Show home goals | Today’s creators

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“Inner Circle” by Yates Desygn. Photo: Stephen Karlisch. From Kips Bay Dallas 2021

For most people, a new year brings new goals. For many designers, one of these new goals may be to participate in a show house.

There are many reasons why a designer would create a show house – among the following reasons: attracting new clients, attracting the press, meeting colleagues, promoting their own product lines or their unique value, and simply being creative of a way they rarely have. are with clients.

Interior designer and former makeover TV personality Libby Langdon said she never got a job – “not a single job” – at a show home. His belief is that people come to a show home for inspiration. “They want ideas and to see something really cool,” she says. For her, the exhibition houses have become marketing tools for her various product licenses. “Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons – make sure it’s worth it. “

Libby Langdon Salon showcases its licensed collections with Fairfield, KAS, Paragon and Crystorama at the Hamptons Designer Showhouse. Photo: Marco Ricca Studio

Meredith Hite is the Managing Director of Public Relations and Communications at The Dove Agency, the Dallas-based company that provides interior designers with a variety of services ranging from finance and procurement to public relations and more. So far, the Dove agency has represented seven clients at Kips Bay showrooms across the country, recently accompanying three designers – Yates Desygn, Mary Beth Wagner Interiors and Acorn & Oak by Shelly Rosenberg – through the Kips Bay Dallas 2021 show home.

Designers agree that Kips Bay offered a national stage and that it opened doors for them. Shelly Rosenberg was very excited about a highly visible platform to tailor her design approach to a specific mission: empowering people with disabilities. “Participating would not only allow me to complete a project with an almost unlimited wishlist,” she explains, “but it would propel inclusive design principles onto the national stage. “

The designers also agree that hiring an outside team can be beneficial. “We believe the Doves are an extension of our team – we firmly believe that a rising tide lifts all boats, and having the right people in place to support our work is critical to our success,” share Bryan and Mike Yates who say that peace of mind allows them to do what they do best.

Shelly Rosenberg with Virginia in Virginia’s Sanctuary, a play designed to empower her. Photo: Dan Piassick

Rosenberg is more than happy to let an outside team take care of the logistics. “The behind-the-scenes support allows me to appear where it really matters in my business – as the face, founder and leader of Acorn & Oak,” she says.

Hite points out that a show house, especially Kips Bay, or as she puts it, “the Superbowl of interior design,” is not for everyone.

“A client should have several things in place before applying to a show home of Kips Bay’s caliber, including outstanding project photographs, a carefully curated Instagram presence, and a clean, professional website,” Hite notes. “In addition, they must have the ability to make the financial and time commitment required to participate.”

From all the construction and installation costs, to the breakdown and time spent away from his desk and the cost of a show house newspaper ad, Langdon says there is a huge price tag attached to show homes. . A self-confessed shameless self-promoter, Langdon says. “I treat him for what he’s worth,” and is investing in photography and videography that she and her various partners can use for social media, other media and advertising over the next two years.

Langdon says one way to offset some of the costs is to gain good press. Most performing arts houses have a media partner who agrees to publish it and who can be a useful tool in securing product donations.

For Kips Bay, the Dove team works in conjunction with Show House’s PR agency, Magrino, as well as solo to ensure clients are presented in the best possible light to all media. By leading to the show house, they help with proper sharing – “teasing” – on social media, making sure not to violate any of the guidelines set out by the Kips Bay team.

“Once the coverage begins to air, we leverage every social media mention and schedule a rollout of images on our clients’ social media accounts to officially reveal their spaces,” she says. “While Kips Bay designs aren’t necessarily always green, there are plenty of opportunities to have them priced and deliver speaking engagements to our clients around attending Show House. “

A detail of Wagner’s Room of Motifs with Calacatta Oro marble from Stone Boutique. Photo: Nathan Schröder

Under the wing of the dove, Mary Beth Wagner, who designed a hallway and powder bath, says she received exceptional press. Due to her visibility around the Kips Bay Show House, Mary Beth Wagner has increased her Instagram following to over 10,000. She has also received customer inquiries resulting from media coverage .

Rosenberg was also impressed with the quantity and quality of the press. “The collective editorial characteristics of The Show House were incredibly exciting,” she says, “but the individual coverage and interest that I continue to receive validates that I have found my life’s work. I have a story to tell, and this visibility is priceless.

Langdon says that with all of the challenges in the supply chain, there is one consideration designers can think of before committing to a show home: A client may ask you how come you can get a product for a show house while he waits nine months. for a sofa. “Your customers are watching you,” she says.

(in our October 2020 issue our business section focused on show homes and you can access this feature here)


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