Welcome Lucy Feagins! The founder of Australian blog The Design Files joins Holly Becker of Decor8 and our growing list of influential home decor and style bloggers from around the world. We chatted with Lucy about her five years blogging at The Design Files and the fast-approaching opening of West Elm Sydney — our first store in Australia!
How would you describe the The Design Files style? How has the site style evolved over the 5 years you’ve been blogging?
We like to think our style at The Design Files reflects the high quality content you might find in your favourite monthly glossy magazine, except we exist on the internet and you can visit us daily! We know our readers are time strapped so we make it our goal to present them with a curated edit of the five best things happening in Australian design that week. Beautiful imagery is at the heart of TDF and is really important to us. As a small business it is one of our main expenses, but it so worth it when we see a new post of ours pop up online and can be proud the work we have created.
This year we celebrated our fifth year online, which is basically 100 years in internet time! During this time the site’s style has naturally evolved, we now see the blog as more of a publication — we post daily, commission photographers, style our own imagery, run giveaways, and co-ordinate all of our content really just in house, with a tiny team (there’s just two of us – Lucy and Lisa, our editorial assistant). We have even had the opportunity to extend the TDF brand offline with our The Design Files Open House project!
You aim to cover all design-related content in Australia — from architecture to fashion to food. What is your favorite area? What inspires you to continue to blog?
This is tricky, as I wouldn’t say I favour one subject over another as they all individually contribute to the culture and landscape of TDF! I guess I do get overly excited on a Wednesday when we publish our weekly TDF Australian Home Tour, but I am equally proud of all our content. We recently introduced a new ‘Tasty Tuesday’ column to the blog, where we are able to combine two of our passions — food and design. It goes up every Tuesday at 2pm and is the perfect segue into dinner!
I am inspired to keep blogging because there is so much great stuff happening around me I just impulsively want to share it with our readers. I’m often asked if I will ever run out of things to blog about, but if you check the current state of my inbox you’ll confidently see the answer to that question is a definite ‘No!’
What are your favorite style influences from Australia?
Australians love to immerse themselves in the great outdoors, which is why it isn’t uncommon to find an amazing outdoor living space in most Aussie homes. The great Australian backyard is at the heart of social activity in Australia — especially during summer where the BBQ becomes the perfect outdoor accessory.
The tools used for blogging have changed a lot in 5 years — cameras are much better and the influence of social sites like Pinterest and Facebook have radically changed the online landscape. What are some of your favorite new changes in the blogosphere and what tools do you find the most helpful or most influential in changing how you work?
We cannot get enough of Instagram — it’s a great way to give our readers a behind-the-scenes look at TDF and allows us to connect with the wider creative community. At times it can also be used as a tool to discover a great local designer or content we might not have found otherwise. There definitely wasn’t a site like this that we could use to quickly source inspiration in the early days of blogging.
Pinterest is also one of our favourites, as we are able to share the images we create to a wider international audience, and as a platform it really promotes and waves the flag for Australian design! Pinterest is also a great driver of new readers to our website — it’s a shame when people don’t credit photography and sources correctly on Pinterest, but we feel the benefits of all the referral traffic we get from Pinterest really outweighs this.
What do you want to attempt next? Is there something that you’ve always wanted to do but continue to put off?
I’m not very good at putting things off! If anything, I have too many ideas and probably should be a little more measured in the projects we dream up!
I always wanted to explore TDF’s existence offline and came up with the crazy idea to host a pop-up shop in a…HOUSE! This dream was realised in 2011 and 2012 with our The Design Files Open House project, where we emptied out two different residential homes and furnished them with all the great Australian-designed products that we had previously featured on The Design Files! This year we really want to take TDF Open House to Sydney for the first time, now we just need to find the perfect house. Any takers?!
West Elm is coming to Australia! What about our move down under excites you?
I’m most excited about West Elm’s line of great, affordable products for the home being easily accessible for the first time to an Australian audience! AND we are quietly chuffed that West Elm’s inspiring Creative Director, Vanessa Holden, originally from Sydney, will be bringing her vision back to Australian shores!
Images: via The Design Files