From the moment it touched down on my desk, I fell in love with blogger Grace Bonney’s eponymous tome Design*Sponge at Home. Grace’s inspirational blog Design*Sponge has captivated the design community, including yours truly, since it began seven years ago and today it has up to eight daily updates from Grace, her team and industry insiders on anything from stylish city guides to DIY projects and favorite recipes.
Her chunky book covers real-life interiors, DIY projects, flower arranging, and features page after page of interior shots, quirky illustrations and text all pieced together like a scrapbook, with Grace’s friendly tone relaying little anecdotes and helpful money-saving tips.
In the book’s foreword, Jonathan Adler, a renowned designer on the board of mydeco.com US, says: ‘Design*Sponge has become a daily (okay, hourly) must-read for me and the entire design world and has changed the rules of the game.
‘When Grace started Design*Sponge, she thought that she was starting a design blog. But she wasn’t just starting a blog, she was starting a revolution. And now the revolution has a bible.”
Praise indeed. Jonathan may be on to something as the book encapsulates everything its readers love about her blog. However, perhaps the real selling point of this book is how very user- and budget-friendly it is, as Grace believes that great design is not only found on the pages of shelter magazines or in expensive interior stores.
The readers of her blog and the target audience for this book are likely to be people that can’t necessarily afford the latest designer sofa from The Conran Shop but are happy to scour antique markets or thrift stores for bargains they can restore themselves. The clever DIY guides in the book look incredibly enticing (and not too ‘crafty’) and are guaranteed to spruce up your home on a shoestring. They’re also labelled by difficulty, so if you’re new to the world of customization you can take these baby steps and finish your ‘daunting’ task with confidence.
Call me nosy, but my favorite part of the book is the Sneak Peek chapter which shows real-life interiors full of imagination and flea-market finds. Although I recognized quite a few of the homes from other books and blogs, the pages are still engaging due to the commentary boxes about the interiors as well as titbits and further ideas that Grace suggests.
If you like to think outside the box and are craving that individual touch, Design*Sponge at Home is perfect as both an inspirational and practical guide.
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