SFDC Designwire

Courting the Consumer … Thoughts?


Last week at the 1stdibs headquarters in New York, the Decorative Furnishings Association held a meeting to address a number of pressing issues affecting the design industry including a revamp of its consumer marketing campaign and whether to open design centers to consumers.

Kicking off the meeting, Karen Marx of Elle Decor and Ryan Brown of House Beautiful presented a new concept for the public service ad campaign currently titled “Why a Designer?” The new campaign will show a photograph of a previously published interior proprietary to each magazine and a headline to the effect of: “Do you like what you see here?” or, “Do you want this look?” The ads will be more integrated with each magazine’s content, and therefore more effective, said Marx and Brown. The call to action will direct consumers to DFA’s Find Great Design website and their local design centers, where they may then be connected with a designer. 

Read the full article at The Editor At Large here.  We encourage leaving comments with your thoughts and opinions.


  1. C.E."Chuck" MIlls, Owner Manager CEM Designs says:

    Finally someone is getting it? We need to be informative but not give up our Designer Showroom integrity for a Sale!

    I have been in the industry for 45 years and in the Showroom Business for 27 and still feel we need to more honest with both our Designers (my Client) as well as the Consumer (their Client) with our approach to both types.

    If you need more input from me just let me know.

  2. Joseph says:

    The posting is on our Facebook site as of this early morning…..Everyone in Home Furnishings should take this serious and common-sense information to heart.

    I was pleased to see it on the SFDC and NYDC sites.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think this is an upfront approach to addressing our changing business climate. Once again demonstrating how Designers bring value to our clients. Suzanne Zurinaga, ASID, Suzanne Zurinaga Design

  4. Chuck, I too have been in the biz for 40 years, and still love what I do. However, it is getting very tough to make a living in this industry. For years my focus was commercial and contract, but my specialty has dried up of late, so now I am taking any project that comes through the door and I can’t believe what the consumer is expecting from us. Trying to sell quality furnishings in a climate where a box store sells one for $700 is impossible.

    I am willing to change and modify my business style and even to reduce my percentages to a more 2011 realistic price point, but giving away my knowledge, my resources and my livelihood, I simply can’t and won’t do it.

    I welcome the conversation and would love to see a presentation at the SF Mart on this topic. A symposium with numerous professionals would be even better.

    Annette M. Fagundes
    Vice President of
    Gabriella Ronegas Designs
    Fremont, CA 94536

  5. Ali says:

    Thank you for posting this article. Sometimes we need to take the blinders off.

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