This is what Meredith’s Real Simple has done with its new Real Simple Home, launching September 26, at an apartment in Brooklyn, New York.
The apartment will showcase DIY organising strategies, modern design ideas, and innovative products from home organisers, interior designers, and Real Simple editors.
The Real Simple Home serves as both a natural brand extension and also as an event. It brings editorial content to life, and gives Real Simple’s audience a way to connect to the brand in a new way.
According to Leslie Yazel, Real Simple’s editor-in-chief, the brand shares design and organising tips each month, through it’s new book The Real Simple Method to Organizing Every Room coming out in September, and through it’s website, social and video.
Leslie Yazel. Photo: Rob Howard
But, even after putting all of that in the magazine and the book, “We still felt like we wanted to give more to our audience, we wanted to demonstrate that these are accessible tips, that they can organise, declutter and have a really beautiful and restful space,” she said. “There’s no better way to do that, then to show it.”
In an era where there is an ephemeral quality to the content audiences read – where people who get their information from search or social don’t often remember the source that published it, according to a 2017 study from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford – there is value in offering audiences an experience.
Stepping into a show home, with its immaculate spaces, lighting, decor and design; these things become firmly embedded emotional experiences. Whether it is walking through a 270-square foot Ikea apartment model, or a 4,000 square foot estate home, experiences like this connect us to aspirations of who we want to be and how we want to live.
People are more likely to remember emotional experiences. “Emotion acts like a highlighter pen that emphasises certain aspects of experiences to make them more memorable,” according to Shahram Heshmat Ph.D., writing on Psychology Today.
The Real Simple home offers its audiences an opportunity to experience a moment. “I think there’s an emotional reaction when you walk into a home,” Yazel explained. “I think we’ve all had it when we’re looking to buy or rent a home or apartment. You get a vibe, you can tell how it feels. It’s an emotional experience.”
For example, one of the tips in the magazine suggested using really dark colours to contrast with a pale colour, can be relaxing. It’s one thing to read it in the magazine, but to step into the idea home and experience it as relaxing are two different things. Yazel said when she went into the Real Simple idea home’s master bedroom, that is exactly what the designer did. “It sounds stark, but when you experience it, in the moment, when you walk into the master bedroom, it was incredibly relaxing.”
“I think you can use adjectives, you can describe and show beautiful photographs, but standing in a room and seeing how it is organised, being able to eyeball the bookshelves, open up the cupboards, and see the baskets and organisation, there is no experience like that, that you can get on the page,” Yazel said.
“I think that everyone will have a different moment they remember,” Yazel said of the idea home. “Some people will see the textured grass wall covering that’s a pale blue, someone else might see that you can paint the entryway ceiling this glossier blue colour to make it more inviting when guests first walk in the door. I think everyone will have a moment that stays with them, and I feel like that reflects what we do at Real Simple. I hear from so many readers who tell me about an article or a story or a home renovation they saw in our pages, from three years ago, and they say, I still remember the one you did – and so I think that when you really are offering solutions like we do, when you’re offering design solutions, that that stays with people.”
The Real Simple Home will be featured in the October issue of the magazine, on newsstands September 21, and on realsimple.com.
Meredith is a member of FIPP.
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