My Most Meaningful Decision

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A few weeks ago, our team decided to start writing some longer, more personal posts. Inspired by essay contests we saw in magazines, we thought it would be more meaningful to reflect on the decisions we made at home that weren’t related directly to products or the latest design trends. While we all love being able to discuss the objects and decorations that make our home look and feel good, we also love getting the the chance to talk about the decisions we’ve made that make our houses feel like home. Last week Amy shared her thoughts about living for now (rather than waiting for ‘future living’) and this week I’m sharing my most meaningful decision.

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Earlier this year I came out. It wasn’t a decision I expected to have such a huge impact on my home life, but it’s completely changed the way my home looks and feels- and how I live inside it. Until this spring, I’d spent the last five or six years slowly unlearning all of the confidence I had at home. I used to pick bold paint colors with reckless (and excited) abandon, choose and make-over furniture without hesitation and have rooms decorated and ready shortly after moving in. But then slowly, without noticing, I started to doubt my gut instincts and try, without success, to create a home that looked the way I thought it should look. I felt so much pressure to have a space that looked perfect that I forgot to listen to what felt right and felt like home to me. I was struggling to keep up an appearance, even in my most private and sacred of spaces. That process was exhausting and, after a lot of deep thought and difficult work, I decided to let go.

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That year and a half of learning to live honestly and heal myself- and my home- was messy. Literally. I moved into a tiny apartment near our D*S offices and never really unpacked. For a year and a half. When I found a new space and moved this summer, I found boxes I’d packed ages ago and never even opened. I had needed that time to heal emotionally and get back in touch with the decisions and feelings that make me who I am. It wasn’t until that moment that I started to truly get my confidence back at home. And that confidence was what lead me to live openly, make quick but true decisions (like getting a dog and moving to a different apartment near the park) and finally create a home that feels true to who I am and lets me welcome guests and loved ones inside the way I’ve always wanted to.

*All photos by Max Tielman

[Continued after the jump…]

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Amy and I have always talked about a shared belief we have, that when you finally accept and appreciate the life you have, the universe seems to give you the things you’ve always wanted. That felt true for me this summer when I met the person who would make my life feel fuller, happier and more real than it ever has. I fell in love with the most amazing woman, Julia, with whom I now feel completely honored and blessed to be building a home and life. We’ve worked together, without hesitation or conflict (even after 3 trips to Ikea in one week) to decorate the big empty apartment I found for myself and create a home that reflects both of our personalities and interests. Julia writes about food and tests (and creates) some of the most beautiful meals for cookbooks, so our kitchen was the first space I decided to tackle with my new-found home confidence.

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I’ve found that most people assume I live in a colorful, pattern-filled home that looks like the things we post here on the site. But getting in touch with myself taught me I actually wanted to live in a home that looked like the opposite of that. After being surrounded by color and pattern all day, I wanted to come home to a clean, neutral space that welcomed me inside quietly. Julia felt the same way, so together we worked (along with some help from a very nice contractor, Scott) to turn our kitchen into a space we both wanted to be in all the time. The cabinets were changed, we got a new sink and shelves were installed to give us more functional space.* When the room was finished a few days later, we had a new kitchen that felt like the warm space I’d always wanted combined with the functional space we both needed. I didn’t expect it to have this effect, but the new kitchen gave us the energy to makeover not just the kitchen but the dining room, bedroom, closet and parts of the living room as well. That jolt of excitement from seeing the final result was all I needed to research, pick things out and finally create a home that felt welcoming, comfortable and calm.

While I’m sure small details will change here and there over the years, I feel like I finally have a house that feels like home. Not just because of the way it looks, but because the way it makes me feel. I look around and am constantly reminded of decisions that were made out of love, trust and a confidence that comes only from knowing who I really am and what I really want. That’s a sort of comfort you just can’t buy or pick out from a store. xo, grace

*I’ll be posting a full before & after of the kitchen soon, so stay tuned. You can still see painter’s tape on the walls, as I’ve got a few more adjustments to make. And for anyone curious, we did got our landlord’s permission before making over the kitchen. He was very excited about the upgrades.

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Julie J.

Thanks, Grace. This is the MOST MEANINGFUL blog post I have EVER read. It will stay with me for some time.

Jen

Posting longer, personal pieces is a wonderful idea–I hope there will be more. You are such a thoughtful writer, and I appreciate your honesty and generosity in sharing with us.

Your kitchen is warm and welcoming–a happy place!

Laura

Beautiful kitchen, even more beautiful and heartfelt writing. This is exactly why your blog is so wonderful. Wishing you nothing but the best!

Danni

I love the old boxes on wheels, that’s so clever – I’ve got too many gadgets taking up too much space, and this is a genius storage idea. What a stunning kitchen and wonderful post. So inspired!

Kelly

This post really spoke to me and where I am in my life. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Katie

Wow-I somehow missed your big announcement along the way, so congrats! May you (and your home) be the absolute most Grace you can be :)
Such a thoughtful-and relatable post. I recently moved into my most “adult space” yet, and somehow seemed to find step with white, grays and blacks for my interior colors… a far cry from my aqua living rooms of yore. I just feel the most neutral all-encompassing colors let me play with bright pops of truly vivid color through plants and textiles. My mindspace is clear, and although I love layers and layers of colors, textures and brilliant saturation coming at me from every angle IN SOMEONE ELSE’S SPACE, it’s not something I want to look at everyday when I come home.

Cori Magee

As a designer, I have always felt strongly about the connection between our lives and the space we live in. It’s really amazing when it all comes together…. very happy for you. Cheers to continued growth and honesty. :)

Taylor

Congratulations on finding your confidence, falling in love, and discovering what type of home you really want to have. My lady and I have been together for 6 years and have recently been asking ourselves why we never unpack when we move. We’ve done some research and are prepping to move across the country (again) to settle into the type of “home” we know we both want.

Taylor

My favorite detail is a quiet one: the baskets for the linens. Love this kitchen! It’s so country for an NYC apartment. No doubt that’s some Southern coming out. :)

Sam

Long time reader, and now this blog and your writing has even more meaning to me. To authenticity, love, and taking risks!

Sara Kate

Leave it to you to bring it all together in one beautiful package. Your writing on this subject always moves me. Lots of love, SK

Amy E

Thanks for making my month, such a lovely & warm & welcoming post.

Karen

I love the use of the crates on casters for storing larger, not-always-needed kitchen appliances! A great use of space and way to hide them without making them difficult to get to! Also, congrats on finding someone to share your home with. There are some things about ourselves that are always difficult to come to terms with, but once you do they usually open up entire new worlds of possibilities and make your life a happier one to live.

Elizabeth Thankful Shannon

I love the crates on castors, I have that in my house, too, but for under bed storage. I must say that I prefer the metal castors to the Ikea ones, though.

Apart from that happy outedness! :-)

Grace Bonney

Taylor

Ha- there is a def. country vibe because of the walls which are bead board. Not a decision I probably would have made on my own, but it was there when I moved in and I love it. All of the walls in the house are covered in white bead board, which makes the space feel like a cross between a country and beach house ;)

Grace

Grace Bonney

elizabeth

agreed- i love the metal ones. i have them on one of the boxes but am still waiting to collect some vintage metal ones for the other :)

grace

Melissa

Grace! This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on finding your confidence again and finding love. You’ve captured my dream kitchen space as well, and I absolutely LOVE the linens in the baskets. So simple, which I think speaks to your overall approach. Well done!

tamara

I love these longer, more personal posts. Grace, it has been amazing to watch your journey and I am SO happy for you that you have found love with Julie. (And oh man, are you lucky to get to be a frequent recipe-tester and girlfriend to someone who it sounds like is a wonderful chef.)

Anne K

Wow, I rarely comment on anything, but definitely have to do on this post. I really, really love your post. First because I can absolutely identify, especially because I always start to behave different when I move in with somebody, suddenly I get the feeling that I need to fit in that “perfect couple scheme” and this post helps to remind to stay just who I am. And second I really love that you start writing some more personal and meaningful posts, because you get lost too quickly in that shiny blogosphere and all the perfectness. Sometimes you start missing the rest of the life which makes such perfectness possible.

Chris

This post makes me want to give you and everyone who supports you a big hug. d*s is my guilty diversion at work. I see so many beautiful and creative things, but I’ve never taken the time to comment. But I want you and your colleagues to know that these posts are brave and empowering. Thank you for the daily beauty and now thank you for the love.

Katie

Wonderful post, Grace!!! So true about accepting and appreciating your life, the universe gives back to you big time. Your new kitchen looks like a wonderful place to make a meal. I’m sure you and Julia will make many happy meals together. It’s so interesting that you went through a period of doubt and didn’t trust your gut. I’ll have that happen to myself and just overthink something entirely and take all the joy out of something I love. It’s a struggle that pops up every now again and I’m trying to learn to let go.

Nicole

Absolutely gorgeous! Love this style. But more? Love this post! Please share more with us when you want to / can. I’m sure I speak for a lot of your readers when I say it’s awesome to get to know the people behind the blogs we love / read daily.

Renai

This is beautiful, and I appreciate (and love) the fact that you came out (and found your love!) this year. It’s a really incredible feeling to have other queer women to look up to, and admire, especially in an area that can feel very “straight” at times. Thank you!

foldedwings

Thank you very much for sharing!

Honest question: how do you do a renovation on a space you do not own? Do you just…spend the money because it’s worth it to you to improve the space you’re living in at the moment? Does the landlord pay/give you off rent? It seems like you’re investing in someone else’s property and not getting the benefits?

Maker

impactful. I don’t normally comment here but you should know what a great post this is and how much it speaks to so many people. While our specific struggles differ, it is incredible how mutual the human experience is. I too found myself working (very hard, in fact) to be something I thought I *should* be. Not that I was perpetrating some grand fraud…just not being honest.

Your house and your story are honest. And accepting. And inspiring.

Also, as an interesting side note: Isn’t it crazy how our surroundings often mirror our mental interior? Your home manages to be very personal but not at all cluttered. I think it speaks to a certain clarity of self. Congratulations, all around.

Grace Bonney

Foldedwings-

The first one. We didn’t end up spending that much (about 1k on the materials) and if we’re here for years, as I suspect we will be, I consider it a valuable investment in my own happiness in the space.

Grace :)

Leigh

Love the kitchen. LOVE the post. Thank you for reminding me why I love D*S.

SanDesigns

love your choice of the white IKEA Aplad cabinetry, Vinna stainless handles, IKEA butcher block counters, and white subway tile backsplash around your pro stove and hood….it’s exactly what I have in my brick bungalow in the DC area!!! And I would do it all over again when I move.

vicki

I appreciate your honesty, especially online. I think coming out is a major dot on the timeline of someone’s life. I have yet to do that and your post inspires me to be true to myself.

Abby

Lovely post, lovely space (love the photo of the knife in the flour!). Love your point about being happy with the life you have and then finding what you want. Love the focus on longer, more personal posts.

Julia

Oh, congratulations, Grace – or can you really say congratulations, because that feels like I’m rewarding you for achieving something? You HAVE – but life isn’t about achieving, it’s about living! So congratulations on living, I guess. I usually never comment, but have been an avid follower of the blog for many years now, and I am so happy for you that you have got closer to where you want to be in life! And meeting someone with my name, I think is a good call! :)

susie

Love Love Love this post and the more personal posts from the team. Reading this today, makes it totally clear for me, why D*S is the one blog that I never tire of. Thank you for this!

Rachl

Thank you so much for sharing. I really appreciate your desire to have this blog be both aspirational and honest. And shouldn’t our own homes reflect those values as well? People say they want their home to reflect themselves, but you have to come to a place where you’re happy with yourself to acheive that. Congratulations.

Betsy

Thank you for that Grace. Sometimes I feel like the design blog world can be awfully shallow. I’m a thoughtful, and emotional person and decorator. Sometimes that conflict of surface and depth keeps me from blogging myself. Your post has inspired me. There is a certain priceless quality to transparency, especially in interior design. Thanks again

Penelope Bridge

So beautiful Grace. All of it. Gorgeous space, and your series of essays has me crying a little at the coffee shop. And three trips to Ikea in one week? That sounds like an Acid Test for a solid relationship. ;)

Jodi

Absolutely gorgeous. Such a great post, Grace. And somehow I missed your coming out post — congratulations! That must be such a relief. xoxoxo

JC Carter

I just want to thank you for your openness and honesty. It is invigorating, inspiring, and a million other things I can’t quite find the words for right now. You are amazing.

Amanda

Such a beautiful kitchen that looks like it has so much love. Also (I’m cringing at my internet-creepiness as I type this) I saw a picture of you on Julia’s Instagram a while ago and freaked out in happiness because I am a total fangirl of her. I tore though “It’s All Good” when it came out and not only loved every bite, but couldn’t help but think that Julia has to be the coolest. Delicious food has got to be a nice bonus! Congrats to you two!

nora

What a wonderful, meaningful post! You are a constant inspiration, Grace.
Were the subway tiles part of the upgrade – and did you do them yourself?

Nicole

Beautiful, Grace. I love seeing people fall in love with their true selves and then finding someone else who falls in love with them for exactly who they are. Godspeed to you, Julia, Hope, and Turk on this incredible journey. And keep shining your bright light into the world. xo

Allison Foster

Thank you for this Grace. I’m coming out of the worst year I’ve ever had. Hearing your story healing with time, love and patience gives me hope. I hope your beautiful home is always filled with love, joy and comfort. You deserve it! :)

mph

With Max connection and Daniel’s subway tile/black grout obsession, I almost expect to see Daniel tiling for you;)

In regards to the contractor, did you like him? Can you share his contact info?

hannah

I just want to tell you how cool it is to know that there are other lesbian bloggers out there. The life and style game tends to feel hetero-biased a lot of the time — nothing wrong with that, but it’s not the whole story. Thanks for adding your voice.

Nina B.

Beautiful kitchen, but even more beautiful post! Thanks for being so brave and sharing.

Clair

I enjoy the personal posts as well. Your story of change reminds me of how my house has changed in the past year. Before my daughter was born, I knew I didn’t want to have one of those homes where baby toys and accoutrements were part of the decor. And, while it was probably not a conscious decision, my home has become just that. I get such a tickle when I pass by her things that it wouldn’t be home without them.

Erica

What a peaceful space you’ve created. It takes courage and hard work to discover who we really are and live honestly; congratulations. May the rest of your journey be beautiful and joyous.

kate hable

love your space and especially you feeling so extremely happy in it. you have always been and continue to be an inspiring woman. i am happy for all of it. you are most deserving and i love the subway tiles…btw and can’t wait to see more of your new abode.

Sam

Dear Grace,
I like many of your readers rarely post comments. I rarely actually read your blog, but I always look at amazing pictures for decor and design inspiration. I appreciate you sharing your confidence struggles and talking about accepting the life you have. So meaningfull for many of us!

Grace Bonney

mph

don’t think i didn’t think about asking daniel to help me ;)

my contractor was just ok. not sure i would highly recommend…

grace

Grace Bonney

nora

the tiles were part of the upgrade and we had a member of scott’s team do them for us. we worked on making over the other rooms ourselves while he did the tiling :)

grace

Grace Bonney

penelope

it is indeed. we would literally stop and look at each other in the car and say, “i love you” and laugh before going in. just a gentle reminder in case ikea got too hectic inside ;) you see SO many couples looking miserable in ikea- it’s scary slash funny.

grace

Sophia @ NY Foodgasm

Grace I have been reading your blog for YEARS! Like maybe 6 or something….I have always loved it, but lately you are putting more of yourself into it and I LOVE it even more! I am so happy to see you being so true and raw and vulnerable. It is powerful and we can all relate. I know how you feel, I put sooooo much pressure on myself for things to be perfect, when no such thing exists. My home is always in flux.

PS- I live on the island and would absolutely LOVE to meet you sometime ;) I am in Brooklyn often since I am obsessed with food (food blogger)! LOL!

Monica

+ 1000 to what everyone has already said – we like you in your authentic mode, Grace! Yay!

Kay

Thanks for sharing your self with us again, Grace!

Now, HOW ABOUT A PHOTO OF THE HAPPY COUPLE??? I wanna see that joy on your face!

victoria

I love everything about this. Good on you, Grace. Congratulations for truly crafting the life and relationship(s) you really want. While we’ve not met face-to-face, I’m so inspired by your honesty, and integrity. You are truly walking your talk. xo

Heidi

As the aussies say, good on ya, Grace!
I missed your personal announcement as well and had to link back a bit to figure it all out- my immediate reaction being, you totally go girl!
All of us out here in office land would be mighty lonely and art deprived without your blog. Know that you are adored out here.

Sonya

There is so much beauty and grace (!) in this post. I love the simplicity in the kitchen.

Irena

Wonderful post, Grace. Our homes are really not at all about design but about how we live and love and share and grow and explore within them–how what we put in that space reinforces and encourages our highest selves– with those we love and hold dear. How delightful that your new space is filled with love because honestly, a space without love and laughter and joy and fun isn’t a home. No matter how pretty it looks and how well it photographs.

More than anything, it is great to hear that you have embraced yourself and your life and have now found someone to share it with. All the best. Life is too short to not live it as authentically as possible.

Jen

The kitchen is beautifully done and the sentiment is beautifully said, Grace. Brava!

emily

I totally love this post. I’m just beginning to establish my sense of homestyle, but I feel like I’ve gone through this in the past few months in regards to clothing. I’ve been stripping down my wardrobe (partially because I don’t love clothes shopping, partially because I felt like my clothes did not reflect my personality). It feels so good to strip down (literally, sometimes!) to the basics and re-assess. Kudos to you, too, Grace on a beautiful kitchen makeover!

Mary

This is one of my favorite posts from Design Sponge. The honesty of your post seemed to be reflected in the space you shared. Very inspiring.

Joanna

What a wonderful, honest post. It brought me to tears, it touched a raw part of my heart.

tammy

I love all the glass containers holding everything right in sight.

Sarah

I love that you are not fussy about everything being totally stowed away in your kitchen. I really love to see that items are used and functioning in a room (ours looks more like an elaborate sculpture garden :) And I love that your heart is so full. XO

Mel - The Organic Mamas

What a beautiful, honest, meaningful post grace. You have given me the confidence to continue decorating our new house using my instinct and trusting my judgement . Much love, Mel xx

Erica

I have been a longtime DS reader, and I too, have never commented until now. I have often looked to this blog to provide an escape from my reality- a reality that seemed too flawed and messy, and I craved the beautiful idealism that the spaces in these posts portrayed. I imagined that the people that lived within these posts were in a different phase of life than myself- they seemed to have it all figured out, and I aspired to eventually get there. Thank you Grace, for humanizing the home-making experience. It is an amazing reminder that behind the perfect photographs are real people with real lives, and that they too are still figuring things out. Your space is beautiful- but so much more beautiful because of the story you shared. Thanks!!!

arielle

Grace,
Two things:
1. I love your house.
2. The way you balance your professional voice with your personal voice is perfect.

I imagine as someone who has built up a brand around great design, DIY, etc. while staying relatively neutral about a lot of things (I’ve been reading D*S for many years, and went back to the beginning posts for anything I might have missed) has been a challenge in these days of “sharing everything on the Internet” but I just want you to know that I think we all have appreciated your thoughtful narrative along the way; and to hear how design impacts your personal life? No doubt your blog is truly one of the best online.

Also–we have spent the last three years remodeling our home from the studs (crazy) and without design sponge my house would not be the beautiful, creative, lovely place we call home.

best,
arielle

Rosella

I haven’t visited Design Sponge in a while but this post has totally moved me. Not only do I love your kitchen but I was riveted by your touching personal story as well. Congratulations on finding love, both human and canine. :)

Elizabeth W.

Geeze, we’re running out of room here! Grace, you apparently speak to all of our hearts when you put yourself out there. thanks so much for being you, and for this inspiring Journey-Via- Blog that you started years ago.
All of what you said has been running around my head lately, as I’ve found over the years that the creation of ‘home’ is the manifestation of the ‘home within’ us.
When I look back at the difficult time for me 21 years ago, when I turned over and shook up every aspect of my life, and seeing how far I’ve come, and how I’ve grown to know and love myself, I’m amazed.
Bless you both, may you grow in love and fabulous adventures for many years to come!
And—Oh, I just LOVE your kitchen! Can’t wait to see the rest of it! Your eye for the simple details speak of joy for the simple things of life. Truly, the most beautiful!

Jen G

Beautiful post, thank you so much for sharing. I had to read the part about going to ikea and still getting along out loud to my husband. We once broke up for a very short period after an especially stressful ikea outing! Can’t wait to see the before and after pics.

S. Kueckelhan

What honesty! Congrats on your new space. Just redid our kitchen and it was a journey. How you managed it in a few days is a amazing. Like all journeys you choose what to take and what to leave behind gaining wisdom along the way.

Shield

I am so happy for you, Grace! Good luck with everything. A long-time reader

Louise

I was more moved than I would have expected by your coming out announcement, and this post has similarly touched my heart (again, more than I would have expected). I’m so glad your happiness continues to grow and grow – and I’m really looking forward to seeing your entire finished kitchen!

Daphne

Loving your very personal posts. Beautiful home. And it’s true. It’s about how it makes you feel.

Sarah

Grace! Way to be! Venerable and open! That takes courage and is really inspiring. You’re great.

Erin

Dear Grace, just wanted to say how happy I am for you. Thanks for sharing your home and your life in such an honest and beautiful way.

Kate

I love your generosity of spirit in your postings along with the very peaceful vibe in your home. Cheers, Kate

Julie

Beautiful essay. At 49, I think I am finally finding my own style. It’s not the mid-century look that I love and always thought I wanted, but a mixture of modern and very classic pieces, although I still love my color (teal leather wingback chair!). Reading your blog and a few others has taught me so much about style, and what I learned is to surround yourself with things you love. I recently found a mirrored brass coffee table at a consignment shop that is far from the modern look I keep thinking I have to have, but it’s really exactly what I love. Thanks for teaching me what my real style is by opening my eyes to possibilities!

Myone Webber

I absolutely love this. I have found myself in the same predicament – making visually beautiful spaces within my home that I know ‘look good’ but don’t feel like myself in. I find interior design magazines can make you feel inadequate sometimes, especially when all the home owners ‘look’ to have the perfect lives and spaces. I’ve learnt that that styles in magazines are always guides and that you need to turn that into ideas that are you, and comfortably you. Thanks for your post.

kaela d.

These posts are really wonderful. This resonates with me as I’ve had a rough year and have finally taken the initiative to make my house my home. For many reasons I’ve never felt comfortable inviting people over..mostly because the space wasn’t up to my standards/liking. Sure I could add my style to my rental spaces but now I own my home by myself and there’s nobody stopping me from doing what I love. I have boxes and tubs that need unpacked and to be honest, I think they just need unloaded from my life. I’m trying to simplify and shake any and all of the things I don’t absolutely love. You said this change has made you able to, “welcome guests and loved ones inside the way I’ve always wanted to.” I hope to get there soon and admire your strength to start over and really listen to your heart. I’m also happy you’ve found someone to love and be loved by. You rock, Grace.

Danny

Boy, I’m a guy… so think I might get slaughtered for what I am about to say…
For the last few years, I have always clicked on this link daily… Because I appreciate the approach and the selective taste. Lately, I have not been doing that so much. To hear that the main person behind the site doesn’t actually like to have much of what they post online in their own home… Is kind of galling. Also the whole thing about ‘coming out’?… That’s a totally personal matter. I work in the design industry for more than 30 years… Gay and Lesbian issues have never been an ‘issue’ anywhere I have worked… It’s like ‘who cares’…. So I’m more concerned about the fact the writer does not particularly like the stuff that is posted, and that it is gradually, but definitely, becoming more predictable, with predominantly female only features… I am in no way sexist, but any forum that relies too heavily on one contributor base, very quickly becomes stale and uninteresting. Just MO..

Maya

Grace, I too missed your post about coming out. Congratulations on finding the courage to do it, on finding love, and on your beautiful kitchen. Wishing you and Julia much happiness! I also hope that the day when “coming out” will be easy and universally accepted is getting closer.

Minna

This feels just right. I am so appreciative of your recent emphasis on how our interior spaces relate to our interior selves. It is both brave and noble to bring the personal into the blogosphere. Thank you for sharing!

Erin

Thank you for the wonderful post. I also loved Amy’s post which resonated so much for me and came at the perfect time! These longer, more personal posts are fantastic and inspiring.

I have a question about doing up rentals though. In Australia it an be hard to get permission to even still a hole in the wall for pictures let alone do over a kitchen! We envy you!!! But if we DID get permission to do over a kitchen, it would most probably be at our expense and to no financial benefit in terms of rent reduction of investment value. And the rental contract would still be liable for cancellation at any point the landlord might want. There’s very little security for tennents which I know is a big problem in Australia in terms of us investing in our present lives, even though most of us won’t buy a house in our lives now (australia is more expensive than New York or London these days!!). Hopefully things will change but in the meantime, did you get any rent reduction benefits or lease security benefits from such a major interior makeover? Did you guys pay for the makeover and new sinks and cabinets etc yourselves or did the landlord split the cost (since it will definitely raise the value of his property!). I’d love to know these details so that maybe we can start negotiating with our landlords in Australia and start being able to live in and love our personal spaces as well! I would love that.

Grace Bonney

erin

i answered these questions above, but to clarify- here in nyc things are very different. you can’t just kick someone out if you’ve given them permission to make changes. tenants have a LOT of rights here, so it’s an environment where most people feel comfortable making some changes. that said, we clearly made more and we felt it was worth the (small) investment to be happier in the space.

grace

Grace Bonney

danny

a few answers:

1. the whole thing wasn’t about coming out, please read the full post. and yes, people do actually care.
2. i didn’t say i don’t like the things i write about here, that’s just silly. i said being surrounded by them all day means a bit of a visual overload, so i need a respite from that at home.

grace

Elizabeth

Beautiful post. I so agree that inner comfort and confidence are crucial to building outer aspects of yourself (professional choices, home choices, clothing choices, etc.) with sureness. The wonderful thing is that those aspects of life then feed your inner, emotional needs more and more. Thank you for sharing.

Kara

This is a lovely post. Thank you – I needed to read and see this at exactly the moment I did. Blessings to you and your loved one(s) … thank you, thank you, thank you!

Melissa K.

OMG i love those wire baskets. Please share where you got them from :)

And the wheels on the crates are a great idea! I’m going to have to try that!

Rose

I’ve come out of my shell a lot in the past years. You’re right that it is different for every person, no matter what the “out” is, it’s a scary journey but it is a rewarding outcome (despite the rockiness that can ensue).

I’ve never felt exactly what I wanted at home. But the thing about it? I’m neurotic and flighty and always changing, and though somethings will stay the same, the idea of things changing is so totally me. I’m starting to learn that switching things around and loving what I have, and not being afraid to splurge a little bit is fantastically rewarding. When I come home, I feel SO at home.

Jonica

hey grace! love the kitchen. it looks amazing! it’s definitely given me some inspiration for my own kitchen update which is long overdue!

so happy to hear that you found love too! thanks for sharing that with us. i appreciate your candor and openness, as well as your passion for design and the artist/design community. i think you are amazing!

Anna from BarnLightElectric

As someone who spends a large portion of her work day perusing design blogs, this is incredibly meaningful for me as well. It is uncommon to find blogs being intentional about putting promotion and frivolity to the side and focus on the nitty gritty of our lifestyles. Who we are truly impacts our spaces, and they speak volumes about the parts of ourselves we cannot formulate into words. Thank you.

nicolezh

thank you for sharing- this kitchen is an amazing place. all the best for you and julia!

Heather

love your kitchen. love your honesty. love that things are working out so well for you. you are an inspiration to always stay true to oneself!!

liz

This whole post makes me so happy. I had no idea you even came out (guess I wasn’t following DS as closely over the summer). The peeks of your kitchen are gorgeous. I hope to one day live in a world where no one finds it necessary to come out and we all just accept and love one another. A hippie can dream! xo

kim

wonderful post! I am going through some changes in my own life as well and I feel like my home doesn’t really feel like home as much as it once did. What I want out of life is changing and I can feel my style is changing along with it….the uncertainty that goes along with change is scary, but I am trying my hardest to embrace it :) Hope to see more posts like this one!

Fionna

I love your essay Grace! I was thinking over the idea of accepting what you have and then allowing for opportunities for the last few days and its really helping.
Thanks and congrats on a brave and exciting personal journey!

Cecília

Congratulations.Y ou are a very very good blogueiro and a brave woman.

Melanie

Wow I love the insight that not being true to yourself socially/publicly impacted your design at home as well. That would never have occurred to me, but of course I can see now how it would have to be true. That has me looking around my home a little more now picking out things that are probably chosen out of a reaction to the rest of my life rather than in harmony with it. Awesome post! Thanks for letting us in. And I also missed the coming out reveal a few months ago and I agree that it DOES matter to many people and Danny is absolutely wrong in that. Do I care whether you are straight/gay? No. Do I care whether my blogger is open and true to herself? Yes! And that’s what makes Design Sponge the incredible *place* it is. Now just that much more so. Love you Grace!

Kathleen Barrett

Grace! I love this so much. Also, your move to renovate your kitchen inspired my boyfriend & I to paint and renovate a bunch in our rental. We have accepted we won’t be able to purchase anytime soon so want to make our place feel like home, not a temporary place we reside in :) xoxo

Meite

I missed this post. I’m not as frequent a visitor or lurker as is my typical stance on blogs as usual. Grace I’m so happy for you! Being at one with one’s self is powerful, on all levels of life. Your kitchen is beautiful. I appreciate having a mix of posts. I love pattern and colour but…I love it best when there’s simplicity to balance it out. This was a wonderful post on so many levels. Thank-you for sharing. The earnest reflection of inner style was what originally drew me to Design Sponge. I stayed because I loved learning about new elements in the design world. I’ll keep coming in the future to watch the continuing evolution. Brava lady, brava! Loving these more personal posts about style.

Lola

What a great space – simple, clean, calm. And it gives you the flexibility to add colour when you feel like it or need it, and change it up too.
I love spaces like this. And the porcelain sink, my absolute favourite thing. Thank you for a very straightforward and honest post! Wish you wonderful experiences in your new home.

Tiina K.

This is my very first comment on design*sponge, although I´m a fan of your site for years now – it´s one of my first ever blogs to follow! Thank you so much for this honest post. I really appreciate your open words, I was very moved while reading this. What I love about design*sponge is, that you don´t just see expensive and unaffordable designs… there is so much to inspiration, many DIY´s for all kinds of budgets, thats very satisfying and makes your blog so very inspiring – there are too many “too perfect” and superficial design blogs out there…
Your kitchen looks so nice and personal, simple and calm. All the best from Berlin

Katy Gilmore

What a lovely post., Grace, all these heartfelt personal posts are wonderful and appreciated. Enjoy your beautiful kitchen and happy life – you deserve both!

Rachael Perrin

As a newly divorced makeup artist, decorating my first adult solo space, I feel every bit of this post. I may not be coming out, but it’s a similar freedom. I walked away from orange walls, heavy velvet curtains and a home full of fall shades that I loved.

I’m keeping my space to all black, white, cream and gray tones. All of my furniture is black. Mirrors and quotes adorn my white walls, and plush textures are all that offset the stark colors. It’s very freeing to decorate a newly rehabbed space, and must feel fantastic to redesign your current space.

I wish you health and happiness in your personal space, as well as in your business and personal life!

Catherine

Hey Grace, I love this whole thing. Can I ask a really lame question? Where did you get your shelf brackets? I’m in the midst setting up a similar layout in my kitchen, and I really like how your brackets are just simple and kind of blend into the wall.

Llubav

Dear Grace and Julia, you’ve done such an amazing job in your kitchen and your whole apartment! This post is so sweet and touching. Thank you for sharing the story behind the project. I’m sure it wasn’t easy. IKEA has a lot of options! You are both incredible people with really great taste. xx

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