Mags: InsideOut Turns 10!

Glossy Talk: InsideOut Turns 10

"Inside Out launched in April 2000, a home-grown Australian title with an eye for beauty and a brain for practicality," writes editorial director Karen McCartney in the magazine's 10th anniversary May/June 2010 issue ($7.95, out today).

"We wanted to show homes that inspired our readers and then tell them how to do it: how to japan-black a floor, source the artwork or have a sofa covered. We wanted to be modern and relevant, trustworthy and resourceful, inspirational and good to look at... and I think we have achieved all of the above."

Since its re-design last year, the mag has upped its sales figures – further proof that a few tweaks keep mag-stand browsers on their toes! But if any issue were to typify McCartney's assessment of the News Magazines bi-monthly, it's the anniversary issue.

Past the tea-towel gift and funky modern cover (there's a subscriber-only cover designed by British artist Rob Ryan, too – see right; it looks sort of like a postage stamp), there's a splendour of celebratory editorial content all packaged up in layouts to please the most finicky of home stylists.

While InsideOut appeals to the upper end of the household set (like advertisers are interested in people with no money!), it doesn't have the sterile, snooty feel of some design publications – nor is it patronising. Though not as nextdoor-neighbourly as category leader Better Homes and Gardens, it's generally warm and inviting, showing us around the homes of its friends and utilising its Little Black Book of contacts for optimum credibility. If InsideOut were a home, it would reside in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs or Melbourne's Toorak.

From the gushing contributors' panels to the endearing pull-quote by architect Zahava Elenberg on the contents page ("I don't think you have to cordon off parts of life from one another, with kids having one set of standards and you having another"), we're off to a good start.

My favourite features include:
- 'Style Ideas That Never Date', two pages of expert suggestions laid out in bitsy, multi-font format;
- 'Australian Style', a glimpse into four homes with different aesthetics (Lee Mathews is a bit of a girl crush of mine);
- the 'books & blogs' page (which sounds like less of a sell, more of a show-and-tell using titles 'Books We're Reading' and 'Blogs We're Loving');
- Lee Tran Lam's story on Rob Ryan (her writing is like opening a Christmas present);
- the anniversary homewares trend pages (the rustic styling by Glen Proebstel is gorgeous, but I was just as intrigued to know what one gives on their 3rd wedding anniversary...leather);
- 'Playful placemats': simple flat-lay styling, the "whimsical" pieces speak for themselves. Why shouldn't the dinner table look fun?;
- love Lainey George's description of artist David Bromley: "the peripatetic, insomniac artist who is legendary for channelling excess energy into the crumbling edifice [who] won't be drawn into talk about the pragmatics of space and plan." Features like the one on Bromley's home are accompanied by a two-page 'In Detail' spread helping readers to source similar items. Clever.
- 'Tailor-Made Living' is a profile piece on fashion stylist Nicole Bonython-Hines, who's quite well known in glossy circles. In the opening spread, she wears a bright Marni outfit complimented by a mood-board of magazine pages. Together with husband Peter, she has renovated a former childcare centre to create a family home for their five children (washable sofa covers essential);
- the Eijffinger and Pip Studio wallpaper, page137, which features Christmas card, storybook and religious motifs;
- 'Desktop', styled by Vanessa Colyer Tay – seven pages of work desk ideas. Love, love, love!
- the Love travel guides featured page 180 come in a linen envelope ("smitten from the start");
- the last page, featuring Karen McCartney's top 10 stories from the past decade, more for her insights on what works best in her magazine than the stories themselves.

Of course, McCartney hands the editorial reigns over to Richard Waller in mid-May. What a fantastic legacy to leave behind.

Congratulations to the team!

The magazine is holding an auction of the 36 items that appear in its 'Art Market' spread to raise money for HeartKids. Bookmark the mag's blog here.

Yours truly,
Girl With a Satchel