2019: Our Final Year

by Grace Bonney

Artwork by Nick Misani

On August 30th of this year, on our 15th birthday, we will publish our very last post here at Design*Sponge. This year will be a special one, and it will be our last one operating in the way we have for so many years. But this won’t be a sad shuttering of doors — it is going to be a full-fledged, joy-filled celebration where we drag out all of our fanciest china and best linens to celebrate with you, our friends and community, for the next eight months. We’re going to do all the things we’ve always wanted to do, try and delve into here at D*S but never have — and we’ll be getting updates on some of the most beloved stories, people, and homes we’ve shared here over the years. But first, some backstory….

I’ve spent a long time trying to figure out the right way to close this beautiful, complex, and wonderfully meaningful place that I’ve had the honor of running and contributing to for the past 14 years. I’d written and re-written a letter like this dozens of times until this fall, when someone snuck into my mind and heart, and put everything I would have said onto (digital) paper. That person was Tavi Gevinson and when she closed Rookie she wrote the closing editor’s letter that I had always imagined, down to the very last word.

She talked about the changing publishing world, social media and the endless demand for more and more content (usually sponsored) that resulted in less and less support (financial and traffic) for publishers and their teams. She talked about the privilege and honor of doing what we do, and knowing the choices that would have to be made to keep things afloat would be at odds with the mission of the site (please do read her piece, she outlines the struggle of indie publishing better than anyone I’ve ever read). Most of all, she talked about starting and ending an artistic project with honesty and love at its core. And for me, that is all I have ever wanted.

We’ve published close to 20,000 posts over the past 14 years and our goal has always been simple: to help build and support the creative community by sharing stories and projects from the people in it. None of us went into this to get rich quick (or slowly), scale to a massive team or do things beyond publishing stories that meant something to us. I’ve never imagined an internet-breaking app or a household product or some sort of user experience that would mean more to me than simply publishing this blog — and while I’m not closed off to those ideas in another context, it doesn’t feel right to push and mold Design*Sponge into something it was never meant to be. For me, this will always be a place to simply connect with, learn from, and listen to friends, new and old, who happen to love design and creative pursuits in the same way we do.

The internet has changed so much since I started back in 2004. Social media has completely transformed the landscape as we know it and I’m at peace with that. I wasn’t always, but I am now. I don’t want to be someone who shakes their fist at the screen lamenting the way things have changed. I want to be the person celebrating what is and has been and soaking in all the moments we’ve been lucky enough to have with each other and talking about what we’ve learned in the process.

I also don’t want to go out with a tear. I want to go out with a huge smile, a joyful laugh and a giant communal hug that celebrates the past, present and future of this amazing community we’ve dedicated our lives to.

So what are we doing this year? Quite simply: Everything. We’ll of course keep up with our normal schedule of homes and stories, but we’re also going to focus on projects and trips and posts that have joy as their main goal.

I want to celebrate with our team, I want to go SEE them in person — I want to see all of YOU in person. So that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to throw caution and sponsorship and all the rules of what we “should” be doing the window and hit the road (literally and figuratively) to see how the creative community has changed over the past 15 years — and what’s coming next. Because I have NO idea what I’m going to do with myself after this glorious project comes to an end. But something tells me that I’ll know more at the end of this year of listening, learning and collecting new memories.

The memories I have here from this site are rich and varied and complicated, just like real life. I grew up here. I went through some of the toughest times of my life here. I lost some of my dearest friendships here, and found beautiful new friendships and forever chosen-family members in this team and community. Design*Sponge was the college experience I always wanted to have but never did. It let me grow, fall on my face, regroup, fall again and learn to embrace those falls as part of the evolution of full human being. I’m not interested in building a perfect life or a perfect home anymore — those things don’t exist. Life is messy. Houses are messy. But there is beauty in that messiness and there is grit and love and growth.

So let’s get started. Let’s spend this last year having fun together. Trying new things, falling on our faces together and helping each other get back up. Let’s celebrate homes of all types and people of all backgrounds and design that has no rules and takes everyone’s needs and joys into account. I know I’m ready for this, so I hope you’ll join us in this final year of love, laughter and community. Xo, Grace






Suggested For You


  • Grace and everyone from D*S past & present, thank you for being a place of information, a guiding hand and a beacon to those of us making our living online. I am so glad that I have been able to read along these last 15 years and that you have shared so much. Thank you so much for everything you have put into this. Excited for the final year x

  • I have always admired your integrity, and this decision just seems so right. I love how you’re planning to approach the year ahead; it will be exciting! Thank you so much for your honesty and your insights over the years; they have had a huge impact on me. <3

  • As much as my heart breaks to lose this website that’s meant so much to me for so long, I’m so proud of you, Grace! You’re a beacon of light. Thanks for modeling what being fearless looks like!

  • How are there no comments? Are we all in stunned silence? FWIW – Tavi’s letter was something I’ve read again and again in my own quest to find my path as I move past many publishing projects of my own (both online, in print, indie in various ways and traditional). She pulled the words right out of my mouth too – but way better than I could have.
    Personally I regret none of it – but I have certainly learned a lot about myself, what I will and will never do again, and I had some dramatic ups and downs that I am still trying to fully understand. I cheer you and this approach to moving on. It is elegant and classy, as always. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

  • Congratulations on 15 incredible years! Can’t wait to follow along on your last year of joy and see what the future holds for you and your team. I’ve learned so much through this site over the years and the various women featured here encouraged me years ago to go out on my own; it will always be special to me. Thank you all so much for years of thoughtful content!

  • Congratulations, Grace (and team)! I love that you’re doig this on your own terms and I can’t wait to see how this year plays out.

  • Wow. I’m in disbelief even though I myself just ended by blog after 10 years. I’ve been reading the whole time and have learned so much from you, gotten so much out of this site. I look forward to this next year and seeing what happens next.

  • It’s been such a delight to read and watch this blog/space grow over the last 15 years. Thank you so much for your inspiration. Seriously. I’m from a small, relatively rural town and I probably wouldn’t have become a graphic designer without the inspiration from blogs like yours. Seeing the content evolve has been refreshing and your ongoing honesty and reflection (and that of all the writers and contributors, too) has been so appreciated. Looking forward to following the last year. Good luck in the future with wherever life takes you!

  • I’m walking away from a passion project this year, and I feel bittersweet about it – sort of how I imagine you’re feeling too. I will miss coming to your site every morning as I start my day, but I’m excited for what you have ahead, and your joyful farewell. I hope this means a book/good company tour, and I hope you stop by in Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Dear Grace,
    I admit I tearing up, especially because we all started at the same time and never could imagine the blog world and community that grew into such beauty and inspiration. What a ride!!! What an amazing journey. I am so excited for you and all of us in the ever evolving mystery of life. I hope I see you soon and can throw love to new ideas with you. These past few years have been a trek and winding road for so many. I am ever thankful for your support to INK&WIT. I am so thankful for all you have nurtured and grown. So much love. Tara Hogan

  • I am so sad for the end of this epic era, but so excited and eager for all of the amazing things to come. Thank you for decades of amazing work. Happy to end this with a bang!

  • Congrats on the long and wonderful run. I’m looking forward to the next 9 months of content, and we’ll be waiting to see what you do next!

  • I’ve learned so much from Design*Sponge — and you and the great team you’ve assembled over all these years. You have my support in all you do — and I am very excited to hear about what will be your next chapter — but I will miss the great Design*Sponge with all my heart. xo

    11:07 AM – 7 Jan 2019

  • Congratulations, Grace! This really is the end of an era. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. You created something truly amazing, you’ve inspired so many people, and your passion and positivety radiates. Thank you for having me contribute to Design*Sponge with the Make it Yours column! I am very thankful for all of your support, and look forward to seeing what is new for you. Congrats :)

  • Man I was all set for this to be the year of the RETURN of the blog! But I guess it will just be on us to make our own way in the Internet universe. Thank you for everything. You are an incredible leader and we will follow your new ventures, wherever they lead!

  • i’ve been inspired and challenged by your blog for at least ten of your fourteen years. and i’m sad to hear this news, but also hopeful and again inspired and challenged by how your’re ending so well. Thank you for all you have done and been in sharing Design*Sponge.

  • Grace, I have been following you for over 12 years! I’m so touched by your integrity and compassion. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and for providing a platform for so many remarkable, talented people. It’s time for me to seek out a new path in my life also, and I am intrigued to follow along with this unique blog ending process.

  • I’m happy for you, and I understand you want this to be a joy-filled celebration…..but all I can think is what about me?! Where will I go? I guess I’ll go through my stages of grief, and then I can congratulate you and celebrate. Just give me a few days. :-)

  • Your site has been my favorite magazine, source of inspiration, hygge, comfort, peace, food for thought and eye for many years, since I’ve been online!! My online childhood is there, then. Nostalgic and wishing you all the future success. Hopefully you give us some news on what’s next..

  • I’ve been following close to 10 years. Time flies! I’ll follow The new endeavors, but also hope the posts will stay up: I have quite a few posts I come back to often.
    Sad and curious

  • Your website has been one I’ve looked forward to reading everyday fro years. Thanks for everything you’ve done. Will be sad to see you go but am so excited for the coming year and everything the future holds for you!!

  • I have been reading off and on for years (and years and years…) without a comment and just wanted to finally say how very much I admire you and what you have accomplished here. You seem to have let your personality and personal life shine through with the utmost professionalism, and have explored, trailblazed and expanded Design Sponge in the most interesting, relevant, useful and inspirational ways while staying true to its original reason for being. You offer some substance on a pleasant topic which is nice to find these days… Congratulations and the very best of luck — I really look forward to following your farewell and to seeing what you’ll be up to next.

    • I doubt anyone could have more aptly summed up the experience of being a D*S reader. I hope to offer an echo, we are all so happy for you- Grace and Julia. Whatever you explore next will be wonderful. Congratulations!

  • Grace! Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything that Design*Sponge has been to all of us over these many years. You have lead this site by extraordinary example, and created a space that’s about so much more than looking at beautiful spaces and things. Of course it’s no surprise that you’re closing it out with the same thoughtfulness, intention, and vision with which you’ve approached it all throughout. So happy for you, so excited to see what you do next, and so proud to know ya. xoxoxo

  • Thank you all at D*S!
    Please send us recs of where to get our designy-fix when all is said and done, and keep us posted on your new endeavors.
    Best wishes on any and all next steps.

  • I have enjoyed Design Sponge since 2008 when I was an avid blog reader, and, as my tastes and needs changed, you remained one of the four blogs/online journals I continued to read. Your hand at the helm has been clear Grace. Thank you DS for being a wonderful distraction over a three year period of ill health and treatment, when I could do little and could concentrate even less. I will miss DS later this year but for now I admire the positive and gracious (pun intended) way you have communicated the end date. I have always found your editorial pieces thought provoking and I enjoy the posts, not just for the images, but also for the writing. I look forward to the 2019 content. I send best wishes for 2019 to all at DS.

  • That’s amazing! Three cheers for you, Grace! As a reader for 11 years, it has been an awesome adventure.

  • Dear Grace & DS Team,

    I cannot express enough how this blog has influenced my personal and professional life. I’ve been reading Design Sponge since 2010-ish, when I was 20 years old and just beginning to feel that interior design “itch”. I followed each post, devouring photos from home tours where I found so much inspiration from everyday folks and families designing their spaces with their own unique styles and loves and interests. They showed me there was a place in the design world for someone who didn’t want to design the spaces of overly staged catalogs. They influenced my perspective on creating a home for yourself–each space was filled with meaning. They helped me appreciate my unique perspective on design and influenced my own blog. And when more and more posts came along celebrating the designs and stories of people of color–centering people of color–it gave me an even deeper perspective on social justice and introduced me to new artists and designers. It was just so in sync with the current social justice movements I was reading about and learning from. It helped me to become a better ally. So glad you’ve prepared us for the end of this beautiful blog and I look forward with sadness and joy to its final articles before August. I will miss it dearly.


  • p.s. good luck to all of you on your new adventures post-Design*Sponge!!

  • Grace,

    How exciting and brave of you to make this decision! It will be wonderful to follow your journey this year. Good for you for getting out there to see where it all leads. That is always the dream – to make the real, life changing connections with people around the world.

    Cheers to the New Year!

  • Grace & team — Congratulations on nearly 15 years of amazing work! You should be so incredibly proud of what you’ve created. Though you guys did post a before & after IKEA redo of mine five years ago, I’ve never been much of an online commenter or contributor. However, that doesn’t change the fact that my home and my outlook on creating a home was heavily informed by your writings, gorgeous photos, and thoughtful outlook. Truly. I’m wishing you all the best in 2019. And, if during your travels, you need a place to stay in Los Angeles, there’s a Silver Lake house heavily influenced by your work ready to welcome you. -Amit

  • Wow. So sad to read this but this seems to fall in place with what the universe is teaching me right now. This last year has been a huge lesson that change will and must happen. So many things in my life are changing and evolving right now as we are in the midst of building a home and still reflecting fondly on our previous and first house that owned and lived in for eight wonderful years. I suppose the same is true here… while you love this place you must know when to move on and that is a scary and bold step to take. I can’t wait to see what this year holds – on here and in my own life. Cheers to an exciting and emotional year! And just like my old house, I will miss Design*Sponge dearly. This has been the way I’ve started my work day for over eight years, getting my creative juices flowing with cup of coffee in hand mustering up the oomph to conquer the day. Cheers!

  • My heart is heavy to read this news. Your blog was part of what seems to have been a gilded era of the internet. It will be interesting to witness what the future holds for all of us. I wish you and your team the very best as you embark upon new adventures!

  • I only just started reading Design Sponge this past year and am sad to see it go. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and all the joy you have given over the years! Looking forward to the next 8 months!

  • I found myself spending less time online in 2018 for lots of reasons but mostly because I was connecting less and less with people in person. DS is one of the free blogs I still visit from time to time because you, Grace have been so real and so honest. I appreciate all that you and the DS team have given to us over the years. On to 2019!!! Will there be a DS tour?

  • Oh my! I don’t know whether to congratulate you on your ground breaking efforts or to lament that I won’t have DS to visit each day (after August). I think it’s a little of both! I’ve been following you, checking in every day, since 2008. I have learned so much, been inspired and awoken by reading DS. Thank you and your team (and all your guests) for putting your hearts and souls into this little corner of the internet. All the best to you, your wife, your fur babies and all the adventures that await.

  • Inspiring even in your exit, Grace! Bravo to you for acting on what you know to be true for you – for making room for that magic that’s undoubtedly just around the corner.

    And thanks to the whole team, past and present. I continue to joyfully join along.

  • Grace, I have been reading your blog since 2009 and witnessed all your milestones (also saved over a thousand sneak peak photos on my Evernote). I admired your honesty and kindness. Wish you the best on your next journey of searching and defining.

  • Oh Grace… I am sad… but only because you have been my greatest cheerleader since I left my day job and embarked on a creative adventure to Provence. From across the Atlantic you have hugged me close and told me – « keep going … what you’re doing is Great ».
    This beautiful blog has supported so many makers all over the world and we are so grateful!
    How about you come to Provence this summer? I might have an idea up my sleeve.
    Sending you all my love and truly I’m excited to see what comes next!

    Ruth xxxxx

  • I am so sad that it’s the final year but the integrity behind why you’ve made this decision is exactly why I love Design*Sponge so much. I can’t wait to read every post for the next 8 months. This site will always mean the most to me! <3

  • One day, I was looking around my apartment that my newlywed husband and I rented and realised I wanted it to look….different. More refined or more grown up, something. I didn’t know quite what it needed though, so I did a quick internet search for “top interior design blogs” and D*S was at the top of the list. I started here. That was 11 years ago and Ive been reading ever since. Your blog really cultivated my love of interior design, and even though I didn’t go on to make a career out of it, I still love it and come back here for inspiration and ideas. When I have spare time, I’m looking for unique pieces of furniture to update or re-arranging my space. I think you have much to be proud of Grace and I wish you lots of luck for your future endeavors.

  • Selfishly I’m of course bummed to hear it, but all in all I’m SO EXCITED for you. Six months of throwing what you “should do” to the wind and focusing on joy is going to be, well, a real joy to watch! I’m sure wherever you go after this, you’ll be bringing this community with you in some shape/form.

  • Wow! So sad to hear this, but so happy to have had 15 years of wonderful and compelling stories. Best of luck, Grace. Wherever you go, I will follow.

  • You are a joy and you made the right decision. Wherever you go, you, and all those who worked alongside you to create DS, will have a brilliant future to look forward to. Your friendships will keep you afloat and everything you have learned in this journey will inform your next. Thanks for all the home tours, especially the early ones, and the thoughtful comments. Here’s to a good year.

  • You’ll be closing on my 40th birthday! 💗 I’ve really enjoyed Design Sponge through the years, thanks to all who made it such a great space on the interweb.

  • Oh mine, this breaks my heart a little. For the past 11 years every evening the first site I opened was DS. You were my “me moment” after a busy workday, a day spent with friends, or lately, with my family. You have given me inspiration, food for thought and even a place of belonging, a feeling that there are people out there who might feel and think in some ways like me. I am looking forward to this upcoming year, but maaaaan, I am so sad to see DS go. Many hugs from across the Globe, from Budapest, Hungary,

  • I have been reading your blog for the last ten years (since just after my son was born) and you have inspired and entertained me through many evenings as he has been growing. Thank you so much for everything. I wish you all the best in your what ever new endeavour you choose and hope that we will see you somewhere in the virtual world in the future.

  • All great things must pass. Thank you for the great content, integrity, kindness and mirth. Be well in your new path.

  • How wonderfully exciting! D*S will be missed but I can’t wait to see where the road takes you.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for inspiring and nuturing the community, and thank you for allowing me shine from time to time. :)

  • I was following this page, when it was just a one person blog. There were a few years I was unable to keep up with things as quickly as is required online. But I got back to it a couple years ago, and have been following again with interest. You have always had a great eye for style, and I like the way you always supported creative talents, Grace. I am sorry you had to go through so much of the negative sides of the business. Hope your future endeavors will prove to be fulfilling and great for you. And I am definitely keeping up with you for this last year. Thank you for inspiring us for such a relatively long time. <3

  • Thank you for everything you have shared with us! I’m broken-hearted to hear this news, but you know, I’d rather you make this move than stay and start to SUCK! :) I admire your making a tough decision with class and know that your innate badassery will keep you afloat. Much love and respect to you and your wonderful team! xoxo

  • Dear Grace and Team,

    I’ve followed the blog (and now Instagram) since the beginning and have just loved watching you grow. I’m just a few years older than you so enjoyed finding small ways to decorate my apartment in the early years. But over time you’ve shown us how to decorate our lives through social activism and justice– as beautiful as anything you could put on your wall. Thanks for your leadership, vulnerability, humility and humor over the years. I’m sad for the end of the blog but so excited to see what happens next.

  • Thank you so much everyone for your kind comments. It’s been a day of tears and smiles and I’m so thankful for all of you and your support of our team. xo Grace

  • Thank you for everything! Yours is one of 3 blogs I check out every day, and I appreciate your hard work. Im sure your next projects will be delightful and satisfying.

  • I’ve been a reader of D*S since 2007, at least since you were on Blogspot. I’m sorry, I can’t rejoice with you, Grace. I guess I’m just a sentimental fool and selfish to the core. I feel a deep sadness and will miss DS very very very much.

  • I started reading 14 years ago when i was a design student in university, and designsponge was always an open tab on my computer screen. Such that classmates always knew which computer i was taking in the lab cos of it! Sad to see the end of an era, truly pushed to its end by the blossoming of a new generation’s technology and culture. Love you forever.

  • I have been reading D*S since I was 20, and I’m about to turn 30 – a full third of my life!! Wow. I will admit I teared up a little reading this.

    Thank you for all the beautiful stories and spaces you shared with the world. Best of luck to the whole D*S team with everyone’s future endeavors. <3

  • I have enjoyed this site for many years and I will miss it after it closes. Thank you for your interesting and inspirational content. I’ve learned so very much! Cheers to you and your team! Your fan, PJ

  • DS is one of the few blogs I read daily. I’ve so enjoyed it over the years, and I thank you for the gift. Best of luck in all you do, and I have a house in Nashville and a little apartment in DC that reflect the DS influence in my life. xo

  • <3 I absolutely love your beautiful blog! I'm wishing you all the best with your future endeavors. I'm looking forward to reading all the posts until the very end! Thank you so much for 15 years of beautiful and thoughtful posts. <3

  • I am so sad to hear this, and as I spoke the words to my wife that this would be the last year of design*sponge her heart sank too. She knows my dream is to be featured one day. A bitter sweet for us, all of us I bet. Your fans are here we are here and will support you in the best way that we can. I’m so excited to see you continue on your new journey. Know that we have changed so many lives, so thank you Grace. I’m still your #1 FAN.

  • Wooow I did not expect this coming. I have been following your journey through this website from very begining, even though we never met, I feel like you have been a great mentor all these years to me. I loved how you did not let outshine your team members and gave them space to voice their thoughts and talents. I have learned so much about design world through your selective interviews, home tours etc. sometimes change is good for better. I hope you will follow your heart & start this new chapter of your life wt positive vibes.. all the best!

  • Dear Grace
    I will really miss Design*Sponge. Thank you for creating a corner of the interweb which is meaningful, and making design accessible to everyone. You have made me think about design as something that is applicable and accessible to me, not just the wealthy and privileged. Thank you for so much inspiration and creating a diverse community.

  • Dear Grace + Team –

    Like so many of your readers I feel like I’ve grown up alongside you! I was honestly that girl that obsessed over Grace’s Southern wedding photos, anxious that my life would never be so charmed. In 2005, I moved to the wild west of SF and went to work for my first startup, called Widgetbox. That company made tools – widgets, for bloggers. It was my first grown-up design job and sites like DS made me feel encouraged and inspired in this new world that was overwhelming male and Design didn’t yet have a seat at the table. Hard to believe that Facebook and Twitter were brand new then, and the iPhone hadn’t even dropped yet. Anyway, long story short I made sure that DS was added to our blog gallery and I hoped it would help other designers find you.
    Thank You from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve done and I hope I get to see you guys this year. Seriously, hugs.

  • Design*Sponge, you will be missed! Thank you Grace and the DS team for bringing design and creativity to my inbox. Just the other day I was thinking about DS and how long I’ve been subscribed to the newsletter. I loved seeing your emails in my inbox and finding inspiration in your posts. Grace, you have done something special here, and I hope to see what you will do in the future.

  • Grace, yours was one of the first (possible THE first) blogs I ever read, and the only one I still read every day. I haven’t missed a post since the inception! You have created a community that’s inclusive, welcoming, supportive, loving, and inspiring. You’ve been brave and candid, open to growth yet sticking to your values, and willing to Go There when it was needed. I’ve been proud to watch every move, every iteration, every step of this evolution AND revolution. Every ending is a new beginning; I can’t wait to see what that brings for all of you and how you’ll shine your beautiful light to illuminate others. Huge kudos and here’s to the next chapter – to 9/1/19 and beyond! ❤️

  • Wow. I’m in shock! I’m so grateful to have had Design*Sponge as an inspiration as I developed my style. I found Design*Sponge in college and I INSTANTLY changed up my dorm room on my meager budget. I’ve followed your team through the years and it’s been such a cool ride! Bless you for your work, and bless you as you move forward from this fantastic project.

  • I’m usually a sentimental fool who hates change (and I’ve been reading for a very long time), but this feels right. I’m so happy that you’ll get to take your victory lap on your terms, without having to constantly negotiate between maintaining the site’s integrity and staying afloat. It isn’t my intent to go on a screed against capitalism, but to the extent that it’s used to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of the few, it’s a tool of oppression. It can be difficult to sustain a blog in a sphere increasingly dependent on capitalist concerns when your moral concerns are fair wages/healthcare for your employees, and content that showcases inclusion, representation, and equality. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but there’s something to be said for shifting your focus towards finding new ways to manifest your moral concerns rather than continuing to throw energy against the same headwinds hoping they’ll shift. I’ll miss the unique space this blog has become (for one, it’s not unusual to see a non-white face here like it sadly still is on most other design blogs). But I’m also excited for what comes next. Thank you, Grace and the D*S Team (both present and past). You not only featured some lovely and inspiring homes, you also helped us all think harder about what it means to create a true sense of “home” for ourselves, our families, and our communities.

  • Thank you for the inspirations over the years!! I learned a lot following your blog, kind of sad of losing it :(
    Good luck to u
    So much love
    Following from Egypt since 2012

  • I’ve followed you guys for so long… don’t remember when; I just remember feeling not alone and inspired while I dreamt of having and doing what I do and have now. I remember studying the whole business woman posts that helped me figure out how to put together the project I have now. I remember coming to this site when I felt like I needed some perspective and vision through love. I thank you so much, all the way from Monterrey, Mexico- for building a place where ideas and strategie, business with heart, and communication with empathy were always present. Thank you for being there for me. Best of luck in this new adventure… keep in touch! V.

  • grace, i am so happy for you — to know when the timing is right for you to step away while you’re still feeling positive and good about things, and so busy with other projects in new directions. thank you so much for the many ways in which you’ve changed the lives of other creatives, including me — when you wrote about me back in 2005! (!!!)
    truly looking forward to what you dream up next. congratulations on an amazing 15 years here!

  • Dear Grace, I have been an avid reader of D*S since the beginning and have always admired how you have stayed true to the blog, in the most heartfelt and genuine way. I started and closed an indie publishing endeavour also and my heart still feels as broken as the day it did when I wrote my ‘goodbye’ letter to readers, as circumstances meant it was a sudden ending. It is beautiful that you have chosen to share the end so joyfully with your community, so together we can celebrate!

    I am one not yet at peace with the way of the modern web, and have been quietly planning a new blog, looking towards D*S as a model to follow. I’ll give it a go, even if I don’t get many readers, just to showcase that one doesn’t have to pander to sponsorship, be an ‘influencer’ or consume huge hauls. Genuine voices are needed more now than ever. Thank you for always being a beacon of delight, beauty, wonder, inclusion, and inspiration.

    Here’s to a very joyful year! xx

  • Dear Grace, I did indeed shed a tear reading this. I was at a loss following the birth of my first child (10 years old in March) and found your blog, my first ever. I came for the beautiful homes and stayed for your inspiration and unfailing authenticity. In recent years, your nuggets of wisdom helped me change my career and life. I congratulate you on the courage of this decision and look forward to celebrating this final year with you. Thank you for everything. Much love, Ishanthi

  • Congratulations on making the wise decision to go out on top, and while this is still something you love. I look forward to your contributions to the world, whether made publicly like DS or privately. All the best to you and your family.

  • Oh goodness, another long-time reader de-lurking to say thank you, thank you, for fifteen years of life-giving posts. I was scrolling through some long-defunct blogs now, really missing the blogging heydey of around 2005. It seems like people used to write more for the joy of it, and a following was a happy, unexpected thing. I was just thinking that I’m grateful that DS has maintained that joy. Wherever you go from here, I’m sure it will be with the same pluck, impeccable style, and sheer delight you’ve curated here. Best of luck,

  • Grace ~ Thank you for Design Sponge. When you came to KC for the book tour, I was there. I brought the lilacs. I know like those flowers…you will bloom again. I am excited to celebrate Design Sponge & then, follow your next chapter!

  • Well, I certainly was not expecting that! So often people seem drawn to remain in their comfort zone, possibly only making small changes here and there. I’ve been that person. I have also been the person that throws caution to the wind and takes a chance. More often than not, it was those risks that diverted the course of my life in the most amazing ways. I am not who I thought I was 15 years ago and you probably are not either. Good journey to you my friend. May the future hold unbelievable challenges and the most remarkable surprises. All the best! Nora

  • I’ve been a witness to how your voice developed and deepened over these 15 years into something so thoughtful and soulful. You certainly don’t need my validation, but a pivot to something new feels like the right and natural decision for you. I know you will continue to contribute to the world in meaningful ways — small or large — that make you come alive with fresh enthusiasm. Thank you for sharing design*sponge with us and I wish you the very best.

  • Congratulations! This must have been a very hard decision and it took real bravery ! I completely understand your decision and wish you all the joy in the world as you move on !!!!!!!! I will miss design sponge so much, it has been a roadmap for me to connect with many great creators and much wonderful content, but I cannot wait for the next 8 months of you guys all just going for it, one last Hurrah! Inspiring !!!!!!!!

  • Congratulations Grace + the amazing D*S team. You built something so special here and have meant so much to so many. Excited to see what all of you do next. Hearts and hugs.
    And Grace – my favorite word in Spanish is “Berraca,” which is almost impossible to translate. The closest phrase could be determined, strong, brave, hard working, bad ass woman. Eres una berraca. <3

  • I’m going to miss Design*Sponge and your thoughtful work so, so much. Thank you, Grace & the entire team!
    On a personal note, I wanted to add that you, Grace (and Julia!) have been a true inspiration for me with the fearless and honest way you live your lives, in the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. I hope you stay on the Internet somewhere so you can continue to inspire us. Thank you!

  • This remains one of the only blogs I follow with such a loooong comment thread… And there’s a reason for that!

    Grace, you truly have created a place where people can come, connect and converse. Good or bad, be it about a dish sponge or about race and inclusivity, D*S is a place anyone with creative curiosity can come and feel welcome, be inspired, and leave with more insight into the world that brought them here in the first place.

    I learned so much working with you and Kelli and the whole D*S team at the time, so Happy almost D*S birthday, can’t wait to see it go out with a bang–and some light pink/coral confetti!

  • Grace, Thank you for your voice, your authenticity, your vision, your kindness. It’s been a joy and a gift following along all these years. Your passion shines through and your heart is a beautiful thing. The way you’ve shared it with us over the years has inspired me in many ways. May the coming year be freeing in all the best ways. With deep gratitude, Amy


    Just kidding – well not really but I do want to say thank you to the DS team for providing years of beautiful, wonderful content.

    You will be missed.

  • Dear Grace, I just wanted to thank you so much for your years of work at D*S. I found your blog soon after you started it when I was just 15, and I feel like I have grown up with you. You blog gave me a window into the wider world beyond my small town, and it inspired a passion for design that led me to my job at an art school. I’m looking forward to this final year of D*S to usher me into my thirties. I’m forever thankful for this amazing space you’ve carved out on the internet. Cheers, C.

  • Dear Grace – thank you for all of these many years of writing and pictures! And my favorite parts, in spite of being generations removed from you, have always been ones that held your personal touch – your writing, your struggling with what is right and wrong in this topsy turvy world, your personal revelations, your heart. You write so well, and think so clearly – I wish you the very, very best and like everyone posting today, will be so excited to see what you do now. Times are changing on the internet – and clever you will change with it. And IT, whatever it is, will be great!! xo

  • Thank you for making design so accessible to so many people, including myself! Looking forward to your next adventure. I hope you let us come for the ride!

  • wow, I was stunned to read this, but I am also happy for you. It is so rare to stick with your vision for 15 years! I too just changed course this last year, after being at the same job for 17 years—a job that sheltered and encouraged me to grow from a young, insecure designer to a confident art director, but eventually started to chafe in all the wrong places. Circumstances suddenly changed, and now I am happily “uncomfortable” again, challenging myself in new ways. I’ve been a reader almost from the beginning and followed along as you grew and changed direction several times. The posts here have inspired me many times over the years and I’ll be sad to say goodbye. Here’s to the next chapter—be sure to let us all know when you find that next step on the ladder!

  • I’ve been reading this blog since it started. In all that time I didn’t comment much. My English was just too bad to convey how much I love and appreciate what you created here. A community of makers that finds joy in finding beauty in this dystopian world. I loved that you found a way to be inclusive. I watched that journey unfold trough time and it echoed my own experiences (your coming out of the closet was around the same time I told my mum I was gay). I hope that when all is said and done, you have time to grief and understand that none of the reasons for this wonderful project ending, were in your control. If you get a chance read Jaron Lanier and Corey Pein.


  • Thank you Grace for all the inspiration over all those years and best of luck on your new adventures.

    One question for you – will the website still be available to browse old posts after August 2015? Or will you take down the site completely?

  • I have enjoyed Design*Sponge so much, especially it’s focus on creating uniquely personal beauty rather than reflecting trends! However, the thing that has impacted me most is your gracious and honest voice, Grace, openly discussing your ambivalence about making huge changes in your life. I’m a military wife, so I am experienced with some kinds of “big” changes— but I am at a time of evaluating my personal and professional goals for the future, and I am totally out of my depth. My identity has been as a homeschool mom and teacher for so long, and I have loved it…but that time has come to an end, and I have no idea what’s next. I want to dust off some old dreams, but I am realizing how much this transient life affects my ability to pursue professional goals through traditional means. Anyway, sharing your thoughts has made me feel less alone as I’m sorting out which path to take. Many thanks, I look forward to following your next venture!

  • Thank you for all you’ve done, and for the next 8 months. I can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve!

  • Design Sponge will always have a special place in my heart, Grace. The early days were very special and I loved we connected. I’m excited to see what’s to come!

  • Thankyou for all your hard work <3
    I'm an italian interior designer, when I want to be inspired i came in this page,
    it happens from 15 years apart!
    A big hug and let's celebrate this amazing year! Rock On!

  • Grace, thank you for all the inspiration, support and valued content over the years. I can’t believe its been 15 years. I look forward to the next. Always inspiring when people allow growth and new into the next! What an exciting time for you!

  • If you change your mind, I’d pay for a subscription to Design*Sponge!! xoxoxoxo

  • I have been reading since I graduated high school in 2009. Your words, your features, the inspirational images and art and projects you chose to share with all of us have helped to color all that I know of adult life thus far. Thank you for taking us along on your journey and I wish you and the rest of the team every success moving forward! This blog has been here for me through multiple dorm room makeovers, inspired me to create my own space when I moved back into my parent’s home as a broke college graduate, and guided me when I finally (!!) moved into my own studio apartment a little over a year ago. A room of one’s own!
    Thank you for sharing this site, but more importantly, letting us into your lives! The fur kids, your happy life and love and warmth at home. I’ll keep following along on Instagram/Instagram live as long as you post!

    Thank you thank you thank you.
    Congratulations on your next chapter!

  • I’ve been reading your site via RSS since 2004, back when I was graduating from college with an arts degree to pursue design agency work, and though I’ve never commented here even once before, I want you to hear that I value and respect what you’ve been doing these last 14 years so very much. A couple years into design agency jobs, I figured out that what truly moves me is the mystery and complexity of human experience. I started over with graduate school, unpaid internships, school counseling, and eventually made it to my dream: my own private psychotherapy practice. You’ve been sharing your unique creativity and navigating the challenges of a public life all this time, and I’ve read every post. I applaud you for all the moments over the years when you’ve put yourself and your right to an authentic existence above the demands of your readers! And obviously that includes now. Bravo, Grace, I look forward to this final year and the future that awaits you after closing. 💛

  • As a young college student, this was the first design blog i got attached to. Thank you for all of the amazing content & community you created. It helped me see the corner of the world I wanted to be a part of <3

  • I love this blog, I always find something good here, and I value your decision to make it an inclusive platform that champions diversity.

    I will miss it being updated when that happens. If DS lives on as an online resource, I will come back and mine it, I bet.

    As a creative person who values my privacy, I avoid social media and I have avoided having a blog of my own, because even if it is the least popurar online decorating blog in the world, it would be something I had to think about, keep up with, respond to, be responsible for. And I already work all the time, feels like!

    People like you and Tavi, and the rest of the army of other active, creative bloggers out there…you are at heart creative people. Which is not to say that big-time, old-school newspaper and magazine editors are NOT creative people, they ARE…they just already know what they are getting into….

    They probably already have business experience and advisors, and hopefully a thick, armoured skin, and a ton of experience, before they become resposnible for carrying on the mast head.

    And they know how long they want to do it for, and they have assistants, and even so, they probably need change, too. They probaly burn out, or really wish they could get back to finishing thier novel, or fixing up their place, just living thier life without having to put the publication first in all their waking thoughts and efforts.

    We all need some ding-dang variety, in our lives. “A change is as good as a rest”….but sometimes you just need a rest!

    In my opinion, certain types of change just give you more endorphins than excercise can., by a long shot. For me, it is making things, redocorating, playing improv music. Doing something new new new and looking at what I get as the dice are rolled.

    I have watched you grow, I have watched you respond to bullies, I have watched you try to intelligently “monetize” with more and more ads. You all have been GREAT, you have so largely stayed true to your passions, and your missions.

    But you should not be stuck doing it every day for the rest of your life, that is not fair. You made and generously shared something beautiful and wondrous! The blog has been a work of art. You made a really really cool thing!

    You do not have to stick around and make payments of time and blood and life to keep it going , or distort yourself to fit into what the parameters need to become, to keep advertisers happy, if that is what it has come to. You are free!

    And Design Sponge is the best portfolio ever!

    You are going to do just fine, things will all work out okay and then some.

    So proud of you.

  • Grace, your voice will be deeply missed in the design community, but I’m excited to see how you will amplify ALL of the causes you’re passionate about through wherever life takes you next! Thank you for all you’ve given over the years. I’m SO excited for you and will be following to see where you land next!

  • I literally cried after reading this…..Your blog was such a big part of my life. I have never commented of things being the shy idiot I am but thank you so so much for writing so well and for the posts and amazing photographs! Your blog is always such a treat to read each day! I wish you and your team the very best as you take on new adventures! I am sure you all will be good at whatever you do…..greatness will follow!! :)

  • This blog has meant so much to me. I am a scientist professionally but a creative at my core. Your bright, beautiful and uplifting content helped me get through graduate school and many many other tough times in the last 10 years. I will miss this place so much. You have created a thing of true beauty and inspired countless women. I cant wait for what you do with this last joyous year. Digital hugs!!!

  • Grace Bonney you are the OG. Thank you for all the years of inspiration and supporting the indie makers and creatives back in the day. Those were fun and exciting times. Having my work and home featured on Design Sponge were highlights in my life and business. Your decision to move on feels SO RIGHT. Congratulations!

  • Have been a devoted reader from the start. Can’t wait to see what you do next!

  • I love this blog, I always find something good here, and I value your decision to make it an inclusive platform that champions diversity.

  • I am so sad to read this, and yet heartened at the same time. I’ve been a regular for at least 12 of your years. When I have the strange urge to make butter at home, it’s the recipe you featured here by a guest editor that I always seek out. Ha. I loved the variety of homes and projects I knew I’d see here, and more recently I really really loved the critically thoughtful pieces you have written. You have always been ahead of your time. I’m thrilled to see you exit on your own terms, and in such a positive way. I’ll follow you no matter what platform you speak from.

  • There is sometimes as much to learn from knowing when to close a project and doing it gracefully, as there is in starting a project. I saw you speak at an Alt Summit years ago, and I learned lessons in that one hour presentation that I still use to this day, even though my own career path is a different one (“your book is your most expensive calling card”). Wishing you the very best in this year – there are only good things to come. AKS

  • oh wow. I remember when I started blogging in 2008 and you were one that inspired me greatly. I wish you many blessing in your next endeavor! Thank you for sharing so much of yourself over the years.

  • When I started my own business (a yarn shop) in 2012, Design Sponge was cited in my business plan. I called you my secret mentor because while you didn’t know it, your fresh thinking and continual demonstration of creative, independent thought served as a reminder that a passion can also be a profession. I never copied Design Sponge – instead I learned how to present my creative ideas to others with the same joy and enthusiasm. Design Sponge may be in it’s final year but it is also a part of the DNA of my growing business, and I would hazard to guess that of many others. Thank you for everything and I look forward to what this year at DS brings.

  • I may or may not be crying at my desk right now. Grace and Team – For the past decade, you guys have been such a part of my life! I poured over Design Sponge when I was studying overseas in college all on my lonesome. I missed my family and friends so much, but your posts brought me so much JOY and comfort in a city that I was still getting used to. I even completed a few DS DIY projects to liven up my dorm room and help personalize it. Thank you for the daily inspiration and for redefining beauty in a way that is inclusive and diverse. I love you all for it! The future holds even more magic for you- go get it!

    Your Forever Follower

  • this is literally the best thing that came out of my instagram wander today. thank you…. we need so much more honesty about what is happening with social media and the images that are being created with it. i’ve just discovered D*S, but i’m up for the year ahead you have planned. i’m on board!

  • I feel like my favorite roommate just told me they are moving out. Thank you Grace! I’m excited for this kickass year and then to see what you (and Julia) create moving forward!! Cheers to the years!

  • As a first-wave blogger, I delighted in the freshness, cameraderie, and community-building that online writing presented, and its seemingly limitless opportunity to create and connect. It is a different world now (so quickly!), one of sponsors, “influencers,” “content,” and “platforms,” of SEO and TLDR. My blogs remain up as an archive, but that’s about it. Yours was one of my models for sheer delight and beauty, and I will miss it. But thank you for modeling how to explore and evolve in humility and grace. “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often .”–John Henry Newman

  • I’ve no idea how i stumbled across your blog in 2005, way over the other side of the world in Melbourne Australia. But I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the journey and the discoveries that you and your teams have brought me over so many years. When I fell out of touch with you while being consumed by babies, each time i found you again was instantly refreshing.
    Thank you especially for featuring ‘normal’ people, as well as better known design folk. Thank you for championing women. Thank you for championing people of colour. Each essay, home tour and trend has helped me evolve and open up to the world around me, and I’m so very grateful for it.
    Go well.

  • Dear Grace—It’s taken awhile for your news to sink in, but now that it has, I want to thank you and your team (Garrett! Sofia! Kelli! Lauren! Erin!) for 10 plus years of joy! Most Saturday mornings I drank my coffee and read through your posts that I had purposefully not accessed during the week, saving them for those wonderful weekend mornings. I will miss you all! I have learned so much about design from you. I am not a “creative” but I do want to create a space that is calm, inspiring, and unexpected. One of my favorite early posts was the plywood bed frame on top of concrete blocks, where shoes could be stored. That post inspired me to turn an ( unwanted) flatscreen tv box into a headboard, which is still going strong 8 years later! Just a few other ideas to share. I grew up in a time when a woman’s professional career options were to be eg a doctor (my sister) or a lawyer (me). But your In the Company of Women suggests so many other possibilities that I have given it to my daughters and their friends. It is brilliant and I hope it inspires them to consider all the possibilities open to them! Well done! Second, I now have the income to subscribe to magazines, and I do subscribe to a few. Design Sponge was so tasteful, that I would have gladly paid a reasonable price for access, as I do for newspapers. Just a thought as you all are thinking about your next steps. Finally, I have given both my daughters Julia’s cookbook. It is full of great and tasty ideas. I will miss you all more than I can say but I thank you for Design Sponge and I wish you the best in the years to come. Xoxo

  • Sorry to hear that this is the last year but thank you so much for years of inspiration and great content. Looking forward to this year!

  • Hi Grace,

    My name is Michelle and I am Black American writer and blogger. I just wanted to say that you inspired other bloggers outside the design space in your ability to create a business from your blog. I’ve always admired you and wish you well on your next journey. Take care :)

  • Design Sponge, Thank you for being a huge inspiration for me throughout the years. There were times that I was so lost as an artist and a writer, and reading and skimming through your content really gave me the push and inspiration that i needed. I wish you could stay a little bit longer, but to everyone who’s been a huge inspiration for me, and to the world, good luck on your next adventure and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

  • Grace and everyone from D*S, thank youuuu.. You changed our life massively <3 Please move on from a blog to a youtube channel :) You'll find peace there.. Love you!