elle decor.jpgWho said the shelter category is dead? After finishing the year as the leader in ad sales for the category, Elle Decor said today that it was raising its rate base by 10 percent — from 500,000 to 550,000 — starting with its March 2010 issue. The magazine said it will deliver an average circulation of 588,000 through the first half of next year.

The Hachette Filipacchi pub also expanded its ad sales team, promoting Matthew Talomie to the position of advertising director and appointing Linda Tullio, formerly of the recently shuttered Metropolitan Home, New York manager for Elle Decor.

“Matthew has been a creative, resourceful member of our staff for the last two years; this new role will allow him to contribute even more to our success,” said Elle Decor publisher Barbara Friedmann. “Linda’s 11 years with Metropolitan Home have made her an invaluable resource; this new position allows her to share her expertise.”

And although Elle Decor nabbed the top spot in ad pages in the shelter category — for the first time in its 20-year history — its success is no doubt related to the closure of other shelter mags like Domino, Southern Accents and Metropolitan Home, whose “highest-quality subscribers” have been added to Elle Decor‘s readership, resulting in the rate base increase, the magazine said today.

Related: Breaking: Hachette Shutters Metropolitan Home