Do-it-yourself drives home decorating

The housing boom may be ending, and with it the run up in equity that gave many people additional resources they could pour back into their homes. But that's unlikely to slow the public's strong interest in home decorating or furnishings stories and outlets.

The housing boom may be ending, and with it the run up in equity that gave many people additional resources they could pour back into their homes. But that's unlikely to slow the public's strong interest in home decorating or furnishings stories and outlets.

"The category is huge, and it keeps growing," says Jennifer Green, SVP with Dallas-based Michael A. Burns & Associates, whose clients include Thompson's Water Seal and furniture maker American Leather. She cites new media players like Quick & Simple and Domino as opportunities beyond the traditional shelter books.

But instead of simply showcasing house styles and then recommending an interior decorator, home decorating outlets have jumped on the do-it-yourself bandwagon. "The whole do-it-yourself movement has really taken hold in the younger demographic," explains Chloe Brookman, senior account executive with Clifford Public Relations' LA office. "You've got these new magazines teaching people how to achieve a stylish look without spending a fortune."

One of those emerging outlets is The Nest, an 18-month-old spin-off of the popular bridal magazine and Web site The Knot. Currently online only, The Nest is set to launch a print magazine in July.

Katie Herrick, online editor of The Nest, says its target demographic tends to be couples ages 25 to 35. "We do a lot of stories on how to blend his stuff with hers and taking each other's styles and making it work together," she says. "We also love to feature real-world couples and show how they redid their kitchen or bathrooms."

The site does feature product reviews, but Herrick says she also looks to PR pros for the latest trends, adding, "We want to know about those hip things that people are doing to their homes."

This DIY emphasis means reporters and editors are now looking for a lot more than JPEGs of the latest sofa styles. "Your pitch needs to include things that the reader can really use, such as how to pick a better down pillow or the importance of thread counts," says Geralyn Lederman, account executive at Kellen Communications.

"A lot of the magazines and newspapers are mirroring what's happening in television with the success of shows like Trading Spaces," adds Susanna Homan, VP with the Zeno Group. She says that means TV home decorating personalities make great spokespeople who can serve as a hook to interest print and online outlets.

PITCHING... home decorating

Many midsize papers rely on syndicated content to fill their Home sections, so target those journalists, as well as the wire services, with tips-heavy home decorating stories

There's still an aspirational quality to home decorating stories, but the current media emphasis is more on getting that luxury look at a modest price

Home decorating is popular with twentysomethings, which means opportunities to pitch Maxim, Cosmo, and other younger lifestyle outlets, so expand your media target list

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