“I have always believed that great design doesn’t have to come with a high price tag or require a professional degree,” says Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney in the introduction of her new book. Indeed, the decor inspiration and DIY website has grown from Grace’s “outlet to express my love of design and decorating” to a design mecca where 75,000 of the faithful pilgrimage daily seeking aesthetic awakening. After founding a national meetup series for women in design businesses and an annual scholarship for art and design students, Grace has given her fans more to love, delivering the long-requested book.
Design*Sponge at Home is a nearly 400-page collection of home tours, design tips and history, and DIY project tutorials that captures, “the same sort of excitement, inspiration, and motivation that we strive for online.” Grace’s 30-city book tour stopped in Chicago last night for a craft event and signing at the State Street Anthropologie store. Those who missed her pre-event craft workshop on creating a wax stamp seal can find the instructions in the book, of course, on page 213. Prosecco and cider, delectable little cupcakes, and legions of Anthro’s lovely things made the event all the more enchanting.
After years of enjoying Design*Sponge on a daily basis, it was great to meet the woman behind the blog. “I say at least a few times a year that if it wasn’t for the winter, I would pack up and move to Chicago in a heartbeat,” Grace mentioned on the event posting. “It’s one of my favorite cities, and there hasn’t been a trip when I haven’t left feeling a little sad that I have to go.”
When I asked her favorite spots in the city, Grace was kind enough to share her Chicago go-tos. “Scout is one of my favorite stores in the city, as well as Jayson Home. Eating at Blackbird is always fantastic, and Lula Cafe is a great little place in Logan Square. I absolutely love Sprout Home, and I love Tara” [Sprout Home owner Tara Heibel’s home tour is featured on page 102].
Design*Sponge at Home is yet another delightful reminder that design can and should be accessible, personal, and enjoyable, all of which I found reflected in authoress Grace Bonney. The book is a trove of décor information and ideas that I can’t wait to soak up.
For Further Exploration:
An Anthropologie Anniversary