If you guessed Country Home, you’re correct. Although I also love MAD.

Today I’m going to confess that while I haven’t fallen into the TV-home-show trap, I have subscribed to my share of decorating magazines over the years. As a result, I have a 3-G pet peeve. Good bones, Granville, and gay guys.

1. Good bones. In every interview in every decorating magazine, you can count on the homeowner to say “I bought this house because it had good bones.” Or, “The 1970′s layout was a disaster, but I could see the house had good bones.” Apparently this means it was structurally sound. It would be so incredibly refreshing if someone said “I bought this house because it was structurally sound.” Alas, mine is an impossible dream.

2. Granville, Ohio. Granville is a small burg 30 miles from Columbus. It is quaint, it is charming, and it has a tiny population. Yet its gorgeous homes are featured in almost every single issue of Country Living magazine, and because these home-interior features are syndicated (and because magazines slavishly copy each other), they’re starting to show up in other magazines as well. At first this seemed refreshing – “Wow, a house that’s not in Maine or California or the Hamptons, but in OHIO!” – but then it started to get really redundant and predictable, and then it started to get tremendously annoying and suspicious. Why, exactly, is Granville, Ohio now the darling of decorating magazine art directors? How do these people even KNOW about the tiny ville of Gran? Most likely, it has everything to do with the fact that decor diva and textile designer Amy Butler has set up shop in Granville. Everyone who works for Amy, presumably, has a perfectly-honed design aesthetic – and because of Amy, they have a pipeline to decorating magazines. Ergo, every year readers see incredibly young, stylish, cool Ohioans throwing picture-perfect Halloween parties, stunning Christmas caroling fests, Hollywood-worthy Easter Egg hunts, and meticulously-art-directed yard sales, containing no stained Tupperware, used breast pumps or faded Kliban sheets but rather epic displays of shiny vintage bikes, coordinating mint-condition quilts, and matte green McCoy pottery. I’m just happy that when I spent my four years in Granville it had not yet been discovered and glamourized. My mom and I would go to church sales and fall fests and buy Depression-era treasures for pennies (colored nesting bowls and a first edition of The Boxcar Children, for example). With Granville now swarming with people who all have the same beautiful taste, all hunting for the same antiques, those glory days are clearly over. It’s a decorator’s DisneyWorld. My message to magazine editors: Find a new town. Show a little initiative. I’m sure you can unearth a few charming houses is one of the thousands of other towns filling up the American map! Because even you have to admit: Granville’s been done to death.

3. Gay guys. My sister-in-law Wendy, a talented decorator and avid fan of house-magazines, pointed out to me years ago that you never see the homes of lesbians in decorating magazines. OMG, she’s right! Ever since Wendy said that, I’ve seen a million homes owned by gay men, while I think I’ve seen exactly one lesbian-owned house in a magazine. Why is that? Is there really a gay/lesbian decorating difference? Are gay men that much more obsessive about decorating? Do magazine editors only have gay male friends? Or do the mostly women readers of these magazines just accept gayness in men more willingly than in women?

I await the unholy trinity. Gay guys finding a house with good bones in Granville.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter