COTE DE TEXAS: Pink/Repink: Dishing on House Beautiful

Pink/Repink: Dishing on House Beautiful




Did the cover of the new House Beautiful look familiar to you? 



Maybe it’s because just one year ago, the House Beautiful cover story was the same – Windsor Smith’s new house?



The 2009 story of Windsor Smith’s new house featured her gorgeous pink sitting room with its collection of wonderful chairs.  Who could ever forget a room like this?        Almost everyone in the design blogosphere was head over heels in love with Windsor’s house, and especially this pink room.  I can’t tell you the number of blogs that talked about that cover story of Windsor’s house. So, why in heaven’s name would House Beautiful repeat that room on their latest cover?   What is going on over at House Beautiful with its new editor in chief?  

To tell you the truth, I was confused  when I first saw the magazine this month.  I thought, are they featuring Windsor’s house again?   Or, wait, maybe another magazine featured it last year, maybe I’m mistaken???   This cover certainly had me doubting my recall.  Surely, one magazine wouldn’t repeat the same cover story twice in one year?     Who at House Beautiful thought it was a good idea to confuse their readers?   If you carefully read the cover, you notice it does proclaim:  “ten rooms we couldn’t forget” – well, neither could we.



As it turns out House Beautiful’s new issue is all about the color pink, since Pantone has named Honeysuckle Pink as the color of the year.  In the Pink cover story, page after page of previously run photographs were shown again (yawn) to illustrate the color pink (double yawn.)   For instance, this picture above is repeated from a previously run story.  Remember how the blogs oohed and awed over this stairway?   Until someone noticed what a terrible paint job the stairs got.   So, here we go again – staring at the awful paint job. 



And House Beautiful runs this picture of a Suzanne Kasler dining room- yes, again.   Jeez.   How many blogs have shown this picture on Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Month?   Hundreds?    Thanks House Beautiful for running it one more time.  




If House Beautiful wants to talk about the color pink – give us something new and fresh, like this photograph from this month’s Cote Sud.   Now, THIS gorgeous photograph made me stop and stare.  I certainly didn’t have to wonder where I had seen this photo before – because I hadn’t!   It’s totally original and fabulous.  



 Even House Beautiful’s Bathroom of the Month has been seen before – its Betty Lou Phillips master bath, straight off the pages of her latest book.    God forbid, they go photograph a bathroom we haven’t seen before.  




            Let’s make nice.   I did love that House Beautiful showed this gorgeous all gray and white house by Tracery Interiors.    To tie this all gray and white house in with the Pink theme, they added pink flowers everywhere.  Poof!   Now, it’s a pink house!    OK, this house is gorgeous, as were the others shown this month.



To be fair, the houses featured this month in House Beautiful are beautiful.  The Tracery house above, is, spectacular.  And this one with the pink curtains by Ruthie Sommers is fab too.   Gorgeous entrance hall.



Why all this talk about House Beautiful?    Because on the newest Skirted Roundtable, we discussed all of this and more.  One topic we talk about is the Picks Section found in most magazines, online and at the newsstand.  Does anyone read these types of stories?   Seriously – does ANYONE read these pages filled with all kinds of little things to buy?    Picks have become a large and must-have  part of the  new online magazines, Rue, High Gloss, and Lonny.  Why?????   Is it even possible to publish a design magazine without a Picks page?  Someone should try.





On the Skirted Roundtable, we don’t just crucify House Beautiful.    Veranda was back at it again, recycling a house we’ve all seen before, ad nauseum.  The gorgeous Belgian house owned by antiquarians Brigitte and Alain Garnier that has been seen in countless international magazines and all over the blogosphere,  is this month’s cover story.  People, PLEASE, give us something new for our money.    I will say this,  if you have never seen the above house before, it’s worth the issue price – it’s gorgeous.  But, if you’ve seen it before and before and before, you’re out of luck.  Of course, the current Veranda does have many other houses worth seeing.   If Veranda could ever just give us all new content, we would be on the band wagon, shouting it from the rooftops.    Despite all the unfortunate repeats, I am loving the direction of the new Veranda.    The magazine is evolving and growing.   It’s leaving its southern roots behind and is looking more and more Elle Décor edgy each month.    Whether you like that or not is personal preference.    All I want is to be surprised each month by something new and original.




Country Living gets it right.  Never have I seen a recycled house or story in this magazine.  For years Country Living was the Cinderella to the better produced Country Home.    Today, I can barely remember Country Home.   Each month, Country Living consistently give us what we didn’t we wanted.   March’s issue has columns on both Dave Matthews AND Lucinda Williams.  WOW.  Someone at Country Living has good taste in music.   This month, they give us new houses, new stories, new features and none have been seen before in the magazine or the blogosphere.  It can be done.




Lonny – the premier online magazine – FREE. 


While we are dishing out lots of money for magazines each month –  more and more fabulous FREE online magazines with fresh, original content are vying for our attention.   It makes you wonder - who’s going to win this battle.  Is it even a battle?   Can the FREE Rue, Lonny, High Gloss and all the other online magazines take over the business, stealing the paying readership?    The content of these online magazines certainly rivals the paper versions.   Do you think Hearst, et al, has discussed Lonny at a board meeting?  Do they care?  Are they worried?  Do you think that IBM discussed those snarky teenagers who started a little business in their garage called Microsoft and Apple?   Are High Gloss and Rue the Microsoft and Apple of the magazine world?

Join us for this week’s Skirted Roundtable HERE where Linda, Megan and I discuss all this – House Beautiful’s Pink issue with all the repeats, Veranda’s status, Town and Country tidbits, along with online magazine gossip. 



And now, for something totally different:   Budget Buying News:


Target must have hired a new photostylist.  I can’t remember ever seeing such a beautiful ad from them!  This new line looks so cute!!!



And another new ad from Target.  Too bad they don’t sell that sofa!  They could make a million on that item.


Listen to The Skirted Roundtable vs. Pink/Repink HERE.


  1. Ok,
    I was thinking the same thing, yes the house was familiar to me.
    I too was swooned by the Tracery Interiors house.
    Not much of a fan of the collage of products, I usually enjoy finding things on my own.
    I see where the pink ties in, I think I would trade that color for gray right about now though.
    Good post Joni;
    always interesting and debatable too!

    By the way I posted on the wall finally being finished and I am debating on a wainscoting for the hall. Remember a while ago I picked your brain on the fretwork Houston house and where the pics came from.
    Have a good weekend,

  2. Well obviously am going over to hear the podcast directly after leaving this comment. Lots of food for thought here. Firstly, I think there are many who don't have your eagle eye or memory but still it seems inexcusable for a major magazine like House Beautiful to resort to repeating features so quickly. As for the online vs. paper, that is a much bigger issue (no pun intended). As much as I love the online mags, I still find it easier to look through a traditional printed copy. I have not fully mastered the zooming in and out to read all the fine print and see the details etc. However, clearly they make so much more sense economically that it is surely the wave of the future. And as for T&C - please oh please let Jay Fielden do smart things and not alienate the non-20 something audience!!

  3. My education in following you designer icons out there continues! Never has my eye tuned in so close before to fashion from Quintessence and Decor from Cote de Texas! I'm loving it. I think I missed my career calling long ago. I would have loved this line of work as details and I go hand in hand. Really enjoyed the analysis. I would like to redo my home room by room perhaps.

  4. Is it Peterson Milla Hooks ad agency in minneapolis? the target ad agency??

  5. Well, I have to say I totally agree about these magazines, it's downright annoying. We're all out there looking for something fresh...and "new", not a re-hash of what has already been published!
    I get so disappointed and miss my favorite old stand-by magazines.....oh well.
    And those Target ads are great, however the most stunning part of the bedroom one is the actual architecture of the room itself....any bedding would look great in that room! But I like the direction they're going, Target always has great style at affordable prices.

  6. Joni,
    House Beautiful was a serious let down this month. Not only were the houses repeats, but just because pink is the color of the year, come on! An entire issue devoted to pink.
    If I ever was on the fence about throwing some pink into my home, House Beautiful had me so sick of it by page 61 that I definitely am not now.
    If Lonny, Rue and the new High Gloss can find and photograph new content, surely House Beautiful should be able to.
    Thanks for the analysis. Very interesting.

  7. Joni,

    Amen! Amen! Amen!

    Love and kisses and great appreciation to you, Joni!

    What can I say? You ROCK!

    You give us more than any of us could ever hope for and you challenge all of us to be better and smarter and more observant and more discerning. And you challenge the powers that be. No small task that.

    We are all deeply enriched by you and your wonderful eye and observations.

    I am so GRATEFUL for you!

  8. Joni - as usual you are BANG ON. Yet AGAIN HB is not worth the import price I pay to get the US version (I live in the UK). What a load of re-cycled rubbish. Honestly.

    Also - did I miss your xmas post? I truly LOVED last years (I know you took some hell for it) & I know hundreds of other folks did too -please consider posting us about your lovely family holiday fun...?


  9. Leave it to you to notice that Joni!! lol...good eye! Love that house. Not sure about pink walls for me, but those little shots of light pink in towels or flowers...just lovely!!!

    Hope you are well...long time!


  10. Hi Joni, as usual a great post and lots to think on. Co-incidentally I just read a post at My favoutite and My Best where she brought this up and the Editor of HB, Newell Turner apparently left a comment to explain. You can read it here.


  11. I am so sick of pink! Pink has been the color for years, or maybe I was the only one using it?
    I love pink lemonade, pink flowers, etc..
    I can remember when all of these magazines were SO much better. It has been a while, but they were better.
    As for leaving the south out, don't want that to happen since I am stuck right dab in the middle of it, haha! Atlanta is as southern as you can get so Veranda's surrounding influence them.
    I agree with you that the magazines have been getting better lately. Competition at play. The online editions are leaving be unsatisfied though. The images of the "online only" magazines are much better because that is their main audience.
    Love your blog, Joni. Keep 'em straight.

  12. Joni- "To tie this all gray and white house in with the Pink theme, they added pink flowers everywhere. Poof! Now, it’s a pink house!"

    Too funny! I thought the same thing!

    I will have to carve out some Skirted Roundtable time this month to listen to your latest!


  13. You really have a keen eye, Joni! I don't think I've bought HB enough to catch that. It's not a good precedent, however. I love the new Target line, but haven't seen it in person. That could make a big difference. I think "the picks" pages fall short, because everything I've ever searched out or linked to has been sold out or no longer found.

  14. I admit I have enjoyed Country Living since the very "country" beginning, through thick and thin. I still like to have & hold a real magazine...many magazines! I have read Lonny, Rue, & High Gloss. While I certainly commend all these digital magazines and the people (& hard work!) behind them...I'm gonna say it - they all seem very similar to me. Nothing really grabbed me. Maybe I need to go back over them - did I miss something? These new online mags will definately have to "define" themselves in the future to have a loyal following. Great job on the whole "pink" thing, Joni! I agree, new pictures are a must. Thanks for a interesting blog!

  15. I was so disappointed in all of the magazines this month, but especially House Beautiful. I love the colour pink, but I didn't need to see an entire issue dedicated to it, especially an issue in which a large percentage of the pictures were repeats. Except for the Tracery Interiors house, which wasn't even pink, the issue was a huge disappointment. Why, oh why, couldn't they make an effort and find two or three new houses to photograph. If I want reruns, I'll watch TV!

    The "picks" are pointless. Unless you live in a major North American city, finding them is impossible. Although you can buy some of them online, I'm the knd of person who likes to see a decorative object "in person" before I buy it.

    House Beautiful used to be so good with Stephen Drucker at the helm. Now I actually flip through it at the newsstand to see if it's worth buying. Veranda is looking really good (except for the repeats), AD is improving with each issue and Elle Decor is all over the map. I guess we need to give some of the new Editors-in-Chief a few more months to get their sea legs.

  16. Just today I went on Ebay and bought issues of Southern Accents I didn't have!

    I agree w/what you've posted & said on The Skirted Roundtable - HB was a disappointment this month.

    My reactions:
    - Recycled photos almost feel unfair, charge more for the subscription but show us something new
    - Pages 108- 111 were 4 pages wasted on pink-trivia...How does that translate into home decor?
    - Pages 96 - 99, 50 Ways to Pink, felt like the gift buying section they throw into the November issue to make it feel like it's a Holiday Issue..
    -For a Tablescape section to have real oomph it needs to be more than one page. HB - call in Eddie Ross for this feature!
    -Am I the only one who doesn't care about cookbooks?

    Also, I have interview-style fatigue. I wish at least 1/2 the features would read like an article.

    OK Joni - this is the most negative I've ever gone but it's really how I feel about this month's issue.

    Anyway, the Tracery Interiors house was gorgeous - would have loved to see more of it.


  17. I am definitely not a pink fan, so I'll skip the HB. A lots of magazines seem to repeat. Elegant Homes can be great, or a complete rerun. And I too wish Target sold that white sofa!.

  18. Joni, either start your own magazine or stop the constant griping. Who appointed you the supreme critic of what the general public wants to see in design magazines. I do agree the pink room may have been done before, but oh didn't you drool both times in order to keep both feet firmly planted in the right places - one foot with Windsor Smith, another with HB. We remember how you sucked up to Stephen Drucker hoping one of your mediocre designs would make it into one of their issues. If you don't like it, put your money where your mouth is and launch a magazine of your own. As to the Garnier piece, it is utterly beautiful, a slam dunk on a look you have tried over and over again to achieve in your own work. Perhaps it is appropriate that publishers would like to feature it given the fact that they have differing readership. Grow up!

  19. Never commented before however I feel compelled after reading anon 7:47. Joni is talented, interesting and honest. She has created an amazing blog and keeps everyone coming back for more. You seem very crabby maybe you should find another blog.
    Great work and interesting commentary Joni

  20. To ANON 7:47 pm:

    ANON: either start your own magazine or stop the constant griping. Who appointed you the supreme critic of what the general public wants to see in design magazines.

    ME: No one did. But it's my blog and I write about topics I choose. Why not take your own advice and write your own blog about how much you love the magazines. That's what blogging is all about.

    ANON: I do agree the pink room may have been done before, but oh didn't you drool both times in order to keep both feet firmly planted in the right places - one foot with Windsor Smith, another with HB.

    ME: I love that room - then and now. not sure what the point is? should the magazines put covers that have already been done each month? and what feet firmly in the right places? Windsor? HB? what???? Are you saying i was brown nosing when I said i liked it? but now? i am no longer brown nosing? why not? haha!!! what a joke.

    ANON: We remember how you sucked up to Stephen Drucker hoping one of your mediocre designs would make it into one of their issues.

    ME: WHAT?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!? Excuse me? As if i would ever even pretend to think HB would publish my jobs. get your facts straight. again, what a joke.

    ANON: If you don't like it, put your money where your mouth is and launch a magazine of your own.

    JONI: why should i? i could care less about starting a magazine. nor do i have the time for it. i write a blog where i may be critical once in a blue moon. i think this is maybe the 4 or 5 time ive written something critical in over 4 years.

    ANON: As to the Garnier piece, it is utterly beautiful, a slam dunk on a look you have tried over and over again to achieve in your own work.

    ME: excuse me? when have i ever done anything that even remotely looks belgian???????
    as fort he garnier house -i have shown pictures of the cover shot - the dining room many times. greet of belgian pearls has shown their house, so have many other bloggers. plus their house has been in countless magazines already. go look on their web site under press if you don't believe me. plus, their house has been in a number of the beta-plus books. it's been shown to death, all over the magazines, blogs and books. yet, veranda puts it on the front cover as if its newsworthy or new.

    ANON: Perhaps it is appropriate that publishers would like to feature it given the fact that they have differing readership. Grow up!

    ME: I doubt that. people who read my blog read greet's. they also read beta plus books plus they read other magazines.

    Thanks for your comments though.

  21. Hi,
    I am a magazine junkie and I agree with each of your assessments on the latest issues. Great post!!

  22. Also, the Target ads caught my eye too! I don't comment often but I have always found your posts to be well written and very engaging. Keep up the great work!

  23. Rerunning pictures and stories is bad enough but Cottage Style republished the exact same magazine as their Spring 2009 issue. The only change was the cover. This is really sad considering how many beautiful homes are out there. More importantly how many people (like me) spent $10.00 on a magazine they had already purchased a year earlier! Shame on these publishers for thinking that their customers will continue to support their publications when their originality has disappeared!!

  24. It's so true... I'm with you 100%. We pay to see it, so, please, please, please... at least have the decency to give us NEW & inspiring articles. We are tired of pink by now... yes, It's so "last" month! :-)


    Please drop by to say "hello", ok? I missing you on my blog! :-)


    Luciane at

    Post of the Day: Britney Spears' New House.

  25. Joni,

    I kid you not...when I saw House Beautiful's cover, I was annoyed. I thought to myself...hmmm...wonder if Joni will write about this! Sure enough. I HATE it when mags republish pics. In fact, I hate to say this because I love HB, but I haven't been happy with the last few issues. I have been going through my old magazines the past couple of weeks and pulling out images for my files. I was just thinking today about how much I miss Southern Accents. Boo!

  26. Well, you keep them on their toes. Interesting to bring this up. There are so many wonderful projects out there and great, undiscovered designers to publish. I'm really tired of the picks in all magazines, print and online.

  27. I have been reading your blog for a long time but haven't commented before - sorry about that! I really just wanted to say that I love your style and your vast knowledge of interior design but what keeps me coming back again and again is your writing style. You often have a lot of text in your blogs but your posts are never boring because your wit and humour (often self deprecating) always comes through. Thank-you for always being so informative and entertaining. x Sharon (South Africa)

  28. Joni: Dear, now haven't you just opened a can of worms? Taking a stand on an issue often brings conflicting opinions, and I am confident you are up for the flack! I have to agree with you, though. And, I so terribly miss the old Stephen Drucker, House Beautiful. For me, they were the finest of the finest. I also agree with you that the house and the couple that Country Living featured on their cover this month were superb. They have discovered and given deserving press to new talent. The house they featured was fresh and innovative, and I love this couple's spirit. I may be very wrong, but it is my opinion that pink has always been classic in the right context, but as a trend, I think it will be very short lived. I think I'll just skip this one...Just not for me!

  29. Joni you go girl!! I couldn't agree more! With what we pay for a magazine original material should NOT be too much to ask for! Vanna

  30. I am with you Joni, on each point you made, but please don't waste your time responding to some "anonymous"...publish comments and let your readers judge.
    As for magazines I am quite puzzled as you are, what is going on?

  31. I'm with you on House beautiful but what annoys me is its new disjointedness and small silly pointless features like "makeover in one day". HB is my favourite mag and I'm seriously worried about the direction it is going in.

    Secondly, stop complaining about the price of the magazines - they are TOO CHEAP. I get 2 years subscription of HB sent to Australia for $60 - this is ridiculously cheap. This is why I think magazines are recycling.

    Much as I enjoy the online magazines I would 100% always prefer the paper magazine in my hand to keep forever - I love to pore over every page and keep to look at 3 years later.

  32. Always enjoy your blog, opinionated and informed as it is! Thats why I read it. I am a pink person, so I enjoyed the rehash of pink at HB. It put it all in one issue for me to enjoy. I do agree that new content is a must, but was happy with this pink issue. I like tagging along with you on your blog, as I think you are like the smart girl in the front of the class that points things out to girls like me who aren't paying attention!

  33. I am not going to renew any of my mags. Not worth the time it takes to get them out of the box... and how sad, I remember when my heart would dance when I saw them in there waiting for me.

  34. Excellent point and astute observing on your part! That is ridiculous and compleletly unacceptable for a magazine with the stature that HB has to recycle old pictures/homes and to milk a trend to death (the pink, I think we are all over it now) Too bad because they are going to have to do some seriuos damage control, when everyone realizes what they have done. Seriously...just absurd. What..there aren't any more beautiful homes that they can feature?
    In the paper vs. online me, and this is my own hangup nothing can come close to the real deal, a paper magazine, I will never give them up and thank God I haven't thrown away a single copy of my Southern Accents, what would I do without them...PLEASE COME BACK!!
    And agreed, those Target ads are quite fetching indeed!

  35. Hi Joni,
    I enjoyed your 'point de vue' here!! Very interesting to read! And you are so right!
    I am going to listen to the SRT!!
    Have a fabulous Sunday!!

  36. LOVE your blog & don't take any interest in what Anon 7:47 said. Sounds like jealousy to me. I totally agree with you on this month's HB. I love pink, but I think the new editor is not moving the magazine in the right direction. Also, I prefer magazines I can flip through than the digital one's. A computer monitor will never get the colors or clarity of a room quite like a hard copy photograph will.

  37. HIya Joni,
    Totally, totally agre with you on these "issues", ( pun intended)...with a whole world to cover, why do they repeat at all! Unacceptable.
    xo hugs from cold and snowy n.y.

  38. I had mixed reactions to the March HB. Loved, loved, loved, Ellen O'Neill's red and white house, with the sofas slipcovered in recycled striped awning fabric. You can really tell she used to work for Ralph Lauren. As for recycling pix--I don't get it. I've been on magazine shoots before, and I know for a fact that the photog shoots hundreds and hundreds of images. If you're gonna give us the same house, at least show us some images we haven't seen before--the guest bath, say, or another view. But at least the March issue was better than Feb--I found nothing at all to love in that issue.

  39. LOVE that pink sitting room...that would make an amazing Mom Cave! ;)

  40. I also was disappointed with HB-kept saying to my husband "I've seen this room before...and this one!" Also thought the same thing about the Tracery home: Loved it, but it wasn't a pink home, only the styling was pink! Liked the old HB (Drucker) better. Surprisingly, Elle Decor hasn't suffered as much because of the loss of Margaret Russell. I was more nervous about that magazine. As for all the Anon's, get a life!

  41. The cover text on HB was a turn-off. Pink is "sexy" and "men love it"?? Come on. It reminded me of Cosmopolitan magazine circa 1987. Like other readers, I'm missing the classic and beautiful interiors of the old Southern Accents and Veranda. Nearly every interiors magazine today--both in print and digital--feature interiors with quirky furnishings and a riot of colors. They are all starting to look the same.

  42. Joni, as always you hit the nail on the head!! I am finding it harder and harder to be inspired, I am not sure if it my age, you know been there done that or there truly is nothing new under the sun!!! Keep up your watchful eye and wonderfulcommentary, blogland would not be the same without you and the skirted round table, Kathysue



    The title clearly indicates HB was recycling for a reason, not because there are no worthy designs (yours excluded) that could have been published in this issue.

  44. Great post! I flipped through the "pink issue" in the grocery line and thankfully decided not to spend the $ on it. I do have a gripe about the Feb. "makeover" issue: when I see a makeover I like to see the before, as well as the after, not just the after. Did anyone else feel robbed by that issue?

    As for pink, I love it. Maybe this has been done, but I'd like to see the mags showcase pink during Breast Cancer Awareness month in October and raise some awareness and $$ for a good cause.

  45. When I came here to comment, I read Anon747 and knew that I couldn't have said it better. Don't get me wrong...I enjoy your blog and love your design style. In fact, I've been quite inspired by it. However, I often feel that you're just a bit "too full of yourself", and I'm amused at the number of women who utterly pander to you. I have questioned why sometimes your entire post is a re-post of magazine pictures that we have all already seen. I would much prefer to see examples of your own work. I've also enjoyed your posts that featured the wonderful houses in Texas that have only been photographed in regional magazines, as most of us haven't had access to seeing those before. In regard to the "50 Must-Have" type articles--- I enjoy those and think they're fun. And, I suspect I'm not alone. Let's all remember that this isn't brain-surgery we're talking about here; it's just blogging and decorating!

  46. I love The Skirted Roundtable and look forward to each podcast. Good for you for pointing out all of the recycling, especially for the magazine covers. It's been mentioned that you are the exception for noticing and remembering the details of past publications, but that just makes it more insulting to the rest of us to be perceived by the magazines as gullible people who will just look at the pretty pictures. It's possible that the solution to retread was made based on the editorial transition, but on a magazine of this stature that seems lame. Whenever I see pages of collected themes, trends, colors or groups of things to buy, I see mindless web surfing that comes across as filler -- I don't need to pay for that as I can do that myself. I buy magazines for the creative entry to a world I would not be exposed to on my own, accompanied by well-written researched text.

  47. And yes, the "10 Rooms We Couldn't Forget" title was meant to explain the repetitiveness but it's something that would have more validity if it ran five or ten years after its initial publication, not within one year.

  48. Well, I have to comment Joni. I totally agree with you about Country Living - I have been loving this new look for the mag and I think they get it right EVERY month. Their cover is GORGEOUS this month and so fresh! You hit it with Target too - as soon as I saw this spread I wanted the blue glass lamps - perfection! they are consistently the best big box store...thanks Joni!! :0

  49. Well, the rehash is pretty obviously a problem. I don't like to buy the same thing twice. But I really have to chime in and agree about the Picks thing. I know advertisers probably like it, but I definitely have grown beyond someone telling me what the pricey objet of the month is. In fact, I tend to look at them as things to avoid. I suspect however, that this rehash really has to do with changing of the guard, and some mixup during the process. Most issues get decided months before they appear on the newstand. I suspect this was a Drucker issue despite Newell's sticking up for it. PS Since normally we can only vote about things with our dollars, I'm glad that we have a chance to voice here. Kudos for you for posting the criticisms.

  50. Agreed with Anon9:19!

    How many times have we come on to your blog only to see what seems to be the same pictures of white slip covered sofas & sea grass rugs? (Triple yawn!)

    You may want to bark up your own tree...

  51. You're blog is the one I simply can't miss. Sometimes I save it for last as a reward!! In my opinion, your research and effort is unmatched in blogworld. Many thanks and keep it up. As for the "pick" section, I kind of like it as long as it's only two pages worth. However, I live in a rather small (though cosmopolitan) city where shopping is limited. I have actually bought online from the pick section since it may may a couple of years before those things turn up here! Thanks for your critical eye!!

  52. Wow, Anon 7:47 is a bit testy this morning...think they might work at HB. Who else would argue with what you had to say? Honestly, I've given up all my subscriptions because of stuff like this. I have the patience of a saint and am not competitive, so I can wait 12 hours to read it all over the internet and reblog and save what I would normally tear out and put in my dream files. I like to keep one fashion and one interiors magazine coming in the box I think I'm going to switch to Country Living to go with my Elle. I've already ditched HB and will ditch Vogue when my subscription need to be renewed. I buy Veranda at the grocery store because I like to reach back and get the most uncrumped copy for my desktop. For some reason it makes me feel chic. Which actually brings me to the whole reason I started this comment...(I said I was patient and noncompetitive, not short and to the point) ANYWAY, I was at the grocery, no doubt buying my Veranda Magazine when I heard this in the check-out line:
    "OMG, I can't wait to read what Cote de Texas has to say about HB this go, hahahaha I'm not going to buy magazines anymore, I just like reading and look at it on blogs. Have you see Cote de Texas, best magazine I've ever read."
    So Joni, you are a magazine to some folks. You go doll!

  53. Joni, I agree. I expect more from House Beautiful, especially since we have a new editor. Where's the fresh perspective? It reminded me of an issue from the 90's and that's not a good thing. I really do think they better watch their back. The online zines are going to eat their lunch. Love, love LOVED the house from Cote de Sud. It's what modern decorating is all about now. Daring, different, provocative. Thanks, for keeping the dialogue going!

  54. The awful paint job on those stairs was the first thing that I saw when that issue came out...I was shocked and annoyed that HB would publish that.

  55. Loved the SRT this week Joni. Agree with you and all the Shelter mags need to take heed here. As bloggers we see so much great design, often are the first to see it!

    Using shoots from 1 or even god forbid then years ago, No, No!

    Art by Karena

  56. Hi Joni, I couldn't agree more. At the same time, all these "pink" rooms focused my attention on the fact that I need to bring in more pastel colors and that the black accents ( that I love so much) are a bit passe right now--time to lighten things up a bit at my end.
    Have a great week. Mary

  57. Anon 9:19 said it perfectly.

  58. Kudos to you, Joni for the boldness to point out that the emperor has no clothes!

  59. If you want to use annoying and House Beautiful in the same sentence again, just look at their Tablescape feature. For the third month in a row, they put a table on that page that NOBODY would eat a meal at. They completely lost touch with reality on that one.

  60. Well, I think you are the last to complain about multiple shots of the same home. Most of your interiors are the same look over and over again. Sisal, linen, French furnishings in every combination possible gets old. I thought what Sally Wheat did to her interior updated the whole look and made it look current and fresh. Could be a heads up for you.

  61. Anon. 9:46, you said it perfectly. Joni recently decorated a condo and used 150 yards of the same fabric, all the windows in the LR and the windows in the breakfast room which is visible from the LR. Speaking of repetitive ???? We have to wonder if it has dawned on the owner that a little imagination in the breakfast room would have made the scheme more interesting. I agree we have seen white slipcovers, seagrass and those hideous bamboo shades on this site, and I suspect the people at HB would find that repetition to quote Joni (take a deep breath, speak through your nose with a Texas drawl) "this is crap ya'll".

  62. In the Dec/Jan 2011 issue of HB, they recycled the same house that was featured in the March 2007 Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles...Steve and Marie Nygren's Serenbe home.
    Really where is the creativity?

  63. UGH -- where do your nasty green trolls COME from, Joni? Can't we feed them to each other or something to make them go away?

    Of COURSE you're showcasing your favorite design aesthetic on your blog. That's why it's YOUR blog. And a national shelter magazine with an international paid subscription base has no business whatsoever recycling its content that way. It's not like there aren't any other homes out there worth featuring, or any other designers whose work merits a wider audience. Particularly with print media whining and moaning about declining readership -- why should we bother to read the next issue when we've seen it all before?

    Does anyone have a good crock pot recipe for Anonymous Troll Stew?

  64. Agreed! Get those nasty anons out of here!
    What miserable people.
    Not sure if they should be addressed or ignored.
    Joni, you are great & so are you projects.

    I would love to see their homes.

  65. Agreed! Get those nasty anons out of here!
    What miserable people.
    Not sure if they should be addressed or ignored.
    Joni, you are great & so are you projects.

    I would love to see their homes.

  66. I like Jonis blog. I just think that if you are going to give the criticism, you should be able to take some criticism.

    My home and work has been published.

  67. Actually, anon stew would be quite difficult to make for most of the palates here given the fact that their taste buds have grown so accustomed to panderer's pizza.

  68. Joni- Good for you, speaking your mind, and I agree being a HB subscriber I want more than a rehash of a previous spread.(I actually went so far as to thinking they had sent me TWO of the same issue when I saw that cover) Don't ever stop what you do...and please don't let these anon comments ever interfere with your right to YOUR opinion...I mean I can't believe some of these pinhead comments! And they are all afraid to put their name on these comments, yet they criticize you. Hmmm. I'm just sayin'!!

  69. hi -
    addressing all the people who hate my blog and my design work. about my work - well what can i say? i'm not the best designer in the world, nor do i claim to be. most of the work i get is from repeat customers or those who have seen my work and like it. so by putting me down, you are only putting them down. i only post my work because i get nasty comments if i don't. then when i do, i get nasty comments. that's ok. it stings, but i put it out there so i know i'm going to be stung. like i said, i'm not the best in texas, nor in houston nor in west u. duh. i KNOW that!!!!
    haha!!! I do try to show those designers that are the best so you
    can judge for yourself.

    about the type of interiors i show on my blog - it IS my blog and that IS the look i love. there are 100s of blogs that show colorful and eclectic interiors - so go read those! I usually dont read those myself because that's not what I like. I like more quiet and monotoned interiors. but at the same time, i do want to break out too. that's why the last time i designed something, i used deeper colors and not white.

    but still, i am finding myself liking more color lately. i really like the red and white house in the new HB, but it still had the same look i like, slipcovers. so is it all the different? i wonder.

    So, anon, put me down all you want. call me a braggart ??? not sure why. I have NEVER claimed to be a great designer, and never will. that's why I show so many designers that I do admire or who have influenced me. i thought that showed through on the blog????

    Again, if you are sick of the look i like - go read a blog that you like. I would never read a blog that I hated or hated the look they promoted. so i am at a loss as to why you do read this.

    i am not charging you money to read this, but if i did, then i would be more open to showing all different kinds of design, i would be more open to showing new things all the time. i would feel an obligation to make all of you feel you had gotten your money's worth. the only thing i can do is make sure everyone feels they have enjoyed their time here. i hope you all do.

    Anon - I am sorry you feel that way about my blog, i wish i could make everyone happy and make everyone love it, but i am aware i can't. i will keep trying though to make you happy. but if i can't then just read the blogs that do make you happy. isn't that what life is all about, being happy and satisfied? don't waste anymore of your time here, then maybe you will feel more satisfied.

  70. Joni - You're so right on about HB. This issue was such a buzzkill with the recycled photos it left me just feeling pissy that I wasted time on looking at it. On the other hand I was also thrilled to see the gorgeous work from Tracery Interiors. Can't wait to listen the Skirted Roundtable podcast to hear you all break it down.

    On another note I was literally IN LOVE with High Gloss. I so wished I had a copy in my hands!

  71. Wow - feels like high school all over again! What happened to the old adage 'If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything'? I believe these Anon's who are leaving negative comments are just unhappy, insecure women that are looking to bring others down. Try not to take any mind, Joni, because 99.9% of your readers love your style & blog.


  72. I think that white slipcovered sofars, especially linen, a neutral palette, and fine antiques are to decor what the LBD is to fashion. Some things just don't go out of style. I love this blog. On the many snowbound days this winter, I browsed through former posts. I swear, it's one of the things that got me through the storms. I've learned quite a lot from you, Joni. Thank you for being brave enough to provide us with your honest opinions, as well as the lovely photos.

  73. I could not agree with you more about the repetition, Joni. I quit buying and even reading HB years ago because of precisely this. I got sick and tired of seeing not just rehashes of what they'd already published, but things presented as hot and new that had already been done long before in other mags.

    As to the picks sections, I confess I'm somewhat of a junkie for them. I may not go for the specific item shown, but I've found a lot of great new sources this way.

    With respect to your anonymous detractors, just ignore them. The point of a blog is to discuss your own point of view, which you do admirably. You also have educated thousands of people about good design, and the value that interior designers bring to the process. Kudos to you for that!

    Finally, why doesn't the anonymous commenter who claims that his/her work has been published come out from under that anonymous rock? What are they hiding? Why not show it off if they think they're so much better than you? It's easy to claim anything at all while hiding behind a cloak of anonymity. Non carborundum illegitimi ;->


  74. When people have made anonymous comments regarding past posts I have not commented about the negativity wishing not to dignify the comments & thinking it best that others do the same and let Joni respond if she chose to. Now I say, Joni, you probably should not respond either as this is what these jealous people want is to rattle you & perhaps even influence others not to read your blog. Keep doing what you do. You're a great teacher & I've learned so much from reading your blog.

    Karen T.

  75. Dear Joni~

    Great discussion and I am really sorry that you're taking such mean spirited personal hits in the process!

    Country Living Magazine has been a huge disappointment since Nancy Soriano stepped down as editor a few years ago. I am not a fan of the modern edgy style that the current editors are trying to force. What was once the bible of casual decorating is now considered a waste of paper by many of my friends who were once devoted subscribers.

    BTW House Beautiful, Rachel Ashwell was doing pink 15 years ago!

    Thank You,
    Janna Hathaway

  76. Hi Joni,

    Please don't disparage your own decorating and design talents by saying you are not 'the best decorator' or by comparing yourself to those you deem 'the best.' You are doing a beautiful job within your budget and the budgets of your clients. I assume that the majority of houses you show us that are decorated by 'the best' are done so with what to the average reader would be a staggering amount of money. It is easy to look like the best when you can afford the best, but it takes real talent to create beauty and elegance with limited funds. The fine art and antique-filled homes that appear in Veranda and Elle Decor do not equate to how the vast majority of people live. You show us how they do - with a lot of style. Keep it up.


  77. Wow, what a spirited dialogue this post opened up! This is the reason I love reading design blogs, it's almost like being in a college class with everyone bringing their opinions to the table. Love all the commenters!

  78. Thank you for this grumbling!! I've been so annoyed, particularly with House Beautiful, about running the same, same. I've actually sent a letter or two to the new editor about my disappointment with HB under its new leadership.
    Love your posts ... thank you for those too!

  79. Wow, just read through all the posts ... you sure have some petty girls down there in Texas (my suspicion is that it's the same jealous girl posting over and over, Joni) ... as our mamas told us way back in Jr High "Just ignore it, honey, you're too good to respond to such meanness."
    LOVE your blog, your style, your classiness!

  80. Joni -

    I love your blog - never miss it! And I love your style. I especially appreciate that you take the time to find so many pictures that make a point or compare and contrast and help us understand why we like them - what is good about the design and what is not so good. Those hateful anons are just jealous and I really wish they would stay away. They must not have anything else to do with their time.

    I did not renew my subscription to HB last year. The only feature I still looked forward to in it was the one about the paint color. It really is irritating to spend money for a subscription and then get the same pictures over again. Sigh. I miss Southern Accents.


  81. I think a healthy debate is good. Not everyone has to agree with everything a blogger posts and I think it gets boring when some bloggers' "dumplings" or whoever fall all over themselves telling the bloggers how wonderful they are for making a two-bit observation. Or when bloggers do nothing but reprint dozens of photographs without comment and think themselves "chic.'

    That, however, is not the case with Joni. Joni always has well-researched, comprehensive posts with a point of view and I never fail to be educated and/or entertained by her blog even if it is not a favorite topic.

    And I don't have any linen, seagrass or anything French in my home, but I still like to look at Joni's work and other projects she admires because I can appreciate her taste even if it is not mine.

    I would only ask that people remain civil. Personal attacks have no place here and I think Joni should not have to defend herself against them.

  82. Looks like I got in on the tail end of this one....I have a fewdifferent opinions.... I love pictures of beautiful homes but most magazines are different than blogs because you PAY for them.. If I am paying for a magazine I would prefer they not recycle pictures.... Maryanne ;)

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  85. In your blog you noted:

    "One topic we talk about is the Picks Section found in most magazines, online and at the newsstand. Does anyone read these types of stories?"

    Okay, I admit it. If YOU did a "picks" post, I'd read it and likely try a few things you suggested.

    Ordered a Trapp No. 2 candle just last week.

    "Pandering" from Baton Rouge.

  86. Ooh what a healthy bit of dialog is taking place here. Joni, I have found a thick skin is what is required to take a stance on just about anything. I personally like to feel a mag in my hands,touch-while the ones from the internet are fun! I will not give up my sub. but keep hoping for a better issue.

  87. Wow, really floored by how snippity this was. While for you, where decor is your employ and vocation, it may seem boring and "so done", it is enjoyable and fun for those of us who are not breathing and living in "interior decor." For us mere mortals with 9-5 jobs, these photos may be new or even if we have seen them before, certainly fun! So don't be so hard on the repeats. Oldies but goodies to many of us.

  88. Dearest Joni,

    Pay no attention to the ANONs.

    You are extremely talented which is why you have one of the BEST blogs ever. Your fan base number speaks volumes. There's a reason why we all check back here often for a "Joni fix".

    Keep doing what you do best and forget those who don't have the (since I am a lady, I'll say "nerve") to put a name to their negative posts.... blah, blah, blah.

    You go girl. :)

  89. Joni,
    May I say thanks for writing an intelligent post on what many, myself included, were thinking. I have recently been purging so many mags and have been shocked to find the same results, WAY TOO MUCH is being shown again and again. I have counted 3 mags showing a house of someone I know over and over...with almost no change. While it's a beautiful home, and I so admire all of it's original decor, I'm completely tired and bored with it and somehow I feel bad for saying that, but what's worse is I feel bad spending money for it. And, I think what's worse is that there are so many designers, and homeowners that have work/projects worthy of publishing. And, let's not forget about the interiors photographers, they need to make a living too.

    So amused about your take on the fluff/stuff to buy as I just posted my own little issue with ED telling us of the lastest trend...perhaps it may be of interest to you.

    Keep doing what your doing and forget the naysayers. I haven't made the time to listen to SRT in far too long...but to brew some tea and settle in for some fun!

  90. I couldn't agree with you more. I am so frustrated with seeing content that I've seen before in other magazines or on blogs. I'm paying good money on subscriptions to "top notch" mags, only to be annoyed when I see rehashed articles. Why is that? Are they not getting enough revenue from advertising and mag purchases to fund new content? It's got so bad now that I'm not subscribing anymore. I'd rather thumb through the mags on a month to month basis to make sure I'm not getting old content.

  91. Interesting post and comments. I'm glad someone finally called out the the shelter mags on recycling former pictures. When you pay for new and fresh ideas, that's what you should get. For whatever reason they decided to put that pink room on the cover of HB they must surely be embarassed by the backlash from so many bloggers.

    Kudos to you Joanie for bringing this to your blog. As for the critics, it is her blog. She's allowed to write whatever she pleases if you don't like her content then you don't have to read her blog. It's as simple as that.

  92. You made an excellent point in your post Joni, if the magazines can’t run something new then why bother? It isn’t like they’re paying anyone to photograph their homes and with the number of beautiful noteworthy homes out there why repeat anything? (Psst, I have to admit I passed on HB this month since I can’t stand pink!) Who would have guessed the Target would be so upcoming and in style? Love it!

    Ok, I was going to leave with just the first paragraph but to the Anons who aren’t happy with Joni…you know it’s a choice to be on her blog and obviously you’ve chosen to be on Joni’s blog. So as a guest on her blog play nicely or don’t play at all!

  93. I rely on Joni's blog to provide me with careful comments and edits of pictures I haven't seen. I don't subscribe to all the decorating magazines like probably most of the "anons" do. So I am happy to have Joni, who reflects my same taste, scout and point out what other publications have published. I have learned a lot from Cote de Texas and will continue to be exposed to topics I never would have found on my own.

  94. Topaz, no personal attacks have been leveled here. However, if Joni sat on a high throne in the publishing industry with some serious knowledge of what it takes to compete, then she would have the right to complain about all of the repetitive work being shown by HB and other magazines. Let's face it, putting together a magazine is a lot more labor intensive than downloading pictures of other people's work together with commentary. It is also not a costly endeavor - no payroll, overhead or worry about lost revenue. HB has recycled this material for a reason. How many times have we seen bloggers do the same thing, including Joni. I would agree blogging is time consuming, but it is not difficult for one who has an interest in design and the time to do the research. If someone from Hearst wants to criticize HB then that criticism is coming from an equal - Joni is not a professional equal to the publishers of HB, Veranda, AD, etc. What does she know that is any different from your average consumer except she writes as though she does and her usual sycophants show up to pander to her opinions.

  95. Wow Joni, I must admit I didn't notice the repeat of pictures, I enjoyed the post, interesting for sure. I look forward to your posts and the talking blog, no matter what they are about, we can all learn from each other...come check mine out and say hi sometime.
    Regards, Carol Ann

  96. You probably don't even want another comment by now but I'll just throw mine in. The "pick " pages make me crazy. I would think that the print magazines could leave that to all of the online newbies. But alas, I think it's just about advertising dollars.

    Also want to add that I'm really tired of not only " pink" but just the unending trends that are constantly pushed. What happened to beautiful original design?

  97. Ok, Anon 3:43! You have finally made it obvious that you ARE HB. And, you ARE right about one thing, and that is that I don't know anything about magazine publishing. After all, I'm just an ordinary, average consumer sychophant! What I do know that YOU obviously don't is that I am your customer, so I sign your pay check. Insulting me as you did in your last post is suicide for you. Why couldn't you accept this post as a wake up call, and benefit tremendously from it? Your customers are telling you what they want, so give it to them and let them make you wildly successful. And it's FREE and accurate market research. Just shut up and listen for a change!

  98. Anonymous 3:43 says: "What does she know that is any different from your average consumer except she writes as though she does and her usual sycophants show up to pander to her opinions."

    No, she expresses her opinion, just like the rest of us. Nowhere does she indicate that her opinion counts more than anyone else's. For some strange reason, the Anonymouses (Anonymi?) of the world take exception to her expressing HER opinion on HER blog. And instead of expressing their opinions politely, these people (who are too chicken to include their real names) are rude and vitriolic. I know it's going to come as a shock to you, Anonymous, but some of us pandering sycophants are actually capable of independent thought and post our agreement because we really do agree with her. Imagine that!

  99. Well said Anon 5:15.
    This is unbelievable & ridiculous.
    Anon 3:43 take her feedback & GET.A.LIFE.

    The conversation is interesting & all opinions should be valued but you have lost credibility.

    You are mean & really annoying!
    GO AWAY!

  100. Just had to put my 2 cents worth in on this magazine issue (pardon the pun.) Joni is right that HB should be ashamed of themselves for recycling pictures. That's why I have given up subscribing to US shelter magazines. I do look at HB at the library and if there is anything in it that is irresistable I might buy it. Usually there is not because most of the homes are just too "far out" for me and are the same thing over and over. Eventually these publications will die a natural death when they lose advertisers.

    Joni, please keep up the good work. I love your blog and appreciate all the research that you do for it. It exposes me to new things and helps me see design from a new perspective.


  101. I LOVE YOUR BLOG and that you take the time to write it ...
    I LOVE YOUR STYLE although I don't own one french piece in my home
    I DO NOT LOVE or even like JEALOUS, PETTY WOMEN WHO HAVE NOTHING NICE TO SAY and who only say it "anonymously" ... UGH.
    Thank you for your great blog ... XOXO

  102. Gawd, I go to Starbucks and the comments go crazy.

    Anon is NOT House Beautiful. Trust me. I know who anon is.

    If anyone remembers the 2010 Christmas fiasco, you will remember this anon.

    She usually comes here to say how much she hates
    1. me.

    2. seagrass.

    3. slipcovers.

    since this topic wasn't about seagrass or slipcovers, she has to say she hates me. i just don't understand why she comes here to read it???? weird.

    oh well.

    someone did email me to say i shouldn't have talked bad about pink - at least its a color. the issue wasn't PINK! I was just shocked and suprised that HB decided to put up a cover that had already graced its pages. the original windsor smith story was wonderful. i was just suprised and confused by the cover - 2 things i would think a magazine wouldn't want to do its readers.

    whatever. it's just my opinion. it doesn't account for anything. i am not in magazines, never worked for one, though i do write for one. it was just my opinion - of which a lot of people felt that same way. blog comments are a great way to get together and say "hey - i felt the same way" or "no I disagree with you" - but this anon only is happy when she attacks me personally, talking about my work. but, i put it out there and if she hates it so much, let her say it.

    yes, it stings, i wouldn't be human if it didn't.

    ok, let's move on now.

  103. Joni, Joni, Joni, victimhood does not flatter you. You are going over edge my dear because someone dares to tell you that you have no professional authority to take on the design mags. Poor, poor you having to resort to "ya'll this is the same "anon" who criticizes my slipcovers, linen and seagrass". So if anyone calls you on your arrogance, it has to be some anon person who doesn't like your use of your big three design elements. Well boo, hoo hoo, Grow up. You decided to write the post so take the heat or get out of blogging. Whenever you cannot win an argument except when your faithful panderers flock in like Canadian geese to your rescue, you come up with the victim card. Perhaps we wrongly assumed that you had graduated from high school, but maybe not. As a consumer you have a perfect right to your opinion, but as a blogger you set yourself up as an authority and clearly from your blog content "sista" you are not.

  104. Publishing a magazine is hard work. I love House Beautiful because I feel it is the only magazine left that shows a wide variety of styles. Country Living is one issue away from being Family Circles twin sister and Veranda is always too stuffy southern formal.
    I look forward to the transformations of H.B. article "One day makeovers" which shows what a difference a true professional can make.

    I agree with 7:47,9:19 and 9:46. There are more diplomatic ways of voicing ones opinions and you should take a class in it ASAP. Especially since what you essentially do is hang on their coat tails.

  105. Anon 9:41, glad you agree. There are no diplomatic ways to say what one must say when confronted with arrogance absent ability. Perhaps you can enlighten us. I don't know where you developed your writing skills, but namby pamby land is not where you learn to write if you want to leave no doubt as to where you stand on an issue. This isn't tea time among the magnolias, my dear.

  106. I feel truly sad to be a witness to this ... you, Joni, have someone who is truly jealous of you and your abilities, talents and the way in which you spend your time (enlightening and entertaining others with your blog posts) ... I think whoever this poor soul is should find something to do with her time and stay away from the letters a-n-o-n-y-m-o-u-s on her keyboard. Sick and sad. I hope she'll look herself in the mirror, feel sad for herself and change her ways. (that's probably a vain hope) ... but keep your chin up and know, at least, that you're better than her in many ways.
    In the meantime, Joni, stay classy. I love it.
    From a faithful reader in Utah.

  107. I do not pander to anyone. I read Cote de Texas because I throughly enjoy Joni's blogs on a variety of subjects. I also read Manhattan-Nest...a completely different type of blog. I do not personally know Joni and I am not a member of any kind of "flock". Anon should be careful about lumping all of Cote de Texas readers together and labeling us as this or that. I do think many of us are quite well versed on the subject of home decor & design and can certainly see and appreciate Joni's knowledge and talent. Oh, by the way, I must admit, to owning and loving my white slipcovered sofa!

  108. What a sad soul that nasty anonymous is.
    I feel so sorry for pathetic.
    Can you imagine having to live with that misery? are so interesting & interested.

  109. I'm a traditionalist moving into the new world: love perusing magazines and learning to scroll the blogworld! In my opinion (remember, we're all voicing opinions, not facts)HB and all other mags should take a look at their previous copies. Like many others I keep mags for years and refer back for inspiration or just for fun. I recently ran across a BHG tutorial on how to carve a turkey - same pics. C'mon mag world, use your talent and show us a new look at things. Keep up the good work my friends.

  110. Anon @ 3:43, since you addressed me by name, I feel the need to respond.

    If you don't think some of these attacks against Joni were personal in nature, than I think you need to acquaint yourself with the concept of 'personal.' A lot of remarks went way beyond professional criticism and were insulting in their nature and obviously intended to be hurtful.

    Why a person would choose to be so small-minded is beyond me, but these types of comments say far more about the person uttering them than they do about Joni.

    And for the record, Joni does not need to work on a magazine to dare to voice criticism about one, as you suggest. What a ridiculous notion! But if that were to be the case, then it would also mean that you could not criticize a blogger, because you are not one. See how that works? Or perhaps you are a blogger, just not as successful and admired as Joni, and that bothers you.

  111. Let's "leave the party polite" , as Sinatra sings, okay? It's what any lady or gentleman would do.

    Keep the comments on design only, and Joni, please delete personal or crazy ones.

    Joni, we adore you up here in the frozen tundra!!! Seagrass, slips and all~


    This took my breath away. It also took two cups of coffee to get through this comment section.

    Ok...Joni, here are my thoughts:

    The HB issue was really boring.

    I'm not a fan of pink unless its strawberry ice cream.

    I liked the target ads but they are not that great.

    The "Texas" look interests me but it seems to be repetitive.

    Mean comments that are personal in nature are unacceptable.

    I like your blog a lot and read it often!

    Have a great day Joni!

    xo kelley

  113. Topaz, your logic escapes me. It's perfectly okay with you that Joni criticizes the publishers and editorial staffs of the various design mags, but it's not okay for anyone else to criticize Joni. Yea, you're right my dear. It sure makes perfect sense to me. If you haven't yet listened to the SRT discussion on this issue, you owe it to yourself. Joni literally becomes irrational over this issue publicly claiming that the aforementioned issues are "just crap". Actually a little girl's finishing school would have helped Joni, both in voice and in presentation.

  114. Anon@10:26, you've made it abundantly clear that a lot of things escape you.

  115. i was also a tad confused when my HB issue arrived in the mail... I did LOVE the entrance hall with the pink linen curtains and grass cloth walls ala Ruthie Sommers... I am going to listen to SRT today when I get the chance... I do have to say that I do look at the "picks" pages as there are sometimes really great quick gift ideas there... and good websites to peruse...

  116. Joni, I did forget to say how much I LOVE your blog!!! YOU are a blogstar and don't you forget it!!!

    Hugs!!! ( Ivy )

  117. I'm a sucker for a 'picks' page - it is always the first thing I read. It's the born shopper in me I suppose.
    Agree 100% with house beautiful - what happened? Veranda and AD have been wowing us with their new leadership and HB seems to be faultering.

  118. Hi Joni!
    There is no way you will ever be able to make people like Anonymous happy. They make rude, demeaning comments to stir up controversy and have no interest in your explanations or your reasoning. They simply want to upset you. Why? Because they can!

    You may notice that Anonymous only comments when you have a post that could be considered even remotely controversial. The rest of the time, she is noticeably absent. She’s not interested in your posts about beautifully decorated rental suites in France or any other post that doesn’t give her an opportunity to spew vitriol.

    I provide phone and email support for a couple of Canadian government computer applications. I deal with people like Anonymous nearly every day. They call or email, not with the purpose of seeking my help with one of the applications I support, but with the sole intention of being as mean and nasty as possible. They refuse to answer my questions and ignore my advice. They are not interested in having their computer problem resolved as much as they are in making me feel awful.

    There’s not much I can do about the nasty people I am paid to support. But you can do something about Anonymous. As soon as her first nasty comment comes in, refuse to post it. Sure, she’ll send more. But you have the power to ignore her. If she can’t be the center of attention, she’ll eventually go away and try to annoy someone else. I know you don’t like to censor your commenters, but you need to establish commenting rules: If a commenter disagrees with your position but is polite and professional about it, their comment gets posted. If they disagree with your position and are rude, belligerent or demeaning, their comment doesn’t get posted.

  119. I agree with Denise. It's OK to disagree, but it's not OK to be mean & nasty. Why? What does this accomplish? Now let's get on with more about design/decor which is what this blog is all about, isn't it? Thanks!

    Karen T.

  120. There are great design blogs on the internet. Few attempt to be the "last word" in design the way CDT aspires to be. The amusing fact is that Joni does not have the professional portfolio to back up her pontifications on what is good and what is not so good about design. Her designs show a reluctance to try new approaches. Every space is predicable and no one space exudes that verve and excitement that she so readily opines on in her blog commentary. Obviously, a client's taste dictates what a designer does, but how about introducing the client to more than one look for a change. Stop trying to convince the reader that a 21 day makeover is in Joni's words "fabulous" when it is clear from anyone who has attempted a renovation of any size that 21 days is a joke, PLEASE PEOPLE PUT YOUR THINKING CAPS ON.

  121. After reading your post today I looked with fresh eyes at my pink issue of HB. What I liked was the feature on Rob Southern using old school B&F chintz quilted! I think issues focused on a single color or design genre isn't good I like to see a variety.

  122. My problem with the magazines is the style many are showing is a very eclectic style with different colors, etc. that I'm not particularly interested in. (Remember that cover on a decorating magazine that had a patchwork sofa and a lot of other non-coordinating fabrics?) I like a more put-together look where colors, fabrics & furniture styles coordinate more.

  123. ok... soooo.. I just listened to the SRT... I do NOT know what all the "hullabaloo" is about! Joni makes a great point about the re-runs of these rooms/homes.......we who subsribe to the shelter mags are paying good money for them and SHOULD get FRESH decor in every issue!!! BRAVO JONI! and yay for free speech!! Megan and Linda ROCK too!

  124. For God's sakes, House Beautiful does their color issue only once a year..get over it. And men must like pink because Ralph Lauren sure sells a lot of it to them in his stores.

    Frankly I think if Joni really wanted the comments to end she would post a new blog. You know what they say "Better bad press, than no press at all". Another old saying comes to mind here too, people who live in glass houses....

  125. I think it's curious that everybody seems to assume that Anonymous is the same person over and over. I was just one of the anons, who made one comment. Is it possible that there are multiple anons that took issue with this post?

  126. So true, Joni! I said, even at one point, will this be the next magazine to fold since it's making a whole issue out of reusing much seen images? I found it boring. And even the pix of Ruthie Summers house weren't inspiring which was surprising since she has so many fans. I'm kinda missing Stephen Drucker right now. Strange he's already moved on from Town & Country. We'll have to wait and see...Spot on blog post as usual.

  127. Hi Joni!
    I love your blog and only comment occasionally....the "anon" posts intrigue me....I am a psychologist in my day person is extremely angry and very jealous. I agree with an earlier post....she is getting way too much attention. Don't allow those types of comments to be's fun to read differing points of view however, that degree of anger is just plain scary!

  128. Joni, this is my first post on your blog. I've been reading it - without missing anything, and searching the archives - for only six or seven months. Your style and mine are far apart, with my enthusiasm for mustard yellow, various blues, and lots of green. I don't read you because I want you to design my house, I read you because you're meticulous in your presentation and I invariably walk away feeling like I've learned something.

    What I've learned here is this: you have guts. It would be tempting to delete anonymous snipes but you're letting even ranters have their say. How you do it, how you put up with it, I don't know, but I commend you for it.

    And to those of you who malign Joni's character - or anyone else's - under cloaks of anonymity: Muster up the decency to sign your name.

  129. Fascinating have a great memory for details.

  130. The only thing I can figure out with the republishing of these pictures is that the magazine world is still holding on to dear life, and if they can use pictures that they have on file from other shoots, it saves them money. I guess they also know that the PINK issue may grab a few more unsuspecting buyers at the grocery store. I am still praying that Southern Accents gets resurrected!

  131. I just finished reading the unbelievable comments above, and a quote that I read in a design magazine a few years back (can't remember the designer who said it), comes to mind as I try to imagine the time and energy the negative bloggers have ENJOYED with this post. She said of her work as an interior designer, "It's not world peace. It's not brain cancer. It's curtains."
    Negative bloggers....PLEASE understand that it is a privilege just to have a house. To have a beautiful house is a luxury and a blessing. Let's just keep it all in perspective. It's FUN to decorate, design, pick up a new treasure, paint a room, but if it consumes us, it's worth NOTHING!!!!
    Lighten up and good things will come your way!

  132. Ditto Phyliss! Joni don't put yourself down. You do great work. I work with alot of different budgets as you do, and believe me the larger ones photograph better!
    It is a great feeling stretching the smaller budgets and trying to get the best look they can afford.
    Alot of the designers Joni showcases have a minium of 100,000 opening budget, you can do alot more with that than you can 10,000.

  133. And on the days you don't post I am disappointed!!!

  134. I am behind on reading due to being sick but wanted to comment on this - I think your spot on on House Beautiful - I love this magazine and got my issue and said WTF! sorry but that's what I was thinking. Veranda as never been my personal style but I subscribe to everything so I can keep current. I love the direction of the new Veranda. It's a fresh. I recently subscribed to Country Living because it's actually had some great homes. I subscribed to AD because I wanted to see the changes Margaret Russell was going to do and in this months - you can really start to see the changes. I can't wait to see her breathe life into this magazine. I love it's glossy pages but want to see something fresh and I have to say Sheryl Crowe's house was so lovely. Spot on! Love that you call it like you see it.

  135. Different anon here:

    Joni, why do you re-run pictures of your own house so often? You and Visual Vamp. (At least yours doesn't look like a '60s yard sale, I'll give you that much.)

    But how can you criticize HB for running something twice, when you have run your living room, bed room, dining room etc. at least 12-15 times?

  136. Joni - Sorry about the crabby anon folks, don't let them get you down. It makes me sad that people now seem eager to say things online that they would never in a million years actually say to someone's face.

    On a more cheerful note, my husband and I will be in Houston (from Austin) next weekend to do some decor shopping. We are updating our house on a budget over the next few years and are looking for light fixtures and a few special accessories this year. What stores should we include on our "must see" list?

    We are also slipcovering a Baker sofa that was bought before we brought our active black lab into the family. We need a dark, stury, washable fabric for the slipcover - what do you recommend? I am hoping for a dark teal color, I am a cool-colors fan and want something other than black or chocolate, if possible.

    I remember on the post of your neighbor's house across the street that they replace their seat cushion with one long cushion. Do you recommend the same for the back? Our sofa has three of each right now. Honestly, it almost never gets sat on by anyone but the dog these days....

    Thanks so much for your help, I love your work and all of the beautiful pictures.

  137. Anon 12:53, you left out the kitchen. All of these images are meant to inspire us - over and over and over again.

  138. hi - to my two anons. i see there are two now. one is a woman - the slipcover hater, and one a man, correct? the man is a designer, correct? aw, come on and be honest, ok? i don't care who you are, just be honest.

    ok - the reason i post pictures of my house over and over again is this - first of all, i don't think i post my house a lot. 2nd. it's MY blog and a lot of readers want to see what my house looks like. sometimes i show it to show an example. have you ever read design blogs? many many only show their own home. it's not usual at all. in fact, i actually think i really don't post pictuers of my house enough. many of my readers like the personal approach to my blog, that i am out front on who i am, who my family is, etc. others perfer a more impersonal blog. you must prefer that kind of impersonal blog. so, why are you reading mine????

    ok - i understand you don't like me. believe me, there are bloggers that i don't like either. but i don't go to their blog and tell them that. just like i wouldn't go to their house and tell them i don't like them. it;s just bad manners. i'm wondering why you feel you don't need to have manners? is it because you hide behind your anon label?

    the deal with hb is simple. i ask you - have you EVER seen a magazine put a picture on its cover of a cover story they ran a year ago? it just confused me, and surprised me. i liked drucker. i miss drucker. i feel like hb was a great magazine - almost perfect. now, i don't feel that way. that's all. no big deal. why does it make you hate me so much that i feel that way?

    i'm serious here. i would love to have an honest dialogue with you. i feel like if you knew me, maybe you wouldn't hate me so much? is that possible? you seem to feel like i think i am someone that i am not. i am acutally a very quiet, shy, very shy person. i am not a braggart. i acutally have suffer from insecurities. i laugh when i read what you write that i want hb to publish me!!! if you only knew! what a joke. i love my family and my friends. i don't go to industry parties. i don't use my blog to get anything free ever. i am invited to all kinds of meetings and talks that i pass on. if i was who you say i am, why would i do that? i am not interested in any of that pr that others are. it's just not me. i am only interested in writing my blog. right now people read it. when they quit, i'll quit. ok?

    you make fun of my work. have you ever seen my portfolio? it's pretty diverse. it's online. go look at it. you might even find something you might like there? but trust me. i don't feel like i am great. i know i'm not. i have NEVER said that i was! what a joke. i am the opposite of that. i know what i am and that is not what you accuse me of being.

    but, i don't seek out clients, i don't advertise. they came to me and ask me to do the work and they are happy. so i guess you are making fun of them?? hmm...

    i am hoping you will be honest here and start a conversation with me. email me -

    if not, then i will know that you really are just a mean, petty, vindictive person who is projecting onto me how you feel about yourself. prove me wrong. email me.

  139. joni-

    i love your blog. i read a zillion blogs and yours is always well written and very informative. not always a topic that i am personally interested in , so on those occasions i move on; but i sure appreciate the effort it takes to write a good blog and your passion for design and different points of view is apparent. too bad not everyone has room for opinions other than their own.

    re: HB- you were spot on. i love pink. i adore pink. i am wild for all the rooms shown. i love HB and have always admired newell turner. but indeed something is amiss at HB. i was shocked to see those rooms is not an anniversary year. of course, one issue will not define my opinion on such a great magazine, but it did surprize me greatly and not in a good way.

    i also find it amazing that you do not delete posts that are negative. many bloggers do, which in my view, waters down the possiblity for true discourse. but i do not believe that you should respond to any post that is rude, mean spirited and a personal attack. i believe that by doing so , you are dropping to their low level , wasting energy where it is ill placed . i also think that a running "spat" with anon commentors brings down the taste level of any blog, because it makes it all about the silly argument and moves away from the design text .

    anyway, keep on blogging, keep on decorating, and let the readers who enjoy your style and point of view keep reading. it is so obvious that if a commentor claims that they detest your style and blog , that if they are here, they have another agenda...and i would not entertain them at all.

  140. You always say exactly what I'm thinking but didn't come out with myself...and I always have fun reading your blog!

  141. Joni-
    I just have to say that I love the Skirted Round Table! You three and your guests workout with me during the week (thanks to the ipod!) Keep the great interviews coming!

    Great point about the mags these days! I couldn't wait to see the Feb issues of HB and Elle Decor, and wasn't impressed with either one. I'm not much of a pink person, anyway, so a WHOLE issue on pink seemed to be a waste of my money! Maybe when my subscription expires, I'll just pick and choose the ones from the newsstand that I like?

    As for the online mags, their content seems to be intriguing, but please, please can I hold a print version in my hands?

  142. That's such an intense poster.

  143. To the Sophie Donelson and House Beautiful. another editor from more magazine Brette Polin recently got involved in dirty coraption business with crazy cbs anchor Otis Livingston to steal money from House Beautiful magazine employees banks accounts. never trust Brette Polin and Otis Livingston they both crooks.

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