The new breed of home design blogs reveals how people really live

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The new breed of home design blogs reveals how people really live
When Domino folded last year, a collective sigh of disappointment could be heard among interior design fanatics everywhere. Fortunately, that gap has since been filled. Led by The Selby (who has been having a whirlwind year doing campaigns and promotions for major brands), a growing crop of websites and blogs dedicated to showcasing unique living spaces is giving decor voyeurs the ability to peer into creatively decorated homes around the world.
Freunde von Freunden: The fact that it’s primarily written in a language most American readers don’t speak a word of beyond hamburger is not hindering aesthetes from bookmarking this German site that’s more than once been compared to The Selby. (Although, we think, given its video component, it’s also kind of like the interior design version of Style Like U.) Though most stateside visitors probably can’t understand the printed interviews and videos published on the site – save for the occasional ex-pat subject – it doesn’t matter, because the crux of Freunde von Freunden (“Friends of Friends”) lies in is its photo essays of the covetable homes and work spaces of an eclectic selection of mostly creative industry types residing in Berlin. Past interviewees include stylist/gallerist Kirsten Hermann, photographer Just, and architect designer Axel van Exe – whose vintage velour sofa looks so comfortable, we’re wondering if he’s part of the Couchsurfing network.
Homebodies: By day, Homebodies blogger Liz Arnold writes about design and interiors for magazines, using emailed fact sheets, JPEGs, and interviews with industry experts, rather than in-person home tours, for her source material. Disappointed by the fact that the welcome mat is rarely rolled out to writers like her, she took it upon herself to start Homebodies, a blog some refer to as the “anti-Selby”, in which she chronicles her home invasions of nesters whose abodes actually look like people inhabit them. Kind of like the magazine Apartamento (one of the only print publications documenting homes in a gonzo style never found in Dwell or Architectural Digest), Homebodies takes a more impulsive, and consequently, more personal, approach to interiors photojournalism. Though her subjects do include those employed in fields like fashion, art, and music, Arnold doesn’t exercise any sort of hip snobbery, casting her investigative net upon a diverse selection of people that also includes lawyers, bankers, and even her grandma.
At Home With: While At Home With isn’t actually an official site, but rather a series within photography blog From Me To You, it’s certainly compelling enough that it could exist independently. Photographer (and vintage camera collector) Jamie Beck shoots for art and lifestyle websites and publications like Apartment Therapy and Working Class, for whom she has honed her craft of capturing intimate portraits of domestic life with a focus on the relationship between living spaces and the people who reside in them. Photo essays range from “The Antiquarian’s Apartment in Chelsea,” a sort of achievable take on the Wes Anderson school of set design (decor details include skeleton keys and vintage tennis rackets) to “A Beauty Publicist’s Apartment in Midtown,” which, with displays of perfume bottles and bullet lipsticks, successfully renders the subject’s profession as part of her design scheme.

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