Me and Architectural Digest, together at last

No craving, simply inspiredAre you a fan of Architectural Digest?

I haven’t been. In fact, until a couple of weeks ago, I avoided it like the plague. And using a cliché word like “plague” is not just lazy writing. It really describes the plague I want to avoid, the plague I’ll call “craving.”

In the past, I thought the purpose of A.D. was to create a craving within us, a craving for the kind of wealth that can afford a $4,000 side table or $10,000 lamp.

For me, I don’t want to crave that wealth and those things. I do not aspire to be obscenely wealthy, to have a yacht or a jet, to live in a mansion with servants. I’m so happy with my little life, my privacy and autonomy, my bird feeders and time for reflection.

I recall working on a book proposal with a celebrity designer, and her agent said the purpose of the book was to be “aspirational,” which he said meant people should aspire to live the kind of life this designer was living. Something about that hit me wrong. I want to live my life, not hers.

So I avoided Architectural Digest.

That all turned around recently when I accidentally ordered a subscription. It happened when I was subscribing online to The New Yorker magazine. (Now here, I will admit to a craving, to someday write for that magazine. This craving I don’t mind.)

When I completed my subscription online, a window popped up asking if I’d like to also subscribe to A.D. (both are published by Conde Nast) and I could swear I clicked the “No, thanks” button. However, a few minutes later, I received an email thanking me for my A.D. subscription. A thought crossed my mind to make a cranky call to them and cancel this unwanted publication. But another thought emerged: Maybe this is supposed to happen. Maybe I’m supposed to read A.D.

And I am so happy it all happened. Perhaps I’ve reached a stage in my own evolution where I’m not susceptible to catching the craving plague. Instead, I’m finding the magazine to be a gorgeous representation of colors and styles and designs that are beyond yummy. I see now that I can learn about kitchen arrangements and stone facings and what’s out there in lighting, and all without craving those very items.

These rooms and exteriors are designed by the most talented, inspired, accomplished professionals in the world. Each issue like a little museum of what’s what and who’s who, and all at the top of their game. Why would I not want to see all this?

I don’t aspire to a wealthy lifestyle. But I do aspire to adding more beauty and grace into the life I am now living. And I’m finding this magazine to be a helpful muse.

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1 Comment on Me and Architectural Digest, together at last

  1. Mary Kay

    I felt EXACTLY the same about AD and gave up on it 10 years ago. Recently I started reading my hairdresser’s copies and when her subscription ran out, I HAD to resubscribe. My first issue was the one you posted, and I’m now looking for DIY ways to recreate the feel of that den with Pottery Barn and IKEA!