Inspired By…Grace Bonney, design*sponge

Grace Bonney is a dedicated and passionate cataloger of modern design. Her blog, design*sponge, is a contagious, inspired read, not to mention influential. And though she blogs daily about high design she has a down-to-earth sensibility that comes across in her writing. Hailing from my home state of Virginia, but currently residing in NYC, she has a roots-driven love for bluegrass music, down home cooking and of course artfully crafted goods. Below she talks about a few things that are currently inspiring her.


What music are you listening to these days?

I think I always have an AC Newman or New Pornographer’s Album on repeat, but I’m also listening to a lot of a bluegrass band called The Corduroy Road and a folk singer named Ian Hall. They’re playing at our wedding and I’m totally hooked. I also dragged out my old Stevie Wonder ‘Talking Book’ album the other day- that album can do no wrong in my book.


Read any good books lately?

Good writing? Not necessarily, but I just tore through the full series of Sookie Stackhouse novels that the HBO show ‘True Blood’ is based on. I have this weird thing about vampire books and movies- I just love them. I read all 8 books in about 2 weeks so they’ve been a fun way to escape computer-land for a while.

Have a yummy recipe to share?

This is a really, really old family recipe on my Mom’s side of the family. It’s this incredible sweet mustard glaze that’s perfect for winter roasts or any sort of meat- it’s especially delicious on ham (cooked, sandwich meat or cold sliced). When it’s cold out I always return to recipes that remind me of holiday meals with my family.

Grandma Ellison’s Mustard Sauce:

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Dry Mustard
  • 1 Egg
  • Vinegar- to taste

Mix ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly (with a wire whisk, preferably). Add vinegar or more sugar until the balance is suitable to your taste- it should be a nice balance of sweet and sour. When done, pour through strainer to remove any egg whites that have congealed. Store in fridge.


What is inspiring you at the moment?

Hand painted signs. I’m really loving the elegant painted fonts that I saw on old signs in Savannah,GA. We just got back from a weekend there and I fell in love with the way people used to paint signs straight on the front of their buildings with such attention to detail. I keep collecting old boxes or photos of signs that use hand painted cursive fonts.


What projects are you currently working on?

I’m finishing up the Design by the Book video series I did with the New York Public Library, but mainly I’m planning our April wedding. It’s a lot of work so that’s taking up all my time right now.

Thank you Grace for the interview and for your unwavering spotlight on emerging designers!

Photo Credits:
Courduroy Road
Savannah Signs & Hand Painted Lettering
Design By the Book Product by Lorena Barrezueta

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