Saturday, February 16, 2008

Open Letter to Domino Magazine


**Update: If you are coming to this page off a link from the Washington Post or the Apartment Therapy forum you may also want to check out the follow up post HERE and HERE for the final installment, which includes an email exchange with Deborah Needleman.**


Dear Domino,

There's no one else quite like you. That's why I'm devoted. But I don't need another beauty magazine. If I wanted that, I would buy Allure... I would buy Allure and say, "Well, gee, that's great. Thanks for reminding me once again as every other beauty & fashion magazine does that Maybelline Great Lash Mascara is the best mascara out there."

Groundbreaking.

Please don't spend any more time on beauty. In fact, don't spend time on fashion either. About 100 other magazines cover each to mind-numbing exhaustion and I do not need to add you to the list. I want you to do more of what you do best.

For a magazine as popular as you are, can you please invest in MORE content about homes and home furnishings?

While we are at it, as much as I adore Ms. Marian McEvoy, her columns haven't taught us anything we don't already know. In the current issue her thesis is essentially, "Make your guests comfortable. Don't go overboard, don't be showy, but do try to make enough of an effort to show them you care." I believe most readers get this already and you took an entire page to tell me something I already know when you could have been giving us more decorno.

Also, no more "day-in-the-life" profiles, please. These seem to be of interest to the PR agencies who must set up these blind dates with Domino, but I don't get much from these. I don't want to know what moisturizer some jet set person uses on the plane. I would like you to use that page for a feature on - you guessed it - home and furniture design.

Domino, your lovely magazine is nothing but HOME PORN. Like Playboy, we are trying to get to the centerfold. We want to wipe drool off the pages of a Paul Costello photo spread. We are not exactly reading Domino "for the articles" - - unless those articles directly relate to your spreads on design, fabrics, furniture, home accessories, shopping for said products, other other info that will satisfy your design-hungry audience.

More porn please.

Love,
Decorno

P.S. I do *love* the now semi-regular "Destination" spread. Lucky's version of these has guided me to excellent shopping in Paris, Buenos Aires, and New York, and I am now saving Domino's "Destinations" for future trips as well. So kudos for that feature. Keep it up.

60 comments:

Mint Julep said...

This was the first Domino I threw out after one, not very thorough, read.
Boo.

Anonymous said...

Exactly! I actually was paging through and put the magazine down for a minute to go into the kitchen, when I came back and looked at the page that was open, there was Maybelline Mascara and nail polish accompaning the print....I thought I had the beauty section of Lucky magazine open - what the hell? So disappointing. Product placement in the wrong publication...someone must have owed someone a favor???

MissK said...

I agree on all your points,I would also like to see a magazine every month with more content,this magazine is way too thin.
Just recently found your blog,love it.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!!!!

And also...

Fucking HATE those "Day in the Life" things with eco-people that read:

--"6:30 a.m.: Eat a bowl of hemp cereal with goat milk and apply my vegan eye shadow made of mica powder I ground myself."

Note to Marian McEvoy: You used to be the editor of House Beautiful. Now you've got a column telling people to bring hostess gifts. What the hell happened? And lay off the Botox. You look embalmed.

And about the "10 Things That Make Me Happy" page: Could you just once show:

--an overweight person
--a non-white person
--a non-female person
--a non-pretty person
--a non-fab-job-having person ("She designs jewelry made of silver mined respsonsibly in Third World countries, while also consulting with chemists at the Chanel perfume laboratories in Paris.")
--a person over the age of 32

SGM said...

Yes, yes, yes. I am also baffled by the day-in-the-life feature. Who is this person? Why should we care that she wears a cashmere nightie and $1300 shoes?
More porn.
I'm with Habitually Chic that this needs to be a twice a month mag with no articles. The only words should be resources.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see, in "Things I Can't Live Without," someone admit:

No. 3: Imodium.

design - 59 said...

Amen!!!

Anonymous said...

Everybody gird themselves:

March is Domino's annual "Green" issue.

Joanna Goddard said...

hear hear.

Anonymous said...

I was excited to go to the bookstore to get the new Domino, but instead I flipped through it, and didn't find anything interesting enough in it to buy it.

Anonymous said...

I wonder.. Hearst has dropped Home & Garden and Jane recently, and I wonder if they had obligations to advertisers.

DeAnna

Anonymous said...

Domino recently hired a "beauty" editor. Translation: They want more hair-and-makeup advertising. I think they'd want it even without the folding of Jane.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Agreed.

kate (pm) said...

Yup, this was the first Domino I left at my boyfriend's not fully read. Fully skimmed... enough to know I wasn't excited take it along with me. I'll read it at his house for one those times when I'm waiting around and desperate enough to read anything.

I can't stand those "a day in a life" pages, either. Useless. Boring.

kate (pm) said...

Yup, this was the first Domino I left at my boyfriend's not fully read. Fully skimmed... enough to know I wasn't excited take it along with me. I'll read it at his house for one those times when I'm waiting around and desperate enough to read anything.

I can't stand those "a day in a life" pages, either. Useless. Boring.

S. said...

Scary. Maybe with the downturn in the housing market that has led to the decrease in home-related spending and the folding of H & G, Domino has decided that the only way to stay alive is to become "lifestyle" rather than "home."

But no matter the reason, it's almost enough to make me cancel my subscription. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

When they start putting "Our Best Chocolate Cake Ever!" or "Men's Seven Sex Secrets" on the cover, all is lost.

Kwana said...

Amen! I got mine in the mail and was like what's with the leaflet? I'm totally not buying the day in the life thing. Yeah right, grab and apple to take on the plane? Please. Let's get real
I hope next month is better because I really look forward to my Domino.

Anonymous said...

The thinness of the recent issue may explain the attempt to get new categories of advertising, like hair-and-makeup.

maison21 said...

brava, decorno!

i agree wholeheartedly. can we please have decor magazines be about DECOR! when i want fashion, i'll buy vogue, thank you very much.

domino, while it has some great elements, seems to have forgotten that there are readers outside of of it's own editorial staff. not every one who reads it is a 29 year old fashion addicted white girl living in new york.

there are TONS of great homes out there begging to be photographed. i suggest that domino find them. (they can start with mine, thank you! at least an upcoming photo shoot would give me the kick in the paints to finally pull it all together, and make the damn thing look somewhat finished, rather than half-painted, and missing some key elements- like furniture in my spare bedroom).

Anonymous said...

ENOUGH with the Eco-friendly crap. Did you offices get overrun by former hippies or what? I need practical advice, not where to get a platter for $850 - sorry, not going to happen.

How about going back to '05/'06. I actually looked forward to issues at that time. The photos/articles that told you where to get EVERYTHING in the room (or a knockoff) were GREAT! That was what made me buy Domino in the first place; finally a home magazine that I could really use.

And the other bloggers are right - stop with the makeup/fashion stuff. Have you forgotten that you're a DECORATING magazine? What's going on???

Seriously, we're better off watching HGTV:o)

dean said...

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!

Anonymous said...

Last year's Green Issue was god-awful too, like an issue of Group House Living.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I don't understand why Domino doesn't have a section of the mag reserved for readers' letters. How are they going to know what we think!?

Well-put letter. This was my first issue after subscribing, and I was disappointed! They crammed all the decor-related stuff into the last few pages.

Anonymous said...

It's the 21st century!!!
Decor, fashion, beauty all roll in one mag sounds pretty good to me.
Love them! Love it! Love Domino!!!

Decorno said...

Anon - I might agree with you if the execution was on target. But telling me that Great Lash mascara is one of the top-ten beauty products is just a rehash of what every other beauty magazine tells us.

Anonymous said...

Blueprint was ten times better, anyway.

Anonymous said...

"Blueprint" was Domino for the Tricia Nixon set.

Decorina said...

When they dropped H&G they informed me that I now will receive Domino. I think it totally blows.

I subscribe to every shelter mag out there but always thought Domino was a little light in the loafers - eye candy for the youngster (always female), professional that lives in NYC. Arrrrrggggh.

Anonymous said...

Amen- I usually obsess and keep every issue rather than tearing things out like i do in other shelter magazines and this didn't warrant a tear out much less a spot on my shelf. SO dissappointing- straight to the trash. I thought about a letter to the editor. Need more house spreads!

Anonymous said...

Okay we have established that we all hate the beauty stuff, and the "day in the life column" is a complete joke. What really sent me over the edge w/ this issue was the "Green House" featured on pages 126 and 127. It's Laura Turner (Ted's daughter)Seydal, who has "been an environmentalist all her life". They feature her 6,200 square foot "EcoManor" Her custom headboard rings in at $4,300. The custom bedding is $8,500. Stove $9,499 and chandelier $2,500. Ummm...yeah the average Domino reader can really relate to this house. Domino has completely lost their way as far as I am concerned...I can't remember the last time I really sat down w/ the magazine and loved anything. I used pour over the issues...no more...they have sold out BIG time in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing what I was thinking! Are they kidding?! It was the most boring issue. Straight into the trash. I get it was the "eco" issue but did it have to the be BORING DESIGN-LESS issue?

Anonymous said...

It's time for Marion to hang up her glue gun and leave.
She's old news and Domino is a young fresh magazine. She just stands out as being passe.

Anonymous said...

Marian McEvoy is a friend of the Editor, Deborah Needleman, so she's probably in for life. But you're right, she is an embarrassment, with her sad little crafts projects gluing shells to Kleenex boxes and her bossy but lame "advice."

Anonymous said...

Just noticed that this month's "Day in the Life" chick is wearing:

BEADED COATED-CANVAS SANDALS: $1,095

Decorno said...

anon...YES on the comment bout Mrs. Turner's house. Even forgetting the price tags... it's 6000 sq feet! So what if it's eco this and recycled that. It's still too much space for a single family.

Anonymous said...

Hhow eco is Domino when Rita Konig has just been using her blog to glorify taxidermy? Let's be honest: Taxidermy is about hunting. Hunting for sport. How is that "green"?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Rita Konig, does anyone else besides me think her blog is the most boring read ever? I'm sure she's a lovely person but I wish they would replace her with someone more fun. I'm sure she only has the job because her mother is Nina Campbell.

Anonymous said...

I get a kick how she does "research" for her "Destination" articles: She posts a query on her blog: "Where should I go in [city]?" and all the readers write in and tell her. No research required!

Nice gig.

scrappy girl said...

Hi everybody --

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.

Thanks,

jamie meares said...

damn, that's getting business done.

way to go decorno.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree...if I wanted to read a fashion magazine I would read Vogue or Elle or W. Domino should stick to decorating and with the number of magazines going under this would be a great time to bulk up the size of the magazine!

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO MUCH! I absolutely HATED this issue. Design Mags are about escapism for me . . . I want to drool over beautiful pictures, NOT be lectured to about eco issues. And I agree, the McEvoy column is frankly insulting.

Please, please, please dump the beauty and fashion and GIVE US MORE DESIGN PORN!

Thank God for Living Etc. It's the only decent interiors magazine left.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe no one has mentioned the two page spread devoted to A TENT. Blech.

Domino, you're lucky my subscription isn't up this month, because I'd cancel on this issue alone. It was even worse than last year's green issue, and THAT'S really saying something.

Cote de Texas said...

Actually, that tent feature was just about the only somewhat interesting piece, though I did like the evolution of an apt. (but omg - that poor woman!!). The green issue is a vomit issue every year. Horrible. yucck. Thanks Decorno, you rock, babe. Isn't it amazing the power of the blogs - she's going to make sure everyone hears this discussion! Hear this: It sucked BIG time!

Decorno said...

Joni - I liked the tent feature, too. I just liked that she had her own style and you could sense a real person in the feature.

Anonymous said...

I admired the tent thing too: At least it was a departure from the standard "Hey, check out another apt. full of Lulu 'Chant' upholstery and Jonathan Adler pillows and Mitchell Gold sofas!"

Alkemie said...

Fabulous letter!! You said it perfectly! You have a real gift for writing and catching people's attention. This is a real gift as I tend to gloss over article heavy blogs. Huge fan of your blog and this letter is great!

d.Sharp said...

This is great Decorno! - Domino responds. Of course, all this could be avoided if someone just gave you your own magazine,{that the rest of us could enjoy}because you seem to have hit the nail squarely on the head.

Cathy said...

This issue was insulting and utterly useless as far as (1) imparting useful design tips as well as (2) inspiring "greening" among its readers. I'm already accustomed to being able to afford less than 10% of the products showcased in Domino's pages, and this is fine with me because I mostly subscribe to get my dose of "home design porn". But not only were the aesthetics uninspiring, but the whole "green" movement in Domino's hands smacks of shallow trendiness rather than something we *all* must do. "Going green" isn't like feng shui or any other lifestyle fad that's come and gone, and it isn't going to gain converts if it remains the province of the very rich. $15 for a bottle of laundry detergent. Are you out of your minds? A handcrafted bowl made from recycled debris that retails for hundreds of dollars is going to save the earth? How about not spending money on inflated junk? My reaction to Domino went from "ooh... the silly rich... I'll imitate this for 1/10th the price from thrift store junk" to "how condescending... telling me I have to bankrupt myself or risk poisoning the earth." Domino is lucky it's not subscription renewal time in my household.

Anonymous said...

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?

Anne said...

Well, I thought it was just me! After leafing thru the current issue in record time it was tossed.

Oh, and wouldn't it be great if Domino would print dark letters on light ground (or vice versa) instead of pale pale copy on light ground!? I'm getting older but my eyesight is still good and I have a real problem reading half the copy in the "porn" sections.

maureen said...

RE: Domino's eco/green issue -- those editors wouldn't know eco if it were to hit them in the cradenza.

The Anonymous comment was on-point as far as not wanting to buy a tray for $850. However the "ENOUGH with the eco friendly crap" is way off-point. In my view, all designers/manufacturers today ought to consider the environmental impact of what they're doing, and we consumers should be interested...this concern for the environment is not some far-out hippie trend, but rather a serious mainstream consideration. Therefore, ideally, there would and should be a place for useful "eco-friendly design" in a mag/rag like Domino.

Anonymous said...

Love the "Day in the Life." Don't love people who cuss on blog comments. Just too trashy.

The Sale Rack said...

I agree with your Destinations comment...love it! I like that section b/c it provides more of a variety of looks for a home. Feel like they showcase too many domino-cookie-cutter nyc apartments.

Anonymous said...

Domino Magazine is such a waste of paper. Useless and worse yet, a bore. Why so cheap. Drugstore mascara ads?? Yeah, I know not every woman is wearing Yves St. Laurent cosmetics, but yikes, abit too low. The magazine is too loving hands at home. If I want low, I'd read Better Homes and Gardens or worse yet... Traditional Home.

Botany's Desire said...

I have mixed feelings about this. I have loved Domino magazine since the first issue. I use it for great resource information for new product and trends when in search of product for my boutique.

But like many others I have begun to question my love for Domino Magazine. I really don't like the "The 10 things that make me happy" page.

I don't it is helpful in anyway at least in the design and home decorating business to know what wealthy people can't live without.

I too want to see more and more pictures and articles about beautiful eye candy designs with more realistic products that I can bring into my boutique and sell to my customers.

I love Domino so much, I spent a whole 2 weeks searching every store in my town looking for the latest issue. I almost went madd searching for a copy.

I hope Domino will take into account all the comments that were left and continue to strive to be one of the best decorating magazines out there.

Lastly, I too would like to see a more diverse coverage of designs featured as well as towns and cities in America. Being from New York and now living in the desert of California, I still appreciate good design and decorating from all over the USA.

Anonymous said...

Yes, truly there is nothing more gag-inducing than a day in the life of some Bush, wearing a pretentiously hip eco bag printed "feed the children"--while sporting $1200 sandals. Seriously?? How on earth do the editors keep from laughing out loud? My heart is broken but I've had it with Domino.

pillow mint said...

Oh my! I just heard that Domino is folding. The news saddens me on two fronts....1) I actually like the magazine! and 2) they were just in my store to feature it in the "Destinations" section. Rita Konig herself was here, along with two photographers. (Rita, by the way, is a lovely person!) I'm selfishly hoping the magazine makes it through the April issue, which is the issue in which my store will be featured. Sigh.
If anyone is curious, my store is located in Charlottesville, VA and my website is www.pillowmint.net

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