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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Favorite Posts of 2008

2008 was a good year for design blogs. The number of design blogs exploded, the quality of the blogs out there got even better, and design bloggers received much recognition in the national magazines and newspapers.

A few of my favorite design blogs disappeared without explanation (Design Smack and All Things Bright and Beautiful, you are missed!). Many new talents burst onto the scene too. The sheer number of design blogs out there makes it difficult to keep up at times, but luckily blogger has added new features that makes it even easier to track the latest and greatest in the blogosphere.

Here is a small list of some of my favorite posts over the past year (an annual tradition - here is the list from 2007). There are so many blogs that I have read and enjoyed, and it was not possible to mention every one here.  I am sure there are many I do not even know about, but it would truly be a full time job to keep up with every single worthy design blog out there (I don't know how Terri Sapienza from the Washington Post does it!).

Here is my list, in no particular order:



I am a bit of a rule follower, so the post from My Notting Hill linking to an article on Frank Faulkner's 14 rules for interior design was intriguing to me. The link to the original article referenced in My Notting Hill's original post has expired, so here it is. I like this quote: "Even if you’ve spent a lot of money for something, if it doesn’t work, throw it out. Otherwise, it holds the entire room hostage." I wish I could convince my husband of this! He would like this quote: “Spend as little as possible on kitchens and bathrooms. Fancy kitchens depress me. I think kitchens and baths should be simple and utilitarian."


My admiration for Joni of Cote de Texas is well documented, and I have enjoyed each and every one of her posts this year. One of my all time favorite of 2008, though, has to be 'Stalking the Wheats'. Joni had long admired a beautiful house in West U, and was able to finagle an invitation into the home. It does not disappoint!



Julie Neill, of the Bayou Contessa blog, did a post on her friend Liz's beautiful New Orleans home, which features lighting designed by Julie's company and linens from Leontine. The bedroom in this post is definitely in my favorites file!







I love art as much as I love design, and I especially love it when the two come together. All the Best's post on deconstructing wall art (from Apartment Therapy NY's Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan) was so informative and eye opening to me. I never would have seen Maxwell's post if it weren't for All the Best.




Another art post, combined with my love for England, was also one of my favorites of the year. Cote de Texas did a post on Annie Leibovitz and Queen Elizabeth II, and some of the other official and unofficial portraits of the Queen through the years. (Image by Leibovitz)



Another time when several of my favorite things came together: a great blog (Peak of Chic), a great designer (Suzanne Kasler), and one of my favorite stores (Max & Company). Jennifer from Peak of Chic attended the launch party for Suzanne Kasler's new line of furniture for Hickory Chair, and created a wonderful post about it. It was my first glimpse at the collection, and a big treat to read about.



Pigtown Design wrote a very creative post that combined illustrations from a book written in the 1960s called Mrs. Kennedy Goes Abroad, about Jackie Kennedy. She was able to cross reference the charming illustrations in the book with actual pictures of the outfits that Jackie owned.




Regular readers of my blog know that I have a strong interest (some might say, obsession) with chandeliers. This post on chandeliers (by Cote de Texas) is pure eye candy to me, and I still refer to it every now and then.



The picture that launched a thousand blogs? Perhaps, but it was Oliveaux that did the first and most notable job covering one of my favorite magazine spreads of the year, from Traditional Home. The post fits in very well with Oliveaux' gentle and beautiful blog.




I am thoroughly enjoying the 'Top Ten Designers' posts from Joni of Cote de Texas, and designer #4 has got to be my favorite so far. It is Gerrie Bremerman of New Orleans. I had heard of her, but was not really aware of what her work looked like specifically. When I saw Joni's magnificent post, I was amazed...most of the images of Bremermann's work are in my 'favorites' file, but I did not know the designer. I know these posts take a tremendous amount of time and effort, and they are greatly appreciated, Joni!





I loved the post on weathered wood by the new blog Pure Style Home. I had some chairs stripped and refinished earlier this year, and it would have been helpful to have these pictures when talking to the specialty painter! (Luckily, the result is this weathered wood look that I admire so much, with a light limed wash).


Willow Decor wrote a post on elements of a Christopher Peacock kitchen that taught me so much about these kitchens that I have admired in magazines.



Any post about London is interesting to me (it is my favorite city in the world), but this one by French Essence had some particularly interesting tidbits!


Another post on London caught my eye, because the topic of the post - Spencer House - has been on my list of places to visit every time I have been to London over the past 15 years. Yet, I have never made it work! It is only open on Sundays from 10:30 am - 5:45 pm, and is closed in August (several of my trips have been in August). It was nice to get a glimpse into the magnificent rooms via Peak of Chic's post.


Velvet and Linen is a blog that began in 2008, and it is already one of my favorites. Brooke's post on designer Jose Solis Betancourt was an introduction to the designer for me, and the images in her post are so inspirational!

Turning our attention to France, I found a new blog recently called Paris Atelier and loved the post on the French Crown and Imperial Jewels. As much as I admire the Crown Jewels of England, these Crown Jewels of France are even more beautiful (to me). This was such an informative and interesting post.




Architect Design's post on a walk through Embassy Row in DC really resonated with me. I lived in an old embassy in DC as a child, and enjoyed seeing all of these beautiful buildings in AD's post.





Yes, another post by Joni of Cote de Texas. What can I say? I love her blog. This post was on Swedish style and a Swedish designer, Lars Bolander.




My Notting Hill did a great post called Busted! Very clever title, and wonderful post on the sculpted busts that are becoming ubiquitous in design magazines and home decor stores.




I loved the post called 'When something's Off' from Pure Style Home. Lauren comments that having something a little off or imperfect in a room makes it seem more real, and brings a room to life.

Although this was a small post on a big blog, it is one of my favorites because I now think of it every time I see candles in someone's home. Thank you, Mrs. Blandings! (Image courtesy Grace Ormand Wedding Style, via Mrs. Blandings).

Habitually Chic's post about David Hicks' book Living With Design was very inspirational to me. She took key concepts and quotes from the book, and illustrated them with picture after amazing picture.




Top Design contestant Eddie Ross, and former style editor for Martha Stewart Living, was new to the design blog world this year. In the blog that he and his partner Jaithan Kochar create, there are dozens of posts on the most creative ways to make life a little more beautiful. Two of my favorite posts of the year were seasonal - one on creating a great pumpkin centerpiece, and one on creating a miniature Christmas tree display.


I loved Willow Decor's post on holiday decorating in white. Not only did it have my all time favorite picture of a wreath on a front door, but it had a dozen additional images of decorating for the holidays using white.




I always notice floors and carpets, so when I read a great perspective on both from the talented team at the Material Girls blog, I read every word.




A last minute entry, but one that I thought was too interesting to miss! Harmony and Home did a post on a topic that is endlessly interesting to me: the Golden Mean. There are so many ways in which architects, artists, and designers have used the Golden Mean in their work, and Harmony and Home discusses a few of them in her post.



I know how much time and effort goes into crafting these posts, and I would like to thank each and every blog mentioned here, as well as all of the wonderful blogs on my blog list, for the inspiration and education that you give me on a daily basis. If you are reading this and have a new design blog, please make a comment or send me an email. There are so many great new blogs out there that I do not know about!

I am looking forward to reading your posts in 2009.


39 comments:

  1. Hey there, greetings from South Africa. Found your site by chance and enjoyed the comments and photography. Would like to chat to you some time! Trust you have a great New Years Eve!

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  2. Thanks so much for the mention! What a great collection and many of the ones you mentioned are also my favorites of 2008. Your blog is beautiful and I read every post! Looking forward to reading in 2009!
    xxx-Gina

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  3. Wow. Thanks for this list! I am new to the blog world this year and have some of these blogs on my list but have missed many of these posts (only so much time in a day).

    I just recently discovered your blog, in fact. Looks like I will def. spend some time here.

    Happy New Year!

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  4. Thanks for the mention! I am delighted to be included in such great company.

    Happy New Year!

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  5. Thank you Sarah for including one of my posts on this list filled with such amazing inspiration!
    Your list includes some of my favorites and a few that I will spend the day reading.
    I am such a huge fan of your blog, and it really is an honor to be mentioned.
    I look forward to sharing more of our design ideas and dreams in 2009.

    xo
    Brooke

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  6. Wonderful review... I am new to blogging so this was a real treat!

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  7. I remember many of these posts myself. You compiled a wonderful list! I'm off to re-visit some that I liked the first time around and to check out those that are new to me. Thanks! Happy New Year! -Julia :-)

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  8. What talented people in the blogosqhere...I would say your blog is right there in that mix.

    Happy New Year!

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  9. Thrilled to be included in your "favorites." I loved your list and it was fun to see the year in review!

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  10. Thanks for including us! Your blog is certainly a favorite our ours! Happy New Year!

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  11. I loved many of these posts as well- great roundup! Happy New Year!

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  12. I am truly touched to be included with such wonderful company. I look forward to reading all those posts that you have recommended, re-visiting my favourites and discovering new blogs.
    What a great start for 2009, have a very happy New Year,xv.

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  13. What a great idea and a great way to round out 2008 for all bloggers! Thank you for the mention. I love doing the blog and reading all the other fantastic design blogs out there. It keeps me up-to-date on the latest and keeps me inspired. I'm off to click on some of the links you posted that I've missed! Happy New Year!

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  14. Thanks so much for including me! I look forward to checking out all the other fabulous posts that I missed and revisiting some favorites too!

    Happy New Year!

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  15. Thank you so much for you sweet post! I look forward to reading your wonderful blog too in 2009! Happy New Year!
    Eddie

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  16. Thanks so much for the mention... I've enjoyed your posts so much & beng so new to the blogging world, I really appreciate your inclusion of pure style on yout list. Have a wonderful new year's eve & I'll be reading in 2009!

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  17. Sarah- what an awesome round-up. I will take some time to have a look at all of these posts. I wish there were more hours in the day! You have such lovely taste that visiting these blogs will be a delightful experience, I'm certain!

    Best wishes for a wonderful new year! xo Terri

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  18. Wow- friend, I am overwhelmed and just a tad embarrassed!!!! Thank you so much - but you know how much I adore you already! And I owe you - OK people - confession time!!! My Top Ten Designers series was all Sarah's idea. And she even told me to spread it out instead of doing it all at one time. It's been a huge hit for me and I will be eternally grateful.

    There are a few posts named here that I've missed and I can't wait to go read them all. You have impeccable taste and I'm sure I will love everything that you do! Your blog is fabulous and I'm not alone in that thinking - The Washington Post has named your blog more than any other one that I know of! very well deserved!!!

    thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

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  19. Wow- friend, I am overwhelmed and just a tad embarrassed!!!! Thank you so much - but you know how much I adore you already! And I owe you - OK people - confession time!!! My Top Ten Designers series was all Sarah's idea. And she even told me to spread it out instead of doing it all at one time. It's been a huge hit for me and I will be eternally grateful.

    There are a few posts named here that I've missed and I can't wait to go read them all. You have impeccable taste and I'm sure I will love everything that you do! Your blog is fabulous and I'm not alone in that thinking - The Washington Post has named your blog more than any other one that I know of! very well deserved!!!

    thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

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  20. Oh my god, how funny is it that we posted the same room on the same day. Clearly it's a gorgeous room and you and I have great taste! Great blog list...some I MUST check out!

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  21. Thank you, everyone, for the lovely comments. Of course, since I posted this morning, I have realized that there were a few blogs that I have frequented this year, and had posts that really stood out in my mind, yet I neglected to single out their posts. As you can imagine, compiling a list like this was quite time consuming, and a few blogs slipped through the cracks!

    A few of you have asked how I compiled my list. Every time I came across a post over the past year that really made an impact on me, I pasted the URL in a word document. Last week, I went through that word document, refined the list, then went through all of my favorite blogs to make sure that I had seen everything. It was a fun process, especially since I have spent a quiet couple of weeks at home...my husband is burned out from his extensive travel for work, and wanted to stay home and do nothing this holiday.

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  22. What a wonderful post! Thank you for commenting on mine! {you are on my favourites list!} Happy New Year.

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  23. Oh my goodness!!! I was reading your post & drooling! Thinking to myself that I need to steal away some time to sit down with some tea and read through all of these new to me blogs & then I saw me!!! Thank you so much! I get so excited to know that somebody enjoyed a post of mine! I am a very big fan of your beautiful blog! Thanks for the inspiration, the eye~candy, and the mention!
    xoxo,
    Judith~

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  24. What a wonderful post! Thank you for including me!

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  25. Thank you!! I am so flattered to have my posts included. I'll also plan to update the Faulkner's post w/the new link you found to the article. Looking forward to continuing to enjoy your great blog in 2009. Happy New Year! Michele

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  26. Great recap! I missed some of these the first time and they are all so interesting.
    Happy New Year. I look forward to reading your posts next year.

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  27. Great recap of the year and I loved the "it holds the entire room hostage" quote. I'm going to use that one, thanks!

    Happy New Year

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  28. Wonderful, wonderful links. Thank you... I'm off to read and plan!!

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  29. you are so good !

    great post and i can see how much work went into it.

    happy new year,
    hugs
    renee

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  30. What a fabulous post! It send me off into all sorts of wonderful directions, to blogs I have never visited before.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm new to this world, but loving it.
    I'll be sure to come back to your blog.
    Catherine xx

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  31. So glad you liked our rug post- and it was an absolute honor to be mentioned on your favorites list!! We are in great company- so many talented bloggers out there who write some really fun posts!

    Let me know when your sisal gets to your house!

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  32. What a sweet and generous post, to point your favorite works by others. I too loved that post of Joni's about chandeliers.

    Happy New Year! Lecia

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  33. What a fantastic list! There are a few (new to me) blogs that I will add to my evergrowing reading list.

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  34. fantastic posts! Love the wall art pic of the paintings at Kate Spade, I always admire the works when I visit the shop!

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  35. Oh this is so perfect to have a bunch of great posts all in one place! I am really looking forwad to playing catch up...and looking into a bunch of new to me blogs! Thanks!

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  36. Thank you for sharing the best of 2008 !!!
    **********HAPPY NEW YEAR***********

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  37. Fabulous collection of favorite posts of 2008. I hope to make the cut in 2009!
    You always have things that inspire me to draw and to make me life more beautiful.

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