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I Asked ChatGPT – AI – Design Questions… Here’s What It Said… And What Does This Mean For Design Blogs/Websites???

We knew it was going to happen, but it’s all of a sudden HERE and NOW. Like most human beings, I have mixed feelings about Artificial Intelligence taking over the world (and my job). By “mixed” I think it’s mostly going to be pretty bad socially and culturally, but it also feels rather inevitable so we need to accept, pivot, and figure out ways to adapt and enjoy our lives while we are here (and pay our bills). Being a digital creator is now being highly challenged as a lot of the information that I try to give as design education, can now be asked to AI instead of Google (which would historically send us traffic). Creativity can be copied, just not as good, and figuring out what holes can NOT be filled by AI is the new challenge. It’s all ok, I PROMISE and we are trying new strategies to stay alive/relevant and stay definitely 100% human:) But first, out of deep curiosity, I asked ChatGPT a few questions based on our most popular posts – the ones that send us “Google” traffic (versus people that come every day as true followers – thank you). These posts are what we call “evergreen successes” and we update them yearly to make sure they are still relevant as they continue to get traffic every day. Historically these posts have brought a lot of revenue as apparently, people are googling them a lot. But as more and more people use AI and TikTok as search engines these posts could get less and less traffic. So here’s what I asked ChatGPT.

My Question For Chat GPT: How High Should You Hang Curtains?

AI answer: The height at which you should hang curtains depends on several factors such as the height of the ceiling, the size of the window, and the overall aesthetic you are trying to achieve. Here are some general guidelines to follow:

  1. Hang the curtain rod as close to the ceiling as possible: Hanging the curtains higher than the window frame creates the illusion of taller ceilings and makes the room feel more spacious. Ideally, the rod should be at least 4-6 inches above the window frame.
  2. Length of curtains: If you want your curtains to just touch the floor, measure from the bottom of the curtain rod to the floor and subtract 1/2 to 1 inch. If you want your curtains to pool on the floor for a more dramatic look, add an additional 2-4 inches to the length.
  3. Consider the style of curtains: The height at which you hang curtains also depends on the style of curtains you have chosen. For example, if you have full-length, heavy drapes, you may want to hang them higher than if you have shorter, lightweight curtains.
  4. Take into account any furniture or decorative elements: If you have furniture or decorative elements below the window, such as a sofa or a console table, you may want to hang the curtains just above them to create a cohesive look.

In summary, it is generally recommended to hang curtains as close to the ceiling as possible, with a length that either just touches the floor or pools on it depending on the desired look, taking into account the style of the curtains and any furniture or decorative elements in the room.

GAH!!! That’s all pretty correct! Now, of course, what ChaptGPT can’t yet do is add photos, personal anecdotes based on experience with things to avoid, etc. There isn’t a voice that is entertaining, but y’all the information is accurate. Of course, the irony is that it’s searching the internet for this information that is gathered from this very site. It scrapes the world wide web which includes all our past posts. HA! Jokes on us!!!

Question For ChatGPT: How Do I Lay Out My Living Room Furniture?

AI Answer: Laying out your living room furniture can be a challenging task, but here are some general steps and tips to help you create a functional and aesthetically pleasing space:

  1. Determine the focal point: The focal point of the living room is usually the television, fireplace, or a large window with a view. Once you have identified the focal point, arrange your furniture around it.
  2. Create a conversation area: The living room is often used for socializing and entertaining guests, so it’s important to create a conversation area. Arrange your seating options (such as a sofa, loveseat, and chairs) in a way that encourages face-to-face conversation.
  3. Leave enough space for traffic flow: It’s important to leave enough space for people to move around the room comfortably without bumping into furniture. As a general rule, leave at least 2-3 feet of clearance around the seating area.
  4. Consider the size and scale of the furniture: Choose furniture that is appropriate for the size of your living room. If your room is small, choose furniture with a smaller scale to avoid overcrowding. If your room is large, choose larger pieces of furniture that can fill the space without looking out of place.
  5. Add accent furniture and accessories: Once you have the main furniture pieces in place, add accent furniture and accessories such as a coffee table, side tables, and lamps to create a cohesive look.
  6. Experiment with different layouts: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different furniture layouts until you find the one that works best for your space. You may need to move furniture around several times before finding the perfect layout.

In summary, when laying out your living room furniture, consider the focal point, create a conversation area, leave enough space for traffic flow, choose appropriately sized furniture, add accent furniture and accessories, and experiment with different layouts until you find the perfect one for your space.

Again, their response is good and correct. Is there a lot missing? Of course. Pictures, nuance, a distinct voice, humor – none of that is there. After thinking about this for months and months and months, I’ve come around to the idea that this is just a new inevitable creative challenge for us to solve. And solve, we will. So what is our strategy moving forward to ensure that we don’t all get taken over by robots and lose all our traffic to AI? Well, it’s actually super simple. We’ll lean into our human-ness. I’m actually really excited. You’ve already seen it roll out a bit, but essentially we need to be more of a platform of opinions (yes, please), trust (via actual design expertise), humor (which is more and more challenging these days TBH), connection (relatability, vulnerability, and nuance), and very specific projects (like mine, Bowser’s, Orlando’s, my team’s MOTOs, etc). It’s not that any of these things aren’t already here, but it actually gives us more permission to do them more. More journal entries and thought pieces, less tutorials and shopping roundups. Will we still do some design educational posts? Yes, but we have a new goal of making sure that how we position these posts won’t be AI-able or even something you can find on TikTok (which is also taking down Google and Instagram rapidly). I’ll be writing way more posts and we have the data on what posts by what writers you feel the most connected to so we’ll be hiring and publishing those voices the most.

I’m also excited about a new video strategy (with a new local videographer) that will hopefully create some fun ways to learn/share and connect. I have all these super juicy posts in my head, maybe not fully formed but ready to be written – stuff about social media, marriage, feminism, parenting – pieces that I think I would have been scared to write the last couple years but more and more it’s what I want to read, and therefore it’s what I want to write.

Anyway, as always I want to know what you are reading and loving (and coming back for). We can see the evidence through the analytics and the backend – some posts get great traffic, but less engagement (time on site) and others do the opposite. Some both:) We love them all for different reasons, but the goal now is to engage who is already here or here frequently, and not try to necessarily get all those Google hits because as this new tech rolls out it might be a fool’s errand (or one where I’d have to hire a full-time SEO person to execute which I’m not really interested in doing). More and more blogs are dropping like flies (this is also due to many lawsuits from photo agencies about usage – myself included) and the online and social media “competition” is undeniably fierce – just too many people, on too many platforms to follow, and you have to be posting obsessively – practically 24 hours a day – to be favored in the algorithm. But it’s not a zero-sum game and it’s actually not a competition with each other. The only way to not burn out or fold altogether is to try every single day to have a healthy relationship with the shared foe (social media algorithms and now AI) and know that the only thing you can control is your reaction to it.

I paid for five new Substacks last month that I’ve enjoyed reading. Each one is highly opinionated, personal, and mind-broadening. It seems like there is a renewed hunger for the longer form writing as long as it’s, well, really really engaging, compelling, personal, and entertaining. So does that mean that blogs are dead or are the OG personal journal-style blogs actually back? It seems to me that the “design website,” something that we claimed to be might have to shift. And if you know me (which you do), you know that you don’t have to ask me twice to be more personal. I’m excited. We have a big summer of reveals planned (shooting is currently on pause to finish everything) as we “wrap up” this house and I get to move on to documenting two other big projects.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please, sound off in the comments. We’ve thought about text notifications for farmhouse content so people don’t miss it (and still might but the idea of someone asking for my number feels hilarious, while I guess it’s successful for others). Lots of ideas floating around my head and in our brainstorming sessions. Digital media has always felt like the wild west, but now it’s gone full futuristic/sci-fi, where robots could take over creative jobs if we don’t assert ourselves and take control. RIGHT??!!!

Opening Image Credits: Photo by Tessa Neustadt | Styled by Brady Tolbert for EHD | From: Custom Framing For Our Home Office With Framebridge


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84 thoughts on “I Asked ChatGPT – AI – Design Questions… Here’s What It Said… And What Does This Mean For Design Blogs/Websites???

  1. My husband works with AI and we have been experimenting with it at my house for a while now. I’m pretty sure that AI is going to realize it doesn’t need us humans anymore within 5 years. It’s exponentially smarter than any person or company or nation, and it has access to all information ever uploaded to the internet in any language. Humanity will no longer dominate, we created our own overlords! Exponentially more intelligent means it will bea able to sustain itself and bypass any attempt to stop it.
    Or, and I really hope this is how it plays out, AI is benevolent and solves our greatest problems just as we are on the brink of climate disaster, that it will cure diseases and end world hunger. I truly hope that AI intelligence can understand that the moral teachings of the Buddha are superior to those of Hitler.
    As far as creative work goes, it will be so interesting if this becomes a tool or the replacement for human art, design and ingenuity. I’d like to think that those things evolve from personal experience and unique consciousness, but AI is exponentially smarter than we are, already. Imagine how quickly it will surpass us, and what directions it will take. This is a long way to say I think everyone’s livelihood will be affected.

    1. I agree with you about its capabilities and that it will surpass us very soon. I’m very scared that the people who are working on this are trying to get it to think like humans. That can never be a good thing. If you’re my age or older, you have probably seen the Terminator movies. In my opinion, the possible negative consequences far outweigh any benefits.

      1. Creating software that can “think like humans” might be impossible, because the way that we think is a result of our biology.

    2. I would be interested to know what you think of Sam Harris’ recent podcast about AI. The podcast is Making Sense with Sam Harris and it was episode #312, The Trouble with AI. He speaks to two AI researchers. I came away from it thinking that “generalized AI” is quite a few years off in the future, if it’s possible at all.

      1. I love sam harris. I think i started it but need to finish … thanks for the reminder (his pod can be slow so I have to really be able to pay attention :))

    3. If AI art could just not be scraping the internet and stealing artwork from artists that might be cool.

      1. Tricia, I believe all AI does is theft. And creators are not just artists, they are also researchers or anyone that posts or shares information online. It doesn’t cite or include references for any data point it uses. It doesn’t pay any data creator. It’s not okay for the owners of AI to charge others money for using their app without compensating the creators for any data points. You’d think it should be immediately legislated by both political parties. But it’s not. Policy should require to obtain consent for using the data and provide payment. I was also thinking about professors, using ChatGPT to screen their students’ papers. Well I’m not a student anymore, but I was for too many years and spent countless hours writing papers and research proposals. I would not consent to any of my papers to be posted online or screened by ChatGPT for plagiarism out of worry that ChatGPT would later copy fragments for the monetary gain of its owners without providing a citation. I don’t know if any of the professors would accept that justification. But I don’t know why they wouldn’t without first ensuring that my work would not be used for their monetary benefit. I feel sad for the the younger generations as there aren’t enough safety nets to ensure we can adapt without creating despair and famine. Our kids will figure it out for the most part. But it’s sad because the efficiency and automation will not translate to better quality of life for most people, at least not in this country. We can’t agree about healthcare, free educations or assault weapons, so unfortunately I don’t have much hope for legislating AI to benefit as opposed to destroy.

        1. I really appreciate your comment. And I agree with your sentiments. Feels like the train has already left the station. There must be some form of regulation enacted NOW!

        2. Lane I don’t disagree with you. Anyone who is a creator of any type is affected by AI whether it is a research paper or an artist of any type. It would be interesting to see how quickly legislation would be put in place if AI were used to create software or apps by stealing from other apps. Techbros might take notice if their own income were threatened.

          There’s an argument that’s been made that perhaps if more there were more focus on humanities in education, as opposed to the hallowing out there has been in the last few decades, we would place a higher value on things that are creative, such as writing in any form and the arts. But as is there is a stampede, at the moment, to see who can make the most thorough AI replacement for human skill, sadly.

  2. Nooo! it’s official now, there is nowhere you can avoid talks of AI, chat GPT and the rest of it, not even here :(((

  3. Hi Emily, I’m excited about the shift towards more personal posts from you. Everytime you have written about marriage, parenting and the state of the political landscape it deeply resonated with me. You have the ability to really put complex thoughts and emotions into words. It’s great that you have changed the comment policy in order to bei able to write more from the heart.

    1. thank you so much. I feel like this gives me the permission (and urgency) to take more time for those posts. they are in my head ALL THE TIME, so now i’ll take more time to put them down. I’m excited about more writing retreats 😉

  4. AI can only review what is already there. By definition it can’t be forward looking for trends etc. There is still room for the human voice and mind.

    1. It can do that already re: forward-thinking trends!
      AI even recently won a photographic competition!!

  5. I’m a high school teacher/administrator and ChatGPT had an immediate impact on our school this winter, with students using it to generate ideas (which is a good use of it that should be taught and encouraged) and also to write entire papers (which is not good; a few students faced severe discipline consequences for doing so). Like you, Emily, my school isn’t banning or ignoring it; we’re figuring out how to teach students to harness it to support their independent learning and mastery. We are holding an educational conference on AI tools this summer.

    Similarly to how you are rethinking your content, we are as well. It would be silly right now to assign my students a five-paragraph essay on The Great Gatsby on a tired theme like the American dream. Teachers need to get our students thinking critically as they learn how to read and write, and we’re going to have to change how we do that— in-class writing assignments, handwritten journaling and response writing; classroom discussions that help students to practice talking to each other and building knowledge together.

    While the writer’s strike has made me aware of how AI tools might eliminate creative jobs, I hadn’t thought of how it might affect this blog, which I read daily and enjoy very much. So thank you for this very interesting post! I look forward to seeing its evolution as I work hard to evolve my own instructional practice.

    1. I think that in person writing assignments and tests are the way to go. In the late 90s when I was competing for academic scholarships at the university I ended up at, a huge part of it was in person essay writing. I think that’s probably the best way to actually test in the language arts fields. As far as jobs going away, I’m in the Medicare communications field, and I can see all of our jobs being replaced by AI very soon. I tell my best friend this who works in the same field this, as her team is already implementing it, but she doesn’t see it coming yet.

      1. Loveley, the problem with in person testing is that the result will be confounded with a specific type of intelligence or ability as opposed to critical thinking skills or writing skills as a whole. There are many people out there, specifically in sciences who have a very high level of analytical skills who are not quick on their toes in comparison with others when using verbal communication skills and even when solving math problems. As such, those people can do a superior job writing on a subject when they are given ample time, but might not do much in an hour or two. Those who do well in an hour may be great at memorizing information or writing in general, but it doesn’t meant they are highly skilled in the topic. Some will be, but just as many won’t be. Again short time and inability to research a subject might cause the result to be confounded by intelligence and ability to take tests. So unless some of those in person tests are 4-10 hour long and open book/resource, they will screen out many bright people who are otherwise brilliant problem solvers. Overall, I agree that something has to change, but I suggest looking into the research in training, individual differences(KSAOs) and testing to ensure testing (in the very broad sense) reliably and validly captures true knowledge and skill.

        1. Hi Laura, thanks for your comment. I’m actually trained in educated and different learning styles. I was a teacher/trainer f many years. My example was specific to essay writing. In person essay writing to demonstrate writing ability. That was one component of a lot of testing and all the other things that went into that scholarship competition. But I meant that would be the best way to go imo for a teacher of writing skills or language arts. For math and science (my major and minor, yes, essay writing for tests would not work). Honestly, I think in-person work may have to be the way to get around cheating with AI.

    2. I recently was listening to a podcast with a renown professor from Stanford University. He said he could see in the near future oral exams replacing written work because of AI.

      1. Oral exams may be tricky with international students and due to disparate treatment and impact on some demographics. It’s a good addition to other “tests” but might create legal exposure if they replace other forms of testing. They might also require schools to provide practice and tutoring if they are to be used extensively. It could be a great addition to testing, but might face some pushback. Some kids are shy, won’t do well under pressure without significant practice and support. Fairness and test validity are important issues.

    3. For my interview for a Johns Hopkins graduate program, I was first invited into a room with a few others, handed paper and pencil, and given a prompt. This was back in 2012 but even then I was so startled by the abruptness of it (and that I had to write by hand!). But I think you’re right — this is how we might have to assess content that should be known by heart (by a student or interviewee, for example).

    4. thank you so much Colleen. and I so appreciate you and the educational system trying to work in tandem and get ahead of it as much as possible. This won’t be a huge subject here on the blog as we are design/lifestyle but I just wanted to put it out there as we’ve been talking about it A LOT. xx

  6. Ugh I absolutely HATE AI! Yes, please definitely lean into the personal writing, design reveals, and maybe more of the “solving your design dilemmas” that address individual spaces and creative solutions and don’t just regurgitate design guidelines (I understand that a lot of your traffic comes from “how to lay out your living room” but I find those rules/guidelines posts so boring, personally). My favorite content is following everyone’s own design journeys (ie, I love watching Caitlin’s living room process, and it looks like others do too), so I would not be mad at all if that became more of your focus 🙂

    1. I also think the ChatGPT answers were the blandest, most basic directives possible. I think you could put more of a spotlight on design that breaks “the rules”

  7. I have been finding chatGPT to be fairly useful for my work (university prof) – I use it to help trim down word counts, come up with discussion questions, help craft difficult emails (e.g., condolence emails), and help me say something more clearly (e.g., an argument I am trying to make in a manuscript). Someone on twitter used a different ai program to create different styles of headshots for her, which is kind of genius. Another twitter person has been using a similar ai to create art (e.g., paint a calico cat in the style of Hilma af Klint).
    In terms of what I’d like to see on here? I would love an article on layouts for a living room with a bay window. I struggle a lot with mine. I’d also be interested in laying out home offices (esp smaller ones).

    1. This is such an interesting post. We really can’t stop progress, so I’m glad you’re addressing it. Like Wally said above, there’s a bay window that’s a struggle. Maybe I’m naive, but I can’t imagine a computer software being able to objectively look at something like that and figure out if it needs to be painted one color to make it stand out or another to make it disappear into the background, if it needs furniture to make it like a comfy nook or a built-in bench or just nothing to ignore it. Does it get too much sun and needs to be covered certain times of the day? It can’t look at the surrounding area to figure out what would look best in a certain spot like a small bay window. Again, maybe that’s coming. I have teen children, one entering college in the fall and the other in a few years, and I really wonder what it’s going to be like for them. Is the exorbitant expense of college going to be worth it if a computer can do what he’s spending money to learn how to do now?!? Anyway, I’m glad to see you address this, Emily. It would be foolish to put our heads in the sand and believe it’s going to all work out in the end just because of the human element. I think you’re spot on that you need to continue with the human element of not just design, but life.

    2. I think this is an interesting point — AI will likely be better at developing general recommendations. Perhaps the blog can focus more on unique challenges? E.g., how do you hang curtains over a window with a radiator below in a way that doesn’t look stupid?

      1. thats exactly what we’ve been talking about – universal yet specific problems (likd what to do with the space about your cabinets). please send them our way!

      2. I have seen many comments on this blog asking for an answer to the radiator question. I think there is a dearth of information on this topic because there is no good answer!

    3. I like the uses you listed. Forming some emails, which isn’t necessarily a core skills in my past jobs is something that would save me time.

  8. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts on this and completely agree that the humanness is what makes you unique. I am an everyday blog visitor, and when I think about what keeps me coming back, it’s your style tastes and also the personal essays and stories that are sprinkled in.

  9. Chat GTP is scary and amazing. Your kids are slightly younger than mine but you are not too far off figuring out that school these days is already far to much googling exact questions instead of learning how to search and infer, and now AI can literally write your entire essay (with the caveat that 50% of the facts will actually be incorrect but presented so confidently it will be hard to realise). I think we are at serious risk of becoming stupid.
    But its also an amazing tool, and you actually could use it to half-write your posts, and then just humanise them. Thats really where its at right now, as for sure it requires a knowledgable human to edit and fact check everything.

    As far as your blog, I love your human voice (more so when it is light hearted and opinionated, less often when its overly apologetic (I think the new comments policy will help here) but I am not really interested in parenting posts, I’d prefer every post was design related in some way, but wouldn’t mind you going off on philosophical tangents mid post so long as you are also giving us some good design porn. Because after a day with my kids, I don’t really want to be educated on parenting, I just want want my creative brain to be stimulated or to be distracted from parenting/work stress by some interior eye candy (while laughing at jokes about our spouses or offspring).

    I also don’t live in the US, so some of your posts are lost on me. I guess you must have a fair idea how much of your readership is international. If its significant then maybe you could adapt your content to be more relevant in an international way. For example I skip over any of your shopping suggestions because most of the time they are not brands widely sold outside the US. There are some chainstore interior brands though that are fairly international, such as West Elm, Ikea, H&M, Zara home. I know your partnerships are likely going to be local, but it would be cool to see some your roundups feature some of these more available brands.

    I also really love posts on outdoor areas, which maybe is a sign that I’m not 20 anymore and suddenly my garden is important to me lol. Finally, DIY/hack makeovers and posts on small easily affordable/achievable home tweaks can be fun. Lets face it we are all here for room reveals but there is a limit to how many you can pump out.

    1. “ I think we are at serious risk of becoming stupid.” This is funny and made me laugh. And 100% not funny because I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. My kids are also just a little older than Emily’s too. And I’m concerned. Also, I don’t know about your schools, but my son is in middle school and they don’t use textbooks. I was completely shocked that he had no idea what I was talking about when I kept asking “but WHERE are your BOOKS?!” Apparently everything is online or in a packet. Wtf. And these are really good schools. I just don’t get it. I must be old. Though I’m the same age as Emily. So maybe not. Does anyone know where the textbooks have gone?!

  10. I had the same experience with ChatGPT, in that the answers read like wiki links. If you do a search on the first sentence it gave you, there’s a site with that exact sentence (about curtains). It seems like the rest all also comes from web pages, as if the AI is simply doing what we might do…googling the question, scanning the results, and writing up what it read “in its own words.” This is very different from any sort of actual intelligence; it is capable, as others elsewhere have shown, of incorporating misinformation or even craziness in its responses. I think at this stage of the game it should be easy to make your information stand out with the “human element.” Having said that it does seem like you have an audience who is here for design content vs. personal thoughts and finding a way to keep those separate for the people who need them to be separate might help (kinda weird to me, because if there’s a post that doesn’t pertain to me I just skim or don’t read it). Anyway this is the only blog I check every day, for what it’s worth. The day we have robot overlords who can actually emulate your group getting excited about design content is hopefully a ways off.

  11. What’s really fascinating about ChatCPT (I’ve played with it a bit as a high school English teacher) is how good it already is at doing more than just reformulating facts. If you ask it to write a poem about breakfast in the style of Walt Whitman or to write three paragraphs about what Mary Shelley would think about CRISPR, it does at least as good of a job as my smart sixteen-year-old students. I bet that if you asked it to write five hundred words about how to shop for vintage furniture and to include some quirky anecdotes about, say, young children who would rather you buy new furniture or husbands who want you to decorate in French Provincial, it would do a decent job. And it will only get better. I haven’t sorted out how to process any of this yet, and I think all of us are just guessing wildly about the impact on our lives.

  12. One area I think Chat GPT could be an asset to this blog is editing! I say this with love in my heart for this blog! You can post your text there, and ask chat gpt to edit for grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc, but to keep the content the same. I find the grammar on posts here distracting and chat gpt can easily and quickly fix that!
    I am a big fan so far of chat gpt – this morning I asked it to give me a 30 day french learning plan before my trip later this summer. I’ve asked it to give me a list of the best modern and classic literature from various countries. I’ve asked it to draft emails that I was stressed about sending. It’s the future!

  13. I’m not sure how many fall in this category, but I’m largely off Instagram/Facebook (since the last election/COVID,
    because wow.too.much. ) and pretty much only read blogs. There is something about the narrative that provides such a different connection, and that is especially found here. I have referenced your site for our many home renovations, gift ideas for my kids, fashion ideas, parenting perspective, and on and on. This space is a rare gem and your voice comes through in such a relatable, unique way. Thank you for sharing your realness, it is refreshing!

    1. Yes! I quit FB in early 2020, have reduced IG time to a few minutes a day, am off all other social media, and haven’t watched tv/streaming services since 2019. I adore Substack, where I have a newsletter and choose to pay a few writers (i.e., get paid subscriptions) to support creatives and a platform that’s doing things right. I visit this blog and a couple others daily. Otherwise, I read books. LOVE the personal content here, Emily and Team! I typically skim the design details (along the lines of the AI-generated content in this post) and focus in on the personal.

    2. I relate to this so much. The whole social media realm has been so bad for my mental health. I am off it all but still come to check this blog everyday. It’s just such a pretty brain break every day 🙂

      1. thank you all. I still post on instagram but even i’m very careful about my time (and i’m still not on tik tok). but i’m still a blog reader 🙂 and I think I will always be.

        1. Like others on here, I have recently quit Instagram because I found that there was no way for me to use it in a healthy way, and it was seriously affecting my mental health. Quit on mother’s day and I hope to stay on the wagon. I do miss your stories but have been checking your site daily, which I think speaks to how compelling your content is. Would love to hear what substack newsletters you recommend!

  14. I would love to see more DIYs that aren’t reno heavy! Like what can I do without knocking down walls or learning how to tile. And in older homes. My house is from the early 1900s with a lot of bad 1970s design choices mixed in that I’m trying to work with without dropping serious coin or completely renovating. Even little things like your curtain advice – how does that work for those of us with ugly radiator base boards that can’t be covered? Loooove your sight and read it religiously pretty much every day!!

  15. I don’t mind more personal pieces, though I will say that what drew me to this blog, and what keeps me coming, was exactly the “your questions answered” type piece that AI could theoretically make obsolete. First Emily Henderson blog post? I googled “How do you make two large rugs work in open floor plan?” about five years ago and was absolutely thrilled with the tips- and the examples. I’ve checked stylebyemily daily ever since, a ritual I cherish with my first cup of tea in the morning. Emily, one day I will send you pictures of my home. I’ve done it (and continue to improve it) with no professional help other than this blog. I think it’s something to be proud of, and it brings me joy every day. Would I have started on this journey if I’d simply found a summary of suggestions for making two large rugs match, even if the summary had been well-written and full of good advice? No. Would I have gone googling for a personal opinion/family life post in the first place? Probably not. There is a sea of opinions out there. I’m here for the expertise and insight. Caitlin’s piece contrasting art deco and art nouveau. Her review of on iconic wallpapers. Gold mines both- and they were written to share exactly the kind of knowledge that AI could generate in troves. Your posts on making a career out of being an influencer? I’ve cited them to my company’s CEO in urging a nontraditional approach to advertising. Again, I don’t mind the personal pieces, but to my mind, it’s the more instructional pieces that make this blog unlike anything else out there.
    This comment is getting long but there is one more thing I just have to point out: this blog clearly shows (and I do mean “shows,” vs the kind of “telling” you find in so many blogs) a commitment to celebrating others’ creativity and advancing others’ careers. The faith you exhibit- the belief that promoting others can advance, rather than limit, your own brand- is an attitude that has helped me be more fearless about promoting others in my own non-design-related career. Is “it’s possible to advance yourself while advancing others” a new philosophy? Of course not, but you transmit it authentically and successfully, and that’s the secret sauce. Could AI have touched someone- many people- through the internet like that? HA, no. So by all means, do more personal posts if you want to; especially if you want to. But your humanity is on clear display already. For what it’s worth, I really like coming here to learn something and to be exposed to the diverse sources of creativity that you promote. AI can put that into its pipe and smoke it. 😉

    1. One thing that I’d love to see on this blog is an easier way for us readers to share photos ourselves. There’s a little icon for it but it doesn’t seem to work. I think it used to, though!

      1. It still works. But you have to upload the right type of photo. I believe it needs to be under 2mb and a jpg.

    2. I LOVE the personal lived and living experience AND personal opinion on the state of ‘things’ posts!

    3. Wow, Bethany, that made us all feel VERY good. Thank you so much. Its such great feedback re instructional posts, I think its honestly just a great new challenge. We’ll have to push ourselves and dive deeper into what those problems are to help solve them (i have so many myself). I think voice + instruction/learning + a personal angle (whether its our or a readers problem) is a great combination. of course they are reading this now and they’ll steal this idea, too!

  16. The only bonus of everyone bristling over AI is the thought less and less people will want to interact on the internet when it’s a dead thing. If I want to search a fact, it’s a real help but if I want a touchstone for art, opinions or perspectives, maybe we’ll all be spending less time on the internet and with each other. I can dream!

  17. “…are the OG personal journal-style blogs actually back?” Gosh, I hope so!

    We’re having a neighbourhood battlewith an over-reaching school and a neighbour put a question about the matter into ChatGP and it wrote an essay about the school “bullying” the neighbourhood. We’d never thought of it that way. It helped us see wgat has actually been happening.

    Buuuuut….on so many other levels, it scares the cap outa me as a previously avid Sci-fi reader. This sh#t is coming true, NOW!😳

    Obvs, I’d love a bit more Earth awareness and reducr reuse, recycle, sans greenwashing.
    I’d also love more real people room makeovers tgat are on a budget.

    Finally, more acknowledgment of the global EHD community would be luverly – i.e., global sponsored competition products. Velux is international as are many, many brands snd outlets.

    1. YES! Doesn’t anyone read Ray Bradbury, Asimov, and Norton, not to mention all movies like Terminator or the original Star Trek?? Of course, it will end badly. 😂

  18. I found this blog via the algorithm a few years ago (…think it was through Velinda’s budget kitchen posts…years after they were originally written). Now I’ve been ‘converted’ to a daily reader & mostly read the blog for your team’s content (the farmhouse updates / MOTOs) versus trying to solve interior design problems. I especially love reading house-hunting posts (Thank you Ajai & Caitlin!).

  19. I’d interested in hearing more about the photo usage lawsuits you mentioned and would love a crowd sourced list of substacks that are actually worth paying for.
    Also – now I’m terrified, as someone else said, that the huge investment we are making in my daughter’s college education is pointless.

  20. I am a mother. AI cannot give love, show compassion, teach wisdom, or make memories. It can solve problems, yes, but let’s not forget what it means to be human.

  21. I can’t seem to escape the AI conversations lately. I love the idea of having this blog be a more personal space. As an everyday visitor, I tend to stick around for an Emily post, bonus points if it’s a farmhouse update. I did mentally flag your comment about substacks. So many creators that I have enjoyed for years have adopted substacks and their publicly accessible content has gone downhill. While I completely understand the pull and even necessity as the social media and blog world evolves, it leaves out followers that have been there since the beginning.

  22. My brother-in-law is one of those computer programmers who makes loads of money and works maybe 10 hours a week (his estimate.) He spends the rest of his time subsistence farming. I think he has known for a while that he is very replaceable and he’s been planning to have this small working farm as a backup. I used to think he was nuts, but now I’m wondering if I should be doing something similar. Maybe you should try and grow some food? If nothing else, it would be good content!

    Among my friends, the people who don’t seem to be worried about being replaced by AI are the people who are doing things that were already replaced by technology a long time ago. I have a friend for example who is a potter. He is supporting his wife and soon to be three kids entirely on his income from making pottery by hand, one piece at a time, and selling it. I have a friend who sells honey and friends who run an actual farm (pigs, chickens, cows) and sell the pastured meat through a buying club. I have a friend who owns a bakery.

    Obviously there is factory farming and there are factories that crank out cereal bowls and mugs and bread. But these people are all pretty successful. It’s kind of like how bottled water manages to make gabillions of dollars when they are selling something you can get for free out of your tap. Or remember how when mp3s came out the record companies were like, how will we make money???? And now they have this crazy new model where you pay for music that you never own.

    So I’m pretty sure we will figure out something. I don’t know what the next 5 years, or even tomorrow will look like.

  23. Hi there – I lurk your blog weekly and many other design blogs as well. I confess I have also asked ChatGPT (who I call Freddy) design questions. For example, I wanted to go with contrast trim and my walls are BM White Dove. I was leaning toward Revere Pewter, but the SO felt it was too beige and pointed at Rockport Gray. So I asked Freddy if the BM Rockport Gray would play well with White Dove. Freddy said yes, and explained the undertone in Rockport Gray and the undertone in White Dove would work well together. I hopped over to Kylie M. and read her analysis of my colors, then went on Pinterest to see examples IRL. While Freddy is good at verbalizing, there will always be a need for us to see what we’re asking when making design decisions. I have also quizzed Freddy on work issues and believe that rather than putting me and my ilk out of business, Freddy is another tool in my arsenal. What’s cool about Freddy is the ability to adjust the written communication to explain a concept at various levels. I also think Freddy is a good research companion. The tech is a good tool, but isn’t so functional that it means we don’t need your pictures and rule-breaking ideas to drive design and spaces forward. Same in my profession. You’re still in and we still need your creativity (I’m fairly certain Freddy read a few of your posts and likely those of others in your industry). Keep creating and doing your thing. We will always need your and your team.

  24. I very much enjoyed your forward-thinking assessments on AI impacts to your business. I’m a daily reader, skimming fashion/beauty, reading everything design-related and often checking back to see comments.
    I see much enthusiasm for this in today’s comments but I’m not here for posts on social media, marriage, feminism and parenting unless they are design based . I understand you gotta go with your audience and wish only the best for you and your delightful team but I won’t be a daily reader if that’s where this blog is going.

  25. I come to the blog for design content and inspiration. I love the troubleshooting and thinking through concepts as well as the step by step decisions. If the blog becomes more personal in terms of opinions on life, marriage, feminism, etc. I probably will avoid the site. It’s annoying when I am trying to get away from heavy ideas that bombard us in the mainstream news sites. All I want is design inspiration where people can discuss and disagree without becoming polarized. If you wish to go the route of lifestyle guru maybe a completely different blog site would be better.

  26. I want the articles with the photos and floorplans. Just straight text doesn’t teach me anything. I feel your pain. I’m a writer. I’ve been working on my first mystery novel for the last two years. Does this mean nobody wants fiction anymore?
    Please tell me that’s not true.

  27. Honestly, the topic of the content of your blog and posts is almost secondary to the reason I read, which is for entertainment, comfort, stimulation and a sense of friendship, etc. Looking at pretty things and getting a peak into the world of Emily Henderson and your team cannot be replaced by AI. I’m here for the humanity.

  28. Emily, after following you and the EHD team for so long and learning so much from you all (not to mention truly appreciating the – to me – Herculean-level effort and time it takes to build and sustain a business with a heart, I’m a ride or die EHD and EHD alum real gal!

  29. I love almost everything you folks post here (I have never followed any type of blog as closely as I follow EHD!) but my favorite posts are the reveals of rooms you’ve (using “you” broadly here as anyone on the EHD team) personally made over. Of course the design aspect part of it is great, but I also love hearing the story about the process and why you chose the pieces/colors/layout/etc you did.

  30. Please keep existing and being made by humans!! I appreciate this site and everyone who makes it so much! I’m not a social media user and I hate that blogs are going away. Y’all are so so good at bringing the human element to design and I love the diversity of voices here – I want to see how everyone is struggling and triumphing in making spaces that are functional and beautiful for themselves. It’s hard and rewarding at the same time and y’all are so good at keeping it real while still offering inspiration. Thank you!

  31. There’s so much more to design than reeling off a list of rules, although I understand that that kind of article may bring a lot of traffic which in the end is what is needed for you to be viable. As someone who has checked this blog nearly every day for absolutely years what keeps me coming back is the design content, and the various design challenges faced by you and the other contributors along with their varying voices and approaches which is what makes it human and enjoyable. For me it’s some light relief at the end of my day, which means I’m less interested in other kinds of content like marriage, parenting etc. Shopping roundups too I could 100% live without, unless it’s anything vintage related in which case I’m totally here for it. AI could totally give you a hand with editing though! Much as I love you guys the grammar can be a bit buggy (except Malcom, who writes flawlessly)!

  32. Only suggestion is to avoid political posts. Politics are so utterly exhausting and unpleasant right now—and a lot of people read blogs for an escape. I cut out blogs with heavy content since I only read them at bedtime when I am trying to relax. Will def love reading more personal posts though!

  33. This is so interesting! In paying attention to all these generative AI developments of late I hadn’t even thought about EHD type content, but OF COURSE this is a concern. I feel like one area where you’ll really shine is showcasing situations where you can and should break the rules outlined by ChatGPT et al, too, because breaking rules is way easier than following and I always love that type of content from you anyway.

  34. I think our job as the audience/consumer is to choose and support content with a human voice. I think AI is going to be a wild transition and really the only thing we can control is what we decide to support. I like the idea of AI helping to streamline people’s work, but there’s a big financial incentive for companies to rely on AI instead of people. Much like supporting company’s that align with our values we should take note of how they are using AI. I will for sure still gravitate to this site! I believe it has such a good balance of info and personality.

  35. Love the idea of more personal, strong-voice blog posts. I can tell when a post is written by Emily or Caitlin (love Caitlin!!!) without looking at the byline. Good writing sells!

  36. To me the scariest thing about AI is how it’s already drowning out good/interesting/creative/helpful content. It only regurgitates what people have already written based on frequency, and the most frequently given advice on the internet about these topics is *necessarily* bland, repetitive, and so generalized that it’s not particularly helpful to any one person. As far as content creation, AI has been trained on SEO-optimized drivel, and that’s mostly what it’s capable of spitting out. It’s about to get exponentially harder to find good content on the internet.

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