I don't know what it is but I love seeing real people in design magazines. Some design magazines avoid people at all cost and in some mags, the people are so "private" they couldn't possibly appear in print. How vulgar!
When I go along to other peoples' houses to shoot a story, meeting the owners is usually the biggest pleasure. Guilt over the frantic cleaning and tidying frenzy that has preceded our arrival aside, seeing the person behind the ideas and style is great fun and including them adds another level of interest to the pictures.
A great example of this is the launch issue of online magazine, RUE, which has a fabulous line up of personalities from all over the USA. Put together by a group of four design bloggers - two from Chicago and two from San Francisco - it embodies the spirit of blogging in a magazine format.