The World of Interiors is a favourite of staff and customers alike at magCulture – one of the few ‘traditional’ magazines that has stood the test of time and come out stronger. The mag is (almost) 40 years old – yet we’ve never covered it on the journal before
The magazine is still a leader in its field, using its Condé Nast banner and hard-earned reputation to seek out the most inspiring stories. Despite the new kids on the block – the biannual, ‘everyday life’ interiors mag Apartamento or the luxurious, book-like Cabana – WOI remains the industry standard, the original influencer. It’s not a question of choosing between the established and the disruptive either – interiors fans always buy both.
So I was not surprised when I saw the latest ‘cover’ of WOI pop up on my instagram feed, thinking ‘what a good idea’. Rather than the usual shot of an interior under the title, this one pictured a man walking through a cacti grove under a re-imagined title – ‘World of Exteriors’. As we’ve seen over recent months, magazines have responded creatively to the disturbance caused by the pandemic. This special feature was intent on ‘celebrating the restorative power of the great outdoors’, and the issue was the first produced remotely WFH by the creative team.
‘WOE’ is a feature predominantly about the late Hans Thiemann, who ‘found himself yearning for exotic climes to cultivate cacti’. Uprooting his family from the German cacti nursery he inherited from his father, he made for Marrakech, where the plants now cover 17-acres.
Thiemann’s move in the 1950s was prophetic – houseplant obsession is a defining feature of the post-Instagram interiors world. Succulents, ferns, orchids and palms are one of the few ways to bring the outdoors in, especially in cities where garden-space is limited. Here in London, the magCulture Shop wouldn’t be magCulture without our cactus. The plants are so popular that Thiemann’s family have stopped exporting to continental Europe, and now sell exclusively to the ‘burgeoning’ Morrocan market.
Some of the shots in this feature are breathtaking – from the cacti bigger than elephants to the detailed woven fences that protect the plants from the public. It’s the kind of story that completely transports you.
And credit is absolutely due to the rest of the feature too: here is the outdoor content we never knew we needed. An in-depth history of botanical photography by Alex Ramsay (above) is followed by a piece on a waterfront ‘galvinised guest pavilion’ built in the grounds of a Sussex oast-house. The terraced orchards of a white-washed Baroque villa in Menorca follows a story about a Neoclassical rotunda in Porto that was once a butcher’s. And now? It sells seeds.
WOI continues its reign as the classic interiors mag, in this issue sharing spaces from Porto to Paris via New York and Lisbon . Although not a blueprint for new publications, it remains a benchmark in its field, each issue as beautifully crafted as the last, reminding us that the monthly magazine can still be a relevant format.
Editor: Rupert Thomas
Creative director: Jessica Hayns
Buy a copy from the magCulture Shop