ELLE DEC­O­RA­TION

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Elle Decoration - Ed­i­tor-in-chief

Af­ter 157 is­sues and over

13 years spent build­ing this in­cred­i­ble brand to award­win­ning cre­ative, con­sumer and com­mer­cial suc­cess, this is my last is­sue as Ed­i­tor-in-chief. And what a fab­u­lous ride it’s been! But, as those that know me well are oft used to hear­ing me say (or pos­si­bly bel­low), ‘on­wards and up­wards, peo­ple!’

When our iconic found­ing ed­i­tor Ilse Craw­ford first in­vited me to be her Fea­tures Di­rec­tor back in 1997, lit­tle did I imag­ine I would still be so pas­sion­ately in­volved with the mag­a­zine some 20 years later – a gazil­lion shoots, cov­ers, houses and hair­styles on – and still so ex­cited by the very con­cept of home. Ilse’s def­i­ni­tion of the Sen­sual Home, and her evo­lu­tion af­ter she left in 1998, were a con­stant in­spi­ra­tion, and they cer­tainly played a part in my de­ci­sion to now step aside. How­ever, I will be stay­ing closely con­nected to this glo­ri­ous ti­tle as its Ed­i­tor-at-large and Spe­cial Strate­gic Ad­vi­sor.

The thing is, I’m eter­nally fas­ci­nated by the seem­ingly mys­te­ri­ous winds of change that blow through de­sign, style and trends, and the way they af­fect al­most ev­ery­thing, from the pop­u­lar­ity of cer­tain colours to the must-watch TV shows. My de­sire has al­ways been to de­code these worlds, putting them into con­text, join­ing the cul­tural dots, and re-pre­sent­ing them as sto­ries that are rel­e­vant to as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble.

And that will con­tinue! I be­lieve that any­one can make their home a more won­der­ful and sup­port­ive place to live, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Thus, the first thing I’ll be do­ing on the other side will be fin­ish­ing my How to Have a Happy Home book – as I first men­tioned it on this very page some four years ago, it’s def­i­nitely over­due (more info to come through all the usual so­cial me­dia chan­nels). And so I in­vite you to join me on the next leg of my jour­ney. I’ll sign off then with my per­sonal top ten high­lights from my time at the helm… 1 My in­cred­i­ble team and our fam­ily of ge­nius writ­ers, pho­tog­ra­phers and stylists, with­out whom none of this would have been pos­si­ble. 2 Our Fight the Fakes cam­paign, which re­sulted in a change to UK copy­right laws such that rip-offs of clas­sic de­signs are now of­fi­cially il­le­gal. 3 My first, and this, my last, cover – although I re­ally loved Oc­to­ber 2005 and Au­gust 2016, too! 4 Our ex­clu­sive sub­scriber cov­ers, with which we’ve had more li­cence to play. 5 The launch of ELLE Dec­o­ra­tion Coun­try, ex­pand­ing our unique ethos to ru­ral homes. 6 The launch of the ELLE Dec­o­ra­tion Style Con­sul­tancy, ex­tend­ing our so­phis­ti­cated styling touch to com­mer­cial prop­erty de­vel­op­ers. 7 That we’re one of the most syn­di­cated edi­tions within our global fam­ily of 28 in­ter­na­tional ti­tles, in­flu­enc­ing the tem­plate for new launches as far afield as ELLE Dec­o­ra­tion Philip­pines. 8 Fully em­brac­ing the multi-plat­form na­ture of con­tem­po­rary ed­i­tor­ship – blog­ging, tweet­ing and In­sta­gram­ming with aban­don! I es­pe­cially love com­pos­ing In­sta­gram colourscape mood­boards for you all, and will cheer­fully con­tinue to do so – it’s a pas­sion project. 9 The in­tegrity, beauty, el­e­gance and truth with which I have sought to im­bue each and ev­ery one of the 30,000 or so ed­i­to­rial pages I have over­seen dur­ing my ten­ure. 10 But most of all, you, my won­der­ful read­ers, for your loy­alty, en­dur­ing sup­port and en­thu­si­as­tic en­gage­ment with all of the above.

Thank you for mak­ing the last 13 years so en­joy­able, chal­leng­ing and worth­while!

Clock­wise, from above Matthew Wil­liamson and I at a posh party; we bonded as we were both born in Manch­ester. Film­ing Grand De­signs: House of the Year (see me in the new se­ries, p155, this Novem­ber!). My first and last cov­ers. Sir Ter­ence Con­ran, a great men­tor, and I at the 2009 ELLE Dec­o­ra­tion Bri­tish De­sign Awards. Ilse and I when I first joined her team in 1997. Me with Et­tore Sottsass; I’d gone to in­ter­view him and he in­sisted on a snap – I’m so happy to have this pic­ture as he died a year or so later.

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