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The Posts That Surprisingly HIT And The Ones That Unexpectedly Flopped in 2020

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Emily thought it would be fun to let you all in on a bit more of our editorial world by examining what posts knocked it out of the park and which ones didn’t. I mean why not?! We think it’s pretty interesting:) Let’s start off by saying that truly every post is in some way “a gamble” in terms of success. There have been posts that we were sure would be a hit because they were great reveals or posts that y’all had asked for. But then publish day comes and well, maybe they weren’t a flop per se but definitely not the banger we had anticipated. Sometimes these “flops” are due to things totally out of our control like the time of year, politics, weather (not kidding), major world events, etc. But other times, they may not have resonated because of the title, opening photo, the actual content. All of it is good for us to learn from because we want is to give you what YOU want.

Something that also comes into play is… Google. We aren’t the type of people or company that cater to Google trends. Why? Well, for me, the special sauce to EHD is that we talk to you about what is happening in our lives (both design and personal) and those things aren’t always trending but are super relatable to you which then strengthens our really awesome connection. We’re just romantics are the core:) But sometimes these topics are trending which is when the internet stars align and we get a Google pickup that brings up our numbers usually by a lot. We never know what’s going to get a pickup but it’s always exciting. If anyone knows that secret codes we are alllll ears:)

So let’s go through this year’s big hits and unfortunate misses and see if we can make sense of them. After you…

THE SHOCKING MISSES

The UPDATED Ultimate Budget Living Room Furniture Roundup

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: the updated ultimate budget living room furniture roundup

This was a HUGE success the first time around for obvious reasons. Who doesn’t want to see what affordable furniture options out there?? But the second time around I think maybe it felt less special? It was only one month into the pandemic which was understandably a very difficult time for most households. So while the intention was to give you affordable options to make your home feel really good in a scary time, it’s more than understandable the appetite and ability to buy a new piece of furniture wasn’t there.

My Favorite AFFORDABLE Spring Dresses (all with pockets)

photo by veronica crawford | from: my favorite affordable spring dresses (all with pockets)

To be honest this one mistifies me a little bit. In the past, our “affordable dresses” posts have always big hit. And this one was pocket focused. POCKETS. I have two thoughts. 1. We might have just jumped the gun a little on this one posting it in late February. It’s such a delicate balance of not posting too early but not too far “in the season” that most everything is sold out. 2. We didn’t have any new photography. This one is hard because we want to do fun fashion posts that don’t create unnecessary purchases and returns but we also know that new photos are obviously really exciting. What do you all think?

The Most Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Places You Can Shop For Furniture Right Now

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: the most sustainable & eco-friendly places you can shop for furniture right now

The unfortunate truth of sustainable furniture right now is that outside of thrifting (which has been tricky this year) and a couple of awesome new decor companies, it’s $$$$. So there is currently a disconnect between wanting to support newer sustainable furniture brands and the reality of affording them. I think that’s what happened here. I know we all want to buy sustainably but in a pandemic when thrifting isn’t as easy as it used to be and shipping sustainable furniture is typically pretty expensive, it feels dim. So if you can afford to be sustainable PLEASE DO IT and thrift safely if you can. But if not just purchase with intention and look at this post because it’s great.

Kids Play Clothes: Hacks, Ways To Save + Some Basics Our Kids Love

from: kids play clothes: hacks, ways to save + some basics our kids love

Every year we do a fun survey getting info about you and what you’d like to see. Guess what? About half of our readers are parents! So since we get a lot of kid clothes requests (and they are usually big sellers when we do promote) we thought that a post about budget-friendly hacks during a financially hard time would be really helpful and a big hit. Well, it didn’t. It’s a mystery but regardless it didn’t hit the mark and that’s ok:)

The 15 Reveals You Might Have Missed But NEED To See (Consider This A Mid Week Pick-Me-Up:))

design and photo by dabito | from: the 15 reveals you might have missed but need to see (consider this a mid week pick-me-up:))

These reveal roundup posts are another type that typically do really great. I mean who doesn’t love awesome reveals?? So with this one, it could have been the end of the year timing and being just a little too close to Christmas when people’s attention is elsewhere. Maybe the title felt a little too thirsty? Who knows?! Do you? hah

Starter Tool Kit Guide: The Basic Tools You Should Have in Your Home (Plus Our Go-To Power Tools)

design by emily bowser | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: starter tool kit guide: the basic tools you should have in your home (plus our go-to power tools)

I don’t know if I would call this one a miss but we thought it would be bigger. It was such a great and thought out post, but likely a lot of you already have a decent amount of tools since you are design lovers so it wasn’t actually a great post for our audience. Maybe more niche tools would be helpful?

The Definitive EHD Paint Post Round Up (And Why This Is The Perfect Time To Paint)

design by ginny macdonald | photo by zeke ruelas | from: the definitive ehd paint post round up (and why this is the perfect time to paint)

Paint posts also typically do really well for us because most people are brave enough to pick up a paintbrush and get to work (plus it’s affordable). But despite the ease of having all of our paint posts (recs, trends, and styles) in one place, with ones you probably forgot about, this didn’t tickle the masses’ fancy. But again that’s okay. We are here to make your lives easier and hopeful you will bookmark it for your next paint adventure:)

THE SURPRISE HITS

How To Choose The Right Rug Size For Your Living Room – 5 Formulas Guaranteed to Work

design by and home of sam gluck | photo by alison bernier | from: how to choose the right rug size for your living room – 5 formulas guaranteed to work

This post has a real Cinderella story. She was originally published on March 12. If that date sounds familiar but you can’t quite put your finger on why… it was the week the country shut down. It was reallly confusing at the time because this was a post that everyone had been asking for and we didn’t fully understand what was going on in the world. But then we gave her a repost in August and Google picked her up, so this lady really got her day in the sun.

Are IKEA Kitchen Cabinets Worth The Savings??? A Very Honest Review One Year Later

design by amanda holstein| photo by comeplum | from: are ikea kitchen cabinets worth the savings??? a very honest review one year later

When Amanda pitched us her kitchen, we loved the design and really loved the idea of a true IKEA cabinet review. I mean, at least 90% of people renovating their kitchen have considered using IKEA, right? But little did we know that not only you, the readers, would be curious and read but Google also (and continues) to send us new readers all of the time. So it wasn’t a surprise that it was a success with you, but it was a surprise when Google turned into reader Santa Claus. Do you have any other IKEA cabinet questions?

The Painted Trim – High Impact, Low Cost (One Girl’s Journey + All The Tips & Tricks)

photo by matthew williams | via country living | from: the painted trim – high impact, low cost (one girl’s journey + all the tips & tricks)

This post was one that Sara pulled out IN A DAY. We needed to shift the calendar around and needed a post the following day. This type of mad dash doesn’t happen a lot but does from time to time.

So Sara had been thinking about painted the trim in her house and thought it could make a fun post. Then at around 6 pm, she told me it’s ready. I finished up some linking, crediting, etc since she had plans and as I was reading it I was taken. It was SO GOOD. Look Sara is a real renaissance woman so dreaming up and writing a great post is no surprise. BUT writing a great post in one day with photos and researched info is not easy.

Needless to say, you loved it (because it was GREAT) and Google loved it because well I guess people were searching about painted trim.

How To Make A Dark Room Feel Lighter and “Brighter”

photo by bethany nauert | from: how to make a dark room feel lighter and “brighter”

We were sure that this was going to be a BIG hit. Like no question because it’s another TOP question we get asked about all of the time. Maybe it was the darker photos (not as appealing to the eye)? Maybe the title wasn’t clear? Maybe our audience prefers cats on sofas instead of dogs?? Just kidding that’s impossible. But then Google came in and really saved the post from its almost “Miss” destiny.

P.S. If you haven’t read it you should!

Styling to Sell – The FINAL Entry Reveal (That’s Real Estate Agent Approved)

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: styling to sell – the final entry reveal (that’s real estate agent approved)

Emily’s “Style To Sell” series was definitely popular but we didn’t imagine the entryway to be SO popular. It might have been that it was beautiful but still felt like you could achieve it in your home. You tell me! And although it was already a success amongst you, Google did also like it which we appreciate. That might have been something to do with the “real estate agent approved” part:) Thanks, Howard!

Caitlin Found A House In The Hills For $299K And This Is What Happened

from: caitlin found a house in the hills for $299K and this is what happened

I think if there’s a 2020 MVP award for writing extensive and wilding engaging posts IN A DAY, it’s Caitlin. This was an idea she had pitched but was supposed to have another week to pull it together. But another calendar switch needed to happen and we didn’t have a post that was in good enough shape with the time constraints we were under. So with the info all in her head, she powered through to write this rollercoaster story that has A TON of incredibly awesome advice. Also, this post was probably a little too niche for Google so its success is all you! THANK YOU CAITLIN.

Where Do You Put Your Litter Box??

photo by tessa neustadt | from: where do you put your litter box??

Another Caitlin hit! A true problem she was having that both you and the people searching on the internet related to. So fun, so specific yet universal, and a true surprise hit. We half joke all of the time that we need another litter box story (fun, easy lift, and VERY relatable). Any other similar animal design woes??

The Unexpected 2020 Tile Trend That A Very Unlikely EHDer Is Putting In Her House…Plus An Ask The Audience

design and photo by vintage revivals | from: the unexpected 2020 tile trend that a very unlikely ehder is putting in her house…plus an ask the audience

I actually can’t believe this was a hit but am so grateful! The word “trend” doesn’t always hit with you guys but always has potential:) This was a wild and intriguing trend that I had been noticing and wanted to do in my bathroom rental (I’m so sorry I moved but I promise cool things are coming!!). I also think it was the color we all needed at the time (and still do).

Wake Up When You Want: Super Affordable Blackout Shades and Curtains

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: wake up when you want: super affordable blackout shades and curtains

I can’t remember whose idea this was (Emily?) but I remember thinking “O that will be really helpful but probably won’t be a big success.” Well, I was wrong! People (and kids) need to sleep in darkness and loved getting affordable options to do so. Makes sense.

That’s it! Did any surprise you? Did you know that Google can really affect traffic that much? It’s pretty fun and interesting to see these lists because we are always trying to figure out how to bring you the posts you want. Please leave us suggestions of what you’d like us to write about and need in 2021! Is it too big to dream for zero misses?? Only time will tell:)

Love you, mean it.

Opening Photo Credits: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Mountain House Reveal: Our Soft Yet Secretly Sultry Downstairs Guest Bed + Bath

Fin Mark

WANT MORE OF WHERE THAT CAME FROM?

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Renee

I would enjoy a post about little tweaks you can do with your current decor to make your home feel refreshed (obviously with a more catchy title though). For example, if you always put your pillows on your sofa with the stripes going vertical, what if you flip the pillow and put the stripes horizontally. Or you have a plant that’s growing a little out of control, put a bamboo rod in the middle and tie some of the pieces up with twine. Just some fun little hints for how you can take your already existing decor and see it with fresh eyes.

Margo Williams

I would love a post about decorating stairwells, particularly how to arrange artwork in them. I just moved to a house with significant stairs and I have a lot of art that can go on those walls but I’m having a hard time visualizing how the arrangement should work, especially with larger artwork. What do you align with horizontally? Individual stair treads or do you have to center on the whole wall? What about vertically? Do you try to hang between the eye level of the stairs that you’re horizontally centered on or go to eye level on a particular one?

But I think you could do a whole makeover post that talks about different ways to decorate or jazz up a stairway, with artwork being on option. Colorblocking paint could be another. Or painting the trim/risers? Something else?

YYZSGN

Agree! I have really high ceilings and I have no idea what to do in our stairwell that would have the right scale for the height of the wall that extends from the first floor to the ceiling of the second.

Roxane Gray

This is a great one! I want more than the usual, “throw a ton of family photos climbing the walls” suggestion.

Nina

I am less about the specific references on what to buy (especially since I don’t live in the US) and I am all about posts with good inspiration but even more importantly good stories! That is why I loved e.g. Caitlin’s posts about looking for housing and Sara’s post on painting trims. Making a personal post engaging and relatable probably just comes more natural than trying to imagine what someone else is struggling with design-wise. In other words: why make up new challenges when there are actual real-life design challenges you are facing? I also just like the diary aspects of these posts, there usually is an engaging beginning (why are you painting? ah yes I have the exact same issue) and a satisfying ending (good thing she didn’t buy that train wreck of a house).

Nina

ps. just to add that if I did live in the US, I would appreciate all of your resources so much more! Reference posts probably take more time accumulating hits, but they also probably stay relevant for longer? I would also be interested to see which 2019 posts did well this year… are these the same ones that did well in 2019 or different?

Jessie

I’m also curious about which 2019 posts are still getting hits – especially since I think 2020 was a weird year, so I’m curious which things were all of a sudden relevant to people from your old posts!

Ally

I have to say that the roundup posts are only helpful to a point. It doesn’t feel like any of them have been tried by EHD team. I can do internet research pretty well too! I want to know what’s actually good IRL!

Katie

IKEA kitchen post could be a roundup of companies that do fronts—I know there’s more then Semihandmade. Or when to hack for a built-in look vs when to custom?

K

I’d also love posts on kitchen layout and fancy cabinet features. Pintrest tells me that there are many fancy drawer options and other possible upgraded features.

Bre

Yes. I’d love a post on how to make ikea kitchens more custom, fronts, inserts, unique pulls, interesting configurations, etc.

A.B.

Yes – you could pull in other blogger examples that have made them super custom looking, like Sara Sherman kitchens, chris loves julia closets, Jenna Sue Design playroom, Erin Kestenbaum, Jenny Komenda, House of Hawkes Billy bookcase with caning . . .

Patricia

I just read that pockets in dresses were phased out so women could prove they were not witches and carrying ill intentions and spells. NO idea if it’s true, but sounds plausible.

Anyhoo, I read every day and I like the personal stories best too; and before and afters, and paint inspiration. Thanks for keeping on in 2020.

Elmira Pishchalnikova

I would argue that we lost pockets in pursuit of fast fashion as it’s much easier to sew without pockets (all detailing is very time consuming) as well as sophisticated darts.

Daniella

Agree with Elmira above – and the fashion companies knew they could get away with doing this to women! We will always go for “pretty” at the expense of comfort. Could you imagine men buying pants without pockets??

KJ

Anything storage. How to design for easier cleaning. How often to clean – what should be done weekly, monthly, quarterly or when you just see the dust coming off of the top of the furniture. Cleaning supplies – mops, brooms, dust cloths, buckets. What cleaning agents/solutions for your hard wood floors, tile, carpets, and vinyl too. Is that steam mop really a good idea? I have a great dust mop with a head that can be washed- cheaper, more eco-friendly, and much larger than a swiffer. And, of course, how to clean window treatments. Doorbells. I need a new doorbell and don’t think google or amazon need to know more about me. Is there an option that does not have additional charges? Similarly, can I change my door locks to something with a code or wifi access? How to pick colors. I ended up with a lot of browns because of hard case goods and dark wood floors and old upholstery. Similarly, how to slowly shift from one predominant color to another without replacing all of the furniture. Or, colors that stand the test of time. Accessible rooms. I just designed an accessible bathroom for my mom and me that… Read more »

Rusty

Great ideas! 🙂

LJ

@gocleanco on instagram is an obsession! Awesome cleaning tips and satisfying “instant tap” clean photos/videos… powder Tide to the rescue!

LM

Yes! I’m interested in the sink idea!! And, I’m also really curious about your swiffer replacement. Link?

Allana

Above the fridge where there are no cabinets! I’m saving for the reno, and I see this all the time at other houses too, but there are no cabinets above the fridge and I need the storage. A simple (weekend or afternoon) solution that gives storage options and looks great would be very appreciated!

Izzy

I’m sure they’ll have more suggestions, but I’ll throw in that bracket/standard shelving is perfect for a situation like this! You can DIY them and if you end up getting a different fridge or just wanting to store different items you can just adjust the height of the shelves.

Jordan G

It’s always fascinating what actually sticks with people! I used to have a really small DIY blog and I swear 95% of my traffic was just one post about a DIY fountain made out of flower pots. It was the gift that kept on giving.

Just wanted to say that I enjoy this blog so much and wish the EHD team continued happiness and success in 2021!

Steph

I love posts that present solutions to every day design challenges. Like knowing where to hide your cat litter or how to decorate your entryway when it opens into the living room or picking the right rug size. I also love a good reveal, but I feel like these type of design challenges are super relatable. In terms of requests, I haven’t really seen many posts about home offices and office storage (for different sized spaces). Now that many of us are working from home, I’d love to hear about how you organize an office and tackle storing the boring things like papers and office supplies.

Eliot

Yes, and the all of the officey electronics! How to organize (and hide!) routers and modems and tangles of cords–are there non-hideous printers that work reasonably well? Working from home has just introduced more clutter into our lives (and it’s the kind of clutter that takes up physical and mental space)

Hope

You should write a post about how your team uses google analytics. You talked about it a ton in this post but I bet your readers would love to understand a little more about what it means when google “picks it up” love you guys!

Courtney

Also would love to know what metrics you’re using! If you’re talking about clicks then most of the actual content and photos probably have nothing to do with the click rates since they aren’t even shown in the previews!

Alyssa

Just chiming in to say that even though it may not have hit the mark from an analytics standpoint, I loved “THE MOST SUSTAINABLE & ECO-FRIENDLY PLACES YOU CAN SHOP FOR FURNITURE RIGHT NOW” & bought a couch because of it! Please keep these sustainability-focused posts coming!!

Abbie

Yes! I’ve bookmarked it for the next time I’m buying furniture!

Julie

I don’t know if this would be a 2021 post but over the years I have helped my parents de-clutter at various times. I remember my mum’s face when we finished tackling the attic nearly 20 years ago – it had been weighing her down so much without realizing it. Then five years ago they downsized and we did another huge round of letting things go. Unfortunately we were so rushed and exhausted by the end, the decisions were completely arbitrary and fatigue-based. It is just so hard to know what stays and what goes. I mean I SO remember telling her in 2002 (with the confidence of a 20 year old that had watched a lot of HGTV), that wicker/rattan would never come back. I now covet the exact tables and sets I’m sure we let go of! Anyway I suppose the ask is a bit tricky to pin down. We definitely watched and loved Home Edit and Marie Kondo… but could always use a refresh in terms of what to keep, what to upgrade, what to donate. I do totally believe in the sparking joy question but sometimes a bit more guidance could be useful… the knife set… Read more »

Suzanne

I had so many cast offs from in-laws in my first home thirty years ago, and all those pieces (most of which I hated) are all over Instagram and Pinterest. Thonet rocker, had it. Thonet cafe chairs, had those, and truly loved them, but they no longer worked in my home (and some needed repairs). I had MCM buffet that I used as a dresser (hated, but would love now). I had a 50s Formica table (loved). And I had a dining set with those caned cantilever chairs you see everywhere (still not a fan). I can go through clothing the same way, of course, I have successfully kept dresses for 30 years in that case. Unless you have the storage space, I think you just need to keep what “sparks joy” now and hope to find those Thonet chairs at a flea market or antique store (I have managed to get a couple loan chairs at a bargain) or pay the price to get them Chairish, because I can find what I want there, but the shipping is so high. I’m guessing knowing which pieces are high quality by respected designers is a good way to know if they… Read more »

Rusty

I don’t get why a reveal roundup wouldn’t be a hit?! Maybe that one was timing? The rest, I guess, were reasonably predictable. Out of the misses, the kids’ clothing post was, well, a bit “meh” for me. Just didn’t have any energy to it. It seemed dull and not needed. POST SUGFESTIONS: 💥 PEOPLE’S STORIES So many of us have said “We’re here for the people!” Yeah, yeah, it started as a design blog, but has remained relevant because it’s evolved inyo a community! Hence, the people element. You’re some great people, including padt members that we love to hear about, too *waves to Arlyn, Sara, Bowser, Velinda, et al* 👋 We really like you and relate to you and we want your stories, with all the feels. So, take that as we love hearing about your personal stories/challenges/health/dreams and struggles. We wanna know about your design battles and, yes, personal struggles with life, too, because that helps us connect. (depression, woke men stories, buying houses, body issues, politics!, cooking, loves/unloves…yayaya) Google would pick up on these kind of titles too, because don’t we all google advice for our own trials and tribulations? 💥 BEFORE AND AFTER STORIES Don’t… Read more »

Irene

A very interesting comment, Rusty. I second your suggestions for more personal stories, “thrifting your own home” advice, a roll-call for where blog readers live, and **especially**, sustainability (I’m appalled by “AstroTurf”, even in sports venues).

Could you elaborate on what you mean by “Not too many people”? I like hearing from new writers but don’t want to take the time to follow their blogs, so it makes me happy when they’re published here on the only blog I read. (My favorites are Malcolm and Albie!). As long as Emily herself chimes in at least once a week …

As for Follow-through: I’m also disappointed there wasn’t a list of those who won the art. I think EHD did pick a mountain-house-vacation winner, but I’m not sure the visit happened yet.

What I’m waiting for is a complete description with photos of the Hendersons’ new place in Portland! They mentioned that closing would be at the end of November, and every day I come here with my fingers crossed that it’ll be the day’s topic.

Rusty

Hi Irene,
What I mean (I think, lol) is that this space is a little like a place we come to *hear* from ‘our’ EHD people, kinda like they’re the team and we’re the cheer squad.
There have been so many (very likable and talented) new people, it tends to waiver that team. Without prejudice, by adding aquaintances.
I really haven’t expressed this very well. 🙃
Maybe what I mean is I like to get to know the main crew, deeper, rather than more people only a little. Less is more?

Irene

Thanks for elaborating, Rusty.

And as for your post downthread – yes! Let’s see what the Hendersons ate and what they learned from that Victory Veggie garden (and then lets see the plans for its successor in Portland).

Shanna

Many great points Rusty, especially your comments on sustainability!

Liz

Would the EHD team consider Rusty to write a column or something for the site? I would definitely read it and I’m sure a lot of other people would love it, too!

AzureSongLA

A reader profile feature would be cool!

Jessie

I was just thinking…”does Rusty have a blog? An insta even? I’d follow that…” We <3 you Rusty!

Rusty

OMG!!! (This made me happy cry)

I’ve actually thought about a newsletter-style blog once I’m free from living withmy ex…mid-May is D-day.

I did some guest posts for a global health site a fewyears ago…on New Year’s resolutions, Self Care and Managing Self-change.

When I was ahigh school teacher, I ran an Environment Group after school and change took place in the local community, driven by the kids (no to plastic bags before it was a thing, tree planting and roadside clean ups). Parents stopped me in thestreet and wrote little notes to thank me.

Wow! I’m humbled.😌

Rusty

THE MOP IS AVAILABLE IN THE USA!!!

ON THE STICKER, IT SAYS IMPORTED FOR USA
FOR:

ANKO PRODUCTS!!! 🤩

Sheila

Could you say a little more sometime about what number is it that shows you which posts are “hits” or “misses?” Just # of views? Views over time? Comments? Clicking through on links in the post? Something else?
I at least take a peek at most of the design-related content and often other stuff, too, but generally skip kid stuff.
I loved the rooms showcased in the “reveals you might have missed” but the title sounded like it might be a rehash of 2020 stuff from this blog when in reality it was a mix of great sources that I don’t usually follow.

Rusty

Yes, wording the title is so important. I loved that one too, but the heading put me off.

Katie

Agree about an issue with the wording “reveals you might have missed.” I really liked home/room tours I hadn’t seen before, but the title made it seem like reveals from EHD (and I knew that I had seen them all). When it’s a space from another blog or designer, I don’t think of it as a “reveal” so much as a tour. Maybe reveal implies we’ve been along for the design plan, progress shots, etc, and now the big reveal. But here you were just showing some spaces that others had designed.

Jessie

Agreed! When they said “reveals you might have missed” there were just quite a few reveals on this blog around that time, so in my “overwhelmed by other things” brain I assumed this was a link-up to previous blog posts…so I didn’t click. It wasn’t until a while later when I was deciding whether to delete the email that I realized this was outside blogs, and I’ll be honest…the intro photo wasn’t enticing to me (that dusty colors with post modern shapes thing is just not my vibe) so I didn’t click through. Probably missed out, but I generally can only keep up with about half of what gets posted, so a post like that lost my attention.

JayNay

Since this is a bit of a 2020 review, I want to tell you I really appreciate your approach to social justice issues this year. You didn’t do a one-off black square and called it a day, there were sustained posts, and you talked critically about how your own industry has practices that hurt People of Color and Black people.
I noticed that, and it really made me appreciate you. There were lots of design bloggers and influencers who did next to nothing (and I unfollowed lots of them). Keep it up in 2021 please!
xx

Rusty

JayNay, what you said.,
EHD walked that talk and is still in step and movjng with it.
It was vastly disappointing to see so many bloggers bury their heads in the sand and not dare to go ‘there’.
This is where this blog has left the others in the dust!

Tara

Could not agree more!! Thank you for going beyond an empty black square. It truly set the EHD team apart.

Big hugs and kudos!

nora

Agreed. This is my only daily blog read. I love the well-researched, well-written design content, but seeing you all engage with social justice and follow through on your commitment to add black voices, mentor designers of color, and spotlight black businesses has made me an even more loyal reader. It makes me feel like we live in the same world and are dealing with the same reality.

Eliot

Yes, and I also appreciated that it was done in a way that was totally organic and authentic to the spirit of EHD. There wasn’t this sense of grudging doing-our-homework as in social justice posts I saw elsewhere. I felt that the writers here were genuinely engaging with the way racism (structural and otherwise) embeds and expresses itself in the world of design, and bringing us all along in the joy of encountering the vision and ideas of black designers.

Jessica

That painted-trim post definitely solidified my choice to paint the living room in the way that I did! And I love how it turned out (especially since I also painted the built-in bookcase).

I think you’re definitely right about the pandemic affecting things – I would absolutely love to buy new furniture for the living room, and even splurge on a really sustainable piece (mostly I’m a thrifter) – but I want to buy the perfect couch, which requires sitting on it to test it, and since that’s not likely to happen any time soon I’m not buying any of the “supporting actor” pieces either…

bubu

This was a fun post – thanks! One idea: with people working remotely all over my house, hacks for having a home office set up in an unexpected place, like a dining room, and how to deal with all the extra cords and stuff so you’re not always tripping over them or seeing them — but without breaking the bank or anything permanent, since the hope is that this is a temporary situation. Also, I’m less into the long shopping roundups – it’s more link clicking than I generally want to do, and kind of information overload on that many new shops and vendors. I’d rather you highlight one or two in a post than a list of 25.

bubu

PS One more for me: our basement/family/TV room has small windows and very little natural light. So a lot of the posts related to these kinds of basement spaces don’t help me much because of our limited light. Would love a post generally with how to deal with spaces with little lighting – and ideally not with sticking a million side table lamps everywhere. (Because we mostly use it for watching TV in the evenings, the kids run around with nerf darts and so forth, so don’t want it too precious, etc.)

Lisa

OMG yes this! Every design blogger has a “basement” post and it starts out with gorgeous full-size windows. I am indeed putting full-size egress windows in our basement reno — at no small expense — but the windows in the main space can’t be effectively enlarged because of an overhang on the floor above. I’d wager that most people searching for basement design tips have the standard low-light basement with half-height windows placed awkwardly high, and no one seems to give design advice for those spaces.

Courtney

I’d love to see a post on how to design a space- specifically choosing colors/tones that work together. Similar to the outdoor paint post from this year (I think Caitlin wrote it?), but for interiors. Should most of your materials be the same tone (cool or warm) and then you bring in the opposite with styling so there’s just small hits of it?

I couldn’t believe that “The 15 Reveals You Might Have Missed But NEED To See (Consider This A Mid Week Pick-Me-Up:))” was a miss. I LOVED that post and thought it was timed so well! I needed a break from holiday posts. This is a legit mystery to me.

For some of the hits, I’ll tell you that some of those, I wasn’t totally even interested in the topic, but the lead picture was so good that I had to go into the post and read it. Maybe I do judge a book by it’s cover!

Sahaja Carpenter

Honestly, there were a bunch of reveals at the same time and I didn’t realize from the heading it wasn’t stuff they had already posted. I read almost every day, so assumed I’d seen them.

Kirstie

While this paint post was a flop, I love going into the EHD vault for paint color options. Please don’t stop those!

More importantly- Thank you for the amazing content in 2020!! Your content and honest perspective helped get me through this tough year ☺️

Rusty

I’ve wondered… what happened with the:
– Garage redo at the mountain house?
– The Victory veggie garden?
– Sale of the LA house?
– Emily’s mountain house office?
– The fencing for the scruffy dawgs?
– Oscar and Buttercup’s Christmas stockings?

We’re vested… let us know! 😊

One comment on the “reveals you may have missed” post – from the title I thought it was reveals you’d shared before (i.e. in the link-up) and since I read every single post ever (even though I don’t have kids, don’t care about fashion and have a dumb skin allergy so I can rarely use your skincare recommendations!), I assumed I’d already seen them all and almost skipped it. (Who am I kidding, I was obviously going to read it anyway and definitely did. I can’t get enough!)

Rusty

I don’t skip any post, but I thought it was a rehash too from the title.

Veronica

I skipped it precisely because of this! I read every post so figured I’d already seen all of them.

Rachel C

I never care much for the fashion posts… adult or children, it’s just not why I am here. But since they are typically once a week I just skip them and move on.

That said, I can’t believe the ’15 Reveals You Might Have Missed But Need To See’ post flopped so much. That was one of my favorite posts. I liked it so much that I kept the tab up at work and at home because I needed time to look at each and every one of them. Color me confused!

I really want something about “Why do I hate white walls in my house?” Nearly every photo I love has white walls, I generally say white is my favorite color…but I’ve never liked white walls in my house. Why? Am I doing something wrong? Is it the lighting?

Margaret

suggest you go into the archives and read the Design Mistakes post on white walls. Lots of good stuff there–painted the walls in my dark, NE-facing living room a neutral after reading it, and I’m very pleased with the results.
Short answer: it is the lighting.

Sarah M.

I would appreciate more clear and concise blog post titles – the simpler the better. I think all of our brains are in a bit of a fog and it’s helpful to know exactly what the post will be about without the extra commentary. Commentary is great – but keep in in the blog post, not the title. I tend to click away from the site if I can’t figure out quickly if a post hits a topic that resonates with me.

Janet Boyd

Google aside (because how does that work?) the real secret sauce seems to be that the hits are personal. I might not relate to buying $$$ sustainable furniture, but I will read the entire post if you (Emily) or someone on your team is talking about your own home or experience. After reading this blog for awhile, I feel like I know all of you and I’m interested in your home buying, decorating and even litter box adventures. Very relatable!

Rusty

THIS is what I meant about not having too many people.
We want more of the main (dream) team!!

Oh my god the litter box one makes SO much sense to me. Other ideas in this vein:
– Where you keep general pet supplies (leashes, dog toys, treats, etc)
– Where you keep toys (this is a HUGE one for me. When I worked with Velinda we arranged to get a huge TV cabinet and now all my daughter’s toys live hidden away there and it’s the best.)
– Where you keep incoming papers (mail, kid’s art, paperwork that needs handled — you should see my kitchen island, it’s no bueno).

I could go on and on.

Also, as an editor at a major website, I’m soooo curious what data you track to quantify if something is a hit. Is it only traffic? Comments? Time on site? Sometimes our posts don’t necessarily get picked up on Google but we’ll get a FLOOD of emails from our readers and hundreds of comments so it can feel more like a hit even if it’s not our most read post of all time.

Veronica

I love all these ideas!

Suzanne

Adding to your great list: Where do you keep the vacuum cleaner? I definitely need to include a place for it when I redo my kitchen. Brooms and mops and cleaning supplies, in general. I find these to be the things (along with the endless paper stream) that I don’t have adequate space for.

LJ

Perhaps, for a “redo” of a tools post, I’d love to see 1-3 tools used on 3-5 projects? Like those recipes where if you have these 5 ingredients (plus maybe some pantry basics) you can make these 3 different dishes? Full instructions would be great but maybe for that you could compile other blogger’s posts (to support diversity of voices!) that have a thread of the same tools? OR do a blogger challenge and give different people the same tools and/or supplies for them to each make their own thing? I have a lot of tools but always find in the middle of a project that if I had “just this one tool” my headaches would be a lot easier to manage but then always have the second thought of would I get enough use of the tool to make it worth my while?

Carlen

I would love some tips/ trick post on how to find deals on Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, and other sources.

Suzanne

Yes! FB marketplace and Nextdoor were my go-tos this summer to furnish a beach apartment. I typically go to flea markets, but they were closed where I am.

Cris S.

Yes please! I have a hard time navigating FB Marketplace and it seems really finicky with what to returns based on search radius, etc. help please!

Alyssa Berry

A long time ago you had a series about adding charm to “charmless” homes (contractor grade homes so many of us end up in). I LOVED it and still reference those posts. I full-heartedly vote for those to come back.

Annie

I would read an entire blog dedicated to Caitlyn’s house-hunting. Just saying.

Alexandra

Same here. Other commenters have said the LA-centric posts can be hard to relate to, but I feel the exact opposite. I love learning about the property values, the zoning struggles, the unexpected costs, gentrification, road permitting, crazy HOAs … I’m here for ALL OF IT.

I’ve lived in NY, DC, and mid-sized southern cities, but there’s nothing like California real estate (Orlando’s Fish Camp property is another journey I’m stoked to follow along with). Pretty please give us all the content. It’s fascinating.

Also, fingers crossed that Caitlyn finds her dream cottage!

Suzanne

House hunting is a huge draw for me. I remember those days well, and I can still spend time perusing real estate even though I have no plans of moving or buying anything.

Rusty

I check out my local suburbs @once a week, just out of interest!
Ha! I thought there weren’t many of us property nerds…I guess there are! *waves*

Lena

Yes to this! Also, a post dedicated to things to look out for when purchasing a home. The market where we live moves fast, so there isn’t a lot of time to really think about things. We bought a fixer upper and the amount of hidden costs we ran into because we didn’t notice or look for certain issues, is ridiculously high. For example, we purchased a home in the winter time. The inspector did not check the roof due to the snow. Turns out the roof was a patch job and the new addition was done five years ago but the rest was 20 years old, so the sellers technically didn’t lie on the disclosures. Another was our driveway was hidden by snow and when it melted we saw we had a one lane as opposed to a two lane driveway for a two car garage! I had no idea a driveway was so expensive. A house that has 35 windows that need to be replaced, is obviously, a lot more expensive than a house that has 10 windows. This may be a, duh! to some people but to me it wasn’t something I even thought about when looking… Read more »

Rusty

You know what gets me? That soooo many people go to view a house and then get caught up in the decor! My nephew was like this. He and his wife had seen a house they thought was fab, asked me to go look. I did. There’s me, tapping drummy patch walls, looking at huge gaps in the floorboards, peeking under the house, checking pipes under sinks, looking at the rusty gutters and missing downpipes…I called it the “Dodgy House.” They were bummed. I’d set a viewing up for another house straight after that one, a few blocks away that I’d been trying to get them to see for ages, but they thought they couldn’t afford. They. Fell. In. Love. With. It! 🤗 (I also had a wrangle-word to the agent, like a mafiosta “Fav nephew, don’t do me wrong…” lol). He was great and steered them into a much ,ower offer than they would’ve made…they got it @80k less than asking price! Yaaay! Good bones, needed painting, devoid of furniture with some TLC paint n polish required. They now have two kids and a cat and never want to move!!! Ever!!! They just got bank approval for their extension.… Read more »

Louis

I absolutely loved that rollercoaster post about Caitlin’s almost house. I went through a similar house buying rollercoaster myself not long after reading it too!

Giang

Thoughts of previous posts:
– The shopping list posts with 15 or more items were an overload for the situation which was a pandemic and the need to declutter more with being home.
– Problem solving home decorating posts are more interesting and personal.
– My favorite are the feel good makeovers or MOTO as they are sweet, personal, and focused on one area of the home. When you can too much in one post, it can feel confusing for a novice like me.
– The iPhone photos along with the commentary made it feel more attainable and a fresh take from previously, carefully styled professional photos. I’m not saying do it all the time. Every now and then is fun.
– Caitlin’s house hunt was hilarious.

Suggestions:
– How to create different zones for home/office on a budget
– Lightning or spacing for zoom calls
– Secret compartments for storage
– Different ways to convert a garage into a gym and then an office, then a lounging area for quarantine, play area (like hockey time). etc

Suzanne

Love all these ideas, especially the multi-use space and secret storage!

Stacey

The clothing/outfit posts just don’t do it for me. At all. I realize that everyone has unique tastes and styles, and I’ve concluded that mine is very different from yours. I did not like any of those dresses. I prefer posts that stick to interior design related topics. I do also really enjoy Caitlyn’s posts and anything written by Emily Bowser and Orlando.

Susan

Agreed. I generally like the clothes that are posted, but I’m not here to look at clothes. I already have way too many as it is — as I’m sure many of us do — and don’t need temptation to buy more. My money can be better spent.

Michaela

I very much need help with where to put a cat tree, and how to make it blend into my decor as opposed to well, an odd beige cat tree.

Rusty

There are some great ones! Including boho and luxe styles.

I think they’re all great, so I don’t know what the deal was BUT…I also LOVED reading your thoughts behind them all and Caitlin’s house hunting journey is my all time fave, like Caitlin you need your own docuseries on this one. Ha!

Jeffrey

I wonder if there is potential in more “over the years” type of posts in which people share iterations and changes in their approach to design, as well as lessons learned along the way. Emily has done this with the LA living room in particular, but I’m thinking a bit less specific than focusing on one room.

I’ve renovated and lived in four houses now, learning something from each one and trying out different things in terms of decor, layout, et al. I imagine the same is true for lots of people. Every once in awhile someone visits my current home and asks “how did you think to do that?”” and the answer is because I figured it out in a previous home.

While stories from the team certainly could amplify this theme, you also could curate submissions from the community.

KD

So glad you re-posted these (1) because, I agree, it’s interesting to note what hits and what doesn’t and (2) these are such helpful posts for me right now. It’s like Team EHD has read my mind. Thanks, Amigas!

Jacquelyn

I say this because I love you: we need a follow up on the artificial turf at the mountain house from an ecological perspective. What would a landscape designer with training in permaculture and sustainability do if they came upon your yard? What suggestions would they have made before the turf went in, and what would they do now that it’s already there?

I second this whole-heartedly. I get the “my dogs are really dirty and ruining my house” problem, but surely there could be another solution that wouldn’t involve artificial turf? Would be very curious to know what a sustainability-focused landscape designer would suggest.

Rusty

Yep. I know an eco-landscape Architect and there are so many sustainable alternatives.

Kathryn

So much great content that missed the first time around! Awesome post, thanks for the excellent read.

Madeline

I’d love to see more quick before-and-afters–like the power of painting, closet makeovers, DIY projects, easy upgrades or facelifts in bathrooms, etc. Also, I love that you’re featuring BIPOC designers and writers more!

Madeline

Oh one other thought. It would be so cool to see an “Around the world” series. Like, what do designers in Berlin, Moscow, Taipei, etc. have in their kitchens/bedrooms/etc? What interesting tools/trends do they have/follow?

Libby

I was thinking this too! Interiors around the World would be fascinating.

Susan

And not just designers. What about readers?!

I love this behind-the-scenes/analysis post! Thank you for oftening us readers in, EHD team. As a new blogger, I found even the way you think about audience resonance enlightening. Also, as a cat mom – how did I miss this genius post about litterbox placement?? <3

Meredith

Yes! Where do we hide a dog crate??

Rusty

We makeem look good! You can’t hide those things.

Ashley

Re: animal design woes – we recently got a puppy (who hasn’t??) and it’s a real pain trying to keep the dog away from the cat’s food – we’ve resorted to putting the cat’s food on my daughter’s nightstand just out of reach of the dog but it’s not working out too well (think: cat always whining to get in and out of that room because the dig still wants to hang near the food so we keep the door mostly closed. Think: cat barf on my daughter’s bed because my cat is always scarfing her food and then immediately vomiting back up). What do people do about this? There isn’t a good spot for the food!

There are microchip pet feeders for exactly this problem–they stay closed for other pets, and only open for the pet they are for. There’s an excellent YouTube review of them I recently watched: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt29Qw7mz3s.

Jessica

My brother dealt with this by putting a very cute cat door in the base of his laundry room door that is waaaaay too small for the dog to get through. Cat food is now in that room and they can come and go as they please. But if your cat is vomiting that often, try changing the food.

https://www.amazon.ca/Kitty-Pass-Interior-Cat-Door/dp/B017KXN7DG/ref=asc_df_B017KXN7DG/?tag=googleshopc0c-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=292959884311&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17327419774522377887&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9061009&hvtargid=pla-318807038159&psc=1

Cris S.

We did this in our house – cat door in the laundry room for food and litter box and one in my daughter’s door so she doesn’t have to constantly let “her” cat in and out. Keeps the smells out of the rest of the house too (from the litter box).

Amanda

So many good posts that I gotta revisit on this list!

One general thought: I think posts that “hit” with a lot of people address design for real-life folks. Like the litter box post – yes I love beautiful spaces, but I also have this cat who needs a litter box, so that post is perfect for people like me. I’d love to see even more of that.

Similarly, when Sara and Mac shares their office, they talked about large monitors and cord clutter and man that was so much more relatable and useful than a thousand stylized photos of “home offices” that are magically missing anything that needs to be plugged in.

I’d love to see you keep tackling common challenges: what to do when you don’t have an actual entryway, dealing with less-than-ideal finishes in a rental or a house you can’t afford to reno just yet, decorating a finished basement that doesn’t have awesome big windows, rooms that do double/triple duty (office/play room/guest room anyone?), Etc.

You have this way if providing great advice I can actually implement with beautiful photos that inspire me, so these are my favorite types of posts.

Abbie

Re: the dresses with pockets not being the hit you expected: I think it was just the timing, not that you reused a photo. I live in Michigan where it isn’t spring until late May and we often get a blizzard in March, so I’m not looking at spring clothes in February! Of course you have readers from all over, but I think the timing is the reason for it not resonating for US midwestern and northeastern readers. (PS they are cute dresses and I love pockets!)

Becca

My design dilemma is food storage! I don’t have a pantry, so I’m always on the look out for great ideas. I’ve outgrown my current solution (an IKEA cabinet) due to the pandemic.

Kara

I know of a few friends in NYC that built a nice pile out of their TP and cases of soda and stuff and threw a sheet over top to make it took like a table or ottoman temporarily.

Lisa

I’ve been in the midst of planning a remote gut-remodel reno, and here’s some post topics that I wished for EHD’s take on:
– What to do when your significant other wants all single-hole/single-handle faucets for “convenience” (I managed to just bulldoze his opinion for aesthetics’ sake, but seriously, why are single-handle bathroom faucets so ugly?)
– You have a great Milgard windows post, but how about a general how-to-pick windows guide? Like vinyl vs. wood vs. metal, and what exterior/interior color to choose?
– Pillows: you have several posts already, but what I really want to know is 1) how to make matching pillows look modern, and 2) if matchy-matchy ISN’T modern, then how do I design a whole couch’s worth of pillows around a single statement pillow?
– Realistic budget price points for each room/furniture or fixture category, in a single place. E.g. someone to tell me that a budget sofa is under $800, not under $400. Or that a single mid-range faucet starts at $400, and fancy faucets are $1000. And how much do mid-range window treatments ACTUALLY cost? I want to know so that I’m not dying when I find out for the first time from my architect…

Elmira Pishchalnikova

Me, me! I’m one of them who came looking for Ikea kitchen, though not in the post mentioned here. Got hooked and a enthusiastic reader since :)))

Lydia

Since the pandemic hit, I’ve felt overwhelmed/uninterested by roundups or anything that felt like it was just about buying/affiliated links. I totally understand that it’s needed for blogs to create income though. Anything that felt more personal attracted me. I miss being with girlfriends <\3.

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