Thursday, March 14, 2013

Timeless Decorating Revealed in Old Magazines

Do you have stacks of them?
Or are they neatly organized in a bookshelf.....

Well, I have them in stacks and baskets and perhaps a few on the odd bookshelf
but the problem is that
I have too many.

Yes, I am talking about magazines.

I decided to go through them and organize them by year
and then discard
anything that dated older than 2007...

I know,
I can see your looks of surprise.
Yes, perhaps I am not a knick-knack person but rather a 
magazine hoarder?

As I started perusing the various issues of House and Home, Country Living, House Beautiful....
I became fascinated by the appeal of some of these older issues that in some cases date back 11 years.

Country Living April 2007

These old magazine images seem to hold clues to many of the elements of timeless decorating. 

Country Living April 2007

Certainly the slip-covered look has had staying power,
 incorporating layered shades of white with hits of florals, stripes or checked patterns.

And the bedroom below with the soft blues and its lovely upholstered head and foot boards
does not feel dated ...
even though it dates back to an issue from 2002.  

Country Living May 2002
I could easily see the French Country decorator falling for this bedroom below....
Country Living May 2002

I still see certain elements from the above image repeating through current issues,
note the bamboo blind under the full curtains and the mix of stripes, florals and chintz.

White continues to hold court on walls 
allowing the patterns in the room to feel light and unimposing.  

Country Living May 2002  

There is a certain "collected" feel to these rooms...
Rooms that have that un-decorated look?
Do you know what I mean?
Or is this just an excuse not to throw them out?


  1. So interesting... All those rooms are still stylish.

    Did you notice any ideas in your old clippings that you have incorporated?

    Several months ago, I came across my file of old clippings that I had not seen in ten years, and I noticed some similarities to what I like and what I do. I have a Moravian star pendant and it was in several of my photos. I also noticed I like natural elements like wicker.

    Before I had a child I use to spend hours perusing magazines. Fortunately, now we have Pinterest!

    Somewhere I have a House Beautiful issue with Audrey Hepburn on it!

  2. Isn't that fascinating! And I know exactly what you mean by the "undecorated look" - I try so hard to decorate that way lmho...........somehow I can't quite " get " it.
    You have though, you absolutely have!

  3. My collection of Architectual Digest dates from 1988...25 years of a complete collection! I don't know what to do with them. Every few years I start at the beginning and go through them again and marvel at some of the enduring decorating 'styles.' We have a family saying...any color on the walls is fine as long as it is white!

  4. Here's your sister! My husband asked if I was making a step up to our bed! I often threaten to get rid of some and then much like you I get lost in the lovely images and stack them all up again!!

  5. We are soul sisters! Can you believe that I have the last image saved, and I have the Country in the City article saved. ;P

    I collect the Country Living UK magazines and I have all of them dating back to 2003! ;P

  6. It's interesting how the traditional styles have not really changed but the fads of each season do. I have one large basket that I keep my very favourite issues in. Some are 10 years old but I love to look at them every now and then. I also have a few special issues that are 20 years old as they have articles on St. Andrews NB and Kings Landing Historical Settlement. They are old Colonial Homes mags which I regularly bought in the 70's and 80's until they stopped publishing. I guess a few of us like to hoard magazines don't we?

  7. Guilty as charged, I LOVE magazines. While blogs are also beautiful there is something so tactile about picking up the magazines, the feel of the paper and letting your mind float over the image,not always trying to assess what or why it evokes an emotion...... The act of sitting down with a magazine is also peaceful...... Interesting though that you comment on the blue and white....Linda Reeves did an article in the last issue of House and Home on blue and white coming back picture is very very similar, lol so much for re-interprete, often things are timeless.....

    1. Oh I soooo agree. I love the "feel" of a magazine in my hands. There is something about the ritual for me as well. I always relish a particular ritual in which it is me and my morning coffee on my deck with the early morning sun and I am flipping through a good mag taking in all the beautiful images. Ha! You know what....I just cancelled my subscription to H&H!!

  8. Those are all fabulous examples of timeless decor. I love all of them, I think I still have the magazine with the first photo in it. I love the slip-covered look. I have old magazines hidden everywhere!
    Hugs, Cindy

  9. The funny think is, I recognize most of these photos. I even saved the Country in the City pictures because I went through a phase where I thought about recovering my bottom seat on my couch. I love these photos and agree, they are timeless because of the colors and because they don't look so perfectly designed.
    Leslie (Gwen Moss)

  10. I'm another hoarder - glossy home decor magazines, gardening magazines, an addiction to Harrowsmith, good thing I had to move 3 years ago and that prompted me to get rid of a bunch. Now I have Pinterest to feed my addiction without the paper. Much happier and my house is much less cluttered! lol

    Love the photos you picked out.


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  13. Every summer, I go through my magazines, in order to throw away some of them... And I usually end up keeping them all ( I don't by that many, but the ones I buy I can't get rid of).


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