Yes, it’s true. As much as I love to read, and as much as I love reading blogs about books, I really really love good DIY design. You see, design used to be relegated to stiff, wealthy women with bouffant hairdos and lots of jewelry, but in this day and age, anyone can design. I love it. Since I was in high school, perusing through Martha Stewart’s Living (my wonderful mom bought me a subscription for my birthday), I would pull pages out of magazines and stash them away for the day I had my own space. I have a binder full of these pages, separated by decor, gardening, recipes, things-I-must-have-someday-when-I-have-money, and gift ideas.
Living in apartments, I would hunt for pieces for that place I knew would be mine someday. Lo and behold, here I am, one year and four months into homeownership, and I am a design blog junkie. In the mornings – that is, before summer school began – I would wake up and bleary-eyed, sit at the computer for my daily dose of design. Design blogs, for me, don’t even require words (unless to share where and how much an item is). I click and drool. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been too busy even to look at design blogs, but last night I sat here for quite some time, clicking through and catching up on what I missed.
What? you may say. This is supposed to be a book blog. Well, yes, and the book part is coming, but I appreciate beauty in many forms, and making a lovely space for me to enjoy reading or just sitting and petting my dog is pretty darn important to me. Enter domino: The Book of Decorating. For those in the know, domino was a fabulous design magazine published from 2005 until last year. Their style was laidback, mostly affordable, and just darn great. I like eclectic, and that’s what domino offered me. Bye bye, hunter green and lots of brass. So long sailboats and themed rooms. When interior design became something for the masses, something truly amazing happened. Vintage came back. Boho chic arrived on scene. Dumpster diving and flea market finds are now all the rage. Etsy is a huge phenomenon. So when domino came out with the book and I saw it at anthropologie, it was the perfect marriage. The cover is absolutely lovely:
More importantly, the inside is full of incredible photos and tips. Each section is broken up by room type and features large spaces, small spaces, trouble spots, etc. There is a decorators’ handbook, which discusses window treatments and upholstery, answering all sorts of questions, such as “Should I hang my curtains above my beautifully-trimmed windows or below?” Yes, this is actually something I never considered but needed to know when hanging curtains. They also discuss rugs – sizes, types, locations. In the very back is what they term “the big black book,” a source for finding the best decorating resources all over the states.
I love this book oh so much. It sits on my coffee table in the living room, but I regularly pick it up for inspiration. I am now to the point in my home that mostly everything is decorated but needs finishing touches. Hopefully, the money I earn from teaching these killer summer sessions will pay off, and I can go back to finding some great pieces and finishing projects I have wanted to start for months. In the meantime, I will “flip through the pages” for you and show you some of my favorite domino rooms. And, to the creators of domino, thank you; maybe when the recession is over you’ll make a comeback? Pretty please?
As for my favorite design sites, here are a few of my favorites based on style, economics (i.e. can I ever afford it?), quantity of projects/photos, and tone of writing. You’d be surprised how many design bloggers come across as snooty or whose designs are just not really that great. Here are the best I’ve found so far: