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I call it the 'Golden Book' ... interview with Grace Bonney

Wednesday, 21 September 2011 by Irene Hoofs


Good morning do you already have a copy of Grace her first book? I haven't but I can't wait to hold it in my hands and see what this very inspirationallady has created for us. All of you know that Grace was a big inspiration for me to start Bloesem and I so understand the succes of her blog and now her book. Her passion for interior design, arts and crafts is unstoppable and her energy is contageous for many of us. I'm very happy she took the time to answer some questions I had for her about 'Design*Sponge at Home'


What was the main reason for going from 'online' to 'offline'... why a book?
I've always been someone who loved print (I actually started the blog in hopes of one day getting a job at a magazine) so I knew I wanted to try my hand at it down the road, but I waited a long time to tackle a book project because I wanted it to the perfect situation- one in which the publisher understood our goals and supported them. When we met with Artisan they immediately got what I wanted to do and embraced my desire to work with the web design team and illustrator (ALSO and Julia Rothman) that we always work with, so it felt like it was meant to be. 


  125Living-Room_Credit-Linco  Design-Sponge-3 128_Credit-Joy-Thigpen


Because the book contains so much more than a rehash of what's already on the site (it contains 40+ new homes, 25 new DIY projects, 25 new before and afters and brand new primer sections for upholstery, DIY basics and floral design) I wanted to focus on making those parts as timeless as possible so the book would serve as a practical workbook for someone who wanted to take the inspiration they got from the website and turn it into a real change at home.


 What are your favorite memories of making this book?

For me the best part of this book was getting to spend more time with my own editors and contributors. I traveled a lot to work on stories and do photoshoots so it was such a treat to spend more time with the people I typically online speak with online.

One of my favorite "what did I get myself into" moments thought was driving about 15 flower arrangements from Saipua flower studio in Brooklyn over to the photo shoot in Brooklyn. I was running late, had no idea how to transport flowers, and was booking it up the west side highway. I had to slam on my breaks and didn't have time to look back and then I felt water at my feet. All the arrangements had spilled over and TONS of water were pooling on the car floor. Luckily I saved the flowers and re-filled them at the studio, but everything in the car was soaked. 


Can we find any European/Asian design ideas in the book?
I really wanted the book's style to be about more than an American look, so we have several European and Asian homes in the book. One of my favorites is a home in Singapore that embraces the color red in such a big way. We were so in love with the red she used that we created a flower arrangement inspired by it!

There are several Australian, British and French homes in the book as well- they all have a slightly more "put together" feel than some of the American homes. I love the regal architecture that you get in so many of beautiful older European homes- those details are a given in American homes so I love that several of the homes we got to feature had amazing molding, curving staircases and beautiful entryways. 


What are the future plans?
Right now I'm just trying to make it through each week of the book tour, but I'd love to eventually branch out into more specialized print projects (though not a magazine, more along the lines of limited edition 'zines, newspapers and books). I've always loved television, but right now I think the TV industry makes funding and branding such a big deal that it's hard to find a situation where you don't feel like you have to compromise what you believe it.

So for right now I think I'm happy to work in print and web formats where I have more control over the sponsors and how big of a role they have in what I do. After the book tour I'm probably going to be most excited to just sit back and tackle my normal day-to-day work for D*S. After all this travel what USED to feel like a ton of work is going to feel like a breeze. ;)


 Thank you Grace Bonney!

Much more information about the book here and the list of places to buy the book

Images by Kaleidoscope blog, Jamie Beck and Terri Glangler and Lincoln Barbour.

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