Catalog Tours an Artful Home

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The Guild Inc., a direct marketer of artist-made furniture and home decor, has a new look for its fall catalog, The Artful Home.

The Artful Home launched two years ago after research by the company indicated its customers increasingly were buying from The Guild for home decor purposes, company president Michael Baum said.

The catalog previously was called Guild.com and was more of an art gallery style of book featuring individual photos of individual pieces. The Guild has mailed catalogs since it began as a dot-com in the 1990s.

Since repositioning the catalog as a home decor book, its look has been evolving, with the fall issue making the strongest statement yet about home and how to live an artful life, Mr. Baum said.

"We're trying to communicate even more strongly the sense of home and how people express themselves through the things they surround themselves with," he said.

The catalog is laid out as a tour of an artful home. It was shot on location. The opening spread is the entryway of a home, and the following pages move to the living room, bedroom, stairs, study/library, dining room, kitchen and out into the garden. Interspersed among the location shots are spreads illustrating how a piece of artful decor can be used in multiple ways, such as four ways to use a console, four ways to decorate a mantel and how four different sets of pillows change the look and feel of the same couch.

"We like to think that reading through our book is like walking through a home owned by someone who loves art and has a strong sense of who they are," Mr. Baum said. "The new design invites a lot of repeat visits as people will want to go through the catalog again and again."

The 76-page book is the biggest the company has done. It carries a selection of furniture, accessories, art glass and jewelry. It mailed last month and mails again at the end of this month. At this time of year, the company also starts featuring artist-made ornaments.

References to an online diary appear throughout the new catalog, including outtakes from the diary. The diary is written from the viewpoint of someone visiting a home and making notes of tips and ideas for things to do to make an artful home for themselves. Here, viewers also can see some of the 11,000 items not found in the catalog.

"We've always referred people to the Web, but it's never been as interactive before," Mr. Baum said, explaining that the company's Web marketing department was involved in the creation of the catalog.

Circulation for The Artful Home this year is twice that of last year, though Mr. Baum wouldn't be more specific. The difference largely involves more prospecting.

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