Recently we interviewed Frank Fontana of "Design on a Dime" fame about his new book, "Dirty Little Secrets of Design" (see the last blog post for a quick review of the home design book). We also discussed design tips and trends, as well as his venture with Craftsman, with whom he'll be hosting a web-based DIY show that is streamed in real time. We met at Chicago's Craftsman Experience, an urban toolshed where Fontana will be filming his DIY web show. Here are some highlights from the interview:
- When asked about tips for finding great items at thrift and salvage stores, Fontana said: "Those places, as cool as they are, can be kind of expensive. One man's trash is another man's gold, and those places know it and will charge you top dollar. I wouldn't go to the section that has the cleaned up and polished objects that these stores will sell to you at top dollar. I would first ask, 'Where's the stuff you plan on throwing away?' Those items are usually the same quality goods, but they might have an extra scratch on them that stores don't want to deal with. I look for vintage items that I can put a little elbow grease and creativity into, because then I can really claim it as my own."
- We discussed how the workman looks from the runway are making their way to home design: "In general we're seeing a more 'blue collar' hip look. And in home design we are seeing more of that lived-in and rugged vibe. Distressed leather is a big trend in general. You're not seeing opulence like you once did."
- On his new web series: "It'll be DIY projects streaming live. No edits, no producing. It won't have the clean and fluffy feeling that you get when you watch HGTV and other television shows. We'll show you what happens when a screw falls off the wall or something doesn't go right. While it's great to see how nice everything turns out when it's produced perfectly, the series I'm doing can give you directions on things when they don't go right. We want to show you everything. There's full transparency with what we're doing."
The retail area of the Craftsman Experience in Chicago.
Craftsman lawn care display at the Craftsman Experience.