d*s book tour diary: minneapolis + chicago + dallas

It’s so nice to be back in Brooklyn, but I have loved getting to travel across the country over the past few weeks to celebrate Design*Sponge at Home. I shared some of our tour diary from the West Coast last week, and today I’m excited to share some pictures (and ridiculous videos) from the first three cities of last week’s tour leg. We ended the week in Austin, which was so crazy (and fun) that it needs its own post. So stay tuned for that tomorrow. Until then, here are our highlights (including Amy’s birthday and dancing videos from WGN TV) from last week’s tour. Thanks so much to everyone who came out to celebrate with us in Minneapolis, Chicago and Dallas! xo, grace

Image above: The Minnesota backdrop wall by Meghan McAndrews of Mighty Swell Vintage

Balloons delivered to the hotel room for Amy’s birthday!

I loved the signage at The Bachelor Farmer (more after the jump)

More tour diary photos continue after the jump . . .

Minneapolis: Ever since my talk at Target, I’ve been dying to get back to Minneapolis. Everyone is so friendly there, and the food is amazing! It was the perfect place to celebrate Amy’s birthday.

Minneapolis highlights: Amy’s birthday dinner at Bachelor Farmer, one of the cutest restaurants I’ve been to in a long time. They do modern Scandinavian so, so well (in both food and style). Getting to see Edina was fun for me because I had a college roommate from there — I had to see if it lived up to the hype. We had so much fun at the event and loved meeting everyone there. Minnesota nice is alive and well.

A delicious birthday dinner for Amy at The Bachelor Farmer

Tasty treats at the Minneapolis book party

I loved this two-tone backpack at Flight 001

Chicago: Chicago is always one of my favorite places to visit, and was home to probably our favorite event to date. We were blown away by how incredibly nice people were and how friendly the entire crowd was. Thank you!

Chicago highlights: One word: cupcakes. The cupcakes at this event had entire chunks of caramel on top. It was no joke. I inhaled like four of them. Getting to see Despina, my “wintern” from a few years back made my day. I missed her so much. The best weather ever — Chicago really turned on the gorgeous fall weather in a major way. Getting to see two-thirds of the amazing ALSO Design team was a major highlight. Matt and Jenny rule. So does the giant silver bean they took me to see. Other highlights: getting to visit the TV studio where Bozo the Clown was filmed. I used to watch that show when I was little; it sort of creeped me out. But we had a blast running around the studio amusing ourselves before filming. You have to keep your spirits up on tour . . .

It’s impossible for me to pass these towers and not yell “Wilco!”

Matt and Jenny from ALSO and the giant silver bean. I can see my hot pink sneakers even in tiny form.

A couple’a Bozos . . .

Before 8am a lot of things seem funny. Like posing with TV show posters.

The sparkly set we did a DIY segment in front of.


Before we crafted on air . . . this happened. I can’t believe we didn’t have careers as dancers.

Before we left Chicago, we got gorgeous flowers at Christine Noelle for our demo at Anderson’s. I loved the lighting above their register . . .

Shelly Lear made a gorgeous purple ombre ottoman we raffled off for charity at Anderson’s in Naperville!

Dallas: I’d never been anywhere east of Lubbock, TX, before, so it was great to check out Dallas and its very fancy neighborhoods (underground eight-car garages? what?). Sadly our time was so short in Dallas that I didn’t have a ton of time for photos. But we made plenty of memories . . .

Dallas highlights: Meeting an adorable tween crafter (and her mom) at our book party. She made stamps with us and was so proud of her work — hot pink, no less. The West Elm team told us Jeff Lewis from Bravo’s Flipping Out was in the store before us and went home with a copy of our book. That pretty much made our day. Sam Reitmeyer’s Smilebooth backdrop (pictures coming soon) made of red fringe was so amazing. Shiny fringe, cowboy cat props and a sign that said “Who Shot J.R.?” made the event a total blast.

Dallas from the plane . . .

  1. Did I miss the Chicago stop?
    (I have a feeling I did….I have a feeling I did….I have a feeling I did….)

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      yes, it was last week. sorry :(


  2. Susan says:

    Looks like so much fun, and what was up with that sparkly background…it does look like DWTS!

  3. Emily says:

    Were the Chicago cupcakes from Sugar Bliss? They’re 4 blocks north of my office and I have to fight the urge to run up there all the time.

  4. Nicole says:

    I’m SO excited to hear you loved Austin! I’m currently living in Austin for my third year of school and I feel incredibly blessed each and every day. There’s so much creativity everywhere you go. I’m looking forward to the post tomorrow!!

  5. Alex says:

    Love the photos! Where is your black dress from?

  6. Teresa says:

    Jeff Lewis?!?!?!? *dies*

    In my head, Jeff and I are best friends. How cool is it that he has your book! Let us know “when” you get invitied to be on that show.

  7. Nikko Moy says:

    For a moment I thought you were with George Lucas but then realized it was Matt (in the silver bean).

  8. Wait you guys are so hilarious! I love the Friends billboards pictures. I can’t stop laughing. And the dancing- oh boy!

  9. Hello Grace, I am so flattered that my chandelier made it onto your design blog! Thank you for stopping by the floral studio on your Chicago adventure. I am so sorry I wasn’t there to meet you in person. Hopefully next time! Christine Noelle

  10. jodi says:

    Hey, I just sold some vintage chalkboards to The Bachelor Farmer for their bar! Maybe you saw them? Looks like fun…


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.