d*s book

the design*sponge book is available for pre-order!

by Grace Bonney

Gold leaf cover illustration by Julia Rothman. Book design by ALSO.

I have been waiting for this day longer than I can possibly describe. While trying to find the perfect words to sum up this entire experience and project, I ran through a wide range of emotions: excitement, nervousness, fear, relief, exhaustion and complete and utter joy. There are quite simply no perfect words to sum up the experience of writing Design*Sponge’s first book than to say this: After two years of hard work, Design*Sponge at Home is available for pre-order!

Today, I am thrilled to share the first of many sneak peeks inside the book, the new book landing page (where you can find links to buy the book and see our 30-city book tour calendar) and last but not least, the Design*Sponge at Home book trailer. Before we dive in, I wanted to say something I’ve wanted to say for over a year now:

This book not only gave me the pleasure of working with people in the design and publishing industry that I’ve admired for years, but it gave me the true honor of getting to work more closely with my own team here at D*S — a gift for which I will be eternally grateful. If there is one thing that moves me the most about this project, it is how aware it made me of the amazing people who generously share their time, talents and friendship with all of us here at the site. I am so grateful for their help. Without them, this book quite simply wouldn’t have happened.

So, what have we been working on for the past few years? For me, this is the book I’ve been wanting to write, and read, forever. I wanted to go beyond pretty pictures (although we have over 600 of those) and create a book that gave you everything: practical ideas, mini history lessons about your favorite decorative objects, primers for DIY skills and real-life inspiration that you can take home with you. Here’s what you’ll find inside:

  • 400 pages of inspiration + practical skills to help craft your dream home
  • 65+ home tours (with history + decorating tip sidebars)
  • 50 DIY projects (organized by difficulty, price and time)
  • An illustrated DIY workshop to teach you all the basics, from upholstery to rewiring
  • 50 Before & After projects (with tips for identifying valuable furniture)
  • A floral workshop to teach you the basics of arranging + 20 example arrangements
  • A huge resource section full of our favorite places to shop, order and salvage

The trailer below will give you a quick tour through all 400 pages of Design*Sponge at Home.

Filming the book trailer above was one of the most enjoyable two-day projects I’ve ever tackled. And it’s all because of Ryan Marshall. When we asked for suggestions of a videographer to work with, the heartfelt endorsements he received made our choice a no-brainer. Ryan is not only immensely talented, he’s also one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. He made sitting outside in freezing weather seem painless, and he made a video that really captured the spirit we were hoping to create with the book. Bottom line? Ryan rules. As if we weren’t lucky enough to work with Ryan, Ryan’s friends, the incredibly upbeat and toe-tapping band Rabbit!, wrote a song just for our book trailer. I’ve never had anything made just for us like that, and it was one of the greatest gifts we received during this book process. So a very special thank you to Rabbit! for creating a song that kept our moods light and happy during the entire filming.

After the jump, I’ll share the first peeks of homes, projects and makeovers featured in the book. More will come every week from now until September, but today, I’m sharing some of my favorites.

Let’s start with the cover of the book! I’m going to do a post on the evolution of the book cover (we went through over 25 designs) next week, but here is the final result. A room illustration (it wraps from an unfinished room on the back cover to a finished room on the cover) by Julia Rothman that is done in beautiful gold foil. It’s hard to capture with a photo, but in person, it’s got such a rich glimmer that I keep tipping it back and forth to watch it shine in the light. I’ll go into more detail about the book design by ALSO in a future post . . .

Sneak Peeks!

We have over 65 in the book, the vast majority of which are unpublished, so they’ll be brand new to everyone reading. Keeping those under wraps for over 1.5 years was definitely a challenge. Each home tour is accompanied by a sidebar that contains design history about an item in the room, shopping tips, decorating tips or even a floral arrangement (with a how-to later in the book) inspired by the room.

Here are a few of my favorite home-tour shots from the book:

DIY Projects

The DIY section of the book contains 50 projects (the majority of which are unpublished and brand new) covering a range of skill levels and budgets. I’ll go into more detail about this section (and all sections of the book) in the coming weeks. The DIY chapter also contains a HUGE primer section that will teach you ALL the basics of home upholstery as well as how to strip and paint furniture, hang wallpaper and rewire lamps. I wanted you to be able to see something and then flip to that section to get all the basic tools and skills you need to make it yourself. Here are some of my favorite projects from the book:

Before & Afters

This section starts with an illustrated guide to spotting high-quality furniture — as well as clear signs of knock-offs. I wanted to address the controversy that often comes with making over vintage/antique furniture and give people as many tools and details as possible to help them make educated decisions about whether or not to paint. There are 50 projects (all reader submitted!) in this section, the majority of which have never been published before (all new). Here are two of my favorites . . .

More . . .

I’ll be doing posts on everything from the book design and photoshoots to deeper looks at each section in the coming weeks. But for now, I wanted to give you the basic information on the book and share the book trailer.

You can find all the basic info (including links for pre-order) on the new D*S Book Home page (there’s a link to it in the navigation bar on the home page now).

The book page also has a calendar for book tour dates, which I’ll post about separately. The dates/cities are in there, but the locations and RSVPs won’t be up until later this summer. If you want to save the date for your city, we’ll be adding more cities — namely Philly and cities outside of the US — soon . . .

[PS: the official in-store date (when you can find it in person) for the book is September 13th]

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