I admit it, I’m a closet, home and garden periodical junkie. I don’t care if it is the ultra-spare spaces of Dwell magazine, the New York Times’ Thursday home section, or the west-coast lifestyle publication, Sunset. If it lets me in the front door or garden gate, I can’t resist. What’s going on inside the $8,000 per month SOHO apartment? Can those people really live with those chilly-looking floors and that Spartan furniture? Could there be an old sock behind that couch?
I’m equally curious to see what people do inside the much cozier Santa Monica beach-bungalow. Purchased for $400,000 it is almost within my reach. Of course it took another $600,000 to remodel it. Still, I search the photos for clues to what the daily life of the residents must be like.
I read these publications because I am truly interested in understanding how people live. The problem is that most often you only get a glimpse of how the rich or merely well off want to be portrayed, but if I’m to believe the Occupy People, these magazines are representing the 1%. That means I’m missing an awful lot of interesting stories.
I want to see more spreads on regular people who use their creativity, elbow grease, or materials at hand to build their paradise.
Take the people who live in the low-slung apartments in a Portland suburb with a windfall. Literally. When a huge tree fell down near the abandoned house next door, they gathered the wood to build a fence separating their space from a busy road.
I want to know how the half blue house on the shore of the Columbia River ended up so. Who lives there. Why?
Even the Stonehenge-like wall of my neighbor’s never-ending house project has a tale to tell. But will you see it on the pages of a magazine?