What’s Up With Mormons and Design Blogs?

Images from Gemma Comas series I See Beauty In (Almost) Everything.

This post is a little off the usual faire you’ll find here, I hope you’ll indulge me.

Have you noticed that tons of design blogs are written by Mormons/former Mormons? What’s the deal with that? It’s sort of a hush-hush topic I hear whispered about at blogging conferences.

As a Mormon myself, I think about this from time to time and I get asked about it a lot. There are a few theories I’ve heard. Emily of Design Star wrote about it here. She thinks her creativity came from having limited resources in a big family. From having to shop at thrift stores and ingeniously remake the purchases, not because it was cool, but because that’s what they could afford. So featuring clever DIYs on a design blog is second nature for Mormons. No doubt there’s something to this idea.

My sister has her own theory. She feels like there are a lot of talented, educated Mormon women who grew up assuming motherhood would be the end all be all of their existence. Then they found, once they became mothers, that they had capacity for projects and ideas in addition to and beyond motherhood. And design blogs are an easy outlet for all the creative energy. I’m sure there’s something to this theory too.

Personally, I feel like the graphic design program at BYU (a Mormon university) has something to do with it. It’s an excellent program and places graduates at all the best firms, where they’re in contact with the most creative people in the field. This ensures that Mormons are thoroughly connected in the professional design community. And graphic design is one of those careers that you can step in and out of as a mother, and translates easily to a design blog.

The other day, I thought of another connection. Mormons have 13 articles of faith (short statements that describe our beliefs). The 13th one says: “…If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” Which, umm, seems like exactly what a design/lifestyle blog is. In the case of Design Mom, I never had the 13th Article of Faith in mind, but I have tried to create a space where I could share every lovely and praiseworthy thing I come across. I wonder if everyone raised as a Mormon has this admonition to seek-out-pretty stamped on our brains.

An admonishment to keep an eye out for beauty is a lovely sentiment to be raised with, and easily adopted by anyone — religious or not. I hope I’m raising my own kids with the same sentiment. My religion is far from perfect — there are aspects of it that drive me bonkers. But I particularly love this part of it.

What’s your take? Have you noticed the Mormon Design Blogs? Or been curious about them? Have any related theories? I wonder if anyone has attempted to compile a list…

P.S. — Religion-related topics, even ones as silly as this one, can be quite sensitive, so please play nice if you decide to comment.

294 thoughts on “What’s Up With Mormons and Design Blogs?”

  1. My theory is: you all are related. All of you. Or you know each other very well.

    When I discovered these things called “blogs” a few years ago, it kind of became a game for me to find the connections-kind of like a bloggy Where’s Waldo. That and “who’s a Mormon?”

    And you’re all younger than me and much, much more chic.
    I share your religion, but not your design sense. My talents lie elsewhere.

    So keep sharing the lovely & praiseworthy.
    And if any of you are ever looking for a service project-please come calling. Just kidding ;)

  2. A year ago I didn’t know a thing about Mormons or much about the blogging world either. Somehow I started reading one design blog which led to another and then 100 more, lol. I noticed a lot of them had similar undertones and eventually figured out that most are Mormon. I’m a naturally curious person so I’ve since done a little research and educated myself about the LDS faith. While I’m not converting, I’m thankful that my mind has been opened and I now know LDS Mormons are not “sister wives” and all the other sterotypes people believe they are. Gabrielle, I think you and many other Mormons on the internet have done a terrific job at presenting your lives and faith combined without pushing them on anyone else. Thank you!

  3. I have noticed this trend, and been curious about it. I lived in Utah for two years while my mother attended the University of Utah courtesy of the Air Force. My experience there was the worst I had as a military child. But it’s a beautiful state and we made a few really good friends, so I am always looking for ways for Utah to “redeem” itself, so to speak. Your blog and others go a long way towards that.

  4. While I have noticed that there are many Mormon design/lifestyle bloggers (some of my favorite!), I’ve never pondered the why of it. All of the reasons presented above make sense. Jordan’s idea can be applied to many women boggers – regardless of religion.
    Whatever the reason, I am glad talented women are generous with thier ideas. I’ve actually learned bits and pieces about the Mormon religion through some of the blogs I read and it’s given me a nice perspective to a community I knew little about.
    Funny to read that aspects of your religion drives you bonkers. I feel the same about Catholicism :).

    1. I agree, Denise. I think Jordan’s idea is applicable to many women. And I’m glad I’m not the only one with a religion that tests their patience. : )

  5. I have noticed this, but I don’t have a theory. To your knowledge, have a lot of the design bloggers completely the program at BYU?

  6. I have actually wondered about this. haha! I noted to my husband not long after starting to read your blog (along with many others) how creative these blogs are and how the one thing in common was your faith. I especially love your sister’s take on it. Whatever it is, you all are very gifted and I really enjoy reading!

  7. I’ve noticed that a lot of crafty/design/etc bloggers have faith of some sort. A lot of Mormons, for sure, and a lot of Christians of other denominations as well. I’m CRC/URC and we are taught that in everything we do, we do it to the glory of Him… so do it to the best of your ability! So if you’re a construction worker… build to the best of your ability. Teachers, teach to the best of your ability. And if you’re the crafty/creative type, do that to the best of your ability! I’m sure you’ve got the same if not similar idea going as well, so that could also be relevant.

  8. I love this post Gabrielle ! I actually had goose bumps by time I finished reading it. It has inspired me to be more aware and to do more looking for the “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” things in my life and world. Life is too short to miss one single day of not appreciating and expressing (through design blogging?) the beauty that God has given us to enjoy. Thanks for this wonderful post! Thanks for being a Design Mom who shares “praiseworthy” posts with us.

  9. I tend to agree with the first two suggestions rather than the BYU connection. Not all Mormons go to BYU and I would think that even of the Mormon bloggers that did attend BYU, many of them probably had other majors. I think the background of thrifting and creating is something that is kind of drilled into Mormons. With larger families and a church that stresses economy, thrifting and creating things is a natural product of these. The best thing about blogging is that it doesn’t require credentials. Women feel free to post about their projects and/or ideas even though they may not be “qualified” to talk about design.

    1. I would also add that as a volunteer church, you grow up trying out stuff you never thought you could/would – which lends itself to a “If not you then who?” mentality. Mormon women grow up learning to give talks to the congregation, share talents and quazi-talents, like play the piano EVEN IF YOU REALLY ONLY KNOW HOW TO PLAY THE VIOLIN! *points to self.* You are part of enrichment committees, primary programs, blue and gold banquets and young women projects. Once a month you talk to people that you might not stop on the street otherwise. Where else can you have 7 girls and be asked to serve as the cub scout leader? There is plenty of fodder for a blog, and heaven knows its about to change. I think that you gotta have a sense of humor about it all, and then – well, just go for it!

  10. I have noticed it and wondered why! Thanks for shedding some light on it and it think the combination of your points is illuminating. Also, I have wondered if it is encourgaging to know that if you start a design blog, that you have a community of faith behind you. A built in support group?

    I think I can use Philippians 4:8 to justify my reading of design blogs…right?! :)

  11. I like your bonkers comment :)

    I’m not a huge design blog reader, I read mostly lifestyle blogs, which are also heavily written by LDS women. I don’t really have any one theory.

    I do think it’s funny how some of you are related. I remember thinking “wow” when Christian Nielson’s brother married Reachel Bagley’s sister-in-law. Then of course there is you, Liz Stanley and your sister, no-sex-in-the-city and her sister Nichole Hill. I think the LDS world is pretty small, maybe a few less degrees of separation here in the US than maybe other faiths/places?

    From my short stint as a member of the LDS church I remember a good emphasis was placed on looking on the bright side, trying to be positive despite life’s constant ups and downs and of course, the negative that we all have to face. I think LDS people have a lot of great support in their faith in doing that and perhaps that translates to blogging.

    I think I’m rambling now, so I’ll stop!

  12. Hi Gabrielle,

    I’m a Mormon and a reader but not a design blogger myself. I think it’s important to remember when discussing these issues that it’s dicey to make broad generalizations about members of the Mormon faith — we do not all come from large families (I don’t) and do not all grow up thinking that staying at home with children is the “be all, end all,” (I didn’t.)

    1. she is talking about those that chose to start design blogs. reread her paragraph and pay attention to the context her ‘be all, end all’ comment. i’m sure you’ll see she was not painting every mormon woman in the united states with that brush.

  13. I am not Mormon, nor really religious at all. I recently realized that 8 of the 10 blogs I read on a regular basis are written by Mormon’s. Personally, I love the creativity and big family aspect, as it is something I strive for myself. I am just happy that everyone is so willing to share!

  14. This topic fascinates me. I don’t really have any theories, but I’m so happy that Mormon bloggers bring so much creative beauty into my life!

    1. You’re right, Cherri. Silly was probably a bad word choice. I was trying to express that this topic felt “light-hearted” to me compared to a religious topic like “Is there a God?”. But again, silly was not the best choice.

  15. Well, I’m pretty sure you’re succeeding in raising your kids to have a keen eye for beauty! It struck me at Sissy Boy Homeland that both Ralph and Maude pointed out stuff (clothes and artifacts) to you with strong graphic prints. Not the usual kid/teen items. I’m sure your sense of taste rubs off on them :)
    On an unrelated note: I’d love to see some of the Vondelpark photos if you care to share!
    xxx lotte

  16. I meant to add, that I don’t think a religion that believes in creation would find creative impulses silly. It’s part of the human condition and spiritual design. This isn’t necessarily my personal belief, but it’s my way of explaining all how fundamentalist religions can and should value creative endeavors.

  17. I wonder if Mormons being encouraged to journal has something to do with it as well. I’m not a Mormon but (almost) all the Mormons I’ve known have used journals to reflect in journals almost daily. Blogs are a way to get more feedback on a journal of sorts.

      1. I agree with this. I blog about my family life. Print it off every couple of years and call it my family journal. Nice to have that guilt gone.

        It doesn’t hurt that friends and family can keep up with us at the same time.

        1. I think the same thing. I write a family/ wanna-be design blog because I like to write. I find the blogging format a much more interactive and creative way for me to get to write, then to just write a few paragraphs in my journal every night. On blogs I can add pictures, links, and all sorts of fun stuff.

  18. I think there’s a lot of truth to all of those reasons for so many Mormon design blogs. I think so many Mormon girls grew up crafting and “homemaking” with their mothers that it seems natural to apply to that to their adulthood. My mom is always telling me I need a hobby– that I should be painting or sewing or canning– all those stereotypical Mormon SAHM things, all those things our mothers did at Homemaking meetings. It’s definitely a part of our culture. And Jordan’s explanation totally resonates with me, since I started my life as a mom and realized there had to be more to my life than just being a mom. Perhaps there is also less guilt in investing time in design and lifestyle blogging than other pursuits because it translates to easily to the home– it can be done from home, and it benefits the home, and can so easily involve your children. (That silly Mormon guilt thing is something that drives me bonkers!)
    I appreciate your being upfront about your faith– that it is who you are, but there are things that bug you too. It’s always nice to know I’m not the only one who thinks life as a Mormon woman isn’t always 100% perfect.

  19. I had noticed this trend, and attributed it to your sister’s reasoning: lots of smart and educated women with more choices to express themselves than prior generations had. After reading your post, your reasoning also resonates – that 13th article of faith rocks!

  20. Wow. I couldn’t believe the name of this post when I read it. I have wondered this too many times to count! I’ve always been on Jordan’s wave length. But I’ve also wondered if it’s not juts lots of Mormons blogging, but they are the *popular* blogs and, therefore, we all read them. I wonder how much of it is that you all support each other and have created a blog community based on similar beliefs (with great blogs, of course). I find blogs via other blogs, so every time you link to another Mormon blogger, that increases their popularity and vice versa? Just a thought? Because, oh my, have I pondered this crazy phenomena!

    1. Ditto this. I agree with the big family/thrifty/homemaking reason, and the SAHMs seeking additional outlets for their creativity reason, but I think the cross-referencing (cross-linking?) between blogs probably has a lot to do with it.

        1. I’m super curious about this. Sometimes I link to/promote another blog and don’t realize it’s authored by a Mormon. I think the mutual support definitely happens, but I wonder how much of it is intentional.

  21. oh i’m so excited you wrote this!!! i’ve been noticing the same thing lately, even just little things like one of my other favorite bloggers (k over at tollipop) was talking about taking her kiddies to visit her alma mater – and it too was byu! it’s amazing. i’m actually kind of envious… southern presbyterians need to get on this bandwagon! i think maybe our problem is that one of the unofficial tenets of our faith involves drinking together… and so maybe we just come up with good ideas and they never get much further : )

  22. I come from a long line of crafty, industrious, strong Mormon women who worked hard to create beauty out of whatever resources they had available to them! We are encouraged to cultivate and celebrate and share our creative pursuits/talents. (Hello Homemaking!)
    There is also a strong emphasis on documenting our lives. My Grandmother has kept detailed journals/books of rememberance for years.
    I don’t think it’s exclusive to Mormon’s but it (blogging/design) seems a pretty natural extension of our priorities!

  23. My impressions of the Mormon religion come almost entirely* from reading design blogs (a while ago I had the lightbulb-over-the-head moment when I realized what so many of my favorite blogs have in common).

    Of course I don’t have any theories about why, but I will share with you two impressions I have gotten through this very narrow window. The first is of incredible industriousness. I have never seen a Mormon blogger complain, “Ugh. I have too much to do today!”

    The second is of a culture where appearances matter a lot, more so than for the people around me. I remember NieNie saying something like, “A Mormon mother’s job is to brush her daughter’s hair to a lacquer on Sunday mornings.”

    I know that what may be generally true for a group of people is not true for all members, but I thought I share a little of what I see from the outside.

    *I also remember the ads that aired on Saturday morning TV when I was little: “Brought to you by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — the Mormons!”

      1. Tricia: As a Mormon mother of 4, I was never told nor thought it was my job to brush my daughters hair to a lacquer! We believe looking your best on Sunday shows respect, but there was never anything stepford-like! It’s not about perfection and brands, it’s about being neat and clean:)

  24. When I started reading blogs, I gravitated toward the ones that spoke to my interests of motherhood, travel, fashion and design. And it just so happened that my top four favorite blogs, including Design Mom, are written by Mormons. I probably have said to myself at one point, “What a coincidence!,” but never felt the need to question why. I just feel the daily urge to enjoy the beautiful posts! :)

  25. i attended byu as an advertising/marketing major (management side, so a lot of business) but we worked very closely with our creative track and graphic design program and WOW that is one hardcore program (not even kidding) and they are extremely talented people! i know of a few programs at byu that are well connected in the creative industry and send their students out to intern in new york, chicago and l.a. – advertising & graphic design are two of those programs (as well as p.r. and film) all receiving national recognition and awards year after year – and landing jobs at huge national firms. no doubt they have what it takes.

    i also enjoyed this article written by “a young, feminist atheist who can’t bake a cupcake”


    i think she makes some good points as to why – in a world where marriage, family and being a mom take the back seat and are not viewed as “great” things – people are still fascinated and take notice.

  26. I’ve noticed this as well! Love this post. I know religion can be a sensitive topic, but my favorite posts are always the ones that include a little about the blogger’s personal religion. I’ve always loved learning about others’ beliefs and celebrations.

    I’m a former Mormon and still love many things about that faith.

  27. I think that you have a really good idea. I also think that from now on, I should be considered your favorite child, just because I was brave enough to comment!! :D

  28. Interesting read. I’ve definitely noticed and discussed this trend with my husband. There is not a large Mormon population where I am from or live now, so before reading several blogs written by Mormons I didn’t know much about the church. And what I thought I knew was wrong!

    I am curious about one thing after reading your thoughts on the 13th article of faith, “…If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” Again, I am not Mormon and I am not pretending to understand this article or its origin completely.

    I sometimes feel bogged down and over-stimulated by all of the “stuff” that is out there. Instead of feeling inspired I’m left wanting more and more and more. Is the urge to “seek-out-pretty” a Mormon thing, or an instinct caused by never feeling satisfied by what we have and always wanting what others have? Is there a line between seeking what is praiseworthy (i.e. blessings, Creation, people) and seeking “stuff” or status?

    Please understand, this is not a statement that I believe this is how design bloggers, Mormon bloggers, or bloggers in general think/act/feel. It’s simply a reflection of my own feelings in relation to the blogs I read. I often find myself needing a break from the blog world to focus on what I have and not what I want or think I need. When I read the article of faith you posted it pricked that part of my brain again.

    1. What a fascinating question, Ella. I’ve been a Mormon all my life, known that article all my life, but I’ve never thought of it in a “stuff” sense. I’ve always applied it to nature, arts and culture, good works, and the like. But I can see how it could be applied to stuff: home dec, fashion, good design, etc. And frankly, I think the latter can get you into the trap of coveting what others have rather than appreciate what you do have. Covetousness certainly isn’t just a Mormon thing, but we definitely have our share.

    2. This is a great comment. I am an LDS woman and feel often wanting “more” as well. One of the main reasons why I love Design Blog and her SIL Say Yest To Hoboken is because the blogs main content is family related or what I would call virtuous and praiseworthy. There are posts related purely to style and fashion items but the main content is applicable to me and my growing family.
      I would love to also hear Gabrielle’s response.

    3. Perhaps it would help answer this question to put that quote in context of the whole 13th article of faith:

      “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul – We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. ”

      I don’t believe ‘things’ in this context is really referring to ‘stuff’ or ‘status,’ but more to goodness in general. We want to be good, do good, and feel happiness and joy. This article of faith speaks to our actions, our character, our attitudes, and what we have in our environment. This last part, I believe, encourages us to seek out the best and fill our minds and spirits with ‘good.’ Whatever helps us to feel uplifted, encouraged, and have a general sense of well-being, is what we should look for and keep near rather than things that will eventually bring us down. This definitely includes, but is not limited to ‘stuff.’ It can be literature, music, gardening, people, homes, animals, art, creative pursuits, ideas, careers, opportunities to serve others, or whatever. If it helps us to be honest, kind, happy,hopeful, and love and serve others, it’s a good thing – we should go there! And make it lovely!

    4. A short addendum…I was going to say this to begin with but my post was getting a bit long. One thing I do appreciate about Design Mom specifically (and some other blogs) is the focus on family and the things that are important to them. A lot of what is posted here is about celebrating their creative outlets together as a family and encouraging the development of creativity in the children. That is so important and definitely praiseworthy.

    5. Oh Ella, I’m sure there’s something to your thought of seeking out pretty to compensate for feeling dissatisfied about something. I know there’s a cultural joke in America about shopping our way out of depression — there’s nothing that new pair of shoes won’t solve. Right? : )

      I don’t believe that’s the thought behind the Article of Faith I reference, but I’ve definitely found myself bogged down with blogs as well. I know that might sound odd, because I write one. But I suppose everyone takes a break from the blog world now and again.

  29. Jennifer Brailsford

    I agree with the theory of the 13th article of faith. We seek things that are lovely. Art, design, writing, music, dance, theater etc…all fall into this category. Who can deny the feeling of joy from accomplishing any of these things and from experiencing any of these areas. Thus, I am not surprised there is a long line of history in our faith with the arts. Second, doing DIY projects can be work at the same time of creativity. Working and fulfilling the end goal also can give a sense of self satisfaction, which is part of the same article of faith. As a Mormon, I am not creative. I really wish I was. I admire those that can whip things up from the top of their heads. But my talent lies into being able to duplicate things really well. Must be why I am more musical then artsy. I am grateful for all design blogs out there, Mormon or not, because it allows me to find something creative that I would love to duplicate at home. Thank you to all who think it is worthwhile to enrich our lives with such splendor.

  30. Interesting post. I didn’t know you were Mormon nor did I notice/realize any of the other design/craft blogs I read are Mormon. I guess the ones I read don’t discuss their faith much. I did notice that a lot have large families. I just assumed it was an outlet for thrifty stay at home moms.

  31. It is so funny that you brought this up because I have slowly become aware that a majority of the blogs I read are written by mormons and have wondered about it myself.

  32. [ Comment erased by Design Mom with note: This particular comment thread was getting off topic so I took it down. ]

  33. A friend and I have wondered about this many a time in the past. I read more design blogs by Mormon bloggers and she reads a large number of craft blogs by Mormon bloggers. We’re always wondering why it is that way….it’s reassuring to see Mormon bloggers talk about it…we were beginning to feel crazy for noticing it.

  34. Half of my family is LDS and I’ve wondered about it and talked with my (half) sister (who is LDS) about it, but we didn’t come up with any ideas of why. She also blogs. Ironically she is the creative one of LDS side and the rest of us who aren’t LDS are super creative as well. So it’s a nice common link that we share. I do agree with the part about keeping a family history idea though as to a good reason why since it is such an integral part of the faith. It is something both sides of our family does as well too so we share another nice link there. Regardless of the reason why it is nice to see so many nice women blogging and bringing hobbies, and interests to the forefront. Also, it is nice when people can get along when they share different faiths as well.

  35. I discovered blogs before I was a mormon but it makes sense to me now why I gravitated to these blogs, and why I think others do as well. In some way, they evoke this really ideal world. In this world there are beautiful women with lovely children who mostly express the nice parts of their life and talk about creative projects they do with their kids and beautiful aspects of design in all areas of life. I think women, especially, are looking for a place where they can be celebrated and these blogs (and in my opinion especially ones done by mormons) really create this place of celebration. I think women want a place where they can see what it ideally looks like and also where they can feel okay about being a female and/or being a mother. I’m not a mother per se but I see these blogs and it makes me realize something that I want for myself and my future family and was actually an instrumental part in my curiosity about mormons. Especially when the world around me and the corporate world I work in seems to sort of look down on women who become mothers and even females to some extent (again, my experience but probably not everyone’s experience). These blogs are a wonderful place to go and not have to feel bad about being a female and loving beautiful things and being a mother and all the other things that can sometimes feel so faux pas.
    Thanks for all you do though Gabrielle! I think you are beautiful and an enigma and embody what I strive to be as a mother some day in the future.

    1. Ooh, ditto to this, too. Mothering can be hard, tiring, dirty, stressful work, whether you do it full time from home or whether you try to balance it with a demanding job (like I do). I enjoy reading blogs like yours especially because they help re-center me–they help me remember what I love about being a mother, they help me remember to take joy in the little things, to try to add some beauty and magic in each day, and they spark my imagination with ways to do that. My life is full of people who complain, who are stressed, who are tired, who just want to slide by with the minimum each day so they can get some sleep before they have to slog through the same thing again the next day. Life is not all sunshine and lollipops, so those points of view are valid, but this is a welcome, needed, break from that. I do truly enjoy, too, when my favorite bloggers “keep it real” and talk about the challenges they face, but it’s balanced with so much good stuff that it’s still a breath of fresh air.

      1. I agree with Jo and Hyzen, especially Hyzen’s feeling of being surrounded by ‘people who just want to slide by with the minium each day’ this rang such a bell with me and it is true, now I think about it, this is one of the reasons I like several design blogs by Mormons because they are family centred and full of people who are trying to get the maximum out of their day. They are inspiring and uplifting to read… and thought provoking, will be thinking on this one a while. Thank you Gabrielle.

      2. I meant to say–I’M one of those stressed, tired, complaining people myself sometimes, for sure. I’m not one who wants to slide by on the minimum though, and that’s what this is about for me. I try to count my blessings, and conciously strive to create good memories even in hard times, and Gabrielle’s blog and others help me do that.

  36. I’m so glad you brought up the 13th article of faith. I remember reading about how you said your mom helped and encouraged you at your talent when she recognized it. Mothers are so good at doing this and you have really inspired me to help my children try to recognize and develop their own gifts. With such a focus on women having success in the world it is easy to forget on how we need to discover and build on our individual talents. Many church leaders have expressed the importance of meditating and having a hobby or a creative outlet. I also remember always being taught that we are to share our talents with others. All the Mormon blogs I read make me more excited about motherhood and give me ideas to make it fun and beautiful.

  37. Very interesting topic. I think the theories you have listed (at least the first two) seem right to me. I am a catholic raising a large family (5 kids) I have spent a lot of time trying to find creative outlets that don’t take away me away from my first desire which is being there for my family. A design blog is a small way to do that. Regarding the first theory, I did not grow up in a big family, but I was a huge thrift store shopper, and room redecorator growing up. Funny how those little things you do in youth often are real indicators of what you’ll always be passionate about. xo

  38. I actually think that it’s a Christian thang, not just a Mormon one. As a non-religious but culturally identified Jew, I’ve noticed that a lot of my favorite bloggers are practicing Christians/Mormons. I wonder if it’s because I read a lot of American blogs (I’m in France) and people are more open about their religious beliefs in the US (even if it’s in a very subtle, inclusive way, like you did on your Easter post).

    My other thought is that practicing Christians/Mormons tend to have more children and so, like you said, think more about how to do much with little, stretch your dollars, be a good stay at home mom (meant in a good way) etc. I’m a former frugal blogger myself (AlmostFrugal.com), so I tend to read a lot of the frugal, design, lifestyle, mom blogs.


  39. Gabrielle, what a great post and discussion that’s generated from it! I’ve often wondered your thoughts on this interesting phenomenon. In addition to thinking about the reason why there are so many design and lifestyle blogs by Mormons, I’ve also been curious about how all these blogs function as a community. I thought it was super interesting how bloggers (especially you and your NieDay auctions) mobilized to raise money and support for Stephanie Nielson. It was almost like a virtual Relief Society project; only everyone in the world was invited. Thanks a lot for sharing your hypotheses about this fascinating trend.

  40. I wondered that too. I grew up Mormon, where we were taught all kinds of crafts and homemaking, but more important I thought it was because of the emphasis put on journaling and the importance of family history. A blog is a natural 21st-century interpretation of that.

  41. I was telling my husband not that long ago that almost every blog I love is written by a Mormon. Sometimes I wouldn’t even realize and then sure enough. It is funny to me too because I am pregnant with my fifth child and live in Los Angeles (which let me tell you is a rare thing here and causes mouth gaping stares and funny comments). I cannot even tell you how many times in the last month I have been asked if I was Mormon even by those who are Mormon. One Mom at my daughters ballet class said that with my husband and I having blonde hair and blue eyes and having five kids and that I am creative and make all this stuff she just assumed I was……and she is Mormon herself. While I am not Mormon I did grow up as one of seven children and yes had to be thrifty and creative so maybe your sister has a point there.

  42. So interesting! I am not gifted in the area of design (in the least!) but I do love looking at blogs like this… so I suppose that, being LDS myself, maybe the desire to read them stems from some of the same reasons that you write them. In any case, thanks!

  43. I think it also stems from the fact that we want to create homes where we and our children feel comfortable and happy. One of my favorite aspects of the Mormon faith is the emphasis on family and home. I want my home to be a place where my children will want to come and feel safe and happy, so I try to bring things into my home that help accomplish that goal. I know design is only a small part of creating a happy home, but for me it certainly helps.

    1. And I know religion is always a sensitive topic, so I’m NOT saying that women of other faiths don’t strive to create happy homes and families. It’s just one of the Mormon church’s basic tenets.

  44. Interesting topic, interesting theories. It would be a great study for a sociologist.

    I also like this idea from Dieter Uchtdorf: “The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.”

  45. I literally laughed out loud (very loudly) as soon as I read the title of this post! I noticed a few months ago that majority of the design blogs I read are from people in Utah and the others I read are from former/current Mormons elsewhere. I totally wondered the same thing aloud to my husband one night. :)

  46. I am not Mormon and read only 3 blogs – including yours – which are all by Mormon woman! I always assumed the common thread was not wanting a job that took you outside the home on a regular basis. Another common theme that I find on all 3 blogs is the inclusion of the writer’s children in the blog. I have always wondered how the children feel about having their life documented publicly – especially as the children get older. And the other question I have is about safety. Are you ever afraid that by sharing so much info. — pictures of your homes, etc. – that there is a safety concern?
    When all is said and done — whatever the reasons that bring you to blogging — I am grateful that you share you life in this way. Thank you.

    1. Good questions, Lilly. So far, my children really enjoy being part of my blog. But if that changes as they get older, I’ll definitely have to rethink my content.

  47. I LOVE what you said about the 13th article of faith! It’s the mutual theme this year and we’ve been talking about SEEKING after wonderful, virtuous and beautiful things. Though perhaps not at the surface for all of the design blog motivation, at least subconciously we seek after inspiring things.

    I also think that all that believe in God notice more about the world and the wonder that has been created. I think that’s part of it, too!

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