Sunday Fiction Feature: Gilbert
International Women's Day: Serving the Hungry

Female-friendly at Home

Dear readers, Jane is happy to announce that designers are starting to get it! The housing industry has finally jumped on the female-friendly bandwagon. Marketing to women, especially those who shop online (and much real estate shopping goes on, online), is hitting the big time.

Just in from AJ at The White Rabbit Inn, a favorite vacation spot of Jane's, an article from the Chicago Tribune: "Made for a woman." Written by Tribune staff reporter John Handley, the article talks about the growing need for housing that helps make a woman's busy life more manageable. To quote,

"Most housing experts agree that women have the dominant influence in the choice of housing, but not all houses are designed with women in mind."

What, you may be asking yourself, does that mean? A house is a house, is a house. Right? The particulars--number of rooms, windows, carpets, etc. are all personal choices, they are not design styles that can be attributed to a particular gender or demographic.

Not so, says Anne Olson of Olson Architecture, Inc. She believes designing homes around a woman's needs is the wave of the future-- a future that begins now, today. In this article, Olson notes that "a man's blood pressure drops when he comes home. But when the typical 25- to 45-year-old, college-educated woman walks into her home, her blood pressure goes up three points. She's about to start her second job."Front_porch

Jane was impressed with Olson's take on kitchens. These are rooms not merely for cooking, according to the article. They're about relationships. "Relationships," Olson is quoted saying, "are at least as important as food."

Relationships. A female-friendly word, if Jane has ever heard one. Jane suggests, dear reader, that you read this article and think of your website as a house. Is it inviting? Is there too much clutter and not enough ambience? Does your homepage welcome women and offer a friendly place to spend a few minutes? This article has hidden advice between paragraphs. Advice on what women need, on how to market to women online-- by appealing to their need for building relationships.

Read it and imagine your website from an architectural viewpoint-- with a woman's needs in mind. Reduce stress, offer flexibility, promote togetherness...  add a front porch. According to the article, front porches are making a comeback. (Jane was not aware that they went out of style, only that houses seldom have them these days.)

What's not to like about...front porches?

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