I'm not a huge fan of ApartmentTherapy's new site design. It's well organized and visually pleasing; with an all white background and light blue accents, it's certainly not going to offend anyone's sensibilities. But Maxwell has put all four cities - New York, LA, Chicago, and San Francisco - on the front page, making it a terribly busy place.
I understand why he did it. Now, people that would normally only check out the old main (New York) page will see what the rest of his team is doing. But having the content that 18 people create show up on a single page is overkill. There have been seven posts in the last hour alone. By posting so much, so often, I'm sure readers, like myself, are merely skimming the site, and not digging in to some of the great subjects that Maxwell and his crew present.
Like a post earlier today by sarahc, one of AT's Chicago bloggers, titled "Furniture That Survives the Test of Time". In the article, Sarah tells what types of furniture you should invest in - arm chairs, a good mirror, and a low bench, and gives examples of each. She also talks about antiques, but as if they are a type of furniture, instead of a segment of the furniture market.
"Buying furniture with the long view in mind can be difficult...you can't guarantee you'll still love it as much 10 years down the road as you did when you first saw it in the store, but there are a few things we've found that stand the test of time."
Sarah's reasoning for spending more money on a piece of furniture is so that it will last. I believe buying only quality, long lasting furniture is at the heart of sustainability. Buying inexpensive furniture that will only end up being replaced in a few years is great for the companies that manufacture and sell such items, but it's terrible for the environment.
I'm not just talking about IKEA, either. New companies that make more eco-friendly furniture (recycled or recyclable content), but at no better quality than the mass marketed pieces, are just as bad for sustainability. And bad for sustainability = bad for the planet.
Buying only high quality pieces ensures yourself, and the world, that that piece won't end up in a landfill in 5-10 years. Buying antique or vintage furniture does this even more so, by using that which is already made (that's the second part of the three green R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).
I think it’s great that AT tries to teach people why they should save up and pay more for quality furniture, but they should explain the environmental benefits that come along with the decision.
This doesn't just apply to furniture, either. For more information, check out Annie Leonard's Story of Stuff.
Why I don't like ApartmentTherapy's redesign, but still love their articles