I had the pleasure of going to the Design*Sponge book signing here in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. I was very excited to meet Grace Bonney, and have her sign the book I preordered!
I was late of course. Actually, I drove by it on time, but it took me 15 mins to find parking. Funnily enough, it was at the anthropologie that is closest to my house by miles, but I have never been to it. Why? Because it is in Beverly Hills, and even though Sherman Oaks is a border city, the fastest way to get there is to take canyons and if you want to park anywhere it will cost you in both time and money. I’d rather drive the extra miles on the freeways to Glendale or Topanga for my anthro fix. Although, now that I’ve been there I can tell they have a large selection of merchandise, so it might be nice to pop over there when there is no traffic and there might be parking. But still. East Valley wants an anthro people! Put it next to our UO. Thanks. ♥
I always enjoy anthropologie’s displays. Even Tyler does! We both routinely take photos of them. I think I’ve already said this here somewhere, but anthro is my favorite store, and has been since I was FIFTEEN (when all my peers were like OMG Contempo! Wet Seal! Forever 21! … Forever was totally different in the 90s ppl), and I walked into the flagship store on 3rd street. I don’t even know how many were around then, but it was 1997, or maybe 98. I felt like someone had walked into my brain, determined my aesthetic turned it into a store. Finally a store for ME, except, totally not in a 15 year old’s budget (and not really in this just-turned-29-the-other-day’s budget either…). I still have the first thing I ever bought from there — years after first walking into the store — a green pinstriped skirt. In college, my decision to choose visual anthropology as a second major may have even been 1% influenced by this store… (but mostly, I think it was because I had a similar “it’s like they are in my brain!” moment when I took my first anthro class). My dream while-in-college job was to be an anthro display artist, but alas, I got stuck as a waitress (see below). So, naturally I had to take in the displays here, and don’t you love that fringe at the top of those walls?! Made out of jersey, probably just from old T-shirts bought at a thrift store or something. Jersey does that wonderful bending thing at the edges that makes it drape so nicely when it has a raw edge (if you know anything about knitting, you know you can’t straight knit the right side with out it curling—this is called a “jersey” knit), which is why it lends itself so well to those cool fabric necklaces. Of course, I just thought of doing this sort of treatment on the projector wall in my house, and I see it at anthro before I can get around to doing it, but whatevs. Confetti System’s influence is really going strong! I’ve also ben thinking about stenciling our pendant table in the kitchen. It is horribly scratched and since it will be our main “dining” table, it needs some love! I was happy to see this idea in action at anthro…
Andy Richards was also there with a few of her friends, and so we got to design-geek out together. I saw Joy Cho right before I left, who was looking gorgeous and adorably pregnant, but I totally chickened out of having a photo taken with her, or even saying hello! I didn’t want to come off like a stalker… I suppose I’m much more star stuck by the internet famous designers than celebrities. I was a waitress at a famous biker restaurant, The Rock Store, on Mullholland. I waited on James Cameron, Ewan McGreggor, Arnold Swarz., have given “Jay” his coffee, etc… well, I could go on all day about all the celebrity connections to my family and my life (connections which pretty much everyone in LA has), but needless to say, despite all of these comfortable interactions with well known celebrities I get much more excited about being in the presence of design stars (and possibly J.K. Rowling–what is she keeping from us in her head?!). And I also understood that Joy is pregnant, and might be uncomfortable and doesn’t want to be hounded by admirers. But mostly I chickened out… And did I chat with Grace? Nope! I just think about how she must be tired and talked out. I’m probably not giving her enough credit though, because really—she’s doing a book tour! I’m sure she wants to chat with people! Andy asked if I mentioned my features and of course I didn’t! What if she didn’t remember? She can’t be expected to recall everything that has been on her site. It would be embarrassing for both of us… This is totally the only thing I am shy about. Really, I’m a confident woman, honest! >.<
Anyway, the book! Is it too obvious to say love this book? Well, too bad. I love it. The first thing I noticed about it is it has a beautiful gold foil illustration on the cover. It has hundreds of pages of house tours, every one with details as inspiring as the last. It also has pages of DIY projects! But I would have to say my personal favorite thing about this book is the flower workshop! Okay, can you handle more background info? For some reason this post is full of it… I’ve done floral arrangements a few times in my life; when I was in college and working a production artist for an event design company, I would get called into the floral department periodically when help was needed. I would say about a third of my time was spent there! Also, my aunt and uncle own a by appointment only flower shop on little Santa Monica across from the Peninsula hotel (very close to where this book signing was). I helped them do my sister’s wedding flowers, and then I did my own wedding flowers. But when I bring home flowers from Trader Joes I am never pleased with my arrangements, so I find the flower workshop section very useful! It has all sorts of tips on vases, fillers, textures, and instructions on how to make virtually any arrangement possible! There is also great DIY basics section with guides for everything from rewiring a lamp, sewing tips, and how to paint furniture, and a guide to assessing your used furniture which I have already put into action. There is also a terrarium how-to which I will SO be doing soon. :)
This book, along with the Domino book, is a book that everyone should have in their home. These home tours are not the homes of the rich and famous; they are mostly the homes of everyday people, who have lovingly filled their homes with everyday objects. And that is what is so wonderful about it, and about what I believe the internet has done for interior design. We are no longer subject to thinking that our homes are not beautiful if they don’t look like they got spit out of a catalogue or if they don’t look like the houses of the rich and famous. The internet gives us glimpses into more and more homes, whereas before how many real homes did you see? Even out of all the people you know, whose homes have you actually been inside of? With websites like Design*Sponge, we see multiple real homes a day, and we realize all can have a beautiful home! (I do wonder if this will fuel “fast-fashion” in the home though…)
Check out the trailer for the book. I don’t know if I’m just emotional right now, or it’s the song, but I totally almost choked up watching it.