Friday, December 18, 2009

2009 Holiday Give-a-way Winners!

 Using to select the winners, we send our congratulations to the follow three winners!

Please email Linda with your mailing addresses and you will shortly receive a little gift from Joni, Megan or Linda.

We so appreciate and are humbled by all the kind comments left this week.  What started as an idea about doing something no one else was doing and the big question of "who will want to listen to us?" has grown beyond our wildest expectations.

We've been joined by fellow blogger/designers: Eddie Ross & Jaithan Kochar of, Anna Spiro of Absolutely Beautiful Things, Jennifer Boles of The Peak of Chic, Patricia Shackleford of Mrs. Blandings, Brooke Giannettii of Velvet & Linen, and Susan Serra of The Kitchen Designer.

A really amazing group of design stars: Vicente Wolf, Suzanne Kasler, Alessandra Branca and Charlotte Moss.

And editors and writers: Karen Carroll, Judith Miller and Margaret Russell.

The collective talent and brain trust of these amazing fourteen people alone is awe inspiring. That they were all willing to take the time out of their busy schedules, download and install Skype (that's how we do it!) and chat away with has truly been a gift to us. Joni, Megan and I get to sit front row center along with all of you to learn from the best and I think we all feel we've grown professionally, and personally, because of this. If you missed any of those amazing interviews, check on the left hand sidebar for links.

And, finally, thank you to every one of you who reports listening to us in the car, on the stair master, while doing housework/cooking, or with a glass of wine and no interruptions. We know our podcasts can be long and you are all busy people - so we truly thank you for your time as well.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year. We'll be back during the first week in January with our interview with Stephen Drucker whom we chatted with a couple of weeks ago. He was fun and game to talk about anything and everything. And also coming in 2010 - Grant K. Gibson, Elizabeth Mayhew, Jackie von Tobel, and a surprise guest that Joni and I are particularly excited about (but can't announce just yet!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Our favorite holiday decorating blogs, posts and sites of 2009 PLUS a holiday giveaway!

This is our last podcast of 2009. We have selected some of our favorite holiday inspired posts and websites from around the internet to share. So, please enjoy and scroll down to the end for info on our holiday giveaway! (We suggest you open this post in two different windows, one to listen to the podcast from and one to click the links from.)


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A bonus link:

Thank you so much for embracing this new venture over the last several months. We continue to be touched and honored that so many busy people are willing to listen to our podcasts and so many of our favorite designers, fellow bloggers and media professionals have taken the time to chat with us.

Our next podcast will be published the first week in January and our special guest is Stephen Drucker, editor-in-chief of House Beautiful!

Meanwhile, as a token our our thanks, Megan, Joni and I will each be sending  one of three listeners a small gift from our homes. So, please leave a comment. Three will be selected at random and they will receive a surprise gift from one of the three of us!  The drawing will be announced on Thursday, December 17th.

So, please join in the fun and Happy Holidays to all and a Happy, Healthy New Year!

~ Megan, Joni and Linda

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Renowned antiques expert Judith Miller takes a chair

Noted antiques expert and prolific author of many books on antiques, period style and more, Judith Miller joined us this week from her home in London! Join us as we learned a little more about the art of collecting antiques, how to go about starting a collection and other interesting tips. We also discussed Judith's new book CHAIRS which is a fascinating portrait book on chairs spanning four hundred years. It's a must have for anyone in the interiors business.


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Monday, November 23, 2009

This week we sit down with Alessandra Branca

This week, once again, fortune has smiled upon us as we had the great pleasure to visit with the ineffable, Alessandra Branca. Ms. Branca, whose style is always rich with color, gorgeous fabrics and strong architectural design elements shares with us about family, what inspires her designs and discusses her most recent book, 'New Classic Interiors'.
The book is a gorgeous, over sized tome, filled with mouth watering photos that is actually quite a good read as well. We should also mention that, all proceeds from the book will go to inner city children's programs around the country. If you order your copy here, 100% of your purchase price goes to Alessandra's selected charities. Another example of the interior design community stepping up to help those less fortunate!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Home Sick:: The fold of Metropolitan Home

With yet another shot heard 'round the social media networking sites, blogs and on the street, on November 9th the closing of Metropolitan Home was confirmed.

This week we discuss the magazine's beginnings - as the much loved '70's shelter publication, 'Apartment Living' to its elegant shift in style and title, "Metropolitan Home" and finally it's untimely demise . What's next or rather who's next?
We take our hats off with due respect to Donna Warner who has led her editorial team in the outstanding 26 year run of the modern luxury magazine. You will be missed Met Home.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chatting with Margaret Russell

This week, The Skirted Roundtable welcomed Ms. Margaret Russell for an in-depth talk about Elle Decor (of course!), her latest book "Style and Substance," blogging and copyrights (Joni is in trouble!!) and lots of other topics. Russell is a fascinating woman - she's been with Elle Decor since the beginning - 20 years now - and as Editor-In-Chief is faced with the formidable task of putting out a quality magazine month after month, all while staying on budget in these very trying times. Thank God for Margaret Russell is all we can say! She has made a success out of Elle Decor and judging by how tough the economy is right now - we have only her to thank for the magazine's success. Russell discusses why she thinks Elle Decor has managed to stay alive while so many other magazines have left us. A graduate of Brown, she had plans to be a lawyer, but life changed everything and for that we are grateful. It's extremely hard to even imagine Elle Decor without Margaret Russell.

The book: it's wonderful - full of images from the past twenty years. "Style and Substance" was beautifully edited - painstakingly put together from masses of culled pictures - and it shows. It's lush, interesting, and gorgeous! Instead of focusing on photoshoots of individual houses, it is organized around rooms such as libraries, baths, bedrooms, kitchens, etc. Even the kids get their own chapter. Looking over all the pictures, it's amazing how many of them have become classics - shown over and over again on the design blogs to make a point or to explain a particular obsession.
Before the interview, we asked Russell to provide us with three of her favorite images from the book - and this is what she chose:

All three photographs were cover stories - this one is from Sarah Jessica Parker's summer house. This cover shot is slightly different from the image in the book and Russell explains why.

This picture of a vacation house designed by Victoria Hagan was on the cover of the best selling Elle Decor. Why? Russell tries to explain it - but popular covers are elusive. No one is really sure what is going to sell and what isn't. Rumors are this cover was the inspiration for the Something's Gotta Give house. True? We discuss that too!

And finally - this picture featuring a gorgeous bedroom by Vicente Wolf almost made the cover of "Style and Substance." Russell tells us why she eventually went with the Hagan cover instead.
As usual, Linda had to play the disciplinarian and tell us we had been talking for almost an hour and it was time to wrap it up. Why does it always go by too fast when we have an guest - we could have talked for another hour with Ms. Russell - at least! Charming, beautiful, and highly intelligent - she definitely has it ALL!!!! We are in awe, you will be too.
Listen here and please leave a comment if you want to continue the conversation:

Photo credits: SJP's dining room: William Waldron; Victoria Hagen's living room design: Michael Mundy; Vicente Wolf's bedroom design: Peter Estersohn

Monday, October 26, 2009

Suzanne Kasler sits down at The Skirted Roundtable

Today, Suzanne Kasler, interior designer, furniture designer, lighting designer, author, and utterly gracious person - visited The Skirted Roundtable for an in depth chat. As usual, we were all ears as Suzanne spoke about design and what it means to her. She reveals how she approaches an empty house - it's all about the "sequencing" of color and style that runs throughout a house, according to Suzanne. After talking in general terms, we got down to business and pulled out Suzanne's new book "Inspired Interiors." We all claimed one room we particularly loved (the three of us had initially picked the same room!) and asked Suzanne to talk about the inspiration behind each one. We have printed the pictures here in case your copy of Inspired Interiors hasn't arrived yet.

As usual, the time went by much too quickly, we could have listened to Suzanne talk about each page in the entire book. If you haven't bought it yet - we highly recommend it. For an autographed copy, send an email HERE. Before you listen to the show, be sure to get out a pen and paper - Suzanne shares her favorite white paint colors.

We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did. We feel like we are getting quite an education listening to the best interior designers in America and we plan to continue offering classes - as long as you'll attend! If you'd like, please help to continue the conversation by leaving a comment, and as always your support is very much appreciated.

Linda's pick (and Megan and Joni) for her favorite room in the book is this dining room - located in Suzanne's former house. The pink taffeta curtains are the focal point - but we all discover new details we hadn't noticed before.
Pages 18-19.

Megan's choice was this wonderful English styled log cabin, also recently featured in Architectural Digest. We all agreed that this proves a log cabin can be dressy and beautiful. This is the great room in the owner's house situated right next to Blackberry Farm, the Relais and Chateau hotel they founded, located in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.
Pages 174-175.

Another view of the log cabin. In the summer - all the furniture is covered in white slips.

Megan then picked a 2nd room to discuss - this bunk room.
Pages 182-186.

Suzanne discussed the rug - and described how she purchases things just because she likes them, not with a specific client in mind.

Joni's pick is this eclectic family room in Suzanne's former house. We dissected the room, piece by piece, to understand how and why it works.
Pages 20-21.

And finally, we discussed this dining room - because it is so universally well liked by bloggers. Suzanne tells us how the famous pink wall came to be and how everyone was initially against it!

Pages 127-129.

Another view of her most famous room - Suzanne reveals which pink is closest to the real shade - the light pink in this picture or the deeper pink in the former picture.

"Inspired Interiors" by Suzanne Kasler - a wonderful book, available on Amazon.


Edited to add: When we interviewed Suzanne, we had no idea about this part of her background. Having gone through such a trying time in her life only adds to our respect for her and her work. And thank you to Colonel James H. Kasler for your service to our country. 

Excerpted from "Tempered Steel: Colonel James A. Kasler" by Perry D. Luckett and Charles L. Byler

As General Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg, Jr., observed in a recent inter-
view, Jim Kasler is a paragon of what the fighting airman is all about.  He
didn’t break the sound barrier first or go to the moon and jump up and
down.  He was just the best at his trade that anyone could be, and he is a
complex, esoteric individual whose characteristics all came together when
his nation needed him to produce what he did.  Indeed, James Kasler is a
genuine American hero, and we all must hope the United States has a few
like him in the future, when we need them.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Accessorizing - The Final Frontier

Mantlescape by Jane Moore

This week The Skirted Roundtable tackles accessorizing, the final touches that make a room special. We talk about how to accessorize shelves, how we feel about using books that no one has, or ever will, read, and what we think about mantlescapes and lampshades, among other things.

Bookshelves and lampshades by Charlotte Moss

As always, we encourage you to leave a comment with your thoughts and ideas. The comments have all been so great lately, and they encourage even more conversation. And, be sure to listen in the coming weeks when we will be interviewing a few of America's top interior designers!!

Shelves accessorized by Charles Faudree


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Friday, October 16, 2009

Endorsements, disclosures and the economics of blogging

The week, Joni, Megan and Linda discuss the recently released FTC (Federal Trade Commission) guidelines relating to bloggers' endorsements of products, disclosure of financial or product arrangements, and the economics of blogging now and in the future.

Click here for links to the new FTC Guidelines and various reactions around the internet.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Charlotte Moss Joins Us at the Skirted Roundtable

In honor of Charlotte Moss' visit to The Skirted Roundtable: a early version of her decorating style - a yellow plaid skirted table softens the area in front of the window of her former townhouse.

We are so thrilled to present Ms. Charlotte Moss to the listeners of The Skirted Roundtable. Linda, Megan and myself were mesmerized listening to Charlotte discuss her design philosophies, how her business works - whether the client first comes to her office or if they meet at the client's house, what lengths she goes to to finish an installation, and everything in between. The time flew by and though we promised her we would only keep her for 30 minutes, it was almost an hour before we were forced to end it - much to our chagrin. We hope you enjoy listening to this design icon as much as we did. You will learn a lot from Ms. Moss - I know we did. We felt like we were sitting at the feet of a master - soaking it all up, as Megan said "like a sponge."
Charlotte dresses up for a charity function: philanthropy is of utmost importance to her and she serves on many boards, where she generously donates large amounts of her time.

Her most famous Kips Bay showhouse room. This vignette might be one of the prettiest ever designed. I love how the etagere is urn shaped and she repeats this with an urn atop it. The framed wallpaper remnant is perfectly scaled to the etagere, while the bell jar is placed to bring your eye to it as a focal point and then travel down the curved lines of the etagere and further along the curving arms of the chaise longue. Perfection!

Ms. Moss is known for her feminine bedrooms - most often finished with a four poster bed. During her Skirted Roundtable discussion - she addresses feminine vs. masculine design and how to deal with men who don't like canopy beds.

It's not all work - there's lot of fun in Charlotte's life, that's for sure! You'll be interested to hear how much sleep she gets a night.
A sincere and heartfelt thank you to Charlotte for giving up her time to talk with us AND you!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mixing high style, retail finds and creating a "point of interest"

photo courtesy of Lauren Liess: Pure Style Home

photo courtesy of Linda Merrill Chameleon Interiors

This week listen in as Joni, Megan and Linda talk about high style on a budget, doing the high/low mix and creating a "point of interest".  If you could buy just one piece of furniture or art-what would it be?

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