Instagram Aesthetics for Interiors and Design Businesses

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Instagram Aesthetics for Interiors and Design Businesses

For most interiors and design businesses, Instagram has become the social media platform of choice and its content, an essential customer touchpoint. Acting as an extension of their website, the channel has helped interior designers, design brands and interiors stores communicate their brand’s identity as well as reaching and engaging with their audience on a daily basis.

Standing out on Instagram, however, has become more difficult than ever. The constant updates to the Instagram algorithm are affecting the number of people that get to see your content, making it harder to grow your following. While numbers won’t come easy, aesthetics will speak volumes. In the crowded Instagram world, how your interiors and design business decides to display its content will make an enormous impact on how people will perceive your brand and whether they decide to follow your account.

Like any good storytelling, your Instagram must communicate your brand’s vision, ethos and your products’ and services’ potential. It’s clear of course that, the first priority is high image resolution, and next in line comes content diversification. Owned brand content always infuses a brand’s DNA with a stronger sense of identity and vision but a generous dose of sourced inspiration that has contributed to shaping a collection or a project is always a good idea.

A Shining example of excellent aesthetic implementation and visual brand promotion is Lawson Robb. The Architecture & Design House’s images co-exist in unison when it comes to colour, composition and transition. Neutral hues dominate the feed and owned content seamlessly meets sourced inspiration from interior design to fashion.

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Lawson Robb Instagram                                                                                                  Michelle Ogundehin Instagram

Michelle Ogundehin develops her main theme around colours and nature. Still life comes to life and so does the viewer’s inspiration. Picking a main signature that resonates with your brand will serve you well and help you be memorable in a digital sea of sameness.

London meets Milan while zenith elegance collides with modernism. Artefatto’s Instagram page aces conceptualism, which fits perfectly their vision and quintessence of their highly-coveted collections but so does the inspiration behind them. The result? A feed that is a visual playground for the most demanding on the platform.

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Artefatto Design Studio Instagram                                                                            Sophie Paterson Interiors Instagram

Sophie Paterson is a pro when it comes to Instagram and her high number of followers is not coincidental. Neutral aesthetics are consistent throughout and images of her projects blend beautifully with moments from her family life. Her Instagram clearly shows her interior design style and her studio’s approach, but also authenticity and more about the person behind the brand. This content mix works and is perfect if you are looking to humanize your interiors and design brand.

Minimalism isn’t the only way to go and Anna Hayman knows it well. A look at her Instagram convinces you she is all about prints galore, delivering lessons in interior design opulence and masterfully mixing the unmixable. Challenge your curation just a tad and take cue.

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Anna Hayman Designs Instagram                                                                                Rubelli Group Instagram

On the other hand, simplicity goes a long way when craftsmanship speaks for itself and Rubelli Group seems to have chosen this aesthetic path to represent themselves before the eyes of their 12.7K (and counting) audience. Squares displaying fabrics and textures get colour-coded creating a fun game that keeps the viewer come back for the next piece of the Insta-puzzle.

Cristina Nava Studio draws inspiration from both interior design and editorial photography giving us a visual hybrid model that serves very well, and touches upon many audiences due to the account’s impeccable curation.

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Cristina Nava Studio Instagram                                                                                   Studio Moss Design Instagram

Studio Moss speaks to the millennial taste, so the 22.5K followers come as no surprise. The sleek style of Marcel Ossendrijver flows throughout the feed and makes us stop and save every post featuring one of the signature arches, the soothing pastels or the irresistible terrazzo lamps. An excellent example of organic product promotion on Instagram.

If you think your account is not growing as fast as you wanted, you might want to look into your aesthetic approach. While this is only one tactic to succeed on Instagram today, getting this right will help you stand out and get more people to follow and engage with your brand.

Feel free to contact us, if you need help to build your brand and grow your following on Instagram.


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10 Design Brands Not to Miss at Maison et Objet 2018

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Maison et Objet 2018 - Our Design Picks

The day for the most anticipated design event in Paris approaches quickly, and we are ready as ever to take it all in. Maison et Object opens its doors for the appreciators of interiors and design on Friday 19th January and will keep them open until Tuesday 23rd. Enough time to lay eyes on the industry’s emerging trends, get immersed in design and discover the latest brand collections. In addition to that, this year things get more exciting as two new spaces dedicated to textiles make their debut. Not sure how to fit everything in four days? Start with the 10 design brands you shouldn’t miss!

Fendi Casa

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The cosmopolitan aesthetic of Fendi goes beyond the runway. The renowned House has been dynamically diving into the interior design scene since 1987 in order to deliver excellent craftsmanship, the kind that “dresses” the house too, only like a legendary Italian brand can. The collection features modern as much as classic furniture that stems from the brand’s collaborations with international designers. A must-see for new and recurrent visitors.

Wall&Decò

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This brand puts the trends right where you can see them: up the wall. With distinct trend-setting tendencies and a generous dose of surrealism, Wall&Decò takes over every plain white sight of a wall and turns it into a masterpiece.

Federico Peri

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Where historical and contemporary collide: Federico Peri’s designs are imbued with true creative dedications and led by a design belief of high standards. Nominated as “Best Emerging Designer” at the Milan Furniture Fair, Peri’s work spans from commercial and residential to furniture design.

Paola Paronetto

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Paola Paronetto’s work with porcelain and ceramic redefines finishing imperfections and upgrades them to utterly modern and almost avant-garde decorative pieces. Raw textures and unconventional patterns and colours make up a collection that spans from indoor lighting to storage tumblers.

Stoned

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And from ceramics to marble. Through the years we’ve seen innumerable spins of this fine material but Stoned is rebranding it. From the classic and opulent black to the ever-beloved Millennial Pink, this marble homeware steals the show.

Creativ Light Wilhelm Mueller

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This brand’s products don’t need many words to do the talking. We are already fans of Creativ Light’s take on Midas’s urban jungle in the form of stunning lighting and can’t wait to see what this trend-setting brand has in store for us this year.

Pinetti

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Luxury home accessories have never been this elevated. When Italian aesthetic enters the game, we have Pinetti. This brand became memorable due to their bespoke, handcrafted leather products. Products made for hotels, yachts and spas, to name a few, are always on the wishlist of those with nothing but excellent taste.

Matias Di Carlo

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The manipulation of materials doesn’t stop there. Matias Di Carlo tests the limits of metal in the most aesthetically fulfilling ways. With the power of the fire and his unique vision, he crafts timeless pieces for the visitors of M&O to marvel at.

Magic Circus Éditions

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It’s hard to overlook the unbelievable allure of Magic Circus Éditions’ second lighting collection.  Sleek metal and handblown glass, crafted in an ancestral traditional workshop make the collection 02, which brims with Asian and art nouveau references, artfully tied together. The future of this brand undeniably looks bright. Don’t miss it.

Baboon

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This is a launch we’re looking forward to. Baboon is a new lifestyle brand that will make its first appearance at M&O. With Matteo Bianchi as Art Director, the brand’s wall coverings come with a refined and original twist. Representing a dual nature, in Northern Italy and London, Baboon knows that walls tell stories and they help them say the best.

Happy Maison et Objet 2018 everyone! Let us know what you are looking forward to seeing at the show.


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Sarah Akwisombe Interview - Instagram Stories for Interiors

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Instagram Stories and Video Marketing for Interiors Businesses with Sarah Akwisombe

I am super excited to kick-start our interview series with creative entrepreneur Sarah Akwisombe. Sarah is an award-winning blogger, interior stylist, founder of No Bull Blog School and more recently the winner of EKBB influencer awards for best video content. With video content and Instagram Stories becoming more and more important for brands to communicate their message, I spoke with Sarah on how interiors companies can use these successfully to advance their business. Enjoy the interview!

First of all, huge congrats for winning the EKBB influencer awards for best video content! We understand that your Instagram Stories played a big role, do you think people prefer to consume and engage with genuine and unedited video content nowadays?

I think edited / produced video content will always have a place, undeniably. The unedited off the cuff stuff that you see on stories and snapchat is starting to replace the traditional vlog though, I think those are dying out.

How can interiors businesses take advantage of Instagram Stories to enhance their brand?

It’s about adding more storytelling to your brand. Behind the scenes of you working on it, getting a product ready, choosing a supplier, having a meeting etc. Also getting to know the real people behind a brand is what gives it more emotional meaning. I would much rather shop from a little independent where I like the owner and can see the hard work she puts into making her business great than some high street retailer. Tell people about you and the people who work for your company. Why are you doing it all?

We found that interiors companies don’t really know where to start when creating content for Stories and are sometimes worried that this doesn’t look polished or on brand, how can they overcome this?

Arrgh this whole idea of looking polished drives me crazy! There is so much worry about ‘coming across professional’ but they don’t realise that whilst doing that they are losing out to the brands who show authenticity and SOUL. Talk to people like they know them. Don’t undermine their audience or talk down to them. If you look at most successful brands or advertising campaigns over the last few years the ones that are successful are tapping into what we all need to see, realness.

Normally we advise interiors businesses to be consistent with their social media activity and to post on Instagram at least once a day to maximise results. Do you think this applies to Instagram Stories too? How often should they post on here?

I think if you can post something once a day, then great! But it’s about quality so there’s no point in putting up something dull just to fill a void.

Fashion and lifestyle brands are often ahead when it comes to Instagram marketing, which accounts and Stories do you recommend to follow for inspiration?

Well, something funny just happened. Nothing came to mind instantly, so I took a look at Instagram to see which brands I follow but it turns out I follow a lot more people / influencers than brands. And the brands I do follow can be quite dull. So that’s something to pay attention to. People follow people, not brands. It shows why influencer marketing is such a big deal.

According to Hubspot, companies must create video content if they want to broaden their reach and connect with audiences across platforms. What do you think is the best video content that interiors businesses can create to achieve this?

I guess it’s about knowing your audience and the type of questions they ask. If I was working for a sofa company for instance, then I would imagine that they might get a lot of people ask about what different sofa cushions feel like, the fabrics available, ‘will it fit through my front door?’ type questions. So answer those. Make people’s lives easier or day a bit brighter. Be useful. And if you can be both useful AND entertaining, then you’re on to a winner.

Take a look at 20 Video Content Ideas by Hubspot

We know that you have been busy with different projects this year, what are you working on right now and what do you have in store for us next year?

I’m currently writing an Instagram course as part of my online business, the No Bull Blog School. It’s going to focus on building engagement and a loyal community around you and your business rather than just getting followers. I’m also collaborating with loads of great brands, doing a lot more filming work, loads of travel. So much fun!

Huge thanks to Sarah for this interview!

If you are looking for help to grow your interiors and design brand using social media and video marketing, send us an email on hello@contrasto.co.uk or feel free to call us on 020 3633 1433.

David Del Greco


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The Designers' Retreat - Milan Design Week 2018

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Contrasto and Camberyard join forces to launch the 'Designers' Retreat' in Milan

We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with Camberyard for the launch of the Designers' Retreat at Milan Design Week 2018.

Next spring, David Del Greco and Polly Williams are offering Camberyard Collective members a curated, guided tour of Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone to discover the latest interiors trends, new brands and most-awaited product launches during Milan Design Week.

Having visited Milan Design Week for the past eight years, we are excited to join forces with Camberyard and help its members navigate the design fair and explore the different events and installations in the city.

For those who have not been to the Milan design fair or are perhaps a bit daunted by the size of the offering, this is a unique opportunity to have a tailored, structured, yet relaxed introduction to it.

If you wish to become a member and join us for the Designer's Retreat, please get in touch with us or with Polly directly.

Ciao for now!


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Boost your Social Media during London Design Festival

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Photo credit: London Design Festival

Guide to handles and hashtags for London Design Festival 2017

London Design Festival is soon upon us and we couldn't be more excited!

Now in its 15th year, the Festival has become an important date on the calendar for interiors and design professionals craving to experience world-class design and discover new products. Whether you are launching your new collections or just visiting the events this is the perfect time to promote your business and increase your brand awareness.

On our previous post: grow your interiors business with digital marketing, we mentioned that to become an authority online you will need to become an author, you will need to create content. Well, with over 450 events, projects and industry talks across the capital, there is definitely plenty to share and inspire your audience with.

To ensure your content doesn't get lost in the social media universe, below we put together a list of hashtags and handles for you to use which will also help maximise your engagement.

London Design Festival 

16 - 24 September

Instagram @l_d_f_official  |  Twitter @L_D_F  |  #ldf17

EXHIBITIONS

Decorex International 

17 – 20 September 2017

Instagram @decorex_international  |  Twitter @decorex_intl  |  #decorex2017

Focus 17

17 – 22 September 2017

Instagram @designcentrech  |  Twitter @designcentrech  |  #FocusAtDCCH

100% Design

20 - 23 September 2017

Instagram @100percentdesign  |  Twitter @designlondon  |  #100design  #designexperience

Design Junction

21 - 24 September 2017

Instagram @thedesignjunction  | Twitter @_designjunction  |  #djKX  #wheredesignmeets

London Design Fair

21 - 24 September 2017

Instagram @ldndesignfair  |  Twitter @LDNdesignfair  |  #LDNdesignfair

DESIGN DISTRICTS

Bankside Design District

Twitter @BanksideDesign  |  #banksidedesigndistrict

Brixton Design Trail

Instagram @brixtondesigntrail  |  Twitter @BrixtonDT  |  #brixtondesigntrail

Brompton Design District

Instagram @brompton_design_district  |  Twitter @BromptonDesign  |  #bromptondesigndistrict

Chelsea Design Quarter

Instagram @chelseadesignquarter  |  Twitter @ChelseaQuarter  |  #chelseadesignquarter

Clerkenwell Design Quarter

Instagram @clerkenwelldesignquarter  |  Twitter @ClerkenwellDQ  |  #cdq17

Islington Design District

Instagram @islingtondd  |  Twitter @islingtondd  |  #idd

Shoreditch Design Triangle

Instagram @shoreditchdt  |  Twitter @shoreditchdt  |  #sdt17

Mayfair Design District

Instagram @mayfairdesigndistrict  |  #mayfairdesigndistrict

Pimlico Road Design District

Instagram @thepimlicoroad  |  Twitter @thepimlicoroad  |  #pimlicoroad

And don't forget to follow Contrasto to discover our highlights and live updates:

Instagram @contrasto_ldn  |  Twitter @contrasto_LDN  |  #contrasto

Happy LDF 2017 to you all!


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Grow Your Interiors Business with Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing for Interiors and Design Businesses - The Why, What and How

Marketing has changed in the digital age. The internet has become the main tool for people to find information on companies, products and services and has made offline marketing less effective.

Thanks to Google, social media and the increasing use of tablets and smartphones, people are now discovering, connecting and engaging with brands online on a daily basis. This means only one thing, if marketing is about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time then online is simply where you need to be.

While digital marketing has become widely adopted and essential for brands in all sectors to reach and communicate with their audience, design businesses have yet to fully embrace it and build their online presence effectively.

We are not surprised! Digital trends change constantly and keeping up with best practices and new technologies can be daunting. Nothing is more important, however, to get the basics right, so in this post, we share the three main steps that interiors and design companies can take to build a strong and effective online presence.

Let’s begin!

For the uninitiated, digital marketing is the term that describes all your marketing efforts using online channels and tactics. These include Social Media Marketing and Advertising, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Content Marketing, Email Marketing, PPC (Pay Per Click), Affiliate Marketing and Online PR.  Your website is your main asset and plays a key role as most content is created to drive people to it.

What’s next?

1 – Develop a strategy

Most interiors companies fail to succeed online purely because they don’t know what goals they want to achieve and normally their efforts are in vain. Whether you are looking to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, attract new customers or build better relationships, clear strategic goals will give you direction.

From understanding what resources you require to achieve those goals to recognising what content to create for your audience, developing an online marketing strategy is vital to define where you are, where you want to be and how you can get there.

2 – Create quality content

Whether you are a small interiors business or an established interior design studio, to get your voice heard and become an authority online you need to create content, as the word authority suggests, you need to become an author.

Content can include blogs, videos, social media posts and guides to name a few. Firstly, it’s important that your content is purposeful and adds value to your audience, secondly that you share this on the right platforms. Producing quality content is a great way to improve your SEO, which means that Google will reward you by increasing your ranking and visibility on its search engine. Be creative and if the content is good don’t be afraid of repeating yourself.

3 – Analyse the results

While a strategy can help you get the basics right, analysing the results of your ongoing campaign and refining your plan accordingly are fundamental to growing your online presence in the right direction. Google Analytics can help you track your website traffic and measure your SEO success, while social management tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer can also provide you with a breakdown of your social media marketing performance. With digital marketing continuously evolving, feel free to try new approaches and keep improving by measuring and evaluating results.

Although there is much more that interiors businesses can do to grow their brand online, we believe that getting the basics right is the most important step to getting ahead of everyone else.

If you need help to develop your digital marketing strategy for your interiors and design business, drop us a line at hello@contrasto.co.uk.


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The Millennial Pink Design Trend

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No-one can agree on where it came from, but one thing is for certain: millennial pink is taking over our lives.

Rumoured to have started with Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, millennial pink is not one shade, but rather an umbrella term – many pinks are now known as such, though the paler varieties get the biggest thumbs up. Applauded for its perceived role in gender fluidity, millennial pink has been hailed as a colour of escapism, a soft, warming hug-adjacent property that makes people happy, offering a gentle way out of the sometimes harsh reality of everyday life. (Perhaps the reason it has become synonymous with a generation of wanderers?)

Adopted first by the world of fashion, millennial pink was one of two Pantone colours of the year 2016, masquerading under the pseudonym ‘Rose Quartz.’ Now, the colour has reached interiors, dominating Milan Design Week and making itself present across the board, from The Gallery at Sketch to London’s first RED Valentino flagship.

Here, we’ve collated some of our favourite examples of the trend in motion:

Image credit: Marie Claire Maison

We love this room set up from GIOPAGANI, an inspiring brand entering Harrods in September

Image credit: GUBI global design house Instagram

Global design house GUBI’s beetle chairs help to create a soothing environment at Singapore’s White Grass Restaurant

Image credit: Dezeen, Designed by India Mahdavi

As mentioned, London’s first ever RED Valentino has been decked out all in millennial pink, to stunning effect

Image credit: Designboom, Designed by Studio Morison

A triumph in timber origami, the pavilion at the National Trust’s historic Berrington Hall in Herefordshire makes us think of birthday cake - which could never be a bad thing

Image credit: Rebecca Judd Loves

Adding balance to a masculine interior, Rebecca Judd created this millennial pink en suite

Image credit: Sketch London

And last but not least, we couldn’t leave without including an image of Sketch, as mentioned earlier. You say millennial, we say… (pink. The answer is always, these days, pink.)

While we are big fans of this trend, it will be interesting to see how it progresses as the years go by. Oversaturation of the marketplace often leads to the death of such all consuming obsessions, though for now that particular pattern is being defied, as the colour regenerates and lives on season by season. Could millennial pink go on to become the timeless pastel we’ve all been longing for, then, or will it become the woodchip of the 2010’s, groaned at in years to come? Experts predict that darker shades are on the horizon already, set to overtake the success of the candyfloss tones. Whether that means browns, blues or darker pinks, only time will tell. One thing we know for certain is we’re excited to see what happens next, and to observe the impact it has on all of our lives.


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Our Contrasto Journey Starts at Second Home

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Image credit: Dezeen

Digital marketing agency for interiors and design find its home at Second Home

After deciding to form Contrasto to help interiors and design businesses to grow their brand online, we knew that the next thing was to find a place that could represent our identity and values. In other words, we were looking for a setting where design and creativity collided and an environment that could inspire us and encourage collaboration.

We visited various offices around London, but most spaces seemed to have no soul or character, needless to say, we felt disheartened. Everything changed, however, as soon as we discovered Second Home.

We were walking down Hanbury Street and all of a sudden, we were greeted by this enormous orange façade made of plastic. We stepped into this quirky building and what we found was pure joy. Creativity felt contagious. When we saw all the design elements surrounding us, we quickly knew that our journey was going to start here.

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Second Home was conceived by José Selgas and Lucía Cano, the Spanish architects behind the 2015 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion.

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Image credit: Iwan Baan via Dezeen, 2015 Serpentine Gallery Pavillion

Once a carpet factory, the office block is located a stone-throw away from The Old Truman Brewery in Spitalfields. We instantly thought that visiting London Design Fair is not going to be so difficult this year. London Design Festival we are ready for you!

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Image credit: London Design Fair (2016 edition)

The office or creative hub as we like to call it is also the perfect representation of biophilic design. Here are some of our favourite areas:

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Let us know what you think and feel free to come and say hi when you are next in the area. Our address is 68-80 Hanbury Street. See you soon!