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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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