09 November 2009

Thank God for Margaret Russell and Elle Decor!

 

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No that beautiful, sexy woman isn’t Miss America – she’s Margaret Russell, the brains and creative force behind Elle Decor Magazine.   Margaret came to The Skirted Roundtable this week to talk with Linda, Megan, and me about magazines and blogging and her new wonderful book Style and Substance, a compilation of the best of Elle Decor from its heralded 20 year history.  

When it was announced today that Metropolitan Home was closing shop, yet another magazine failure in a long line, everyone said - “Thank God for Elle Decor.”  Thank God indeed, but really Thank God for Margaret Russell.  I wonder if there would  still be an Elle Decor if it wasn’t for her keen intellect and steady leadership as Editor-in-Chief.    It’s no coincidence that Elle Decor is the leading design magazine.   If only Margaret had been Editor-in-Chief at Cottage Living, House and Garden, Country Home, Western Interiors, Home, Vogue Living, and on and on – under Russell’s guidance they might still be publishing today. 

 

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Russell’s newest book – it is quite beautiful and wonderfully edited.  Available at Amazon HERE.

 

If you have the new book Style and Substance – get it out before you listen to the podcast.  Margaret picked her three favorite rooms from the book and we discuss them in depth.   It’s a great interview, if I might say so myself!    Russell is strong, vibrant, sharp, and witty – so any interview of hers is great.    To listen, go HERE.

In other news today, Thank God for Elle Decor!  The December issue is now out with a spread by Miles Redd (who is always fabulous), another by Philip Gorrivan, and then there’s my favorite story – Miss Charlotte Moss’ new Aspen House.  We all remember the book The Winter House – the story of her house in Aspen which was sold soon after the book came out.   Now, after a few years of waiting, we finally have the first glimpse of her new Colorado vacation house.  Worth the price of the issue for sure.

 

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The Winter House by Charlotte Moss (doesn’t she have the MOST beautiful name?) available at Amazon HERE.

 

 

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OK, OK – here’s a sneak peak at Charlotte’s new Aspen house from the December issue of Elle Decor.  To Die For.   Lushly photographed by her favorite, Pieter Estersohn, of course and written by the best in the business, Mitchell Owens (who has his own new book out HERE.)

 

 

image Mitchell Owens, resident scholar on everything design, shares credits with Derry Moore – one of the most talented photographers in the business.   My book is coming tomorrow and I can’t WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Lots of reading, lots of thanking God for Margaret Russell, lots of praying that Elle Decor and House Beautiful and Stephen Drucker are safe from the magazine zombies who keep killing off the best of best while leaving the worst design magazines standing – like, well, I won’t name it, but you can only guess who I mean!!

To listen to Margaret Russell on  The Skirted Roundtable, go HERE!  It’s a good one, I promise you!!!

41 comments:

  1. So many great books and so little time!! We need to shake up all of those publishers. WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?

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  2. I agree!!! How amazing it was to listen to your conversation with Margaret Russell. I was SO excited to see you had the opportunity to do so! I have ALWAYS loved Elle Decor, it's just a classic to me.

    I was suprised to hear how she was, I guess I put her on some kind of pedestal for "fancy awesome design magazine editors"..I assumed she would talk with some sort of accent and be all ostentatious. Haha!! THat's what you get for watching the movie The Devil wears Prada too many times!

    But she was wonderful and down to earth, and just sounded like a very hardworking, honest and likable individual. Really refreshing! Thanks and what a cool interview!

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  3. Yes, couldn't believe the news I heard yesterday about Metropolitan Home! I will have to check out all the books you've mentioned ~ I think it's going to be a long Winter.

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  4. I agree as well! Thank God for Margaret Russell... I just hope there is not a "higher up" that can close up Elle Decor without her say so... that would be like cruel and unusual punishment for all of us...and her ..... I wonder what the process is when the publisher just says "shut it down"... is there any warning...I heard the peeps at Met Home had no idea..whatsoever...... I am going out to buy the book Style and Substance TODAY....

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  5. In the midst of all the bad news for publishers, I could not help but wonder what does this do for those readers out there? A long winter, yes indeed!

    Also it is the trickling down effect of retail, no one to see design trends or report them no retail products being bought.

    Makes me think that cyber bloggin is a great tool for exposure but without the beautiful pages to llok at there is not much to discuss.

    I have to say, my HGTV viewing time has slowed down immensely since glogging was discovered.I like to be able to go back, look over & contemplate something of interest.In other words, in front of me! So that I can see it.

    I am sure there will be a silver lining in this bolt as we unravvel the yards & yards of material in the months to come.
    I sure hope that there will be enough fabric to do all the projects with.

    Yours truly Joni,
    Leslie

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  6. Thanks for visiting my daughter's house and the sweet note that you left there. I can not believe all these magazines are closing down. I am always so happy when I get one in the mail, not too often these days. I think you should start one joan, I will be your right hand woman...we can do it! lol

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  7. Sorry, but I cannot share your enthusiasm for "Elle Decor" magazine. Too many of the featured residences are totally uninspiring, included only because of the owner's position in the world of fashion. It is a good concept, but they will have to "raise the bar" to get me back as a subscriber.

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  8. Your interview with Margaret Russell was one of my favorites yet (and that's saying something, because I've enjoyed them all!). I think she's fabulous.

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  9. I love the design magazines, I have never been a big fan of Elle Decor. It is too 'big city' for me. Too sophisticated. How many people in this world really live like that?

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  10. Never bought an issue of Elle Decor,one look in the isle was enough for me. If you're refering to maybe BH&Garden still staying around, well real people out there love it I guess (I've never liked that one either). Thank God for blogs.

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  11. Thanks for letting us know that Charlotte Moss's Aspen home is in that issue - I'm going to have to go pick it up at the bookstore. I loved her other home. I can't wait to see what her new one looks like!

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  12. lovely post. i'm drooling over that warm colored sofa...too sweet...

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  13. Looking forward to it, Joni!!! :) Me and my headphones at 11pm.

    Jacci

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  14. can't wait to get reading!! (you're making my list long!) i can't believe another one's done :(

    so so sad :(

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  15. I have a subscription to Elle Decor because it was cheaper to get it than to buy the three issues off the newsstand in a year that I usually did. Sometimes I really like it and sometimes it leaves me cold. I actually thought SJP's dining room with the so-artfully disparate chairs all spray painted matte black was laughable and ridiculous. Doesn't surprise me a bit, though, that design folk would fawn all over it. I did love, however, the Vicente Wolf "frosty" bedroom, so go figure.

    I'm curious which mags, Joni, you disapprove of. BH&G? It certainly fills a need. AD? It's gotten increasingly ridiculous and the Michael Jackson cover story was a complete waste of space. It should be put out of its misery. Dwell? Every issue seems exactly the same, though it might do even better now with Met Home gone.

    One thing I'm not ambivalent about at all, though, Joni, is your blog. Completely love it. You put so much work into and I have learned so much. (Your post on drapes was like a master class.) Keep up the good work.

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  16. I haven't listened to SRT & MG yet, but I will today :) I was a longtime devotee of Elle Decor, but have fallen off readership lately. I'll have to pick it up again.

    Thank you for telling us about In House, I cannot WAIT to see what's between the cover. That main image! Whew! Love it!

    xoxo,

    Andrea

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  17. I believe that every magazine brings something worth considering. There are so many levels of design and so many levels of understanding. People may start with a "low" level and get inspired to search for more.
    Taste and style need long time to develop.
    Elle Decor has beautiful issues and some...disappointing...like the last one (November)but again that is my personal reaction and nevertheless I was inspired by a few pages.
    We need good magazines, good books and good blogs to educate ourselves and the public.
    Go Joni Go!

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  18. Although I continue my subscription to Elle Decor, I've been tempted to write Ms. Russell with a plead to stop with those overly eccentric houses.
    You know the ones -- - I'll just call them "Let's Outdo Johnathan Adler Style." Also know for every object in the room screaming - I'm Odd/Strange and Have No Relationship To Anything Else in the Room.

    Oh please... .

    Jjjjj

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  19. mmm nice book of Charlotte Moss, love her work.

    will listen like now to the interview, i am sure it will be great like always, loved the one with Charlotte Moss :-)

    Thanks,

    David

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  20. I am looking forward to listen to the interview! Thank you Joni!

    Greet

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  21. Oh Joni, how can you look at Charlotte's Aspen house and still be in love with neutrals. Her house is sure converting me! Just beautiful. A bit of a Lynn Von Kersting vibe going on and I love it!!!

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  22. I have already listened to the SRT with Ms Russell and was very pleased at hearing how down to earth and grounded she is.I loved the comment by someone about the Devil Wears Prada. You do kind of relate to that as if that is what a highend magazine editor would be like but I found Ms Russell to be very refreshing. Great discussion. I am very sad to see all the shelter Magazines fall on the way side. I love reading blog post(especially yours Joni) but there is nothing like sitting in my chair with a cup of tea slowly turning pages and devouring the words and absorbing the pictures. I love the written word, Kathysue

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  23. I listened to you interview with Charlotte Moss today - excellent. Now, I need to hear what Ms Russell has to say.

    xo,
    cristin @ simplified bee

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  24. I do agree! Margaret Russell is an amazing lady. We hope that she can continue the magic at Elle Decor for years to come!

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  25. Joni!!! :) I was so excited when I saw the list of upcoming guests for SRT!!! :) Alessandra Branca! Stephen Drucker!!! I literally clapped my hands in excitement **for you**. What great fun you must be having. I'm just so thrilled for you.

    Side note - every once in a while I duck in to another interior designer's shop around these parts. I never see much that I like. It's all *very* masculine and "globally". Like dark wood elephants turned into lamps. Our area has to be one of the most rock bottom for design in a smallish city - 300,000. Anyway, I found a GREAT place today!!! I was so giddy. I knew I was on to something when I walked up the stone steps and saw a zinc bistro table :) The designers are blogging and I told them all about YOU!

    Gush gush, I know. But I just think you're a doll.

    Jacci

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  26. Jacci - isn't it fun to discover a new store?!!!! I love it too!!!
    thanks for the comment -
    and thanks to everyone for your comments - much appreciated!!!!
    Joni

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  27. Hey Joni, I thoroughly enjoyed the podcast with Margaret Russell and the preceeding one with Suzanne Kasler but found it INFINITELY annoying that I did not have the BOOKS in front of me. Imagine the misery of hearing y'all describe those bloody rooms I could not see. They are all on my Christmas list!!!!!!!!!

    No more book reviews without posting accompanying pictures! haha....making us all suffer like that....

    Just teasing. Keep up the great interviews. Oh, and like a favorite character in a TV show, you are my favorite. I wish they would all just shut up and let you talk.

    Big hug, Terri oxoxo

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  28. I came home from my surgery and start chemo Monday and I open up my email and there you are just like a life saver! Thank you so much for your blog.
    nancy

    www.rivieraboardwalk.blogspot.com

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  29. I would love to be Ms. Russell, if even for one day... sigh. Love her.

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  30. I haven't listened to this SRT yet. but I love Elle Decor and know that I need to add these books to my collection, I also enjoyed the previous post on SA....I am truly saddened by their death..so very sad.

    As usual Miss Joni, a job well done. Do you sleep?

    xx

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  31. Elle Decor has always been my favorite U.S. shelter magazine, and there is a reason they are still around (but after this year-never say never) and as you have said Margaret has everything to do with that. They always seem to hit the right note between unattainable and approachable! After all shelter magazines have to be a little about fantasy!

    Love the blog!

    David @ Ashfield Hansen Design
    www.ashfieldhansendesign.blogspot.com

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  32. I can't wait to get my hands on those books! Then maybe I'll get the time to read them next year! Got the glove, thanks. Now we won't have to go through the winter looking like Michael Jackson...

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  33. Gotta love Ms. Moss and her impeccable taste. If you love her name, one of her sisters is named Martha Moss (she is a chef in and around Richmond and an acquaintance) who is equally as talented in the kitchen...must be in the genes!

    Susan

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