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Home & Garden

D Home’s Launch Was a Lucky Happenstance

A rumor started our journey to becoming Dallas' leading shelter magazine
cover image of D Home's first edition

I wish I could tell you a riveting tale about why we founded D Home; I can’t. D Home started as a business expediency. In the fall of 2000, the publishers of D Magazine learned that an out-of-state company was moving to Dallas to launch a local home and garden magazine. D needed to make a preemptive move, and I happened to be standing there. Keep in mind, I didn’t work for D at the time. I had simply dropped by the office to say hello. I knew nothing about home design, and I had never edited a magazine. But my biggest failing was the speed required to say, “Not it.”

Luckily, I was blessed with some guidance. “Be sure you have the logo done by Friday,” someone advised. “You’ll figure it out,” another sage piped in.

In the months that followed, a handful of D staffers came forward to help. We began making calls and setting up meetings with everyone we could think of who could provide valuable input: local designers, builders, real estate agents, and potential advertisers. We drove through Dallas neighborhoods to get a better understanding of how people live. As we saw what was happening in the city, we realized D Home had a story to tell. The Dallas we discovered was not a grid of unimaginative sprawl; it was chic and stylish and authentic. Even better, the design community in Dallas had a fascinating history, rich with colorful characters. We came to understand what the out-of-towners already knew: Dallas needed a home magazine.

The first issue was a test, of course. And there wasn’t a lot of enthusiasm around the office about its future. I pitched the “brass” on publishing D Home quarterly. In return, I received a pat on the head and an admonishment to not worry so much. I’ve never liked pats on the head. So we charged forward. Our sales team started selling yearlong contracts. We created insert cards to sell subscriptions. We met with photographers and writers to plan future issues. We continued to photograph living rooms and write stories about fabrics. We made it our mission to show Dallas at its aesthetic best.

In March 2001, D Home’s first issue was published, and with no marketing or promotion of any sort, it sold out on the newsstands. What the first issue lacked in professionalism (a lot), it more than made up for in sincerity. With time, our professionalism developed, and in 2002, just one year later, the City and Regional Magazine Association awarded D Home a gold for general excellence. In 2006, Folio presented D Home with the gold award for “Consumer Shelter/Home Magazine,” the only time in Folio’s history that a local magazine has been so honored.

D Home is established now, but I hope as you peruse this anniversary issue you can sense the passion (and subversive spirit) that went into its founding. Ten years later, we’re still energized by it. And to our readers, advertisers, and contributors, thank you—from the heart—for helping us reach this remarkable milestone.

Oh. And that out-of-town publisher? The one who started it all by threatening to create a home magazine in Dallas? Turns out it was all just a rumor.