Blog turned Book – Design*Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney is finally here!

Design*Sponge at Home

Like every self-respecting design blog across the globe, the time has come for TDF to give Design*Sponge at Home a little love, and a well deserved plug!

I am not sure the words ‘highly anticipated’ really do this one justice – Grace and the team at Design*Sponge have created a book of absolutely encyclopaedic proportions!  Design*Sponge at Home covers favourite categories from the blog – including Sneak Peeks, DIY, Before and After and Flower Workshop.  It’s exhaustive, it’s full of stunning homes and achievable DIY ideas… and it’s 390 pages long!  Grace has waited a long time to make this book exactly the way she wanted… and it shows.  It’s an absolute treasure-trove of Design*Sponge goodness.

As editor and creator of Design*Sponge, Grace Bonney has been such an incredible influence and support for emerging designers, artists, crafters and creatives across the globe, and really has paved the way for so many independent design blogs (including this one!).   On a personal level, it’s no secret that I hold Grace in the highest regard – I had the great fortune to meet her in person a couple of years ago and I’m not sure I’ve fully recovered from that *starstruck* moment!  Grace has been so supportive of this little Australian design blog… I’ll be eternally grateful for her kindness and wisdom, and for inspiring a generation of design bloggers to follow her lead!

If you haven’t checked out Design*Sponge at Home yet please do – it’s in Australian bookshops now!

BUT before you dash out to your nearest bookshop, if you’re feeling lucky… today you could win one of 5 copies of Design*Sponge at Home – generously offered up by Hardie Grant, who are distributing Design*Sponge at Home in Australia.

To be in the running, simply leave a comment on this post before 10.00pm AEST today. Five winners will be drawn at random and contacted by email tomorrow! This one is open to Australian residents only :)

*UPDATE – THANKS SO MUCH for all your lovely comments guy!  5 winners have now been drawn, the lucky winners were Bianca D (comment #438), Anne (comment #415), Lisa Dieder (comment #310), Sarah Davis (comment #355) and Justine Kajtar (comment #32).  Massive thanks to you all, and stay tuned for when Grace brings her book tour down under next year!

MASSIVE thanks to Grace, who, in the midst of the book tour to end all book tours (!!), found a few moments to answer some of my questions about the making of Design*Sponge at Home!  Read on for a few words from the lovely lady herself (and scroll down for the cutest little book promo video!)

Design*Sponge at Home

How did the opportunity arise for you to publish your first book?

I’d been approached by a few book agents and publishers starting around 2006, but nothing quite felt right. People either didn’t understand what I did, or wanted me to take over the reigns for an existing book series. The other offer I heard a lot was to do an incredibly niche, small-scale book like, “mid-century homes in Brooklyn” or “studios in San francisco”, that sort of thing. As kind as it was to get those offers, they didn’t fit the scale of what I like to do at D*S. I’m really glad I waited until the project felt like the perfect fit – we got to put everything (and then some) into this book, which I love.

What was your overall creative concept for Design*Sponge at Home – ie, did you want it to be a practical ‘how-to’ or a beautiful reference book or simply the perfect keepsake for D*S readers?

I wanted this book to be both – which I feel a lot of design books don’t do. And I see why – it’s hard from a publisher’s and a book seller’s perspective to know how to categorise something when it crosses several different topic areas and two book types. People tend to want to have a book that’s practical and spiral bound and not pretty or something all-inspirational and pretty and coffee-table like. I didn’t see any reason we couldn’t make a book that was both – a real workhorse and something beautiful and inspirational to look at. My ultimate goal was to do what we do with the site – provide people with inspiration AND the tools to make it a reality in your own home.


The book is positively encyclopaedic!  How many months / years was Design*Sponge at Home in the making?

In reality it was a 2-3 month process. We rushed to try to produce the book for Fall 2010 but it was just too hard to edit and cross-index everything the way we wanted in so little time. So after the bulk of the content was produced we spent another year editing, changing and adding sections (like the flower section, which I’d pitched initially but had been shot down by my first editor). I’m so glad we were able to get that section in there and spend more time really honing the look of things.

You’ve said on D*S that the book was very much a group effort – which of your team contributed in what areas, and would you like to mention any specific thankyous again here!?

Absolutely – Design*Sponge is a team effort and this book wouldn’t have happened without the help of Amy Azzarito, Kate Pruitt, Amy Merrick and Stephanie Todaro (among many others). Their constant feedback, help with crazy deadlines and willingness to work through all sorts of conditions and timing was invaluable. And of course Julia Rothman and the design team at ALSO did so much amazing work (and tons of it) to get the look of the book where we wanted it.

Are you still coming to Australia to promote the book!?  Give us your tour dates!

Absolutely! To be honest it’s the part of the book tour we’re ALL most excited about. So few design book authors take the time to travel there and I think that’s crazy.  I’m paying for that wing of the tour myself and I see it as the most worthy use of our expenses. We have an amazing Australian readership and I’ve been dying to see them, the stores and the artists in person since day one. They have been some of our most supportive, exciting and passionate readers ever.

We don’t have exact dates yet (we’re arranging the details now), but it will most likely be February 2012. We’re booked in the States through December 2011, so after the holidays we’re going to regroup and tackle that long flight head on.

Cute Design*Sponge at Home promo video!