If you love homewares like I do, you have a stack of magazines that you can’t bare to part with. You might also have a distinct memory associated with a particular magazine; one that sticks with you, that unlocked something in you or potentially resulted in what I call a ‘magazine moment’. I had mine with issue one of Real Living Magazine way back in 2005.
I recall the very moment I flicked through my first issue. I was a tad younger, studying my diploma of journalism and doing a week’s work experience at Who Magazine (when I wanted to write about celebrities; how times have changed!). It was during a lunchtime that week, on a park bench in North Sydney, that I opened my first issue of Real Living. What sprawled across the pages of the mag (and the issues that followed) undoubtedly unlocked my passion for interior design.
I distinctly remember reading Deb’s editor’s letter and thinking how refreshing it was to have a mag on the market that showcased what was attainable and within my budget. “Here’s Real Living – a magazine that’s easy to use and filled with down-to-earth hints, tips and practical solutions for day-to-day living”, she said. And I have to say, they’ve sticked to that ethos all the way through – from issue one to 89 – which hit my mailbox recently (thanks subscription).
It’s funny to look back and see trends on the pages that are still thriving today. Page 30 revealed how to keep track of everyone with a chalkboard wall. The how-to on transforming your pine furniture (page 65) is as relevant today as it was eight years ago (I’m using these tips on my IKEA tallboy makeover), while the colour secrets from page 136 are undeniably timeless!
To Deb and the wonderful team at Real Living, I salute you. Not only have you stayed true to your ethos of keeping it real, but you’ve evolved with the trends and remained timeless all at the same time. Most importantly, though, I’ve grown up with you; once an unsure decorator who, years later, is now on his way to realising his dream of becoming a stylist!