Friday, May 3, 2013

Joni Webb Talks Cote de Texas

Being new to the blog scene, I am trying to find my footing. My blogger ideal is the incredible Joni Webb of  Cote de Texas (here).  Joni is gracious, sweet and astoundingly literate. She has won many fans with her always witty, informative and beautiful posts.  Joni has introduced an untold number of readers to "French design on the Texas coast" and I can say without exaggeration that my entire design aesthetic can be attributed to what I have learned from reading Cote de Texas over the past six years.

Joni has extensively explored, researched, studied, and sleuthed every design story worth knowing.  My enjoyment and anticipation of her blog was solidified when she wrote about relentlessly (and successfully) "stalking" homeowners for a glimpse inside their houses .  Here was a woman after my own heart!  Who doesn't have a home they drive out of their way to see while fantasizing about its interior design?  Joni is hilarious, blunt and uncompromising in her taste. She has remained true to her love of the "Houston" look;  seagrass, slipcovers and antiques. And her readers love her for it.

"Stalking the Wheats" here  and  here

Joni's gorgeous living room wows with the "Houston" look

I was thrilled when Joni graciously agreed to an INTERVIEW!  Joni has never hesitated to help fellow bloggers and many have benefited from her friendship and advice.  I spent days rereading Cote de Texas from the beginning and there are so many memorable and downright gorgeous posts that I want to go back and read them yet again!

     1.  Joni, how long have you been blogging, and being one of the first design bloggers, what inspired you to take such a step into the unknown?

Gosh. I need to think.  Going on my 7th year now! Wow! Time flies!  I stumbled onto a few blogs all those years ago, Peak of Chic and Stylecourt which are still going strong.  I thought it looked like fun and I wanted to share my loves with other people.  It was a surprise to discover that I didn't have any great secrets to share- other lovers of design knew all about great designers, fabrics, architects, etc.  I realized that blogging was really talking with other people who were just like me and liked the same things that I did.

The adorable Joni with early blogger buddies.  I swear she never ages!

     2.  Do you ever struggle to come up with ideas to blog about?  Do you see a day when your interest in blogging wanes? 
Yes. It's hard to be fresh after six years.  I don't blog as much as others, but I do try to make each one memorable or appealing rather than just posting to post. I don't know what I think about quitting.  Maybe if no one read it anymore I would stop.

     3.  How supportive was your family in the early days of your blog?  Did they "get" it? 

They still don't!  At all!  Ben never reads my blog unless I ask him to especially, which is very, very rare.  My daughter doesn't read it either.  My mother does and so does my sister, but not my father- he just scans it sometimes.  But everyone is very supportive.  Very.

     4.  Some of my favorite posts you have written feature local Houston designers like Pamela Pierce or Carol Glasser- what was one of your favorite posts to write?

That's funny because writing about Carol- I loved that.  Grey Gardens was one that I loved writing.  There have been some that I have loved because they involved a lot of research.  I really enjoyed the one on how to make your house look like the one in Something's Got to Give.  I was interested in that myself!  I also liked the series on elements of design.

Edie Beales at Grey Gardens here



 Something's Got To Give
here  and  here  and  here  and  here 

     5.  If you could choose any designer to design a room in your house, whom would you select?

Probably Carol Glasser.  She probably has the best style of anyone.

Carol Glasser   
  here   and    here


     6.  What is your favorite room in your home and why?

My dining room.  I walk by it and think it looks pretty.  Sometimes.  I'm not a huge fan of my house though.  I only see the things I want to change!  Oh, wait!  My new library.  I forgot about that!    That's probably my favorite room  right now.

The spectacular new library here

     7.  One of my personal favorites is your daughter Elisabeth's bedroom.  Does Elisabeth share your love of interior design?  Does she realize what a celeb her mom is in the world of blogging?

I like her room too, although it looks better in pictures than in real life.  She's kind of ruined it, of course.  When she really moves out, I'll fix it up again.  Her desk is piled with her junk.  She does like interior design but she is a fashionista.  She wants to be a stylist.  She is really proud of me- or so she says!

 Elisabeth's bedroom here

     8.  How about Mr. Slipper Socks?  How does he feel now that you are a famous blogger?  Does he still fight you over design changes in your home (like ceiling fans!)  or has he gained a new respect for your talent?

He fluctuates between being really proud and wanting me to quit.  Ha!  He doesn't take it very seriously usually, but then sometimes I'll hear him bragging to someone.  He teases me about it.  And he really does let me do anything to the house within reason.  I don't want the ceiling fan in the bedroom- but he would divorce me over that one so I just let it go. 

     9.  Do you have a favorite paint color that you use time and again? 

Lately, it's Pratt and Lambert Feather Gray.  I used it in my house and in some clients.  It's a warm gray; almost a khaki really.

Available here

     10.  How about a favorite design book?

Bunny's Affair of A House and John Stefanidis'  book on his estate are favorites.  John Saladino's two books- the second one especially.  I'm a real sucker for books about one house.

 Available here

 Available here
Available here

Available here

     11.  Now that your favorites like seagrass, slips, sconces, etc. have become so fashionable, do you feel you have helped drive these trends through your blog?  Take for example your relationship with Aidan Gray.

 Well, I hate to take credit for it, but I have pushed the "Houston" look a lot and get a lot of emails on how to obtain it.  I cannot take any credit for Aidan Gray!  No way!

12.  What are the most satisfying/frustrating aspects of blogging for you?

Satisfying?  The research.  I love that so much.  That's why it takes me so long to post.  I can never leave a stone unturned.  If there is another aspect to the story that I stumble upon, I go off on that tangent.  Frustrating?  Dealing with the emails.  Mostly spam ones.  Dealing with the negative comments that hurt the people that I've showcased.  That's an awful part of it.  There have been times I've cried over what people have said about someone's house in the comment section.  I don't care what they say about me- I have tough skin- but when someone is nice enough to let me show their pictures and people are just mean, it KILLS me.

     13.  Did you ever imagine Cote de Texas would become such a force in the blog world?

Let's not be dramatic!  It's not a force.  I've never won a blogging award and rarely get any attention from magazines.  There are much bigger bloggers out there that get all kinds of notice.  I'm a medium sized blogger with a medium sized readership. The big blogs are so much bigger and more influential!!!  I wish I was a force!!!!

Joni, I beg to differ.

A Favorite Post of Joni's - Cote de Texas- Top 10 Design Elements

1- Linen

2- Slipcovers

3- Seagrass


4- Curtains

5- Lighting


6- Wall Hangings



7- Antiques


 8-  Symmetry

9- Trendy


Joni Webb Designs

A very popular feature with Joni's readers is her design work featuring her client's homes.  Joni is an extraordinary interior designer and if I lived in the Houston area I would happily give Joni carte blanche to decorate my home!  These lucky homeowners reap the benefits of the "Houston" look.




Joni's Own Home Extraordinaire

I originally planned on highlighting more of Joni's most popular posts until I realized there is nothing more lovely or interesting than Joni's own home.
 Occasionally, tucked in here and there amongst so many other beautiful drop dead homes, Joni will show tantalizing bits and pieces of her own.  What??!!   Her entire house is incredible!  Time for a whole house tour! There is enough beauty here to fill a book. Or two. Take a look.






All images via Cote de Texas

Aside from all this gorgeousness, Joni along with Linda Merrill ( and Megan Arquette ( is host of The Skirted Roundtable (here), a not to be missed chat fest about blogging and design.

A huge thank you to Joni Webb!


  1. Hi Mimi!
    I so agree with you about Joni. Her blog has been my absolute favorite from my first visit. And she is also such a sweetie. I also agree that the posts on Joni's own house are my favorites too *winks* And does she EVER do EXTENSIVE research on her posts.....Seriously if she hadn't chosen a career as a designer, she would have made one heck of a PI! Anyhoo I'm eating up all the eye candy here! Great interview Mimi! Vanna


  3. Great interview and post on Joni! I really enjoyed it.

  4. truly an amazing post of a tremendously talented
    designer and blogger. Her home is wonderful and
    inspiring as the homes she has worked on are.
    For me personally she has replaced most of the
    shelter magazines I used to purchase. Once again
    fantastic post.

  5. Thank you for this wonderful post on my favourite blog Cote de Texas. Your post was Joni-esque in its research, education and scope! I found Cote de Texas in 2008 through the Absolutely Beautiful Things blog. Cote de Texas has been my favourite since then and just gets better and better, she never slacks off. I have to agree that my favourite posts are the Top Ten Design Elements, mainly because they encompass everything that the blog is about and they cover all bases. I also love Joni's posts on Pamela Pierce, reader's homes, stalker homes and of course Joni's designs for clients and her own home. Thanks again.

  6. Thanks for this wonderful post on Joni Webb Her blog was the first one I ever read, and it's still my favorite! A fan in Baton Rouge

  7. What a wonderful post Mimi! You did some serious research yourself to include so many of the wonderful posts Joni has made over the years. I have a lot of favorites among them, but have to say that The Elements of Style are my favorites. I now how seagrass in the family room of our Dallas house. My own designer suggested it. I probably would have been clueless about it had I not admired it on Joni's blg. So--I was immediately able to say, Yes, let's do seagrass--and we have loved it.

    I'm bookmarking your blog and wish you much enjoyment and success with your blog.

  8. you did a fantastic blog on Joni! I too am going to bookmark this. Good luck with your new blog and have a wonderful weekend.

  9. Well done!! I read every word and marveled over every photo!! Joni is passionate and who wouldn't want that when reading, designing, etc. My fav Joni (and now I do it, too) she takes personal belongings on vacation stays to "jazz it up!" Luv it! franki

  10. Great post Mimi, will be anxious to see more! Very nice job with the links. Have a great weekend.

  11. Great post! I love Joni for her wonderful sense of style, but even more for her sense of humor. Thanks for showing us all those shots of Joni's beautiful home in one place.

  12. Dear Mimi -
    Thanks for this wonderful post on Joni! I enjoyed this interview and all those photos of Joni and Ben's beautiful home. What a fabulous and comprehensive collection you've assembled. I have to say Joni has been very kind to me and supportive of my shop. I'll always be grateful.
    Cheers from DC,
    PS - I could spend hours in Joni's new library :)

  13. Thank you for this wonderful look at Joni's house and work. I admire her so much- not only for her incredible talent in making such beautiful homes for her clients, but also for being such a decent, caring and kind woman.Next time that I am in Houston visiting relatives I'll be the one stalking her gorgeous house.
    I hope that she never ever stops blogging as she is one of a kind.I have learned so much from Joni.
    And thank you, Mimi- I have 'signed up'for your blog now too; it should be an interesting read as well.

  14. Great informative post about Joni/Cote de Texas! Wishing you great success with your blog - I will check it often! Thanks!

  15. Mimi a wonderful post on one of my very favorite blog friends! I adore Joni!

    Art by Karena

  16. Mimi, Great Post. I'm relatively new to blogging and by chance found Joni's blog and fell in love. Never knew that the look I loved even had a name until Joni educated me about the "Houston Look". I've learned a lot reading her blog and love when she showcases her clients work. Thanks for highlighting one of the best bloggers out there!

  17. Hi, I am from the Philippines and have also been a Joni fan for years now. Love her style. Thanks for your in-depth post. It was such an inspiration. Great job.

  18. Wonderful post, thank you so much for sharing these lovely rooms.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. (Corrected a big typo from above message, reposting!).

    Joni and I started blogging at around the same time; in fact, she might have been one of the very first people to comment on my blog! Her gracious manner and elegant style make her one of the best bloggers out there, bar none. She is always willing to share her sources and her insights. She has supported many designers and artists and fellow bloggers, and although she is very modest about it, she has probably helped launch quite a few careers.

    Thanks for this wonderful tribute to Joni!

    - Holly

  21. Thanks for sharing Joni with us on your blog, I became so entranced in reading her latest post this morning, and then I had to go over and visit your blog with her great interview and fantastic pictures, that yikes...I skipped church (I'm not admitting that to anyone else). Keep up the good work Mimi! Susie from San Antonio

  22. This was a fabulous post. Joni was the reason I started blogging. I live in California and my friend lives in Florida and we both love Joni...and talk about her posts over the telephone. My laptop battery is practically dead...I spent so long enjoying this post. Good job!

  23. Fantastic post - such a fantastic subject :-) Thanks!

  24. Love Cote De Texas! I loved seeing Joni's house again to, just perfect. Thanks for a great post!

  25. Joni is the reason I started blogging and starting my own business...I don't always comment on her blog but I always read it and it is one of my favorites!

  26. Bravo!!! what a great post about our Joni!

  27. This post is fabulous! Joni Webb's blog, Cote de Texas is by far my favorite blog on the internet and you did such a great tribute to her. She gives her readers something to learn and appreciate concerning the world of interiors, in each of her posts.

  28. You've done a wonderful post on one of my favorite blogs. It's very informative and fun to read. Thanks for the time and effort you put into this. I'm your newest follower!

  29. I enjoyed this. I really enjoy reading Joni's blog; in fact, it is one of my absolute favorite blogs. She has impeccable taste and her research is incredible. I've learnt so much reading her blog. Great job on the interview!

  30. Great post and interview with my very favorite blogger..Joni...I started following her blog a few months before we moved back to Dallas from's probably best that I didn't find her sooner or I would likely have been arrested on stalking charges and the orange jail jumpsuits don't seem to flatter anyone! Joni has given me wonderful advice and it seems like she has addressed almost every design dilemma I've had. Kudos to you for a well researched and written post. I look forward to following your blog..

  31. One of my first interior design blogs added to my favorites and still going strong. The bonus is that she's a local girl!
    Thanks for this great post---so much eye candy!

  32. Love this! I stumbled onto Joni's blog about 2 yrs. ago when I did a search on the "Something's Gotta' Give" kitchen and have been a huge fan ever since. I feel like she was my gateway to the whole world of blogging and I have learned so much from her and other bloggers! Love her aesthetic and sense of humor. I've always loved white slipcovers so I love her look (I only wish I had found her sooner!) Love all the pictures of her house in one place! Thanks so much; I now have a new blog to follow!

  33. Thank you Mimi! What a great collection of photos and facts about Joni! She really is amazing. I find myself going to her blog when I need some ideas on a particular look or a fabric. She is my design encyclopedia ; o )

    have fun blogging....

    Cheers, Kelley

  34. Thanks, Mimi! Great post... I loved looking at all the photos. I don't remember how I found it, but Joni's CDT blog has been one of my favorites for 4 or 5 years. And, like you, I find myself going back to posts I really liked to look at something again. (Like when I started thinking about putting up curtains... I had to go back and find all her posts about curtains.) At different times I seem to have certain posts always open on my computer. Right now, it's "A Personal Family Story!," "An Incredible Renovation!" and "TWO HOUSES FOR TWO STAGES OF LIFE"--still trying to absorb all the details!! This may also be one of those kinds of posts...

  35. Great :) Your posted all picture is very nice and beautiful. Thanks for this post...

  36. I follow others: Great post and job done, Mimi! I started watching Joni's blog after one or two years of being and I also think it is the best current blog about living. The influential ones don't want to support it because od some fear, perhaps? They tell us about other blogs but I usually don't like them. I liked to read this interview with Joni very much, she is really great.


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