Simply Grove's Mid Century Patio with Bedrosian Tiles

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Transitions, and a call for HELP!

When I started Simply Grove in December of 2008, I started it as an online journal to talk all things design. I think my first post was about the history of wallpaper. It excited me to create a space focused on the beauty that surrounds interior design. Slowly I began interacting with other designers and editors via the comment section on our blogs. Amazing relationships were formed simply through our blogs. Blogging was a safe and fun spot where we could all talk shop. Social media has quickly changed the game. Bloggers are now “influencers” (that name still makes me giggle) and now as influencers we must create only desirable posts for our readers to want what we have. Things feel a little too competitive. There’s a sense of keeping up with the Joneses that I am having a hard time with. I never ever want my readers to feel bad for not having the latest and greatest in their homes. I simply want to inspire, educate and bring a smile to someones face.

Kirsten Grove's family room makeover

Why am I writing this? Because after 10 years of blogging, I’m trying to figure out my voice and what I want to say in this big vast world of design blogging. I know who I am as a designer, but as a blogger I feel like I’m changing a bit. I would love your help with this by leaving a comment below. What do you want to see from Simply Grove? More design tips and styling tips? Before and afters? Advice for the self taught designer? ( I’m still going to launch a course for self taught designers.) Showing the process of how I design for clients or for myself? Less of my personal life? More of my personal life? So many questions! Honestly, I have felt stumped and un-inspired for quite awhile now. At times social media makes it hard to breathe, especially when your career revolves around it. I’m ready for a new wind and for a new drive. Oh, one more question. Do you still read blogs? I hope so!

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Comments (18)

  1. I am 100% on board with you. It’s beginning to feel fake. I love when you give styling tips. It’s how you grew your brand!

  2. If I’m being honest, I love when you incorporate your family into design. And I love when you talk about your own home. Keep up the great work, simply grove!

  3. There’s no doubt you have a GIFT to write and your voice is important for our current cultural moment! I personally think you do a brilliant job balancing your online life and personal life, and love hearing how you navigate these nuances. I see you as a thought leader on designing a beautiful life, and love hearing your heart and even the struggles you work through as you connect with the humanity of your audience.

  4. Hey 🙂 I started following Simply Grove because I am Boise local and noticed you are based here. I’m a regular person who wants to bring design inspiration to my home. Like most folks, I do it a little bit at a time and don’t have the powder to blow on a 5 or 6 figure remodel. When I look at design blogs (I read blogs via my feedly reader and keep up with designers on Instagram) I’m looking for items/categories that I can steal ideas from. For instance, when a designer says I got this light fixture *here* for $5,000. . . I’m inclined think that’s lovely, how can I get a similar effect without breaking the bank? I’m looking for real world suggestions for vendors or techniques . . . but would rather not deck out my entire space from Target or Ikea. I prefer to shop local when I can or support companies that are owned by women/POC or have a definite sustainability position. Another design blog I frequent is Emily Henderson . . . granted, her site is on a much larger scale. She breaks things down pretty well. As for blogging personal stuff, I think that’s great too. Reading My Tea Leaves is a blog I follow that is in parts design/sustainable living/social commentary/beauty&style. Erin Boyle does a great job of sharing ideas for children’s clothes, story books with a message as well as how to take on a small upholstery project or her favorite sunscreen. I had friend who mentioned she was thinking of tiling her back patio and I remembered your post and linked it to her. So, having great pictures and knowing the post was not just an “after” picture was helpful. I love that you’re reaching out for opinions. Creating blog content takes a ton of time and you’re right to question whether your time is well spent.

  5. Just write about things that excite and inspire you, and don’t worry about appealing to the masses. I think the most fun and exciting blogs to read are those that feel authentic and personal. If you are truly passionate about the subjects you blog about, your readers will feel it, and everyone will benefit.

  6. If you are really hoping to make a change, I wonder if you might frame the question a bit differently than design v. personal life. Blogs that feature beautiful “stuff” are a dime a dozen, but how many influencers are truly exploring how design choices connect to their values, such a family, spirituality, health, inclusiveness, conservation, etc. So much of the content in the design space seems primarily driven by commercial motivations, which leaves followers feeling empty. Maybe that sponsored post about a doorbell could be a story about anticipating a visit from old friends or a humorous anecdote about the neighborhood kids ding-dong ditching – something that connects that object to human experiences (and that followers would be excited to read and re-post). Keep on challenging yourself and reflecting on who you are as a designer and a human being, and let that guide your voice in the ever-changing world of social media. Best wishes!

  7. For me personally I don’t think you have to change the way you “blog”. You strike the right balance of ideas, tips and I love your personal, human stories of yourself and your family. Keep doing wat you have been over the last few years. I love to read and look at your posts

  8. I still read the blogs that share a personal perspective or behind the scenes of how an industry works and that still produce their own content. I’ve stopped reading blogs that are focused on product promotion or just recap/repost sales or other peoples’ work. I love your blog and hope that you continue.

  9. would love to know more of the design process for your clients + perhaps some lifestyle posts thrown in there on fashion & travel? xx

  10. Sorry, I don’t read blogs regularly anymore. The internet has too much info and I have too little time. I am more likely to scroll through pictures in ig or google a specific image/style/question. I like knowing about families mixed with style. Sadly, I’m becoming immune to internet/fb/ig sob stories, drama and people’s profound observations. I like advice, funny, honest, in short comments and beautiful photos.

  11. I think these are great questions. I do still read blogs. I like getting the details. I see IG as the quick snapshot and blogs as thr meat. I think getting a bit more info on the thoughts behind the process (whatever it is), and sharing what you learned in the process. Thank you for taking the time to share such valuable information.

  12. You are great. I love seeing your designs and the designs you highlight here AND on Instagram. I like tips and tricks. I like educational aspects you share I LOVE seeing you with your husband and children. I love your fashion style too! So really… No advice but thank you for all that you share. And no pressure to keep up the same output. This is a fun space and if it’s not fun right now take a break☺️

  13. To be honest, most of the blogs I follow have been in my feed for years. I like it when someone is authentic about what they like, their style and visibly enjoy what they share. I’m ok if they share some aspect of their personal life and also, when they prefer to keep some things private. I don’t like it when a blog becomes too “commercial” or too much like a business where you’re trying to sell stuff and the page is covered in ads. I know some people make money through sponsors and ads and that’s fine, but when that’s all that blog is about and if the person is sharing/selling things they don’t personally believe in, I’m out. I’m not the kind of person who buys into the “influencer” business of things. If I’m looking to buy something, that’s when I do research on it, I don’t buy things I don’t need because a blog told me it was the “it” new thing I must have. Stay yourself, share what you like, what makes you happy. If you want to talk about your personal life, I’ll gladly read. If you prefer to keep your personal life private and focus on sharing your design stuff, I’m still happy to read. I’ve followed you for years and never had an issue with your blog 😉

  14. I always stop here first for Inspiration for any project. Yes I read blogs, but I’m just much pickier about who I read. Simply Grove is always #1. I love before and afters and completed spaces I can use as a filter for my own. The process you use to design is an added bonus so I can apply the same principles. Roundups are awesome, we can get a lot of those on Pinterest too. I like you and your design project. So anything that is personal and passionate for you makes me interested. Anything you use in your house makes me interested and I want to buy it too. It could be the smallest thing like styling your coffee table to flower arrangements, but those are things o need to know how to do. Hope this helps!!!!!

  15. I love styling tips and how to put different rooms together! Currently, I am searching your blog for “How to style a mantle.” ♥️

  16. As a furniture and home wares designer I am constantly looking for inspiration. I just love the mid century lounge suite in white and those floor tiles are just to die for. Exceptional outdoor setting.