Reading Marie Claire Maison over stolen afternoons at the Alliance Fran?aise library in Santo Domingo was my ideal oasis from the grind of the sticky hot city and my leaky rental apartment (with matching leaky budget). The designs consistently feature eclectic materials that make you look at objects around you with an artist's eye to composition, contrast, light and mood. It also stokes the flames of thrift shopping or dumpster diving to unearth beautiful and underappreciated objects to spotlight in your home. It was a wonderful way to improve my French vocabulary and to draw back the curtain on French homes and mindsets. You can't go back to matchy-matchy design magazines after this. Vive Marie-Claire Maison !