said...

So basically, mrlfvl, you're complaining because easier access to home furnishings makes your job irrelevant?

Well, welcome to the free market, my friend. Sellers can charge what they want to for their products. Consumers have the right to shop around for the best prices, and spent their money as they see fit.

If all of that means that people don't want to pay you money to go buy things for them that they can purchase for themselves, than maybe it's time for you to get a new job . . .

mygiltrip said...

And back to the issue itself. It came in Saturday's mail. Most be a thing with putting off the heavy stuff to the sub mail carrier. I do agree the style of some of the features was not to my taste but I did like the issue. I want Domino to reflect my price point. I don't get AD bc I don't want the finished decorator look. I got InStyle this week and I just shudder seeing the average item of clothing is $300 or more. I expect that from Vogue, etc. But the debt that so many people are carrying right now by overspending. Domino's goal was to be a shopping magazine for homes. So I do agree with Bored Housewife that it should primarily offer things I can find. But dump the Target crap. Give me pieces that are unique and well made. I found a Grange bed years ago in a mag article. I didn't know who made it. I spent a month going to showrooms until I finally identified it. I did the leg work. I called a Grange showroom and they (in another state) and they shipped it to me. I got a small discount 25%. So the woman still fed her children. But it was my hardwork that pulled the bed into the room that I created.

Anonymous said...

All you're doing to defend your position is repeating it, over and over: "To the trade means to the trade." That's not debating, it's just...repeating.

I do wonder how many people, having read your posts here, would want to hire you, not because of questions of talent--you may be talented--but because of all the self-pity and self-congratulations in your posts. Would that translate to a lot of whiny excuses? "I'm sorry, Mrs. Bored Housewife, I worked my fingers to the bone for my starving family, but I just couldn't get that fabric because some Not-to-the-Trade person got there first"?

Getting back to the question "Do credentials matter?" It all reminds me of the situation with fiction writing. You can go to the University of Iowa and workshop and study under master novelists and write a book-length thesis and get an MFA--and still write a shitty novel. Or you can write one yourself, with no training, on weekends and evenings, and it might--night--turn out brilliant, better than the work of an entire class of MFA candidates.

mrlfvl said...

Ah yes, Bored Housewife, you win. That makes perfect sense. I guess everyone out there is a designer and I must be no different than anyone else. Finding a Grange bed you like and hunting it down is fine. Getting a 25% discount on it - that is fine. What is not fine is a company that sets a wholesale price TO THE TRADE but then allows crappy retailers and sketchy internet sites to sell their products with no restrictions. If you paid attention to what I was saying, you would realize that my real gripe is with the Manufacturers not setting minimum sales prices. So, dismount your high horse and get over yourself. And by the way, my "irrelevant" job is what provides you with eye candy in these magazines every month. As soon as they start publishing "Bored Housewives who Decorate" sign me up - I could use a good laugh.

Anonymous said...

The big wholesale vendors--they don't owe you and your fellow decorators a living and food on the table for your family. They owe themselves profitability, and if they see alternate ways to firm up or extend that profitability, decorators will need to find new ways to stay relevant.

These are dynamic processes: They're changing. You need to stay flexible, and stop wringing your hands and wailing "I wish things were the way they used to be."

A Bored Housewife said...

Actually, mrlfvl, your obvious contempt for your clients and bizarre sense of entitlement makes it that much more unlikely that I'd ever want to hire a decorator.

I'm also guessing from the bitter, self-pitying tone of your posts that the truth is that no one is asking you to do much of the eye candy magazine work.

Anonymous said...

mrlfvl - Best wishes to you. You sound very unhappy in your current career. While I can understand your frustration with clients, using a term such as 'bored housewife' as a means to diminish someone does a disservice to women and undercuts the importance of the work that women do inside and outside the home.
Decorating is a creative pursuit. From your statement{s} it sounds like homeowners should not undertake this pursuit without a professional lest their be "mistakes". For me, the pursuit itself is the tonic - everyone needs some creativity in their life - and I am not going to spend less time with my family in order to earn more money to afford a decorator.{so I can decorate the home for my family I no longer have time to spend with}

mrlfvl said...

Why don't you get a job and work hard at it for 10 years and then see how you like it when people act like it is a friggin cake walk - anyone can do it - and you don't deserve to be paid. I have expressed NO contempt for my clients. I am fortunate enough to have clients who "get it" and understand why I deserve to make the money I make and do not price shop me. My disgust comes from my experience on the vendor side. Listen - LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY - put yourself in the shoes of a high end Interior Designer. You have just presented a Living Room scheme to a client - You have worked for weeks going back and forth making presentations - refining selections and getting everything just right. You submit a proposal that includes say 25 yards of a silk fabric that costs $200 retail per yard. You decide that $200 is too much to charge, so you give the client a break and charge $160 per yard. That client then goes online and tracks down the fabric for $100 and you've lost the sale. I have no problem with discounts, I have no problem with outlet stores. I have a problem with certain vendors not setting a minimum retail cap. Many furniture vendors do it. If you knew more about the industry you would be able to speak more intelligently about the matter. I am not full of any self pity - I am merely expressing disappointment and frustration with the sales practices of high end lines. Screw it - I'm done - I know what I am trying to say, and it is a conversation I have had a million and one times with other design professionals. If you can't understand it, this whole argument is useless.

Anonymous said...

mrlfvl, you're angry at EVERYONE:

vendors/wholesalers,

"bored housewives,"

"celebrities who think they 'have a flair,'"

"crappy retailers,"

"sketchy Internet sites"

decorators/designers you've had to save "from the most pitiful mistakes because they are so ridiculously incompetent"...

Do you share in ANY of the blame for your own unhappiness and career inertia?

Anonymous said...

mrlfvl:

In the scenario you outlined, the failure is yours.

You failed to sell the client on the idea that she needed not just 25 yards of silk but your expertise, your vision, your oversight, your trouble-shooting.

You failed as a salesperson. That's not something you can blame on anyone but yourself.

Anonymous said...

mrlfvl -"why don't you get a job...." I do have a job and have worked hard at it for many years as the sole proprietor of a creative business. I get it.

The anons at 10:26 and 10:32 hit the nail on the head.You are angry at everyone.
You are expressing contempt for "housewives" with your moniker, diminishing the value of their work, the very thing you abhor others for doing to you.

Anonymous said...

I think it's noteable that all of the non-degreed Interior Designers who are upset and being lumped into the category of Decorator must also go to doctors who have no degree yet "have been practicing for years" or also retain legal councel from lawyers who have not passed the bar exam or even gone to law school. What you are saying is that anyone can do what you do, with no education. Really??

If you decide to adopt a profession and call it your own, it makes sense to become accredited. Taking the NCIDQ is like taking the bar exam for lawyers, like taking the architectural exams to become an architect.

Otherwise, you are a Decorator, which is also perfectly fine and a wonderful career. There is nothing wrong with being a decorator, and no one thinks you sit on your ass all day, or are a stay at home mom who thinks she has good taste. It's insulting to those of us who do have a bachelors or masters degree in Interor Design, who have racked up enormous student loans to make this happen, who do take it seriously and take the NCIDQ exam and also join professional associations such as IIDA, ASID, etc. which also supports the profession.

Anonymous said...

I would look for (1) portfolio, (2) references, and (3) the discount card.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, what is all of the contempt I see here for moms?

So far, I've seen them called "bored housewives" and now a "stay at home mom who thinks she has good taste" . . . as though these are the most contemptible people in the world.

I don't care how hard you may think you work . . . picking out fabric swatches is a vacation compared to staying at home with your kids. So please get over yourselves.

Linda Merrill said...

Ahhh... the age old designer vs. decorator question. The fact is (imho) that both professions should have formal education to back up their talent. Talent is something we're born with, education give us the skills to use that talent for the betterment of our clients built environments. Generally, decorators add finished goods to spaces, aka the surface materials. Designers create something new out of raw materials. Accredited Interior Designers are legally qualified to do commercial spaces and are trained in the materials necessary for public spaces. Non accredited interior designers (note no caps) are more likely to do single family residential spaces - where there is generally no need for NCIDQ level knowledge.

There are Interior Designers with no real creative talent, but loads of spatial and building skills who do office building interior layouts, hospitals etc. And there are plenty of non-accredited interior designers, aka decorators, who do public spaces and receive great acclaim for them. This is where the Kelly Wearstler-type designers come in. She clearly has a huge career and does plenty of public spaces, but she doesn't have an interior design degree and isn't NCIDQ certified. But, like her or not, she's a designer - she has products and big spaces to her credit. Dorothy Draper and Sister Parish were decorators, not Interior Designers.

I guess my point is that while I appreciate that those who paid their dues in terms of schooling, internships and accreditation get peeved that others can take their job title, I say, get over it. Call yourself an accredited Interior Designer and sell yourself as more worthy to clients because of it. If you can't do that, then your schooling wasn't enough.

Likewise, non-accredited interior designers, or decorators, must differentiate themselves from non-professional decorators. As it's hard for ID's to feel their schooling is ignored, it's also hard for those of us who did take formal classes at accredited interior design schools (as I did), but don't have full-on interior design degrees to be lumped in with the "bored housewife" set, for lack of a better term. There are many people (housewives, bored or not) who are very capable of doing their own homes, and those of friends, and do beautiful jobs. This isn't brain surgery or botox - a non-professional can do the job for themselves and do it very well. It's very different, however, to do it for others. That's where professionals of all stripes come in.

Re: the whole wholesale "to the trade" string, that whole model of business is going away and designers and decorators need to rethink their profit strategy. The US is the only country that has "to the trade" pricing. In Europe, designers design and sellers sell direct to the public. Designers are paid for their time, talent and expertise, period. The internet has opened up Pandora's box and there is no closing it now. Designers' "to the trade" pricing isn't true wholesale anyway, that's why it's called "net" pricing and not wholesale. The mills and manufacturers sell their products to showrooms at wholesale, who in turn sell to designers at Net, who in turn sell to clients at "suggested retail" or somewhere between net and retail. If you're worried that a client is going to price shop - then be sure you know what the competing prices are and keep it in mind when pricing your goods and services.


OK, sorry so long, but it's always a good debate!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm so glad that my $40k education and masters degree in interior design is worthy of a "get over it". Thank you very much.

mrlfvl said...

very very well put Linda Merrill. Thank you for giving a non-irritated perspective on the issue. I realize and apologize for getting hot-headed, but I am very sensitive about the subject. Probably because I really have worked very hard to gain credibility locally in the design community. Any time you work hard at whatever you do whether being a mother or a brain surgeon, you have a passion for what you do, and that makes you emotional. I am not an angry person - I swear. A hothead - yes. And, just for the record, I reviewed the posts and maybe I missed something but I don't think I started the whole "bored housewife" thing. I am a mom and I work fulltime. I am quite aware of how much work is involved in raising a child and I have the highest respect for people who can do it full time. I cannot. I actually prefer the term "Decorette" to describe the "Bored Housewife" type of character. Although, I will say that I know dozens of people who are actually bored housewives and all they do is talk about how much they spend on shoes and how little they spend on home furnishings ...but that is a small group of people, and the fact that they are mothers is irrelevant to my point. I truly, truly apologize for pissing so many people off. It really was not my intent, and I am not exactly sure how this train got de-railed so quickly. And to Linda, I was just in London a few weeks ago at Chelsea Design week and I know what you are saying about wholesale being a thing of the past. My biggest concern is that the mentality - at least in my part of the country - is "how can I get something for nothing?" That is where my concern comes in for designers not being paid their worth. In Europe, it is not uncommon for a Designer to be paid $150+ per hour because they cannot sell any product. That is the only way to make a living - charge a high hourly rate so that you can compensate for not profiting on the products you sell. I personally know over 400 decorators and designers in my area from my work experience on both the design side and the sales side of the industry, and that also probably contributes to my "edge" about this topic. Designers (or Decorators or whatever you want to call yourself) spend so much time and energy trying to get into their clients heads and help them make their homes the most wonderful space that suits their style. That is what it is about at the end of the day - the client and their vision for their space. All I ask of those who are wary of design professionals, at least be open to consider the point of view that what we spend our days doing is actually work - and we work really really hard. Yes, we love what we do, but when we search and search and search on a client's behalf and find the perfect thing, it is such a slap in the face to be undercut. At the same time, these people who are taking their designer's ideas and shopping them are at the same time griping about an hourly fee which doesn't even begin to cover the time spent to create the plan in the first place. If it were easy to charge $150 per hour for consultation only, I'd have no complaints. But as I said, people seem to have a problem with paying designers for their time. My clients are wonderful - I am up front with them and they know how I work. I have a contract that protects me, but also that contract turns some people off. Having worked with so many designers over the years, hearing story after story after story I can't help but get upset when someone asks why it is wrong for someone to be able to purchase at cost with no credentials. I hope I have explained myself better, and again, I truly apologize if I offended anyone.

Anonymous said...

Also worth noting, Kelly Wearstler DOES have a degree, and also did post-graduate work at the School of visual Arts in NY.

Anonymous said...

Linda Merrill:

Wow, you have it figured out! Apparently those few classes you took in interior design school were all you needed to get going, huh? You, my friend, are what we are referring to when we say "bored housewife". I just looked at your profile and holy cow, you have 4 blogs? And you also are a "Decorating Diva"?? How did you manage to even TAKE those classes, you're a busy girl!

Anyway, those who do have an education and a degree, and credentials, likely get upset at others claiming the same job title much like you would, if you had worked your ass of for 5 years to get the degree!

Those people go to school because they understand the value of knowledge and are not going to "get over it" as you say.

mrlfvl said...

Wow, and people thought I was angry. Why don't you take a look at Linda's blogs and notice that one of them is honoring a young man who died of a Brain Tumor.

Linda Merrill said...

I guess all I can say to the Anons is that at least my bio and work are out there for all to see. Where are yours?

If you'd taken the time to read, you would have seen that I have a certificate in decorative arts from the Boston Architectural College, it wasn't just a few classes. But graduate level classes - taken with graduate ID students - taken over the course of nearly three years while working full time in another profession. I don't presume to claim full ID status. Hence the cute - and meaningless - term "Decorating Diva".

As for the "get over it", I thought I made it clear that we all needed to get over these self-protective stances. You have a degree (so you claim, no way of knowing...) good for you. You are qualified for jobs that I am not. So, no need for you to worry about me and those like me.

Now, care to share your CV's?

Anonymous said...

Linda - you nailed it on this point (among others):

The whole wholesale "to the trade" string, that whole model of business is going away and designers and decorators need to rethink their profit strategy. The US is the only country that has "to the trade" pricing.

I don't get worked up over credentials, etc etc (since interior design is not my line of work), but retail is. I think it's silly for a talented interior designer to be so protective about to-the-trade pricing. Basing some or a large part of your business on that element seems to make one a retailer (marking up goods and selling them) more than a designer. Seems like a silly profit center for someone who should be gearing his/her business around the design element.

You made excellent points, Linda.

Anonymous said...

mrlfvl:

If you're going to go out there and play retailer, then you should prepare to be at least occasionally undercut by the competition, whether it's a "sketchy" Internet site or another retailer. Being undercut is a fact of retailing life.

If clients don't want to pay you a $150/hour fee, then it's up to you to build your reputation so clients will start to consider that fee reasonable, given how great your work is and how popular you are. This is a fact of self-employment.

In all of your posts, nothing you've said persuades me that you're being ripped off or treated unfairly.

Anonymous said...

mrlfvl, welcome to the way of the world:

"how can I get something for nothing?" is our modern mantra, which has successfully rationalized the whittling away of incomes from workers at every stage of production - to the point that now manufacturers have figured out how to whittle away "middle men" like yourself.

Yup, it's a big bad world that's not always fair, and it's tough to make a living these days, especially in a luxury industry.

In theory, each of the "workers" in a market economy, including a professional with your skills, would add value to the process (of acquiring and using/enjoying a product) - but in today's society, we've reduced our expectations of quality from each point in the process in order to get as much as we can for nothing.

birdy said...

Getting back to the issue, I looked at the JM article again last night, and have decided I pretty much hate the apartment she designed.

The color combinations she used remind me of a bruise. And the living room is just not attractive -- something about the way it's set up. The proportions are off. I hate the lighting she used (and it looks terribly uncomfortable to sit under, basically just a bare bulb). The plants don't work. It's just not an attractive room.

And a carpeted kitchen??? I know a lot of people in NYC don't cook, so maybe that went into the decision making, but I cook every day, and am constantly having to mop up some sort of goo off my floor. Carpeting would be so impractical.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I thought Domino hit rock botton with the March issue...I was wrong, May is the WORST ever. It's obvious that either all of their talent has left or they honestly just don't care anymore. I mean seriously "superhero chic" or "stealing household tips from the superrich"...I can't imagine an editor approving such drivel. For an "almost" summer issue...I found the house tours dark, dreary and completely uninspiring. Maybe I'm being harsh but it's only because I care...I used to LOVE Domino, but I'm fed up. I just did the unthinkable and I cancelled my subscription...it had to be done...tough love baby, tough love.

Linda Merrill said...

birdy said...

The color combinations she used remind me of a bruise.

You said it, birdy. Ick.

I liked some of the issue - lots of individual products, which are always good. But overall, it was a pretty quick read.

Anonymous said...

The JM designed apartment actually looks better than Drew's decorated office.
I wish they had devoted more pages to show Maloles Miracosta's apartment.I loved it!

Anonymous said...

I rather liked the JM apt. (but I love dark, moody, bruisy colors). I like that it isn't all decorator-y and Ruthie Sommers-y. It's not screaming for attention. It looks like where someone I might know would live.

I don't like every single thing in it (the shabbily painted plywood case, the fake-Saarinen pieces, exposed-lightbulb fixture), but that's true with pretty much any interior. More importantly, it's got a relaxed, livable feel.

allison c. said...

I understand the haterade for this issue, but a couple pluses: no Muse Marian, and none of that silly Day In the Life column. At least they listened there.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I am totally sicked by the Domino celeb covers. And Domino has so lost it's newness to me, it's the same stuff every issue, which was fine when the look was fresh, it's not so fresh now. Every time I look at it I can feel the wheels turning. I used to love it, and now it sits around for ages before I even take it out of the plastic wrapper.
This issue is particularly stale. So poor it made me wonder if their was a change in staff.

Anonymous said...

Julianne Moore sometimes looks surprisingly ill at ease in front of the camera. The pictures of her in Domino were not a success.

jane said...

I love JM but I thought that that was the most uninspired cover I've ever seen on any design mag. Yellow curtains that looked homemade. Purple duvet like just about anyone could throw on their bed. Ikea dresser. Even her outfit was boring.

Domino, we want to love you so, but you make us crazy mad a lot of the time.

Thankfully we have Decorno and other blogs where we can hash it all out.

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

I received my copy a couple of days ago and I'm in Hong Kong:-)

Great job Domino - I so appreciate your speedy deliveries! :-)

Paris Hotel Boutique said...

Got my issue late too. I'm thinking that since InStyle Home went under that Domino is trying to use their format of using celebrity homes. Just a thought...

kathleen said...

Okay, this is a little late....At the risk of making people angry (or seeming esoteric), here's my two cents about mrlfvl et al's discussion. Mrlfvl, your comments (and you are probably not the only one to feel this way) sound very similar to the sentiments expressed by the major labels & big players of the recording industry, who have taken a big hit over the past ten years because the internet has revolutionized how music is distributed. People are no longer willing to pay $18 for something they can get for free via peer to peer downloading. The majors hate this & lament this & try to regulate the new activity (RIAA lawsuits anyone?). Most of us in the industry know it is a losing battle for these guys because things are changing.

Sounds like that's what's goin' on in the design world! Once again, the Internet is revolutionizing how people do business. It is totally not personal when someone wants to pay less for something--it has nothing to do with how much they value you or your education. It is the way it is. People will continue to pay less if they can. I think the best thing (and easiest, in the long run) to do is accept that things are changing, and find a way to move forward in the new landscape.

Love this blog!

Anonymous said...

My complaint with Domino is that everything featured in the magazine seems very expensive and unattainable to me. I've begun reading it as I read Elle Decor and similar - to look at the pretty pictures, but know that I can't afford any of it.

lsaspacey said...

Okay, sorry but I had to stop reading halfway down these comments. It became so depressing and full of negative energy. Why?

NO magazine is going to be EVERYthing to EVERYone, ok? The same issue I LOVE, you might not like and next month it might be the other way around. How you feel about the magazine on average is the point.

So many people are pooh-poohing the magazine because they don't see any changes since the discussion here on Decorno. I used to work on a magazine, please note that they are put together months ahead of time. Tomorrow they will be in there working on the July issue, looking toward fall, and when we're thinking of Halloween they'll be fighting for December and January deadlines. Have some patience and give them some time!

Overall, I'm happy with Domino. I have seen many, MANY promising magazines (Budget Living, Real+Life Decorating, Bargain Style, Livingroom, Blueprint, etc.) go bye bye, so I'm not going to scare off the one contemporary one I think is really trying to do something. For my more traditional likes, luckily I still have Country Home, Cottage Living, and a few choice others from overseas.

So I say, 'you go, Domino!' I for one still like you.

Cote de Texas said...

This is late too, I missed this whole thread and I"m sorry I did, but my 2 cents. I wouldn't take any accrediation test for ID if my life depended on it. I don't give a shit about rub counts or flammability of fabrics. If you are going to be designing residential projects, those tests are totally worthless. NOW, if you are going to be designing hospitals and hotels or kitchens, then - yes, you need to be accredited. You better believe it. No doubt about that. But to design a scheme for a house - I have never, never lost a client because I didn't take the test, period. God, the time wasted in school burning fibers!!!!!!!!!!! YOu have no idea!!!!! a total waste for people who decorate like me - for people who want a scheme for their house.

As for all the bs about net and to the trade, why don't you just charge cost plus? If a client wants to use ME, they pay the cost, plus my percentage fee. I don't care if they find the fabric for less, I'm still going to make the money, maybe 400 instead of 800, but sometimes it's good will to let the client think they are getting a bargain. I hate all that hidden cost bs that to the trade creates. It makes the client suspicious. I show my clients every bid, every cost, everything is on the table, nothing is hidden. IT takes too much energy to try to hide real costs. Just add a percentage to the end - you spend 10,000 on decorating this room, I'm going to make 3,000 - no matter if it's wholesale or retail. If a client wants to use ME, they are going to pay this, if not - then they won't use me. Listen - I know a decorator - a bored housewife decorator, ok - a teacher by trade, who charges retail plus 20 percent!!!!!!!! Retail plus 20 plus her hourly rate which is in the 100s. And people line up to use her because she is good. Her taste level is that good. People will pay you what you are worth to them. To the I.D.s of the world - God bless you and your tests. I would rather die than design an hospital, but someone has to do it. Just don't tell me I need to pass that test to be able to design an interior for a home, because I don't. I prove that on every job I do.

Anonymous said...

I don't give a damn whether anyone in any of the artistic fields has an education --- only that they have TALENT.

That being said, the fact that you are educated may serve you well if you don't cut it in the design/decor field, as you can always teach elementary school, eh????