Let's talk about inspiration. Let's talk about resources. Let's talk about what I waste approximately 20% of my day doing: reading design blogs.
My friend John just moved into a new apartment with his girlfriend and he's understandably pumped, but I think he also realizes that it's now time to up his interior game. He wants to make this new place look really great but, being a normal person who's been historically more interested in movies and sports than paint color trends and gallery walls, he doesn't really know where to start. In fact, his main source of interior design information seems to be me, which is terrifying.
So, this list is for him, and for anyone else interested in fixing up their place, getting free ideas, or just looking for something new to read.
Amazing Interior Design Blogs You'll Want to Read Almost Every Day
Apartment Therapy: The absolute mother lode of information about everything involving renting, renovating, decorating, and just plain living in an apartment (or house!). If you have something specific you're looking for info about, there's a good chance there's a post on AT about it. A personal warning from me: do your best not to get sucked into reading the comments section; AT offers a wealth of knowledge, but its vocal readers offer a wealth of cattiness that just messes with all the fun design vibes.
A Beautiful Mess: This site will not be for everyone, but if you love Zooey Deschanel, ultra-bright pops of color, and dorky wordplay, you might be a Beautiful Mess reader. Decorating tips and projects are mixed in with recipes, crafts projects, and fashion posts, so beware that there will be some wading involved if you're focused solely on the former. They've recently started mixing in some more ambitious projects (i.e. they involve trips to Home Depot and use power tools), but there are still plenty of easy fixes and craft ideas for the less handy, as well.
Manhattan Nest: I've expounded on the virtues of Daniel and his blog in the past, and even now that it's become more renovation- and construction-focused, I still enjoy it. Sometimes you read things for the practical information and sometimes you read things for sheer pleasure. If you're looking for more approachable ideas (not all of us own two historic houses in varying states of disrepair), venture back to the early days of the blog when he was just a lowly college apartment dweller. There's a good mix of instruction and inspiration.
Design*Sponge: If you've never heard of Design*Sponge, this is obviously your first foray into the world of design. Although this site isn't limited to interior design, it does comprise a bulk of the posts and there are hundreds of house tours and sneak peeks to check out if you're into that kind of porn. There are also some great project how-tos, basic skill instructions, and design history information.
Yellow Brick Home: Confession: I went back and read this blog from the very beginning (because that's what I do) when I first saw it being mentioned, and I was not impressed. I wasn't into their style and the writing was still a little awkward and too-PC (again with the weird lack of swearing in the interior design sphere of the Web). BUT. I followed the progression of the blog, and with it, their style, and this is now a favorite that I look forward to. Think of this not as a source of project instructions but as a source of inspiration to get off your butt and go thrifting, paint something, or finally get those frames up on the wall.
Vintage Revivals: Typos and scary enthusiasm aside, this blog is one that most frequently makes me think "Man, I want to try that." (The Himmeli wreath in our living room has this blog to thank.) Eye candy is nice and all, but it's also fun to see project ideas that are so innovative, you actually do them.
Go Haus Go: "Refreshingly approachable," is the phrase I keep coming back to. Not 100% vintage or 100% IKEA or 100%...anything, really. A normal person who lives in — gasp! — not New York or California and is just trying to make her house look awesome. I dig.
Brooklyn to West: Nowadays, the writer is selling handmade projects from her wood shop, but for something really, insanely impressive, check out all the posts from when she was helping design and build a restaurant in California — using primarily salvaged materials. (Click "Il Vecchio" on the side menu.)
Emily Henderson: Former HGTV show host, current professional stylist. Not a particularly practical source of information since she has rich clients to pay for everything, but man, there's something pretty stuff to look at.
I could go on, but I'll stop myself there. Any suggestions I didn't list? I'm always looking for more to add to my feedly! (Seriously. I am.)