The Shameful Ways Design Bloggers Make Money

Hey Guys,

This is a rare kind of post, but think of it as a State of the Laurel Home Address.

I am absolutely stupefied (in a good way) by the thousands (!) of responses I received from the survey I sent out via email Monday evening.   (you can access it there, if you missed it.) Over 3,200 individuals have responded and well over 1,200 comments! And so incredibly kind. I am overwhelmed! (the good kind)

Many questions came up;  therefore, I would like to explain some things that are going on in the design bloggers world and with me.


But first of all…

Let me assure many of you that I have absolutely NO PLANS WHATSOEVER to go all rogue on you!


Of course, there’s no way to please everyone and I’m not trying to. My philosophy is always, if you enjoy the blog, I’m delighted to have you join us in my digital design salon. If you don’t like it, please don’t read it or complain. Don’t pass go; just unsubscribe. Nobody is holding you hostage.

Oh, Laurel…stop yacking! What is the shameful way that design bloggers make money? Common’ spill the dirt!!! hehehe


Hang on please… I’m getting there, including how I make money.

99% of you are overwhelmingly kind and positive– I am so grateful.

However, there are a number of replies which imply that they don’t understand how things work in the blogging world and they think that I am getting “too commercial.”


And while the vast majority of you get it, and are immensely supportive, I do know that it’s a mystery to many people how all of this works and how design bloggers make money.


Please come a little closer…

Oh common… I took a shower; I put on deodorant!

I’ve got to share a secret with you.





In one way or another.


Ways design bloggers use their blogs for financial gain include:


  • getting more clients
  • licensing products
  • speaking gigs
  • sponsorships and brand partnerships
  • book deals


Specific Revenue Streams Used By Design Bloggers


  • ads
  • affiliate links
  • blog sponsorships
  • physical products
  • digital products (e-books


Some of you think that by selling products or placing ads that a blogger is “selling out.”


There is a huge difference between selling and selling out. Selling is presenting options that will benefit the reader and selling out is screwing them over.

Selling out is not in me.


However… I’m not going to pussyfoot around.


I am here to make money and lots and lots of it.


But that money is never to come flowing forth at anyone’s expense. NEVER. I wouldn’t want someone doing that to me. That doesn’t mean that you have to like it. But this blog is my livelihood now. It is free to read, but it needs to be subsidized somehow and I have tried to do it in the most discrete, unobtrusive way possible.


But again, if you don’t like it, please quietly let yourself out the back door and lock it behind you.


A few people talked about how turned off they get with affiliate marketing.


If that is the thinking, then it seems that there is a misunderstanding about how affiliate marketing works and I’d like to clear that up.


Affiliate marketing is a win-win situation for all.  The vendor, blogger AND consumer.


If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, here’s a brief explanation.


A blogger writes about a product and puts a link (that has a tracking code) for that product sold online, so that IF anyone is interested, they can purchase that product– or something else from the same vendor.

Some links, the blogger makes a few cents per click and some the blogger makes a small commission, but only if a sale is made. There is no extra expense to the end user.

The purchase is sold directly from the vendor. This is retail we’re talking about. If you are a designer, a lot of these products are available to you at wholesale prices or at least for a greater discount. And that’s where Laurel’s Rolodex can help– a lot. But you have to be in the design trade.

If you are a regular consumer, the sources linked here are as direct as you can get.


But here’s another important point that some don’t realize.


This commission paid to the blogger is a form of advertising often used to replace very expensive traditional advertising such as TV ads, direct mail, catalogs, magazines, etc.

And the price of the merchandise is NOT HIGHER. No, if anything it’s the reverse. The vendor ONLY pays an advertising fee if a sale is made. I think that this is the most brilliant idea ever!

Think of it as a sort of a toll road for brands.

I am exceedingly proud of the work I do and the service I’m providing. In fact, it is the opposite of shameful.

There is absolutely no obligation to click on a link or buy anything, but if you’re going to buy it anyway and you want to support this blog, then how can that be a bad thing? (rhetorical question.)


If you feel jealous that I’ve somehow hit “easy street,” please consider rethinking that.


There is nothing easy about what I’m doing. I love it, but it’s the hardest I’ve ever worked in my entire life.

And I am not making a killing— yet. ;] A good living  yes, but not a fortune. Still… I have my outrageous fantasies dreams. You can read about them here.


Here’s another mind blowing factoid.


My annual expenses related to keeping this blog afloat were nearly $20,000.00 for 2016!!! And that number is going to be larger in 2017 because I had to upgrade my hosting plan and I need to hire more freelance help. You know those ads you see for $3.99.00/ month web hosting? Well, mine is $165.00/month. In fact, I need to have two servers and Blue Host that I highly recommend is one of them. The other one, is only if you have hundreds of thousands of page views a month.


More Stuff That Came Up in the Survey


You will NEVER see a sleazy, annoying google ad (some which cover up the post!) on this blog like they run in the New York Times. :/

new york times google ads - design bloggers - impeach Trump now

errrmmmm… see anything familiar? haha! (not Sean Spicer. Look to the right)

I love it when they show me stuff that I’ve been talking about on the blog!


Re: sponsored posts.


In five years, I’ve done two. Two sponsored posts. Both for terrific products. (Metrie and My Paint Saint) Oh, I’m asked. I’m asked all the time if I’ll write about this or link to that and I say NO because it’s not a company that I want to be associated with. And I will not write about something I don’t love.


Integrity is very important to me.


Every product I link to, I ask myself the question. Would I buy this? Would I buy it for a client? If the answer is anything but a resounding YES, it won’t appear.

There are now many readers in Canada and all over the world, but 88% of my readers are from the USA. There are dozens of requests for products you can more easily get, elsewhere, but unfortunately, that’s not going to be possible except in rare situations.


One of my favorite affiliate networks is Amazon.


Oh my. My wonderful webgeek Eileen Lonergan told me that I was nuts for not being on there a while back and she was right. I just couldn’t focus on it until a few months ago. But it’s so snot-freezing brilliant, it’s just not funny. First of all, you all shop there. And if per chance you don’t, you are missing out on the best deals on the interwebs– and they sell EVERYTHING.

But here’s what’s really great. If you click on an Amazon link, say here, for a book or a ceiling fan and then you remember that you need a case of condoms (which you need to buy online because you don’t want your local pharmacist to know that you’re having sex), Laurel makes a couple of dollars. Isn’t that cool?


The Main Way I Make Money.


The main way I make money is of course, through my products. They are probably one of the most crazy wonderful things I’ve ever done in my entire 61 years. I’m incredibly grateful to the people (and you know who you are) who kicked my butt to produce them. And I’m incredibly grateful to those of you who are buying! And if you can’t, don’t want to, think for some reason that you don’t need them… that is absolutely fine too!

Look, I hope that the non-believers are starting to understand what the deal is here. But if not, it’s like this.

A lot of you go to a house of worship. Right? God’s work. Right? Does the clergyman– the direct link to God work for free?

NO. He does not. Is he selling out because he needs to feed his family? No, of course not!


And if his name is Joel Osteen, he’s a multi-millionaire living in a 17,000 sq ft. mansion that costs $10,500,000.00.  And it’s all from doing God’s work! And God bless him for that! Love Joel. I think that he deserves every penny because his message undoubtedly helps a lot of people.


Some more info regarding the survey.


You are not going to ever see anything like this on laurel home. (except in this post as parody) :]


levis jeans- design bloggers - fashion bloggers not fit for goodwill 90 bucks

A pair of brand spanking new Levis jeans for only $90 bucks from Shopbop  that would be rejected by Goodwill. haha! Uhhh… That is not just ripped at the knee.


It looks like her jeans were attacked by a couple of denim-eating Tazmanian Devils.

Has the world gone barking mad?


The upshot is that your feedback is very useful in helping me create the best content that will benefit the largest numbers of people. Of course, I can’t please everyone. One respondent wants me to include only high-end furnishings. It is EASY to put a room together if you have a ton of money! Just hire Mark Sikes. Okay? :]

But many more of you say that the price point is too high! Oh my. I hear you. I do. Furniture is EXPENSIVE! But some is less so than others and I am always trying to include as much as I can that’s still of reasonable quality. And there will always be some higher-end products.


But what I think I will do is make a new page or pages that will include shopping sources, hot tips, products I love, etc.


If interested, you can check it out. I’ll shout it out when there’s something new to see– most likely at the end of a blog post. If not interested, then you can ignore it. 80% of you love the idea of seeing this information.

Some of you had requests for various topics that have been covered, like window treatments  for example. If you are looking for a particular topic, you can use the search box in the sidebar, right under my little bio on any blog page. I use mine all the time. If you still can’t find something, please write me. Of course, I am open to your ideas. But if it’s something too obscure it most likely won’t come up on the blog.


Forget the fashion and beauty tips.


It is only a passing fluffy notion thrown out there. The results are a pretty even mix. But only 30% love the idea. While that’s still a large number, it’s not worth it to alienate huge groups of loyal followers.

However, I just have to say that I swear by this stuff. I mean, I’ve been using if for at least 5 years and it has made a big, big difference in my skin– for the better. I use it during the day too. It’s very light, no fragrance and not greasy, but leaves my skin with a youthful glow. I’m an idiot. I’ve been getting it from the pharmacy and I know that I’m paying double the price available on Amazon!


Here ya go. This is sitting on my vintage beat up leather-topped nightstand. I got the two of them for a hundred bucks 18 years ago.


Now, here’s something that totally shocked me.


Okay, shock is a little strong. But for the home maintenance category, 78% of you fell in the categories that needed help and/or felt it was hopeless. In fact, the hopeless category contained nearly half of you!

22% of you are neatfreaks. No gloating please. It’s just a different brain. God made some of us neatfreaks and some of us slobs errr…curators of stuff. Curators can learn better habits, but it takes time and due diligence.

Over 7% of you LIKE your clutter! Good for you! I like a person who’s not afraid to buck the so-called “ideal.”

42% Don’t like living like that but feel it’s hopeless.

Nearly 24% live in fear of divorce papers. hmmmm… never mind.

And about 5% of you said that the divorce papers already came and went.


And that’s pretty much it. Again, if you missed the survey, it was sent out to the entire email list on Monday evening or you can access it here. It is 100% anonymous.


I still can’t believe that all of this happened to me. I feel like the luckiest girl on earth!


And believe me when I tell you that it wasn’t that long ago when I was phenomenally stuck, jealous of other people and quite a miserable cow.

But I never lost faith. So please don’t get discouraged if things aren’t happening for you just yet. Sometimes they have to get really bad before they can get better. And if I could turn it around, anyone can!

Guys, folks, friends, wonderful people, I love you all dearly and appreciate you more than I can possibly say!




PS: If you own a Laurel’s Rolodex and/or a Paint Collection, you will be receiving a free gift in a few weeks. It’s my way of saying thanks. And tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the Laurel Home Paint Collection! It’s been a fabulous year!



126 Responses

  1. Laurel you’re beautiful so I’m ordering the Nivea cream. by the way I think Gold Bond neck cream really works….

  2. I read this post when you first published it and I thought I’d written a comment, but now I can’t remember. LOL. So, I’m writing one now. I love this post. I love your honesty. I love your transparency. Now my husband will start to worry if I say I love you anymore than I already have. HAHA!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this. You are so great at what you do and deserve to monetize what you can for all the value you provide. xox

    1. Hi Claire,

      Thanks so much for such a sweet comment! It very much helped to write this post, because it silenced some hands that needed to be sat on. lol

  3. Short and Sweet.

    Laurel…you are the BEST! Thanks for always making me laugh and brightening my day while teaching me a few things. I am older than you but i can still learn a few tricks! I hope you get everything you want. We are all on your side.

    1. Hi Diane,

      Some people only think that they are older, but no matter– My soon to be 27-yr-old still runs around like he did at age 3.

      I did my best. haha

  4. I’m behind on my reading. It’s the end of a very hard year. I started reading your blog when freaking out over paint colors. Well, I started painting our new house and everyone loves the color (not the same as the old house bc the light is different! ) I can’t begin to afford the furnishings you post, but I have learned about color, style, and scale. Do whatever you can to make $$$ from me reading your interesting and entertaining blog. If you are paying an editor or proofreader, STOP. I’ll do it for free! I’m an English teacher so am qualified. Love your blog. Thanks for all you do.

    1. That is so kind of you to offer that Ann. A mistake I am making is not having several posts “in the can” like for this weekend, when I was trying to have a few days off. It’s not possible the way I’m doing it. And no, I don’t have an editor which I know would make it better. It’s funny but our local town newspaper puts stuff online and the mistakes. Oh my! I know that they are in a hurry but it’s not just typos but incorrect information.

      I’m sorry that you’ve had a tough go of it. One of the favorite sayings my mom always would say is, “there isn’t some ill wind that doesn’t blow some good.”

      And while going through those times, I couldn’t see it… after enough time has passed, I realize that in every case, that saying is true. I am hoping those good winds will reach you quickly!

  5. Just a simple comment. I love you, I love your blog, your style, your sense of humor, I could go on. Thanks for making my day everytime I read your posts!

  6. Sending my best wishes for your continued and expanded success! You are very generous with your time, talents, your expertise and your self- that is to say you share your true and authentic self with your readers. You deserve every happiness!!

  7. I applaud you for not having pop ups and ads all over the place making it nearly impossible to read the content (yeah I’m looking at you, Emily Henderson). Thanks for the opportunity to respond to your survey, and thanks for the original, ad free content. My opinion: if you’re taking the time to research and give us the link to a product, then you should receive a commission via affiliate links! Love your style, and appreciate your generosity.

  8. Wow! You’re 61???

    You look amazing!

    And I agree with you totally. If you don’t like what you are reading, leave.

    Your blog is one of the most informative ones that I read.

    Perfectly balanced.

    Please continue doing what you are doing.


  9. Here is what I don’t like, and I don’t think you violate it…blogs that started a bit homespun and were giving out tips on decorating on a budget, or even just solid advice (don’t make these mistakes) about home renovating, redcorating, etc. but then, by slight of hand, become “high end” because they are getting expensive products without mentioning that. So, on one blog,the person did a room makeover and boasted about Craigslist finds and other salvaged pieces. But, the real stars of the room were very expensive/high end furniture (amounted to over $5000 or $6000 for 3 pieces), but $ was never mentioned. The site was linked for the furniture, so the expense wasn’t covered up, but whatever the source of $ (and it seemed fairly clear to be a surreptitious ad), the star wasn’t Craigslist or Goodwill! Now, I’m not opposed to that, but just put it out there that you are now soooo thankful for the viewers that you are finally getting something other than accolades for your blog. (There are other clear examples on other blogs where the person is suddenly touting their favorite item to use in the kitchen without mentioning the advertiser.) My favorite bloggers are ones like you, who are decorators or doing something to make money other than blogging, or just putting your products right out there and telling people you are doing this for money. These people tend to give the best advice, anyway, so they are the best blogs to follow regularly.

    1. Hi Tanya,

      Hmmm… if it’s a sponsored post, like she’s getting a La Cornue range for free, she absolutely must disclose that information and prominently. Most of the time, I don’t think it’s anything nefarious, they most likely don’t understand that it’s the law!

      I’ve seen many a blogger who should know better but doesn’t disclose this information anywhere on their blog.

  10. Oh, my goodness I love your blog!! As a brand new subscriber, who stumbled upon a link through Pinterest, I have to say your keen sense of humor and spot on decorating information are the best!! I had to remove my foggy reading glasses and wipe tears of laughter away when you went on about the torn jeans…just fabulously funny!! I’m proud of your achievements and wish nothing but the best 😀!!!!

    1. Thanks so much Lisa! Glad that you’re enjoying my silly sight gags. I don’t always have them, but that one was just begging to be trounced on!

  11. You go girl, you have to make a living like the rest of us. just please, no annoying pop up adds, or ads that flash or move across the page or open up half way thru reading a post.

    1. Hi Mary,

      No worries. NEVER! I hate those pop up ads and even more I hate anything moving. I hate moving images even if not ads. I’m sure there’s a medical explanation (certifiably insane? lol) but when things move, it shuts off at least 80% of my cognitive abilities. I can’t focus, I can’t retain information and I feel immensely irritated. I imagine that there are others who feel the same way?

  12. Hi Laurel,

    I am sure you can see from all the positive comments and support, that there are so many of us who appreciate what you provide and are grateful for your insight! I have so enjoyed your blog – I just can’t even begin to tell you all the things you say that seem like they are coming from my head too! For example, I love chartreuse and my open living and kitchen is painted the loveliest shade of green and faces north. My kitchen is (of course) white and my sofa is a white English roll arm. It is the best sofa ever! So many things you suggest, I somehow already have in my home (amazingly enough) and I cannot tell you how great it is to have you suggest them and love them too!! It is a blessing to have a designer with my same taste give free advice. I am so grateful that you share so much with us and because you are able to make a living at it, it is just wonderful!! Keep up all the good work! And I can’t wait to see your bath and kitchen renovations!! 🙂

    1. Hi Jenn,

      Thanks so much for the sweet reply and sorry for being tardy publishing it. It took me nearly 5.5 hours (normally 3 hours) to get to Boston today and my car AC is almost nil. I didn’t realize that! The road temp was 103 at one point! Crazy!

  13. Thanks, Laurel! What an honest and informative post. Ignore the Debbie Downers and keep on doing what you do. Although my budget will never be at a level to afford 99% of your stuff, the INSPIRATION is free. Yay Laurel!

    1. Hi Ivis,

      I fully get that. For half of my 25-year marriage, I couldn’t even afford to go out and buy a lamp. Not exaggerating. And there I was decorating for people who had the disposable income to drop tens of thousands of dollars.

      It wasn’t the entire time. We had a few good years and I scrambled to get some things like my lovely screen. But then after 9/11 my husband lost his means of support and well… rough times.

      I have a lot of respect for folks who can make something out of nothing– and it is possible, but I’m not the DIY type and most others aren’t either.

  14. Hi Laurel,

    ….to click or not to click? ….that appears to be the question going forward!
    I am sorry to hear you experienced negativity on you survey!
    I personally don’t begrudge you making money through blogging, links, affiliate links and the likes, not one bit. Interesting and enlightening that you come out and explain the ins and outs of how bloggers shamefully make their money! I find it educational that you are so candid about your costs to host your website and blog.
    In your quest for information and survey gathering results, I’m glad you mentioned sending a separate Friday post dedicated to product endorsements. I think your survey was asking if we’d be interested in receiving a second post regarding products? Your multiple choice answers really eluded to what was coming next in your online business model. Again, wonderful! I hope that my response of disinterest to a Friday post was not taken personally or negatively by you. I am a very big online shopper and have learned a lot by experience on what happens when I click and the way the web tracks hits and sends further ads to those who do click. That is my cross to bare. It does become overwhelming to be inundated with repeated ads when one was just curious about a product. This is where the challenge lies for me as a result. Knowing how it all works makes it easier for me not to click unless absolutely interested. I hope you also appreciated that comment from one of your blog fans. Thanks for the humorous and professional advise. It is always truly appreciated!

    1. Hi Christina,

      No worries. I had no problem whatsoever with a simple – not interested. The reason for the survey was only an exploration, not anything that’s going to happen or any drastic change.

      But there’s a difference between saying not interested and admonishing me for discussing the possibility.

      I get totally turned off by some blogs that seem to be totally lacking in substance– 3 or 4 sentences with a back link to the original source and then the latest spread from House Beautiful – followed by “shop this post.”

      but… what then follows are mostly not what’s actually in the post, but some cheaper version.

      It’s as if the post is ONLY there to make money. And that’s not benefiting the reader. Not really.

      I think that there needs to be a balance.

      Yes, it’s unfortunate about the third party cookies. That’s what that is when you click on an Amazon link for instance and then the next thing you know… you’re seeing that product show up on another site like what happened to me with the NY Times article.

      One way to stop that… is after you look at something and you’re not interested in it and have no intention of getting it or anything else from that vendor is to clear your cookies in your history.

  15. Everything you spelled out about your blog is fine with me. I don’t think people realize what goes into this. Keep doing what you are doing and let the haters unsubscribe!! I enjoy your posts!!

    1. Hi Cathy,

      Thank you so much. Hang on… let’s see how many hit the button. I’m curious. I’ll be right back…

      44 – Actually, that’s about average every time I post. I don’t pay attention to that any more. It’s a very large list and 44 is a .2% loss.

  16. Love love love your work! I am always amazed at people that think profit is a dirty word. I hope you end up in the biggest house you can find. You are so open and honest and, fun! I really dislike to see hurtful comments: just unsubscribe.

    1. Hi Ann,

      I know. Right? But these are people who want ME to change for THEM. And it’s fine of course, to make a suggestion, but sometimes there’s an obvious note of hostility to it which makes me wonder what’s going on with them that they feel justified saying those things.

  17. Dear Laurel, I can’t imagine that someone would begrudge you making a living, even a fantastic living, or not understand blogging. You are providing a great service and deserve to get paid for it! Keep up the great work!

  18. I consider your blog a little gem of a “shop”. I wander in , browse, and you give me advice on decorating. If I decide to purchase something , it’s my choice. You don’t have a sign on the door saying All Patrons Must Make A Purchase! And now, I can find out where you bought your cute cardi or why your skin looks so nice! I am sure you style extends to other facets of your life. Bonus for me. You have been honest in your blog. Move forward, make money, good for you!

  19. Dear Laurel,

    Thank you for your posts! I love them! I am a interior design junkie who loves to look at everything design but am slow on my own home because I savor the hunt but the execution, not so much. haha!
    And yes, my kids tease me all the time! I have learned so much from you and I apply your ideals when I can!
    Thanks for being you and for this blog…..and please make all the bucks you can; it would be un American if you didn’t!

    1. Hi Susan,

      I think a lot of people are like that. I’ve had clients that stretched out projects too! One told us that we were “rushing” her! This was a full year into her kitchen reno!

  20. While I appreciate you feel the need to explain your business / blog to some that question it, I do not feel it necessary at all. And for those who respond about other online newspapers and their frustration in “scrolling” because of the ads… hmmmm… do they work for free? What about the writers? Do they deserve to get paid and have a roof over their head? I’m shocked at some new schools of thinking that things online should be FREE. As a designer, some people still think that my ideas should be given for free. Notice I said “some” – these are few – so I do not bend to the minority because they are a waste of my time and energy as they do not value other people’s time, talent and investment. Okay, just my rant. You will never get questions from me as to whom you partner with in your business. It’s YOUR business. Enjoying your blog so far.

    1. Hi Bridget,

      Two Bridgets in a row! Yeah… I get a lot of the “I have a quick question.” There is no quick. But of course, most people totally get it.

      A site that’s difficult to scroll is a problem for them. Google doesn’t take kindly to slow unresponsive sites. But of course, if it’s a big newspaper, it probably doesn’t make much difference.

  21. I love your blog and appreciate the explanation of how this all works. My one request would be if you link to Amazon, please link to Smile Amazon too. I buy everything through the Smile Amazon since then Amazon donates a portion of my purchase to a charity (I chose Wounded Warriors). It’s not a ton of money each time but adds up when you buy everything from dog food to makeup from them. I always have to open up Smile Amazon separately and look up the item so the blogger isn’t getting the benefit. Thank you! Keep up the great work – yours is the first blog I’ll read when I open up my email

    1. Hi Bridget,

      That is an excellent point and I need to look into that! I am not positive how it works. Since a huge part of their business model are their affiliates, I would think they’ve worked that out to everyone’s benefit. But more and more people are joining Smile Amazon. I did too.

      1. Laurel, I do so love your blog and 💗your attitude! So gracious and honest. Would love to be your neighbor. If you wouldn’t look in my closets……

        Those of us who want to be in your tribe will be, and the rest can go elsewhere, judging by your stats. Thanks for the nighttime cream suggestion. Got to use it, given the state of my face.

        Keep on keeping on and you are welcome into my in-box anytime.
        Best regards, MJ

        1. Oh, darn…totally forgot to tell you, I’d like the Amazon Smile link, too, for my fave organization. MJ

  22. Love your blog Laurel, and what a great article! I have only tried being self employed once, in MLM with a now-defunct home interiors company from Dallas, and it’s exhausting! I wasn’t “successful” by their terms, although I was considered a top decorator on the team. Why? Because I couldn’t get on board with their earnings driver, recruiting. However, what did happen is that my passion for decorating and helping others with that challenge was awakened. I still dream of a way to make my passion into my income, probably around repurposing (an obsession of mine well before this current trend!), and your truthful post has helped me think that is possible.

    You found a way to deliver a “product”, earn a living, and stay true to yourself. Bravo!

    And I have a comment about the neutrogena…although I am a cetaphil girl myself, the bottom picture was brilliant! Product placement has been around forever. Give the design junkies their fix, but continue to provide the link. We are (mostly) women. We share tips, finds, and our favorite deals. It’s in our DNA. Don’t change who you are 😉

    1. Hi Debbie,

      I guess I’m the helpful type. And I know what it’s like to be clueless, not know where to turn and when I did reach out be met with crickets. sucks. That is why I answer every comment.

      There’s nothing worse than feeling invisible. So, if my story can motivate others to take action and know that it’s possible to change, that is immensely gratifying for me.

      More so, even than the decorating sometimes. But don’t think I want to be a full-blown life coach.

      BTW, one respondent, just one, was sure to tell me that he was a man. And I do know that men read the blog too.

      Come out, come out wherever you are! Yes, I’m always joking about “husbands,” but in my practice, I would say that 10% of the jobs the wife was all but invisible (!) and 25%, the husband played an active part. Half were little to nothing. Interesting.

  23. I don’t mind an advert or an affiliate post here and there, not one bit. Particularly when a blog is so gorgeous and informative -yet down to earth- as Laurel Home. Not sure I understand those who complain….all one has to do is not click, or un-subscribe. As others said above, we’re here because we love ya and wish you the best, Laurel.

    1. Hi Jane,

      Oh “advert.” You must be from an Anglo-Saxon country. My wasband is from Zimbabwe/South Africa and he curtailed the colloquialisms, but his folks did not.

      Thanks so much for your kind words!

  24. I wish you only the best, and sincerely happy for you. I can tell you are genuine and looking out for your readers. You are a classy lady and I am sure you will give us nothing but the best. Thank you for your honesty, wit and wisdom.

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      I do try to be classy– but I do get some trolls who complain about whatever you can think of! God forbid, I make a typo and of course, there are some even though I do spell check. Although, I’ve had a couple of people who’ve kindly written me and gently informed me of the errors. That is very much appreciated! It’s all about presentation.

  25. I’m very happy if you can make a (good)living through your blog posts, because, selfishly, I never want you to stop.:-) Because I respect you so much, I also trust every single resource you list- I check them all out, and if the products are what I need( or want) I have no hesitation in purchasing.
    Thank you for all the hard work you put into your job..

    1. Thanks so much Dolores. You’re a doll! Should be Dollores. :] And of course, one person might think something I’m showing is cheap crap and another might think the same piece is way out of reach. But I strive to put up stuff, even if inexpensive that looks like it costs more than it does. And so far, the inexpensive furnishings from Safavieh, from what I’ve seen, pass muster. Smart company!

  26. Laurel, you are fabulous! Anyone with commonsense knows that bloggers need to make money from their blog. Being genuine and ethical about it is the key. There are some bloggers out there who want me to believe they buy their clothes at the cheapest of the cheap stores yet they are adorned with diamonds and live in very expensive homes that they constantly decorate. Come on people, get real! I would certainly purchase some of the products you have recommended or linked but most are not available to be shipped overseas and as for the lovely lamps they are of a different voltage and would blow up my circuits. You have been for a long time Laurel, this Australian girl’s favourite and go to blogger. Actually make that ‘guru’.

    1. Hi Alison,

      So flattered that you’re reading this blog from up over! And yes, I do know at least one blog that’s pawning stuff well beneath her means. She lives in one of the most expensive areas in the entire country (like a garden shed costs a million dollars) AND she had a mega-expensive interior design firm do her home and it’s been published… oh well… I guess it works for her.

  27. Thanks for the honest post. I’m one of those people outside the US that read your blog (France) even though I can’t purchase most of the things you bring to our attention.

    In any case, your advice has helped me immeasurably in making decisions about what to purchase for my own home–and these decisions are not cheap so mistakes are bad!

    I love it when you link to Overstock or Amazon as I can get those over here. After all, I’m reading your blog because I adore your taste and appreciate your expertise.

    Good luck to you!

    1. Hi Susan,

      So glad that you can get Amazon and Overstock. I love both companies. I think that Overstock is not the best name because it implies that everything is an over-run and that’s not true. They have plenty of products that are meant to be there from the beginning.

  28. I LOVE your blog, Laurel. Thank you for sharing and being so forthcoming about design and your blog. Congratulations on your well-earned success. McKenna

  29. Love your blog…and wouldn’t miss it..look for it everyday. As a small business owner for 40+ years in antiques, home decor, lighting, etc., I can tell you that most people just don’t understand what goes into being in this business and being self employed. I got so tired of people saying to me..oh, that must be so much fun going to market. And I bet you can guess the rest.

    1. Hi CH,

      And they don’t know what goes into creating a design– even picking paint colors. They don’t realize that I would have to be in the room and I need to know what else is going on!

      It looks easy, but it’s not.

  30. I love your blog and respect almost everything you say. I’m building a house and can’t find any quality info on how to create a classy classic decor without making it “old world ” or “country French” or “mid -century whatever”. I want this place to reference the past but speak of its real time and place ..I’s real place is Kansas. But I regress..
    Please do a blog or two about brand new houses and how to approach them.

    1. Hi Carol,

      I have a few posts about how to give character to new homes or homes that were built without adornment. If you put the word ‘mouldings’ in the search box, they should all pop up.

      But that’s not to say that there won’t be more posts. There are always different angles.

  31. I LOVE your blog and always get excited when I see that you have posted. I am a decorating junkie and my adult sons kid me that this is my porn. I can get lost for hours as I click on one after another of your posts.

    I see nothing wrong with affiliate marketing.

    And thank you so much for your blog. If you did decide to charge for subscriptions, I’d probably be one of the first to sign up.

  32. I can’t believe somebody would begrudge you for making a living….. and then send you nasty comments about your chosen line of work! Some people put in overtime on being nasty. I love your blog; keep up the great work!

  33. We all need a little humour in our daily lives and you provide it in spades. I’m happy you’re finding success and going to make the big bucks.

    1. Hi Joanna,

      There’s no safety net here. And it occurred to me that if I were incapacitated in some way that prevented me from working as a designer, I’d be screwed. But I also have some people in my family that need my help. It’s a relief to be in a position where that’s possible.

  34. I think what you’re doing is fantastic! An of course you have to make a living – so good for you! I enjoy your blog so very much…and I love your style. You are one of the 2-3 bloggers I follow and I always look forward to hearing from you! XOOXO

    1. Thanks so much Amy. I was a little nervous with this post. I don’t know why. When I spoke at the Design Blogger’s Conference I told the bloggers that you need to go out on a limb. I made a graphic of a ballerina, tutu and all… standing on one leg on pointe en attitude derriere (for you dancers out there) way out on a big– tree branch in the middle of nowhere.

      That is exactly how it feels. But that’s what is necessary to create something that people care enough to read about.

      A guy sent me over a proposal for a guest post– unsolicited. Train Timetables are more interesting. It was like an encyclopedia. oops. A bit anachronistic there! But the point is that nobody wants to read that.

      1. Hi Laurel,
        I would love to see that ballerina graphic! Love all that you do, and look forward to every new post. Thank you!

        1. Hi Lisa,

          It’s up! And I included another graphic too. I spent quite a number of hours on it and hate for it to go to waste. ;]

  35. Laurel – You go girl, make all the money you can! If you have to throw in some things outside the box, there is no shame in that.

    Your blog posts are always a bright spot in my inbox. You consistently give your followers insight, ideas and wisdom with a great humility and dose of good humor.

    I know I speak for alot of your followers when I say, thank you!

    Rose D.

    1. Thank you so much Rose. I was sitting here the last two days reading the comments and believe me, I felt the love! I forgot that I have quadruple the number of subscribers from the first time I did this in August 2015 and I have had quadruple the number of responses! I’m quite blessed!

  36. Well, Laurel…I’ve got to hand it to you…you ARE humorous! And when your latest post came to my inbox entitled “The Shameless Ways…” I had to read. Catchy title even though there is no shame. I do blog to connect with clients…and it has been satisfying. I make a little money with affiliate marketing…but as you said with items you have used or are recommending…it’s actually a free service if you think about it. But mostly, I just hate the obvious sponsored post for random things and pop-up ads making it impossible to read so that you have to leave. I will not do that either.

    But hey…one more thing…don’t dis fashion or beauty advice because if you have a good tip…like the Neutrogena lotion I will check out… tell us. Essentially it is about sharing with friends. Keep up the great work, Laurel!

    Mary Ann

    1. Thanks so much Mary Ann. Yes, absolutely. The problem is for every one thing, there is always going to be some nay-sayer. Oh well… Most people are open to new things. And every once in a while, I like to throw in something completely unexpected like the winter post in December. I think it was a lovely respite for many who needed a few to unwind during the holiday season.

  37. Laurel, I havei believed from the time I discovered your blog that you are one of the sweetest and most honest people and I trust you completely. I just love your blog, your sense of humor, and your Rolodex and I have learned a great deal from you. I don’t always have the budget I ‘d like in order to use your ideas, but I can always dream. I believe you are both a compassionate and very genuine person. If there are people who think you blog for free, or that your earnings fall from a tree, then I wonder what planet they’re living on. Of course you have to advertise and of course you have to make money from the hard work you do and for the information and ideas you share! I wish you all the success in the world! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Maggie! And thank you for your continuous support. I so wish I could see faces to put with the names! I think one has to have a wordpress account which most of course, don’t have.

  38. Well you have never annoyed me…I love the way you write, your honesty and love looking at your blog. Keep up the good work.
    P.S. Nothing shameful about putting out a good product, working hard and YES…making money!

  39. Laurel, you are such a great blogger and it is super hard work. I hope you make a million bucks so you can hire all of those assistants. I approve. 🙂 Your blog just keeps getting better and better, so keep up the good work. We love ya, kid!

  40. No matter what the reaction, at least you are trying to see what will keep the readers interested. This is smart. I am guessing it can get difficult coming up with new topics regularly.

    I don’t think you owe an explanation for earning a living, but I can only imagine what some of the comments must have been.

    Btw, if you do manage to make a fortune, there is nothing wrong with that. Not one single thing. If you can earn a good living doing something you like then that is fantastic.

    Keep up the good humor. We need more of that in the world.

    1. Thanks so much Carolyn. I keep a list of topics and people are constantly writing in with suggestions. Some are too specific and wouldn’t be of interest to enough people.

  41. Laurel, I know I have made similar comments before, but your blog is awesome and so are your products! I hope you make loads of money off of them. Your blog has saved me a ton of money and will continue to do so for many years. I have learned how to buy better furniture and products that will stand the test of time (saving up for Lee Industries chairs right now!) I don’t know why people get so funny about money. We all need a paycheck. End of story.

    1. Hi Eleanor,

      It’s true. And come to think of it, the most obnoxious online reading IMO are the online newspapers. They get me every time. I’ll start reading but the page is very difficult to scroll because it’s crammed with ads and garbage and them from out of nowhere, there’s a bellowing voice which always scares me. And they make it so that you can’t find where it’s coming from easily. Really nasty.

  42. Hi there, a few years ago I took offense at a word you used , even though I am far from a prude. I actually didn’t know what a blog was or was supposed to be. You seemed a little annoyed with me, snippy even , and I thought to myself, “well, no one is going to tell me to take a hike” and I didn’t! Here I am, a faithful reader who,has felt bad about how I griped at you. I don’t know what got into me that day. But I do now know what a blog is and I wish you all the best.

    P.S I am from Indiana and my husband graduated from university of Evansville And if Neutrogena makes your list I may have to give it a try myself.


    1. Hi Karen,

      Oh my, I have no recollection of this, but we all have our moments and sometimes things can be misinterpreted online. I’m glad that you hung around.

      And yes, it’s a very small world!

  43. Laurel, you deserve every penny you get! The “problem” is you make it look so easy because you are so darn good at it! But it is NOT easy to be creative, interesting and relevant on a regular basis, especially when you are not getting a paycheck for it. Thank you for all your work.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      You’re right. It’s not easy and some posts are quite exhausting for some reason. Today’s was not one of them. It has left me energized. But I also didn’t have 25 images to edit. haha!

  44. Go for it! Hope you make lots of $$ while you keep us informed and entertained. Love your Nora E. style & approach!

  45. Laurel,
    I enjoy your site. I think it is stupid when people get angry about using affiliate links – it costs money to run blogs and websites! So what I do is just click on a link and throw my favorite websites/blogs a bone so they can make literally a nickel to help run the thing! If people don’t like the site, then stop reading! I stop reading websites when they have pop up ads everywhere and I literally have to click on the X’s to make them go away!
    Please keep up the good work – from a happy reader!

    1. Hi Angelina,

      I think that most people do get it. But you probably know because I see that you’re a blogger too, or maybe it’s just me… But I can get 100 incredibly kind, lovely comments and one snarky one and it’s the sourpuss that sucks the energy out of me.

      Some of them are almost threatening. Yeesh. Who needs that?

  46. I’m a newish follower and learn something from every post, so no objections here if you make some scoots along the way.

    I dabble in blog world just because I want to learn how… and it’s no piece of cake! So go ahead and link away.

    And yeah, I might be interested in what kind of jeans makes your butt look great, so blog about whatever the heck you want…I’ll click if I want (and can afford) ’em and won’t if I don’t/can’t.

    I also appreciate that you share moderate options

    And if that cream can do something about the nightmare that has become my neck, let me know!

    1. Hi Em,

      Thanks so much! You are right. Blogging is no piece of cake, but no one was born knowing how to do all of this. It is a steep learning curve, however.

      No promises about the cream, but it definitely helps me and it just feels so good! Better than Clinique, IMO and probably a third the price!

  47. Missed your survey Laurel because I am visiting a sick parent in another province and haven’t been able to access my email but just wanted you to know that you are a dear and one of the kindest most generous people I’ve ever met online!I love your blog exactly the way it is! I am sure I am not the only one who wishes they could chat with you on a regular basis about not only design but world events over coffee or even better a glass of wine!

    1. Oh Jo,

      I hope it’s nothing serious. And I will pray for a speedy recovery. Thank you so much for your kind words. It means the world to me! And hopefully, we will meet one day! xoxo

  48. I love the blog and appreciate the links.ike most, I do dislike pop-ups. Just makes it so hard to navigate! Thanks for not having them, except for that one that asks me EVERY time if I want to subscribe.

    1. Hi Dian,

      Yes, just that little one unless you are looking on your phone. It should really stop if you have already subscribed, but I don’t think it’s that sophisticated a program. I don’t get it anymore, but I see it if I look at a different browser.

      But yes, those pop ups that go splat in the middle of the page are bloody annoying when I’m trying to read something and the exit pop up is the worst!

      Unfortunately, I hear that they work. (not with me though) But so does the little one that’s not covering up anything.

  49. Laurel, jus sayin…”your blog is a ROMPING GOODTIME doesn’t cut it”. Just seeing it in my in-box means laughs and the best design info on the blogosphere is waiting for me. Did I mention the laughs??! I’ll take all the topics you can write about cause I need THE LAUGHS, and the info. Please keep it coming!!

    1. Hi Tricia,

      I’m glad that you’re enjoying it and laughing. I’m laughing too! As you can see, I have a little bit of a twisted mind. Or maybe I should just say– creative. I’m happiest when I’m creating something.

  50. Laurel, you have a very successful blog. Keep it going. I hope you make money. You must spend hours and hours getting everything ready to present to your (loyal) followers.

    Your readers, certainly, are not paying for your wonderful advice, suggestions and humor. But, we take it, for free.

    Maybe you need a toll booth for everyone who comments: $10.00 x 1200 responses = Wow!

  51. Oh, and I forgot to say on the survey that I read because I like you. You come across as a real, honest person, and I really enjoy that. So, even though my living room will never look anything like what I see on your blog, I enjoy reading about YOU!

  52. Also, I was surprised anyone complained about your making money. Your blog is a treasure — I hope you make tons of money so we can continue to get it. And yes, I would pay for a subscription! How lucky that we get it for free.

    And I think that you obviously are thoughtful and selective about those things you do “advertise”. I’ve appreciated them as good suggestions and tested and recommended choices

    Keep up the good wwork!

    1. Thanks so much Laura! It’s funny, but about once a month I get an email asking me how much a subscription to the blog is.

      It’s free! And yes, some people like to complain a lot or else they need to find fault with others, or are just whiny and entitled. I guess it makes them feel better?

  53. My reaction to your post was to immediately click on that Amazon link and buy some Neutrogena anti-wrinkle cream! You’re just fabulous.

    1. Hi Anne,

      I thought you were going to say some condoms. lol I just do stuff like that to entertain myself. But you’re going to love the cream! Whenever I start to run low, I get very nervous.

  54. I have always enjoyed your blog and sense of humor, and I have from time to time shared your posts on Twitter, etc.

    I blogged for 10 years, got tired of the whole thing and recently stopped. I never once sold a product or made a dime, but I don’t fault anyone who does if they want a job. I didn’t. So I disagree with your statement that every blog exists for profit.

    I will continue to read your blog because it is interesting and amusing, but I am retired and don’t really care what anyone is selling because I probably won’t buy it unless I want it or need it.

    1. Why were you blogging then? If you had a business and did it to get more exposure, that is blogging for profit. If it was just a journal type blog, of course, that is different.

      I don’t expect everyone to be interested in everything. Like I said. I can’t please all. Thanks for your comment, Ellen.

    1. The last update was sent out in November but there will be another one coming in a few weeks.

      If the email used to purchase it is different than the one you’re currently using, it’s a problem, because you may not be on the list. If it’s this email address, I can check to see that you’re on the rolodex list.

  55. I understand you need to make money but please don’t go the way of Emily Henderson. I used to love her blog but now every single post is selling something. I quit reading her because of it. Thanks.

    1. No worries. I have been linking to products since day one! And most people want to know how to get stuff. I agree about Emily. She has pop ups and ads all over the place. I love her blog but I don’t think that she needs to do that. And it’s probably not her doing it either.

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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