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INTERVIEW: How Grace Bonney Explores Green Interiors & DIY In Design*Sponge at Home

Posted By Bridgette Meinhold On August 18, 2013 @ 10:24 am In Books,carousel showcase,Design,DIY,Green Interiors,Innovation,Interviews | 5 Comments

design sponge, design sponge at home, grace bonney, book review, diy, green interiorsImage ©Lincoln Barbour

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 [1] 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 [1] design is a great way to do both.

design sponge, design sponge at home, grace bonney, book review, diy, green interiorsImage ©Scott Goldberg

Inhabitat: We are huge fans of your Before and After stories with furniture. When looking for pieces to refinish, what are things to look out for so you know you’re buying a good quality piece that can be remade?

Grace: We actually did a whole section on this in the book so we could educate people about furniture [2] a bit more. But my top tips would be to look for quality joinery (dovetail joints [3] over metal hinges) and any sort of stamps or labels that indicate a brand or year it was produced. And of course, hardwood (as opposed to veneer) is always higher quality.

Inhabitat: We talk a lot about daylighting in the architecture and interior projects we cover. What are some easy ways to make a house or a room feel brighter without tearing out holes and adding more windows?

Grace: Mirrors are always a great fix, but I really like to bring in glass or clear materials as much as possible to brighten up a space. I’m a fan of lucite or glass coffee tables because they lighten the visual bulk in the room. I also think that bringing in more natural materials (demijohns [4] filled with branches, etc) really makes a space feel more alive and breathable.

Inhabitat: What are some of your favorite trends in the DIY home interiors movement right now?

Grace: I’m excited to see people covering their walls with salvaged wood [5]. For so many years people seemed to see walls only as a flat canvas to hang art on, but now people are seeing it as a place to play with texture and detail.

design sponge, design sponge at home, grace bonney, book review, diy, green interiorsImage ©DesignSponge

Inhabitat: Who are some of your favorite green designers, organic textile makers or architects right now?

Grace: I love Studio Bon [6] and Mod Green Pod [7] – they’re both textile designers who work with green fabrics. And Jessica Helgerson [8] is an amazing interior designer in Portland, OR that knows how to keep things green without sacrificing style.

Inhabitat: How about your favorite vintage, antique or salvage shops in Brooklyn or the New York City area?

Grace: I love “Build it Green [9]” in Brooklyn for salvaged materials and Moon River Chattel’s Annex [10] for great salvaged furniture and metalworking.

Thanks Grace! And good luck with the book tour for Design*Sponge at Home [11]!

+ Design*Sponge [12]

Images Courtesy of Design*Sponge

Article printed from Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building: http://inhabitat.com

URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/interview-how-grace-bonney-explores-green-interiors-diy-in-designsponge-at-home/

URLs in this post:

[1] DIY: http://inhabitat.com/diy

[2] furniture: http://inhabitat.com/furniture/

[3] dovetail joints: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dovetail_joint

[4] demijohns: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/demijohns

[5] salvaged wood: http://inhabitat.com/tag/salvaged-wood

[6] Studio Bon: http://www.studiobon.net/

[7] Mod Green Pod: http://modgreenpod.com/

[8] Jessica Helgerson: http://www.jhinteriordesign.com/

[9] Build it Green: http://www.bignyc.org/

[10] Moon River Chattel’s Annex: http://moonriverchattel.com/Moon_River_Chattel/Moon_River_Chattel.html

[11] book tour for Design*Sponge at Home: http://www.designsponge.com/category/ds-book

[12] + Design*Sponge: http://www.designsponge.com/

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