• News + Media  • What’s was your Mag Moment? Mine Occurred with Real Living!

What’s was your Mag Moment? Mine Occurred with Real Living!

Real Living Magazine Stack

If you love homewares like I do, you have a stack of magazines that you can’t bare to part with. You might also have a distinct memory associated with a particular magazine; one that sticks with you, that unlocked something in you or potentially resulted in what I call a ‘magazine moment’. I had mine with issue one of Real Living Magazine way back in 2005.

I recall the very moment I flicked through my first issue. I was a tad younger, studying my diploma of journalism and doing a week’s work experience at Who Magazine (when I wanted to write about celebrities; how times have changed!). It was during a lunchtime that week, on a park bench in North Sydney, that I opened my first issue of Real Living. What sprawled across the pages of the mag (and the issues that followed) undoubtedly unlocked my passion for interior design.

Real Living Front Cover of Issue One

I distinctly remember reading Deb’s editor’s letter and thinking how refreshing it was to have a mag on the market that showcased what was attainable and within my budget. “Here’s Real Living – a magazine that’s easy to use and filled with down-to-earth hints, tips and practical solutions for day-to-day living”, she said. And I have to say, they’ve sticked to that ethos all the way through – from issue one to 89 – which hit my mailbox recently (thanks subscription).

Real Living Issue One Real Living Issue One

It’s funny to look back and see trends on the pages that are still thriving today. Page 30 revealed how to keep track of everyone with a chalkboard wall. The how-to on transforming your pine furniture (page 65) is as relevant today as it was eight years ago (I’m using these tips on my IKEA tallboy makeover), while the colour secrets from page 136 are undeniably timeless!

Real Living Issue One

To Deb and the wonderful team at Real Living, I salute you. Not only have you stayed true to your ethos of keeping it real, but you’ve evolved with the trends and remained timeless all at the same time. Most importantly, though, I’ve grown up with you; once an unsure decorator who, years later, is now on his way to realising his dream of becoming a stylist!

Real Living Magazine Front Cover

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He's also spent time on TV, on Channel 10's Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7's Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

  • I had the exact same experience with Livingetc magazine here in the UK. I started reading it when I was about twelve and haven’t missed an issue since. A friend of mine in AUS sent me four issues of Real Living magazine once and I cherish them – SUCH a good title. Wish they sold it here!

    25 June, 2013
    • Reading homewares mags at 12 – I love it. That’s a clear sign you were meant to be doing what you’re doing. Real Living is amazing. I will have to check out Livingetc!

      25 June, 2013
  • Sue A


    Ditto! I have a basket of magazine in just about every room,will reread a dozen times hate to part with them!

    25 June, 2013
    • I am the same Sue. It even pains me to rip out pages from the magazines! They are a real treasure and a lot of the trends are timeless, so it’s always great to look back!

      25 June, 2013
  • I remember picking through all of my Mum’s home magazines when I was young and I still love it today! Now though I am a little obsessed with InsideOut and of course, Real Living and have a HUGE stack of both! Big congrats on being recognised in InsideOut too! Sarah.

    25 June, 2013
    • oh thank you Sarah! I was very chuffed to be featured in Inside Out. It and Real Living are the best because everything is (pretty much) attainable. I love seeing homewares I can afford.

      25 June, 2013
  • I have a confession..I have every single issue of Real Living magazine and I treasure them all. Quite often if I’m looking for inspiration I will pick up a copy from a couple of years ago and re-read. I have always loved magazines, I remember as a teenager I covered a whole wall in my bedroom with pages torn out of magazines. It looked amazing, wish I had a picture of it from back then. I shudder to think how much I spend on mags. Oh and I don’t do any ripping out of magazines anymore!!

    10 January, 2014
    • tlcreative


      Oh Sharon we are on the same page here (excuse the pun lol). It pains me too much to rip out the pages and I too often flick through old mags for inspiration (because the trends always come back around, right!?).

      19 January, 2014
  • hi,
    i just came across this post, i know it was posted ages ago but i was wondering how you got to the work experience? I would love to get some free work experience or anything in the interior design field too but its a bit tricky.
    thank you so much 🙂

    27 March, 2014
  • mummymanifestodotcom


    I once had every issue of Instyle Magazine (fashion mag )about 8 years worth, then when we moved my hubby tossed them in the skip bin when I was busy packing some thing else. I was devastated. I am onto Red Magazine and Inside Out Mag now so I know how you feel about being attached to a particular mag.

    14 August, 2014

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