Promote Your Interior Design Work Picture Pitch And Publish


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Our recent work in an elle decor online article which features classic pieces used in modern ways

A creative, practical course for homeowners and interior designers keen to get their projects into magazines or to commission sparkling interior shots for their website.  Packed with insider knowledge and tips from styling expert, Judith Wilson, on what the interiors/styles magazines are looking for, how to make that all-important ‘pitch’ to editors (from recce shots to project information), and how to source, and work effectively with, a photographer.There’s also the low-down on the shoot itself, from key props and Do’s and Don’ts of lighting, to achieving soulful ambience and masterminding the best possible angles/crops of shots.  The day finishes with a hands-on styling opportunity with professional interiors photographer, James Balston, whose work appears regularly in top interiors magazines.

Promote Your Interior Design Work – Picture, Pitch and Publish

We asked both online editors (Jaime Derringer, editor of Design-Milk.com; Michelle Adams, editor in chief of Lonny magazine; and Crystal Gentilello, editor in chief of Rue magazine) and those who work primarily in print (Clinton Smith, editor in chief of VERANDA magazine and Wendy Goodman, design editor of New York Magazine) what it takes to catch their eye.

Alright, I know this is a lot to take in! I hope this was helpful, please let me know if you have questions happy to help if I can, and definitely listen to that podcast with Amy – it was very insightful!

While many designers aim for a feature in ELLE DECOR, or other national design magazines, it’s also wise to consider outlets like online magazines, regional magazines, or blogs. (For the record, ED does accept pitches—the appropriate email address is at the end of this piece.)

The most important part of your pitch is the photography. High resolution photos are optimal, but be mindful of how you send them so you’re not crashing an editor’s email server. Send images in a zip file or via USB flash drives. “Don’t ever direct an editor to your FTP site where we can download images,” says Smith. “We don’t have time.” Some editors use these images purely as scouting shots. Goodman, for example, needs to see every project in person before it can be fully considered for publication. Adams says Lonny typically re-shoots locations prior to publication. ELLE DECOR always does. Even so, take the time to make your photographs great, though they don’t have to be by a professional. “Poor photos can really make an otherwise amazing room look just plain awful,” says Derringer. “If you spend a lot of time preparing a pitch, take the time to gather decent photographs.”

I’m going to list all my tips below. But first, I would like to direct you to Amy Flurry of Recipe for Press and encourage you to listen to Amy’s interview on A Well-Designed Business. Besides beautiful photography and some pitching know-how, the most important thing you need is access to the editors! Buying a media list (and the fact that Amy as developed one for creatives) is genius! You still need to do your research (more on this below), but this makes your chances of getting through to the correct person much higher.

13 June 2018 (more dates available)13 June 2018 10.00am 13 June 2018 4.00pmOne daySuitable for interior designers and interior design students.10.00am – 4.00pmChelsea Harbour, 503 Design Centre East, Chelsea Harbour, London, SW10 0XF+44 (0)20 7376 3377

Once the email is sent, give editors some time to process it. Nothing can sour a great pitch like overzealous follow-ups. “One follow-up email is totally fine, but it’s important not to go overboard with multiple aggressive emails or phone calls,” says Adams.

James Balston has worked as an Interior Photographer since 2000, having previously trained and worked as an Interior Designer. Working internationally, James’s portfolio includes all aspects of interior and architectural photography, from private homes, to hotels, restaurants, retail, historic buildings, gardens and still life.

More recent press includes several of our interiors in an Elle Decor online article, and we were quoted as an “expert” on 2018 trends in this latest MyDomaine feature!

Editors can spot blanket pitches immediately—especially when they begin with a highly impersonal Dear Editor. “I want to feel like the designer has taken some time to look at my site before hitting the send button,” says Derringer, whose website Design Milk focuses on modern design. Reference the specific sections of the website or magazine that might be a good fit for your work. “Do your homework,” says Gentilello of Rue. “Check out the archives, and see what we’re publishing at that time of year. Help us see the angle of your story.”

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PS. Amy has a free document to help you get started and her marketing is SOOO good (exhibit A below). FYI – I’m not getting paid by her to recommend her company, I just found her really helpful : )

Design + Decorate How to Get a Client to Pay Get on Board: How to Use Pinterest Behind The Curtain: How I Became The Lead Interior Designer At IKEA Mixing, Matching and Getting It Right Mixing, Matching and Getting It Right How to Get Your Own doob

Her best-selling books on interiors have appeared in numerous editions across Europe and the USA. An accomplished speaker, Judith lectures regularly on styling for the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, and KLC School of Design. 

Our recent work in an Elle Decor online article, which features classic pieces used in modern ways.

Little Green Notebook Emily Henderson Design Sponge A CUP OF JO The House that Lars Built Rehabitat Pure Style Home One Part Plant Carla Aston Designed Laurel Home Sarah Sherman Samuel Sacramento Street

Once you’ve reached out to editors, there are steps you can take to increase your visibility. “Keep your website up to date,” says Derringer. Flash websites, she notes, are outdated. An updated portfolio website or blog highlighting recent projects and news is helpful to any editor seeking out new projects. But Adams says to regulate what you upload to your own website. “If you add photos of a recent project to your site, it can be considered published,” she says. Bloggers can re-post those images at will, making them off-limits to some editors who are seeking unpublished work. “Instead, post photographs of only a few of the rooms, not the entire project,” she says.

CLAIRE’S TOP TEN TIPS FOR HOW TO PITCH AND GET PRESS FOR YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN BUSINESS: Don’t be shy! Unless you have about $3K per/month to have PR agency pitch on your behalf, you have to get over the “self-promotion” hiccups and just put yourself out there.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease in this case. This cannot be overstated – INVEST IN PHOTOGRAPHY. My largest business expense is photo shoots, period. Your work will not get featured without really beautiful photos and styling.

If styling is not your strong suit, find a friend or hire someone to help you. Florals and additional props need to be factored into the cost of every shoot. Make a list first. Determine what online or print publications are a good fit for your style.

Make a list of attainable press goals, and then your “reach” press goals. Visit those sites, blogs and pick up the print magazines. Figure out where some of your current projects could be a good fit and focus on planning future photo shoots to coincide with your pitch ideas, and the time of year the media outlets cover that topic.

Continue your research. After creating your list of publications, and brainstorming how your projects can fit in the mix, narrow down the angles you’d like to pitch and find the editor/s name that writes that section of the magazine, web or blog.

For instance, if you have a great BEFORE & AFTER of a kitchen project you’ll want to find the time of year that issue of the magazine comes out and the closing date for content submissions (can be months ahead of time for print – so think ahead!).

You can often find this by googling (for example) “House Beautiful Editorial Calendar” – most magazines have these documents as online PDFs. and you can easily access them. Also, you can certainly submit work that does not coincide with an exact pitch or magazine topic.

It’s a great first step just to make contact with an editor, and they may need other content (especially online sources). Create or buy a media list. Keeping an up-to-date media list is not easy, and editors can change quickly in the online landscape, but you can purchase a media list (see above Amy Flurry) or start making a list of your own.

Instagram has made it quite easy to directly connect with companies (ask for the best contact to submit your XYZ project), or you can easily begin to follow and develop relationships with editors and writers from various publications.

Look to your peers that are getting published, they are often thanking the editors who have featured them in the past. Be well-written. When actually drafting an email pitch, keep it short, sweet, well-written and include a link to very select photos.

Editors get TONS of pitches, don’t be afraid to follow up one more time if you don’t hear anything in a week or two. Be responsive. Things move fast in the publishing world! I try to answer any emails to an editor or request for photos / quotes the same day!  Think like an editor, but don’t do their job.

 When writing your pitch you can certainly reference a section of the magazine or style of article you think pairs well with the work you are pitching, but don’t go on and on about yourself or the project.

You want to say enough that it sounds like you’ve done your research, but not so much that it sounds like you are telling the editor how to write the story! Position yourself as an expert. Besides having your work published, another way to get press is to be asked for your expert opinion.

Do you have a speciality? Background in textile design, color expert, construction? Make sure you are also selling those skills that might not be as obvious!  Get scrappy! Getting press takes work/time and sometimes lots of internet stalking (jk, kind of!) Use any resources available to you…i.

e. friends in the industry, or friends of friends to get the contacts you need. My little sister’s work colleague was the person with the source that landed our living room on the front page of the Chicago Tribune home section, and it was all because I asked just about everyone I knew (including my sister) if they knew anyone who could help get our kitchen featured locally!

Centered by Design’s FIRST PRESS MOMENT – Our 2015 apartment tour and interview with The Everygirl

When an interior designer wraps up a major project, the next objective often is getting that project published. The first step is drafting a great pitch. According to editors at some of the industry’s top magazines, websites, and blogs, how you present your work is as critical as the projects in your portfolio.

Most editors prefer to receive pitches via email. “Cold calls drive me bananas!” says Adams of Lonny. The best emailed pitches include a short bit of copy (less than 300 words), and cover all the basics: the name of the designer and/or architect along with the location and the goal of the project. “If I want to know more, I’ll ask,” says Derringer. Don’t send pages of information—no one has the time to read it—and don’t send any information in your pitch that you wouldn’t want to see in print. “If you don’t want an exterior shown, then don’t include 100 photographs of the front garden,” says Smith of VERANDA. He also takes issue with vague voicemails or emails. “Never leave a message saying, ‘I have something that might interest you and your readers. Please get back in touch with me,'” he says. “That has to be the worst way to make a first impression with an editor.”

A creative, practical course for homeowners and interior designers keen to get their projects into magazines.

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Looking to pitch one of these magazines or sites? You can contact:

If you missed past articles focused on running your design business, you can read My Top 10 Apps for Your Design Business and Branding Your Small Business advice too. You can also hear me talk more about my blog and business on A Well-Designed Business Podcast and Million Dollar Decorating.

When it comes to exclusivity, every publication has its own criteria. Many will run something that has been published, but others—like Rue and Lonny—won’t. “Give each magazine the offer of exclusivity rather than shopping a location around.” Says Goodman of New York magazine, adding that it’s best to be honest up front. “Figure out your priorities and pitch accordingly. Be clear with editors and give right of first refusal.”

For over 20 years, Judith Wilson has forged a successful freelance writing career, with features on beautiful homes and interiors widely published in national and international magazines including House & Garden, Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, The English Home and The Evening Standard. 

Getting the editorial coverage you want can take time. But for designers who are committed, it can be well worth the effort. “The mistake many designers make is that they only market themselves when business is slow,” says Smith. “Time needs to be allotted every week to make sure the word is being spread about what they’re doing, whether that’s through social media, postcards of recent work, or email newsletters. You never know what will catch an editor’s eye.”

This was an exciting day! The Everygirl covered our apartment tour and interviewed me about starting the blog and business. In 2015, I was still in design school and working for other designers.

Design reveals, insider tips, monthly interviews, and more! Stay in touch with news directly to your inbox:

January 25, 2018 Interior Design, Tips + Resources 0 Comments

An insider knowledge magazine wish-lists and how to pitch your project How to choose a photographer (and the costs to expect) A working understanding of a typical day’s shoot Trade secrets on styling, achieving all-important ambience and must-have props and accessories Hands-on experience of styling – what works, what doesn’t?

In addition to working extensively for commercial clients, James regularly contributes to magazines and books including: The Observer, Times & Telegraph magazines, World of Interiors, House & Garden, Homes and Antiques, The English Home, and Period Living. Recent books featuring his work include “Studio” by Sally Coulthard, and “Homes from Home” and “Kitchenalia” by Vinny Lee.

Claire’s creative energy comes from her unique perspective on the world as both a trained interior designer, and a passionate yoga teacher. Your personal sanctuary is closer to home than you think. Let’s find it together!

Interior design inspiration and education are my main focuses here on the blog (with some personal updates sprinkled in of course). Another passion of mine, is helping to educate other designers on running a business, because design school is NOT business school – as most designers will tell you! I’m fortunate to also have a background in journalism and marketing, so I believe this has given me a leg up when understanding how to pitch and get press for your interior design business. My design work has been featured by many national online design outlets (such as Elle Decor, MyDomaine, HGTV, Domino, Rue Mag, Apartment Therapy, The Chicago Tribune – and more), and fingers crossed I’ll be in my first national print magazine Spring 2018. This is all with less than two years fully in business for myself, which is to say – it’s never too early to start seeking coverage!

Vignette from my old bedroom. Words to live by from the Beatles.



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IMAGE COLLECTIONS : Promote Your Interior Design Work Picture Pitch And Publish

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