Q + A With a Design Blogger

HGTV Magazine dropped in on Nicole Gibbons of sohautestyle.com and asked her to complete a style survey.
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Photo by: David A. Land

David A. Land


The blogger:
Nicole Gibbons
Her blog: sohautestyle.com
Home base: Harlem, NY
Blog stats: Approximately 25,000 visitors and 95,000 page views a month

HGTV Magazine: Why did you start sohautestyle.com?
Nicole Gibbons: I was visiting family in Michigan over the holidays and needed something to keep me busy. I already read a ton of blogs every day and decided to jump right in. I logged on to Typepad (I've since switched to WordPress, which is easier to customize) and published my first post in January 2008, using a photo of my dream bedroom that I'd saved on my computer.

HGTV Mag: Your current computer:
NG: A 13-inch MacBook Pro.

HGTV Mag: How is your blog different from all the others?
NG: Instead of writing about homes already published in magazines, I use exclusive photographs of designers' spaces that haven't appeared anywhere else.

HGTV Mag: What are three things in your own home that you've blogged about?
NG: My DIY draperies in my living room (I added a Greek key trim to the edges of IKEA panels), my Craigslist dining chairs (I paid $80 for four and revamped them with paint and new fabric), and my bedroom before and after (it took about a year to complete). I love every piece in it. That's something I'd advise anyone: Don't rush. Take your time designing a room.

HGTV Mag: Most unique blog feature:
NG: My "Meet the Assistant" profiles about the people who work behind the scenes with top designers.

HGTV Mag: Most viewed post:
NG: The one about my collaboration with Nate Berkus and Target. We teamed up to create a video to help launch his new home collection there: more than 150 pieces of stylish and super-affordable finds, from rugs and bedding to window treatments and bath stuff.

HGTV Mag: Coolest style trick you learned while blogging:
NG: Layering a dhurrie or cowhide rug on top of a larger sisal rug is a great look. I did this in my living room. Also: Always have accurate measurements for large pieces of furniture and dimensions of doorways -- you'd be surprised how many horror stories I hear from readers about investing in a piece of furniture they can't fit through their door.

HGTV Mag: Favorite site for procrastinating:
NG: Shopstyle.com. I type in the fashion item I'm lusting after and comparison shop. Before I know it, I've spent hours "window shopping" on the Web.

HGTV Mag: What kind of camera do you have?
NG: A Canon EOS Rebel T3i digital SLR, and my iPhone. I'm obsessed with Instagram, but I always take the photos with my iPhone camera first and then upload them to Instagram, rather than using the app's built-in camera. The photos turn out much better, and you can zoom in to focus on details, which you can't do with the app.

HGTV Mag: Best home flash site:
NG: One Kings Lane. It has great brands, and I admire their innovative concepts for sales, like Vintage & Market Finds and Tastemaker Tag Sales. Really fun and inspiring.

HGTV Mag: Three awesome apps:
NG: I love Pulse, an app that lets you browse your favorite news sites and blogs in one spot. I also have Pocket, where you can save online articles to read later. It's great for when I'm on the subway and don't have Internet access. And I use Foodily all the time to collect recipes from different sites and to follow other people with great recipe collections.

HGTV Mag: Which five blogs do you read every day?
NG: Into the Gloss for beauty inspiration; Sincerely Jules because fashion blogger Julie Sariñana has such great style; Mashable to keep up with all the latest tech and social media news; Sketch42 for art and design ideas; and Garance Doré because I love her conversational voice, and her photography is always amazing.

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