Monday, January 4, 2010

Stephen Drucker, Editor-in-Chief of House Beautiful joins us



This week, we welcome Stephen Drucker, editor-in-chief of House Beautiful to the table. Recorded in early December, we chatted about the December issue, featuring this amazing cover spread by designer Jill Brinson:




 

 
 photo credit: Simon Upton
 
and our own podcast from August called "Who do we think we are anyway?" .


       

                       
   
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61 comments:

Anonymous said...

That was GREAT!!! I bet you'll go to New York soon and have lunch!!
I can say I knew them when...
Love you ladies,
Cara

tartanscot said...

Ladies,

Excellent interview. What an amazing gentleman! Thanks for the great insight.

Scot

Acanthus and Acorn said...

SRT-I love you gals! I've listened to all your pod casts and this is one of the best. Stephen Drucker seems so candid and forward thinking. I am new to blogging and ironically my first real post was about a kitchen in the February issue. (Good thing I wasn't blogging for the Dec/Jan. issue o/w every post could have been consumed by so many of the superb rooms.) The comment by Mr. Drucker saying HB is about "casual luxury" is exactly what prompted me to post about this particular kitchen. I am so grateful that HB appears to have a long life ahead.

laurelstreet said...

I loved this one - what a fascinating conversation! You had me laughing out loud at Bunny-troversy.

I thank my lucky stars I have you three to keep me entertained (and informed) while immersed in office work!

Teacats said...

Dear Mr. Drucker: My FAVORITE story in HB was in the July 2009 issue -- the "One-Day Makeover" that featured the work of Jonathan Rosen! Just a brillant concept -- and every single photo and idea was so helpful for the Real People out here! Please, please do another story in this format! Perhaps in a suburban home? ((there are lots of readers who live in the suburbs around the country! LOL!))

And ladies -- so many thanks for this wonderful interview! Another classic!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage

HOUND HILL DESIGN said...

Thanks girls for this GREAT interview! Now that it is quiet out here in the Hamptons I finally had a morning off to listen to your podcast. I always thought Stephen Drucker looked like a nice man and now he sounds like a nice man also! Very interesting to hear everyones opinions about the relationship between the magazines and the bloggers - I agree that they are two completely different forms of entertainment and information. Like all of you I cannot wait for the magazines to come in the mail and also to check in daily with all of my favorite bloggers. Thanks to all four of you for your hard work and dedication to good design. Hope you all have a nice lunch with the gracious Mr. Drucker in New York!! (grill cheese sandwich anyone?!)
Nancy

Brilliant Asylum said...

Fantastic talk! I really admire Stephen Drucker's viewpoint that style is everywhere you go--and what a perfect point proven with the beautiful Atlanta home by Jill Brinson!

Teacats said...

LOL! I was so excited that I forgot to ask an important question: When can we expect the latest HB hardcover book(s)? Hoping for more books this year!!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage

The Peak of Chic said...

Fantastic interview and one that I thoroughly enjoyed! Stephen is so enthusiastic, and I think that comes through in the magazine. Don't you just want to run out and get a new lampshade for your lamp or paint your entryway a new color after reading the latest issue?

beachbungalow8 said...

I thought the same thing, so enthusiastic SUCH a visionary. His visions are fresh and original because, exactly, he's the guy looking for the awesome Grilled Cheese truck, not the next hottest thing or trend.

His integrity toward true design and creativity is manifested in the greatness of House Beautiful.

Now to get the girls together for that NYC trip!

Dianne said...

Oh I think I am in love! Wouldn't dinner with Mr. Drucker be fantastic? I remember his first issue with the new larger pictures and the fact that he named the exact paint color and furniture makers. I was in heaven and have stayed there with every issue. The photography is wonderful, the homes are warm and stylish and the ideas that come from them are endless.
Thank you Mr. Drucker!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I loved hearing that Stephen started out in architecture school,and like so many (architecture) students, dropped out suddenly! I think we're all so glad he did as he has transformed every magazine or newspaper he's been at into an amazing product.
I still can't help but wonder what type of architect or designer he would have been! Amazing I'm sure....

vicki archer said...

Great interview...I just subscribed to this magazine so can't wait to receive it. xv

Anonymous said...

Loved this!!

Sally W.

margot said...

This has been the very best 49.14 minutes I have spent since I can remember. Really and truly an inspiration. Love your podcasts, love when mags and blogs meet. I'd like to be Stephen Drucker when I grow up.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

What a down-to-earth guy! I enjoyed this interview so much. I thought it was so interesting that he talked about HB being like a coffee table book. When he introduced the large pix, that was my thought exactly - this is like looking at a coffee table book. HB has become a c.t.b at a reasonable price, and I love it! I think you 3 were so brave to broch the topic of the "Who Do We T W Are" podcast, and how well all 4 of you handled the subject. Mr. Drucker just sounds like such a nice person. I want to go to lunch with y'all! laurie

Anonymous said...

The problem is Megan. She never asks questions. All she does is gush and flatter. Ask questions, Megan. Learn from Joni.

Lauren said...

Oh my goodness!!!! Loved this one!! It was so nice to hear Steven talk... I've always thought of the "big magazine editors" as untouchable, more serious and perfectly polished. It's awesome to see such a "real" candid person behind my imagined editor.

I loved so much about what he said and especially to hear that he loves blogs! We hear so much so it's nice to get it straight from the source.

I also laughed outloud when he said they had a "no divas" rule. PERFECT!! Totally agree with his concept of 'modern' and Jill Brinson's house is one of my all-time favorites -EVER. I can't handle how GORGEOUS it is!!

I can't wait for you to head to NY for lunch & you'll have to keep us all posted. Too exciting!! :)





and anon right before me- NO DIVAS PLEASE. We love Megan. Thanks.

Heather said...

That was excellent loved hearing how it all evolves.
Did you'all start to notice turquoise or aqua accented with red ?... after listening to the cover discussion I sure did... however thought Steven's comments regarding the muddy olive grounding very interesting.
Now to catch up on Alessandra's interview! Thanks ladies.

Mrs. Blandings said...

So interesting hearing the editorial process. Drucker comes across just as he does in his monthly letters - down to earth and approachable.

Cote de Texas said...

teacats: i LOVED that story too!

SDrucker: if you are reading this - I would love to see more of those one day decorating stories. those are so great and people really love redos. And if you are reading this - you were great. Thanks again for the interview. I just listened to it for the first time this morning and it sounded better than I even remembered!!! Except for where I butt in. I need to watch that more - I just get so excited. Sorry y'all for that. You know - it's hard though because we can't SEE each other so it's hard when you don't get those visual cues that someone else wants to say something too, until you start talking over each other. I can't figure out how to stop that. Visual cues, body clues are really important - until you don't have them, you don't know what you are missing.

J

Dagny @ Beautiful Living said...

Wow, I think I LOVE Stephen Drecker! House Beautiful was actually one of the magazines/books that turned my interest in interior design into a real passion. Thank you so much for the great interview, and I really enjoyed listening to his ideas and thoughts about magazines, blogs and most importantly design.
You girls should definitely visit him in New York!

Teacats said...

Joni -- Yes! I have studied every page, photo and idea in that story -- which is always the sign of a GREAT story that brings ideas to all kinds of readers! No doubt that Before-and-After stories and photos REALLY "speak" to readers in magazines! And a One-Day Makeover Series (in places -- both urban and suburban -- across the U.S.) using local decorators would really show how HB is trying to appeal to the whole country! I wonder if a collection of One-Day Makeovers would even make a great hardcover decor book too!

And I LOVE to hear all of your voices!

Cheers! Jan at Rosemary Cottage

Anonymous said...

Megan doesn't gush, she just can't get a word in edgewise. It is usually Joni who is the gusher but not so much this time.

beachbungalow8 said...

anon 5:24 - I guess, we truly can't be everything to everyone. But that's ok, I think each of the 3 of us have our own 'style' or approach to these interviews.

I don't see any of those as being problematic, just part of a sum total.

I do tend to let the guest go for it when they're on a roll. Why? because most of our guests {and especially Stephen} are so full of interesting information , if I listen long enough, my list of questions usually get answered. If they don't get answered, I ask.

As for 'gushing', to me, that implies some sort of insincerity. So, it's unfortunate that it comes across as that for you.

I can tell you this, for me , our guests are people for whose work, I have such great admiration and respect. It's hard for me to hide {nor do I see a need } my appreciation.

Linda is great at moderating, Joni is wonderful with her opinions and forthrightness. So hopefully, you'll find one of us who fills your expectations.

Visual Vamp said...

The best thing you guys have done on the SRT.
xo xo

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

Delightful! I so enjoyed it. Thanks

Mona Thompson said...

Great interview. I was hanging on every word. Definitely learned a lot.Mona

ALL THE BEST said...

Fantastic interview! One of your best yet!!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

THAT was a terrific interview. It felt like you were all just sitting around the table. But I wanna know who was leafing through the mag most of the time. I could hear the pages turning.

I love how your interviews make these seemingly inaccesible folks so real, regular...fresh and accesible.

Bravo SRT. Another great one!

Ivy Lane said...

Steven Drucker has a new fan, ME! I am so thrilled to have had the chance (Thank you Skirted Roundtable Ladies) to listen to this interview. What a wonderful gentleman he must be to work for/with. I think it is so refreshing that he applauds his staff and has such respect for them. His passion about decorating and the way he gives homes/places/people a chance...I just love that... so glad we all got to hear what he and House Beautiful is really all about! BRAVO!

Kathysue said...

SRT Ladies, what a great interview with Steven Drucker. I enjoyed hearing how he approaches his magazine and the articles it produces. I think it is his open mind to any and all good design that keeps his magazine so fresh. He is a man with confidence in his own style,I think that is what allows him to view someones work with an open mind. I know for me it is one of my Go to magazines. Great job ladies, as always, inspiring and informative, Kathysue

sophie dahy designs said...

I finally had a moment to sit down and listen to your interview with Stephen Drucker and am SO glad I did. I LOVED every minute of it and thank you all so much for the opportunity to hear him discuss his career, magazine and views on design. What a delightful man!

Brittany Stiles said...

Loved it! Thank you!

Mariss said...

You ladies are wonderful! I just found your podcast and am hooked. What fabulous interviews with Vincente Wolf and Stephen Drucker. Excellent discussion, questions and candidness. Thank you :)

Suzy said...

Well done again girls - another entertaining and informative interview!

James said...

This is the first SRT I have listened to and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to listening to more.

Tina Steele Lindsey said...

New to this blog, very exciting!

Yvonne Blacker said...

Dear Joni, Megan and Linda-

I really enjoyed your discussion with Stephen Drucker. You asked a lot of the questions that this designer/blogger wanted to know! I posted a link to the conversation on my blog today. I also included a *little thank you* to the three of you for the holiday giveaway that I received in the mail from Linda.

Thanks again!
xo Yvonne

http://designvignettes.blogspot.com/2010/01/thanks-skirted-roundtable.html

Style Redux 2 said...

What a wonderful start to the New Year. He was great! Are you sure that wasn't Tim Gunn though? LOL! I so agree with his point that it's equally fun as a reader to love and to hate different rooms/houses. I personally still can't stand the Bunny Williams room and didn't like the Jill Brinson house, but it's fun analyzing why you don't like things too. The same issue as the Brinson house which left me cold, I loved the Mary McDonald house. I can't deal with rustic anything. To each his own. Elle Decor and House Beautiful have brilliant leaders at the helm. But as a blogger, I try to stay away from using the photos of national magazines because everyone is seeing the same thing. Chinoiserie Chic would be just fine without them, but I would miss them. Happy New Years ladies!

Linda Merrill said...

Thanks everyone for your kind comments and to Stephen for joining us. As for the Anon comments about our varying interview styles, we don't actually pretend to have a "style" other than to be ourselves. So, if we butt in or gush, guess what? It's because we're fans and we're not professionally trained interviewers! GASP! Really? YES! We get excited to chat with some of the biggest names in the industry, and we're excited to do it! But seriously, I do believe that regardless of all that, we are able achieve personal and interesting conversations with the people we all admire from afar. And hopefully, we all learn something new about them and about design. And if not, there's always a nice little thing called "close window". Have a nice weekend everyone!

Deborah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Boxwood Terrace said...

Enjoyed this so much and I got a kick out of his "tyranny of New York" and "mass psychosis" comments. Spot-on, Mr. Drucker!

Things That Inspire said...

As a design blogger who is not a designer - just someone who loves design, loves to think about it, write about it, observe what is going on - I so related to Stephen. As he said, working at House Beautiful enables him to be surrounded by amazing creative people and designers, and see so many beautiful homes, but not be a designer (or architect) himself. This is how I feel (on a much, much smaller scale) about my blog - it enables me to have a small part in the world of design without actually doing the design work.

I wish I had listened to this interview before dinner with Brooke and Suzanne on Thursday night. They had a lively discussion about where design is heading - they had different opinions - and it was interesting to hear what Suzanne's new, young clients are looking for (I qualified as a 'young' client since I am still in my 30s!).

I was trying to verbalize what I was looking for in the interiors of my new home - and Stephen said it perfectly - casual luxury. I wish I had that term in my mind at the time, but you can be assured that it is firmly planted in my head now!

My Notting Hill said...

Great interview - so glad you prompted him to answer the question about the Bunny William's room. It does sound like "being there" was part of it. Love the big pictures but have to admit, when they moved to the Q & A format I was worried, now I love it. Can't imagine a world without House Beautiful magazine!!

DoxaHome.com said...

I think I have to claim this as my most favorite SRT interview, possibly tied with Vicente Wolf...his work inspired me to enter the field of interiors so Mr Wolf holds a dear space in my heart;) Anyway, the interview with Mr Drucker was great, he comes off so personable, it is so refreshing and charming. Congratulations ladies, what a great way to kick of the new year.

All the best,
Jaime

Anonymous said...

Sincerely surprising that Stephen Drucker portrayed the work of Jill Sharp Brinson as being unknown and unfamiliar with House Beautiful. Perhaps, Mr. Drucker should further familiarize himself with Jill by visiting her web site - www.jillsharpstyle.com and click on the "Press-Bio" link. One can then view an HB article "Quirky But Cool" featuring Jill's Atlanta apartment from early in her photo stylist career. Yes ... Jill's work has previously appeared in HB! Her web site is listed in the 'Resources' credit to the most recent article of her and Rob's home.

Further, under her "Clients" link appears House Beautiful, Veranda, Southern Accents, Ballard Designs,Target, Blackberry Farm among other prestigious clientele. The kitchen was actually #6 of Southern Accents top 10 kitchens: http://www.southernaccents.com/decorating/our-top-10-kitchens-00400000040564/page7.html published in SA.

It is within understanding that Mr. Drucker might be uninformed of the earlier published article with HB. However, one would suppose that his wide circle of staff would have been more informed regarding Jill's work and thus relayed such to Mr. Drucker to prevent such a gaffe on SRT.

For more photographs of Jill and Rob's home - visit her web site and click on the 'Dossier' link, then 'Habitat Design'. There is a very nice shot of the entry steel doors among other photographic shots.

Nora/Albuquerque said...

Ladies,
Another great podcast! I love House Beautifu!. Here's a question for you ladies to discuss. Considering these trying economic times, I'm am having to cut back on my magazine subscriptions. I have 10 and add to that the addtional must have's when I'm strolling past a magazine rack. I'm not telling you what I subscribe to. But I'm asking if you could only subscribe to 3 or 5 magazines please name your Top 5 must have's!

Thanks,
Nora

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Hi Guys,
I will definitely be listening to this Podcast a second time...so enjoyed hearing Mr. Drucker's thoughts and ideas. I understand now why House Beautiful is so successful. It really is all about the man or woman who is piloting the ship...and he's doing an outstanding job! He gets it! He totally gets it! I loved that he stood up for Traditional style and that he doesn't just go with publishing something because it's "new" or "different." I think you are right, Joni...he has excellent taste and is open to what he knows his readers may want to see and read. Fabulous interview! Could y'all hear me screaming "Yeah! Yeah!" from there? ;-)
Susan

Kerry said...

I love him!!! What a kind man.
What a great interview. And House Beautiful is an all-time favorite for me!

Brillante Home Decor said...

It is so great to have three different minds to interact with people interviewed and I love to hear everything you three have to say. So far you had incredible selection of guests. Fascinating.

Linda Merrill said...

Hi everyone - thanks for all the great comments, Stephen really was wonderful to speak with!

I'd like to set the record straight, however, about some misinformation that is going around. When Joni asked Stephen how he'd heard about Jill Brinson (who had the cover and big inside spread in the December issue), Stephen said he didn't actually know, that they do Scouting meetings every couple of weeks where they look at new work and sometimes it's the Editors who bring in a project, sometimes it's over the transom. Stephen never said that Jill was a new designer or that her work came in over the transom. He said he didn't know how her project came to them but that he "saw it for the first time in one of those meetings and everyone in the room went crazy".

Someone under the guise of Anonymity is misrepresenting this and turning it into some kind of insult towards Ms. Brinson, which is patently false. If anyone care's to listen, you can hear this segment of the interview at the 9:40 mark.
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

The anonymous info on Jill Sharp Brinson was 'patently' not intended to insult Jill. Quite the contrary - it was to further share the depth of her past and present design work.

Jill was not recently discovered - she has a pursued a long climb to success. Her talent is well-deserved. Her passion is contagious and should be shared.

Visual Vamp got it! Her most recent post on Jill is supberb eye candy. Congratulations to Jill (and Rob) for sharing your home with everyone and the publicity it is rendering.

Linda Merrill said...

Anon, you seem bound and determined to misunderstand and therefor misrepresent that which is set out clearly before you. Everyone is drooling over Jill's work. What more do you want? I was merely setting forth the real account of our conversation with Mr. Drucker, which has been mischaracterized. You apparently wish to suggest that somehow Jill's work got the short shrift and I think a cover on House Beautiful says it all. Now just go away, or come out of hiding and say who you really are. Btw - we all received a lovely email from Jill who clearly isn't feeling a lack of love or respect from any of us. What exactly is your problem?? Never mind, don't answer. Seriously, don't answer.

La Maison Fou said...

Hi Girls! Just got back from yet another run to Ny; sorry I am just getting to hear this....great discussion and what a wonderful bag of advice from Stephen!Words to live by!!
Another great discussion and so nice to take in!
Laundry can always wait!
Leslie

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Was this really 49 minutes long? It flew by! I enjoyed it so much. Thanks for another great interview!

Anonymous said...

I miss the days of HB when I believe Jo Ann something was the editor, but then I miss the florals of the 80s. I do like HB and subscribe each year. I never buy a magazine unless I think I've gotten my moneysworth, and with HB, I do.

But, if anyone knows what happened to the 80s editor, let me know. It seems I ever saw her again.

Topsy Turvy said...

Great stuff, ladies! You just keep outdoing yourselves!
–Lana

Daisy's Mercantile said...

I have been subscribing to House Beautiful for 18 years and I can honestly say Mr.Drucker saved this magazine. It was always good then it started really going down hill. Lots of the monthly features were still inspiring but the features had kind of lost their way. He brought it back and took it to a higher high than I though possible. I have always dreamed of working at a magazine and he would be my dream boss.

katiedid said...

Sigh.....What a satisfying 49 minutes. I can always count on you gals with your varied "styles"....which I happen to love BTW...to get a wonderful interview. Just a note to anon: this is an informal "roundtable", and as Linda says they are not trained. It is like having a cup of coffee with friends. It's imperfection is what is so personal and charming. I say "keep it up... just the way it is!!!!"
I would love to meet Mr. Drucker someday. His style of running the magazine is fantastic. One of my two favorites for sure.

Style Maniac said...

so great to meet the man behind the mag