Technically, I got my copy of Design Sponge last Thursday. But when you spend so much time anticipating something, you really should savor it. So I was really good and didn’t even crack the cover when it arrived. I opened the package – to ensure that it was indeed D*S and was intact – and then tucked it away. Today was a much-anticipated day off, one of two I have this week. Since Friday will be a special day with my girl, today was all about me time. So I got two solid hours a real, uninterrupted reading in. That hasn’t happened since college, and it was pretty nice.
This book has already been reviewed extensively online as well as in print. If you are interested in seeing that others have to say, you can peruse the assorted links on Design Sponge. But since you’re here right now, I will give you my two cents worth.
Right off the bat, I got a good feeling from the forward. Jonathan Adler did a great job of keeping it short and in the spirit of the book. I’m always pleased to read a forward that is treated as what it should be — an introduction to a book, not a mini book of its own.
The body of the book is broken into five major sections. The Sneak Peeks are glimpses into the homes of people all over the world. Not necessarily professional designers, just people who love their homes and follow their hearts to create spaces they love. This section I have barely cracked into because I am carefully studying every picture and caption. But as usual, these sneak peeks do not disappoint. The theme of homes that are lovingly and carefully decorated from a variety of sources is a wonderful inspiration. My favorite part is seeing the magic people work with thrift store and garage sale pieces.
The rest of the sections center on DIY so you can execute spaces of you own. The Projects section showcases fifty different projects. Even if you have barely sewn on a button, this section is loaded with ideas you can customize to fit your style and easily execute. A beginner could make citronella candles for a patio. With more experience, you could spend a weekend making the Spool Table Library. The third section, DIY Basics ensures that you will be prepared with the basic tools and know-how to tackle the majority of projects you will do at home.
If playing with tools isn’t your thing, the Flower Workshop may be more your speed. If you like arranging flowers but are stuck in a rut, this is the perfect chapter to read. Some arrangements are simple and bohemian. A few include fruit and vegetables. But from simple to cascading, they are all classy and more important, simple to create.
Before and After is just what the title implies. Just like the Sneak Peeks, there are real projects done by everyday people. Having the book begin and end with real world inspiration is probably the smartest layout Grace Bonney and her team could’ve come up with. Seeing the colors, furniture, rooms and details in the Sneak Peeks get you inspired and excited. You want to know what you can do to create a space that fits you just as well. That energy can be channeled into your own versions of the DIY projects presented. Wrapping up with the Before and Afters breaks down those large redecorating projects into small pieces.
You have surely figured out by now that I am going to say yes, you should read this book. Whether you are an avid DIYer, or just a lover of good design, it will not disappoint.