Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016

7.14.2007

Magazine Storage


Above, Sara Ruffin Costello created graphic impact on her shelves with the repeating white spines of magazines. Photo by Paul Costello, as seen in Domino.





Above, Anne Coyle stacks her numerous magazines in plain view and incorporates them into her interior design -- even in the dining room, as seen in Elle Decor, March 2005. Photography, Francois Dischinger.

The other day, Anna Spiro asked me if I hang on to all my old design magazines or tear and file the best pages. Unfortunately, the rough edges on many of my posted tear sheets tell the answer. (Sometimes X-acto knives fail.) For me, space dictates what I can keep. So, on shelves I allot room for seventy magazines and seven notebooks brimming with hundreds of tears.

Designers and tastemakers who have an entire binder unto themselves include: Steven Gambrel, Mary McDonald, Schuyler Samperton,
Suzanne Rheinstein, Ruthie Sommers, Carolina Irving and Lisa Fine. Of course, my digital files are constantly growing too. I love being able to quickly find a specific room.

An antique dealer friend of mine has a more artistic approach: she fills inspiration albums with collages of her favorite interiors. But Anna Spiro says she can't stand to rip-up her mags. How do you organize your magazines or tear sheets?


Above, Moss's red-leather-bound volumes of Vogue, photographed by New York Social Diary.

BTW: Sam Flax Atlanta, the brick-and-mortar art supply store located at 1460 Northside Drive, has a great selection of cloth-covered binders and magazine holders in bright colors as well as neutrals.

1.04.10
For updated posts on tear sheet storage, click here.

22 comments:

The Peak of Chic said...

I'm a huge thrower-outer, so I cut out the pages I'm interested in and file them away. That said, it seems like a few months later I end up regretting throwing out the mag. I do like saving images to CDs, though.

patriciagrayinc.com said...

I have a great dilema with magazines. I go through every so often and throw away, only to regret it later as Peak of Chic above. I started a policy to only keep the last two years, but can't stick to it....I am in the process of building a very big, very tall bookcase with ladder, so maybe I'll be able to keep more.

robyn said...

My daughter puts her tear sheets in the blue RL polo boxes then stacks the boxes in her wardrobe. It's more of a college style aproach but I really liked the way it looked.

Anna said...

I just can't throw them away - I keep every interiors magazine I buy and I could never cut anything out of one of my precious magazines. I photocopy particular stories and keep them in my I Love files and I also save alot of pictures to disc now. Great post Courtney - I can't wait to see what everyone else does. Seems I'm the only person so far who can't bear to throw away/cut up magazines - they are very, very precious to me!!
XO
Anna

Suzy said...

Hi there, I'm the same, I can't bear to cut up or throw away my magazines either. I did do a big clean up before I moved overseas because I just physically couldn't ship them all over with me. Having said that, I did tear out pages and make a file of images I loved for reference, but since then I haven't been able to do another cull. I have about 3 yrs worth with me for now and because I buy about 8 or more magazines a month religiously, I am fast running out of space in my tiny Hong Kong apartment!

casapinka said...

How funny, I was going to post and ask the same question this week. What I don't quite get, is how to best file them. Anna, if you have your "Love" files do you file them by room?

tiffany said...

I tear out sheets and throw most of the magazines away unless it was an exceptional issue. I've got several baskets and magazine racks around the house, so I tend to hang on to a lot of them for a while and then when things start to look messy, I go through them and tear/throw away. Not long ago, I went through all of my tear sheets and it was very interesting to see how my taste has evolved over the years.

midcenturyjo said...

Help me! I'm just like Anna. I can't throw away. I'll scan and save to disc but the hard copy stays like a friend who greets me over coffee one quiet Sunday when I have nothing better to do. The feel of gloss paper beneath my fingers. Nothing fancy with binding though just cupboards groaning with 4, 5, 6 year old magazines.

style court said...

Tiffany,

I also like to look back for common threads in my many tears -- I've been saving them since I was a teenager.

katiedid said...

Hi Courtney-
Like most everyone who has commented, I have kept my magazines for years. At the moment, most are packed away in boxes while we remodel, but I have wooden IKEA magazine holders ($2.00 or there abouts) that are ready for painting holding my latest.

annechovie said...

Courtney,
This is the eternal question for the die-hard design junkie,"to save or not to save?". I recently moved and had to get ruthless because of lack of space. I tear out all my faves and put them in kelly green folders sorted by types of inspiration. I am also starting to scan images and save them on computer files, so convenient. BTW, that top image sure looks familiar! LOL! Neat to see one of my subjects from a different angle - I love that room!

Anonymous said...

To save or to cull, that is definitely the question. Having moved back and forth from London to NYC to LA for the last fifteen years, I have moved into the "cull" category, except for World of Interiors which I can't bear to rip apart. I buy 4" white ring binders at Staples and three-hole punch all my favorite design tear sheets to fit. I use a pack of white divider pages to create categories -- one binder covers aesthetic approaches like "color schemes", "rugs", "art/framing", "textiles" and "flora"; one binder has room-by room breakdowns ("kitchen" etc) and one binder is organized by specific designer. The uniform white binders look great on the bookshelf and the category divisions make finding things a snap.

kcdesign said...

I used to keep two years - now I hold on to one year. I take an awful lot of magazines so even a year seems to take a lot of space. I am a huge tearer-outer - and I refer to my files a lot - but I find I don't go through back issues that often. I keep my files mostly by catagory - windows, upholstery, etc. - with a large file of "whole room." As I mentioned before, only Gambrel has his own file in my drawer.

style court said...

Anne, that Costello loft living room is one of my all time favorites!!

style court said...

Everyone, also you can get clear sleeves for your tears -- the sleeves have holes that fit standard notebooks.

Laura said...

Great question! I do a little bit of both. I save entire mags for about 2 years (in IKEA magazine holders). Then I also do tearsheets (that go into binders or are digitally filed).

By the way, the Ruffin Costello and Coyle images picture two of my favorite all-time rooms--but I never stopped to consider the storage solutions shown within. Thanks for allowing me to "see" these details for the first time!

The Peak of Chic said...

I use those sleeves too, and I have binders that are dedicated to fabrics, wallcoverings, kitchens, etc. So interesting to find out how others store their "stuff".

style court said...

Laura, thanks for your comment. It's always nice to feel you've pointed out something fresh to a fellow design junkie :)

teaorwine said...

I use white binders from Staples, and fill with notebook paper. As I select and tear, using a glue stick, I attach the clipped photos and text to the pages, front and back! Saving the entire magazine requires too much storage space, and besides, magazines contain way too many advertisements!

patriciagrayinc.com said...

Another thing I do with my magazines to make them thinner is
to tear out all the advertisements.
It makes it easier to find the articles when I am racing through an isssue. It is amazing how many pages are devoted to ads.

frances said...

lots and lots of white ikea cardboard magazine holders...

Lainy said...

I am with Anna and midecenturyjo!

I can't bear to tear them up because I find that I refer back to different parts of the magazine so much. Plus, in my mind it's much easier to think, "What was that gorgeous room with the such & such rug?" and to associate it with the whole magazine. Back when I liked Met Home, I remember a number of times scratching my head looking for a certain room I remembered and it was easier to find it if I knew it was in the annual "Winners" issue, for example.

I finally broke down and bought an armoire for my magazines. It's been a godsend. Now all my mags are in the front room where I spend the most time and not relegated to my office. Having a library of complete magazines has been a big help.

For decor or inspiration from my non-shelter mags (like Lucky's city guides or home featured in In Style or elsewhere, I do tear them out and keep them in accordion files.

And lastly, for the store I am planning to open in a year, I do have a massive binder with the business plan, vendors contact info, inventory plans as well as pages of inspiration slipped into those clear sheet covers.

It's fun to hear how other design addicts keep organized. Thanks to everyone else who posted... I may steal your ideas. :)

Where I now hide the magazines:
http://decorno.blogspot.com/2007/06/big-girl-furniture_10.html