Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney

by |July 12, 2011

The latest must-have book in the DIY/interior/crafty stakes is Design* Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney. This book is attracting a huge amount of interest and it won’t even be published until September. Meanwhile, pre-orders are going ballistic all over the world, and I mean all. Here in Australia, this gorgeous and creative how-to primer with everything from fabric to paint is already shaping up to be the giftbook for crafters and clever would-be interior designers for Christmas.

Available now from Booktopia, Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop –
order your copy here

So who is Grace Bonney? Well, take Kelly Doust (she of Crafty Minx book and shop fame), add an American accent, upscale by 20 to reflect the relative difference in our populations and say g’day to Grace. I am not just being flippant. Grace creates terrific pieces from frou-frous to furniture, she has an immensely popular blog and now she has put together the kind of book that she (and us) has always wanted to read. Believe me. If you are strongly visual, I defy you to look at this and to not want to get out your measuring tape and colour swatches. Meanwhile, on this side of the equator, the creative world is abuzz with anticipation.

I’d be looking for a room makeover in the Christmas stocking this year if I was you.

From the publisher:

Grace Bonney’s daily website Design*Sponge – dubbed Martha Stewart Living for Millennials – by The New York Times  has 60,000 daily readers who love the site for its home tours and makeovers, DIY projects, recipes, videos, and podcasts. Bonney created the site in 2004 as an antidote to the fussy (and expensive) shelter magazines of her mother’s generation, turning it into a rallying point for crafty young homeowners everywhere. Culled from her site, but with 50 percent all-new material, this is Bonney’s definitive guide to creating a stylish home for young homeowners and renters. This is truly Design on a Dollar and all along the way, Bonney teaches the reader the principles of decorating and collecting, empowering them to create beautiful homes of their own.

Want to know what all the fuss is about? Have a look at this.

Meanwhile, to whet your appetite, here is a little teaser from the author’s blog.
Let’s start with the cover of the book! I’m going to do a post on the evolution of the book cover (we went through over 25 designs) next week, but here is the final result. A room illustration (it wraps from an unfinished room on the back cover to a finished room on the cover) by Julia Rothman that is done in beautiful gold foil. It’s hard to capture with a photo, but in person, it’s got such a rich glimmer that I keep tipping it back and forth to watch it shine in the light. I’ll go into more detail about the book design by ALSO in a future post . . .

Sneak Peeks!

We have over 65 in the book, the vast majority of which are unpublished, so they’ll be brand new to everyone reading. Keeping those under wraps for over 1.5 years was definitely a challenge. Each home tour is accompanied by a sidebar that contains design history about an item in the room, shopping tips, decorating tips or even a floral arrangement (with a how-to later in the book) inspired by the room.

Here are a few of my favorite home-tour shots from the book:

DIY Projects

The DIY section of the book contains 50 projects (the majority of which are unpublished and brand new) covering a range of skill levels and budgets. I’ll go into more detail about this section (and all sections of the book) in the coming weeks. The DIY chapter also contains a HUGE primer section that will teach you ALL the basics of home upholstery as well as how to strip and paint furniture, hang wallpaper and rewire lamps. I wanted you to be able to see something and then flip to that section to get all the basic tools and skills you need to make it yourself. Here are some of my favorite projects from the book:

Before & Afters

This section starts with an illustrated guide to spotting high-quality furniture — as well as clear signs of knock-offs. I wanted to address the controversy that often comes with making over vintage/antique furniture and give people as many tools and details as possible to help them make educated decisions about whether or not to paint. There are 50 projects (all reader submitted!) in this section, the majority of which have never been published before (all new). Here are two of my favorites . . .

Like what you see? Pre-order Design* Sponge at Home now.

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  • July 12, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    You’ve convinced me.

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