gold line svg


NEW EXCITING LAUNCH: Welcome to Our EHD Insider Community


It’s launch day. A whole new chapter at EHD, one that I didn’t predict happening and yet have secretly always dreamt of. I could NOT be more excited. It’s not a rug line or a candle collection (sorry, Sara – she LOVES a scented candle). It’s better and bigger, and yet smaller and more impactful. WHAT IS IT???

This video will give you a little taste but then read the post to get the WHOLE scoop:

Working in digital media you don’t have a 5-year plan, despite the cultural need to say that you do. My lack of future planning is partly because I love what I’m currently doing so much that why would I try to do other stuff? “Growing” for the sake of having a big company (an “EM-pire” GET IT? I HATE MYSELF) – has never been my goal (and a huge lesson I learned last year). But mostly I don’t plan too far in advance because I run a blog on the internet and play the part of an “influencer” in social media, which means my proverbial address is “I have zero long-term guarantees” on a very loud and crowded internet Main Street, in the middle of the frankly kinda unstable Wild West – DIGITAL MEDIA.

Digital media is a very exciting world to be in – extremely fast-paced, producing daily content amid constant changes, with no real guidance, handbook, or leadership to tell us how to do it. Meanwhile the landscape, climate, and audience changes every day, sometimes hourly. New platforms are introduced monthly. New algorithms tank different parts of business often. We have to check numbers on all platforms a few times a day and when they are up we are UP, when down we are trying to figure out why, rarely finding an answer. It’s like the wall street trading floor in the ’80s – people trying to wave papers higher and yell louder in an attempt to be heard. To “cut the noise” or the other buzz word of the year – to “disrupt.”

Unlike Wall Street, our business has a different “product.” We don’t really sell anything (nor do I want to), and there is no tangible transaction. Our business model relies on readers coming to our platforms and engaging in the content, in pursuit of ad revenue and partnerships based on two things: traffic and engagement. Don’t bother buying a book on how to do it – its already dated (but I’ll tell you far more on the new platform:)). Working in this field forces you to stay creative and innovative, you feel young and full of energy as you get these endorphin hits based on immediate feedback and traffic surges. It has so much potential for success, fame even. But the business model also makes it heavily reliant on advertising and the volatility of the market (when the economy is down, the same ads are worth far less even if traffic is much higher. FUN!). That’s right – you could be more “popular” than ever with more people “buying” your product and yet revenue could be plummeting.

So we are making a shift and taking more control of our revenue, with you – a tighter, safer, enthusiastic, loyal yet totally inclusive community. Why not forego the unpredictability, stop chasing empty likes, fighting so hard for new eyeballs, and instead spend more time honing in on YOU, the readers we have here, and who really engage and contribute?


I’M SO EXCITED!!!!! And you know I conserve my use of exclamation points to only EXTREME excitement!!!!

Welcome to “The EHD Insider Community”, a NEW program, that we are launching TODAY in addition to the current site and our years of archives for members who want to pay $9.99/month to go deeper. Don’t worry, everything is staying the same HERE, for free. But if you become an EHD community insider you get every new post (ad-free) and so much more.

Nothing is actually changing here

Instead, we have created a space for those of you who want MORE. It’s a design enthusiast insiders forum. We want to create a more meaningful inclusive community while giving you a backstage pass to our conversations and process. It’s a safe place I can really let loose (think me, circa 2014). If you want, you can skip all the rest of this post and just go check it out here (first two weeks are free with an easy opt-out). The goal is high quality, daily connection with those who want to go deeper (or just watch us go deeper), so you can be a part of the process, and to facilitate conversations between our readers. We want to cultivate an ecosystem of creative people obsessed with all things design, style, and blog/media in a fun, unpretentious, less filtered, and exciting way.

On this platform, there are 6 major things you’ll get (for now, we’ll be adding more as we navigate what you guys want).


This is a forum where YOU (and us) can post your design questions with a photo and all the other members can help weigh-in, recommend pieces, or just give a thumbs up. Our comment section is always full of incredible advice from you all to each other and we wanted a proper place for this to live with an easier way to communicate. It can be, “Help! Is this vintage lamp awesome or ugly?” or “Does anyone know of a bookshelf that would fit in this corner?” Literally any agony that you or WE have, gets posted here and we help each other out.


OH GOODY. This is a forum for us AND YOU to sell gently used furniture and decor, locally. This is not an e-commerce site, we don’t take a cut, nor will it be searchable or curated by us. It’s a design-centric Craigslist, with less spam and hopefully less risk. Insiders will be able to sell their furniture/decor to other members. I’m of course launching it with 12 pieces (adding more actually) that I need to sell – some vintage, some gently used from shoots, all awesome. And I’ll be adding to it every week. This is not 1st Dibs pricing, I have a bench going for $60 and a sofa for $450. I just don’t want to deal with Craigslist and want to keep it within The EHD Community, to give these pieces to good homes with all of you (any of the money I make on sales will be going towards our current feel-good flash makeovers). But anyone in the community can sell pieces. It’s super easy – you post a photo and some details, then other members contact you directly through the platform and you coordinate the sale directly. We have nothing to do with it, we are just creating the forum, not facilitating the sale or taking a cut.

I’m really hoping that all my favorite flea market dealers will post their goods there because I’m desperate for some local vintage. I’d love for estate sale companies to post their sales links here, or pickers to upload what they scored in Palm Springs over the weekend. But it can also be a 3-month-old Ikea dresser in good condition that was too big for your wall (but like, not your 5-year-old toaster, if you know what I mean). WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS. I’m also nervous that it’s going to crash the site, but again IT’S THE WILD WEST. Yeehaw.


Get ready to read like it’s 2010 with 2020 quality content. We heard you (and we agree, believe me). No more ads for you insiders. We aren’t the first to try to buck this system, many sites have paywalls (a certain amount of articles for free a month, then a subscription) but we might be the first design blog to do this which is kinda terrifying and yet totally empowering.

We know that only a small percentage of our readers will move to this platform based on ad-free blog posts alone (and that’s ok).


Get ready to watch the messy process in real-time. Sometimes I’m not ready to show 900k people the fact that I might be considering a vintage blue toilet in our basement bathroom, or maybe I’m not quite ready to reveal our new sofa to the masses, but there will be safety in this community because we know that trolls rarely want to pay to hate-read (nor will that be accepted, in any form – BYE!). We will likely post some of our insta-stories here as well, but they’ll stay permanent not disappearing in 24 hours like over on Instagram. It might be the EHD team on set, me trying out patterned curtains in the dining room (true story), or Julie and I trying to make that canopy work in the kid’s bedroom, or Sara playing with art in her hallway. Real-time design process, unfiltered that might not be ready for the blog or make sense on social media. I know I would LOVE to see my favorite designer’s messy process, so it’s a place to show you ours.


All the stuff we are talking about internally. Consider this design news – upcoming trends, noteworthy design collaboration or launches, amazing home tours – all things current in our design zeitgeist. This could be where we crowdsource what the next kitchen trends are before we write about them. And it’s not just us, it’s coming from you, too. We want it to be juicy, newsworthy, and to feel more insider-y than just what is published around the interwebs. Let’s talk about what we can’t stop talking about, which will likely help inform our content, too, in a good way.  


This is where you can tell us what YOU want on the blog and read our real-time internal pitches to each other. We might pitch you our editorial ideas and based on your feedback we can pursue it, shift the angle, or scrap it altogether. And you can give suggestions – less “where can I get a bookshelf?” (that would be more in the design agony section), and more like my recent pitch which was “Why are some rooms so hard to design and others so easy???” We usually get this in the comment section on the blog, but this will give these requests a proper place and platform for editorial discussion. Pitch away, or if you are an editor at another site, come get a peek at our editorial calendar.


I’m so excited about this. This is all things “FEEL GOOD” within our now extended and inclusive community with the simple goal of helping those in need near us. It’s like one of those pinboards at a community center. This could be as simple as, “Does anyone in LA have an extra crib for a family on our street who was hit hard financially by the pandemic?” or “I have a ton of extra gently used girls toddler clothes I’d love to give away – does anyone know where I can donate, either family or shelter?” One of Jess’ friends, who is a social worker and works with the homeless in Boston, has a totally undecorated office. She reached out to Jess asking about rug advice (because she needs one), and that’s the exact type of stuff we want to know about (and of course we want to step in and help as much as we can, virtually – our next Feel-Good makeover!). Maybe it’s just to fulfill a shopping wishlist for a family that is struggling, or volunteer to come to help paint a public school. So many of my friends have expressed wanting to help others but not knowing how or where besides donating money, so I’m hoping this would be that destination. Real readers helping each other, near each other. This is also a great place to pitch Feel-Good makeovers and perhaps even some of our readers who are designers themselves would want to take it on if we don’t have the band-width. It’s a real dream and puts us in direct contact with those who need help, in a meaningful actionable way.

So those are the ‘Topics” we are launching with, and if you go over to Discovery you’ll see examples of all of these.

Question: What is this exactly? A new social media platform? A new website?

Answer: It’s a platform that looks like a feed, with topics that you can opt-in and out of, and easily upload, comment and interact with each other. It is on your phone as well as your desktop and all links will be active, photos will transfer over, etc. It’s like a blog meets the best part of every social media platform.

Question: Will I get the whole blog archives there?

Answer: No. It’s not a resource site like this site is designed to be. The daily blog posts will be published over there, but you really can’t search for say “medicine cabinets” like you can on this site.

Question – Any other perks I should know about?

Answer: Connecting with each other, making friends, meeting your customers, getting more potential readers – in short, dare I say “networking”? With many of us feeling more isolated, connecting in new ways feels even more important. You can make friends near you (if you want to share your location), share business problems, ideas, and collaborate. You, our dedicated readers, are creative, progressive, generally so lovely and nice – we know this from every in-person event. Our reader event up at the mountain house was the best testament of this with every person being someone I would be friends with in real life. And while this isn’t going to be a place for self-promotion, necessarily, of course there are ways to share your product/service if it answers a question or pertains to what we are talking about (carefully). Whether you are bloggers, designers, editors, marketing directors, social media experts or anybody pursuing a creative field – our platform will allow you to know who is interested in the same things as you, who is near you even, and then you can connect and build that relationship.

Question: Who do we want to join ‘The EHD Community”?

Answer: EVERYONE . . . We obviously want this to be a WILDY inclusive community, full of design enthusiasts, editors, bloggers, designers, marketing, anybody pursuing a creative career in design or media, and those of you who want more access to our process. We want this to be a safe, inspiring space full of real design talk. At $9.99/month I know it might feel like a risk, but the first two weeks are free so if you’re interested please go check it out. If it turns out that you aren’t into it, opt-out and come back to this site. On the other hand, if you are excited by this new site and truly want to join, but $9.99/month isn’t in your budget, just email us in 2 weeks (when your free trial is over) and someone from my team will send you a link to join for free. While this is a business (and I’m putting my trust in everyone), we do NOT want finances to stand in the way of you being a part of this community. And hey creative industry folk – you can certainly write it off as creative research or ask your boss to pay for it like a magazine subscription. If you are in the blog/media/influencer/design industry I think you’ll want to check it out – niche communities are what’s next, folks (or so we hope, HA).

Does this mean less sponsored posts?

Yes. Listen, I love the products and companies we work with – they are all good products or I would NOT endorse them, full stop. This new platform, with its paid subscription, will allow us to do less of these and make space in this world for other awesome design bloggers to have more of these opportunities. Sponsored posts have been a huge part of growing our business. I know how important partnerships can be to a career, and I’ll be actively recommending and advocating for other bloggers/influencers to the brands that reach out to us. We’ll always do the partnerships that align with projects we are already doing or that align easily with the brand.

Wanna sponsor a feel-good flash makeover? Email us 🙂

The Time Feels Right

It’s meaningful growth, strengthening what we have and love already, instead of scrambling to “grow” by expanding our audience to be larger but less engaged. It’s impossible to connect on every platform with every reader, so this is where our small team will prioritize more of our time with our smaller, tighter, community. It’s a place where we can be a little less filtered because we are friends and a little messier because you know it’s not the final reveal. You’ll learn more about the business, and see how things get run from a closer point of view. We can crowdsource solutions to problems and use each other as a not-random focus group. We can Style, Play, Every Day with our real design family.

So consider this place – the EHD Insider community – the welcoming town hall of the Wild West. Everyone is invited, but trolls will be asked to leave. There will be NO meanness allowed, while of course welcoming constructive feedback. Head over and check it out. Again, the first two weeks are FREE and then you can opt-out if you aren’t into it and just want to keep reading the blog here like you do now.

So folks, got a design agony you need help with? Want to see what I’m selling out of my garage? Dying to see my newly upholstered floral vintage chaise? Want to know what kitchen trends we are predicting before we post here? Or simply curious if this new business model is going to be a success or a totally fail??? Because I AM 🙂 CLICK HERE. Become an Insider. We’ll see you over there, and THANK YOU.

Fin Mark


Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.

Comments are closed.
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

So excited for you and the EHD team! What a fantastic way to take control of your revenue and pioneer this niche community as you say! Count me in!


this move is super interesting to me because I come from the media world and have seen many traditional media try to make this shift. Emily and team are trying to create quite an encompassing media brand and community here.


Frankly I’m surprised you still keep offering so much free content on this “old” site. People need to realize that it costs money to create quality content on the web, and they need to get used to paying for it rather than expecting it free. But I know that’s too revolutionary of a concept for most people so … this insider community is a good approach. And $10 a month is reasonable. Equivalent to 2 coffees from Starbucks. Or a design print magazine that I recycle after 2 weeks. I’m in, too. 🙂


Hmm, so… not thrilled with this? I understand that you are going to keep this site up and running (and thank you for that). But, prior experience with other sites that go the subscription route suggests that, over time, they’ll be less and less open content and more and more features tucked behind the paywall. I get that a certain amount of compromising happens to keep content free (sponsored posts, intrusive ads) but it also lets new folks “stop by to chat” way more often, introduces more variety in viewpoints (e.g. people other than those who love and agree with you so much that they’ll fork over X dollars a month to stay connected to all your content), and allows people who cannot afford yet another subscription to feel fully a part of your work. Subscriptions alienate some and separate superfans from the occasional viewers in a way that seems suboptimal. I will continue to tune in to this site and hope that I am wrong.


I agree with you, Alexa. And I’ll add that all of the info on the sign up page feels very generic. I hope I’m wrong about the switch, because I love Emily and I love this site.


There should be less and less open content and more and more features tucked behind the paywall. Drives me nuts that people can’t seem to grasp that free media is NOT free. Someone is paying/subsidizing/losing money for it.

Writers, designers, and other creative people deserve to be paid a living wage for their work, too. $10 a month is affordable to anyone, so long as EHD makes it worth it content-wise. We’ll see.


I think the greater issue is that $10 a month here, $15 a month there, $30 a month somewhere else – it all adds up. Workout apps, all the different tv watching apps, news subscriptions, countless other ones….it all adds up so much and while in theory it doesn’t sound like a lot, it is starting to feel like the consumer is being nickel and dimed. How many other bloggers are going to move this way? How many subscriptions to blogs am I going to have to start paying for? I’m not against this new change for EHD at all; I think the blogging/influencing world must be very tricky to navigate on how to make a living. Just offering a different perspective. It’s not “just $10/month”.


It’s all about your priorities…you don’t have to subscribe to everything.


I can tell you that Garance Dore just sent an email with the amazing news as well (eye roll) . I love Emily, team, and blog but I already have many subscriptions. I know that she’s providing for a service but I supported buying her book and shopped for some things she recommended. I’m very tired of the word exclusive, let’s be more inclusive.


I know, the timing is not great, I love both Emily and Garance but $20 a month is a bit steep. I wish they could scale enough people to make it more like $3-$5 a month, which honestly seems more palatable to me.


$10/mo is affordable to anyone?!


No. Not necessarily. Thinking outside the ‘norm’ means a LOT of people cannot afford to be considered an “insider.” It’s a bit like not being able to afford to fit in with the “cool kids”.

BUT Emily has explained how she’s there to be inclusive and I think she’s proven herself to be her word over and again, so I say, we trust her.


I agree with Alexa too. Subscriptions alienate ‘the common man’. I understand that compromising happens but $120 a year seems steep to me, especially during this tumultuous time where many of us have lost jobs and are struggling financially. I will also continue to tune in to this site and hope that I am wrong.

I agree. I think that $120 a year is steep and it’s no longer in the same realm as an annual magazine subscription. I hope the blog continues to evolve, although there’s been less valuable content this year, because I love Emily and her aesthetic. However, that price point isn’t for me.


Yeah. $120 a year is only a little less than what I pay for my Amazon Prime subscription. When I think of the benefits I get for that (it’s been a godsend during the pandemic considering I’m very high risk), it doesn’t compare. Paying that much for an interior design website just isn’t in the cards for me. I’ve followed Emily since The Brass Petal. I won’t be buying the subscription.


I get your POV, Alexa. For me, this blog is like my #1 most checked resource for design. I’ve already saved $$$ thanks to this site, and my house wouldn’t look as good as it does without it. So I feel good putting my money here. I wouldn’t do it for a blog I wasn’t as into. I feel the same way about my other subscriptions, most of which offer free subscriptions to those who can’t afford it, like EHD is doing here. I feel like that way everybody wins. I can’t expect to consume excellent content without compensating.


this. Plus, I have to say that the more conventional success Emily has achieved, the less interesting her design and content has become. It has lost the interesting, thoughtfulness that it used to have, and is verging on becoming design for the Goop and Goop-aspirational set. There are plenty of designers who design high end who are doing super interesting stuff that doesn’t look like its all created for white ladies who wear expensive yoga pants. And it doesn’t matter whether its budget oriented content or higher end like the Portland house or Emily’s own homes–stylistically its all become lovely but dull. Also, I have to say that the lack of diversity on this site is really baffling, but sadly unsurprising. This blog/site used to be one of my daily reads first thing, but now I stop by maybe once a week and might read one post or two. Disappointed that you expect people to pay for more of the same.


This is a great idea. As a podcast fanatic, it reminds me of Patreon, of course, which offers more content for a small fee. I look forward to signing up for my free two weeks and seeing where it goes from there 🙂


I think this is a great idea, and kudos to you for making your living using your talents and doing what you love…and finding a way to make your income more consistent!

The buy/sell space will be especially neat I think!

(I would be lying though if I said I’m not going to check in all day to see the “but, but, that’s not fair! it should be freeeee” comments that will roll in. I have a feeling it might be a rough day in the comments section…I really hope I’m wrong.)

Best wishes in your new adventure!


Definitely did not guess that this would be the announcement today, but I’m very intrigued! I love how “professional” this site and others have become, but sometimes I miss the smaller community feel from the early days of blogging.

(Most of the other content I follow is food/related, and in that space, many bloggers have moved almost entirely to Instagram, which makes the community feel even more diffuse. Now I’m starting to see this trend in design too.)

I’d love it if someday this group could coordinate in-person get togethers too — once it’s safe to do so, of course.

ah yes, we have an events tab to coordinate things like this! planning digital only happy hours for now, but hoping someday we can all meet up 🙂


Zoom with Emily? Oh yes!


It’s an attractive offering if you are going to engage with users and provide them some help at that price point. I do like the sound of what you plan on doing, although I don’t think this is for me. I just don’t have the time to engage with the site long enough to pay for it, and I think I’m doing well enough, design-wise, to make my own decisions. I might think differently if I was a designer for a living myself. Networking would surely be more desired. I appreciate all the free content you create. I think platforms like forums are long dead but you seem to have a fresh idea that might just work.

we are in there right now giving design agony feedback to some new insiders who have uploaded photos —- it’s super fun to engage with the community in this 1-on-1 format! and thank you – i hope it’s fresh enough to work, too 🙂 (so far, so good!)

Julie P

This is certainly an interesting turn of events. My life is nuts now – I’m one of those parents marooned at home with a young child while my whole life feels like its on hold. Now is not the moment I have enough free time to sink into another online community when I can barely find time to cram a little work into the corners of my life in amongst the extreme childcare experiment I’m undergoing. The cynic in me says that in LA, NY, and SF there will be large and robust marketplaces which will make it worth it – but in my smaller city probably not. The cynic in me also says that yeah at the beginning the team may respond to design agony questions but how long is that going to last? The other part of me loves Emily and her POV and her team so much that I’m like “UM YEAH AMAZING!” We shall see. I may go check it out in a few months after it has had time to evolve. I certainly hope the main site doesn’t go anywhere – I frequently purchase things from clicking the suggestions which I assume gives EHD a… Read more »


Love it. It feels like a much more refined Houzz. I have been following EHD for eight years so I feel like $10/month isn’t much for providing me content every morning (that would be less than my local newspaper).

The only feature I see that may not work out is the garage sale. I would imagine most EHD followers are all across the country, not just in California. It just makes me sad knowing there’s all these great pieces halfway across the country haha. I think Craigslist/FB marketplace is so successful because it filters off of location.


Such a fun concept!
However, I’m a bit disappointed that you’re making no mention of the incredible economic stress so many people are in during the pandemic, nor the civil rights issue we’re experiencing.
I was hoping you’d have a discount available to those who can’t afford to spend an extra $10/month. So many subscription services offer this to folks especially due to the circumstances.
Instead, your “feel-good” makeovers, discount selling, and freebie giving feels limited only to people with disposable income to give and have a savior complex about gifting the say, diapers, to another affluent person that’s re-gifting them. Rather than actually connecting with the people in need through an economically inclusive site like so many other forums offer. It just feels a little tone deaf to be launching a “community” during a time when so many people are financially excluded.
I like the concept, I’m excited for this new EHD, I look forward to seeing how this can elevate other design bloggers into making a new living, but I am disappointed that this came during a time when 20 million people are unemployed, and there was no delicacy of recognizing this, nor an opportunity to make your new platform ecomically accessible.


“On the other hand, if you are excited by this new site and truly want to join, but $9.99/month isn’t in your budget, just email us in 2 weeks (when your free trial is over) and someone from my team will send you a link to join for free.”

From the post 😉

Cris S.

I think you didn’t read what Emily repeatedly said about covering those who reach out and say they can’t pay? I’m sorry you are in such a distressed spot that you are filtering out the reassurances right in front of you. These are rough times.


I totally agree with this. While I feel like I want to at least check this out and I don’t feel limited by it financially, I think there may have been more value in a pay scale (not with different pay well access) rather than a, “if you can’t afford it right now just email us”. That’s obviously an incredibly generous offer and rather than taking advantage of it, I think people may be less likely to pursue it at all rather than to email asking to have access for free. I really like Everlane’s “choose what you pay” model for their overstocked merchandise and I imagine something similar working here. I completely understand the need to pivot in the digital marketing sector though and I admire that there’s certainly some trial and error happening here. Implementing is testing!

i love this idea too — and hopefully we can implement someday, just don’t have the infrastructure built out to support yet and not sure on how long it’ll take to actually code (which is why i say “someday” instead of a date, but i promise it’s been noodled on!). we’ll get there, though 🙂


Sam Harris’ podcast ‘Making Sense’ has basically the same set-up. If you’re not a subscriber, you get like 1/2 the episode for free or some random feed sometimes, but if you subscribe it’s all in. However he is very clear always that if you can’t afford a subscription, he doesn’t want the content blocked and will let anyone in for free who messages him. I’m not sure how the messaging portion there works. Feels like all of this could be a lot to manage via email, but I’m glad there is that option for folks who need it. I don’t know that $120 is in my budget, even though I could theoretically afford it, so I hope to eventually see tiers for access.


Alexa, don’t forget that Emily also has a team to support. She’s mentioned before that she’s lost sponsorship revenue during this time. I hope that this new platform will help everyone at EHD be able to keep their jobs.


I can only speak from my perspective so that is what I will do. 😉 I am not a creative and am very far from the influencer world. However, I’ve been a fan of Emily’s for the better part of a decade and I follow many of the EHD team (and former members) on Instagram. Between all of them, I have learned and been inspired so much. Without a doubt, Emily has affected the look and feel of my home in so many positive ways. Besides buying her first book (which I loved so much!), I have gotten all of this information for free. $120 a year (and I’m just realizing that this will be significantly more in Canadian 😬) is not insignificant but spread out over the past ten years of information and inspiration, it feels worth it to support the team who I really appreciate. As stated somewhere above, if you subscribe to everything, it really does add up. I choose not to support everyone but to focus my support on what I would like to prioritize. I no longer subscribe to multiple magazines because the piles of them made me feel guilty. I support some of my… Read more »


Oooooh Mmmmmy Gooooooooodness!!!
Well, I’d never have guessed this surprise!
Love the “Insiders” vibe.
You’re astute, and ahead of the trend … again!
Mmmwaaah! 🥰

Roberta Davis

My first thought was, No! This is too expensive! But I also realize I am canceling some of my print subscriptions to design magazines, and those are full of ads and not interactive, not a community. Spending less there. So I am going to jump in! I have to say, I hate paywalls generally, but I do understand it takes money to create all of this! I have a degree in interior design, but what you have doesn’t get taught in school. I am a design junkie.

I really don’t love Instagram and I do wish for more interaction, but the Facebook page isn’t really it, either. I have been wishing for an easier way to have conversations on your site without having to check back to see if anyone responded to my comments. I thought I would get email notifications if someone responded to my comments, but that never happened, so this will hopefully be much more user-friendly!

Way to evolve, Emily! Good luck- it’s a risk but I know you are flexible and adaptable and you will do what needs to be done as this evolves.

You’re a genius!!! I love this so much! This is so smart, innovation will keep you flourishing! I design digital experiences, so am very excited to get in there and see how this works. It’s something I didn’t know I needed until you just laid it all out! A COMMUNITY!!!! Woohoooo!
I’ve been having plenty of design agonies and now I have a place to ask for help, buy and sell cool shit, and share all my weird ideas! THANKS EM, see ya in there!!!


I think Design Round Table is meant to be Design Roundtable or am I missing a cleaver tongue-in-cheek attempt here?


Make that clever, not cleaver because a cleaver tongue-in-cheek would really hurt.


I’m excited for you and kudos for thinking outside of the box. I signed up for the trial.

Unsolicited feedback regarding pricing: I am fatigued of paid subscriptions, so $10/month gives me pause. Knowing nothing about how much $ you need to keep the lights on, for me $3.99 would be a no-brainer, $4.99 would seem reasonable. I highly recommend enabling Apple Pay or PayPal. I happened to have my credit card in pocket, otherwise I would have backed out and gone on with my day.


I agree. An ad-free Spotify account is $10 a month, and that is thousands of artists/podcasts/albums/ect.
If the EHD subscription was for EHD + 1 other contributing blog, the $10 price would make more sense to me.
I am definitely not against contributing financially to the blog since I gain a lot from it. I’ll give the 2 week trial a go and see what I think.

hope we can help you out with a design agony!! see ya over there 🙂

Jo Mir

Why am I not thrilled about this at all? What I like about Emily Henderson is her warmth, openness, frankness, fun, down-to-earth approach and inclusivity. What you’re trying to do here negates the idea of Emily H, for me at least. Do we really need insiders .. the “more special/VIP” people with connections for $9.99 a month?

Hi Jo! Hope you were able to read the full post, including the section where we mention that anyone who would like to join, but isn’t financially able, can message us and get an account for free. We definitely don’t want this to be a community that is limited to only those who can afford $9.99/month. And nothing on this site is changing! We’re just offering more on this new platform : ) We also just want to make sure we’re creating sustainable revenue sources that aren’t totally reliant on advertisers. We know that readers get frustrated with back to back sponsored content, and our hope is that this platform will allow us to be even MORE selective than we already are about which partnerships we take on, there by reducing the amount of sponsored posts we’re producing, and increasing the amount of pure original, creative, content we’re producing (which we know is what both we and our readers really love).


I’m sorry, but why, pray tell, do you feel entitled to free content? Design is a business and people deserve to be compensated by their work, don’t you think? Emily could stop blogging for free and make all her “content” paid and she’d be well within her rights. This is just another way of monetizing the work she’s doing — and she’s not even taking away from the free content she already provides! It’s just an alternative, from what I gathered. Bonus stuff, if you will.

Personally, I don’t have the disposable income to take on this subscription – especially since I’m from a country with a different currency, but it’s obvious to me that, especially in these difficult time for people & businesses, people are going to try different solutions. This is one of them.


Signed up immediately, very excited for this. People deserve to get paid for their work and I am happy to support you all. This blog was the first one I every started following consistently, and it has helped me form my own style. I am no expert and only decorate my home as a hobby, but I feel much more equipped to do so with your help and inspiration.


Emily, I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I really appreciate your feel good makeovers. Besides Jessica Helgerson, I know of no other designer who has taken on unpaid design projects. I appreciate how you are serving people who aren’t in a position to pay you for your work. The only things that count are those we do for others and I hope more designers follow yours and Jessica’s lead.


I want this to work…I hope enough people sign up. It feels like one of those things that’s going to need reach a certain size before it’s impactful (and then, of course can’t grow TOO big or it will lose that impact). I don’t know what those numbers are, but it will be interesting to follow! Garance Dore announced the same thing on her blog today too, I wonder how many blogs will go this direction? And if eventually you team up with other blogs for bundled subscriptions?? Patreon paved the way, and I’m here for it…I’m just going to have to be selective of how many I can budget… Super excited for you!!

Totally, there’s a LOT to think though, and we’re still learning how to navigate it all. xx


So excited for this!! I agree with those who have been following for years- we’ve been getting lots of free content so paying now seems like it’s time, plus it’s all kinds of new things!
Thank you for being innovative along with your creative, kind hearted sides!!

This means so so much<3


I know for some, this is a hard pill to swallow, but I’ve been in the editorial and content worlds for well over a decade, and what people who are consuming said content on the other side fail to realize (or blatantly overlook) is OMG IS IT EXPENSIVE. Photoshoots, location fees, props, GOOD writers, GOOD graphics people, GOOD photographers, GOOD social managers, GOOD videographers, GOOD editors—and on the digital end even just the storage space on the server for all that great content and the web hosting, and the domain renewals, and the security plug-ins and the web developer fees…things that are INVISIBLE to us all unless you’re on the backend…that stuff eats away at revenue. “Free” content is not free to produce. And it’s often subsidized by on-site ads, on-site videos, sponsorships and affiliate links. All of which are often complained about (“the ads are so annoying!” “why are you making money off of me with affiliate links?” etc. etc. etc.). There’s nearly no way to win with some people. Creatives are often severely undervalued for the work they create, and then when they dare to ask for money to support their work, it’s often met with “that’s too… Read more »

ARLYN, you beautiful soul. Honestly thank you for everything you contributed to this site while you were here. Miss you LITERALLY. EVERY. DAY. Can’t wait until we can have a game night again and you can bring french fries and chicken nuggets as your “snack” contribution (aka a power move) 😂


McNuggets & Fries 4 LYFE!

Arlyn, I love you and thank you and miss you ( I will NEVER stop saying that)


I’ll never stop saying it back! :*


Arlyn is so awesome. I miss her posts!


So well said by “Arlyn Says…”


Time to say good luck and goodbye!
I’m happy to have enjoyed years of content funded by ads and sponsored partnerships but understand that’s no longer sustainable in the present environment.
All the best to you and your team in the new venture!

all the content is still here — still posting the same stuff, once or twice a day! no changes! just offering some affordable design help and a community for those who want a little more 🙂


Excited to check out this brave new world!


I hope in order to encourage a diverse group of people in the community that you’re actively reaching out and personally inviting BIPOC in, and perhaps even offering them a longer free trial to encourage their participation and welcoming in this space. I know you have to pay your team and think this is a brilliant way to do this, but I also know that many BIPOC in the design space have been paid less or not paid for their work, and I want to make sure they’re in this community so we’re not creating another privileged space. I know asking folks to come to you (if they can’t pay the fee) might seem like enough, but offering it directly and seeking out inclusivity is so important – now more than ever. Just a thought!


EHD has created a platform that is open to all whether or not they can afford it. Hope you can appreciate EHD’s desire and decision to include everyone who is interested.


Susan, that’s somewhat similar to posting a job and saying no diverse candidates applied so you couldn’t have done anything differently. I just think it’s important to be intentional in cultivation of a space. I totally agree that EHD is very open and welcoming – but I’m also a white woman. I think there’s also no harm in reaching out to folks who have previously been overlooked in a very white space to say, “we really want to make sure you know we want you here, too”. I meant nothing but positivity in my first post! I just know from the Black designers I follow, that they bring so much life and perspective to the conversation – and their design eye/style brings a ton of variety that I don’t always see broadly. I think the entire community will benefit from actively seeking to cultivate an inclusive space versus an “all are welcome” blanket approach.

Also, Jess – thanks for your response!

We promise that creating a truly inclusive industry is our focus so we are on the page. This is already in the works but thank you for holding us accountable. Hope to see you over there too!


Suggestion: Reader show off area

It sounds like the reader design agony group chat is more geared toward crowdsourcing answers to problems (which I will be using, great idea!). Sometimes though I just want to show off what I’ve done to like-minded design amateurs and it can be embarrassing to humble brag my completed design to friends and family, most of whom couldn’t care less about the process it took to get there (: Like “Hey internet pals, here’s the power point mood board I created thanks to EHD’s mood board post, and here’s pics of the final product!”

I’ve been a fan of this blog since its inception. Between my monthly meditation app subscription (among others) I’m reticent to add another, but will definitely be joining up. Good luck you guys, I’m rooting for you!


I love this idea, Meg! I think about this all the time. There are so many talented creative people who have honed their own design skills in the time that this blog has existed and I would love to see home tours/room reveals from other readers. I feel like this might’ve been the one aspect I was missing from the Insider content pool. Not just our head scratchers, but our design successes as well!


Brilliant idea! I wasn’t expecting something nearly so upbeat and fascinating when you teased it earlier this week.

People who know digital media — how much trouble is it for subscription members to cancel and rejoin repeatedly? That’s what I’d most likely do. (It’s what I do with all my other subscriptions, like Blue Apron and Ipsy.)

I don’t have a problem with your ads (they look fine on my Chromebook) and I love sponsored posts, especially the ones that feature Target holiday collections. I live in Nowheresville, USA so I wouldn’t get $10 a month worth of the garage sale or the helping hands features.

But there’s the design agony! I have an issue right now (hope I can straighten up my living room enough to take some pictures and post while the two-week trial is going on) and would pay — I would pay *more* than $10 to get advice about it.

Then, once solved, I’d cancel … six months later another dilemma might come up; I’d rejoin … would repeatedly changing my status be annoyingly expensive and work-intensive for the EHD insider community team?

Molly H

Hmmmm! Interesting. Will give it a try as well. One of my personal frustrations about the “old” site is the often open invitation to ask design questions, but mine were never answered by anyone on the EHD team and only occasionally but someone else which (sorry to anyone who responded!!!) didn’t give me complete confidence in the answer. And I totally get it–big audience, and you have lots to do behind the scenes to move on the to next topic. But I would get all excited about a design question and then not hear anything back, so I gave up asking questions. But maybe I’m not clearly understanding? “…bloggers, designers, editors, marketing directors, social media experts or anybody pursuing a creative field – our platform will allow you to know who is interested in the same things as you, who is near you even, and then you can connect and build that relationship.” It’s my understanding that a “blogger” is someone who writes material for a site. Is that what you mean and you will be more industry focused? Or are you including people like myself who have design questions for their home?????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks–and how exciting for you to evolve.… Read more »

MOLLY I HEAR YA! this was 100% the thought process i had in mind — we get so many questions (mainly because we ask for them — i am especially guilty of this!!) and then we don’t have the bandwidth to answer. but over there, we *DO* have the bandwidth to answer! so PLEASE come on over — we’re already helping with layouts, art placement, window treatments, contractor recommendations, and more. (it’s us PLUS other community members which makes it even better tbh.)

bloggers + more can come over and ask questions about their business, editors can peek at what we ~regular folk~ are asking about to help inform their content angles (more accurate, timely, niche information for all!) but truly — most importantly, we’re just excited about a space where we can afford to spend the time connecting one on one with ya and helping you get your home to exactly where you want it to be. SEE YOU OVER THERE, YEAH?! (i’m truly on a high from spending the last 8 hours on that site — everyone is so wonderful and I AM VERY EXCITED AND ENTHUSIASTIC RIGHT NOW)

ps. Molly – I sent you an email (I think!), but if you didn’t get it, I’m [email protected] 🙂


I understand why you’re doing this and agree you have to try to support yourself. This idea is better than going to a Facebook group because there’s so many things I’d love to participate in (such as your Insta stories or groups for things I have paid for) but don’t. I don’t have a Facebook account and won’t make one because I think Facebook does a lot of harm in the world. At least this way you are solely responsible for privacy policies and presumably you won’t be collecting users data and targeting them with ads, a la Facebook. I’d love to test out your 2 week free trial but am afraid I would end up subscribed when I know I’m *not* going to subscribe. $120/year is too much. I’m not going to engage enough to justify the expense. I find it hard to read all of the blog posts even though I do truly enjoy it. To justify that kind of expense, I’d have to be actively remodeling my house or something because $120/year is a premium price. I agree you might be better off with a “pay what you can” model. That way people who would get a… Read more »

I’m TOTALLY into this! This website is my first daily read of EVERY morning (and then multiple revisits during the day). So excited to see what it will be like! Also, I can’t believe all the negative comments on here. I think it’s very cool that the current site will remain the same and free. So, for those that are balking over that monthly price, this doesn’t affect you in ANY WAY if you choose not to join. Just like how I think cable TV is ridiculously expensive. So, I don’t do it. I don’t buy coffee anywhere because IMO, it’s a waste of money and not a priority for me. I don’t get mani/pedis because it’s not a priority and again, IMO, waste of money. Do I eat out more than I should? Yes. Because I love to eat, and hate to cook. We all pay for the things we prioritize. If it’s out of your budget, use Emily’s FREE offer (which I find very generous of her) for people with that situation, or choose not to join. There is literally nothing to complain about. I decided to do a blog for almost 2 years on top of working… Read more »


I was noticing the same thing – so weird. It’s like all the Debbie Downers took this as their clarion call to nitpick and complain just for the sake of it. They must be feeling deprived of their normal whining outlets due to the pandemic.


Good luck on this exciting venture!! I think you are ahead of the curve and I’m excited to see how it goes.

As a longtime reader (and someone who is very risk adverse & not great with change!) I am skeptical that you’ll be able to keep up the amazing content on this site AND do a great pay-for option (for example: are you increasing staff?)

I LOVE this blog, so I will definitely be paying for this new option and giving it a try for a few months. I hope to be proven wrong (and will be patient as kinks get worked out), but i’m nervous. I would actually prefer that you go down to just one great post here a week while you focus on the paid for site? But hey, maybe y’all have the bandwith for both.

Thanks for keeping us all sane during these crazy times 🙂


replying to my own post to say that i already can tell i love the design agony section of the new site SO much. i guess leading with “more blog posts” on the paid site didn’t totally sell it for me. but seeing it more, i love the social media/reader engagement aspect of it. i think i’m feeling more confident about this! really hope it takes off 🙂


I’ve followed you since 2012. I love your website. I love your work. I would absolutely pay for a website where I got access to you content and where my information was not sold and harvested. The main thing detracting me from signing up though, is the feeling of WHIPLASH. I don’t mean this to be negative, but over the past few years, it seems like you have a new plan every six months… growing the team… making the team smaller… afternoon snacks… until a few months down the road for the efforts die off or change. I just don’t believe it anymore and I also know myself – if I sign up, I won’t find the motivation to cancel until a year or so after I should (generally how subscription services make their money). Good luck, truly, and if it’s still going 6 months from now maybe I’ll reconsider.


THIS! I know this year has been unlike any other but even before covid happened it felt like the blog was all over the place. I’ve been a long time reader and it feels like most ideas in the past year have been a “flash in the pan” sort of thing. I’m hesitant to try this out till I know it’s sticking if that makes sense. I also really question the timing of this. I know In the post she talks about giving people a code to continue if they can’t afford it but it’s just an odd thing to put out right now. We’re in the midst of a global recession, a civil rights movement and this just feels…off (essentially a private club that you pay to be a part of). I’m going to hold off for now :/


Yeah, also agree. Even the Mountain House was one of those changes that died off! That’s when I started reading the blog, because it was presented as this new strategy to make content and engage readers. But then the voting ended up not really working (understandably, because designing two strong but different options was a lot), so I’m afraid this project may be misguided as well…


I would be more excited about this if EHD was contributing truly “original” content to the world of design on the internet, however this year I’ve noticed the majority of the posts are referential to other people’s design work, are round-ups of products to buy, or are re-posts of EHD work from years past. I haven’t seen much original content in quite some time, therefore would not be willing to pay a subscription to be referred back to content on the web created by others or just to shopping sites. Last year felt super exciting with all of the reveals and make-overs, but this year EHD seems to be without a raison de etre. I understand it must be very difficult to create and sustain a design business online, and I have seen others go this direction as well. I am not minimizing that difficulty, and I hope EHD can find it’s footing again as I’ve been a long time fan.

Hi Leanna, this year has been unlike any other for everyone. While we have had some awesome reveals so far this year (Julie’s MOTO bedroom and Sara’s MOTO living room, dining room, and tv room to name a few) COVID stopped our production completely. It also basically halted our ability to source and really plan for the projects that were the works because no one knew (and is still even unsure) of the future is going to look like and what is safe. But fear not because we have lots of plans in the works:)


Aaaaaand … the content has benn remarkably excellent!
I actually prefer the sort of down home rawness of the pics, etc.
It was getting a bit overpolished pre-Coronavirus.
I think the upheaval of the world has brought out more humanity in we humans and EHD are onto it BIG time!


Yeesh. Very long time reader and not gonna lie, this bums me out. Kind of surprised EDH is going this model when you just reduced overheard significantly with reduction of employees and office space overhead? Too many subscriptions costs already, doesn’t feel inclusive, and also maybe bad timing, a lot of people are unemployed and/or uncertain of everything, including spending habits right now. Even the “perfection is boring, lets get weird” over the most perfectly staged and expensive mountain house image on the landing page. I’ve been sticking around for the promised return of the good old stuff after the most recent survey results, but might be my time to bow out :/


Yeah, the perfectly-staged “perfection is boring, let’s get weird” and the whole exclusive vibe when they’ve been doing good work to be more inclusive… It’s all so weird. I don’t think the price point is for me, and that is absolutely fine, but I’ve been noticing these last few days since the announcement that I’m just feeling suspicious/disappointed at this whole thing… Like, if you’ve been criticized for being a club of upper class white women, why lean into it? I know you’re offering a code for those who can’t afford it, but that seems like an afterthought, like damage control. At this price point and without clear efforts to diversify the content, the team or the perspectives offered in writing about design, this launch is not about inclusivity, period. I think this is one of those occasions where having diversity on the team would help – someone who is not used to being a part of the club would have raised some questions about this. I understand that you need to diversify income, and I’m all in favor of finding innovative ways to do so. I think this idea could be really good, but it just sounds tone-deaf right… Read more »


Congratulations, Emily and team, your new community site looks amazing. Wishing you the best with this new venture. And to the people who are complaining about paying: nobody is forcing you to join. Times are difficult/weird right now and negative comments are just mean. Let’s lift each other up instead of being so negative. Love the preview of your new couch, Emily.

Thanks Elise:)


I don’t see people complaining about paying, I see people giving constructive criticism about the rate and ways to possibly do it in the future. (Because times are weird financially for all of us.) I would think a business like EHD would find this feedback valuable in order to maximize the amount of people committed and engaged to a new platform where several of the sections will require committed engagement. These comments aren’t “mean.”


This is great! Question, will it be possible to pay up front say for a year or 6 months? I just hate monthly auto-billing 😬

I can try to make that happen!


Hi Emily! I think this is great. My only hesitation about subscribing is that sticking to my commitment to put my money where my mouth is from now on! Can you assure me that EHD is going to stick to its commitment to include more people of color – writers, makers, artists, home tours, features? Have you considered hiring a diversity guide for your staff and/ or joining the 15% pledge? I feel like I’m already starting to see blogs backsliding on their commitments (and when pointed out, they refer the reader to “that black owned business list we did!!”). Can you speak to your commitment going forward? Thank you and congrats for this move. I think it’s going to be fantastic.

i can wait for Em to give a more detailed answer, but I’m here now so in the interim — yes to both!! Em’s been meeting with potential coaches to help us make sure our commitments *aren’t* kneejerk and are instead set up to be long lasting and permanent, and we wrote about our commitment to the pledge in this post 🙂


That’s great! I’m so glad to hear you’re talking to coaches. Can you speak to the 15 percent pledge? The post Em did about the items in her cart was so good (some of my favorite design pics on the blog in as long as I can remember!) – it’d be great to see you guys commit to regularly including Black designers, and the 15 perfect pledge is an excellent way to stay accountable!

oh, yeah, we took the pledge a couple weeks ago — details were in the post I had linked up there!


That’s awesome! I must have missed it in your post but I’m so glad you guys took it!

Kat L

I love it!!! I’m in.


I have been saying for ages that instead of paywalls, media outlets across the entire web should have à la carte pricing. For example, I don’t want a digital subscription to the LA Times, but I *would* pay 15, 20, or 25 cents for a single article. I digress.

In this case, the proposed ecosystem is so much more than just articles. I’m excited to give it a shot!


I’ve never heard of that idea and I really like it. I don’t want to pay for a full NYT Cooking subscription when I use a recipe once every two months, but I would for sure do an a la carte price. Related to this venture, I’m only interested in the design agony section, and I would definitely pay to access just that when I needed it.


This is brilliant and a game changer. Kudos to you and your team for thinking outside the box!

Julie S

Pretty cool, guys! I think it will be a success! I’m already in a similar group where the match is a little better for me, so I won’t be joining, but I really wish you lots of good things with this.


I cannot express how excited I am about this announcement! It seems to be a win-win for die-hard EHD fans. I understand that there is a lot of uncertainty right now, but as someone who based her entire kitchen/dining remodel on the Portland house (as well as other design changes inspired by EHD), I already owe Emily THOUSANDS!! She has spared me from design fees, countless hours that would have been spent researching different shades of white, and several therapy sessions. The least I can do is subscribe for $10 per month. I cannot wait to post photos in design agony and get direct feedback/help from the EHD community.


Congratulations Team EHD! As a journalist (and one who works on a daily print newspaper, at that, alongside our digital products) this made my heart sing. Now more than ever we need the business of media to really work for us. All of us. And it is going to take work but it starts, in some ways, with trying things out, putting a dollar value on what you/we do and innovating. But this shows you really know all that already. Yay! Rooting for this effort, rooting for you and all of us in this Wild West. Go get em




Economy of scale, folks. Big brands can afford to have lower price points. Niche brands cannot afford lower customer price points whilst remaining viable businesses.

Similarly, a T-shirt at Walmart with a $7 price point reflects Walmart selling that same shirt in thousands of retail outlets globally. Vs. a slightly nicer T-shirt at a far, far higher price point in a single proprietor storefront. Digital
content is not so different.

The hustle & product development of the EHD team is to be applauded. Working for free is not realistic, and any customer should expect to pay for a good or service. Content production is valuable work, and very much something that can and should be sold. In an earlier era, EHD would have developed into a print mag with subscriptions.

The same economic squeeze that results in readers not being able to easily throw money at multiple content subscriptions is the exact same set of circumstances that is causing online content folks (globally) to create & refine their paywall strategies.

Keep up the good work, EHD team. Very best wishes for your next chapter.



I just joined and I had a few questions.

The first post I saw had an Etsy shop name that included the g-slur for Romani people.

I couldn’t figure out to flag it. And as current events and race permeate everything in our lives how do go about flagging posts with racist wording or memorabilia? Is there an active moderation going on?


I admit to being sad you’ve done it this way. I’d have preferred to pay $5/mo for what I read here already, and then people who wanted more content could have paid $5 extra on Patreon. I am a constant reader, but I don’t actually need more community around your content for myself;) and I suspect a little bit of what I do like here will drain away.

However, you’re a small business and people’s livelihoods are at stake. So I wholly support your plans and your right to make these plans and I hope it works out well for everyone on the EHD team.


Is there a limit on the number of people who can join? I don’t see how, with a newly downsized staff, you will be able to create content for the regular blog (which is still 2 posts per day, correct?) and fully engage with an unlimited number of “Insiders.” (also, please consider revising that term. It only evokes an Us vs Them mentality. (and also is too reminiscent of Gossip Girl:) ))


How can you legitimately claim this community will be more safe than Craigslist? Is the monthly fee used to run background checks?


What actions are you taking to ensure that EHD Insider becomes an inclusive place for diverse voices, rather than another white, gated community?


Why *wouldn’t* EHD Insider be an inclusive place for diverse voices? I can’t see any way that Emily would block any voices from joining or being heard.

Go To Top