It seems everyone is suddenly interested in how to turn a small,
two-bedroom terraced house into a cool, urban, Feng Shui-friendly dream
The Independent on Sunday realised this last year when it planned Gloss,
and last week saw the first of two editions to be launched in 1999.
The 36-page supplement covers everything that’s cool and hip in the
world of lifestyle interiors. As you would expect, the layout is clean
and bright but the minimalistic editorial approach left me somewhat
From the outset, it’s apparent that Gloss caters for the opulent reader
for whom money is no object. Stylish living doesn’t come cheap, it
seems, with embroidered pouffes costing pounds 225, velvet dressing
gowns at pounds 780, and a Faberge egg for which you must shell out
While I’m interested in design, the feature on Misha and Michael and
their post-modern Yo-Yo range of furniture - described as ’metro chic
with downtown attitude’ - left me amused rather than inspired.
There’s a fine line between cool design and pretentious twaddle, and
this strayed dangerously close to the latter.
The magazine almost redeems itself with an interesting feature on
restoring a 1950s house to its former glory, coupled with short articles
on Glasgow’s design exhibitions and how to make the most of a small
However, I can’t help thinking that Gloss, which must be expensive to
produce, will add little to circulation or readership.
The supplement is published too infrequently to build loyalty and is too
lightweight editorially to drive one-off sales. It leaves me thinking
the money might be better spent on improving The Independent on Sunday
Steve Clark is a founding director of Motive Communications.