Interview: Behind the Scenes with Heart Home Magazine Editor Carole King
Image courtesy of Andrew Boyd
There are a plethora of home design blogs, and publications out there, but very few have the unique knack of focusing on British design like Heart Home Magazine. With it’s launch in September of this year, Editor Carole King shares with us how the magazine has sky-rocketed in its infancy and how she juggles it with her fabulous design blog – Dear Designer.
FRESHOME: Congratulations to you, Arianna Trapani, and Daniel Nelson for the launch of Heart Home magazine! It was fun to experience the launch on Facebook, tell Freshome readers how the concept for Heart Home began and the process of making an online and print home design resource for the world to share.
CAROLE KING: Thanks Ronique. Arianna and I are avid readers of online shelter magazines and we had toyed with the idea of starting our own for a while. It was only when we discovered that Daniel had the skills to actually make it happen however, that we seriously considered it a real possibility.
We had been lamenting that there wasn’t a British one out there and we’re all passionate about British design so we decided to make it quintessentially English. Hopefully it will help to make it stand out from the crowd too.
FRESHOME: It’s wonderful to see a publication showcase British designers and projects. Will Heart Home explore other areas of the world, or keep it British run and featured?
CAROLE KING: We’re not ruling out exploring other parts of the world but there is such a wealth of talent here that we do aim to keep it for the most part British.
FRESHOME: With your background as a London based Interior Designer, design blogger, and now Editor of Heart Home, how do you find time to still post fabulous design ideas on your personal blog at ‘Dear Designer’?
CAROLE KING: That’s a good question! I don’t sleep as much as I used to! Seriously, I have had to reduce the number of posts I do on Dear Designer’s blog. I used to blog seven days a week but that’s just not possible anymore. We also have the blog on the Heart Home site to keep up to date and fresh and it all takes time. We actually have rather ambitious plans for the Heart Home blog but I’m going to have to keep that under wraps for now.
FRESHOME: What makes Heart Home different than other interior niche magazines? What has been the biggest challenge, and the biggest reward of launching Heart Home in September?
CAROLE KING: I think the fact that Heart Home is about British design is what makes it different. Sorry
to sound repetitive but it’s the first of its kind here in the UK and we’re rather proud of that.
The biggest challenge was to make sure that it at least reached the bar set by other digital magazines. There are already some pretty amazing digital shelter magazines already out there who have set a very high standard and we did not underestimate the task ahead of us.
Our biggest reward has been the tremendous response to the launch. We have notched up 32,000 readers and 1,200,000 unique page views in the first three weeks and we are very pleased with that. We’ve also had very encouraging feedback on the style and content and we have to also give credit to our team of contributors for that.
FRESHOME: What is the selection process for what projects, and designers you feature on Heart Home?
CAROLE KING: We are very fortunate that we seem to agree on most things. Arianna and I have a similar aesthetic and we’re working on Daniel.
The homes we have so far featured were chosen for their individuality and that’s something that we are keen to continue. It’s also important to us that the ideas and projects and even the shopping pages are affordable and achievable.
FRESHOME: Do the three of you collaborate on all the features, or do you divide the magazine into sections to express your individuality?
CAROLE KING: We actually all collaborate. In theory Arianna and I are responsible for editorial content and Daniel for the look and style of the magazine but in reality it’s a joint effort on every front. Daniel often suggests ideas for features and we work together a lot on the style and layout of the pages.
FRESHOME: Since Heart Home is a quarterly publication, how far in advance do you have to find new content?
CAROLE KING: Well, we’ve only had one issue so far and we’ve only just started on issue two (to be published on 8th December) so not very far at all! The beauty of digital of course is that we can still be including content right up until a few days before publication and we have no page number restrictions. We don’t have to worry about the problems associated with doing a Christmas photo shoot in July or a summer picnic in December either. We would like to get to a stage where we have one eye on the issue after next but I think that’s some way off.
FRESHOME: Here at Freshome we always love designers who have a passion. Can you share with our readers a few of your passions that makes your personal blog so much fun to write?
CAROLE KING: I’m passionate about all aspects of design. From high end opulence, to ground breaking innovations, to budget busting recycling. I love to travel too. I don’t write about it so much on my blog but it influences my taste tremendously. I am also passionate about the designer-makers who emerge from our colleges in the UK and am very envious that they can earn a living creating beautiful things.
FRESHOME: Freshome is trying to stay fresh and inviting, tell us what you think of the Freshome website.
CAROLE KING: I like it a lot. It’s easy to navigate and its full of ideas for the home and lots of lovely eye-candy too. I’m always interested in how other designers think and tackle problems so the recent interview with Lori Gilder held my attention from beginning to end.