Print Magazine

The great Interiors cover debate: You voted, we listened

We asked readers to tell us which of the above covers, all designed by Ottawa Magazine art director Jane Corbett, they liked best. There was a raucous online debate as our readers voiced their opinions. Corbett followed the debate and made the final call, choosing the cover that featured the sitting room in Henrietta Southam’s home, above centre.

Now tell us what you really think.

We asked readers to help our art director, Jane Corbett, choose the cover for our most anticipated edition of the year, our annual Interiors issue, just hitting the streets now.

Corbett, who has designed hundreds of Ottawa Magazine covers, had put together three very different visions for this year’s Interiors. But even internally, we had difficulty choosing which one best suited the theme of the issue, which was all about imagination.

All three expressed different aspects of the theme, whether a winding staircase in a rambling country A-frame, to the eclectic details of a sitting room to the wild abandon of a floral arrangement dripping with a rainbow of paint colours.

Of the three, most agreed the floral shot was out of the running. As we were deciding, it received 28 likes on Instagram, but no comments. Some, like photographer Justin Van Leeuwen, felt the image was stunning, but inappropriate for this particular issue. It “shouldn’t be on the cover of an interiors issue … unless it’s the ‘interior bouquet’ issue.”

Most readers had strong feelings about the cover with the staircase versus the cover with the sitting room.

On Instagram, the sitting room shot received 98 likes, trouncing the staircase cover’s 38 likes.

“Rich and layered and just what a captivating cover should look like,” said Instagram voter michaeldeperno of the sitting room cover.

But the vote seemed to shift a bit once we looked at the results on Facebook, where the staircase image seemed to be a clear favourite.

“It makes a big impact and I am drawn to the colours of the wood,” wrote Melissa Alain Fowers.

Other Facebook readers commented that the staircase image was “beautiful,” “gorgeous,” and “inviting.”

Twitter was somewhat more divided, with votes coming in for both covers.

“Use the one with the staircase in the (background),” tweeted @mommainottawa. “More dynamic than the others, despite being more colourful.”

(Of course, some readers were just a bit biased. Facebook reader Michael Shaikin cast his vote in favour of the house with the sweeping staircase, too — but then again, it was his staircase.)

Still others seemed to think the staircase was too grandiose — that the more sedate sitting room in the home of Henrietta Southam offered readers inspiration that they might actually be able to put to use in their own homes.

“I like the wood, open concept and large windows (of the staircase cover),” said Facebook reader Maggie Tunbridge, explaining that the sitting room was her choice. “(It will) make the magazine stand out more and show what can be done with a smaller space.”

Perhaps the reader we agreed with most was Sarah Fischer, who expressed on Facebook what everyone in our office had been feeling: “Wow, tough choice this year, Ottawa Magazine!!”

So, to all the readers who took the time to offer their thoughts and opinions: thank you. After considering all the elements, including past covers, Jane Corbett ruled and Henrietta Southam’s sitting room emerged as the winner.

 “It was wonderful to read the comments on the three covers,” said Corbett. “I loved the staircase as well, but thought it was too similar to covers we’ve run in the past. I wanted something fresh and different, and I loved the colours in this sitting room.”