The blog Design Sponge took off following its inception in 2004 by empowering readers to make inspiring, authentic and drop-dead gorgeous spaces or home jobs — all achievable to a tight budget without professional design help. At long last the publication, Design Sponge in Home (Artisan, $35), is out. Continue reading for a sneak preview and the scoop on how it came about from creator Grace Bonney.
If you’ve ever visited Design Sponge, then you’ll find yourself returning a number of times every day. I was expecting the book to be a composite of the best home sneak peeks and DIY jobs worthy of coffee table display. Nonetheless, it is much more than that. It is a dense must-have resource chock full of thoughts and insider tips that reads just like the fantasy craft/home design textbook you wish you had since high school to refer to again and again. There really is something for everyone to appreciate — from classic flea market to high-end modern — and it all blends together in a unique, eclectic voice.
N.M.: you’ve been conducting the blog since 2004. Why did you feel now was the time to write the book?
G.B.: I’d been waiting to discover a subject and a home that felt right for us. I’d been talking to some publishers since 2006, but everyone wanted us to perform a preexisting book series or something quite narrow (ie: just homes in a specific place ). I really wanted to embrace the depth of content we cover Design*Sponge, so when I found a publication that embraced how large that publication is, I knew it was the right place. Not only did Artisan embrace the encyclopedia-style publication I wanted to perform, but they allow me to work with my own art team, which was really important to me personally. I’ve been working with the same team (Also Design) since 2007, plus they really understand my style.
After we started working on the publication it really felt evident that something like this was required. I loved my dog-eared copies of interior design books, but they never really felt as practical as I desired. I believed strongly that there was a gap in the marketplace for a book that not only inspired, but required it three steps ahead and instructed you the abilities to make the things you saw in houses and taught you about why and how these looks worked. I really wanted to give you everything you wanted (from the tools to the confidence) to make your dream home, not merely look at it in a publication.
N.M.: How did you discover the time to do this on top of your blog duties? Notably finding all the new sneak peeks.
G.B.: That was the hardest part — and to be truthful I learned how NOT to do it. I simply tacked on the work everywhere I can: weekends, late nights, all-nighters. The bulk of the writing was completed in around three months, and the work load ended up with me in the hospital tripping an inherent migraine illness I never knew I’d. I learned my lesson: always pace things out and don’t bite off more than you can chew.
In terms of finding houses, we reached out to our network of readers, friends, store owners and designers throughout the world to see if we can find some amazing new houses on a short turnaround time. Fortunately we found more than 40 new houses, so we shot and edited them immediately and had them in the publication inside a few months.
N.M.: The book reads like a text book for the DIYer, less like the coffee table book I was expecting. I love the detailed information and tips, the denseness, the assortment of subjects and projects. Was the original goal to make a text-book-like resource, or did you discover that there was so much you wanted to cover as you’re putting it together this was the only way to go?
G.B.: I really wanted the publication to be practical and inspirational. With the market being so rough right now, I believed it seemed out of touch to have a book of pretty pictures. I wanted to have the ability to teach individuals how to actually recreate those inspirational looks and jobs in their own fashion, in their budget. That was really important to me personally. I wanted it to be the prettiest and most practical book potential.
In terms of editing, I really went by my gut. I chose some of my favourite jobs and houses from the past 7 decades of site archives, which was relatively simple. Those houses and jobs had been in my mind for decades and they were the very fun to select through and select. The newer projects were developed to fill in the gaps that we believed were important to cover when it comes to styles, prices and abilities being represented.
N.M.: You allude to the fact that you’re a design and crafting novice when this all started. Describe your learning curve. Do you feel that today you can hold your own with many top designers or are there still design areas you’d like to learn more about?
G.B.: I’m always learning and I’m certainly not a crafting expert. However, what I do have is something that most individuals don’t realize is the only significant ability: fearlessness. I’m never afraid to tackle a job. Even if it seems frightening or tough, I know that I will dive in and give it my all. I never mind if something doesn’t look like an image. I accepted early on this handmade work is always likely to be unique and not”perfect” That type of fearlessness comes with being willing to try things and embrace the imperfection; this type of assurance was what I hoped to instill in viewers by the end of the publication.
N.M.: Which is your personal favourite section of this book?
G.B.: It changes every day, but I really love the flowers right now. We often overlook flowers as a decorating instrument, and one that may be performed on a budget and with ingenuity. I desired to divide the fundamental steps of organizing to demystify it and show people how you can interpret unique trends and styles in floral form. At times it’s the most affordable way to decorate a room in a pinch.
N.M.: Do you foresee publishing components 2, 3, etc., in the future? Or upgrading the resource guides in future editions?
G.B.: Absolutely. No matter how classic a room or job is, there is always room for upgrading. I can see us moving back to this in a few years and upgrading the segments so that it best reflects what is happening in layout after 2015 or so. Even though that seems awfully far away right now. My goal is to perform a few smaller books in between this publication and the upcoming big one.
Know more about the blog, the book and how to purchase.
Book Tour: The Joyful Home Project
Book Tour: Patina Style