House Beautiful Designs a Holistic Approach to Living … and Print

For 121 years, House Beautiful has been there to help us design and refine our living spaces. Now, they are embarking on their “Whole Home Project Concept House,” a custom-built showcase devoted to wellness and better living.

Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni recently spoke to Editor-in-Chief Sophie Donelson about the project, and about where their print magazine continues to fit in their multi-channel media brand.

“We still have a halo or a level of importance, in a way, with the fact that something has been printed,” Donelson explained to Husni. “We had to go through all of these steps, we had to make it in the flesh. There is something that still resonates with readers about print. 

“That’s why you see, for example, in higher-ticket items, there is more of a trustworthiness that readers report when they read about something in print versus digitally,” she notes. “There’s a little bit of integrity, importance and trustworthiness that the medium itself delivers. It’s our job, obviously, as editors and journalists to make sure that is the case.”

They certainly promote their brand across channels: Donelson says “… what’s really fun for me is the ability to deliver it to the reader on multiple platforms; to be able to meet them in real life; to be able to talk to advertisers about what their needs are and they’re often the same needs as ours.”

And she often takes a journalistic approach to their online content, saying “I think journalism takes many, many forms. You can write a journalistic caption to an Instagram, and I often do.”

What she sees as the true value of digital channels is the community building, noting “that’s one thing that I feel is very impactful. I feel our readers are more quickly able to find each other.”

Donelson seems to embody the future of magazine media brands we’ve been envisioning the past several years – still solidly committed to their legacy print product and the trust bump it brings, and using a multi-channel strategy to find and connect with their reader base. It sounds like a great way to build a magazine that will last another 120 years.