Interior Design Internet Trends

Interior Design Internet at Design Bloggers ConferenceWhen we started thinking about launching the Design Bloggers Conference back in 2009, it was simple to contemplate the interior design internet. There were the required designer, brand and traditional media websites, but blogs, Twitter and Facebook shook the ground. Design blog stars were born. Designer brands were built. National design brands scurried to find ways to intersect and leverage all these new content creators and their audiences. The excitement was palpable; a renaissance of sorts.

Today, the interior design internet persists as fertile ground for content marketing and brand building, but the landscape is inescapably more advanced and organized than during its earlier renaissance more than 10 years ago. Nonetheless, excitement and involvement with social media and blogging remains inescapable as Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and other fertile content sharing platforms contribute to the landscape. Lurking around the corner, though, is a digital reshaping of the way consumers, designers, and brands traditionally approach design projects or conduct brick and mortar commerce.  Design entrepreneurs, along with venture capital and private equity funds, are stoking the internet with product and service marketplaces, photo sharing platforms, DIY design tools, reseller affiliate programs, and anything a designer once exclusively specified for their clients.

Last year, we added a separate two day conference track immediately following the Design Bloggers Conference.  We named it the Home Design Digital Marketing Summit, born to help our industry navigate the changing consumer and trade patterns and emerge with sound business models.  The conference content for those two days was ranked as the most compelling of all the sessions we produced that week. E-commerce, digital marketplaces, affiliate programs, and branding on the “new” web stole the show.  The reason we launched the Summit as a separate track was to bring focused attention to the critical nature of these issues for every design professional; designer, brand, or retailer.

the-beverly-hilton-pool-940x564At the Beverly Hilton on March 5-7 2017, we are returning to Los Angeles where the Design Bloggers Conference was born in 2011-2013 before moving to the east coast. We recognize this as a compelling opportunity to weave these Summit topics into the Design Bloggers Conference to create one fully packed agenda so any design pro can can attend three days and get everything required to prosper as we tackle the digital transition of our industry together.

We feel like we are coming home, back to the warm embrace the local Southern California design community extended to our community of designer, brand, social media star, and blog content creators seven years ago. We are driven to put on our best conference ever and combining every piece of compelling internet marketing content under the Design Bloggers Conference feels like the right move for our broader design community.

The excitement we are feeling from our industry with our return to Los Angeles is overwhelming.  Our planning team is further along with with the conference’s speaker, content, and social lineup than we normally are even three months before any previous Design Bloggers Conference.  I am excited for all of us together who will embrace the opportunities and change the web has brought about and will choose to join like minded colleagues over three days in Los Angeles to learn, network, and socialize with the leading minds inside and outside our industry.

Learn How to Make Your Writing Sing With Saxon Henry

Pre-Conference Workshop 1:
How to Make Your Writing Sing

This is a  one-hour workshop broken into two 30-minute sessions which is included in your registration package –  workshop space is limited and open to the first 50 participants.

One of the biggest challenges facing bloggers in the information-saturated world we occupy is engaging readers enough to keep our impressions solid in order to monetize. The “must do” list that keeps me sharp includes a trifecta of demands: maintain an authentic point of view, practice my craft regularly enough that my writing muscle stays kick-ass strong, and always bring an unholy passion to the page.

Session One Key Takeaways:

  • Make the effort of reading exemplary writing, including narrative non-fiction, fiction and poetry, part of your “job” because reading exceptional writers will make your writing better by osmosis.
  • Make yourself stand out by adding a secondary subject to your niche.
  • Look to history for inspiration, as this will give your writing depth and interest, and you will build confidence as you create a unique platform—one of the most important pieces to the puzzle of writing well.

Session Two Key Takeaways:

  • Learn to be a great researcher if you are not because it will help you think outside the box.
  • Write long and write intelligently so that Google will take you seriously.
  • Make your writing sensual. This will keep your posts from sounding like you’re just repeating press releases and will attract paying clients for sponsored blogging opportunities.

Instructor: Saxon Henry
Building upon her experience from over two decades as a design, architecture and travel journalist, Saxon Henry understands content creation from every angle. Her journalistic credits include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Interior Design, Robb Report, Delta Sky, Modernism, Elle Décor, Interiors, The Miami Herald and Architectural Digest. The author, currently a columnist for Archaizer, has published books that range from design and architecture titles to serious works of nonfiction and poetry.

Saxon began her first blog, Design Commotion, in early 2009 and has since explored a variety of angles of design/architectural/travel writing online. She is currently maintaining two blogs: The Diary of an Improvateur and Productrazzi. As an avid history buff and fan of great literature, she brings these subjects to bear on her Improvateur explorations, many of which are paid collaborations for clients who value brand enhancement and brand elevation through associations with culturally significant subjects. Saxon’s curricula at Vermont College and New York University (NYU) centered upon poetry and aesthetics. She can often be found combing through the archives of scholarly institutions, such as the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale, in search of knowledge and inspiration.

For more on our exciting sessions, check out our complete agenda.

Future Outlook for Home Design Professionals

Today will not last and the next few years will serve up unanticipated territory for home design professionals

Both plague and blessing, I usually see the world like this; constantly sensing the jeopardy our current reality faces while imagining unexpected game changers ready to take hold.  With today’s great market conditions floating all boats in the luxury home design industry, it is easy to appreciate that nobody wants to hear anything about “change”.

In 2006, I asked our housing media company’s executive committee what we would do if the housing market bottom fell out. In the midst of a housing boom, they told me not to worry…it could not happen.  Shackled by a boom time reality, nobody was able to embrace impending change. In 2011/12, only 3-4 years ago, I gave talks around the country urging design professionals to look beyond the market slump and to turn up their marketing in preparation for the boom that was certainly just around the corner.  Again, it was almost impossible for anyone in the design business those years to imagine prosperity.  We were all mired in an unprecedented business slump depicted in this chart that the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) published in 2011.

Home Design Market SlumpThe following year, in 2012, the JCHS projected a market bounce to be followed by a boom period that would exceed 2007 market levels.  It was equally hard to believe this in 2012, but in retrospect the JCHS was correct.

Design Market Forecast

I was reminded about all this today when Veronika Miller, CEO of Modenus and someone who seems to also envision new futures, posted this on Facebook:

To all designer friends in the room… I have been taking stock of what so many of you have accomplished professionally (especially post recession) with major brand collabs, magazine coverage and covers, public speaking, books and so much more. I realized that, as designer, I was always one of the people that looked up to people like yourselves. Who aspired to be like you. The fact that I’ve somehow been able to befriend you and work with many of you, will never cease to amaze and humble me. Six years post recession you guys have turned this thing around!!!

We all know a lot of design pros just like the ones Veronika is talking about.  The fact is that the most successful of them were already adjusting to the future, way before we were smart enough to walk into that same future with the launch announcement of the Design Bloggers Conference in 2010. Forward thinking blog and social media content creators, self publishers, and digital collaborators got active when things looked the most bleak for housing markets. Emergent new design industry stars blossomed using new tools and digital platforms, elbow grease, and brand momentum at the leading edge of a massive market recovery. Already larger than life designers and brands became ever more flush, leveraging the internet and new media to engage a new generation of luxury consumers.  As importantly, the design industry embraced social media to connect with each other, fostering collaboration and conversation that fanned an unprecedented wave of resonant personal brands in a new age of digital branding.

I launched the Design Bloggers Conference’s inside a traditional shelter print media company in the midst of the worst housing economy since the great depression.  We suspected resumed market growth would be driven by adopters of new technology and marketing techniques.  Now, the anticipation of another shift in the status quo has all of us at Esteem Media adjusting our conference and design industry event models despite ongoing and constant growth in attending and sponsoring companies (as a related aside to this, 2016 will be the last year in Atlanta for our Design Blogger and Digital Marketing Conferences as we move onto new and interesting design markets that we will announce at the end of our March 2016 conferences in Atlanta). Some industry insiders will inevitably tell us not to mess with a good thing.  But, around the corner is a whole new reality that will impact our community’s business conditions and drive a different brand of marketing success in the luxury design industry.

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Since the conferences we produce only exist to help our community anticipate progress shifts in home design digital marketing and to prepare for success, we have little choice besides embracing innovation early.  In March of 2016, we will launch the Home Design Digital Marketing Summit as the most important conference we can organize this year, but as the second half of the Design and Garden Bloggers Conferences; starting Tuesday afternoon in Atlanta.  This new integral segment is part of a full week of Home Design digital marketing education and networking in Atlanta; Home & Garden Digital Marketing Week as it is coming to be known.  Some inside our community will reflexively pre-register only for the established Design Bloggers Conference, not realizing the day and a half of content for the Digital Marketing Summit is fundamental to the future success inside a changed luxury design marketing landscape for interior designers, home design retailers, national brands, architects, landscape architects, builders, PR professionals, design media, and anyone else in our industry that places value in their brand.

2015 Design Bloggers Conference

Besides the well known networking opportunities, coming to the Design Bloggers Conference this March will offer the chance to hear from India Hicks, and two other yet-to-be-announced major designers, about marketing strategies behind their paths to success.  Also, Christie Tasker, David Brian Sanders, Kelly Fallis, Robin Catalano, and Julianne Taylor, to name a few, will talk about successful blogger and brand collaborations, Instagram marketing, leveraging the new visual web, how to efficiently build brand through social media, the legal side of social media, affiliate marketing, and much more. But missing out on the Home Design Digital Marketing Week means leaving Atlanta before Monica Dodi, Cofounder of The Women’s Venture Capital Fund speaks on her firm’s investment strategies in the digital design commerce space with one of her portfolio’s CEOs Gretchen Hansen of Decorist. It would also mean missing out on Elizabeth Brown from Viyet and Anna Brockway from Chairish sharing leading edge thinking about branding through third party digital platforms, or Liza Hausman of Houzz sharing case studies of design professionals who leveraged the platform for economic benefits.  National media brands, designers, and digital marketers from all corners of the digital marketing world will speak to brand building, selling design services on the web, the realities and how-to’s of e-commerce, working with digital versions of national media brands, how top designers built their brands with digital content, leveraging third party digital platforms for success and so much more.

We are changing to enable our community, and to come to Atlanta for the Design or Garden Bloggers Conference and overlook the extra day and a half at the Digital Marketing summit would be shortchanging maximum opportunity for success. Market and marketing changes are shifting already.  Keeping stride and emerging successfully in the face of changes now upon the home design community has driven us to innovate.  I sincerely urge all of our past and future conference participants to take us up on our offer to join the future before it’s fully upon us.

Barbara Barry to Speak at Design Bloggers Conference

Barbara Barry is among the world’s most prominent and talented designers. Her name stands for a unique blend of sophistication and livability; her designs are classic, timeless and fluid. Hers is a look that speaks to the grace of form and simplicity of line.  Her designs range from elegant interiors to an extensive portfolio of home furnishings.

Praise from her peers and the press has earned Barbara Barry a distinctive place in design. Her honors include Interior Design “Hall of Fame,” Architectural Digest list of “World’s 100 Best Designers,” House Beautiful “Giants of Design,” and “Designer of the Year” from Elle Décor International Design. Additionally, she has been awarded the ASID “Designer of Distinction,” “Designer of the Year” by Traditional Home and “Best in Residential Design” by Interiors Magazine.

This award-winning interior designer has created homes for many prominent American families. Her designs for commercial and private spaces are international in their scope and sophisticated in their mood.  Her prestigious commissions range from restaurants and retail spaces to private estates, offices and yachts.

Barbara’s passion for beauty finds expression in many forms through partnerships with internationally renowned companies. Her signature designs for Ann Sacks Tile & Stone, Baker Furniture, Boyd Lighting, Hartmann Luggage, HBF Furniture, Henredon, Kallista, Kravet Fabrics, McGuire Furniture, Tufenkian Carpets, Visual Comfort and Wedgwood, as well as her signature bed and bath line Barbara Barry Dream, have been received with high acclaim. Barbara Barry collections are sold in fine stores throughout the world as well as Barbara Barry galleries in Bangkok, Singapore and Moscow.  Barbara’s first book, Around Beauty (Rizzoli New York, 2012), debuts October 2012.

With a vision of infusing simple luxuries in the every day, Barbara Barry creates refined interiors, timeless furnishings and luxury products that inspire a life of beauty.

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Susanna Salk To Speak at the Design Bloggers Conference

We are excited to announce that Susanna will be a featured speaker at the Design Bloggers Conference.

Susanna Salk grew up in Essex, Massachusetts and got her B.A. in English at Vassar College and then moved to Manhattan where she helped launch Elle Decor as Interior Design Manager. She later became a Contributing Editor.

In 2003, she joined House and Garden Magazine, where she was, until its closing, Special Projects Editor.

Today, Salk appears regularly on NBC’s “Today Show” to discuss design style for the home. She is also a Contributing Editor to, and

Salk is the author of Assouline’s “A Privileged Life, Celebrating WASP Style,” as well as “Weekend Retreats” and the bestselling “Room for Children: Stylish Spaces for Sleep and Play,” (both by Rizzoli.) Her book “Home Sweet Home” (Rizzoli, Fall 2011) celebrates the international interiors shot by renowned photographer Oberto Gili.

Her latest book is, “Be Your Own Decorator: Taking Cues and Confidence from Today’s Leading Designers” (Rizzoli) a design book aiming to inspire and inform via her favorite rooms from the world’s top designers and tastemakers.

Salk’s next book (out April 2013 from Rizzoli) is the first pictorial book celebrating the iconic style of CZ Guest, the American author, columnist, horsewoman, fashion designer, muse and socialite. It will celebrate her iconic style in her homes, garden and fashion with insightful memories by many of the people who loved her and knew her best.

Salk lives in Connecticut with her husband and two boys.