Guest blogger, Southern Accents' Editor in Chief Karen Carroll

Join us this week as Southern Accents' Editor in Chief Karen Carroll drops by to chat about what's behind creating one of the grand dames of interior design publications, sustaining a dedicated readership community and her recent foray into the blogging world.


That was very interesting Ladies, weird, I just the other day subscripted to "Southern Accents" Magazine...and I'm in Calgary, Alberta, Canada...way north!
I look forward to The Shirted Round Table every week, hope you can do it for many years to come.
Thank you very much for all your hard work. Regards, Carol Ann
Terry said…
Glad y'all discussed use of copyrighted material in blogs. I'm not personally comfortable that the issue is settled. I suspect most pictures in blogs are used without permission although they may attribute the source.

I certainly think that blogging mostly adds value for the copyright owners.

I'm not the one to do it, but I wish design bloggers had some sort of ethics statement as a guideline.

Thanks so much to Ms. Carroll for joining the group today. I always enjoy hearing from someone who lives down here where it "wawm" most the the year.
"Southerners are inherently nosy." Oh good--I am glad it is a regional epidemic and not just a personal character flaw. : )

Great interview!
Karen said…
I probably should have said "Southerners are inherently curious," shouldn't I. So much for being articulate!
Karen said…
Terry, it is a tricky issue...and it's hard to put the rabbit back in the hat, so to speak. One of the reasons we mainly use our own images on our own blog is that I feel that as a magazine we have to be especially careful about the whole rights issue. I genuinely do think that magazines and blogs can have a very synergistic relationship. Attribution is important. Permission is even better. And as I mentioned (but that part of the conversation may have been edited -- can't remember as I probably went on too long), it's photographers who may question at some point. Fortunately the group of photographers who work in this arena are a pretty friendly group. But the real challenge may come when/if blogs start to really make money through advertising, etc. Then it wouldn't be surprising if other parties whose images are used might want a part of it!
My Notting Hill said…
Wonderful interview. It's great to get a bit of a sneak peak into the life of a magazine editor! Love Southern Accents - their guide to Charleson was invaluable on my recent, first trip there.
Dianne said…
I feel for New Englanders if they do not have their version of this magazine. There is nothing better than regional ownership. This was your best interview by far!!! Thank you.
BTW, my girlfriends and I critique every home together and always drool.
Teacats said…
Brava!!! Simply brillant! Just loved every minute -- Karen is a wonderful speaker -- and has many interesting "back stories" to share! Yes -- it is my passionate belief that writers, photographers, creative souls of Decor Blogs and Decor Mags/Books must work together to find ways to keep folks reading and interested about the domestic arts, entertaining, travel, gardens, antiques of all sorts -- and pets too! BTW -- I've heard around the blogosphere how much folks enjoy photos with pets in both blogs and -- of course -- the magazine world too! I wonder if Karen has noticed that trend? I am looking at an older "Southern Accents" book -- "Accents on Accessories" (Oxmoor House 1995) It remains one of my favorite decor books (saw Karen's photo on the back flap!) -- and it is great illustration of the timeless qualities of Southern design -- Charm, Comfort, Erudite, Wit, Wisdom and an innate sense of Welcome. After moving to Dallas -- and finding Southern Accents magazine -- I finally begin to "see" those qualities in all sorts of rooms. These are truly "living" rooms -- no matter what the name -- people use them and enjoy them! I would LOVE to see more "before-and-after" decor stories and photos! These kinds of stories have been featured on the blogs here -- and always bring out so many comments! Sorry to blither on .... LOL! And yes! I can call myself a nosy old cat .... not merely curious about homes, rooms and decor ....

Many thanks to you all again -- Kindest regards,

Jan at Rosemary Cottage
Style Court said…
Karen and Joni,

I remember Lindsay standing in the pulpit at the Cathedral (at the Antiques show) talking about Amelia's purple bedroom, the cover, and the debate -- it was great!
Karen said…
Thanks, everyone, for the kind words! Always glad to hear we have Canadian subscribers...that we've helped out on the travel itineraries to Charleston, all those good things.

Jan, yes, we definitely know that people love animals in photos. It's funny how many designers and homeowners simply won't pose for a photograph without their dogs--I think it helps relax them! (Unfortunately cats don't get equal time because they are such divas about getting their pictures taken). We were talking on the roundtable about critical comments/letters we receive. I recently got one after the last issue came out that went something like "You like dogs--we get it. Enough with the dogs!" Oh well. I'm trying not to pay too much attention to that one.

Courtney, yes, we absolutely tortured ourselves over that bedroom cover. Seems so silly all these years later. Thanks, too, for pointing out that the designer is Amelia Handegan. After all my talk about giving credit I neglected to mention that.
Alicia said…
I first fell in love with Southern Accents another lifetime ago & have continued to subscribe no matter where I am.
Their style is timeless & never overdone. That translates to anywhere.
I happened to have my old and much-loved dictionary on my desk here in the studio while I was listening to this. I looked up the word 'class' and found a photograph of Karen.
Boxwood Terrace said…
That was such an interesting interview with Karen Carroll. As a Bostonian, I've not paid much attention to Southern Accents magazine, but will now give it a closer look. In fact, the 2001 issue with the beautiful lavender bedroom is for sale on ebay. This may be the first Southern Accents issue I purchase! Thanks for broadening my horizons a little. Deborah
Beth Connolly said…
All-it is easy to understand why Southern Accents is such a wonderful magazine with such a bright and articulate head. I don't know if Alexandria, Virginia counts as the South, southern Virginia sure doesn't think so, but I think Southern Accents would appeal to anyone with lovely taste, no matter where they live. Another great job gals!
Unknown said…
Just left a rather long comment on Jon's blog about that last podcast! It was so good!
Ladies it get's better and better!
Thank you!
What an enjoyable edition of the Skirted Roundtable! I always love hearing the voices behind the names...Karen has such a lovely lilting southern accent herself.

Lots of good points made here - in particular credit to the photographer. I have profiled some Atlanta homes recently, and have taken my own photos. The experience has given me a profound appreciation for the artistry of the photographer behind the pictures! Great interior photographers are masters at what they do, and truly deserve much of the credit behind the beauty of the pictures.
Lauren said…
great episode!! Good to know the info about images & copyrighting but now I will have to be better!!! (argg!! haha)

I love all the talk about magazines & blogs being able to work together.
I so enjoyed this round table ... and I felt that I should let joni know that it was not me that wrote that letter about the blue keep up the great work girls.
Being born and "raised" in the south, Southern Accents has always been one of my very favorite magazines! How interesting that soooo many of the magazines we know and love are published right out of Birmingham...I never realize that. I do think there is plenty of room in this big ole world for both blogs and magazines. Just as Kindle will never replace the feel of good book in my hands, I'll always be thrilled when I open my mailbox and fine a brand new glossy, covered magazine just waiting to be devoured. :-)
Delightful interview! I was so relieved to hear Ms. Carroll say that she thought magazines were here to stay. With all of the shelter publications that have recently stopped publishing, I was becoming very concerned that the internet might lead to my never being able to hold a beautiful magazine in my hands and enjoy it's content over and over (yes, I'm one of those people who keep their shelter magazines forever-I have many very old S.A. magazines.)Ms. Carroll's attitude about blogs was so gracious, and her obvious love for her job is surely one of the things that makes S.A. such a wonderful magazine. Thanks S.R. Table girls, and thanks Ms. Carroll! laurie
annechovie said…
This was great, Ladies! Karen is so gracious and to hear the voice behind the personality. Thank you!