The 20 best interiors blogs
S ome of the best interiors inspiration is now to be found online. Gareth Wyn Davies rounds up our favourite blogs.
Ahern’s white-text-on-black-background blog looks as dramatic as the zeitgeisty interiors that she creates. Like them it is also intimate, with chatty tips (illustrated with lots of arresting pictures) on everything from hanging art to ‘zoning’ space, as well as trends and tricks of the trade.
A partment Therapy
No top 20 would be complete without that behemoth of blogs/forums, Apartment Therapy. Despite its size and reach – and it really is huge, with dizzyingly frequent updates, and posts from around the world – it retains a sense of community. It’s primarily pictorial, with the main feature being House Tours of hipsters’ homes, though it mixes these with practical tips.
T he Beat that My Heart Skipped
‘A blog dedicated to daily design inspirations’ reads the sub head. Which roughly translates as ‘nirvana for rubberneckers’. The aesthetic is pretty catholic: one day it might be an austerely simple Georgian country house, the next something mid-century modern in the south London suburbs.
It’s not just Ben Pentreath’s interiors shop in Bloomsbury, London, that we’ve fallen in love with; we’re huge fans of his charming blog and even more charming parsonage in Dorset, too. Gratifyingly for nosy types, the parsonage and its enchanting cottage-style garden often crop up in said blog. He’s a cultured so-and-so, is Pentreath, and even his most chatty posts have an erudite but self-deprecating edge.
Karine Candice is a French expat living in London who shares her inspirations, life and all-round creative ingenuity with the world via this blog. Go to the My Home section and sigh at the beauty of her residences (note the plural there). Then click on other links to check out the wonders she’s worked in different rooms – the naff old kitchen cupboards that she has transformed with black paint and a stainless-steel worktop, the charcoal-grey daughter’s nursery, the old pallet turned into a chic (no, really) coffee table.
Decor8 is the name on virtually every other interiors blogger’s blogroll, and with good reason. In six years it’s become such a popular design resource that its American founder, Holly Becker, now has a bestselling spin-off book to her name and is a regular on the lecture circuit.
E mma’s Designblogg
This Stockholm-based blogger is nothing if not prolific. You could lose yourself for hours in all her archived pages. There aren’t too many words (and those that there are, are English rather than Swedish), just photograph after photograph of beautiful interiors best described as Scandi-rustic. A must for anyone seeking design inspiration or simply to get out of chores.
F amille Summerbelle
If you didn’t know that Julie, the Frenchwoman who blogs (in English) under the name Famille Summerbelle, was a designer of prints, textiles and interiors accessories, you’d guess pretty sharpish. The way that photographs are artfully grouped according to their subjects’ form, pattern or colour is a bit of a giveaway. Fans of the artist Rob Ryan would do well to follow the link on the blog to a shop selling her work.
H abitually Chic
‘Glamorous Lives Stylish Places’ is the tagline to this utterly compelling blog from a New York interior designer, a woman of unashamedly uptown taste, both modern, slightly Mad Men uptown and the more traditional. She’ll post photos of everything from the late Jackie O’s swag-tastic Fifth Avenue apartment to her own well-stocked dressing-room. Yes, it’s that fabulous.
J onathan Adler’s Musings
Slightly bonkers musings (or what he calls ‘deep and not-so-deep thoughts from the brain of Jonathan Adler’) that take in all manner of subjects, from the importance of the colour orange to, erm, his obsession with pill-shaped homeware. It’s gloriously madcap and just a bit camp, as you might expect from the king of modern-kitsch interiors.
A must for anyone who has ever dreamt of restoring an old home, or is in the throes of doing so. It’s written by an interiors journalist who is slowly but lovingly bringing a 260-year-old place in New England back to life. Expect regular updates about historically correct shutters and fireplaces, along with photographs of freshly Farrow Balled rooms, and other home-related stuff besides.
OK, not strictly speaking a blog, but this bi-monthly online magazine earns its place in our list for one very good reason: its visual appeal makes it just as addictive as all the rest of them. From some of the people behind the late, lamented American interiors magazine Domino, it showcases the nattiest homes Stateside – bright, quirky, and often bearing distinct shades of the 1960s and 1970s. Beware one great, though quite possibly dangerous, tool: hover your mouse over something that catches your eye in a featured interior and it will tell you where you can buy the very same or similar.
No, not that Miss Moss, but a South African champion blogger called Diana who says simply that she ‘likes sharing rad things that are nice to look at’. The living section, featuring often breathtakingly beautiful houses, is pure joy.
M y Friend’s House
A joint venture between two friends/interiors writers from south London. They’ve an unerring eye for the tastefully offbeat and cover everything from foreign fleamarkets visited to the rights and wrongs of black wall paint. They’re not shy of posting photographs of their own homes every now and then, generally when pondering some decorating dilemma. Will one of the friends go with the fabulous Cole Son Palm Leaves wallpaper in her hall? Will the other ever find the perfect grey paint for her sitting-room?
T he New Victorian Ruralist
James Snowden is an interior decorator, shopkeeper and, as he styles himself, ‘blog curator’ based in Kentucky. This last might sound a teeny bit precious, but don’t let it put you off. He’s a blogger of few words but many beautiful pictures of things that have caught his eye – furniture and curios that are gently distressed, and interiors of an almost ethereal stillness. It is all seductively soulful and makes you want to hop on a plane to visit his shop with a fistful of dollars.
Griffo, the graphic designer behind this largely pictorial blog, is a typography nut and ardent fan of modernism – the mid-century Scandi sort not the cold, clinical kind. Cue lots of photographs of warmly textured interiors, especially at the end of the week when he uploads his ‘Friday Feast’ of the houses and rooms he’s currently drooling over. Watch out, too, for the odd guest appearance by his Swansea flat whenever he and his boyfriend take delivery of an Eames classic to add to their not inconsiderable collection.
How best to sum up the sudden craze that is Pinterest? Erm, weird but also kind of addictive? More forum than blog in the truest sense, it describes itself as an online pinboard, which sort of says it really. It’s like Facebook for people who are really into their moodboards and are narcissistic enough to think that the rest of us care what they’re digging at the moment. Which we do, of course! Keep posting, people, and we’ll keep muttering to ourselves, ‘What was she thinking when she decided to “pin” those awful glass-decanter light shades?’
One woman’s obsession with surface pattern in blog form. It doesn’t matter whether it’s wallpaper, fabric, tableware, illustrations or stationery – if it bears a cool print, the cuter the better, you can guarantee she’ll be on to it.
Toddy Selby captures creative types from around the world at home or in their studios, and his phenomenally successful blog (we’re talking 55,000-plus-hits-a-day successful) has spawned a whole genre of similar studiedly unstudied interiors photography. His shoots are still far and away the best, in our opinion.
S F Girl by Bay
Slightly cryptic name for what is a brilliant blog. Victoria Smith, the San Francisco girl in question, describes herself as ‘a photographer, stylist, design junkie and fleamarket queen’. Think airy interiors with a modern-bohemian bent.