We’re so thrilled to have the opportunity to share a guest blog post by our friend, and magazine editor, Lisa Mowry! Lisa is the genius behind more than 1,000 features for national and local magazines. Needless to say, she knows a bit about what it takes to have a space highlighted in a publication and why some stories just don’t make the cut.
Lisa Mowry has been a home and garden writer, editor and stylist for 25 years. She is the homes editor for Atlanta Magazine and Atlanta Magazine’s HOME, plus the regional editor for Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home and all their special interest magazines such as Country Home, Beautiful Kitchens & Baths, Décor, Elegant Homes and Country Gardens.
Without further ado, we give you Lisa’s take on 5 Reasons Your Interior Designs May NOT Be Published…
I get excited when I go to my inbox and see a designer’s name with the subject line, “New Project.” –I never know when the most amazing house will appear before me with all sorts of possibilities for one of my magazines. But sometimes the house in front of me may be beautiful—I may even wish I could move right in myself—yet it’s not a fit for the publications I work with. Here are a few reasons why:
1.It’s not unique enough. If a living room looks “showroom perfect,” that may be impressive to neighbors, but magazines need more depth and personal style. Just as in the world of fashion, often the best rooms have one unexpected element, or may include features both expensive and budget-friendly. Always a pleasure to see: original art, layers of visual interest, and good use of color. I see a lot of swanky white kitchens, for instance, (and included in that category are light gray and light beige) because we all love a light-and-bright place to eat and cook, but the magazines need to show ideas beyond white.
2.Your scouting photography doesn’t capture the space well. I depend on designers and architects to send me photos of their projects a lot of the time. Are professional photographs good to send? Yes, they can be helpful, but rarely tell the whole story. Magazine editors need more than one “money shot” of a room; we need to see all angles, vignettes and details, plus exteriors, and outdoor spaces. Good non-professional shots can be sufficient and are almost always needed to supplement professional photos. Don’t use a wide-angle lens and do turn off most lamps in a room so the lighting is more uniform. An artsy detail of a fern on a coffee table may be something you want for a blog post, but editors don’t need that sort of thing.
3.Your projects are too something: too big, too small, too low-end, too high-end. Cavernous two-story living rooms often don’t have a charm factor readers are looking for, and on the other end, the blogging world is filled with first homes having similar DIY looks.
4.There’s not enough to show. I can’t do much with one room, and designers often send me just the living room or dining room. Occasionally a unique room might work for a magazine (We have a regular feature in Atlanta Magazine called “Room Envy,” for instance), and some spaces such as kitchens or porches can warrant a whole feature, but in general, know that your chances to get published are limited with only one area.
5. Your project is over-exposed. Be careful not to let every blog around publish your best work; editors tend to shy away from homes where those good ideas have already been shown. That brings up some Magazine 101 refreshers: Don’t submit a project to more than one magazine at a time, and don’t always have your work in the same magazine. Once you get a reputation as a regular contributor to one publication, it can hurt your chances with others.
Wow! This is some fantastic – and super interesting info – for both designers and interior design appreciators alike… It’s amazing all that goes into the production of some of these beautiful home features!
A giant thank you to Lisa Mowry for taking the time to author this wonderful guest blog post and for sharing some of her behind-the-scenes tidbits on working with some of our favorite shelter publications!
10 thoughts on “5 Reasons Your Interior Designs May NOT Be Published”
this post was packed with great tips and information from an industry veteran such as Lisa! Getting published is at the top of my list of goals and it helps to know what magazine editors are looking for….. And what they are NOT looking for
Really helpful information on getting published for sure, Veronica!
Hello Steve. What about projects that haven’t been published but are part of your website’s portfolio? Does Lisa have an opinion on that?
Good question, Shiree. Lisa, do you have some thoughts on this question?
Great article, thank you! I’d love to hear the answer to Sheri Hanson Segerstrom’s question as well. It’s difficult to know if releasing projects images as part of a portfolio and promoting on social media will impact the chances of being published.
That’s always a good question and I checked with Lisa. Here is her response, “I advise designers and architects not to post all shots from a photo shoot of a project, because the house wouldn’t be as much of interest to magazines. Pick about half and post them, but save some for a future reveal.”.
Hope that helps, Kelsey!
Reblogged this on Captivating Pictures I Found To Build My House.
Interior design is much like art. Everyone is going to have an opinion and none of them will be wrong. Sometimes it just won’t appeal to someone but others may love it. It could just be luck of the draw and you happen to not be so lucky. Everyone’s time will comes if you stay dedicated and true to yourself.
Wow, what a great blog.I really like it very much. I am also a house wife and the tips you have mentioned in the blog really helped me. The interiors are really awesome, even I am thinking of redesigning my house will definitely follow these tips.