ISSUE 9  |  Instagram Escapes

Good Night and Good Luck: 9 Reasons We’re Sad to Bid Farewell to the NY Times Home Section

March 06, 2015 9:00 AM

BY Julie Carlson

When the New York Times launched the Home section in 1977, it was a controversial move (an entire section of the paper of record devoted to the home?). But by the time we started Remodelista in 2007, the Times Home section was the standard bearer; a mention drove sales for merchants and conferred prestige on designers. Less trend-oriented than the glossy design mags, the Times Home section had a more down-to-earth approach to home life. We’re grateful to have been recognized in its pages. Here are nine ways the Times has changed our lives at Remodelista/Gardenista:

1. If you are an upstart online design publication, there is nothing more life-affirming than a write-up in the New York Times. See: Miss Your Decor Magazine? Click Here.

2. If you have something new to announce, you pray that the Times will take interest. See Taking Its Design Eye Outside.

3. If your site is mentioned in the NY Times Home section on the day before Christmas, you have arrived. Shown above is the dining room in a Cobble Hill house by Elizabeth Roberts of Ensemble Architects, whose clients told the Times they discovered her firm on Remodelista. See the full house tour at Spies Like Us

4. The Times always gets first dibs. A couple of weeks before our book, Remodelista: A Sourcebook for the Considered Home, was due to launch, we got a call from a young architect–whose house we had scouted, styled, and photographed to include in our upcoming tome–that the Times was interested. The Times published the project first, but in the end, we didn’t mind. Laws of the universe. Photograph via Bloesem.

5. The Times Home section kept us on our toes. They got the scoop on the Roman and Williams redesign (shown above) of the famous Jenna Lyons’ Park Slope brownstone (see It’s Mourning in America).

6) If you are profiled in the Times, the reporter (or more likely, the fact checker) will ask how old you are. If you demur, you will be identified as someone who “declined to give her age” (see: Better Home and Hipsters). Which is possibly worse.

7) If you meet a reporter from the New York Times Home section for a drink, you will find yourself, in a bid to sound interesting, revealing more than you intended (and Annette Bening will be at the next table). See A Childhood Home, and Poet’s Muse.

8) The Times Home section pioneered the high/low approach, reporting on everything from Anti-McMansions to Newport Palaces.

9) The very fact that the Times published a section devoted to the house and garden made the pursuit of domestic bliss seem less shallow, more noble, even newsworthy.

Over at Gardenista, Michelle shares her reminiscences in Farewell, Friend: 5 Things I Learned About Life from the NY Times Home Section