Monday, December 20, 2010

Vicki Archer of French Essence Joins Us!

We were so excited to be able to chat with Vicki Archer, author of the books French Essence and My French Life and the popular blog French Essence! We would have been more excited if we were all together at her house in Saint Rémy de Provence but Skype had to suffice.

We chatted about Vicki's beautiful ex-pat life in France (she's Australian) and the beautiful farm house she restored over time. She even has 3000 olive trees and spends one month a year harvesting them!

We chatted about this leopard staircase Vicki spotted (pun intended) in a shop. We did finally determine this is papered, not painted.

Vicki's daughter's bedroom as shot for French Essence. Vicki found the bed at the Cligancourt Flea market in Paris in 1995.

And finally, Vicki's staircase wrapped in olive branches for Christmas. Artwork by Anne Harwell.

All photos, except where noted, by Carla Coulson.

Powered by

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kathryn M. Ireland Visits the Skirted Roundtable!

We were thrilled to spend time talking with Kathryn Ireland, the interior designer, NOT the model who unfortunately has the same name!  Kathryn is English but lives and works in California and summers at her house in France.   Besides decorating, she also designs a fabulous fabric line.  

Her ranch in Ojai influenced the creation of her latest fabric line:  Mexico Meets Morocco!

Kathryn was so much fun - she was at home after a long day of work - and she was ready to relax and just chat.    We talked about her wonderful house in Ojai that she sold to Reese Witherspoon, and we talked about her garage that she turned into her own private retreat after she sold her ranch.   A lot of Kathryn's clients are famous - A-listers in Hollywood.    She got her start partnering up with the actress Amanda Pays when they both owned a small shop.   Steve Martin came in one day and bought up everything!  The rest is history.

Kathryn has two books out:

This book tells all about the restoration of her Ojai Ranch.

This book is about Kathryn's decorating style - with loads of pictures.

Both are available on Amazon:  order Classic Country HERE and Creating A Home HERE.   A third book about her house is France is coming out soon.

And for those in the LA area, Kathryn will be doing a book signing at Giannetti Home on Saturday. Check out Brooke's blog for all the details. 

Powered by

 We hope you enjoy listening to this interview!  Coming up is Vicki Archer - the author and blogger who lives a dream life in Provence,  and next, a surprise guest, a giant in the decorating field.

We had a great response to our One King's Lane shopping spree giveaway! A big congratulations to Pam Gray of the blog Clustres who is the winner of a fantastic $200 shopping spree! We're all very jealous Pam!

However, to make it up, our newest sponsor Hot House is offering a generous 30% discount to The Skirted Roundtable listeners at her wonderful Etsy shop, filled with amazing vintage decorative accessories and clothing. Just use the TSR1210 at checkout. Just in time for a little holiday shopping.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Skirted Roundtable on Digital Shelter Magazines PLUS a One King's Lane Shopping Spree Giveaway!!

artwork courtesy of TSevis

On this week's podcast, Joni, Megan and Linda chatted about the state of digital Shelter Magazines-how they are to read, the big ones vs. little, their business models and how the heck does one remember to virtually pick it up again if it's not sitting on the coffee table?? [Note: there is a great business idea in there for some enterprising person...]

Among the publications we talked about are: Lonny, Rue, Nesting Newbies, High Gloss (launching 2011), Anthology, Sweet Paul, Ivy & Piper, Covet Garden, Array, Pure Green Living, Matchbook Magazine (launching 2011), Pigtown*Design and ::Surroundings::.

Ironically, while chatting about new media and technology, we had several technological problems of our own. First Joni crashed, so Megan and Linda chatted about without her. Then Joni came back on, and Linda crashed. Linda makes the recordings, so we lost much of what we recorded. So we postponed till the next night. So, this is all to say that this recording is a little more disjointed than others because we couldn't remember what we'd previously discussed. We also found it harder to maintain focus on the conversation thread without the magazines in our hands-which we thought was telling. 

Powered by

Also, just in time for the holidays, we're very excited that Skirted Roundtable sponsor One King's Lane has offered a $200 Shopping Spree on their site to one of our listeners!!! All you have to do is visit their website (registration is free if you're not already registered) and poke around and come back here and let us know in the comments what you would buy if you win the Shopping Spree! Very simple. One lucky person will be drawn from all the comments. NOTE: Please make sure you leave your email address, or link to you blog with your contact info so we can get in touch if you are the winner!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

All the way from Belgium, chatting with Greet LeFevre of Beligan Pearls

(Oops, somehow when updating this post with the new podcast player, it got republished with today's date. This interview originally took place in November, 2010. ~ LM)

Greet Lefevre with her husband Jan (l) and brother Stefaan (r)

The week, we chatted with the lovely Greet LeFevre of the Begian Pearls blog. Greet is an accomplished interior designer whose family business LeFevre Interiors has been in the custom cabinet making business in Belgium since the 1890's. The business is now run by Greet, her husband Jan and brother Stefaan. We chatted with Greet about Belgian design and its influences, her views on the current popularity of Belgian style here in the States and her blog Belgian Pearls.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This week, we are thrilled to welcome architect and interior designer David Easton to the Skirted Roundtable.   Easton was a total surprise.  I think all three of us thought we were in for a serious discussion on design, but Easton has an infectious sense of humor and likes to tease!  A lot!   He also likes to read and talk science fiction, which was rather surprising, to say the least.   He is charming, sweet, nice and highly intelligent, yet always entertaining.   We certainly were entertained.  

The day we interviewed Easton, he had just come back from being on the Martha Stewart show - no pressure on us, no, not at all!   He immediately put us at ease, and we totally forgot about riding on Martha's coattails.   We spent some time talking about his new, beautifully photographed book "Timeless Elegance" which shows some of his more famous houses and some that have never been seen before.   His two most famous houses, Albemarle House and Balderbrae are of course included.  

And Easton spends some time talking about his childhood spent growing up in this beautiful house with wonderful porches.  He reminisces about this house and how it inspires his designs.

The interview is highly enjoyable, easy to listen to, and thought-provoking all at once.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Meg Fairfax Fielding Joins the Skirted Roundtable

This week, we welcome to the Skirted Roundtable, Meg Fairfax Fielding of the popular blog, Pigtown Design.  Meg has been blogging over three years now, writing about everything from architecture to design to Baltimore to England and everything else in between.   Her popular blog, named for the historic district of Baltimore where she lives, is a rich collection of musings on whatever catches Meg's attention.  

Lately, it caught the attention of someone very handsome and popular himself - Nate Berkus.  Yes, Meg has recently been a guest on the Nate Berkus show talking about her part time escapades as a Junk Whisperer!  The producers and Nate were so happy with her first appearance, more are in the works!   Pretty impressive, no?

We invited her on to talk about her new career and her blog and life in general.   Join in and listen to find out how a blogger becomes a daytime TV star!

Powered by


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chatting with Rhoda Montgomery, Southern Hospitality blog, about Nate Day and other bloggy fun

Yes, we're back! We didn't really go anywhere and very much appreciate the emails asking what was up. It's been a very busy time Chez Linda for the last several weeks what with one thing and another so between that and a couple of guest scheduling snafu's, we took an unexpected break. But, it was just a break, not a break up and we're back with a great lineup of guests and topics. Coming soon we have interior designer David Easton, Haskell Harris of Garden & Gun Magazine, designer/author Kathryn Ireland and more, so stay tuned for that.

Meanwhile, this week, we invited Rhoda Montgomery of the blog Southern Hospitality to join us.  As many of you will have heard, a couple of weeks ago, over 80 design bloggers were invited to attend a taping of the Nate Berkus show in NYC. This was a followup to this group all showing their support and admiration of Nate Berkus' work on the launch of his new talk show by doing posts and tweets all on the same day - aka "Nate Day".  Great idea, spearheaded by The Moggit Girls and Create Girl. So, as you may have heard, there was a significant level of discontent about how the day unfolded at the taping of Nate's show. Lot's of angry posts and tweets ensued. But also some very supportive ones as well. To us at SRT, it just seemed like a big PR nightmare for Nate's show and one that could have been avoided if they'd understood the true power of the blogosphere. Anyway, since we weren't there, we wanted to get the inside scoop from Rhoda, who was one of the more measured reporters from the day.  

We also chat with Rhoda about her blog and two of her most popular DIY projects: the beadboard wallpaper and her stairs.

If you participated in Nate Day - we'd love to hear from you. In the end - was the trip worth it? If you did not participate, we'd love to hear your impressions of the day as well.

Powered by


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Shelter Mags Play Musical Chairs

This week, Megan, Joni and Linda discussed the current state of our favorite shelter magazines, the musical chairs of top management and what changes may come to the magazines, and what we would like to see (or not!).
We spent a lot of time discussing the problems with Architectural Digest and why no one seems to like the publication. We specifically discussed the two photographs below. We all agreed that in many cases, the rooms themselves are fine, it's all in the presentation and photography.

From AD, February 2007. Designer Penny Drue Baird.

From AD, November 2006. Designer John Barman

So, join us and please let us know what you think. What changes would you like to see as the editor's-in-chief all take control of their new publications, and what changes would you NOT like to see!

Also, WE HAVE A WINNER in our Bobby McAlpine book giveaway! Christina at Greige, come on down and claim your copy of "The Home Within Us"! Congrats! And a big thanks to Bobby for providing the giveaway!

Powered by


Monday, August 9, 2010

Bobby McAlpine!!!! Need We Say More?

He came, he talked, he conquered. The buzz about our latest visitor was loud. It seemed everyone was as excited as us to hear what Bobby McAlpine had to say. And he had a lot to say. We talked for over an hour and 1/2, but of course, Linda had to edit it down somewhat.

He's a true Southern Gentleman - soft spoken and polite with a slow drawl AND a little bit of a potty mouth!!! His IQ must be in the stratosphere. He is VERY cerebral. And he is very nice.

He talked about his new book - THE HOME WITHIN US. He talked about this house he lived in for years - the one on the cover of the book and above.

We talked about how well written his book is - it's not just a bunch of pretty pictures, though there are tons of those too.

He talked about how he completely redid this house several times. He talked about who lives in it now. He talked about what he prefers to do - architecture or interior designing, because he excels at both descriptions.

He talked about the beauty of using the finest materials - like steel windows. McAlpine made everyone in America want steel windows (until we found out how much they cost!)

He talked about this major project - adding a dining hall onto a large house. Here is a picture of his solution to that dilemma. He talked a lot about this house and its owners and the chapel he built for them.

Here's what that dining room addition looks like inside.
 and the chapel on the same estate

We want to extend a huge thank you to Bobby for joining us on The Skirted Roundtable. It was a thrill, it was humbling, it was a dream. It's not every day you get to talk to one of the best architects America has.

And - another huge thank you to Bobby for offering his book THE HOME WITHIN US for a giveway. Be sure to enter by leaving us a comment with your name and email address.

To order this wonderfuly well written book with its gorgeous photographs - go HERE.

And as always, we appreciate your continued support.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chatting with Christina Strutt of Cabbages & Roses, founder and author

This week Megan, Joni and Linda chat with Christina Strutt, founder and creative mind behind the British lifestyle firm Cabbages and Roses and author of their latest book At Home With Country: Bringing the Comforts of Country Home (Cabbages & Roses)

Join us as we discuss with Christina some of the photo shoots highlighted in the book (see photos below and follow along) and about the differences between American and English style and styling.

City home

Christina's Tree House and courtyard room

Long Island home

Cape Cod home

Hanham Court (see more pics here

Christina is looking to open a shop (or shops) here in the States. Where do you think her particular brand of English country style would work best?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chatting with Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

This week on The Skirted Roundtable we welcome blogger and interior designer Lauren Liess. You probably love her popular blog - Pure Style Home - as much as we do, so be sure to tune in! Lauren is so talented and inventive. She is full of wonderful ideas that you can take with you to use in your own house. We were captivated by the recent renovation of her new house and were full of questions for her.

Her entry is so great! Lauren tells us all about the framed prints she used on the walls.

Her living room - the furniture arrangement changes daily it seems!

Another view of her living room, another arrangement. Her husband stenciled the faux fireplace wall. It's phenomenal!

Lauren's dining room with the oversized print. Lauren tells us all about the print and where to order one of your own.

The playroom - Joni tells us how she ordered a lantern just like Lauren's for $89.00 after Lauren sourced it for her. Sweet Lauren!

Lauren's new baby's nursery. She and her husband printed that fabric themselves. Don't ask!

The breakfast room - the wallpaper is so cute!!!!

The kitchen - we talk about Lauren's disastrous episode with painting her appliances stainless steel - it doesn't work, btw.

Where it all started. Before the Liess' moved into their new home, they lived for almost a year in her parents basement. She totally transformed the empty space into an adorable home. Here is her office from those times.

Be sure to tune in to listen to Lauren Liess, our guest this week. You'll be ready to go out and redo your own place too! To check out Lauren's blog, go HERE.

Also, let us know what other bloggers you would like us to interview. We would love to know who you would like to hear! As always, thank you for your support.