If you're looking to spruce up your home or give it a major make-over, chances are you'll want to conduct some research before you even think about taking out your wallet. These days, we don't have to hop from store to store to see what we want, we can visit interior design-related websites to find the latest trends or to scout out a specific item that speaks to our hearts. These six websites have been chosen because they represent some of the very best, curated interior design sites around. Look to them to help you find that perfect piece or to give you that much needed inspiration to get your home improvement projects off the ground.
Design*Sponge is a beautiful designed blog run by Brooklyn-based writer, Grace Bonney. Called a “Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials” by The New York Times, this site lives up to those kinds of accolades by giving its readers sneak peeks into beautiful homes and showing inspiring before-and-after shots of home improvement projects. With over 75,000 unique daily visitors, Design*Sponge is the most popular design site on the web.
Tip: Grace Bonney recently released a book called Design*Sponge at Home which has been called “a home decor bible.” Within the book, you'll find home tours of 70 real-life interiors, 50 DIY projects, and 50 before-and-after makeovers. With over 700 color photos, you're guaranteed to find some inspirational interiors here. It will be out on September 6, 2011. You can pre-order it now on Amazon.
2. Design Milk
With over 330k Twitter followers and over 500k subscribers, Jaime Derringer's Design Milk is one of the most popular and well-known design sites around. Started in 2006, Design Milk can always be counted on for bringing new and interesting modern design ideas to the forefront. Aside from breaking the latest trends, Design Milk has a number of regular columns like Get Out! which focuses on all things outdoors including grills, outdoor kitchens and modern outdoor textiles.
Tip: Recently, Design Milk partnered with Dwell magazine to show some exclusive home tours from the Dwell on Design event in Los Angeles. Dwell used the same curatorial eye that informs what you see in the pages of their magazine to select the dozen homes in and around Los Angeles. Check out these gorgeous homes for some incredible interior design inspiration!
With a focus on interior design and architecture, Freshome is the ultimate website for the design enthusiast. Started by Romania-based Micle Mihai-Cristian, this blog shows off amazing design ideas in a wide range of spaces – from Scandinavian flats to New York penthouses. Fresh Home has categories that include places within a house like the bedroom, kitchen and living room, so it's easy to find exactly what you're looking for.
Tip: Make sure to check out their Best Of section to see popular projects and custom lists of new trends in home design.
4. Apartment Therapy
Back in April 2004, author and interior designer, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, founded Apartment Therapy with his brother Oliver Ryan to help people make their homes more beautiful, organized and healthy. As one of the most popular and influential design blogs in the country, Apartment Therapy speaks to a wide, enthusiastic audience because of its inherent belief that “simplicity and luxury are not mutually exclusive.” Come here to find interior design inspiration from real homes in major metropolitan cities and everywhere in between.
Tip: If you've got a burning question that you just need to get answered, you can do a few things. First, check their Good Questions section to see if others have already asked it. If it's pretty specific, email the question with pictures to the editors of Apartment Therapy at [email protected]. Just remember, those with pictures get answered first!
5. Desire to Inspire
Desire to Inspire is run by two women from across the world; while one lives in Brisbane, Australia, the other resides in Ottawa, Canada. It's their genuine love and passion for interior design that brought them together but it's their commitment to bringing their viewers the most beautifully designed spaces that makes this blog leaps and bounds above the rest. (Martha Stewart's editors have even included Desire to Inspire in Martha's Circle, calling it one of the Web's leading lifestyle blogs.) Visit Desire to Inspire to peek inside modern homes, get to know interior designers and decorators or to find a home decorating style that suits you the most.
Tip:If you tend to gravitate toward the design aesthetic of one blogger over the other, you can follow their posts separately by clicking on Jo's Page or Kim's Page.
Cococozy is a well-curated interior design blog that's run by a mysterious Los Angeles-based executive by the name of Coco who has immaculate taste. Started in 2008, this website stands out because you can feel Coco's genuine love and passion for design and decor in every one of her posts. Come to Cococozy to see a mix of great styles, from modern to traditional; but mostly, visit Cococozy if you're a fan of that fresh and clean feeling. If our recommendation is not enough, here's one from design extraordinaire Jonathan Adler, “Coco is a dear friend whose blog showcases the chicest pads.”
Tip: In October 2009, Coco launched her own line of linen pillows, home accessories and furniture. If you're looking to jazz up your house with some beautiful pillow, throws, or curtains, check out her lovely shop.
Which sites are we missing? Which ones do you visit for interior design inspiration?