2021 Interior Design News - High Point Market in June!

Welcome, Spring! 

For much of the U.S., spring has arrived, and with it, hopes of returning to some semblance of normalcy in the coming months. International travel restrictions are beginning to relax, restaurants and events centers are reopening, and businesses are putting into practice the lessons they learned in 2020. 

Among those lessons: it's critical for designers to have a strong online presence in 2021. In this month's feature article, we'll explain why and offer tips on how you can maximize your online presence. 

Spring Market June 5-9 ushers in a return to the typical 5-day schedule, Saturday through Wednesday, for the trade show. The Fall 2020 Market was expanded this past October to 9 days as a safety measure, but that will not be repeated. Tips and insights

With the exception of additional days, the High Point Market Authority anticipates a return of all safety measures that were in place this past fall. The #HPMKTsafe Initiative for spring 2021 includes mandatory face coverings, reduced capacity restrictions, daily health checks, and a number of other precautions.

More details can be found at www.highpointmarket.org/hpmktsafe

Scroll down for an interview with global design leader Christopher Peacock. DSA correspondent Lindsay Penticuff interviewed Christopher Peacock about his journey to becoming a world-renowned designer and what room he believes is the heart of every home. He also shares his impassioned thoughts on one of his most inspirational projects, as well as advice to aspiring designers. You won't want to miss his insights. 

As Quarter 2 ramps up, do you have news you'd like to share with the DSA community? Did you land a new client or work on a particularly fun or satisfying project? Did you take a class or learn a new skill that helps your business? If so, we'd love to hear about it. Email us at  support@dsasociety.org and we'll share your story with the DSA community.
Natasha Lima Younts DSA
Loyalty Ambassador 
Designer Society of America

Believe In What You're Doing

From Musician to World-Renowned Designer

Believe it or not, Christopher Peacock never actually dreamed of becoming a designer and cabinet maker as a young man.

“When I was about 18 years old, I was trying to be a musician and make money as a drummer,” shares Peacock, Founder, Owner, and CEO of CHRISTOPHER PEACOCK, one of the most sought-after cabinet makers and designers around the world.

As a broke musician, Peacock found a second job driving a delivery truck for a small furniture company in London. It was during that time that he was exposed—and quickly—to this world of people who were designing and making their own cabinetry.

Lindsey Penticuff shares details of her interview with Christopher. Peacock's journey to becoming a world-renowned designer.....              more

image THIBAUT fabrics and wallpaper

5 Tips for Creating a Standout Interior Design Website 

by Davina van Buren

You may have heard of the “Covid bump,” and the “Covid slump.” 
Essentially, it's a reference to how businesses responded to the pandemic. Some industries—such as restaurants and travel—were negatively affected, while others (like interior design) had banner years. This makes sense: people were confined to their homes and with more time and disposable income on their hands, consumers invested in upgrades to their living spaces in order to accommodate the new normal. 

But it goes deeper. Businesses that already had robust direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales platforms and an understanding of online marketing fared much better than those who didn't. Those who already used video meetings and had a grasp on technology have generally been more successful at meeting client needs using the digital landscape. They were able to adapt and quickly pivot, while others struggled to institute and get familiar with this new way of doing business. 

Post-Covid, preferences for contactless meetings and services will not go away. If you want to do business these days, it is essential to have a stellar website. You may already have a website—that's fantastic, but there's always room for improvement. In this article, we'll show you how to optimize your online presence even further. And if for some reason you don't have a website for your design business yet, you better get on it! There's no excuse to not have an online persona for your business in 2021.  Use these simple tips to get the most for your marketing efforts. 

- Leave it to the Professionals 

Website design is a unique and valuable skill. Unfortunately, it's a skill that most of us do not possess. 

Think about it: how annoying is it when people think interior design is something anyone can do? It's certainly not as easy as some people think! The same goes for web design. Practically anyone can throw together a basic Wix or Squarespace site and that works just fine for many people. But for a truly custom website, you'll want to go with WordPress. And for that, you may need to hire someone to create a site that reflects your brand persona. 

WordPress intimidates a lot of people, but in reality, a little more work on the front-end setup makes your life infinitely easier in the long run. As your business grows, you'll have much more robust SEO, marketing, e-commerce, and customization abilities with a WordPress site. If you have a blog, you definitely want to use WordPress so that you can transfer any content easily. This is much harder with other hosting platforms. 

A good WordPress website is an investment, but in business terms, still very affordable. Depending on your needs and level of comfort with online tutorials, budget $500–$1,000. Clearly communicate your message to the designer and don't be afraid to interview several people. This is totally normal! I love my website designer because he's willing to hop on the phone and talk me through certain things. And I've made it clear I want to learn how to manage some aspects on my own like staging blog posts, uploading photos, etc. on my own time (for free), which is a win-win for both of us. I have more control of my content, and he's not wasting his valuable time (and my money) on simple tasks I can complete in a few minutes. 

- Good Photos Are Critical 

This should go without saying, but designers must have beautiful photos on their websites. We're in the business of aesthetics, and you should have standards about the quality of content on your site, especially photos. 

When you have an especially important, unique, or rewarding project in progress, take plenty of photos and consider springing for a professional photographer to take photos of the final look. At the very least, learn how to do some basic editing of your own phone photos—you'd be surprised at how much a few simple tweaks can dramatically improve your photos. Then you can create a simple blog post that gives clients an inside look and perspective about how the project evolved and what you learned from it—all with some photos and a few short captions. 

- SEO is King 

You may have heard the term “SEO” and know you should be doing it, but do you actually know what it means? 

SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and it's how people find you using Google. SEO helps online algorithms find and rank your page on Google. The more relevant your content and SEO keywords and phrases are, the higher your site appears in search results. The goal is to appear on page one! 

For example, if you are an interior designer in Seattle, you would optimize your site for “Seattle interior designer” because that is what people who need that service in that geographical area would most likely search for. There are thousands of SEO tutorials and keyword research sites out there, but again, this is where a professional can help. If this is over your heads, consider hiring a professional to optimize your site—just make sure they have plenty of relevant client testimonials to share and, interview the contractor in depth. 

- Get Social & Share 

These days it's all about social media (especially “the ‘Gram”). Make it easy for fans and potential clients to find and follow you by linking your social media sites on the front page of your website. This way, you can drive traffic to your social sites and interact with your followers in fun, new ways. 
If you have a newsletter, make sure the signup box is featured prominently via a popup box or on the home page. 

- About Pages Are Non-Negotiable 

About pages are the second most visited page on most websites. Why? When you search for a word or phrase, Google typically directs you to either the home page or a relevant subpage of a website. Of course, consumers want to know exactly who they are doing business with, so they will typically click on the About page to learn more about the business (and the human beings behind the brand). This is valuable real estate that you can use to showcase your experience, mission, client roster, or brand persona. 

Do you have a designer website? If so, we'd love to hear your tips and tricks as well! What's worked for you and what hasn't? Email us at support@dsasociety.org and we'll share your insights with the community.