Sunday, January 25, 2009

Material Girls

Material Girls is another interior design blog that provides home décor tips for its’ readers. The blog’s contributors include Lauren, Abby Baldwin, Emily Johnston , Jill Seidner and Julia B. Edelmann. All these contributors are talented, well established interior designers. Their offices are scattered across the country, including Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Brooklyn and Chicago.

Everyday, the 172,718 Material Girls’ readers are provided with new information on interior design. The blog’s readers are given the opportunity to comment on the daily posts. The readers’ comments reveal that the blog’s audience can be divided into two main subgroups. One subgroup includes professionals with careers as interior designers. The other subgroup, in which I would categorize myself in, is made up of people who do not necessary work in the interior design business but have an interest in it. Because Material Girls’ blog posts are short and simple, this blog is able to cater to both of these subgroups and be enjoyable for the readers regardless of their experience in the interior design industry. The audiences’ experience and interest on the topic of interior design is evident through their comments because they often offer additional links to other websites as well as helpful design tips.

Although the blog’s writers share their personal opinions, the readers are still provided with a broad, valuable perspective on interior design. This is made possible by the contributors’ combination of different backgrounds and aesthetics. By offering a diverse range of interior design styles to its’ readers and by posting articles from other established sites and interior design magazines, the blog is able to maintain its credibility.

Domino, a reputable and well-respected interior design magazine, was referenced on a post from January 15. The article was about interior designer, Mary McDonald. As Emily Johnson writes, McDonald “does not care if a piece is "high" or "low", she isn't afraid to paint zig zags on the floor, nor does she hesitate when pairing colors like navy and rose”. McDonald is considered “one of the most daring designers out there”. Johnson praises McDonald for knowing “how to dress a space- no matter how unpredictable, glam, bold, ornate, bright, geometric, dressed up, or casual it is, she nails it every time”. The post shares McDonald’s design tips as well as reveals pictures from Domino of some of her work.

McDonald’s design tips (summarized by Material Girls):

1. Define a room with hardware store bought molding

2. Pair classics with the "ridiculous"
3. When designing a room in a monochromatic scheme, add a shot of contrast
4. Don't be afraid to go bold on the floor

5. Don't be afraid to get a little funky in areas that normally lend themselves to the expected
6. Start neutral, then pile on the accessories
7. Cheat by using both high and low end items

8. Collect objects (from around the world) in all the same hue to form unified and sophisticated displays

The blog benefits from being written by working interior designers because it can share information that only professional have access to. For instance, on January 19th, Emily Johnson posted pictures from the Home and Gift Market at The Dallas Market Center. One of Johnson’s favorites showrooms is Global Views. She writes that “lots of glitz and glamour adorn their vignettes” and it is filled with “sunburst mirrors, metallics, and graphic prints”. Here is a picture from the Home and Gift Market at The Dallas Market Center and the showroom.

Although I do not have access to showrooms that a professional might have, I can offer a unique point of view to my readers. Since I do not work in the interior design industry (or own my own house to decorate), I have not cultivated a personal, distinctive style yet. I will be able to provide my readers with a young, fresh, open and uninhibited view on the interior design world. Ultimately, I can only hope that my blog will inspire others the way Material Girls has inspired me.

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