I’ve been percolating on this post for a while so to celebrate the launch of my new website, here is my best advice if you are considering starting a design blog or just need some inspiration for yours:
Be Bossy (but in a charming way)
When I make a declarations on my blog for example “Accent tiles are bad,” or “White Kitchens are the be-all and end-all,” or “Gray only works in the company of colour,” I get comments like, “OMG Maria. you talk like having a White Kitchen is a religion,” for example. And well, it’s true, cause I do.
So here’s the thing, that kind of comment would have annoyed me before my brand manager had this conversation with me when I started video blogging (this was after he came over, chained me to my chair and stood there with the camera until he got a video out of me). He said, “Many people who go on the net are looking for the answer. They have a headache. You have the cure. So the more opinionated you are with your design aesthetic, the better. Readers who think their house is the exception to the rule might take issue with your black and white statements and that’s perfectly fine.
If you love white kitchens and are looking for validation that you should choose a painted cabinet over a stained one, you’ll get that here. If you love the look of an espresso kitchen, you’ll keep surfing. No problem, I’m okay with it. You won’t find a post on the beauty of a wood stained kitchen on this blog because I don’t like them.
Define Your Aesthetic as Fast as You Can
It took several years of being in the industry for me to get a sense of what my aesthetic actually was. And it wasn’t until I wrote this blog for almost an entire year that I even really defined what my look was even though now, looking back it would have been obvious to most people.
Working at the store level at Benjamin Moore for four years doing an average of five consultations per week added up to hundreds. It’s why I pretty much think all accent tiles are bad. Because I’d be in my 847th bathroom or kitchen, see yet another bunch of ugly accent tiles which my client hated because they were dated and bossy and I would think, “Why bother in the first place?”
The reason I know this is because I get emails from you in the middle of the night.
And I have been in way too many million dollar homes which you could not pay me to live in, the tiles are so badly coordinated.
Don’t Try to Please Everyone
If you are a new designer and are not sure what your aesthetic is, blogging is a great way to sort that out for yourself. Blog only about things you love, post only photos you love, and you will start to see a pattern. When I hit a blog with a bunch of random photos that don’t connect to a thought or an opinion, I keep surfing. If you try too hard not to offend anyone, your blog will die a slow death, just like thousands of others out there.
You know the biggest reason it will die? Because you will stop posting.
How do I know this to be true?
Because blogging is hard. What motivates me to continue posting is that my numbers are always growing which means I have an audience. It’s 4 am right now and I’ve been writing this post since 2:45 am because I’ve been awake since 2 am thinking about it. I can’t wait to write my next post because I get to connect with you, my lovelies!
If my readership was small to non-existant, or worse declining, trust me, I would not be laying awake conjuring up ways to make your house more colourful or fabulous at 4 am. I would instead be in my cozy and beautiful bed in a dreamless sleep 🙂
So next time you start writing, put your ‘bossy hat’ on, your readers will thank you!
Download my eBook, It’s All in the Undertones. If you have a computer, you can download my book!
To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!
If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.