12 June 2012

SKIRTED ROUNDTABLE INTERVIEW WITH DARA CAPONIGRO:

 

The Skirted  Roundtable

It’s no secret that one of my favorite magazines is Veranda – the one magazine that really gets my heart racing when the new issue arrives.  For years, Veranda has been such a large part of my design life – Houston designers are frequently featured, as is the southern décor aesthetic that I love so much.  When the editor and founder, Lisa Newsom, retired, I confess that I wasn’t thrilled when they picked the new editor – she came from domino magazine, the hip bible of the younger set.  I didn’t understand how they could choose a domino alum to head up the elegant and gracious Veranda.  What I didn’t realize then was that the new editor, Dara Caponigro, had a much more varied career than just domino.  She had worked long stints at House Beautiful and Elle Décor, two magazines having more in common with Veranda than domino.  It took me a few months to get over Newsom’s departure (what a brat I was!) but Dara has more than proven herself.  Under her leadership and discerning eye, Veranda has remained a first rate magazine – showing gorgeous homes from around the world.  It rarely disappoints.  

 

ShoppingVeranda-Headshot2

As can be expected – when I heard Dara was coming on The Skirted Roundtable, I was beyond thrilled to get a chance to talk with her about Veranda and the state of magazines in general.  We’ve talked with other editors before and they offer a unique view of the product that we all love so much – magazines. 

 

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This month’s issue of Veranda – the cover features beautiful slipcovered antique Swedish chairs from Lief.

 

Dara is a remarkable woman.  She graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College, no less – along with being elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  She definitely has the smarts which is why she has been able to reach the top, along with putting in a lot of hard work along the way.  I can’t imagine how difficult (and fun) her job must be!   Dara says she travels quite a bit for her job and with this year’s 25th anniversary celebrations, she is really busy holding events around the country.

 

 

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In the new issue, this softly muted room by Darryl Carter caught my eye.  I love how asymmetrical it is – yet it looks so balanced by the unusual placement of furniture. Notice how the black lamp is balanced by the dark tapestry.

 

Along with everything Dara discussed, I was most interested in learning how they choose houses for publication.  Once you’ve been turned down for an issue, they don’t revisit your application.  If you want another chance – you have to resubmit for another month’s consideration.  That surprised me.  Another interesting thing was how different photoshoots are today.  Back in the day – the magazines would come with boxes of accessories and furniture to “redesign” the room.  That doesn’t happen today.  

 

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This room by Kathleen Clements also has an asymmetrical layout – solved by placed of the furniture.  The sculpture and pedestal balance out the fireplace – and the single chair also grounds that side.  Two chairs flanking the fireplace would never have worked.  And notice how the sculpture on the left is balanced by the one on the mantel.   Notice also how the entire room is off balanced – and the dark curtains on the left weigh down that side – if not, it would appear even more uneven.

 

Of course Dara talked about the gorgeous new book by former editor Lisa Newsom:  Houses of Veranda.  I’ve written about the book – and will reiterate, it’s gorgeous!!  Meghan and Linda didn’t have the book prior to the interview – and when they got their copies, they were stunned by how beautiful it is.  It’s been a stellar year for wonderful design books, I must say.   

The good news is that Dara’s so positive about the future, especially concerning social media and blogging – she’s really excited about Veranda’s Facebook page, for example, which surprised me.  And Veranda is redesigning their web site – hopefully they will be including archives of their photographs just like their sister Heart publication – Vogue.  Gawd – I HOPE so!!!!!!!!!!  Can you imagine having the ability to see online each photograph from every Veranda ever published?????!  Wow.   Dara’s positive attitude towards bloggers was also surprising.  She wanted our opinions and had nary a negative word to say about the medium that some fear threaten the magazines.  Not me.  I’ve said it before, but without magazines, there wouldn’t be the plethora of blogs out there.  We need them more than they need us. 

 

 

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The new Veranda book is filled with your favorite houses from over the years. 

 

houses of veranda living room

One of my favorite spreads in the new Veranda book – the house seen on the cover – with its gorgeous aged boiserie.

 

I hope you will take a few minutes to listen to the new interview on The Skirted Roundtable. It’s a good one this time – the sound is great (for once!) and the guest is an incredible woman.

To listen, go to www.skirtedroundtable.blogspot.com – and click on the green bar at the end of the post!

Enjoy!

 

To order The Houses of Veranda from Amazon, just click on the title below:

 

 

27 comments:

  1. Looking forward to pouring myself a big glass of iced tea, putting my feet up, and listening!
    xoxo,
    pamela

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  2. I. Love. Magazines. I love blogs, too- especially yours, but I love magazines. There is nothing better than losing yourself in a favorite magazine. I examine every inch of every image on every page, even the ads, many times over. Then I whip out my fan decks and try to color match any paint colors that are not listed on the source pages, so fun!

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  3. I like listening to the skirted roundtable when I'm fixing dinner so will give a listen tonight. Right now I'm wondering where my new issue of Veranda is beccause I love Darryl Carter and want to see that room!

    XX
    Debra~

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  4. I agree that the new Veranda book is a wonderful collection of images. I had to wait a bit for it to arrive, but I was not disappointed.
    Thanks, Joni, for recommending it.

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  5. Very excited to listen to this discussion over a glass of wine this evening, Joni!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  6. This is SO fun!! Thanks! franki

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  7. Love that Veranda mag. + the book. Must listen now to roundtable. thanks, grand post. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  8. I'm excited! CAn't wait to get it.
    Thanks Joni.
    Lisa

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  9. Joni,
    Great post! I have a framed rejection letter from Veranda (Lisa Newsom) hanging in my office! It inspires me to keep working towards submission worthy project completion. After all, I'll never be a "brand" if I don't get some new jobs published...

    Dean Farris, Naples, Florida

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  10. Hey Joni,
    Agree, with Dean, it's a great post. We do need magazines more than they need us - they inspired us in the first place! SGHx

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  11. Joni,
    I love Veranda and like you, I was a little concerned with what direction it might take with a new editor. I look forward to listening to the interview.
    Thanks,
    Karen

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  12. Joni,
    You are a sweetheart writing kind words about Dara but I have not been convinced. Since she took over, every new issue of Veranda has been an absolute disappointment. Only one issue ever made it to my dear collection --the rest went straight to the recycle been since there was nothing worth saving. She might be trying too hard to be different or something, but she has turned Veranda, which had a unique style, into a weird concoction of Architectural Digest, Elle Decor and House Beautiful (yijj). I already subscribe to AD, so a bad wanna-be isn't necessary. I do not subscribe to House Beautiful or Elle Decor so another look-alike will not make me buy a subscription either. I'm letting my subscription to Veranda, as well as the gift subscriptions I used to buy, lapse. Instead I'm treating myself and others to a copy of the Veranda book. That will be my good-bye to an era of good taste and wonderful decor headed by Lisa Newsom.

    How will I fill the void of not receiving Veranda anymore? Very simple. I will just go to the internet and find interesting blogs about interior design. I've already discovered one that more than fills the shoes: Cote de Texas. And I mean it. I get more satisfaction by reading your extended articles with tons of pictures than I've ever gotten from the useless articles from the "new" Veranda.

    If I had any power in this world, I would nominate you editor in chief of Veranda. However, the world would then miss one of the precursors of using new technology to spread elegance and good taste. And I wouldn't miss that!

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    Replies
    1. Nice try suck up but the world of fashion journalism is a dog eat dog world and one must be tough, sophisticated and full of fresh and new ideas every month. So, Joni could published the first issue with the "Houston look", but then what? Her personal portfolio is not extensive enough, nor her grasp of what sells in other regions of the country in order to have a national appeal. Her talents are best used doing exactly what she does now and that's touting her formula and have her faithful and obedient followers attempt to duplicate it in Peoria, Columbus, Topeka and every other dead end design mecca in the U.S.

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    2. First, learn proper grammar, spelling and basic sentence composition. Second, I could not care less about whether the world of fashion or journalism lives or succumbs to the internet. I like what I like and I am not under any obligation to buy or dedicate my time to things that in my very subjective opinion are plain ugly. I have limited time and I will devote it to indulging in things I find pleasurable. I wonder though, why do you spend your time visiting, reading and writing posts in a blog that you consider so unworthy? I could speculate, but really, it is of no consequence either.

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    3. "Recycle been". What's a recycle been? Is that a new age past tense of the verb to "recycle", or is it a new age tense of the verb "to be". Again, how are things in Topeka?

      Veranda must indulge all taste and design preferences, and a good editor will seek out a variety of accomplished designers with varying points of view to showcase. It sounds like you are stuck in a design comfort zone. Perhaps Cottage Living or Yonkers House and Home are more to your taste. If a designer had a choice to have his or her work published in Veranda or on Cote de Texas, there would be no contest. Blogs do serve a useful purpose, but will never have the magic and appeal of that glossy little beauty that shows up in your mailbox once a month. Now you can go back to filling your recycling "been".

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  13. This is a great post. That magazine looks awesome!

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  14. Joni,

    Must say, if the two rooms you showed in your post are indicative of the new Veranda--count me out. I really can't stand those rooms. Of course, I'm old fashioned; I prefer
    rooms to be symmetrical. It seems the new decorating style is to just throw anything you want in a room without consideration to how it all blends together.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sally, I am with you about the decor of the first two rooms - very cold and too much modern in the mix for my taste. However, it is not the fault of the designer that the rooms are asymmetrical. Both rooms were cursed with an off-center layout to begin with due to the architecture. (Fault of an evil builder, again?) From a standpoint of furniture layout alone, I think the designers did a very good job of bringing balance to both spaces.

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  15. Great job on the post! I love hoe the house of veranda looks, the gorgeous aged boiserie , to my surprising is something im interested it in. Do you have any suggestions on how to achieve this look? (keeping in mind a friendly budget)

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  16. A fabulous magazine, and hoping to enjoy coffee on the front porch while I listen in the am. A wonderful way to
    get the creative juices flowing. I have a huge, empty master bedroom to create !
    Veranda is definitely one of my favorites and they have chosen the new editor well ! We can rest assured the
    style, charm and beautiful rooms that so inspire us will remain.

    Diana

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  17. STYLE ALERT! For those of you who LOVE the French Baker's Rack in Joni's kitchen, here is your big chance. I just saw an identical one listed on Craigslist in Austin, Texas for only $350. I would buy it myself but it looks really heavy and I live way out in California. While the seller says it needs some restoration, it appears to be structurally sound and may just need refinishing. The brand is "Perfit Fils".

    If you have been salivating over the Baker's Rack in Joni's kitchen snatch this up now before an antique dealer or designer gets it, has it sandblasted, refinished and sells it for $1,500 or more. It was listed on 6-12-2012 and appears to be still available. Hope someone in our CDT "Family" gets to take this home with them!

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    Replies
    1. Get your own blog, Charlotte and stop trying so hard to be Joni's intern.

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  18. Joni: Veranda rocks! The two rooms you showed with asymmetrical arrangements surprise me because in the past, I have notices your very strong lean toward symmetry. Glad the design world is big enough for both. Darryl Carter has become one of my favorites, also. Can't wait to hear the interview with Dara!

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  19. Another great listen Joni... and I am mad about the Verandah book too... xv

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  20. Very interesting... I really like it... Thank you so much...

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  21. In listening to this round table, I find it interesting how people with vast amounts of money that can own the most beautiful and unique things are the ones that deem them just "stuff" in the end. I guess that comes from being able to have the "choice" that expendable cash allows. Truly a disconnect from most people who can only dream to live in the spaces that kind of luxury money buys.

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  22. These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post, writing is simply great, thank you for the post

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