brandlerlondon

Am I Being Unfair on the Houzz Editorial/Copywriter Team in the UK??

Brandler London
24 July, 2019
last modified: 24 July, 2019

I wonder whether the Houzz community thinks that i am being unkind to the Houzz Editorial/Copywriter team with regards to "stories" such as this one that fill my inbox:-

https://www.houzz.co.uk/magazine/23-stylish-ways-to-include-plants-in-your-kitchen-stsetivw-vs~123047962

I commented as follows because frankly speaking I believe that we get to see more interesting design ideas and projects on the discussion pages than we often see in the stories by so called professional interior design journalists :-

"What I feel is a shame about the editorial/copywriter team at Houzz is that their articles are often very pedestrian and safe and do not touch on the more "out there" trends which are becoming more and more prevalent.

For example the strongly growing trend of Biophilia (the love of nature) where ecologically environmental materials are being used in the home. Houzz have scratched around the edges of this trend but have not identified it, or named it, despite it's strong emergence.

The articles by the Houzz team are often very disappointing as we have the same old images of the same styles of kitchens (with Shaker style being a particular favourite) , living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, halls, etc., with the same colours, the same styles, and so on and so on, churned out time and again!

Where is your love and passion for design? Where is your adventure? Should Houzz not be at the forefront of introducing cutting edge design and new trends rather than constantly repeating the same tired ones time and again?

It is almost as though the Houzz editorial team shows those styles that suit their own tastes rather than those that do not, which you personally may not want to live with but are still relevant in today's world and to someone else's tastes.!

Maybe I am being unkind as perhaps you are showing the images of those company's projects that pay you the most for marketing exposure???"


Am I wrong, or being too harsh do you think?

Comments (8)

  • PRO
    OnePlan

    To be honest - in my experience ( and it might have changed more recently) - Houzz offer such a low payment to pros to do an ideabook / article - I’m constantly amazed anyone can spare the time to do them! If they paid better - then yes - I’m sure the content would be better.

  • Sonia

    As a Houzz member Houzz editorials are free to us at point of use. We have access to thousands of photos and stories at no cost to us. We have an advice section where we can ask questions to the Houzz Community, or offer advice. I am assuming Houzz do make money from adverts and allowing Pros to advertise, as well as the Houzz shop, but where else do you get so much information at no cost? A home Magazine costs about £5 a month. I find the most of the Editorials interesting, but if they aren’t then I don’t bother reading them. Your choice.

  • PRO
    Brandler London

    @OnePlan.... the articles I am talking about are in the Stories section and are created by Houzz directly employed copywriters and editors.

  • PRO
    OnePlan

    Yes that was the section I was referring to too. It’s open for pros to submit editorial if they want to - but when I was consulted about doing this for Houzz - the fee they offered wasn’t in proportion for the time involved - yet alone the intellectual content.

  • PRO
    Brandler London

    I suppose that may be an explanation as to why these "stories" are so lack lustre! :-(

  • Sonia

    Confession time - I usually skim through the editorial and just look at the pretty pictures :-D

  • PRO
    Edit Design Studio

    You are 100% right to bring this up. Less is more. I think if they'd concentrated on content rather than quantity everybody would win. We are also living in the era of artificial intelligence and algorithms... This could be a part of a problem. Once you've looked at one shaker style kitchen, the algorithm decides you like that style and only brings that kind of content based on your previous searches and likes. At least that's how Pinterest works... I assume Houzz is similar.

  • Ribena Drinker

    What irritates me and causes me to just skim through most stories, is the fact they always seem to focus on houses/apartments/gardens that are either ridiculously expensive, impractical for daily life, huge, highly "designed" and staged or simply reflecting the style/colour/trend du jour and rarely reflect the types of houses the majority of us live in or within our budgets. Not everyone wants to be on the cutting edge all the time.


    Inspiration is good, but reality every now and then is better. It's no use perpetually showing images of massive NY loft apartment'esque open plan spaces, when many of us live in relatively modest semis or bungalows.


    Or depicting spacious, open plan overly staged living kitchens, typically in navy blue or a range of greys, with the ubiquitous three pendants over an island the size of a small country. With Crittal bi-fold doors, giving panoramic views over stately gardens as far as the eye can see.


    With space for a refectory table to seat 20, acres of storage and a whole suite of nubuck (or latterly teal/mustard velvet) sofa and comfy chairs, with giant art pieces and space for a couple of large dogs on the pristine limestone floor, which runs seamlessly out onto a highly staged patio. When real life means a lot of people can barely squeeze an average size table in their kitchen/diner or have to compromise on storage to fit a dishwasher in.


    The same could be said about the gardens, I'm very interested in gardens, particularly planting schemes and the more natural side of a garden, so consequently I'm sick of literally seeing the same cookie cutter, urban style paving and patios, uninspiring meagre planting and statement plants in pots over and over again.


    I think there needs to be a balance of aspirational inspiration and real life reality, that appreciates that folks maybe on a limited budget, aren't that creative or don't want to be the epitome of trend or fashion and just want the best home for them (without feeling like they're just not trendy/cool/out of step), so they too can take something away from the stories/editorials.


    Consequently, I rarely go to that part of that website because I am nearly always disappointed.




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