Wednesday, February 2, 2011

'The World of Interiors' Covers

“I am not a library, I am not an archive.” That is the mantra I repeat as I struggle to let go of a stack of magazines or any other piece of paper I don’t have room for, or that I don’t “need.”

In the mid 1990s, I subscribed to UK-based The World of Interiors. I loved being surprised each month by the inventive design and quirky subject-matter, and I still cannot part with them. When I contemplate tossing them, from time to time, I flip “once more” only to find a piece of crucial information/inspiration. That’s all I need to call off the purge. Recently, when I thought, for a few minutes, that I could actually chuck them, these first two issues were the ones I thought I would keep just for the covers.

The bejeweled feet, above, gracing the March 2000 cover, are embroidered Moroccan slippers. How perfect they are on the staircase in the Tangier home belonging to antiques dealer and collector Christopher Gibbs.

The bold wool fabric, on the cover of the March 1998 issue, is not related to the longest, nor the most significant story in the issue. It is linked to a two-page story wedged into the listings section at the end of the book. Upcoming at a Sotheby’s auction, would be an archive of swatch books from the Calico Printers Association, a society of the many textile weavers and printers located during the 19th Century in Lanceshire’s Rossendale Valley. These amazing designs, which could easily be 1920s art deco, were actually produced in 1845.

I’m throwing in a few more of the covers from the late 1990s. These issues ran without cover lines, and in those days, the issues came wrapped, so there was no bar-code disturbance either.

June 1997

July 1998

October 1996

May 1997

December 1998


  1. My favorite Magazine of all time. Great post, Thank you!

  2. Thanks Ulla! Clearly you are a woman of excellent taste. Now that I've got the issues out, I think I'll have to share some of the awesome stories inside!

  3. I feel like these examples prove why shelter magazines are struggling today: because they lost the willingness to take risks and show us things that are startling and beautiful and unexpected. Thanks for the look!

  4. I think you are right about that, Angela. I'm sure you saw the shelter mag covers in the NYT Home section (total coincidence) article about Margaret Russell going to Architectural Digest. I found them to be a pretty dull lot compared to the WOI covers I'd been surrounded by. I'm not quite sure what WOI is up to now, but you can be sure that during the 1990s, at least, they were not audience test-marketing their covers.--LE


  5. these are sacred- I believe you are right to be pained at the thought of getting rid of them and do share, though I have long subscribed it all bares repeating! again- and again. pgt

  6. If you finally decide to get rid of them, don't just "chuck" them. People sell old WoI copies on eBay (and other people buy them). Or give them away for the cost of postage and packaging. Make sure someone else gets enjoyment and inspiration from them!

  7. I must sadly admit that an international move and much hand-wringing resulted in me culling individual pages from all of my Interiors mags a decade ago and recycling them. As a teenager I read AD but found it too gaudy. Interiors even shows dirty skirting boards! I love it still and buy it occasionally. Thanks for posting and allowing me to relive my home porn addiction.

  8. I'm glad you enjoyed them. I might just have to start scanning some of the many stories I have flagged.


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