The Dering Hall team is thrilled to announce that the renowned editor is joining the company as the new Chairman, Editorial and Strategic Initiatives. As editor-in-chief of Elle Decor, Michael Boodro transformed the magazine into a must-read for interior designers, expanding its reach both in print and online. We sat down with Boodro to talk about his ideas for Dering Hall and the industry we all call home.
Dering Hall: Why Dering Hall, and what's exciting about the digital world now?
Michael Boodro: One of the things that excites me about Dering Hall is that the site works with so many talented designers and top brands, and its sophisticated technology is specifically geared to the needs of the industry. DH takes a holistic approach toward the design world, and is as much a cheerleader and booster of the industry as it is a way to source the finest designer furnishings. Digital is the way so much of America shops now, and that is particularly true for young designers. We want to work with them, make their jobs easier on a day-to-day basis, and answer and anticipate their needs.
DH: What inspires you about the industry?
MB: When I was in college, I wanted to be an architect—until I realized I didn’t have the talent. Which is part of the reason I have so much respect for designers, architects, and landscape designers. Their creativity and their ability to solve practical problems on a tight schedule never cease to impress me. And it is a very open and supportive industry. Designers are always eager to share their knowledge and concerns, and that has consistently impressed me.
DH: What changes have you observed in the industry?
MB: One of the biggest is the change in the idea of exclusivity and the meaning of “to the trade.” Designer goods and fabrics reach consumers in myriad new ways. The Internet has had a huge impact on that. We want to work with design centers around the country to convey to both designers and consumers the breadth of options available, and the diversity and range of talents in our industry. Social media is another huge change, and it has multiplied the options for designers to present their work—many now attract clients through Instagram or Pinterest. That could never have occurred even ten years ago. What hasn’t changed is the desire so many people have to create a beautiful home. What is different is how that goal is achieved.
DH: What are some of the challenges/opportunities you see ahead for designers?
MB: With fewer design magazines, there are fewer outlets for designers to showcase their work and to discover new talents and resources. That is where DH can be a great help. And designers have consistently told me that their clients have become more impatient—they no longer want to wait 8 to 12 weeks for the perfect sofa. But technology can have a huge impact here. Thanks to DH, designers can quickly get the information they need to order the perfect sofa, console, or chair—even in the middle of the night.
DH: If you could wave a magic wand, what's one thing you'd want to create or make easier?
MB: The major idea I would love to be able to get across once and for all is how much skill, talent, and expertise designers bring to their work. I would like to finally shatter the myth that design is inherently snooty or pretentious, and that hiring a designer is vastly expensive. As I have seen time and time again, a good designer not only creates a home better than us mere mortals can imagine, he or she does it while avoiding expensive mistakes and costly delays. And there is the right designer for every project—whatever your budget.