What’s in a room?
The name of the game is to show, don’t tell. We really want to know, quite literally, what is in your room, how it came to be there in the first place, and why it is special.
My favorite submission, which came from a reader rather than a professional designer, was a short, to-the-point story about how she and her husband were downsizing in retirement. They had to be strategic – and specific – about outfitting the new, smaller space. She then listed the highlights: table from Theodores, sofa from Roche Bobois, built-ins by DeSantis – you get the idea. Another favorite pitch was for a house designed by Hugh Newell Jacobsen in 1971, which a young couple purchased and restored to all its ’70s pop glory. The designer for the project hit all the right notes in his description: a mix of vintage and modern furnishings and art to crown a scrupulous renovation that brought the original design back to life. It was a great story, and the sources used were at times unusual, but absolutely appropriate.
If I’m the editor you are pitching, I want to know something about the client and why he or she called you. I want details about the project – especially if the resources happen to be advertisers in my magazine. I do not want pontificating or fancy adjectives. A bulleted list is far better than a run-on sentence. And above all, I want it to be short. Do not take up more than five minutes of my time. I will return that favor by ending here, so I won’t have taken up more than five minutes of yours.
Jennifer Sergent, former senior editor at Washington Spaces magazine