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Our Top Instagram Posts of 2018

Instagram is a BIG part of my business and a great way to see what you guys are liking and connecting to. It’s actually SUPER fascinating to see what hits and what doesn’t (especially when you think it will. HA). There are of course lots of factors that play into what makes a ‘successful’ post; The photo, the copy, time of day you post, that AWFUL algorithm etc. This year, however, presented a new challenge…all the renovation process posts. With these posts, we didn’t have as much original content as normal because it was well, in progress and I didn’t want to keep posting old projects that everyone has 108794589984 times. SO I asked you all how you felt about us posting designs by other designers that inspire me and you seemed pretty into that idea. It was a tough transition at first as it has always been really important to me to almost exclusively post EHD work. BUT Instagram is a place I also go to get inspiration and connect with people I may or may not know personally so why not share those moments with you too?? It was another year of learning because nothing changes faster than social media but seeing what you like does really help inform us where we might want to head with our content. Now let’s get into the Top 10 Posts of 2018 and why I think they were a success.

11. Likes: 18,818

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Okay, I know we just said Top 10, BUT this one just barely missed the mark at #11 and we get to do whatever we want here and are including a BONUS 11th top post. These numbers made me EXTREMELY happy because SO much work went into this beautiful kitchen. This specific post helped to teach you how to make a kitchen feel custom (with hardware) in a very accessible way which I think was an additional factor of why it was successful. Also, I think people love a vignette moment as opposed to full, wide shots. They feel more personal and you get to see all the pretty details. This also makes me happy as a stylist because I am all about the ‘moments’:)

10. Likes: 19,945

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It’s not my design but I saved it and wanted to post it because it’s stunning. This space shows that A. gallery walls are forever awesome if done right and B. family photos can look chic if also done right…like this. I assume people liked it (like I did) because it’s simple, elegant but visually so interesting. Amazing job Nicole Davis.

9. Likes: 20,653

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I think that people FEEL the parental joy/insane struggle. My real life stories typically do well which makes me really happy. Often the world can feel so disconnected but when over 20k people like and relate to a child yelling, “WIPE MY BUM THERE IS POOP” you quickly remember we are all the same, having very similar life experiences. This is a big reason I love social media…mass support.

8. Likes: 20,975

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When we first heard about the fires, it felt almost unbelievable. The team and I were literally in Malibu two weeks before. To say it was heartbreaking is a gross understatement. This post must have felt relatable to those whose hearts were in extreme pain and experiencing the feeling of relative helplessness. It was truly overwhelming. While no literal action happens when you double tap, the feeling of community seems to help the spirit.

7. Likes: 21,165

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This one was another personal post that hit a dream nerve amongst everyone. Having your best friend move in next door is basically everyone’s dream right? Well, the masses have spoken and the answer is yes. I do have to say that my sweet Bear may have also contributed to the likes. 🙂 RIP Bearcat.

6. Likes: 21,286

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This shot was CRAZY popular on Instagram and is still probably one of our top 3 images pinned from the blog. We featured designer, Sam Gluck’s, beautiful modern mid-century home and you guys were into it. I think this photo was/is so popular because it shows a smart, beautiful design that is functional. So much of Instagram, Pinterest, blogs etc. are purely aspirational. This nook (while not cheap to build) feels accessible which is the type of design you guys seem to respond to the most. We have taken note and are excited to roll out more of this type of content in 2019.

5. 21,999

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Talk about a pinch hitter in the last inning of the game aka the last month of 2018. After asking you guys to #ShowEmYourHoliday, the response was incredible. We LOVED seeing how our readers actually decorate for the holidays. We chose to share this holiday-themed mantel (styled by one of our faves, Erin Francois) because it was, well, BEAUTIFUL and a lot of you agreed. It’s bright, cozy and is full of garland that won’t quit. The only other explanation for this post’s massive success is that we are all creepers who like to see inside other people’s homes per the question in the copy. I feel like it’s a little of both. 🙂 In case you missed Erin’s house tour on the blog, click HERE.

4. Likes: 23,155

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I am not shy about my love for deVOL kitchens. They are true masters. In the process of blogging about all the Mountain House and Portland Project kitchens, we have shared A TON of their photos. They are just too good not to. I think this one hit so well because it was beautiful but different. You just don’t see a lot of mint colored kitchens. I think it was a wonderful fresh shock to people’s eyeballs. I mean it was to mine. A risk that totally paid off.

3. Likes: 27, 638

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It feels very ironic that my third most “liked” post of the year was where I complained about Instagram’s algorithm. Are the Instagram gods listening?? This was a post that clearly hit another nerve that the Instagram community FELT. I still HATE that it’s not chronological. This photo typically does well and is my most favorite version of my old living room but my rant was the winner here. INSTAGRAM, LISTEN TO US AND GO BACK.

2. Likes: 30,463

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Mandy, you perfect specimen. There is truly nothing to not love about this photo…which clearly everyone agreed on. Her excitement, her dress, the multi-colored pampas grass, her amazing glass mid-century modern home in the backdrop and the looks of love from her guests. True love and romance will hopefully forever be popular on and off of social media. I will also take note that posting about wonderfully talented celebrities will get a gazillion likes. 🙂

1. Likes: 37,057 (the likes keep coming)

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SO, as we were prepping this post out and feeling fairly confident about the top 10, we posted this photo, and within minutes, it had thousands of likes. Why? Here’s my fairly educated guess. First off, it’s MELISSA MCCARTHY who is probably one of the funniest and most talented actors out there. Second, the story is super inspiring (hello I was nearly speechless from shock and gratitude). Human connection is important and when done in a respectful way people should tell those humans who inspire you to keep at it. No matter how creative, talented or confident someone can seem, there are always times of doubt and worry. So just telling them you like their work or keep going can be exactly what they need. 🙂 Can we also take a moment to look at baby Charlie. My heart is crying over his polka dot bowtie and the grumpy old man expression on his face. How did he just turn FIVE years old?!


Okay now back to you. Are you surprised by the top Instagrams of the year? What do you think makes you double tap? Do you still like that I post work that inspires me that isn’t my own? Should I make more celebrity friends? JK…maybe. Let me know in the comments and we will do our best to create content that speaks both to you and me. 🙂

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5 years ago

By posting and complimenting others projects I think you are giving out great vibes to the universe. It costs nothing, feels good, and, well, karma. Keep doing it!

5 years ago

Great design with lots of hows/whys, cool clothes, inspiring ideas, cute kids, celebrities, compassion for your community… be proud, and keep going!

5 years ago

I’m not a particularly big Hollywood actress worshiper, but the Melissa McCarthy post truly hit on my heart strings. It makes tears come to my eye just reading it. Two people (albeit, who live or work in the same LARGE city) in two different arenas of my life coming together as real people to smile at the camera in a snapshot, loving and respecting each other’s work. There’s a fairy tale aspect to it… It just really makes the heart sing to see something like this.

Also the part about “never be afraid to tell someone how much you appreciate what they do” doubly made this post stand out.

5 years ago

It’s funny, I come to your page again and again for the original content. But admittedly, I don’t usually double tap on your original pictures because I feel like they are standard material. I know why I follow, it’s for the interiors! I tend to like a photo when it feels out of the ordinary. Authentic. I probably would like the celebrity and family photos because it really feels like it came from you.
I realize the flaw in that as I write it out (I should be supporting the content I come for!), but human nature is funny that way.

Emily V.
5 years ago

Feel free to ignore my unsolicited advice, but my career is in social media analytics. I love the concept of this post, and think there’s a lot to learn from your posts that did well. My advice would be to also consider looking at Engagement Rate (comments + likes + saves divided by impressions) in order to understand the top posts for total engagement – maybe a post didn’t get a lot of likes, but 15,000 people saved it. This will also help you get a clearer idea of the posts that worked really well even if they didn’t have as high of impressions as others.

If you still want to look at total numbers, I’d also consider looking at saves as i know i’ve been prone to save your posts, but not always “like” and i’m sure others may engage in similar behavior.

In conclusion, i adore your blog and if anyone ever asks me my style i’m likely to point to you as a major inspiration.

5 years ago
Reply to  Emily V.

I’m positive that Emily has heard of engagement before. This was just a fun article about which posts got the most likes because that’s simple.

Erin Dougherty
5 years ago

I’ve been spending the last few quiet days before the New Year begins researching home design blogs trying to figure out where to take my blog in 2019… Your blog is beautiful and full of great information and inspiring photos (I need to add more photos to my blog). Instagram has been my go-to social media site lately for posting about our remodeling projects but I worry it’s not the best investment of the limited time I have to spread the word out about our remodeling company. After reading your rant about the algorithm – this underscores my concerns. Anyway, I like the idea of featuring designs that inspire you and I’m thinking of doing more of that on my blog. I especially appreciated the story about Sam Gluck’s modern mid-century home since we are right in the middle of a whole-house remodel of a 1973 split-level in Charlotte, NC! Sam’s home is simply gorgeous!