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What the hell happened to Architectural Digest Magazine?

In the ‘80s studying Interior Design with feathered and heavily moussed hair in matching sweater and sock combinations we carried around Architectural Digest, which we referred to as A.D., and called it our “bible” and got giddy every time a new issue came out. Only very wealthy people and industry people seemed to read it along with I.D. Magazine, which we worshiped as the best of the best. Even my cousin traveled the world working for one of their star photographers and gained access to some of the most spectacularly elaborate and exclusive houses. Now I constantly get stories like this on my news feed which look like they came from Simple magazine and that your common fraus would get excited over. Where is the glamour, the spectacle the ostentatious wealth?

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by Anonymousreply 7604/07/2021

It’s the democratization of everything caused by the digital space. Plus everyone’s lives have to “matter” now (I mean this in an elitist way, not a racist one).

by Anonymousreply 104/06/2021

I've subscribed to AD off-and-on (mostly on) since I was about 12. (I know - MARY!)

I really was a little design homo from a very young age. I kept all my past issues in my bedroom and would go back over them, again and again. It really shaped (warped) my little brain.

I agree it isn't the same. It's just a matter of the publisher trying to keep the magazine relevant - and afloat - in this bizarre age of Millennial "decor" which essentially means putting random things together in a haphazard way until the room is full.

by Anonymousreply 204/06/2021

Good heavens. That house is as bourgeois as a Peter Pan collar. It certainly doesn't belong in AD.

But "what the hell" is going on now applies to Conde Nast period.

Why they are letting the editor of Vanity Fair grind THAT magazine into the dust is a constant wonder. As is its appalling venture for third world trannies, 'them.'

by Anonymousreply 304/06/2021

Jesus OP - I thought you were overreacting, but no - those pics are not magazine worthy.

The problem of changing your magazine for the lowest common denominator is that it cheapens the magazine and it is no longer special to have your place or designs mentioned in it.

And no, I don't see people from No Neck Virginia wanting to suddenly subscribe to AD because of it.

The purpose of these magazines are to inspire and to get ideas from them that you may be able to replicate with less money. It's like if Vogue started using only plus models wearing plus fashions from Target. That's just Amber who works at Subway. Why would you pay to look at that?

by Anonymousreply 404/06/2021

I used to like the 'Architectural Digest Visits...' articles, although I was so disappointed that Ethel Merman's home looked like an old granny's apartment (which she was, I guess). I always thought she'd live in some fabulous Art Deco penthouse on Riverside Drive and not a tiny hotel suite with all those ghastly Carleton Varney florals and ceramic basset hound.

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by Anonymousreply 504/06/2021

Everything has gone downmarket.

by Anonymousreply 604/06/2021

I’m surprised they haven’t hired the worlds most famous architect former vairst lady melanoma.

by Anonymousreply 704/06/2021

That Merman reference is funny. That actually was probably the first crap place that appeared in AD purely on celebrity status. That was in the days celebrity homes weren't covered.

Remember the couple of apartments of NY S&M queens that appeared in the 80s in AD? What a frisson that was!

by Anonymousreply 804/06/2021

No imagination, no taste anywhere today. Not in the arts, certainly not in fashion. Our " celebrities" are all trashy looking whores. The new high-rise buildings are ugly and ominous looking. But never did I think I would see that in AD. Depressing. Plain. Ugly. They aren't even trying any more.

by Anonymousreply 904/06/2021

Well, the designer/owner does have large pendulous breasts.

by Anonymousreply 1004/06/2021

That house sucks. It and the owner need a complete overhaul.

by Anonymousreply 1104/06/2021

That picture of the frau standing on that dirty deck with peeling paint and wood rot around the door.

by Anonymousreply 1204/06/2021

R9 - when did we have a golden age of good looking high rises in the past 70 years? High rises look better now than the ones in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

You have to ask yourself sometimes - have we met the end of what we can do with lines, circles and color in all design?

by Anonymousreply 1304/06/2021

OP’s AD article is bizarre. It’s hard for me to equate that with AD. How far they have fallen! Town and Country is another that has fallen - a few years ago a new editor came along and turned it into ELLE. Very disappointing. Veranda is still a beautiful magazine.

by Anonymousreply 1404/06/2021

On second viewing, I’ve noticed the desk is the exact same one I had growing up. I don’t know if I should be proud or now appalled that something I own is in AD magazine. I didn’t think of it at the time, but it does have a bit of Danish Modern flair about it.

by Anonymousreply 1504/06/2021

Wait, that woman is a designer and she’s wearing those clothes?! Are they part of Lena Dunham’s new collection?!

by Anonymousreply 1604/06/2021

I remember a feature article in the early 80s about B. Streisand and all her homes and antiques and "eclectic" décor. One of her quotes that I've repeated over the decades, as an example of the absurdity of wealth, "taste", and bourgeois and superficial display: "I feel very positive about the future of purple."

AD was also 65% silly.

The farmhouse's Danish Modern, pseudo-Shaker aesthetic would have been captured better if they'd gotten rid of the houseplants, which look like they need water anyway.

by Anonymousreply 1704/06/2021

R17 Lol, for some reason I remember the color being “mauve?” She had a whole house on the compound built around the color?

by Anonymousreply 1804/06/2021

I highly recommend the British mag “World of Interiors”. Here’s a spread they did on a modest cottage.

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by Anonymousreply 1904/06/2021

Paige Rense turned the magazine into a gauche money-worshipping rag perfectly in line with Reagan-era materialism. It got boring and stupid because no magazine should have the same EIC for 30+ years, especially when said editirix is a spiteful bitch. Now it just features investment properties or former homes that celebrities are about to sell.

by Anonymousreply 2004/06/2021

AD has been a POS for at least 25 years. It became the poster child for selling ads, and went downhill from there. I suspect very designer featured in it pays heavily for the promotion, and it features nothing cutting edge, just the same old crap you see anywhere else. I stopped even thinking about it years ago, but occasionally run across an article from 30 years ago which actually highlighted architecture, and not some stupid frau-inspired pablum.

by Anonymousreply 2104/06/2021

AD has been a POS for at least 25 years. It became the poster child for selling ads, and went downhill from there. I suspect very designer featured in it pays heavily for the promotion, and it features nothing cutting edge, just the same old crap you see anywhere else. I stopped even thinking about it years ago, but occasionally run across an article from 30 years ago which actually highlighted architecture, and not some stupid frau-inspired pablum.

by Anonymousreply 2204/06/2021

Architect here. I used to live for this magazine. Every month felt likes ages until next edition came out. Then, gradually I noticed it veered to Interior Design, and endless advertising. I put up with it for a while but eventually gave up. the adverts also made it look like you were getting this big kind of Vogue collectors item, and it just went downhill from there. I can't remember when I stopped buying - maybe around 1989. Now, I just augh when I see it.

by Anonymousreply 2304/06/2021

^^ laugh....when I see it. Another note: I also don't even bother looking AD up on line. Just zero interest. If I need an architectural **fix** I'll google architectural design winners from various countries. More information, more relevant, more detail, more professional, and zero puff pieces on tablecloth designs or cutlery designs.

by Anonymousreply 2404/06/2021

Why is that heifer wearing a garbage bag with zippers ??? That crappy house is decorated like a B&B .Zero personality.

by Anonymousreply 2504/06/2021

Too many celebrity McMansions, not enough high design. I’ve started viewing the British design mags instead like House and Garden. But perhaps like many, I’ve also stopped trying to adhere to dictates of designers - there is so much diversity now with Etsy and online furniture and decor makers, I find the idea of paying hundreds of thousands for a “look” absurd.

by Anonymousreply 2604/06/2021

It became indigestible.

by Anonymousreply 2704/06/2021

R5- You are one SNOTTY QUEEN.

by Anonymousreply 2804/06/2021

R 21 22 I agree with both of you. The quality of the work in AD has slipped dramatically over the last 25 years. These days, only a celebrity client or designer will get in no matter how bad the work might be. I let my subscription run out years ago and so I had not seen the helfer and her shack in the woods. That should be the nail in the coffin of another formerly great magazine.

by Anonymousreply 2904/06/2021

Milieu magazine, which is like a cross between World Of Interiors and AD is excellent.

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by Anonymousreply 3004/06/2021

The trouble all interior mags now face is like that of porn: there's so much being given away free online.

There's another magazine called Interiors, which is very high end, and like Veranda, has its own distinctive aesthetic, which is really hard to pull off in a design mag. Think tailored and refined. And ALL its issues are free to read online!!!

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by Anonymousreply 3104/06/2021

Can the architects and designers on here recommend any Instagram accounts? I love minimalist homes.

by Anonymousreply 3204/06/2021

I wonder if this woman paid someone for the article. There's a link in the article to her beyond shitty website with really crappy art collages. This may be a paid advertorial and a way to increase revenues.

The woman in the article does work at a design firm - but she looks like a typical child of wealth who married a corporate lawyer (yes, she did) and does this as a hobby profession.

The link to her website is embarrassing - as is the article itself.

by Anonymousreply 3304/06/2021

Instagram accounts:

@martinbrudnizki (Personal account of high end Brit designer: again the stuff of dreams)

@melissa_penfold (Rustic dream homes)

by Anonymousreply 3404/06/2021

Thanks R34!

by Anonymousreply 3504/06/2021

This eye-popping Instagram account is worth five minutes if you're interested in seeing what the oligarchs are spending their money on:

by Anonymousreply 3604/06/2021

Two more Instagram accounts:

@thedevotedclassicist (lovely traditional)

@grays_collection (object d'art and ivory male flesh)

by Anonymousreply 3704/06/2021

Remember Dakota Johnson’s delightfully ramshackle mid-century house? We ooohed and ahhed for weeks over it as shown in an AD Visits video. Well, it looks like she upgraded the interior considerably. Shows her bedroom for the first time and her bathroom. No shot of the tiny teal kitchen though.

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by Anonymousreply 3804/06/2021

Like Vogue, the magazine has become celebrity-driven. Vogue and AD only sell if there is a celebrity on the cover.

by Anonymousreply 3904/06/2021

I spy a drop ceiling in one of the photos in OP’s link. Gag.

by Anonymousreply 4004/06/2021


Live Laugh Love dreck.

by Anonymousreply 4104/06/2021

It is bad. AD used to be a real indulgence, the was so much to look at. You could spend a few hours browsing an issue. Now it's half as thick, and the last couple issues I bought left me feeling empty. I just bought the latest issue of World of Interiors, which is much more satisfying.

by Anonymousreply 4204/06/2021

Those photographs are terrible.

I notice the photographer has only done two articles for AD, the other one in 2018, where the photos were much better.

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by Anonymousreply 4304/06/2021

R17 and R18, I just had to look it up, and it did not disappoint. It was MAROON!

[quote]“Sometimes I long for a Moroccan house, all white walls and practically no furniture. Then I come to my senses. I remember how much I like burgundy, and what I feel about the future of maroon."

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by Anonymousreply 4404/06/2021

R44 Ha! That's it.

by Anonymousreply 4504/06/2021

R44 - God - that looks like one of my aunt's old apartments.

by Anonymousreply 4604/06/2021

R44 Thanks R18 and OP here. It turns out that the one I was thinking of was the Burgundy (and grey) house on the Malibu compound of houses, which is talked about in the AD article here.

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by Anonymousreply 4704/06/2021

Oh lord, Streisand is standing next to a Lempicka in r47, someone fetch me my smelling salts

by Anonymousreply 4804/06/2021

Mary E. Nichols is the photographer my cousin worked for decades ago. It looks like her last shoots were in 2017. She’s not quite Julius Shulman, but she really defined the look of what an AD shoot should be and set the bar very high. My cousin parlayed his time working with her to doing high end real estate sales in LA.

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by Anonymousreply 4904/06/2021

Yes, gorgeous interiors and glam fashion shoots are still around, but they're on Instagram now.

Pure talent with no "woke" editors and affirmative action hires fucking things up.

by Anonymousreply 5004/06/2021

Well...the home is relatable, to me anyway. I like farmhouses. It's simple. I haven't looked at AD in a long time. I guess they're trying to have something for everyone, even though some people may not like it. I enjoy looking at home tour videos on youtube. My favorites so far are...House and Garden UK (my preferred style) and Quintessence at Home With Susanna Salk. The Quintessense channel has some really gorgeous, creative and unique homes. I drool over those...

by Anonymousreply 5104/06/2021

R50 So in your bitter, scared universe, EVERYTHING is about white supremacism, eh? I guess you feel positive about the future of white.

by Anonymousreply 5204/06/2021

I used to enjoy AD's issue featuring country homes, which usually came out in June...I think. Do they have that anymore?

by Anonymousreply 5304/06/2021

R52 No it seems that in YOUR world everything is about white supremacism.

Funny, in a thread here about interior designers a while back, I posted about my personal favorite: Darryl Carter. Last time I looked, he wasn't white. And probably my second favorite (because their styles are similar) is Vincente Wolf.

by Anonymousreply 5404/06/2021

Agree that Veranda and World of Interiors are the best interior design magazines on the market today.

by Anonymousreply 5504/06/2021

Midcentury is such a stunning and brave design choice.

by Anonymousreply 5604/06/2021

AD lost its way. It used to feature stunning interiors of lesser known people. Now, it screams “CELEBRITIES” no matter how average or downright bland the decor. Somehow, the house has allure because it’s owned by a celebrity.

Furthermore, how many more times have they recycled Nate Berkus? (He’s a mediocre designer with boring interiors.)

by Anonymousreply 5704/06/2021

Thanks for the accounts. I like to look at pictures of simple interiors.

by Anonymousreply 5804/06/2021

[quote] God - that looks like one of my aunt's old apartments.

Careful, R46. Any more comments like that and R28 will call you a snotty queen.

by Anonymousreply 5904/06/2021

R54 Some of my best interior designers are......

by Anonymousreply 6004/06/2021

R60 My, we are original aren't we?

[quote]AD lost its way. It used to feature stunning interiors of lesser known people. direction

It was a very deliberate change in direction, implemented by the current editor about 3 years ago.

This is today's Condé Nast. Have you seen what they've done to Vogue. It's not about's about checking boxes.

by Anonymousreply 6104/06/2021

You can just see Mrs Vreeland going: It looks like an ordinary cabin! WHAT could be moooorrrrreeee BANAL!!!

by Anonymousreply 6204/06/2021

Mid-Century was Hell then and it’s Hell now. I can’t wait for this trend to die.

by Anonymousreply 6304/06/2021

Me too^^

by Anonymousreply 6404/06/2021

R47, Madonna bought that Lempicka painting from Streisand when she sold it at auction.

When I escorted for a brief time in NYC, a quarter of the AD100 top interior designers were clients of mine. I was a big interior design fan, so I got paid to sleep with them AND I got to see all of their fabulous apartments in NYC and their vacation homes in the Hamptons, Nantucket and the Pines. It was a wonderful time.

by Anonymousreply 6504/06/2021

R65 Write a tell all memoir please! They had no NDA back then right?

by Anonymousreply 6604/06/2021

Here's an older AD article about Travolta's & Kelly Preston's house in Florida. Thought you guys might enjoy it.

Yes, the house at OP is boring and basic. Reminds me a bit of Apartment Therapy.

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by Anonymousreply 6704/06/2021

After all that, they ended up selling the house?

by Anonymousreply 6804/06/2021

R52 Are you talking white paint?

White walls show scuff marks. White exteriors are a disaster.

by Anonymousreply 6904/06/2021

Worse is their YouTube channel.

Satire at link.

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by Anonymousreply 7004/06/2021


[quote] Barbra Streisand has been a collector her entire adult life, and then some.

What does "and then some" mean?

It's gibberish.

by Anonymousreply 7104/06/2021

Those small towns in the Catskills New Yorkers are fleeing to in droves always gave me the creeps. Lot of hillbillies and meth addicts.

by Anonymousreply 7204/06/2021

No! Not knotty pine!

That is hideous and a new low.

I've followed AD since college, subscribing, cancelling. There were the Eighties and the dreaded Paige Rense decades, the obsession with Richard Meir-esque cover house, slabs of what and sheet glass on a perfect sheet if green, so green grass and equally blue pools, and the dual obsession with entertainment celebrities. No, I am not interested in how Melanie Griffith lives. Mostly AD was shit, but once in a while it would rally. And there were saving graces...the current one Mitchell Owens often wonderful and smart, sense with detail essays or short articles on some aspect of interior design history.

The 1989s/1990s HG was my favorite, and then as it dried up I turned to World of Interiors which sometimes has the most expensive interiors, but much more often has some if the most interesting and fairly unknown spaces, isn't afraid of a bit if patina, and doesn't give a toss about the owner unless he is full on Victorian Dandy.

I get AD now, but AD España the content all different from the U.S. version. More shirt pieces, more emphasis on small projects and product design. I like it but a different beast.

by Anonymousreply 7304/06/2021

HG *was* wonderful. I found a whole batch at the Fleamarket & pounced. Why it didn’t do well is a mystery.

by Anonymousreply 7404/07/2021

It’s weird. Yes, the foreign ADs haven’t gone downmarket, and the foreign editions of Vanity Fair continue to be like the old Vanity Fair. For example, I read an interesting article in one on one of Karl Lagerfeld’s man-heirs, which was exactly the kind of thing the old Vanity Fair would have printed. Uner this new editor all it cares about is drab people and identity politics. And any sense of arresting style let alone panache is utterly absent.

by Anonymousreply 7504/07/2021

No more panache! Count me out!

by Anonymousreply 7604/07/2021
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