A Sheltered Life Interview With Michelle Adams of Lonny Magazine


We’re kicking off EcoSalon’s A Sheltered Life Series with an interview with Michelle Adams, co-founder and editor of Lonny Magazine.

As a former Domino staffer, Michelle has an eye for intense pops of color and unique objects that anchor a room. Lonny Magazine – the interactive, virtual glossy she edits – is a mecca of décor inspiration, ahead-of-the-curve ideas, and product round-ups to die for. Available to all for the low price of zip, Lonny Magazine is a resource for home design we swear you’ll fall in love with.

What are the benefits of being a completely digital publication? Did you have sustainability in mind when you decided to go digital?

Absolutely! The decision to go digital was made for a few reasons:

1. We believe that online magazines are the way of the future, and we are excited to utilize the internet to make the magazine come to life! We offer direct click-thrus which link to the products on our pages, behind-the-scenes videos embedded into our editorial, and the ability to easily reach the blogging community worldwide, etc!

2. When we started the magazine we didn’t have any form of funding, so printing the issues simply wasn’t an option.  Going online allowed us to reach a worldwide audience instantaneously.

3. Living in New York, I constantly see stacks of unsold magazines on the street waiting to be picked up by garbage trucks! The same was true in college when I worked in retail and our store would literally throw away around 800 catalogs each month that weren’t passed out to customers (that is until I started confiscating them and driving them in my Beetle to the nearest recycling center!), so we’re proud to offer Lonny online for free for anybody to read – as well as the archived issues – without wasting paper and inks. In the future if we ever decide to print the magazine, it will be on a print-by-demand basis where we know the reader truly wants to purchase the issue before it is printed.

What was the most surprising thing about sustainable design you learned while compiling the eco-edition of Lonny?

I think I was most surprised by how far the market has come! There are now so many chic eco-options available, it’s incredible! When I worked for Domino a few years ago, we really struggled to find eco-friendly products that were design oriented. So when I started compiling our first green issue of Lonny, I was expecting the same challenge and was absolutely thrilled when I realized how many companies have now embraced green practices. Our April issue front of book market pages are a testament to that!

In your opinion, what’s the most important room of the house? And the most over-looked?

The most important room is the one where people gather! In my own home I like to focus on the living room since that’s where I entertain, but I imagine one day down the road when I have a family I will want to make the kitchen as cozy and welcoming as possible. And as for overlooked – I’d say bathrooms. With such a small space it’s the perfect spot to hang bold patterned wallpaper and fun art!

What is your personal favorite flea-market find?

That’s a tough one because I love shopping at flea markets. But I think I’d have to say my bamboo mirror. It works everywhere, and really helps to tone down the formality of any room, and it feels very me. (Plus I got it for $20!)

What does “home” mean to you?

Home is a place where you can be yourself. I think any home should reflect the people who live in it, and in my own home I love displaying pieces that I find while I’m traveling, favorite works of art (even if it’s a silly finger painting!), favorite books, etc., – really anything that makes me happy! When you surround yourself with the things you love, your home will inevitably make you happy and reflect your personality.

What’s the simplest tweak you can make to a room that has the biggest impact (other than a can of paint)?

Curtains. They dramatically transform a space because they add visual height to a room, make the space feel finished, and soften the lines of the walls and windows. Next biggest are rugs.

What are your five favorite eco resources?