Post Domino Life: What Shall We Do?

A world with no Domino to grace our mailboxes and news stands every month…what is a girl to do??? The news of it’s folding really rocked the lives of all us design junkies. I am still in shock and kind of don’t believe it. A first of it’s kind, Domino offered a blend of accessible yet lust worthy spaces and items for us all to appreciate and tack on our inspiration boards. Finding out that this tragically depressing economy has taken our beloved Domino as it’s latest victim makes me sad. Really sad. I even shed an actual tear for this publication- it inspired me to start my blog and my business, which has changed my life forever, so to the divas at Conde Nast, I bow down to you in thanks. I hate to sound all sappy about a glued together stack of paper pages, but it’s true- it really was a catalyst for me to leave my boring jobs and do all of this.

So what are we to do? With all these magazines closing I feel there is a heap of responsibility on the shoulders of us design bloggers to fill the echoing void left in Domino’s (and others) wakes. So what shall we do? I am tempted to try to start a monthly design e-zine or website with a bunch of other design minded and inspired people I’ve met on the “interwebs”…but do you think it would take off? Would designers send us their work? Would people tune in and/or pay for a “subscription”… I’d love to hear from you readers about what you think would be the most fabulous thing to do to soothe all the sad hearts out there clinging to their back stock issues of Domino…

R.I.P dear Domino- I do hope we’ll meet again.

P.S. If you have not bought the Domino book- now is the time to do it! it’s a virtual catalog of their greatest hits!


  1. As much as I love reading design blogs, it is hard to replace the hold-it-in-your-hand, read-it-anywhere paper version. Very sad about Domino and Cottage Living.

  2. I think a web partnership of some sort is a great idea. Although this may sound harsh, there is a business opportunity in the new void and I think it makes sense for you to try and take advantage of it. With the way that blogs have exploded in popularity the last few years, I think forward minded designers would jump at the opportunity to be involved with this sort of business venture. Good luck.

  3. First, House & Garden…now this! I am so happy I have all my hard copy issues saved. Not sure about an emagazine? Still it does seem like everything is going online. Who knows?

  4. I definitely think there is a market that needs to be filled. The biggest thing with an e-zine is that I would want it to be different from the blogs. I would want another Domino! Apparently Domino failed not because of a lack of readers but because of a lack of advertisers. Perhaps if we got rid of the huge salaries for publishing executives, exorbitant photo shoots etc. then there wouldn’t be too much overhead thus making a new magazine have an easier chance of surviving.

  5. I had thought about something like too and if there was an emagazine I would support it, but there really is nothing like a paper magazine in your hands on the beach, or your couch or in the gym that you can really study and absorb. This is a very sad day…Keep us posted!

  6. I am relatively new to reading blogs and like the “visual fix” every day, but I don’t think they compare to magazines. From what I can see many of the things posted are pulled from magazines(and I am a magazine addict from way back….so I remember many of these pictures that alot of you may find them new). I like the “whole environment” that you get from a magazine. While many of you are used to reading on the computer…I think it is very “piecey” and can be disjointed. But I love seeing the perspective that a younger generation brings to things. Domino was my favorite magazine and I am into my 50’s.

  7. i think you are definitely on to something, and if not you someone else will do it. i love holding a magazine like domino, and being able to hold it up close and see every little detail, the glossy pages, carrying it round; having back issues right at my fingertips, however i love what the world of blogging opens one up to; so much more. are you still loving those Canadian mags??

  8. I feel the same way – someone totally yanked my monthly inspiration and zest for all things home. That magazine also inspired me to consider lots of things. I am weepy too, moping around. I need that magazine! The homes featured may be something you can pick up on (similar to apartment therapy, but with your taste asthetic which is also mine). Also showcase products of interest along a same theme, like they did in Domino (western, french, etc). Thank god I found your blog though. If you were gone I would really be suicidal!! Thank you Improper!

  9. i love that people like erin share their knowledge and put all of it together the past, present, and things we otherwise would never know about. this may sound totally corny, and contrived, but reading blogs has changed my life. erin, and people like her share what they know about design, fashion, puppies, organization, life…’s like having several fashionable best friends ~ minus the drama! i say go for it, if anyone can make it happen, you can. and eddie ross is working on something, right??

  10. Something about holding it in your hand and curling up to peruse the pages. I suggest you just find another one to love!

  11. it's a great idea, and I would absolutely subscribe and support such a venture, but nothing can ever take the place of curling up on the couch with a stack of design mags. Running over the pages quickly front to back and then going on a more in-depth journey through the pages of interest, ripping them out and keeping them as ref. for future design and inspiration. This whole thing is making me very sad indeed, I was still mourning House & Garden, not to mention Cottage Living and now this?! It sucks.

  12. I think an emagazine is a great idea, Erin. Especially in this eco-friendy era, where you can save a lot of trees by going online. I’ll be the first subscriber!

  13. i’m still clinging to my box of tissues after the tragic news…. i wish conde nast had sent out a warning or an s.o.s. or something. i would’ve gone door to door with a collection box! i love that you want to put something together to help fill the gap and ease the pain, but there is simply nothing like that glossy fix. i do subscribe to a few online design mags and find that i rarely, if ever, sit down to read them cover-to-cover per say. domino’s site was the same way- a great reference tool, but not something you looked forward to curling up with. sites are annoying to navigate and offer no sense of completion or ‘issue #”… hope that makes sense.

  14. I love the idea and I would love to be a part of it! Although I agree with the others, there is nothing like holding that glossy magazine every month and curling up on my couch with sticky notes tagging each page I love- I do need to get my fix from somewhere. So its either start it ourselves, or turn to Canada and their design mags :)

  15. I am seriously depressed about this. I, like you Erin, was incredibly influenced by that magazine. It made everything seems so – POSSIBLE. And I agree that nothing compares to a glossy. What really kills me is all these crappy kitchen and bath magazines or the regional design mags featuring nothing but McMansions I see at Barnes and Noble. I’m betting that with your great style and accessible approach you could create a great magazine. Maybe those regional mags are onto something. The business model that keeps them alive when Domino is closing must work. I think you should go for the glossy Erin!!! Use my second favorite magazines (now my first) Connecticut Cottages and Gardens/Hamptons Cottages and Gardens as your inspiration:

    I’d love to help!

  16. Obviously Domino is a great decor mag for budget-conscious (or budget-restricted!) people like us, but what about Elle Decor? I actually like it better for the gorgeous pictures and inspiring decor ideas. I have taken concepts in there and made it a mission to find more inexpensive versions – fun and creative! (hey, I’m a bored stay-at-home-mom….)

  17. what on earth!!! how can this happen! i’m in shock…horrible shock!!!! i pour over each issue, tearing out the beautiful rooms to add to my design idea folder. i love blogs, but a MAGAZINE! thank you for breaking me the news :-(

  18. I think e-zines and blogs are inevitably going to replace magazines/newspapers (and that’s already started — traditional journalism is rapidly dying). The lag time between the story and publication is just too great with traditional print. I mean, by the time anything makes it to US Weekly, it’s already old news on Perez Hilton. Sure, there are plenty of us who prefer the paper-versions, but folks younger than us have grown up with computers and the internet and are using them for absolutely everything — and it’s these younger folks who will be the next (online) consumer generation.

    I think you’re smart for looking to expand your scope online and there’s definitely plenty of room on the www for design professionals with high quality and original content.

  19. Way to think Erin! If anyone can do it, I would guess you can. I would definitely be interested in an eMag. I agree, if you don’t do this, I am sure someone else will. I also agree, something very similar to Domino would be best. There was no other magazine like it. It was so fresh and hip. There is the fact that a lot of the design blogs pull things from mags; however, there are people like me who don’t have the designs sense like you who can take the time, or energy to pull stuff like you do together. It comes naturally to you. We just get the benefit of it.

    Whatever you decide to you…. I will still be a fan of yours! Good luck with your decision, and have fun with it.

    I hope your new pup is feeling better!

  20. Well, I would “subscribe” to a design related forum for about the same price as a magazine subscription. The resources and enjoyment that Domino, Blueprint and Cottage Living gave to me were invaluable…not for any profession but for my sanity in this crazy world.

  21. I agree that a ezine will not even come close to the tactile goodness of Domino….as far as Elle Decor goes, it has it’s moments but I feel that the homes and ideas in there are all very our of reach for most people. There isn;t much of a high/low mix and if there is a high/low mix the low is actually what I consider high!!!

  22. For better or worse, opportunities are created when one age overtakes another—in this specific situation the age of the internet/blogs/e-newsletters, e-zines, etc. vs. the age of paper magazine subscriptions that arrive at your front door.

    For many reasons, we are, and you and many of the posters realize it, on the cusp of great change. We can certainly mourn the loss of what was, but, we must now figure out what can be. I don’t think there are any easy answers. I do believe that this could be a time of creative, fun, difficult, challenging, life-altering adventures.

    Count me in.

  23. Maybe you can do both. E-zine that is by subscription – but a small price…maybe free…and you can make money on the ads. Also offer a printed version (maybe not high quality at first, but you can get there) only to subscribers…in other words not for sale on the news stand – have to believe a lot of money is lost there. At first you could even charge enough for the subscription so there would not have to be advertisers. Or maybe just the ones from the on-line version. Either way, there is a way to make this work. You and some of the other bloggers can get together and make this happen. I am happy to help from the business side of things…

    Love your biggest fan and supporter (and husband).

  24. I agree, Erin. Elle Decor is nice, but the mix is extremely out of my price range at the moment. I got my Elle Decor in the mail the other day, and I was unenthused. I flipped through it, and really didn’t see anything that floats my boat quite the way Domino does. This sucks. :-(

  25. I couldn’t agree with you more about Domino being more accessible than the Elle Decors, Metropolitan Homes, etc. of the world. I felt the same way about Cottage Living. I would sign up for your online mag in a heartbeat!

  26. I want to write a petition! Who’s with me? ;) I actually refer to the day I get it in the mail as “Domino Day.” Honestly, Domino Day rivals my Birthday. Absolutely crushed.

  27. I too am in morning. It was a tough day yesterday & then I heard the news of Domino & I too was very upset. My thoughts were splashed across my blog this morning. I like your ideas of sharing design info. I feel lost, & depended on Domino, & many others that have folded. I would be interested in an e-zine, but I agree with others that nothing replaces a real paper version. I already spend too much time on-line. I will miss my summers floating in the pool with all my Domino back-issues & a cool cocktail!

  28. I was completely bummed when I heard the news – I no longer have a reason to go running to the mailbox like it’s Christmas!

    If you are part of a blogger collective, I’d love to be the Los Angeles contributor! – Alissa

  29. It’s a great idea, the e-zine. The only thing is…I don’t know if people would want to pay, there’s such a wide range of design blogs to peruse for free.
    What saddens me most is it seems all the accessible design magazines have failed..Much of what remains may be pretty to look at but most of it isn’t realistic. The high end SHELTER magazines don’t represent how I or how most of my friends live. Hmm If I had the cash to buy and run Domino I would…

  30. I agree with Sarah, the high cost of those working and living in these large metropolitan cities adds to the cost of employment. Live and publish from a cheaper market and the cost would be lower. Those who went out for the advertisers failed to look beyond the norm, look at the those who we would turn to for items or inspiration. Just like the mass advertising found in Southern Living, focus on the cities or smaller dealers who would want the publicity, not as costly but enough to keep it going.
    I can’t keep up with all those paid subscriptions that have stopped production,I’m sure I’m paid up until 2015!

  31. I don’t know if anyone saw the NYTimes yesterday, but there was a chart of all magazines and their ad dollars over the last few years. It is not only shelter magazines, but ALL magazines that are feeling this. Surpriseingly Martha Stewart is going gangbusters! It is also the newspapers. Anyone who depends on advertising is having a very scary time.

    As for moving Domino to a less expensive place…hmmm. For me, part of what made Domino so good was the fact that it had access to alot of young people with style, mostly on both coasts(Cal and NY metro area). It is just that these areas have a high concentration of a certain kind of person, involved in certain kinds of careers. I wonder if you would produce the same product, if you didn’t have such a big pool to draw from.

  32. I miss my Domino magazine! I don't think a design blog can replace that paper version. Wouldn't a quarterly issue be less expensive to produce? I have been looking for a home/design magazine to replace it and I just have not found anything close. Oh and I had payed for several years I was that fond of the magazine! Think about it quarterly…. I need a new sofa and chairs for my table, here I am just waiting to be inspired and advertised to!

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