Beyond Mainstream: 14 Indie Magazines to Read for Endless Life Inspiration

Beyond Mainstream: 14 Indie Magazines to Read for Endless Life Inspiration

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Julia Brenner
Apr 1, 2017

Long live indie magazines for smart content, innovative style, and an often fearless approach to navigating the editorial waters. Whether its art, design, travel, fashion, or lifestyle, these magazines explore topics in ways that are exciting, honest and a little sexy (because to me, being original is sexy). And these magazines are very original.

Where Art, Design, Style, Travel & Culture Meet

I initially tried to offer comparisons to more mainstream publications, like Elle Decor or Dwell, but the fact of the matter is, these magazines are doing something else altogether. Many of them are cross-sectional and the lines between feature profiles, design, travel, lifestyle, and music are blurred in the very best ways. Like a good mixtape: you get a little taste of a lot of goodness.

(Image credit: apartmento magazine )

1. apartmento

Founded in 2008, apartmento is an "everyday life interiors magazine" that takes an honest look at the way people live and set up home around the world. They also run a downright captivating Instagram feed.

(Image credit: Cabana Magazine )

2. Cabana

Cabana is a gorgeous, heavy duty (weighing over 2lbs!) biannual publication for heavy duty design lovers. Their mission is to explore "intellectual and emotional intimacy with buildings and their surroundings … the intense relationship of thought, place and the person." The pages are filled with design and decor inspiration and the covers are exceptional—past issues have featured fabric and wallpaper samples by Gucci, Etro and Fornasetti, to name a few. And their Instagram is bananas beautiful.

(Image credit: Frankie)

3. Frankie

Frankie is a bimonthly lifestyle and design magazine out of Australia that manages to be smart and informative about everything from crafting, to home design, to recipes, to vintage style, to music, while also maintaining a sense of humor about the whole lifestyle business. Plus, it's just charming as all get out.

(Image credit: Open House)

4. Open House

Open House Magazine is an (amazing!) biannual, multi-lingual magazine that offers readers an inspiring and educational look into the homes, lives, and events of people who open their homes and private spaces to visitors from around the world. Long story short: every home, event, and space covered in the magazine is open to the public and centers around the sharing of art, design, food, and community. Their Instagram offers a nice peek into their ethos.

(Image credit: Weekend Almanac )

5. Weekend Almanac

Weekend Almanac is a beautifully produced biannual lifestyle magazine that explores themes of lifestyle and the creative life by documenting the weekend pursuits of artists, designers, chefs, writers, and photographers, because "life happens on the weekends."

(Image credit: Colours May Vary)

6. Dirty Furniture

Dirty Furniture is a biannual magazine that focuses on interior design—with an emphasis on our relationship with our furniture. Each issue highlights a piece of furniture and uses that theme to explore topics such as design, history, technology, psychology, art, and popular culture. Past issues: Table, Toilet, and Couch. Upcoming issues: Closet, Telephone, and Bed.

(Image credit: Disegno)

7. Disegno

Disegno is an in-depth quarterly magazine that reports on architecture, design and fashion. The magazine covers current events and feature articles intended to inspire and create conversation for their design-minded readers. Follow their Instagram for daily doses of design.

(Image credit: Mag Shop)

8. Kinfolk

Kinfolk has become a "leading lifestyle authority" that offers their global audience a mix of a print quarterly and online media, as well as books, events, and a gallery space in Copenhagen. Kinfolk explores topics of home, work, style, culture and connecting an international community of likeminded creative spirits. And their running a lovely Instagram account, too.

(Image credit: The Gentlewoman)

9. The Gentlewoman

The Gentlewoman is a beautifully produced biannual magazine that "celebrates modern women of style and purpose." It's a fashion magazine with a focus on personal style—exploring the way real women look, think, and dress.

(Image credit: Create! Magazine)

10. Create! Magazine

Create! Magazine is an independent bimonthly print and online publication for artists, makers, and entrepreneurs. Each issue is "filled with vibrant contemporary art, craft, design, and inspiring stories of the makers behind it." Check out their Instagram for regularly updated fresh work (and they are open to submissions).

(Image credit: Gather Journal)

11. Gather Journal

Gather Journal is the gorgeous and inspiring James Beard award-winning food magazine the covers many aspects of food and gathering from cooking and drinking, to harvesting, to entertaining. The magazine is printed biannually with additional online content and a useful recipe app.

(Image credit: Cereal )

12. Cereal

Cereal is an incredibly smart, engaging, and beautifully photographed biannual travel and style magazine that explores aspects of style, design, fashion, and culture through the lens of specific locations divided into chapters. Cereal also has a line of city guides and an online journal.

(Image credit: Majestic Disorder )

13. Majestic Disorder

Majestic Disorder is a globally driven print magazine with the "look and feel of a coffee table book" and content focused on culture, art, music, travel, identity, sustainable fashion, public affairs and feature stories.

(Image credit: Foam)

14. Foam

Foam is an international photography magazine published three times a year, with each issue focused on a specific theme, such as Talent (shown above), Lust, and Propaganda, to name a few. The magazine features an exciting combination of world-renowned photographers and new voices in the field showcasing exciting and compelling portfolios.

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