Magazines that focus on interior design, architecture, home renovations, and such are known in the trade as “shelter” publications. Most of them focus on showing the lavish interior designs of rich people, Architectural Digest being the most famous example. Of course, in order to get access to the houses of the rich and famous, a fair amount of, for lack of a more elegant term – ass kissing – is involved. This is often taken to shameless extremes, for which we give you the most recent issue (November 2015) of Elle Decor, one such shelter mag.
In a piece (“An Enlightened Approach”) on an entrepreneur’s apartment in Berlin, writer Nancy Hass says about the owner “known for his voracious intellect and cultural sophistication….a true master of the universe”. It’s okay, Nancy, you can get up off your knees now.
In the same issue (“Grand Entrance”), Dana Thomas kisses up to a spoiled 25 year-old rich girl, here referred to as “the middle eastern princess” and her “starter apartment” which of course is 5,000 square feet in a fashionable section of Paris, costing millions. The article may make you gag, but at least you can see where all the money you pay for gas actually goes.
But there is something we can all learn from shelter magazines; having money has nothing to do with having good taste.