As you know I was never a big fan of Domino - I’m becoming more American every day, but nothing has come remotely close to replacing the British shelter magazines such as Living etc and Elle Deco in my heart – but I was looking forward to the launch of Lonny, the online magazine brainchild of former Domino Market Editor Michelle Adams and photographer Patrick Cline.
Issue 1 was launched today and I’m afraid you’ll just have to colour me rather disappointed.
First the good news.
– The online reader tool is fantastic – clear, fast and making it very easy to flip between the pages (though it seems strangely old-fashioned to just duplicate a print magazine online – if you can add hyperlinks, for example on the shopping pages, why not just do it?)
– The photographs are aces.
- The styling, though completely not to my taste, is generally excellent.
– There’s lots to read, with plenty of home tours and not too many ads.
The bad news, unfortunately, is that the whole magazine is a celebration of the fussy, over-ornate, grandma’s old knickers style that dominates American interiors magazines and which I’m sure led partially to Domino’s demise.
The front cover is spectacularly meh. I know it doesn’t have to stand out on a newstand, but really couldn’t they do better than this? If the cover of a magazine is supposed to tell you what a magazine is all about then this says is ‘fussy’ and ‘mumsy’ (do Americans understand what this means? Should I be writing ‘momsy’ instead?), which is not a decorating style I aspire to.
Inside the layout is full of the multiple fancy fonts, strange dotty lines and fussy boxes which we’ve discussed before about American magazines, though it is less busy and better organized that some.
The shopping pages feature some quite spectacularly ugly stuff.
The fashion pages are EXECRABLE. I have no words.
And there of course are loads of rooms cluttered with overdecorated repro furniture and table lamps in every direction (what is it with Americans and table lamps?)
Table lamps outside? Seriously you guys are OBSESSED.
The one more modern home featured is about as imaginative as a Crate & Barrel catalogue
Even the home of Grace Bonney from Design*Sponge, whose taste I normally quite like, is made to look dull.
Finally our old friend Eddie Ross is back with his special brand of granny style, featuring even more zebra than he had in his New York apartment and a ton of fuss and clutter on every surface (a shame as the bare bones of his country house look absolutely amazing).
And now, having offended most of the American online decorating establishment, I will go and do some real work.