Cond Nast folds Domino


Even if only ex-Merrill Lynch C.E.O. John Thain can afford the high-end armoires touted in the latest issue, Domino was still a fun magazine to flip through for decorating ideas and motivation.

It was also one of the thinnest in the Condé Nast family, with ad pages slipping 26% in 2007 alone. The three-year-old home decor magazine has gone the way of the housing market; it's March issue will be its last and the website will be shut down.

Domino's colorful pages plush with luxury goods and expert advice from world-class designers like Michael Smith--tapped to spruce up the White House, was a hard sell at a time most Americans prefer to shop at Wal-Mart and Target.

Even if you didn't live in a French chateau but a rented condo, it was still nice to flip through Domino to snag an idea or two and rush to the nearest Ikea. That was probably how the editors justified filling the book with so many glittering examples of how to dress a country table and the best (high-end) canopy beds on the market.

I was actually impressed by some wallet-friendly cover stories on Domino's latest issue, one that was a siren call for D.I.Y. projects. I thought the magazine was finally catering to a frugal public.

Alas, it's too late for one of the best magazines, in my opinion, on news stands. The demise of Domino is surprising considering that Condé Nast appeared to be doing what it could to save it by publicly cheer-leading and installing a new publisher only two weeks ago.

Now Beth Fuchs, the publisher, and editor Deborah Needleman have been let go along with most of the magazine's 80-person staff. Only a handful of people will remain to fill open positions within Condé Nast.

Spokeswoman Maurie Perl blamed the

decision to close Domino on the economy and assures that other titles, including ad-page short Details and Condé Nast Portfolio, "remain firm."

This is the fourth recent magazine closing for Condé Nast, which shuttered the "quirky-girl" magazine Jane in July 2007, House & Garden in November 2007, and Vogue Living last August.

As the New York Times points out, home design magazines are suffering, which is ironic given that most people are going out less, to save money, and spending more time at home.

I, for one, will still paint a wall in my bedroom the gray-blue I saw in Domino's latest issue, in a story about how to quickly straighten up your home. Thank you, Domino, you will be missed. Come back when things get better.