Inspired by us*, Better Homes & Gardens recently launched a new DAILY podcast called At Home Daily. Though they put out a few episodes since January, they just announced it on their website.
It’s daily, but only two to three minutes long, and apparently meant to be played as part of your daily smart speaker flash briefing. Topics thus far seem to be on their brand but not exactly ours–grandparents, houseplant care, etc.
Part of the reason we started this podcast was to help build a sense of community around home decor, gardening and entertaining using a digital platform. A year ago, they were behind the times (we think) with a definite lack of media projects–a few videos, some slideshow-based web content, etc. We wanted more than that, so we created it. In the past few months, their website has begun posting a LOT more content (regrettably, lots of content recycled from other brands and sites) and now this. So, visible improvements! Obviously they’re making attempts to win the magazine/platform survival war (watch out, Good Housekeeping).
We’ll be tuning in, of course. We wish them well! Though At Home Daily is a also a podcast, our show is entirely different. We’re the outsiders looking in…the readers. And we’re going to keep on keepin’ it real…but on a monthly basis. Speaking of which, did you check out our latest episode?
*totally unproven statement invented by us.
UPDATE: We’ve listened to a few episodes. Not gonna lie…it’s not good. It’s about as dry and void of color and warmth as Rob’s martinis but 1000% less fun. Actually I take that back that comparison because that’s an insult to martinis.
This is the last and final time we’ll tag Chip and Joanna Gaines’ design aesthetic for hate. It’s not that we hate the Magnolia Home aesthetic completely (though it is a bit white on white on white.) To their credit, they have perfected the intersection of farmhouse chic and industrial modern. It’s a look that works in many home and commercial settings. The problem: it’s the ONLY look they offer and its EVERYWHERE.
There’s no doubt about it, “Fixer Upper” was a monstrous hit for HGTV. For many of us, the show had a fresh appeal at its start. By the end of the season one, it was abundantly clear that the Gaines’ would be serving up the same exact look episode after episode. Can you say “shiplap?” The show went on for 4 more seasons! The monotony of Magnolia Home design and décor was mind-numbing. Moreover, “Fixer Upper” came to epitomize the monotonous offerings on home improvement television networks.
Anyone saddened by the end of “Fixer Upper” doesn’t have to go far to get their fix of Magnolia Home. Product lines can be found at Pier 1, Target, and Home Depot just to name a few retailers. (There’s also their higher-end licensing deals (like Loloi carpets). We don’t begrudge them their success (well, maybe a tiny bit.) It is the ubiquitous nature of their design line that’s ripe for hate. Magnolia Home muted off-white tones, galvanized containers, and “salvaged” accents are seemingly everywhere. (And they themselves are everywhere: even the check-out aisles via People and other celebrity news magazines.)
It begs the question: Does a pervasive design aesthetic stifle creativity and individual expression in our personal design choices?
Not too long ago, folks would say “Your living room looks right out of a catalog.” Now, they can say “Your living room looks right out of Magnolia Home.” We don’t think either is a compliment.
Cohost J. here. BHG reposted an article from Real Simple that quoted a study first published by SousVideGuy.com about kitchen and appliances. There’s lots of interesting data in that study (people love their Big Green Egg grills; some people spend $15 on meat thermometers) but the one fact that got my Andrew Christians in a twist is that Keurig is America’s favorite kitchen brand.
Full disclosure: a brand of my family earned their fortune at Green Mountain Coffee, which owns Keurig. But none of that fortune dripped down to me (get it?) so who cares.
I’m not a fan of Keurig machines and K-Cups. Super-simple to use, but to me they crank out crappy, barely warm coffee and most of the Cups are horrible for the environment. Unless you use the refillable ones, which are of course far less convenient–in which case I’d rather just make a regular pot o’ coffee.
To add insult to injury, kitchen and workplace break room counters across the land sprouted all those cheap, ugly K-Cup holders: the spinning racks, the slide-out drawers…another ugh. I want less clutter in the kitchen, not more thoughtlessly-designed junk.
So keep your non-compostable-packaged dishwater pods to yourself. I’m going to brew some “rocket fuel” as my mother-in-law calls my homebrewed drip coffee.
They’re darlings of the design world, appearing in countless pins, mags, blogs, Insta snaps, and, eventually, compost heaps across the world. The latter because NO ONE CAN GROW THESE. Have you tried? I bet you did, because they were (are?) uber-trendy.
So, Buzzfeed did a Valentine’s post about Kanye West’s OCD Cupid’s gift for wifey Kim (Kardashian, duh), and we couldn’t agree more: it’s freaky. Not only was the gift creepy (Kenny G playing in the midst of a billion glass vases holding a single rose), but the subsequent shots of their home gave us hives, too.