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Design Sponge Quarterly Subscription Box Review #DSQ02

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Design Sponge Quarterly Subscription Box Review #DSQ02 Box

Design Sponge is one of the newest Quarterly curators – and this is the second Design Sponge box. If you aren’t familiar with Design Sponge, it’s one of the original design blogs, and they offer a mix of recipes, home makeovers, stylish items, and other posts – I’m a big fan.

This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

Design Sponge Quarterly Subscription Box Review #DSQ02 Items

The Subscription Box: Design Sponge Quarterly Box

The Cost: $100 plus shipping

The Products: Items focused on design and home.

Ships to: US and Worldwide (additional shipping costs for Canada and International orders).

Delivered via: USPS

Check out all of my Design Sponge Quarterly Box reviews!

Design Sponge Quarterly Subscription Box Review #DSQ02 Letter

Each Quarterly Box comes with a letter from the curator detailing the items included and why they were selected. For the second Design Sponge box, the theme is all about celebrating color.

Design Sponge Quarterly Subscription Box Review #DSQ02 Heart

Banquet Workshop Fluro Heart Print – Value $50

(Excuse the wantable boxes – this poster would not cooperate for photos otherwise!)I love this print (And I love that it fits in a standard Ikea frame)! Here are the details:

I love this print (And I love that it fits in a standard Ikea frame)! Here are the details:

Gorgeous neon pink/red heart print on dove grey paper. Bright and beautiful, if you are thinking about a hit of neon in your home this is a lovely place to start!
This signed, limited edition screen print is 50 x 50 cm (19.69 by 19.69 inches), Pantone 812U on soft grey 250 gram Rising Stonehenge paper with a deckled edge. For ease, fits a standard Ikea frame.

Design Sponge Quarterly Subscription Box Review #DSQ02 Fabric

Karen Kimmel Furoshiki Cloth – Value $10

This printed cloth is designed to be a reusable way to wrap gifts. (Check out the Karen Kimmel site for photos of wrapped gifts). Grace also recommend using the cloth as a hair scarf or framing it.

Design Sponge Quarterly Subscription Box Review #DSQ02 Love

LLUBAV Colorwheel Cards (Set of 12) – Value $20

Banquet Workshop Love Card – Value $5

These color wheel cards are flat cards with envelopes, and the flipside is blank. The LOVE card is folded and blank inside as well.

Design Sponge Quarterly Subscription Box Review #DSQ02 Poster

Debbie Carlos Crystalscape Poster – Value $60

I love that there are two frameable items in this box! I love the colors of this poster – I will framing it asap!

Design Sponge Quarterly Subscription Box Review #DSQ02 Mug

Nicholas Newcomb Custom Mug – Value $35

This mug is handmade and the pink color on the rim was done exclusively for Design Sponge subscribers! It is beautifully made, and I think the only handmade mug I own.

Design Sponge Quarterly Subscription Box Review #DSQ02 Mug 2

Verdict: This box has a value of about $180. That’s really good for a $100 Quarterly box, and I really love all the items in this box! (It’s a good thing I like the color pink!) I can’t wait to frame the print and poster, and everything else will be used as well. What do you think of #DSQ02?

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. I loved EVERYTHING about this box, but then my tastes are very pop art/bold. I am very, very happy!

  2. I’m throwing my email up for the heart print too – been asking and waiting for it to list….nothing so far.

  3. Does anyone else feel like this doesn’t really match the aesthetic on her blog or in her book?

    The only things I’m really excited about are the neon heart and the printed cloth, both of which I will frame and place in my 8 year-old daughters room. I think they will add a fun modern vibe to her room.
    The mug is nicely made, if a little unexciting. The colors and idea of the crystal poster are cool–I like it overall the more I look at it– but I totally agree with the phallic statement made earlier..first thing that popped out at me when I opened it, so I can’t imagine hanging it, and the $60 value is ludicrous. I have more cards/stationary than I can use, so those didn’t thrill me either. So, I’m left wondering if the heart and fabric square are worth $100 to me…
    I so want to love this box and won’t cancel yet, but a little underwhelmed….

  4. no one seems to be trading the heart print 🙁

    • I will be swapping it soon! Just haven’t had a chance to list it and don’t want to swap until I am ready to ship in a timely manner.

      • Thanks, Staci. I’m at – let me know if you seek specific trades. Likely I have and didnt list yet.

  5. I’m interested in home decor type subscriptions but this box suffers from the same thing I’ve noticed with all boxes. The box itself is cohesive but not when compared from month to month or box to box. The person who would decorate with box 1 wouldn’t with box 2. It doesn’t make a cohesive design statement. I would want a subscription to slowly add decor pieces to my home that make one over arcing cohesive look.

    • That was really well put.

      The mug and heart print seem to play nicely with the coasters and cutting board from the last box. But other items together (like the striped candles and gem poster) would look so weird.

      I’m still completely baffled by the gem poster.

  6. I’m a Design Sponge fan and was really looking forward to this box. What a disappointing package. I wouldn’t have minded the poster in a smaller size, but at this scale it looks ridiculous and like dorm room decor. Agree with the commenter above that expected more sophisticated items. I like the idea of a one-of-a-kind pottery piece, but the mug I received was uneven and poorly made.

  7. I figured there would be some pink, particularly hot pink, because it’s one of Grace’s favorite colors. And since I like pink, I was fine with that. However, I expected more useful items. Who really needs more notecards, a poster, or another mug? Although I do see why people like the mug, so I’m not complaining there. But assuming you frame the wrapping cloth, that’s three frameables in one box?! And if you frame the small card, then that’s four frameables. But, I don’t know, maybe throw in an office or kitchen item?

  8. I Ioved the first box, but I cancelled after this one. The Crystal poster was a complete miss and I am shocked it is valued at $60. I also thought including a print and poster in one box was a bit much. Loved the mug, though.

  9. Overall, I’m really impressed by the box. The handmade mug is gorgeous…so well done if you appreciate that sort of craft. I also love the heart print – and ecstatic to learn that it fits Ikea frames. I’m always glad to have reusable wrap and the heart card (instead of the love card above) is very cute. This would have made such an awesome Valentines day box!!! However, the crystal print is a miss for me and it’s amazing that it sells for $60. I really want to see how design sponge would frame/style this piece because I am at a huge loss as to how it would add anything to most interiors.

  10. That is a lot of pink! I cancelled based on spoilers although I would had found ways to use everything if I received it. I thought that there would be different colors in it. I did like the first box and will be checking to see what the next theme will be.

  11. the more that I am thinking about this, the more I want the heart (and 2 mugs).

  12. Mine arrived this week. The mug is truly beautiful. I framed the heart print in a 50×50 IKEA square frame and it looks fantastic in my kitchen. The cards are nice but it’s weird that they’re one-sided and not folded.

    I was really disappointed by the wrap and the crystal print (which was the one item Quarterly didn’t spoil). The wrap is this stiff, cheap fabric covered with heavy, gummy screenprinting. Washing it didn’t help. The poster is just so far off the mark and TWO wall items feels like she ran out of ideas. I would have loved a bright kitchen item or stationery item instead.

    The Pattern box was so great because everything was useful — fantastically beautiful yet practical. I am a fan of pink and of Grace, but I feel like half the box is a complete misfire. The fact that it was three months late is baffling.

    I will be putting the crystal poster on swap. I am done with Quarterly.

  13. Total side note I think it’s so funny that your props to keep the print open are…subscription boxes!

  14. I loved the first box they did so I had very high hopes for the second. Have to say, I’m really disappointed! I was excited to hear that the theme was color. Who doesn’t love a great pop of color?! Umm, I don’t, when the only color in the box is PINK! Don’t get me wrong, love pink, but that should have been the theme then. I ended up canceling because I don’t want another $100 mug and note cards (since those are some of the only things I can even use). 🙁 Real bummer.

    • I totally agree regarding the color aspect! The awesome floro heart print was such a great start to a color box but I was expecting an array of fun colors. Why stick to one color when there are so many more to work with?

  15. I look at this and I think “Valentine’s Day.” Except it’s June…

  16. This box is not worth it for me- if anyone is looking for it, I’ll sell it unopened (for what I paid, plus shipping).

  17. I thought the box is well done. Granted, I have been looking something to frame the walls, so I am really excited about the heart print poster. I also receive a smaller heart print card too, instead of the Love card, so it’s like a twin heart in different size.

    However, I did not receive the letter. I am somewhat disappointed as I usually read the letter first. I email Quarterly, and hope they email me a softcopy version.

  18. Has anyone heard anything about the next Nina Garcia box? I was thinking about signing up because I loved the looks of the last summer box she did, but some of the boxes seemed a bit off to me…It says it ships in July, so hopefully there will be some spoilers soon?

    • Keep in mind that none of her boxes have remotely shipped on time. And by that I mean they shipped months after the stated ship deadline, in one case 4 months late. And yes, with the exception of her first 2 boxes, they rest have been “off” which for me is a nice way of saying “not curated by NG and totally not worth $100+shipping.”).

  19. Poster worth $60? really?

  20. To me this looks like a care package for a college student living in a dorm. It’s fine if that’s what they’re going for, but I was hoping this box would be a little more sophisticated.

  21. OH! they are cards…but still. i think the heart print would be good 🙂

  22. thanks. i will probably buy this box when it is listed in the best of quarterly. i recently decided to switch all my accents to pink. the color wheel would be certainly helpful there too.

  23. So. Many. Paper products. Yikes.

  24. Maybe it’s just me, but $100 for a coffee mug a couple of posters and cards, all specific to a certain taste seems like a waste of money!

    • I was a little wowed that a simple print of a heart shape was somehow 50$. The 60$ one isn’t much better. I think the values got waaaaay inflated on this one.

    • No you are not alone. I sent back the Dec. box and have cancelled all Quarterly subs except RD and I’m not regretting it in the least.

  25. I laughed because I did the same thing you did with the prints but with books so they could lay flat for framing. I was definitely pleased with this box. I collect mugs so the handmade mug was a nice add!

  26. I like the colors, and really like the crystal poster, but feel posters are for those under 18.

    • Well….the crystal poster is pretty phallic!

      • Great. Now I can’t unsee it.

      • That’s exactly what my husband said about the crystals. It’s such an odd poster…seems like it would appeal to a very specific taste. While the heart might work for a wider range of people. Would be adorable in a nursery or little girl’s bedroom.

  27. Oh my gosh, I love all of that box! So subscribing to Design Sponge!

  28. I assumed that when they said they were celebrating color they would have multiple colors. I’m glad I didn’t get this box because I’m not really a fan of pink and none of this would go with my decor. I’ll be hesitant to sign up for this in the future simply because I’m afraid they’ll lean too heavily on one specific color or style. If it’s a color that doesn’t work for me the box would be a total loss.

  29. Wow, great box! I hope the color wheel cards turn up on the swap site!

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