By Katy B. Olson
Shelter magazines are brimming with insights and inspiration for residential design—but not necessarily industry news for those who decorate and design the homes featured on their glossy pages. Earlier this week, The Editor at Large debuted Business of Home, its to-the-trade printed publication designed expressly for high-end residential interior designers. (Download it here.) Section-by-section trade advice (top smartphone apps for design businesses, for example) and in-depth features (inaugural topics include design schools and the storied design workroom) are tailored to the professionals behind today’s interiors.
Targeting the trade, the magazine delves more deeply into the discussion of design’s challenges, tribulations and triumphs. BOH sprang from a conversation. Editor in Chief Arianne Nardo explains, “All those great discussions that happen at trade shows or in between programs during markets, or when you sit next to an editor you just met at dinner—those are the topics that matter to the industry. So often, that is the interesting and exciting [material] that just gets mixed into the news feed or mentioned during a recap session with colleagues.” BOH is a place to explore those topics in more depth, she says, that doesn’t exist elsewhere. “The best editorial always emerges from good conversations. This is as true of our cover story on design workrooms—which was inspired by a great chat with an impassioned designer who champions these makers—as it is of the entire Business of Home concept.”
Three long-form features take center stage in the inaugural issue: a roundup of the top smartphone apps for managing a design business; an investigation into how interior design school curriculums have evolved; and an analysis of the future of workrooms, such as the antique furniture restoration and reproduction specialist Joseph Biunno Ltd. Recurring sections include Word on the Street, a roundup of the industry’s breaking gossip; Show-rumors, devoted to the latest pop-ups and showroom openings; Show and Tell, a place to showcase debuting collections; and a host of designer-geared columns that focus on serving advice and stories of interest to the trade.
The magazine isn’t a replacement for existing shelter mags but rather a place for designers to find both news and advice. (The first issue’s Tall Tales section, for one, reveals the most atypical ways pros like Thomas A. Kligerman, Nicole Fuller and Alan Tanksley nabbed clients.) “The trade publications and business journals that cover our industry do a quality job,” says Nardo. “We knew we could add to that presence with our style, by using our voice.... We felt there was room to bring this kind of thoughtful industry coverage with a distinctly EAL signature.”
Beth Kimless Greene, executive vice president of marketing at Kravet, BOH’s back-cover advertiser, says, “Kravet Inc. has partnered with The Editor at Large and its audience for many years. Their clients and followers are the pinnacle leaders in the interior design industry today. EAL has always had their eye on the needs of this special community called the ‘trade,’ and it is definitely the right fit for our targeted marketing plans.” She explains, “It only made sense to secure a printed page in their newest endeavor, BOH, as a means to continue the conversation with their audience. The BOH team is comprised of important tastemakers and authorities that can report the news and stories as they unfold and challenge us to think and plan for the future.”
The Shade Store, which has an ad on the inside front cover of the inaugural issue, concurs. “A strong portion of our business comes from professional interior designers looking for a consistently reliable resource for premium custom window treatments, and The Editor at Large has helped us reach that audience digitally in the past,” shares Samantha Snowden Cuello, the Shade Store’s director of trade relations and marketing. “So we trusted them to do the same with Business of Home.”
The full lineup of advertisers includes ATGStores.com, Design Within Reach, New York Design Center, Chairish, Universal Furniture, J. Pocker, KBIS, The Salon Art + Design, AmericaSmart, Couture Shades by Marvin Alexander, and Turri NYC.
The Future of Print
The high-end residential trade audience is a unique market. Interior Design, which also encompasses the hospitality and contract industry, is one staple of the industry, while traditional trade publications, like HFN and Furniture Today, tend to hew to a retailer or manufacturer focus. And, of course, The New York Times folded its Home section last year due to “newspaper economics changing drastically,” after nearly four decades of coverage. So why print, and why now? A deeper connection with readers and a “tactile, three-dimensional experience that cannot be had online” are two benefits, BOH editorial director and EAL president Julia Noran Johnston explains in her editor’s note. “A smart brand should exist in both the digital and physical worlds, and take what it learns from each to feed the other.” EAL covers breaking news, while BOH is a print extension of that special niche.
Nardo agrees. “Our industry has proven that it needs and wants magazines just as much as it needs and wants apps. Both formats are essential, and it became apparent that a deeper dive into the chunkier, bigger topics required a different touch—something a reader can sit with and refer to, without having to do a search.”
As part of the print publication’s launch, 18,000 copies are being mailed directly to top design firms throughout the country, and another 2,000 are being distributed at design centers and events throughout the fall, including next week’s High Point Market.