I’ve been reading blogs FOREVER, like 10 years (yes, I love the irony in that) and there are times when I know i’m just checking them because I always have. But lately (as in the last year) I’ve found some new ones (new to me) that you all should know and they are doing a lot of things really, really right.
These blogs bridge the gap between DIY blogs (which can be smart and resourceful, with lots of information and process shots but often not the best styling or inspiring photographs) and Interiors blogs or web-sites (which can have pretty photographs but often not a lot of information or process). To find blogs that have great ideas, information and pretty styling and photography is super rare.
And from one blogger to another trust me that creating this content takes so much time, effort, money and brain cells. It’s a legit JOB, and these guys are killing it at their careers.
Rosa Beltran Design. She is an LA based designer (Silverlake in fact) that just does really beautiful attainable room makeovers. I found her during the ‘One Room Challenge’ thing that produced a lot of good work (and a lot of mediocre, as well, but that’s kinda the fun of it). This is what she did:
It was a modern Parisian theme, for her sister and the amount of DIY’s in here are actually hard to spot because they don’t look like they could possibly be DIY’d. Just so pretty taste and not all mid-century so it’s just so refreshing to see (especially in LA, and yes, I’m talking to myself right now). Nice job, Rosa. Please continue to kill it.
Next is Design Confidential. Rayan creates these crazy smart build plans for tons of pretty and simple furniture. She includes materials needed, costs, step by steps with tons of really intricate measurements that are VERY impressive. You would think that she had an architectural background but I’m pretty sure she is just really smart and good at things. These are some of my favorites:
But it’s not all renderings, nay. She does normal design/style posts with some secrets and lots of resources.
People make her projects and share them on her blog. I think that these two shots are of hers. If I were ever to be someone who builds furniture (which is exactly what I wanted to do 12 years ago) I would be so psyched that Rayan exists to do the heavy thinking.
All done with a real, engaging, down to earth voice. Please check out Design Confidential.
Last up is Vintage Revival. Many of you probably know Mandi, but honestly I didn’t til last year so clearly not all of us are trolling new sites as often as we should be. Mandi does awesome makeovers, styled and shot beautifully. They are ambitious, smart and just so well done, with mistakes and all. Take The Nugget – a vintage airstream that was disgusting but now is this really amazing, beautiful little gem of a space. This is what she did to the kitchen area:
Ridiculous. And in that after photo you can barely even see the flooring which is one of the most spectacular things i’ve seen on a blog in a long time. I might steal that pattern for my bathroom surround. Check out Mandi’s blog, now.
There was a lot of hub bub 2 months ago about the death of the design blog (after YHL called it quits, sadly). The critics said that people (namely first generation bloggers who now have kids) were getting burned out, unable to keep up the projects and creating the content they did in their 20’s, and eventually closing their doors. Not only was there ‘blogger burnout’ conversation but many people claimed that people were leaving blogs and just trolling Pinterest. And some people have, and some blogs have suffered.
But Pinterest doesn’t show design process or personality, only blogs can do that. And these ladies are proving that as long as they remain a destination full of information, process, resources and personality with beautiful shots, they’ll grow and grow and become even more of a destination. But creating that content is insanely time-consuming and exhausting, so hopefully they’ll do what I wished YHL did, and hire help before said ‘burnout’ takes full force.
So my two questions are:
1. What are the other good design/decor/diy blogs that you guys can recommend? Especially the lesser known ones …
2. I realized that all three of these blogs use watermarks (logos in the corner of pictures). I’ve been on the fence for a while about that: it’s so great that the credit doesn’t get lost and where the idea originated is ALWAYS remembered (and therefore you get more traffic). But I also fear that it keeps larger websites from reposting photos (Lonny, Domaine, Domino, etc tend to stay away from Watermarked photos) and that people will pin them less, which is a huge source of traffic. But these watermarks don’t bug me at all and if a larger site wants to post your photos they should ask you for a high res photo and credit in the copy anyway, right? What are your thoughts on watermark? Does it make you pin it less? Or do you really care?
Oh and be sure to check out Amber Interiors and Justina Blakeney who are less DIY (which is why they aren’t in the list above) but are two really awesome inspiring interior design and styling blogs with great personality and photography.