Design*Sponge is a daily blog run by Grace Bonney. Launched in August of 2004, the site updates 3 to 5 times per day and was declared a “Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials” by the New York Times. Design*Sponge attracts a diverse group of devoted readers across the globe and currently reaches over 1 million readers per day. Design*Sponge currently has more than 75,000 daily readers on the main site, over 150,000 RSS readers, 518,000+ Twitter followers, 625,000 Instagram followers, 182,000 Pinterest followers and 279,000+ Facebook followers. Click here for PRESS on Design*Sponge.
Design*Sponge focuses on the creative community, with the goal of making the art and design world personal. We don’t only cover beautiful homes, objects and trends, but rather the people behind them and their struggles and real life concerns. We believe the idea of “home” is one that stretches beyond the furniture inside it, so we will, from time to time, have discussions about larger cultural issues that affect our community. Our site is inclusive and intersectional and welcomes open discussion across all of our channels. All opinions and thoughts are welcome here, so long as they are constructive and treat all parties involved with respect.
Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney has a unique angle on the industry, having worked as a contributing editor at Domino, House & Garden and Craft magazines, and as a freelancer with top publications like New York Home, Food & Wine, In Style, Better Homes and Gardens, New York Magazine and more. In addition, she wrote a weekly design column for the Philadelphia Inquirer for two years and has worked as Style Editor of HGTV’s Ideas Magazine.
Grace has been a featured guest on Good Morning America, The Nate Berkus Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Martha Stewart Radio Show, NBC’s The Chew and has been a keynote speaker with a wide variety of organizations ranging from design schools and trade organizations to design guilds and national corporations.
In 2009, Grace published the first Design*Sponge book, Design*Sponge at Home, and embarked on a 30+ city tour to promote the book and host a series of DIY events for thousands of design fans. Design*Sponge at Home has over 100,000 copies in print. In 2016 she published In the Company of Women, which is now a New York Times Best Seller and has 78,000 copies in print within the first two months of publishing.
Grace founded the D*S Biz Ladies Series in 2008, which began as a national series of meetups for women running creative businesses. The series now lives on as a weekly column on the site where business owners can receive free advice and guidance on setting up and growing their creative businesses.
From 2013-2015 Grace hosted a radio show, After the Jump, dedicated to exploring the bigger issues within the creative community. From interviews with artists and makers to investigative shows on deeper topics like branding, social media, pricing and hiring employees, the show is one of the highest rated design podcasts on-air and draws an average of 500,000 listeners per show.
After 12 years in Brooklyn, Grace now lives in the Hudson Valley region with her wife and their three pets.
Grace is available for speaking (she gives talks and moderates panels on topics related to women, business, inclusivity and creativity). Please email here for details, rates and availability.
*Portrait above by Christopher Sturman
Kelli Kehler: Team Manager and Copy Editor for Design*Sponge, Kelli joined the team in February 2014 after spending 6 years at the Orange County Register. Her journalism career spanned positions as a business reporter covering real estate to an editor producing multiple weekly newspapers while managing local columnists. She blends her experience in the newsroom with her passion for design to polish content for D*S and keep the team organized. She’s also project managing Grace Bonney’s second book, due in Fall 2016 through Artisan Books. She lives in California with her husband, Jason, their daughter, Grace, and their French Bulldog, Polly. (Instagram)
Caitlin Kelch: Caitlin heads up the business team at Design*Sponge and daydreams in spreadsheet form. Born in the oldest town in West Virginia, this Shepherdstown native returned home in 2002 after wheeling and dealing in New York City for 17 years. She’s a graduate of The School of Visual Arts where she studied under film critic Amy Taubin and video artist Matthew Schlanger and created awarding winning video work at the Experimental Television Center. She went on to direct The Charlie Rose Show. Caitlin enjoyed many years working for Mike Bloomberg at Bloomberg L.P. as the Media Operations Manager and chief contract negotiator for the division. Caitlin and Design*Sponge found each other and fell in love on the Internet and have lived happily ever after since that glorious day.
Kristina Gill: Kristina is our food and drinks editor and often shoots and styles the recipes she hand-selects from celebrated authors, chefs, home cooks, and all-around amazing people. Her food and travel photography has also appeared in magazines such as Atlas Quarterly, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Bon Appetit, Kinfolk, National Geographic Traveler, and Need Supply’s Human Being Journal #5. Her first cookbook, Tasting Rome (Clarkson Potter), which she photographed and co-authored with Katie Parla, will be released in Spring 2016. Kristina lives in Rome, but a part of her heart still longs for home: Nashville, TN. (Twitter/Instagram)
Jessica Marquez: Jessica is an artist and photographer living in Brooklyn, NY. She is the maker behind the handmade shop Miniature Rhino, her creative passion. She teached hands-on classes throughout NY and online with Craftsy. In 2012 she wrote and photographed an embroidery craft book, Stitched Gifts (Chronicle Books). Her work has been featured in Real Simple, InStyle, Bust, Country Living, and countless lovely blogs. When she’s not making things, she’s exploring NY, cuddling her goofy rescue cats (Bug, Bastian, and Bullet), drinking large volumes of milky tea and baking vegan treats. (Twitter/Instagram/Facebook)
Garrett Fleming: Garrett is a Texas transplant currently living in Chicago, IL. He loves a good iced latte and compiles many of his home tours from the quirky coffee shops he’s discovered throughout the city. His favorite homes are those with an eclectic mix of vintage and colorful accessories. When he’s not pursuing his passion for interiors with Design*Sponge, he works as a Senior Art Director at an ad agency. In his free time, he travels across the country competing in volleyball tournaments as a member of the North American Gay Volleyball Association. (Twitter/Instagram)
Annie Werbler: With a background in residential interior design, Annie enjoys sharing her insights on beautiful and functional homes with the engaged and inspiring Design*Sponge community, and producing web features that translate the best of three-dimensional living spaces onto 2D computer screens. She also writes deep-dive home tours at Lonny, as well as industry interviews and articles in the Curbed and Apartment Therapy archives. Annie maintains a drafting and illustration practice where she develops visual communications of spatial ideas. She also likes to keep up with American politics, work on her Pilates moves, and dream about all the dogs she’ll adopt someday. (Instagram/Facebook)
Sabrina Smelko: Sabrina Smelko is an award-winning illustrator, designer, Art Director and partaker in creative tomfoolery. Along with heading the Life & Business and City Guide columns, Sabrina writes opinion pieces and articles for various publications, creates her own original lifestyle content on her blog and teaches illustration and design (at Sheridan College and online). She is a multidisciplinary go-getter, a green thumb, a homebody, the owner of #ADogNamedPiper, and a bonafide
trouble maker. (Twitter/Instagram/Facebook)
Shannon Grant: For the past 5 years, Shannon has been a member of the Design*Sponge team, sharing countless homes and studios as a contributing editor. In addition to Design*Sponge, Shannon serves as Design Director at Aveda, working on all manner of package design, graphic design and art direction, merging her love of fashion and beauty with environmental sustainability. A native of the East Coast, she has resided in Minnesota since 2013 after relocating from New York City. She lives in South Minneapolis with her artist husband, Mark Rode, and their feisty cat, Frida. (Instagram)
Rohini Wahi: With over a decade-long career in the design industry working for interior greats like Elle Decoration, Living Etc, and Houzz — then delving deeper into the business as a trend analyst — Rohini has spent her time doing all the things she loves best: writing about envy-inducing homes, interviewing modern crafters, traveling the world for inspiration and styling anything she can get her hands on. Living in East London and regularly traveling to the US, India and exploring Europe, she delights in drawing from a pool of global design knowledge, inspiration and influences in her work. (Twitter/Instagram)
Lauren Chorpening: Lauren is an interior designer, stylist and editor. Her work in magazines, design firms and here on Design*Sponge is all centered around creating and sharing beautiful lifestyle content. Her background is in housing pyschology and interior design. She loves homes and the different forms they can take and the different functions they can serve. She believes that interior design reflects more than just a style preference when it is done well. Lauren joined the Design*Sponge team in 2014 and focuses on home tours, studio tours, before & afters and best-of roundups. (Instagram)
Emerald Lavender: After obtaining her undergraduate degree in English, Emerald Lavender moved to Northern Japan where she taught English as a Second Language and completely submerged herself in Japanese culture. Absolutely inspired, she returned stateside after 3 years abroad and began freelancing for various fashion and interior design magazines and brands. A love for food, home & decor and a slight obsession with pink balloons inspired her to create her own food and interior design blog, Pink Balloons For Lunch. Emerald loves to laugh, believes that most people are good and enjoys binge-watching Cupcake Wars to get ideas for cake recipes. (Twitter)
Glory Edim is a self-described bibliophile and the founder of the Brooklyn book club, Well-Read Black Girl. When she’s not reading, you can find her shopping at flea markets and planning her next adventure. Friends enjoy her spontaneous nature, witty humor and uncanny ability to turn obstacles into popsicles. (Twitter, Instagram)
Ashley C. Ford: Ashley C. Ford is a writer / editor / speaker with work in ELLE, BuzzFeed, Slate, The Guardian, and various other print and web publications. She edits an emerging-writers column for Design*Sponge, an upcoming writers series for Matter Magazine, and is co-editing an anthology of essays titled “Not That Bad” with her friend and mentor, Roxane Gay. Ford resides in Brooklyn, NY with the love of her life, and fellow Hoosier, Kelly Stacy. (Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr/ Snapchat: SmashFizzle)
Adam J. Kurtz: Adam J. Kurtz (better known as ADAMJK) is an artist, illustrator, and author of 1 Page at a Time: A Daily Creative Companion. His dark (but optimistic) humor comes to life in an offbeat line of gifts and small trinkets. Follow him at @ADAMJK or in real life (he lives in Brooklyn because of course he does). (Twitter/Instagram/Facebook/Tumblr)
Hri Bernard: Hri is 16 years old and an ardent lover of the art and design world. She’s that high school girl who, on top of her school work, always has to busy herself with a project that pushes her to become curious about her surroundings and to respond in a creative way. Besides that, she’s fond of attending African and Hip Hop dance classes and playing the piano. Occasionally, she also can’t help but to bless her eyes, spirit, and mind with a masterfully written book or two. The Hobbit, anyone? (Instagram/Tumblr)
Kevin O’Gara: Kevin O’Gara is a high school student inspired by a mix of traditional and contemporary design, and loves dogs, dinner parties, and big windows.In 2013, he created Thou Swell, named after the famous jazz standard and inspired by the song’s spirit and nostalgia. Sharing home and garden, decor, food and entertaining, and a little of his hometown Atlanta, he shares his fresh eye for design and passion for beauty. With a passion for history, english and design, Kevin is most interested in the area where the built world and social and environmental impact overlap, and currently in the college application process. (Twitter <https://twitter.com/thouswellblog>/Pinterest
<https://www.pinterest.com/thouswellblog/>/Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/thouswellblog/>/Tumblr <http://thouswell.tumblr.com>/Instagram <http://instagram.com/kfogara/>)
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