Friday, July 22, 2011

What I Learned from AD

I have been a closet architect for many years. That doesn't mean I dream up design solutions for Imelda Marcos' shoe collection. It means that I have an appreciation for art, design, space and synthesis; and also that I wish now that I had taken a different path in college.

I considered architecture as a major in college, but my university did not offer it. I could have transferred out after two years to pursue a degree in architecture, but for a variety of reasons, it didn't happen.

Three years ago my wife had the option of ordering a magazine as part of some promotional deal or charity event. Ever thoughtful, she chose a one year subscription to Architectural Digest for me.

I was over the moon, to say the least. I had never once seen a copy of the magazine, but the name made me think of something polished and professional, something that discussed the newest trends in architecture without losing sight of the historical foundation from which these new trends arose, something you'd find in an architectural firm lying around to prove how professional the firm really was.

About 10 months into the subscription, we ordered light fixtures from Rejuvenation, and they had a promotion which gave a free year's subscription to Architectural Digest for any customer's who bought over a certain dollar amount. About year after that we bought more from Rejuvenation, and again, it extended my subscription for a year. The upshot of all of this is that I've had the opportunity to see about three year's worth of Architectural Digest, without actually paying a subscription fee.

Finally, this month was my last issue, so I thought I would try and summarize what I've learned from Architectural Digest in the last three years.

  • White is a very popular color in good architecture.
  • Good architecture is mostly about interior design - the colors, the fabrics and the accessories.
  • Building placement is important. Good architecture is almost always located by a big body of water. The ocean is best. If you can incorporate an infinity edge pool, you get extra points.
  • If you own sculptures and paintings that are created by world renowned artists (Rodin, Picasso, Rembrandt), you leave them hanging on your living room wall, or sitting upon a credenza in your office.
  • Surprisingly, historic European estates are significantly cheaper than modern estates located near modern metropolises. I found a 17th century Scottish castle for about $10 million, while a 3,500 square foot, modern house near New York was $21 million.
  • If you live in New York city, especially Manhattan, and the opportunity arises for you to purchase your neighbor's apartment, do so immediately. You can knock down walls and have a stunning apartment. You get extra points if you can purchase and incorporate several adjoining apartments.
  • The majority of people who own good architecture do NOT have children, or at least do not plan their architecture around their children.
  • A good designer can be used to help re-decorate almost anything, e.g. houses, pool houses, guest houses, planes or yachts.
  • If you can't find a neighborhood to live in that suits you, sometimes it's just better to buy several hundred or thousand acres and start up your own gated community that reflects the architecture and values you'd like.
  • Only rich people can own good architecture. Also from what I can gather, many rich people who own good architecture are actors, directors, investment bankers, venture capitalists, or directors at charitable foundations.
  • Homosexuals make great designers and designers make great homosexuals.
  • Rich homosexuals are at the top of the heap when it comes to good architecture.

About forty percent of AD I really enjoyed, but it was not the magazine I thought it was going to be.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you should have looked a little lower on the cover: "THE INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AUTHORITY", not the international ARCHITECTURE authority.
Names ain't everything, buddy.

Kashka said...

I've been browsing some of those magazines for kitchen remodel ideas. Or, I had been until I figured out I could leaf the whole thing in gold for less than some of what I saw in there. There should be a "I can scrape together a few thou" version.

The Dude said...

I have seen AD prominently displayed in magazine racks, etc., but could never bring myself to pick it up. Nice to know that I wasn't really missing anything that couldn't be seen on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".