Noted Author: Diane Dorrans Saeks

This week, we invite you to listen to our interview with our guest, the noted author and thoroughly fascinating Ms. Diane Dorrans Saeks. There is few among design devotees who do not own a book written by Ms. Saeks. Many of her books are classics - California Cottages and Wine Country - to name just a few. Her Interiors series of books have also been well received.

Covers of Diane Dorrans Saeks design books.
But, without a doubt, Michael Smith's Elements of Style is probably Ms. Saeks most popular book - it is now in its EIGHTH printing, making it one of the most well read design books ever!!!

Ms. Saeks calls San Francisco home, but she grew up in New Zealand - where she describes spending an idyllic childhood.

Besides writing design books, Ms. Saeks is an avid and very brave traveler - preferring to go to the ends of the earth on her own. She recently took an extended trip to India - alone - visiting with friends at various cities in that exotic country.

We talked all about her travels and writings and of course blogging. Her blog, The Style Saloniste, is a well written weekly collection of her musings on life, travel, art, design and the people she meets along the way.

We hope you enjoy our visit with Diane Dorrans Saeks as much as we did. As always, thank you for your continued support and comments.


Jaime Rogers said…
Ohh, ohh, ohh...excited to hear this one too! Along with the Michael Smith book, I also own the Seaside Style and Seaside Interiors books...never realized they were written and/or produced by the very same person;) Always something new to discover at SRT...
Jaime Rogers said…
And to find out she owns a few John Dickinson pieces...I have been drooling over his African tripod table for nearly 15 years...along with a Karl Springer telephone table...should have bought them both back then as they are both crazy pricey these days....sigh
Ms. Saeks has been a mentor of mine for some time. I love her work. Also, I had no idea she wrote a blog {where have I been?!}.

Another lovely interview ladies! Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said…
Very insightful and interesting interview. Thank you, ladies!

vicki archer said…
Great interview. I enjoy Diane's books and her blog very much and thought her reflections on blogging very succinct. xv
Such a thrill to hear my name from her gorgeous accent. Another lovely chat that I loved listening in on :-) I never miss it!
Anonymous said…
"Eh" to this one. I stopped listening after listening to her talk for 25 minutes about her travels. More design please.
Fantastic segment, Diane is elegant, eloquent and a true Saloniste. thank you ladies for continuing to bring great stories to us. pgt
Oh Ladies you are great! I loved the interview! I am so glad i "met" this wonderful writer, Diane Dorrans Saeks. I learned a LOT about blogging listing this interview!

Thanks again,

Renata Gross
Mona Thompson said…
Another great interview. I never miss one. I learn so much from all of you as well as your guests. I have lots of new points to ponder as a new blogger still trying to define who I am . Thanks.
Terry said…
Ms. Saeks is a kindred spirit for most blog readers: most of us don't design. So it's a breath of fresh air to hear a non-designer critique blogs a little. Ms. Saeks found some ground between gushing praise and nastiness. I didn't need to understand a single design term or style to grok the interview.

I admire Architect Design because he's been there, he takes his own pictures, and he holds back. It reminds me of the moment in my life when I discovered that it takes 10 people to produce a magazine picture: I quit believing the pictures. It's a consequence of growing up in High Point with Alderman Studios.
Deborah said…
I anxiously await the arrival of each new blog because it makes doing the soccer-mom thing much more enjoyable. Thanks for all your hard work and keep those blogs coming because I do a lot of driving.
I feel strongly about offering original content for the same reasons that Diane speaks of ... after awhile some images become overseen on the blogs and they lose their impact, although they do serve a purpose of validating popular trends. Also, giving credit where credit is due should become blogger-protocol. I like how Diane validated blogging as a legitimate outlet for writers/design enthusiasts (and my husband was in the room during the podcast so that was a bonus!)
Being an avid reader of her books and her posts I truly appreciated this interview.
She is a very intelligent, smart, refined, elegant lady and now I can put a voice to her beautiful face.
Thank you again ladies!

I am so honored to be on SKIRTED ROUND TABLE--and am gratified that many of your readers and listeners, with these comments above, 'got it' about the essential requirement for bloggers to create and primarily use original material. Plagiarism must be avoided.
Yvonne makes the great point that by creating original material (and not relying solely on magazine photos or material created by others) bloggers become legitimate--not merely clever finders of material from publications and websites and other sources.
When I read a new blog feature that has mostly original material--a fresh idea, good writing, informational text, and photographs that are either shot by the blogger or are professional photography fully credited as to their origin--I admire the blogger and appreciate their high standards of professionalism.
By fully and honestly crediting, a blogger sets himself/herself apart from those who merely scan clips, and pull images from the web or magazines and add a cursory comment.
Linking is one way of acknowledging a designer or store or design company--but I don't believe it is fully crediting photography used in a feature.
Transparency and clarity of credits is essential.

My very best to Joni, Linda, and Megan for their divine blogs--and for THE SKIRTED ROUNDTABLE, the essential 'listen' for all those who love design.
Cheers, DIANE
Ana Carolina said…
love Diane!
Thanks for your post!
Patti Friday said…
You speak volumes. (Did you write this podcast just for me?) Thank You.
Another amazing post!!! Its funny I own about half the books shown in the image - but never kneew anything about the woman behind the scenes. What a role model - Diane Dorrans Saeks is a gorgeous example of living gracefully! She's got her new biggest admirer!!! What I particularly loved was her travel advice - she shares my travel mentality and then some!!
Great job ladies!
Joni, Megan and Linda,

I was alerted to your round table discussion via Diane and thank goodness she told me about it because it was fabulous! In the time I've known her, she has never failed to leave me breathless with her style, erudite graceand her widespread knowledge on absolutely everything. Listening to her distinctive velvety voice rhapsodize about picking watercress by the riverbank in NZ as a child, and the effect Latin has on improving one's sentence structure was even better than wolfing down a Laduree macaroon. And don't even get me started on her alternative life as an intrepid adventuress -- she makes travelling to Jaipur sound as easy as going down to the neighborhood bistro!

Joni, I also thought your comments on blogging were fascinating and totally on-point. There does seem to be a vague malaise going on with bloggers, and my take on it is because after a certain point, you begin to think, "Well, what is this for, really?" If you have a design business, then you wonder if it's taking up too much of your valuable time to blog and if you're doing it for the sheer love of getting your viewpoint out there, then you wonder, "Whoa, did I inadvertently sign myself up for a lifelong commitment? Do I need to stress out about traveling on vacation now? If I take a break, will I be back at square one? And how do I live a meaningful life if more and more of my time is spent sitting at my desk thinking of my next blog post?" It's an interesting question, I think.

Are these interviews archived? If so, I need to listen to them all!


Lisa xxx
Listening to Diane was very inspirational. Her passion and her high standards really are admirable. I will have to remember to start giving myself credit for all those photos I took. I enjoyed the interview immensely. And now I know that “Saeks” rhymes with cakes!