I'm not sure the word "shocked" can really describe my reaction when I pulled the latest issue of Elle Decor out of my mailbox and saw Food Network's Sandra Lee on the cover.
If you aren't familiar with Sandra Lee, she hosts a show called Semi Homemade Meals with Sandra Lee where she often cooks in costume and serves up fine cuisine like "Kwanzaa Cake," which is a store-bought angel food cake frosted with store-bought icing and decorated with canned apples, corn pops, popcorn, and candles. How festive indeed.
Of course, I can't neglect to mention that Sandra Lee's boyfriend is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, so perhaps that has something to do with why she is on the cover of Elle Decor. After seeing pictures of the home she shares with Cuomo, I think it *must* be the fancy boyfriend that landed Sandra Lee a cover girl spot, because it surely can't be based on the merits of her home decoration.
It isn't that the house is completely offensive. It just seems lightyears away from the inspired spaces we are used to seeing in Elle Decor. Elle Decor, which is generally considered "the authority on interior style and design," has taken some serious steps backwards with this feature. Let's take a look.
This office is just sad. The custom bookshelves might as well be from Ikea, and the way they are styled with white books, countless geodes, and urns from Homegoods seems so uninspired. I thought that desk could make any room fabulous, but that is not the case.
Equally uninspired is her living room. First off, it drives me crazy to see that mirror hung horizontally. And while none of the pieces are necessarily unattractive, there is just nothing special about this room. It feels lifeless. I love neutrals and have seen numerous chic neutral rooms. This isn't one of them.
husband's boyfriend's "man cave" is edgier than the living areas, but once again, it doesn't strike me as Elle Decor material. By the way, have you noticed all the 3-ring binders in this house? You can see them in the study, in the living room, and in the "man cave."
The dining room bores me to tears. I appreciate that she didn't want a stuffy, formal dining room, but this room looks like it is straight from a Pottery Barn catalog. The choices for this room are very safe (solid chairs, solid natural fiber rug, solid walls, Restoration Hardware table, billiard style chandelier), and it makes the room boring. I like the Lee Jofa curtain fabric, but it isn't enough to make this room inspiring.
Images via elledecor.com
Goodness knows my house isn't perfect, and I realize this blog post is snarkier than usual. But it's the job of the editors at Elle Decor to bring readers the very best in style and interior design, and it seems to me that this home was featured because of whose home it is, not because this home is representative of the best in style and interior design. That makes me disappointed in Elle Decor. I cannot imagine that this story would have run under Margaret Russell.