Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Top 10 Picks for Best Design Websites and Blogs

Trying to limit this list to 10 was VERY difficult.  I found that emphasizing local blogs (VA/MD/DC) was important, but I also wanted to expose some unusual blogs that may not be on everyone's design radar.  

I love ALL design, especially French, and my taste can run from Shabby Chic to Ultra-Modern, Swedish to 50's Retro, and everything in between all in one day.  I enjoy all things creative and inspiring in this world.

Well, it’s now time to get the creative juices flowing again! Want to kick-start those ideas that have been rattling around in the back of your mind? These sites should get the old heart pumping again. Check them out:

French Essence Blog Yes, I am a Francophile, and this is a fascinating and fun blog all about France and all things French: food, fashion, interiors, travel, restaurants, shops, books and more. True to the spirit of the French lifestyle.

DC BY DESIGN  I grew up in and around D.C. most of my life. This is one of my favorite design blogs. Local architecture and interiors in our nation’s capital are covered along with features on area designers that are up-and-coming, design shows, shops, anything new and interesting on the local design scene. Founded by Jennifer Sergent, a news reporter who was previously affiliated with HGTV and Food Network, and her husband, Jim Sergent, who is in charge of graphics. A very well-written blog filled with loads of local design information.

Things That Inspire  Out of Atlanta, a great blog for discovering beautiful interiors, architecture and art inspirations. This blog has been cited by the Washington Post as a design blog of the week 10 separate times. Check it out.

Design*Sponge  This is fun and a very well known daily blog! A young, hip resource created by Grace Bonny with user-generated and Grace's fresh takes on interior design, architecture, textiles, garden and many types of DIY (lots of before & after photos, which are a favorite of mine). Creative storage solutions, painting techniques, crafts and unique ideas for designing in small spaces. Pure delight!

Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic Lovely is the word I would use for Rachel. I credit Rachel Ashwell (but Martha too) for fanning the flames of design in my heart back in the 80’s and Rachel’s blog is always beautiful to look at as well as to read. Lots of pure whites, fluffy chairs, serene decor, crystal chandeliers, party ideas, and lots of how-to’s on a wide array of design subjects. She gets my vote for a most serene, personal and thoughtful blog.

Design Milk If you are unfamiliar with what’s happening in modern design, this is a great online magazine dedicated to modern design and contemporary trend-spotting. They focus on what is currently fresh and new in art, architecture, interior design, furniture and decor, fashion, and technology.

The Storque: Etsy’s Handmade Blog  If you are looking for inspiring crafty projects, how-tos and handmade anything, this is a beautiful site to click through. User-friendly and lots of fun to scroll through for ideas for your home.

Home & Design  Up-to-date information and expert advice on local luxury homes and fine interiors in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. They answer questions like how to find an interior designer that fits your style and needs, what kind of finishes work best and all sorts of other design problems.

Apartment Therapy DC They “save the world, one room at a time,” by covering the design scene in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and D.C. Small-space solutions, gardens, unique home décor finds, you name it.

Design World (a.k.a. dsgnWrld)  I have a penchant for anything European, and these folks cover literally the WORLD of design, in a colorful format. Some in-depth articles and shorter blogs on architecture, product design, interior design, graphic design, furniture, fashion, jewelry and books.

Happy Surfing!  

Joanie Ballard

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