Home and Garden

Wanting Again On Classes Realized – Design*Sponge


It feels like a lifetime ago, sitting in the newsroom on my previous job in the newsroom, flipping through Design * Sponge, and enjoying the inspiration that came from beautiful home tours, DIY projects, and the like. Two things that have always struck me about D * S – even from the beginning of my time when I read faithfully about 11 years ago – were the sense of belonging that I felt and the community that came with the site was. These two ideas could be summed up as the same thing at a glance, but I assure you that it is not.

The Community From doers, creatives, design lovers, do-it-yourselfers (or first-timers), future business owners – the list goes on and on – is this strong current that has kept D * S on its toes over the years. We all keep coming back, whether every day or once a week or once a month, to learn something new, to see a fascinating home or to look for inspiration. The Sense of belonging I felt – what I’ve learned over time after speaking to so many of you and all of my teammates is a common feeling – that we are totally in our love for all creative things and come here to feel safe about our self-expression and our curiosity.

Since joining the team, that sense of belonging has only grown and I’ve been able to fill a book with the lessons I’ve learned in almost six years on the other side. My biggest gain from the time I’ve spent here is this The world around you is always so much bigger, more dynamic and more diverse than the one you experience every day. Opening our eyes, hearts, and minds to others to hear their story – or to see what “home” means to them – will always lead to greater understanding and connection. Life is about connection. The rest is just stuff.

In the thousands (yes, thousands) of posts I’ve edited in my time here, it’s very difficult to pick a favorite that I’ve read. But one thing that always comes to mind and is still very timeless is Grace’s essay: “There are no rules: What we believe in design.” As for the posts I’ve written, my all-time favorite is “Praise to a home: How to say goodbye to a place with memories ”. The reason this is of paramount importance to me is twofold: It gave me a place where I could understand and let go of the feelings I had associated with my grief, and it gave me a community (to this day) that feels just like me. This post has generated so many comments from others going through the same thing or sharing their grief stories with me and I was incredibly grateful for their openness and sincerity. It’s that sense of belonging and community again at work: the feeling of not being alone.

I asked my dear teammates to share with me their greatest accomplishments at work for D * S and their favorite posts that they have read and / or written. I hope you enjoy looking more closely at what we learned and loved in this place where we all felt so lucky to be able to work. – Kelli

Above picture by Penelope Dullaghan


Largest snack: “I’ve learned to say what you mean, what you say, but don’t say it. Period.”

Favorite post you’ve read: “My favorite post, though it’s so hard to choose, is the one Grace wrote,“ What We Believe: The Design * Sponge Mission Statement, ”because for me it was a turning point where our values ​​came and the The “perfect” bubble burst in a clear and powerful way. I needed that personally at the time. This has allowed me to make my own list of things that I think I will update every year or as needed! “

Favorite post you wrote: “My own written contribution is my ‘The One Piece: The Sea Green Table at the End of the Rainbow’ because it’s so warm and nostalgic when I return to the restaurant business in my Small Town Post Design * Sponge. The circle is coming full circle and I can’t wait to bring my D * S-Mojo into my new position as kitchen manager at Town Run Tap House & Community Pub.

Illustration above by Viola Guerrero


Largest snack: “My greatest advantage is that you get out of a community what you have entered. I’ve learned over the years to moderate comments (and leave my own) that if you listen first you will ask questions and stay open to understand those of others. In your view, you (and your entire community) will be better on. And this community has kept me going for so many years – and I’m so grateful to everyone here. “

Favorite post you wrote: “One of my favorite posts that I got to write was trying to balance economic and financial needs personally and as a community. I tried to break up our support and issues for both box store design and indie design. It was tough and got a lot of strong reactions, but this type of dialogue is so important and what I have always tried to promote at D * S. “


Largest snack: “I’ve learned to look for the voices that aren’t being heard and give them a platform.”

Favorite post you wrote: “When I look back on my time with Design * Sponge, I’m very proud of our work with people with disabilities. It goes without saying that my favorite post I wrote was the one who started the initiative: “Decorating for your child with disabilities”. “

Favorite post you’ve read: “My favorite post we did was our ‘Living In: Fantastic Mr. Fox’ feature because it was the very first post I ever read on Design * Sponge. Who would have thought that I would work for D * S four years after reading ?! “

Pictured above from Rachel Fox Kipphut


Largest snack: “Thanks to everyone who trusted me to share their homes and stories, I am leaving this experience so much fuller with my heart than at the beginning. I am also so proud to have had the opportunity to be part of something good. Instead of telling people what mistakes to avoid, what trends to follow or to forget about, the underlying motto was to celebrate all people and all homes as they are. That is what makes D * S so special. From a personal point of view, I’ve learned that I can do a lot more than I ever thought. “

Favorite post you wrote: “Sarah Andrews and Captains Rest, their cottage in Tasmania, is special to me. I’ll go ahead and just say it – I really like writing! As someone who has never dreamed of being a writer, I can proudly pat myself on the back and say I did a good job. Needless to say, Sarah’s amazing story, talent, and creative eye are the real reasons this post has become so wonderful. “

Favorite post you’ve read: “I loved Kelli’s ‘Anatomy of a Home Tour’ where we went behind the scenes to show readers how our home tours actually come about. It’s real and honest, qualities that we have focused on in all of our posts and stories. “

Pictured above by Sarah Andrews


Largest snack: “What I learned from Design * Sponge as a reader and then as a writer is that we are all looking for similar things. We feel connected by the warmth of the houses and are drawn to the function of the design. We share similar backgrounds and interests. In the 13 years I’ve been associated with Design * Sponge, I can always know that I’m not alone. As an introvert, it is important to know that you are not alone, and every time there was a new post it brought readers a little closer. In the comments and then connect to social media, find yourself there too to follow. It introduced me to some of my best friends. It also taught me never to shy away from color in your home. Some of the most beautiful homes are full of colors and patterns.

Favorite post you wrote: “One of my favorite posts I wrote was ‘The Art of Collecting’.”

Pictured above by Ann Wood


Largest snack: “How deeply people can connect with an online presence and how meaningful this presence can become in a person’s life. Grace IS Design * Sponge, but the website as a whole has also filled an important part in many of the lives of our readers. “

Favorite post you’ve read: “Every contribution to Design * Sponge was different. But I think I like the home tour Erin wrote about her mother, “How My Mom’s Aesthetics Inspired My Love of Design” because of the hundreds (thousands?) Of books on shelves, moving under her weight and wedged in the house , seemed perfect with the story of her career and what she lived for. Everything was just … perfect and pleased with her performance. It seemed to fit her life seamlessly and like a glove. The same is true of the home in “In New Jersey, an 1890s House Recognizing Black Heritage,” as owners Kiyanna Stewart and Jannah Handy seem to strike the perfect balance between history and constant change in the pieces they choose that seamlessly reflect their lives and interests, mixed with other pieces. I loved it.”

Favorite post you wrote: “Although the styling wasn’t the best, the contribution with the late Jonathan Gold’s favorite recipe, Spaghetti alla Gricia. It was always exciting when I called well-known people in the grocery store to find their favorite recipe and they answered. He was kind, supportive, and went with everything people said about him. I’m glad we got him on the column. “

Above picture by Kiyanna Stewart & Laquan Brinson-St.Pierre


Largest snack: “I learned a lot about self-expression during my time at Design * Sponge. I’ve always been shy about sharing my point of view – be it on design or social issues. Grace and my D * S teammates, whether they noticed or not, gave me tools to use my voice and stand behind it. I have rooms with green closets, rooms with pink walls, and the ability to have vulnerable conversations without people losing my perspective. “

Favorite post you have read / written: “I think my favorite contributions to reading and writing were the essays.”


Robert Dunfee