There's exciting news for design aficionados: Metropolitan Home, the much-loved Hachette shelter title that was shuttered in 2009, is headed back to newsstands this month thanks to Hearst, which acquired Hachette's U.S. titles in 2011.
The magazine's relaunch follows the test-issue template set by other Hearst titles like HGTV and Dr. Oz. The Spring/Summer issue of Metropolitan Home will be released on April 11—70,000 copies will be sold on newsstands with another 45,000 going to subscribers of other Hearst magazines such as Elle Décor, Town & Country and Esquire—and, depending on reader and advertiser interest, more issues could follow.
Metropolitan Home was launched in 1974 by Meredith as a decorating magazine targeted at city-dwelling baby boomers. (In fact, it carried the name Apartment Life until 1991.) After Hachette purchased the magazine in 1992, it continued to evolve with its audience, eventually shifting its focus away from contemporary design to high-end décor in general. In 2009, amid a string of shelter magazine shutterings that claimed titles like House & Garden and Domino (since relaunched), Hachette closed Met Home.
So, why revive it now? According to Hearst Design Group editor Newell Turner, who is overseeing the relaunch, the children of the original baby boomer audience—first-wave millennials and younger Gen Xers—are now buying homes, but there are few design magazines specifically targeting them. "There really wasn't a decorating magazine for city dwellers with modern style," said Turner. He added, "We always hear that millennials aren't buying things, but we know that where they have passion points, they'll spend money, and we think that their next passion is really going to be the home."
The new Metropolitan Home features a mix of decorating and lifestyle stories with a focus on interesting personalities—designers, artisans, tech entrepreneurs and other influencers—from cities across the country. "We wanted to come at the stories from a profile perspective," said Turner. "It's the people and the process that make them interesting." His inspirations for the first issue's tone, he added, ranged from indie mags to The New York Times' Modern Love column.
While there isn't yet a dedicated website for the magazine, Met Home is building its presence on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. There's also a digital component to the print product: By scanning certain pages with the Shazam app, readers can access 360-degree views of the spaces described in the articles from a pottery studio to a restaurant.
The magazine's 124 pages contain advertisers from the home, fashion, auto and tech categories, including Benjamin Moore, Clinique, Shutterfly and Toyota. There are also two branded content units from Design Within Reach and Crate & Barrel in the issue. Denoted as advertising via a small brand logo and the label "partnerships," the multipage spreads were designed to integrate seamlessly with the magazine's editorial. In fact, the Crate & Barrel ad—which appears within the feature well—started as an idea from the magazine's editors and was written and shot by them.
While a Fall/Winter issue is not yet officially in the works, Turner was optimistic about a second installment. Eventually, he said, the magazine could become a quarterly publication.