How to Get Your Interior Design Work Published

Jan 1

The quickest way to gain notoriety, exposure and inquiries as an interior designer is to have your interior design work published. There is no clear blueprint on how to go about getting published. It feels like unless you have an expensive marketing team or costly publicist, getting your work published online or in print is next to impossible.

 

How to Get Your Interior Design Projects Published from branding and web design studio for interior designers and lifestyle brands, The Identite Collective.

Harlowe James Home Tour. Photography by Torrey Fox.

 

There is good news: that couldn’t be further from the truth! With some research, patience, and beautiful photos, publications are happy to publish interior designers, even with small portfolios of work. We spoke to some of our favorite designers who shared their tips on how to get your interior design work published.

 

1. Keep it offline.

Keep all project photos offline until officially published (sneak peeks in Instagram Stories is okay because they are only visible for 24 hours). Hold off on adding them to your portfolio as well. Large publications are looking for new, original content to captivate readers and that almost always means exclusivity. Once it has been published, it’s fair game to share and promote.

 

2. Pitch One Publication at a Time.

To help ensure exclusivity, pitch just one publication at a time. You don’t want to be accepted by multiple publications and have to backtrack when they want exclusivity.

 

Clara of Banner Day, who has been published in Architectural Digest, Rue Magazine and Domino to name a few says:

 

“It’s often the case that I will submit a story and while there is initial interest, the editor falls off and I have to follow-up to see what the status of the story is. I never take a lack of response from an editor or rejection personally. Editors are often juggling many balls when they’re deciding whether or not to publish a project. They are most likely considering other projects, seasonal features, deadlines, etc., all while trying to satisfy the discerning eye of the executive editor. I pitch to only one publication at a time and follow-up without being too annoying (hopefully). Persistence is key! It’s taken as long as a year working with a publication to have a story published.”

 

Many publications (especially blogs and digital magazines) can’t respond to every submission. After two weeks, one follow up email is appropriate. If you haven’t heard anything after your follow up email, you can submit to the next publication. This politely lifts your exclusivity and opens your opportunity to submit elsewhere once those two weeks have passed.

 

 

How to Get Your Interior Design Work Published Online

Banner Day Design featured on Rue. Photography by Aubrie Pick.

 

3. Submit  Professional Photography

It is imperative at any phase in your design business marketing, that you have your projects professionally photographed. Most digital publications will require high-resolution, already edited photography. Submit no more than three photos of the project and offer to provide a Dropbox link should they need more.

 

Chrissy, of Harlowe James, broke down the significance of professional photography and how it has helped her land literally dozens of editorial features at some of the largest publishers online.

 

“For as long as I have been blogging, submitting content to online publications has drastically changed my online presence. When I first started this endeavor I just had a blog and wanted to get my content and name out there anyway possible. I created a bevy of very curated lifestyle photoshoots with the intent of being featured on a larger site with a specific following. Shockingly everything I have ever submitted has been published by at least one of the places I submitted to. 

I attribute this to two very simple things. Having incredible photographs and very streamlined content. I always work with my friend and professional photographer Torrey Fox whenever I want to submit something. She makes the scenes come to life with her photos and the first thing anyone notices is the photos. Streamlined content is also key, at least it has been for me. Pick a theme and don’t stray too far from that. Whether it is a table setting or a home tour make sure everything looks consistent throughout and is on brand with the publication you are submitting to. 
Just about every large site has a very obvious submissions email address so you don’t have to have a contact anywhere. The first big publication for me was a fall table photoshoot on Style Me Pretty Living and it is still one of my favorite shoots Torrey and I have done together. I was so proud of the images and I felt confident submitting them and I really believe that goes a long way. SMP living makes it very easy as they has a full submissions tab and let you upload the images. Best advice only every upload your best images and be very thoughtful about your writing. Get to the point as the person reading it most likely doesn’t have all day and will let you know if they need more text when publishing!”

4. Research + Carefully Select Which Publication You Submit To

 

How to Get Your Interior Design Work Published

Scout Modern featured on Lonny. Photography by Bree McCool.

Ashley of Scout Modern has had every project successfully published online.

 

“First and foremost, you should know about the publication you are submitting to. It’s essential that your project lines up with their readership. I keep my submissions quick and casual, sending a zip file or dropbox link with high res images- but only enough to get the publisher interested! I like to include mostly wide shots of the room but at least one close-up/ styling shot as well. I make an introduction and a couple sentences that describe the project (what makes this project special?). I recommend waiting a week or so before submitting elsewhere; publications almost always want the exclusive so be sure to let them know upfront if the project has been already been featured someplace else.”

 

Carefully examine the types of projects each publication showcases and find the aesthetic that best matches your project. Some publications even outline the type of features they are looking for on their submissions page.
By carefully curating your initial pitch, you’ll drastically increase your chances of being selected, and not waste time waiting for a response from a publication that obviously wasn’t the right fit. Brett of widely acclaimed design studio, Decorotation, helps outline the process of curating your submissions.
“I think having a knowledge of the existing publications is important as well as understanding their audiences and what types of projects and photos they typically feature. I don’t photograph every single one of my projects and if I do, I usually already have the publication in mind that I know I want to submit to. This way I can style things accordingly, hire the right photographer and communicate what types of photos we want. In terms of the submission process, I’ve always submitted to the publication that I think the project would be the best fit for and I’ll include a few photos that I feel capture the entirety of the space(s). If there’s an option to include a link to a shared photo folder then I’ll include that.”
How to Get Your Interior Design Work Published by branding and web design studio for Interior Designers, The Identite Collective.

Kitchen Design by Decorotation featured in Domino Mag. Photography by Lauren Andersen.

5. Tell A Story but Keep it Brief

Make sure your submission tells a compelling story – about the remodel, any challenges you faced, product sourcing, etc. Editors prefer a short into (300 words or less) including the location, designer and architect as well as three sentences about the space. Include no more than three professional photos in the body of the email, as they’ll ask for more if they’re interested.

6. Engage

Take the time to look up and follow the editors online of the publications your work most aligns with. Spend time liking, commenting and connecting with them in a genuine way to begin building a relationship. Your name will be familiar when you submit a project, and you’ll likely be top of mind next time their looking for a feature. Note, this will take time, patience and grace. Remember, building working relationships is often much slower than building online friendships. Be courteous of their time, energy and expertise.
How to Get Your Interior Design Work Published

Glitter Guide Home Tour of Harlowe James. Photography by Torrey Fox.

Key Points to remember when submitting your interior design work online:

  • 1 follow up email is appropriate, more than that is not
  • Include one small compliment, be kind but brief. Show you’ve done your research
  • The shorter the better
  • Don’t say “it would be a good fit” – that’s their job to decide, not yours
  • 3 pitches a year to the same editor is ideal – even if none were selected

A Few Publications to Submit to + Where to do it (as of July 2018):

 

  • Apartment Therapy: Adrienne Breaux adrienne@apartmenttherapy.com
  • Arch Digest: Lindsey Mather lindsey_mather@condenast.com
  • Better Homes + Gardens: Allison Maze allison.maze@meredith.com
  • Domino: Anna Kochanan akochanan@domino.com
  • Dwell: Jensen Power jensen@dwell.com
  • Elle Decor: Abby Wilson awilson@hearst.com + edsubmissions@hearst.com
  • Lonny Mag: Jill Slattery jill.slattery@lovingly.com
  • Rue Mag: Abby Wilson awilson@hearst.com
  • Sunset Magazine: Chantal Lamers readerletters@sunset.com

 

For more tips on expanding your interior design portfolio’s exposure or lifestyle brand’s website, check out this postthis post and this post. The Identité Collective is a full service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.

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  1. LaToya

    July 25th, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Much appreciated advice and content, Anastasia. Thank you for always having a pulse on what your tribe needs to know.

  2. acasey

    July 30th, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    You are so sweet LaToya – thank you so much for taking the time to read it + leave such a thoughtful note. XO

  3. Libra Kaplan

    October 16th, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. Really useful take-aways and specifically appreciate the editor contact info!!

  4. acasey

    October 17th, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    You are SO welcome! I hope it helps + sincerely hope I get to see your work on one of these publications soon! XO

  5. Carly Waters

    November 15th, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    This is so helpful- esp. the contacts !!

  6. acasey

    January 9th, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    I’m so glad you found it so, Carly! Thank you for taking the time to read it!

  7. raquelle

    November 21st, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    thanks for the helpful post! i believe anna’s last name and email is spelled wrong above just wanted to let you know…

  8. Eliza John

    January 18th, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    To show your creativity to the online community, you should make it online and the points listed in the blog to publish the interior design are good and really helpful. The kitchen interior designs can be adopted when carrying out remodeling to get a new look for your kitchen space.

  9. The Curtain Shoppe

    February 1st, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful article.

  10. acasey

    February 4th, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    You’re so welcome! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a note.

  11. mua số vietlott online

    February 12th, 2019 at 3:05 am

    Very nice write-up. I certainly appreciate this site. Continue the good work!

  12. Anna Lía Lazzari

    February 15th, 2019 at 1:14 am

    Dear Anastasia, it feels as though you wrote each post just for me! Despite the distance, I get so much clarity from your blog. With your specific action steps you guide me to become more focused and productive, and to block out all the daunting noise. In great appreciation, from Zürich, Switzerland

  13. acasey

    February 25th, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    I am SO glad you find it helpful! It’s such an incredible honor to have you along reading from Switzerland. PS – I was caught overnight on a layover unexpectedly in Zürich, and it was possibly the most beautiful land I’ve ever seen!

  14. Cubes Interior Solutions

    February 20th, 2019 at 1:36 am

    Good Article to read about interior design and I really enjoyed your article.
    I think the most important aspect of decorating your home is that it reflects who you are, your personality.

    Top Turnkey Interior Designer in Bangalore
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  15. nina de laszlo

    June 20th, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Very useful advice and thanks for the legwork of the contact details. Do you happen to know how to contact the NYT Style magazine – contact details are elusive. Many thanks for any advice

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