I'd had this idea a few months ago, but the experience of moving into a newly renovated house -- and reading about the relaunch of Wallpaper in the NY Times -- reminded me of it again. Someone needs to produce a home design/architecture magazine called Clutter. Every single "shelter" magazine on the market, as far as I've seen, shows pictures of homes that have been completely stripped of clutter: stacks of old bills, newspapers, strollers, magazines, Amazon boxes you've haven't opened yet, vases that are too big for the cabinets, infant car seats, and so on. These are the things that dominate any home that's actually being lived in, but you never see any sign of them in the design magazines.
I say this not because I want shelter magazines to be more realistic for reality's sake, but because some designs are better than others at dealing with clutter. When you pretend that clutter doesn't exist, you end up with designs that are lousy at managing it, which leaves you with cluttered spaces that look fantastic on day one, and progressively worse after that. In our new house, we carved out a little space on the garden floor entrance (there's a rental unit on the rest of that floor) that lets us store all the hideous and bulky -- but unavoidable -- baby gear that follows us wherever we go: strollers and car seats and prams, etc. It's a great clutter container, and it lets the much more elegant parlor floor entrance be free of all that junk. At the same time, we built a lovely marble circular extension of the kitchen counters that's just off the parlor floor entrance; it's gorgeous, but it turns out to be a clutter magnet: it begs out to have groceries and mail and yesterday's papers deposited on it.
So what do we think? If there's room for Dwell and Nest and Wallpaper, why not Clutter?