If you’re a designer who doesn’t have the renown to get invited to participate in the Kips Bay Decorator Show House—what are you to do? How do you get exposure? Maryline Damour was a new designer looking to connect with other designers and vendors in the Hudson Bay Area. She had the brilliant idea to create a show house to bring the community together.
Maryline was 4 years out of design school. She knew that being invited to participate in a show house was something that could launch your career. So she took her destiny into her own hands and decided to organize her own show house. In this episode of Wingnut Social she shares how she chose a house and everything she’s learned about the process along the way. Don’t miss it!
What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social
[0:50] Valentines Day & Doodling
[2:45] Announcement: Podfest 2020 in Orlando!
[5:22] How Maryline Damour’s show house got started
[9:35] A show house can launch your career
[12:15] How do you choose a show house?
[15:35] Blowback from designers - why are we fixing up YOUR home?
[17:15] How did she decide what to do with revenue?
[20:00] Exposure gained from house #1
[22:32] Obtaining show house #2
[25:11] What’s in it for the homeowner?
[28:10] Does the homeowner get a say in the aesthetic?
[29:43] Legal issues you might run into
[32:15] What is the financial commitment?
[35:35] What is Maryline’s focus for show house #3?
[41:52] Mistakes to avoid and lessons learned
[44:35] What up Wingnut! Round
[48:05] Connect with Maryline
[51:56] Blooper Reel!
Connect with Maryline Damour
Kingston Design Connection
Kingston Design Connection on Instagram
Kingston Design Connection on Facebook
Resources & People Mentioned
Darla is speaking at Podfest 2020 in Orlando!
Corey Damen Jenkins Episode
Sasha Bikoff Episode
Stacy Garcia Episode
Andrew Joseph PR
Sourcing a show house isn’t as easy as it sounds
Most people in the Hudson Bay didn’t even know what a design show house was. As Maryline began doing market research she was finding herself educating others. But shocker—she couldn’t find anyone who would hand over their house. After a year of zero headway, she made the executive decision to use her own home. It was a mid-1800 Victorian house in dire need of repair. But what other choice did she have?
There could have been potential blowback from designers. After all, they were essentially fixing up HER home. What if they thought it was a ploy for her to get free stuff? So she decided she needed to be upfront from day one in all of her marketing that it was her home. But she also emphasized the reason for the project in the first place—connecting area designers, vendors, and other makers in the space. People understood the value proposition and came on board.
Plus, she replaced her roof, fixed the front porch, and made improvements on the house to prepare it for the designers.
Show house round #2: A different angle
With the exposure from her first year, Maryline took a different approach to source a show house the 2nd year. She had been approached by a publicist—Andrew Joseph—who succeeded in getting her a lot of buzz. So she did a call-out to have area homeowners submit their homes for the 2nd round. About a dozen people applied and they landed on a huge brick home that was built in the 1800s. It was a whopping 4,000 square feet with 16 different rooms spanning 3 floors.
The family of 8 homeschooled their children and were able to stay with family for September and October, giving Maryline and her designers’ plenty of time to transform the space. But they have to move out of their home completely for 2 months, begging the question: what’s in it for the homeowner?
Maryline pointed out that they get anything that remains in the home. Landscaping work, permanently installed lighting, wallpaper, paint—i