unpublished design sponge home tour

In February 2014, an editor from Design*Sponge mysteriously commented on one of my instagram images asking me to contact her. I was flattered, so I complied and shot her a quick email. As it turns out, they were interested in featuring my home as one of their “sneak peek” features and asked for me to send over 20 or so photos of my home. Simple enough, right? Nope.

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I hired a photographer and quickly submitted the photos in March 2014. After never hearing back, I followed up in April and May with no word from said editor. Finally, in late May, she responded with instructions to have my photographer “take more vertical images”, etc. I invited him back…wash, rinse, repeat. The next time she responded was in late September…only to tell me that the images I submitted in May still wouldn’t suffice. Embarrassed to ask my initial photographer to come back for a final time, I hired another photographer and we submitted the final set of photos in October. I never heard back and eventually gave up.

In March 2015, I discovered that the editor I was corresponding with was no longer working for Design Sponge – aha! With a small glimmer of hope, I contacted them via submission form explaining the almost year-long process. To my surprise, Grace (yes, actual, Grace Bonney) responded and apologized for letting it fall through the cracks. She asked me to send my photos once more and I happily sent them over. After never hearing back, a few weeks later I followed up only to receive the following auto responder:

Thanks so much for your submission. We will be sure to consider this for coverage on Design*Sponge. Unfortunately we cannot email with regrets due to the volume of submissions we currently receive, but we will however be in touch within 5-7 days if we have a story or follow-up question based on your email. Please note that our product posts are much less frequent these days, so our priorities are posts that focus on makeovers, home tours, DIY projects, city guides and business advice. Thanks, Grace :)

So, after 3 photographer visits, 13 months of email correspondence, and several re-arrangements of my home…I’ve decided to give up and publish the images. Without further adieu, here are the beautiful moments from Pleasant Valley – my first home that I love and miss so much. We re-arranged several times over the course of a year…so there are several variations of each room. All images by my friend, John Hillin (of Happily Grey fame) and Micah Jones, my business partner at Rare Assembly :) Enjoy!





















  1. Your home is absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for telling this story. I stopped reading D*S recently after years of reading because of the way I was personally attacked by Grace in an email. It’s great that she reached out and apologized to you for the confusion, but they really need to work on how they treat content providers and readers.

    Regardless – who is the artist that painted that fabulous piece on the wall behind your jewellery stand?

    • jordan long

      Oh man :( Sorry to hear about your experience! The art is by Debbie Wingo – she’s a Nashville-based artist :) There is another artist named Teil Duncan that I think has similar aesthetic http://www.teilduncan.com

      Thanks for chiming in! – Jordan

  2. lynn ruteledge

    the design sponge folks may have clumsily done you a favor What wonderful pictures of your home I had forgotten how all your lovelies looked almost museum like when you had to make room for them! having the photos will remind you of where things were and how to get them there!! however Im sure they won’t stay any place…long which is why you are so interesting!!

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