Design Sponge on your shelf

Grace Bonney upholstered her headboard. She’ll show you how in the book and at www.designspongeonline.com

One of the best things about sifting through the artsy homes on popular interiors blog, Design Sponge, is that no matter how spectacular a place seems, the site tells you a) where you can find the items pictured, or, b) offers step-by-step instructions on how to craft the look, an especially nice feature for the 250,000 budget-conscious and design-savvy readers who flock to the site daily. Now, founder Grace Bonney is expanding on her signature brand of sophisticated-yet-indie decorating with “Design Sponge at Home.”

“There weren’t a lot of books on the market that actually taught people things and also inspired them,” explains Bonney. “It was one or the other. Either they inspire or teach — and if they teach they tend to be  ugly paperback craft workbooks. I wanted to put out a beautiful coffee table book that’s also super functional.” Her new tome — filled with real-life interiors, DIY projects and flower arrangement tutorials — is bound in a beautiful red and gold Diana Vreeland-esque cover. Even if it doesn’t motivate you to reupholster your old chair or hang up some art (we doubt it) it’ll look gorgeous on your table.


Three of Bonney’s favorite tips from the book:

1. “Working with a unified color palette is a great tip I learned from Nicolette Camille Owen’s home. She basically painted every single room in her house a shade of blue. They all feel really different but the house flows so wonderfully. I think that’s one of the hardest things if you live in a city apartment: how to get each room to have its own feeling but still feel really seamless.”

2. “I really love embracing DIY upholstery. In my own house tour I upholstered my own headboard. I just used a handheld staple gun and bought fabric and did it all by myself. That project in particular showed a lot of people, and really me, that you can do it by yourself. If you see something in the store that costs $3,000, don’t be intimidated to make your own version of it.”

3. “For a long time I overlooked the power of flowers as a decorating tool. A lot of people feel too intimidated to make something with their own hands or they’re overwhelmed by the idea of wallpapering or painting, but flowers are an inexpensive and fun way to decorate a room.”

Bonney’s tips to get your home ready for fall:
 
“It’s a great idea to embrace darker colors and softer textures,” says Bonney. The Brooklyn resident suggests changing out your bedding or painting an accent wall in colors such as rich plums, emerald blues and brown. “I love looking at brown in the fall. I feel like they feel really warm but not overly Thanksgiving.”

Another one of her essential for cooler temperatures is to bring in softer textures. “Maybe a faux sheepskin throw or some sort of hand knit cable throw that you could put on your couch,” she suggests. “Even those funky Mongolian sheep pillows you can buy at West Elm and Crate and Barrel add that little bit of texture to a room to make it feel warm.”


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