The “Because Right Now It’s Always Cocktail Hour” Series

Interview with Jeanne Chung of Cozy Stylish Chic, "Show Houses: How Do They Work?"

You had questions, Jeanne had (really good) answers!

What to know going in?

  1. As the designer, you are responsible for all of the expenses. From furnishings to installation - all of it.
  2. It is a huge time commitment. From application to installation, you have about five months at the most.
  3. If you choose to do a room with plumbing, keep in mind this will be a big, additional expense.
  4. This is your opportunity to get in front of a huge audience. GO BIG OR GO HOME!

What is the selection process?

Designers get a walk through and then submit concepts. Each show house has a selection committee. Any designer can apply to any show house, but expenses will increase for show houses not in your area!

What is Jeanne’s design philosophy?

Taking into account the homeowner’s “style” while putting her signature style on it. Homeowners may be involved in the selection process, so designing through the lens of what they already like, is strategic. However, Jeanne never designs something that isn’t “her.”

What is the return on investment?

ROI can be difficult to measure unless you know you received a project via the show house. You can also track increase in social media followings and website traffic to determine the return. These require having metric tracking in place. The best way to get a good return is to MILK THE MEDIA! There is a press day, it’s important for the lead designer to be there and be engaged. This will increase your bang for buck.

How do sponsorships work and what are the deliverables?

Most of the time, you will reach out to potential sponsors you already have a relationship with. Deliverables from both designer and sponsor include things, like, tagging on social media and including each other in press releases. There is an opportunity here for a lot of free publicity, so the larger the audience of your sponsor, the more mileage you’re going to get. (and vice versa)

How long did it take Jeanne to design and execute the Pasadena Show House she did in 2018?

Less than five months! #savetheday #superhero

Why should a designer do a room in a show house?

Great press, to get published, the photography, free creative license without having to satisfy the client, and to gain new clients who sign on for new projects.

How should brands reach out to designers?

Vendors who want to connect can contact the show house committee, as well as designers directly.

Heather Zeilman | Author


Heather joined the BuildLane team in early 2019. Her background includes municipal capital project management, small business and nonprofit development, as well as design consulting at a luxury interior design firm out of Telluride, CO - where she was also a BuildLane client. She works remotely from the Colorado and Wyoming mountains where she, her husband and their 4 year old son can enjoy all that open space and fresh air.

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