Friday, August 28, 2009

Design Blogger Profile: Jane Freiman of Atticmag!

Today’s design blogger focus is Jane Freiman of the great blog Atticmag. Featuring a wealth of home design and d├ęcor advice with a healthy smattering of kitchen advice and even a few design quizzes, Atticmag focuses on bringing simple, smart ideas to you in a clean and fresh format. Formally a newspaper editor, magazine editor, art gallery worker, and cookbook author out of New York, Freiman first got the idea for the blog when she was doing some home renovation of her own. Though Atticmag focuses on many aspects of design, Freiman’s deep background in food writing and even cooking (she even has a certificate in Culinary Arts from Luberon College in Avignon, France), has made kitchen design and inspiration a huge part of the blog. We asked Jane a few questions about her blog, and she provided some great answers:


I see that you started a blog after renovating your own house. Did you find there was a lack of resources for inspiration out there?
In my case, my husband fell in love with the property. But the house, oh my, it was a 13-year-old center hall colonial that was so sad. We both loved the setting but we had just lost out on a 50's style ranch that would have been perfect—the style I grew up with in California. But, it was not to be. We decided we could change the house but not the stream in the back, or the big old trees, or the 200 year old stone walls, or the unusual elliptical lawns in the front and back. I have an innate love of antiques and vintage so I felt that the only way the house would work for me was to age it to look like an older, renovated house vs a newish build. Meanwhile, I began collecting inspiration photos of various rooms and houses I liked and book marking sources I found. That collection of photos—kitchen photos in particular—was the basis for Atticmag and my whole idea for a younger, more modern magazine with accessible ideas—eventually what Domino became but not quite as sweet. I have been a magazine and newspaper editor for more than 20 years, as well as a James Beard award winning cookbook author, so doing my own venture came very naturally. Of course, I knew nothing about blogging and this has been quite a wonderful education and a way to grow and learn new things.

What's a typical reader of your blog like? What are they looking to gain from reading your site?
I think a typical reader of Atticmag is FDO—fairly design obsessed. Some readers are touring or viewing, the way you do when you go on a house tour, or window shop, or go to a museum or gallery. Some are trying to figure out their own style or refine it and looking for visual ideas—just the right thing to buy. Others are looking for practical ways to make what they have work. We want to offer a little something for all of those people. And, of course, we also indulge in what we love ourselves.


What's in store for the future? We have so much news this week!
First, is that we have a new contributor, Anne, who is a virtual artist. Tomorrow, my partner Jane T, who's a rug expert (there are four of us now -- two of us named Jane, Allison and Anne) teamed up with Anne to do virtual makeovers based on changing rugs. She shows how the change of floor covering can impact everything else in the room. We also are starting to offer advertising very soon and we hope potential advertisers will contact us and inquire about coming on board. We post new content six days a week and sometimes seven. We hope people will drop by every day and get to know us and tell us what they think of what we're showing and what they want to see as well. We also recently added recipes and love linking up with food blogs, as well. It's logical because we have more than 200 hand-picked photos of kitchens we love in a variety of styles and colors on Atticmag. So food is a natural partner for kitchens that work.


And finally, what's your favorite part about running/writing a blog about home design?
My favorite part about running the blog is working with Jane T and Allison and Anne and of course being able to show beautiful things all the time. It's rarely sad and it's so much fun to see how happy and contented people can be when you are able to show them something that makes them feel more peaceful and happy in their homes. Also, I am besotted by working online and work very hard at learning everything I can about this emerging culture that is changing our lives so quickly. I love being part of it every day.


One of our favorite things about Atticmag (despite the awesome content) is how organized the site is. Divided into carefully thought out categories, you can read articles about collecting, antiques and other interests to choose very specific inspiration posts like “farm kitchen sinks” or “lavender kitchens.” Along with simple inspiration posts, you can also view video posts, house tours, interviews and much more. And, we’re proud to announce that Swank Lighting was recently featured on Atticmag (so they clearly know good stuff when they see it)!

Thanks Jane, for answering some of our questions, and thanks for featuring Swank Lighting! Don't forget to check out all the gorgeous lamps at Swank Lighting's website!

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