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Elle Decor EIC Michael Boodro on Design Inspiration, Midcentury Modernism's Decline, and Housing a World in Crisis

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Yesterday we brought you five design tips from Elle Decor editor Michael Boodro for design-savvy youngsters who want shelter mag looks on a post-graduate budget. Celebrating five years at the helm of the prominent American shelter magazine, Boodro also spoke with Curbed about the future of print magazines in an increasingly digital world, what's next after the early aughts fervor for midcentury modern design, and how he feels about the resurgence of Memphis. Below, five things we learned from the enlightening chat.


On whether he feels 'invigorated' after 5 years at the helm of Elle Decor:

"Well I've been traveling recently, so I don't know if invigorated is quite the word," Boodro joked. He then went on to say that it's an exciting time for design, as artisanship and craft experience a renaissance of sorts and people continue to crave authenticity in materials and design.

On print media:

"Magazines that speak to people's interests are doing well," Boodro argues. With the popularity of new and newish niche print titles like Kinfolk, there's clearly some truth there. Unlike the glory days of print media, where news and trends were really broken and hashed out in ink, print has been in a long, Internet-induced doldrums. Boodro concedes that the print media world is experiencing seismic changes, but says that "topics that people are passionate about will do well." The tactile nature of design and home goods certainly helps.

On his editor's letter in the December 2015 issue, which addresses the current refugee crisis in Europe and entrenched homelessness in Los Angeles and New York City:

"It's really important to engage with the news," Boodro says. "I don't think we [in the design press] exist in an ivory tower." His letter, which appears in the magazine's holiday issue, notes how "precarious the reality of 'home' is for so many people."

On the slowing craze for Midcentury Modern design:

"From your lips to God's ears," Boodro joked at the suggestion that midcentury modern furniture is on a downswing. "Look, there will always be great, iconic midcentury modern pieces." But the luxury of the '70s is having a moment, he says, as well as Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts-style furniture and accents. And how does he feel about the recent resurgence ofMemphis design? Despite a sharp intake of breath in immediate response, and laughter, "Ettore Sottsass was a brilliant designer," Boodro says.

On the next five years of Elle Decor:

The key for any publication is to keep changing and keep an eye on young talent and what's happening internationally, especially in Europe, says Boodro.


5 Decor Tips for the Young, Design-Savvy Apartment Dweller [Curbed]
What's All the Fuss About Memphis Design? [Curbed]
Why The World Is Obsessed With Midcentury Modern Design [Curbed]
From 'Stripes With Plaids' to 'Unmade Beds': Major Players Talk 25 Years of Elle Decor [Curbed]