As a design resource, 1stdibs is a treasure trove of inspiration. I love being able to shop sources all over the world for everything from furniture and jewelry to fashion and lighting. When shopping for clients, I can focus on specific categories, like antiques. In addition to everything you can put in a home, 1stdibs features homes themselves. Looking for an estate in the French countryside or a luxury high rise apartment in the city? You can find it on 1stdibs! There are so many unique and beautiful things from a huge variety of dealers. I never get tired of browsing this site.
With the site’s latest updates, it has become even more interactive, making it an incredible tool. When you create an account with 1stdibs, you can save items to your virtual portfolio to make them easy to find for future reference. Even if the items in your portfolio are purchased, they stay there for you to refer to, be inspired by, or simply covet.
Shopping online isn’t always the best option. Being able to see an object in person, touch it, and get a truly accurate idea of colors and textures can be an important part of finding just the right piece. The 1stdibs New York Design Center, located at 200 Lexington Ave., is a mecca of design, filled with curated booths and the opportunity to check things out in person.
If you’re not already using 1stdibs, you won’t regret setting up an account now. You can also find them on Facebook, where they feature specific objects, hold giveaways, and highlight designers.
There are so many online magazines, blogs, storefronts, and websites dedicated to the world of interior design that it’s often a daunting task to find a consistently reliable source of information and inspiration. Add into that the possibilities of social media and apps, and the idea of staying on top of changing technology and online resources begins to feel like a full time job! Like any other resource, however, the internet is something each of us can find just the right way to use depending on our needs. As a designer, there are six online resources I find myself regularly using for different reasons. Throughout the upcoming year, I know I will utilize these sites and tools to enhance my business and the options I can offer to my clients.
2. Interiors Magazine An international design magazine, Interiors is a unique voice among design publications, featuring designers and products I don’t often see in other magazines. Their website allows you to browse digital versions past issues and is great for sourcing product. For example, I discovered Kyle Bunting Rugs in Interiors Magazine and am really excited to keep them in mind for future clients.
3. 1st Dibs I could submerge myself for hours in 1st Dibs. Once a source for great furniture and lighting, you can now shop for jewelry, vintage fashion, and even real estate. With designer highlights and options for shopping local, 1st Dibs is a worldwide market you can browse without ever leaving your home or office.
4. Pinterest Pinterest is a great organizational tool for categorizing thoughts and ideas. I love seeing what other people are doing as well! Having the Pin It button right on my toolbar makes it easy to go back to products and inspiration I find anywhere on the web.
5. Color River App from House Beautiful Color River is a beautifully done app that I have on my iPad. It’s a great tool to use with clients for choosing color and coordinating palettes.
6. Dering Hall Dering Hall is a favorite source of high end furniture and products from a huge collection of designers and storefronts. Users can follow favorite designers, browse portfolios, and read about current design trends and happenings in the DH Blog.
Quintessence is a lifestyle blog I really enjoy. Written by Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence focuses on “those special discoveries that make life just that much better.” After working as an art director in NYC for 17 years, Stacey left that world to raise her four children in Connecticut. She then created Quintessence to continue to say involved in every aspect of the world of design and fashion. Stacey attends design, lifestyle, and fashion events, and then blogs about them to bring the experience to her readers. She also shares content on topics from art to movies and food to books, meaning you’ll always find something new and interesting at Quintessence.
Quintessence appeals to me because it is very cultured. Stacey is worldly and involved and is always current on what’s happening. She really does her homework and is clearly knowledgeable. Her posts are interesting and relevant. Having had the opportunity to meet Stacey, I know she is a lovely lady, very passionate and direct!
One of my favorite Quintessence posts was about NIBA rugs. It jogged my memory of a source I had seen before but hadn’t logged into my mental catalog of go-to rugs. I am so excited to incorporate some of these rugs into my interiors!
A few years ago, Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen started a remodeling project that sparked a unique idea. After spending countless hours clipping ideas from magazines and books to plan their remodel, Tatarko and Cohen decided there must be a better way to gather ideas and plans in one place. Their desire for such a place led to the launch of Houzz, a website devoted to interior design, architecture, and home improvement. Since its launch in 2009, Houzz has grown to a collection of over half a million photos which have been used by members to create nearly two million idea books. The site has grown to include products, discussions, and networking to connect home owners with design professionals. Tatarko and Cohen certainly realized their goal of creating the perfect inspirational tool.
The beauty of Houzz, for me, is being able to accurately share my ideas and visions with general contractors, architects, and clients. It’s the perfect resource for articulating exactly the look, colors, and products I’m thinking of. It’s an unbelievable resource for finding inspiration and communicating ideas. It’s also user-friendly and simple to translate from an online idea to real-world use.
My own office will soon be renovated, and Houzz will definitely make it easier to share my ideas with my contractor. The office was originally home to a heating company and really has no character to speak of. I plan on using modern barns as an inspiration, creating an environment that isn’t overdone or distracting for clients, something subdued and tactful in design.
I’m trying to decide between a concrete floor and a beautiful, traditional wood floor. Adding both to my Houzz idea book makes it easy to go over options with the contractor as well as see how my various ideas play off each other.
I love the idea of using steel windows. It will definitely keep with the modern feel of my office while adding a unique touch and different texture to the space. I found great examples on Houzz!
For my fireplace, I want to go with a slab design. Each of the fireplace ideas I found on Houzz is very different in color, material, and texture, but they each convey the same smooth feeling from sleek lines. The truly difficult part is choosing between them!
Houzz even inspires accessories. Products listed on Houzz often include pricing and link directly to sources for buying. An idea book can include even small details or specific products, like these amazing shelves.
What would be in your Houzz idea book?
A few days ago while shopping for fabric in NYC, I found myself stopped short by a window display in the D&D building. The display included a stunning arrangement of vintage glassware and I had to know more about it. I learned that the display featured items from a shop on Hudson Street called The End of History.
The End of History opened in 1997. Since then, owner Stephen Saunders has amassed an amazing international collection of mid-century glass and ceramic ware. In fact, The End of History boasts the world’s largest collection of 50′s and 60′s glass in the world. Hand blown glass and rare ceramics All this vintage glassware is beautifully categorized by color, making shopping here a real experience. The store is impressively curated and staffed by friendly people who are more than happy to welcome shoppers drawn in by those glowing window displays.
In addition to the store, the End of History maintains a blog to showcase their glassware and describe where each piece originates. The blog features writing and photography by Daniel Petix with input from store proprietor Stephen Saunders. It’s a great way to browse the store’s offerings and learn about the history and styles of various glassware. The pieces range from funky to stunning, from unusual to sophisticated.
If you’re in New York, you can stop by The End of History at 548 1/2 Hudson Street or call them at (212)647-7598 to inquire about hours.
COCOCOZY is more than an excellent daily design blog. It’s certainly worth reading in its own right for functional and stylish design material, but what really caught my eye about COCOCOZY is the Shop.
The COCOCOZY shop offers textiles, from pillows to throws to table linens, gifts, vintage accessories, and other unique items. I especially like the textiles. The patterns are fun, quirky, and fresh with a simple graphic concept. Items like the pillows and table linens make great gifts; they are quick finds without being mainstream.
COCOCOZY featured a blog post a while back about the entire process of making a pillow, from the progression of the idea to the final product. This behind the scenes look at how a product is developed is just fascinating. Starting with a sketch, the blog follows the steps involved in bringing a design into being.
The photos only tell half the story. Visit COCOCOZY to view the full progression and read all of the details about how these beautiful pillows came to be. You can also find COCOCOZY on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
One of my favorite interior design blogs truly has something for everyone. Material Girls was founded by Emily Johnston Larkin of Dallas, Texas. With a team of contributors from across the country, readers can focus on trends near and far with a healthy dose of pop culture thrown in for good measure.
Material Girls also features tips on the best places to shop as well as great deals specific to certain cities. Dallas, Houston, Chicago, LA, and New York are all beautifully represented by contributors from various backgrounds, experiences, and design styles. In fact, Material Girls is like five fabulous blogs all rolled into one. With press and mentions by literally dozens and dozens of magazines and websites such as House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Apartment Therapy, La Dolce Vita, and countless others, Material Girls has a long-standing and well-deserved reputation as a great source of design inspiration. From textiles and furniture to hidden courtyards and stunning artwork, everything relevant to interior design from coast to coast has a place at Material Girls.
In 1988, after more than two decades of design experience with Parish Hadley Associates, Bunny Williams opened her own interior design company: Bunny Williams Incorporated. Her design style reflects her training in a classic, refined style. Known for perfectly balanced textures, patterns, and colors, Bunny’s designs look so appealing and effortless. Her focus and attention to detail show in all of her projects, from the living room to the garden. In fact, she co-owns a New York garden furniture and ornament shop called Treillage with antique dealer John Rosselli. Bunny also has her own line of home furnishings and accessories at Beeline Home.
Bunny and her design team work around the US and abroad. Her success is a tribute to the timeless appeal of her design style and, thanks to her blog Bunny’s Buzz, accessible and enjoyable by all. Loaded with visually charming photo collages featuring products, rooms, magazine spreads, and more, Bunny’s Buzz highlights many of the best things the world of interior design today. At the right side of the blog’s page are links to other blogs worth visiting so you will never find yourself with a shortage of amazing design inspiration!
Lonny Magazine, an online magazine and blog, is a fantastic resource and inspiration. While the magazine is “published” online bimonthly (soon to be monthly!), the blog is updated more often with design and lifestyle trends and finds. Between the two formats, you can always find something intriguing!
Launched in 2009 by designer Michelle Adams and photographer Patrick Cline, Lonny focuses on interesting interiors, bloggers, and current design trends. They strive to make incredible design accessible to their readers while introducing their favorite products and companies. The online format allows Lonny certain freedoms a print magazine can’t offer, such as the ability to click on an image to learn more about that project. Some articles even feature videos! User-friendly, visually interesting, and easy to share via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, Lonny is as pleasurable to flip through as a traditional print magazine.
The Lonny Blog features a team of several bloggers, each with their own contributing style. Focusing on everything from books to trends to art, colorful blog posts compliment the regular magazine content and give readers plenty of reasons to visit between issues.
In 2007, during a summer break from her former career as a high school Spanish teacher, Paloma Contreras of Houston, TX, founded her style blog La Dolce Vita. Since that time, she has attracted a worldwide readership and been featured in publications such as the New York Times, New York Magazine, Washington Post, Better Homes and Gardens, and many others.
The success of La Dolce Vita stems from Paloma’s “passion for the sweet life.” Blog posts focus on interior design, fashion, travel, and people, and are beautifully complimented with photographs. An impressive group of contributors, each with their own talents, interests, and perspectives, also provide material for La Dolce Vita. Along with guest bloggers and contributions from designers, Paloma and her team have created a blog that appeals to a variety of styles and tastes.