Gallery: INTERVIEW: How Grace Bonney Explores Green Interiors & DIY In ...

Image ©Jamie Beck and Scott Goldberg
When we need inspiration for great interiors and DIY projects we often head over to Design*Sponge, the brain child of Brooklyn-based Grace Bonney. Her site explores handmade products, charming and beautiful interiors, and showcases awesome "before and after" furniture renovations. When we heard Grace and her team of editors were putting together a print version of their website, we immediately pre-ordered our copy. The book, Design*Sponge at Home, came out in October, and Grace has been traveling the country to promote the tome and host fun craft nights and events, which seem like a lot more fun than the traditional book signing. Inside, you can pore over pages and pages of "sneak peaks" at designers' work from around the world, there's a ton of tips and tricks about furniture renovations, and enough DIY projects to keep you busy through next summer. Grace graciously took a few minutes out of her busy tour schedule and gave us some insight into her thoughts on green interiors, all things handmade, and her favorite designers and shops right now.

Inhabitat: There’s obviously a strong DIY movement afoot, else you would not have put out this beautiful tome. What do you think spurred this on?

Grace: I think the DIY movement was inspired by a few things- people’s reaction to a failing economy and a desire to really connect more with the things at home. For years, design was really about “shiny, new, plastic” and that’s hard to connect with personally. So I think people saw a chance to really take back control of how they decorated their home and make it reflect who they are and what they love.

Inhabitat: Why do you think recycled, salvaged and reclaimed materials used in DIY projects are such a hit right now?

Grace: I think any materials that are eco-friendly have been popular for a while now- primarily because we’ve all realized that we have to pay more attention to how design (even at a small personal level) effects the world around us. But I think these materials have the added bonus of looking more worn-in and weathered- which is something people crave when they’re focusing on creating a look that feels real and not like it came out of a magazine.

Inhabitat: Is the DIY movement more about about keeping costs down, creating unique pieces, both or something else?

Grace: It’s definitely about both. People need to find a way to decorate their homes on a budget, but they also are reacting to a lack of relatable handmade design in bigger box stores, so DIY design is a great way to do both.


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  1. Andrew Michler November 3, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Salvaged wood makes for endless wall finishes- I’m taking a truck load of 2×6 end cuts to finish our bathroom. Going to stack them like bricks, and hopefully they will help soak up the extra moisture in the room.

  2. Yuka Yoneda November 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Such an insightful interview. As a lover of all things DIY, I thank you!

  3. Diane Pham November 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Great interview. I’m a huge fan of Design Sponge!

  4. Rebecca Paul November 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I love DIY and Design Sponge. I’ve been using the site as a source of inspiration for years now, and I really enjoyed reading Graces’ responses to all of Inhabitat’s questions. Thanks Grace and Inhabitat!

  5. Jill Fehrenbacher November 3, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I’m so excited about the book Grace – congratulations!
    And thanks for taking the time to do the interview.

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