Life + Health + I Love the Internet

Thank you for being a friend.

Support Door Sixteen on Patreon - patreon.com/doorsixteen

I started blogging a long time ago, back before it was called “blogging.” That was in 1998, when people were making Geocities sites and coding little diaries with guestbooks (GUESTBOOKS! omg, and webrings) for visitors to leave comments. Then there was LiveJournal. Then there was Movable Type. I did all of that, and I loved it. In 1999, I started Absolutely Vile. It was initially a dated repository for my signage photography, and then in 2001, it became a BLOG-blog.

(Side note: I opened my Dreamhost account in 1999 to host Absolutely Vile, and they remain my hosting company of choice to this day. 21 years and counting! I am a loyalist.)

Brooklyn garden, 2000 - doorsixteen.com

I wrote about pretty much everything. Decorating my apartments in Brooklyn, music I liked, shoes I wanted to buy, how much I wished there was a Target nearby, what I was eating for dinner, who I was going to vote for in the next election, what was on television that night…just about anything, really. That was back in the days when blog posts didn’t even necessarily have photos in them. I mean, most people didn’t even have digital cameras, much less iPhones that could capture and share any moment, instantly.

Newburgh living room - doorsixteen.com

In 2007, after taking a couple of years off from blogging, I started Door Sixteen. This very blog! By then, things had changed a little in blogging-land. Movable Type was out, and WordPress was in. Some people were making money from blogging through advertising. Jason Kottke tried out a reader-supported model. And lots and lots and lots of the blogs that I had devotedly read in the early 2000s were gone. By the late 2000s, blogs had focus. They were about a particular subject, not just about an individual’s entire big messy life. I decided I would write about my house—renovating it and decorating it—but eventually it became about my entire big messy life, because I just can’t help myself. Oh well.

Anyway. Since 2007, I’ve been all over the place in how to approach the monetary side of blogging. My JOB has always been designing book covers, and I’ve never wanted to change that. I worked for the same publishing company for 17 years—again, I’m a loyalist. So my feeling was really just that I needed my blog to pay for itself. That meant that (a) it needed to generate enough income to cover the cost of hosting, and (b) I needed to make sure that if I turned down any freelance design work because of the time I needed to spend working on my blog, that I made enough money to cover the difference in income. And that plan worked! I accepted a few sponsored posts a year, I sold sidebar ad space directly to independent businesses, and I started using automatic affiliate links so I could a little commission from sales generated from products I wrote about in posts. I didn’t make much money, but I didn’t need to. Like I said, I just needed the blog to pay for itself.

Albuquerque hallway - doorsixteen.com

When I left my job in New York and moved to New Mexico in 2015, things got much harder to balance. Aside from having mixed feelings about sharing stuff, I had to really focus on making sure that my freelance work as a book cover designer was THE THING. It had to come before anything else. And for four years, it did. And I made enough money to pay my bills and my rent and have a little left over. I started putting more time into my print shop at Society6, too, and that became a nice way to generate a little extra income, which I’ve tried to save.

About six months ago, though, something happened. I didn’t really notice it at first, but I was gradually getting less and less freelance work every month. A lot of people I know in the publishing world had gotten laid off, and suddenly there was a lot of “competition” (not that any of us have been actively competing with each other) for the freelance work that was there. Budgets got cut more and more, and covers that previously might have gone to freelancers started to be handled by in-house designers. The entire publishing industry is facing catastrophe right now, and that extends all the way down the line to authors and booksellers and yes, book cover designers.

It’s getting scary. It’s been getting scary. Actually, it’s even scarier right now because there are so many other designers whose contracts have been canceled and whose clients have delayed projects indefinitely because their own economic situation is so tenuous. And nobody is buying stuff they don’t need. I have friends who are retailers who haven’t made a sale in weeks. So we’re all out here trying to figure our shit out.

Santa Fe kitchen - doorsixteen.com

Meanwhile, I keep thinking about blogging. I have missed it so much. SO MUCH. I’m living in this great little house and doing so much stuff with it, and there’s nothing like the feeling of sharing something that you’ve done and in turn inspiring someone to do something with their own home that makes them feel good about where they live and about what they’re capable of doing. That was a long, weird sentence, but I hope you get what I’m saying. This is my thing. You don’t blog for 22 years if you don’t love it. And I really want to share this house with you, and show you the whole renovation—the stuff that’s done, and the stuff that’s still to be done.

So maybe this can be how I make a living? Or at least part of my living? Or even just a small addendum to my living? Something. Any of these things.

I’m not sure what that means in practice, exactly, and I’m willing to try different things to see what makes the most sense in the long term. (For what it’s worth, I did apply to an ad network, but I was rejected—probably because of the erratic patterns in my traffic, which I understand. I’ll resubmit an application once I’ve been back at this regularly for a while and see what happens.)

In the mean time, it’s been suggested to me by some longtime readers of Door Sixteen that maybe I should add some kind of donation option to the blog. I’d always rejected that idea because I have a hard time suggesting that anyone pay me to do anything (yes, this is a bad mentality for a freelancer to have, I know), and also because I don’t ever want to assume that anyone can even afford to do stuff like pay for things that aren’t absolute necessities—especially now.

Support Door Sixteen on Patreon - patreon.com/doorsixteen

That said, I did recently launch a Patreon. There are only two tiers of support, and they’re both pretty modest. If enough of you are able to pledge a few bucks a month, then at least the cost of hosting Door Sixteen would be covered. If a few more of you can chip in, then I can afford to spend more time here blogging and less time trying to scrape together income from other sources. Maybe it would mean I wouldn’t need to bother with an ad network at all? We’ll see. And if a whole bunch of you became Door Sixteen supporters, that would mean more funds available to do more projects—including fun DIY stuff that I could share (including stuff like printables—like the coloring book I shared yesterday—that could be available for download)! I have lots of ideas, and I’m really excited about the prospect of taking this old blog here to the next level in terms of it being a resource…and a respite.

So I’d love to have your support on Patreon, if it’s something you can comfortably do. If you contribute, I’ll add your name to a Blog Supporters page on Door Sixteen (I’ll also include link to your website or social media account, if you’d like). And even if you can’t, Door Sixteen will still be here for you to enjoy, for free. I promise.

Thanks for hearing me out, and for reading this whole mess of a post. I appreciate it so, so much. Thanks for sticking with me for all these years.

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68 Comments

  • Reply Maria March 31, 2020 at 7:31 am

    Goodness, I’ve been reading Door Sixteen from almost the beginning before I moved from Cleveland to NYC (for the 2nd time in my adult life). And then I saw you in the subway on the way home from work (I was seated, you were standing). I wanted to say that I loved your blog and your design work in your Newburgh home, but I didn’t. So this is that. I’m a design freelancer and my work has slowed tremendously and my husband lost his job in January and times are challenging. Mostly mentally because we’ve been able to save, but soon financially. However, I love that your blog is back. I like your writing style and your renovation work and it is a retreat from the chaos that is currently surrounding us. So with that, I’ll support the blog with a donation. Thanks for all the effort!

    • Anna Dorfman March 31, 2020 at 9:07 am

      Maria, I’m so sorry that you were already having to deal with a major loss of household income when all of this started, and that you’re now feeling it with your own drop in work. It’s a really hard time to be self-employed. (It’s a hard time for everyone, of course, but knowing there’s no support system of coworkers or an employer is stressful in the best of times.) Thank you for your support, and for your readership over the years.

      p.s. I wish you’d said hello to me on the subway!

    • Jacqui April 1, 2020 at 12:07 am

      I really hope this helps you. You deserve support. Can you make your posts so we have to come to the website rather than the feeder so you get to count the traffic if that helps you with the ad thing, your worth the click.

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      Thanks Jacqui! I’ve thought about truncating the RSS feed, but I worry that then people not only won’t click through, but won’t even read the posts at all. It’s something to consider, though.

    • Maria April 2, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Ha, next time if I ever see you on the subway, I’ll say hi! Thanks for your thoughts on the challenging times right now.

  • Reply Payton March 31, 2020 at 8:14 am

    I followed along the whole Newburgh house reno and would love to follow along this one, too. I am unemployed right now but would love to support once I get back on my feet. Keep on keepin’ on!

    • Anna Dorfman March 31, 2020 at 9:08 am

      Payton, I appreciate that sentiment so much. Thank you for following along all this time! I hope things get going for you soon on the employment front. Hang in there as best as you can.

  • Reply Louise Shin March 31, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Started reading this blog around 2010 – can’t believe it’s already been 10 years on my end at least. Happy to be a Patreon!

    • Anna Dorfman March 31, 2020 at 9:10 am

      Thank you so much, Louise!! And yeah…it’s kind of crazy how fast a decade can go. I often still feel like I’m in high school and haven’t yet caught up with myself.

  • Reply Margaret March 31, 2020 at 10:14 am

    Canadian fan here, and I’m so happy to see you back to blogging! (Though I totally get why you took a break.) Seeing as you were (and are) a source of inspo-entertainment for all things design (and hair…I’m a fellow life-long bang wearer), I just donated. I work in advertising, and have a lot of freelancer friends, and I strongly believe in paying creatives for their work. While this blog is a labour of love for you…it is still labour. And seeing as I’ve enjoyed it for free for so long, I’m happy to contribute to help keep it going for all those who may not be able to help you right now. Yay Door Sixteen!

    • Anna Dorfman March 31, 2020 at 10:21 am

      That is amazingly kind and very generous of you, Margaret, and these words and your support mean so, so much to me. Thank you. (And VIVA BANGS!)

  • Reply Megan March 31, 2020 at 10:49 am

    Anna! I’ve been reading your blog since I was in high school (maybe before? I’m not sure) and now I’m 23 and a grad student! I’ve always loved your writing and the project you’ve shared with us. I’m so happy to be able to support you! <3

    • Anna Dorfman March 31, 2020 at 11:38 am

      Thank you very much, Megan! Even though your comment makes me feel like I’m 400 years old. 😉

  • Reply Karen March 31, 2020 at 11:03 am

    So happy to support you!

  • Reply RebeccaNYC (IG: @mybackstageopera) March 31, 2020 at 11:07 am

    I completely understand the whole work drying up thing. My husband was a freelance photojournalist for about 20 years. Shortly after we got married, he started noticing a big dip in assignments…they just weren’t coming like they used to. One by one, his fellow freelancers started looking for other work. We decided that since he was so close to retirement age, he should just start collecting his SS early and we could live on my salary. Of course, two weeks ago I got laid off. I’m one of the lucky ones….I’m eligible for unemployment and if I so choose, I can retire and start drawing a pension. Or, when this pandemic is over, I can go back to work. We’ll see what the future brings.

    I don’t even know how long I have been reading your blog, but it’s been a while. I have missed your voice and your photos and I am so glad you are back. I am really glad to see that you are giving us the option to donate. I think of it as a magazine subscription. I’m really looking forward to whatever you are going to share, I know it won’t disappoint!

    Onward!

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 5:19 pm

      Oh gosh, Rebecca. That’s just terrible…I am so sorry. I really hope that things work out in the best way possible for you and your husband! It’s a time full of unknowns for so many of us. Good luck figuring it all out—and thank you so much for the support.

  • Reply karen March 31, 2020 at 11:07 am

    I actually came to Door Sixteen via Absolutely Vile, which I think my sister recommended to me. So I’ve been a reader for a really long time. I may not become a Patreon supporter right now out of financial uncertainty, but it’s definitely something I’ll keep considering & it makes perfect sense that for you to pursue it. It’s been nice seeing more of your new-ish house. At a time like this distractions are extra welcome, but even without being stuck at home it would be fun and interesting to see what you do with your place.

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 5:21 pm

      Karen, thank you for being a reader for a LONG, LONG time! I’m always amazed (and slightly embarrassed) when someone tells me they used to read Absolutely Vile. 😉 Sticking with my nonsense for this long is honestly the best kind of support I could hope for. Thank you.

  • Reply Anya March 31, 2020 at 11:29 am

    YES! I’m a huge fan and I love your style- You are the reason I found Daniel Kanter. I still remember when he sourced a Mooi Random Light for you like some kind of design guardian angel from the thrift stores of heaven. Alll your renovations and remodels motivate me on to tackle my own. You are an inspiration!

  • Reply Marlena March 31, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Happy to support! I’ve been following since you became known for the fauxdenza – when was that?! And through you started to follow Daniel Kanter. You make the online world so enjoyable. I’d love to learn more about if you offer design packages to work on logo and web design for folks like myself. Thanks for sharing such cool parts of your brain.

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks, Marlena! I sometimes help friends out with logo/branding/web stuff, but it’s definitely not my area of expertise—so I don’t take on clients for that kind of work. Now, if you need a book cover designed, that’s another story. 😉

  • Reply Emily Provost March 31, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Hey Anna,
    I immediately signed up to contribute via Patreon. Anything to keep you blogging. We need you!
    Stay safe and be well.

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 5:33 pm

      Thank you very much, Emily! (And you too.)

  • Reply Carlyn March 31, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    I’ve been a reader since Absolutely Vile. My main memory from your blog at that time was when you adopted Bruno <3. I'm happy to support you on Patreon!

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 5:33 pm

      Thank you, Carlyn. And thank you for remembering when my sweet little baby Bruno was really a little baby.

  • Reply Leslie March 31, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    I have been reading Door Sixteen since the beginning and would have gladly supported your creativity all of these years, because it brings me so much enjoyment (just like buying/reading a book, listening to a podcast, seeing a film, etc.). Glad you and so may other creatives I enjoy are making the Patreon leap.

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 5:34 pm

      So glad to have you here, Leslie! I’m happy to hear that I’ve brought something positive into your life. Thank you.

  • Reply Amanda Savarino March 31, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    I’m not sure if it was the fauxdenxa or caulking between your freshly painted white floor boards, or maybe when you hung that first aid kit on the bathroom wall that ignited my love for Door 16?Whatever it was I’ve been a devoted reader ever since. So happy to become a Patreon!

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 5:35 pm

      I appreciate that so much, Amanda! Thank you!

  • Reply Chelsea T March 31, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Hello from a fellow graphic designer! I started following you after finding some work on Pinterest. I work within the wine industry (primarily because I grew up in the region) but book cover design was always my “if I could quit my life and move to New York” job. I’ve been following you for years, and I’m so glad you’re back to posting!

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 5:37 pm

      Glad to have you here, Chelsea! 🙂

  • Reply Irene March 31, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    So happy you are back /back/! I’ve just bought my tiny-winy London flat, so really looking forward to learning some tips. Ironically, for me this epidemic may end up being beneficial for my career. I am an immunologist, and I have been recruited to work in a big study on patient blood so we can help predict who will fight off the infection and prioritise the people most at risk. It is very strange going to work to the hospital every day when most people are staying home. I’ve been trying to support small shops by ordering from them when available, and I just purchased a bunch of prints from Society6 so I’m happy to read that you do feel that makes a difference for artists. These are hard times 🙁

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 5:39 pm

      Irene, wow! Thank you SO MUCH for the work that you do. You and the rest of your teams and doctors are the ones who are really making a difference in our futures. Please stay safe, and know that your work is appreciated by so many of us who are at home right now.

  • Reply laura v March 31, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    you have my support! i’ve always loved your blog and all the creativity you bring to the world! thrilled to hear there will be more to come in the future!

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 5:39 pm

      Thank you so much, Laura!

  • Reply Simone March 31, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    O my. I can see that everything all together could be too much. Now I understand your story about opening the fridge and forgetting why you were there. I have not thought about this situation in this way (I’m sorry). I will look into the funding.
    I just want to add, I think the advertisements on the side are a great idea. Even more so if they are from people who read your blog (sadly I’m not selling anything). Please don’t ask me to trade my privacy for content in the form of cookies. And please, stay in touch with yourself, with your feelings, because some lines are so easily crossed but it could be difficult to go back. But you have more experience with this than I do, so you probably already know what your boundaries are.
    You have so many qualities, I’m sure that they can have a lot of value.
    I hope everything will work out for you better than you could hope for.
    PS maybe you could broaden the focus from purely your house and design, to your surroundings, to things that fascinate you, books you love, dogs you meet while walking Fritz, art that fascinates you etc. (your pictures of nature that you have shown here were beautiful). That way it doesn’t all have to be so personal and so focused on you (and your house).

  • Reply Geninne D Zlatkis March 31, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    I LOVE u Anna! And I’m so glad you are living in Santa Fe! You’ve been bringing joy and hilarity to so many of us these years. I can’t tell you how many of your recommendations I’ve followed that have enriched my day to day. You also have THE BEST taste and I’m honored and privileged to enjoy your close friendship. I am here for you, whateverrrrr you need. Besos!

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 5:46 pm

      My friendship with you is one of the best things that’s come from all these years of blogging and social media. It’s amazing to me to think that once upon a time you were a magical artist in Mexico I only knew from Flickr, and now you’re a magical artist in New Mexico that I get to talk to and laugh with and share the joy of this beautiful place. xoxoxo

  • Reply Lindsay March 31, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Done…..anything to get you blogging regularly again ☺️ I’ve been loving your aesthetic for quite some time – I think I found you through The Brick House, another blog I wish would come back! I have to say you completely changed the way I design my house. When I moved in 20 years ago every room was some crazy color – now everything is white, black and BM Deep Space. Remember when you used that color a lot? I still love it! If you lived near me I would gladly pay you for some design advise……….just saying $$

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      Thank you so much, Lindsay! And yes, I still hope that someday Morgan will decide to come back to blogging. I miss TBH so much. (And viva Deep Space! Still one of my all-time favorite paint colors.)

  • Reply Lisa Thomas March 31, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    I love you. Happy to see you back at this!

  • Reply S. Boxall March 31, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    You had me at “regularly blogging.” As I told Daniel when he launched his Patreon, you and him are fucking internet gems; your creativity has been inspiring and there are very few places in the internet these days where you can find what you offer. I **miss** the internet of 15 years ago, when not every post was “10 things you are doing wrong” or “look at this article, barely edited, which is a vehicle for 10 affiliate links from Amazon,” or “look at me and my duckface; buy my weight-loss tea.” In short, I am proud patron #73.

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 5:49 pm

      You have no idea how hard I’m laughing right now. Thank you for that, and for your support.

      (My list would probably be something like “50,000 things I’m doing wrong”)

  • Reply Melissa March 31, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    Someone on said, “The words you speak (or blog) become the house you live in.” Whatever the topic, however much of yourself and your life you choose to share, we are all just so grateful you are back at it! X

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 6:59 pm

      That’s lovely, Melissa, thank you.

  • Reply Barbara Swan April 1, 2020 at 1:02 am

    Done! I love your blog. It’s a pleasure to support it.

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 6:59 pm

      My first patron!! Thank you so much for kicking things off, Barbara. 🙂

  • Reply Franca April 1, 2020 at 1:42 am

    Dear Anna,
    Strangely enough I have a feeling that I know you, and that’s because of your honest, sometimes funny blogposts I’ve read over the years. Your blog and the way you write, and live your life -messy and beautiful- is such an inspiration! I’m not a fan of commenting because of my fear to make spelling mistakes (dyscalculia) but I felt the strong need, just to say hello and to let you know that I think you are brave! Please keep on writing about anything you like. Love from Holland, Franca

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 7:04 pm

      Franca, I don’t know if this is helpful at all, but I want you to know that I would never judge someone for misspelling words in comments—for any reason. Furthermore, I would delete any comments from anyone who did do that. If you have anything you want to express in writing here, please do, and without fear. My best to you!

  • Reply Ellen Anderman April 1, 2020 at 9:37 am

    I am happy to support your return to more blogging, especially since you are now in New Mexico. I live just over the Jemez Mountains in a very rural area called The Checkerboard (Anglo, Dine, Jicarilla and Hispanics.) I’ve been following since the earliest Door Sixteen days and admire your style and hard work so much.

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 7:12 pm

      Hello from the other side of the mountains, Ellen, and thank you!!

  • Reply Kim B. April 1, 2020 at 10:48 am

    Done!

    Thank you for asking.

    “Mwah” from France

  • Reply Bernadette April 1, 2020 at 11:09 am

    Couldn’t be happier to support your blog which I’ve loved for so many years. I adore your design style but I think my favorite post of yours is the one celebrating the 30th birthday of Disintegration. We are about the same age, and the Cure was my first concert at age 14. To this day, Plainsong gives me chills and I felt so deeply that entire paragraph you wrote about it!

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 7:14 pm

      I get teary even just thinking about Plainsong, Bernadette! Glad to have a fellow Cure fan here—thank you so much for supporting the blog.

  • Reply Cindy Wiens April 1, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Anna, I’ve been reading your blog for years. So I just signed up with Patreon and am looking forward to whatever you write in the future. 🙂 Is this where we give you our instagram name for inclusion? Just in case, it’s @liveacolorfullife

    • Anna Dorfman April 1, 2020 at 7:15 pm

      Thank you, Cindy! I sent a message through Patreon about names and links, but I’ll make a note of your account. 🙂

  • Reply Rose Neave April 2, 2020 at 11:38 am

    I’ve signed up – love your blog and I’m happy to contribute to you being able to spend more time on it. Looking forward to following along with whatever you come up with. Glad you asked

    • Anna Dorfman April 2, 2020 at 11:47 am

      Thank you SO much, Rose!!

  • Reply Anna K. April 2, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    Anna to Anna, thank you for D16, for all that you do every day that we don’t see, and for sharing what you do. I second many of the stated emotions and am glad that you’ve asked for financial support – I’ve felt like a huge freeloader for a long time and am very happy to think that I might be actually supporting your ability to do more of what you love! A very small price to pay for that, which brings me much happiness. Also as a devoted print-book reader, thanks for the freelance work you do there, too! xoxo

  • Reply Therheeds April 2, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Delighted you’re back….
    So much to thank you for
    Happy to support you on Patroen thingamee

  • Reply Anne April 3, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    So happy to see you blogging again. I followed all your renovation projects on Door Sixteen in 2010, when I was a frustrated New York City renter who wanted to tear out all my tile, and you were constantly renovating everything. At the time I couldn’t wait to do those sorts of projects. And I finally bought a little house of my own a few years ago and realized… I am not a DIY person. But I can’t wait to follow along with more of yours.

  • Reply Beth April 5, 2020 at 8:54 am

    I started reading Door Sixteen in 2009. I have learned so much from you and just really enjoy your blog. I bought a two-flat fixer upper in Chicago in 2011 (which I know I wouldn’t have taken on without your blog) and have enjoyed the process of fixing it up and making it my home for the last decade, which has been so satisfying and rewarding. Thank you for that. Happy to be a patron.

  • Reply Emily April 10, 2020 at 8:21 pm

    Hi Anna! I’ve been so thrilled to see you posting regularly again. I have followed you and your blog for 15+ years now?! Wow, I hadn’t even realized…you have inspired me in so many ways over the years and I look forward to continuing to see you transform this new home and share your life! Happy to support you any way I can 🙂

    • Anna Dorfman April 13, 2020 at 10:24 am

      Thank you do much for continuing to follow along, Emily 🙂

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