Ageism? I know I have suffered from it. Blogging, especially décor blogging is for the young. The scores and scores of décor blogs are mostly written by the newly married or first-time home owners – who catalogue their days spent decorating their houses. For some just starting out in the work force, money is tight, so there are lots of DIY projects that fill the pages of their blogs. They have it easy, these young bloggers. They have lots to talk about day after day. Furnishing a house is a long term event and with each new object they buy or make or restore, they have plenty to blog about. Jealous? You bet I am! I’m at a different stage in my life. I’ve raised my family and have furnished my house. I don’t go out shopping every day anymore, and I actually need to edit and sell things now.
Oh, how I wish there were blogs 10 and 20 years ago when I frantically tried to furnish my house on birthday checks from my parents and IRS rebates (not many of those!) Every time Ben and I needed something big – like a rug, or a coffee table – my parents would graciously gift us it for an anniversary present. I was never a DIY-er, but watching all these young girls transform an IKEA chest into a fabulous glam piece, I probably would have tried a few projects. Had I been writing this blog all those years ago, you would have read about each piece of transferware I collected, and suffered through every design phase I tried out. Maybe it’s better I wasn’t writing this back then!!
It’s been a long, strange trip since I decorated my first apartment – during college, 38 years now!!! Love those eyebrows!
All the younger design bloggers are online friends – they talk about their pregnancies and how they decorated the myriad birthday parties they host for their children. Many homeschool along with all their other duties and deserve medals for how they get it all done: cooking a family dinner every night with home grown vegetables or painting the entire house while breast feeding at the same time. The younger bloggers are exhausting to read about – and at the same time make you feel like a lazy slug.
At 57, soon to be 58 (yikes!) I am looking forward to the next few years, hopefully being a mother in law, and a grandmother. So, yes, I understand ageism – trying to fit in with all the young décor bloggers has been interesting and inspiring. It’s hard to find things to write about that might pique the interest of the younger set, but I try. I know I’m not alone in this, ageism affects every field and with the baby boomers now reaching retirement age – it’s become quite a popular topic.
Magazine editor and blogger, Janell Beals looking much younger than her 50 years.
Another blogger that faced the ageism effect is Janell Beals. Beals wrote the popular Isabella and Max Rooms blog which lead to freelance jobs at HGTV and Houzz. She was at the top of her game when she was scouted to star in a possible television show. Over the phone, the interviewer asked how old she was – and Janell replied “49.” Surprising the interviewer, she was told how much younger she looked in pictures – and that they would get back with her concerning the job. Of course Janell never heard from them again. Depressed over the obvious ageism bias, she decided to start an online magazine where her age would never be an issue. Called House of Fifty, it was named as a word play on her age.
Online magazines like House of Fifty are an outgrowth of blogs, usually published once every two months. They have pages and pages of wonderful copy – sometimes much more than a print magazine because their overhead is much less. Online magazines are the wave of the future. Almost all print magazines are now available online through companies like Zinio, Issuu, and Coverleaf and independent magazines like House of Fifty, available only online, are quickly gaining in numbers.
Lulie Wallace’s beautiful art work was featured in House of Fifty’s Summer 2012 issue.
House of Fifty was launched over a year ago and they just recently put out their sixth issue. Though not geared specifically for the gray hairs, the content is broad enough to appeal to all ages, including those in the their 20s and 30s. Janell hired a group of writers from across the blogs, and recently she invited 60 something Valorie Hart of The Visual Vamp, to join the group, ensuring that us grandmas will get coverage. Although design is heavily focused on, House of Fifty is not just a decor magazine – it features articles on cooking and recipes, fashion, travel, entertaining, jewelry, art, and there is even a financial advice column. There’s something for all ages in its pages filled with beautiful photographs.
One of my favorite articles was about guest rooms by Lori Graham, seen in the 2011 Holiday issue HERE. I love the international look of this room – with its dark floors and rugs and oriental touches.
The other half of Lori Graham’s fabulously designed guest room. Love it!
House of Fifty has a regular column called “Blogs We Love” – which features 3 different blogs each issue. This blogger, Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home showed the room she designed for a showhouse, using mostly her own fabrics and furniture. Sooo cute!!! Find it in this issue HERE.
After being profiled herself, Valorie Hart joined the staff and wrote this great article – “Does your décor tell your age?” Valorie featured her own house in New Orleans to prove that decorating knows no age. Look how “young” Valorie’s living room is – any 20 something would love to live in this space, designed by a 60 something!
In the same article Valorie featured editor and founder of House of Fifty, Janell Beals own dining room- it certainly doesn’t look like it was designed by and for someone past the half century mark. OK, I am depressing myself here talking about half century marks!!! Find it in this issue HERE.
Well…lookie here!!! Although they must not love my blog because I never made it into their “Blogs We Love” column, I was interviewed for the newest issue on “Advanced Décor: Designing luxurious yet livable homes.” Not sure if Advance Décor means décor for the advanced aged????
The article was written by The Visual Vamp – Valorie Hart - and I am so proud to be a part of House of Fifty!!! To read this article, go to the newest issue HERE.
A huge thank you to Janell Beals and Valorie Hart for including me in new The House of Fifty!!