Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ARTIST'S PORTRAIT * JONI WEBB


I am very happy to feature one of my favorite bloggers and designers, the effervescent and lovely Houstonian, Joni Webb. I know many of you are already loyal readers of her fabulous blog Cote de Texas. Joni is an open, expressive, generous, talented and utterly lovable person! She has quite a trained eye and gift for creating beautiful interiors. But it doesn't just stop there. This woman could single handedly write a series of design encyclopedias! She manages to get the "Most Productive Insomniac" award in my book. This lady takes her sleepless nights and transforms them into an opportunity to devour, discover, track down and compile all sorts of fascinating facts, photos and tantalizing tidbits on houses, decorators and all things design-related for the many scores of readers who follow her blog religiously. She isn't afraid to tell you what she really thinks and I think her frankness and candor is one of the things that is most enjoyable about reading her posts. This spunky Texan doesn't do anything halfway - her posts are notorious for being about as thorough as you can get. I sometimes wonder how she finds the time to do all she does as a wife, mom, designer, blogger and house stalker. Something tells me her numerous daily runs to Starbucks might have something to do with it. Anyway you cut it, the blogging world wouldn't be the same without Joni. Everybody knows her, everybody reads her and everybody loves her. SO, I thought it might be fun to find out a little bit more about one of the blogosphere's biggest personalities. In typical fashion, this powerhouse of a woman had sent a completed questionnaire back to me within minutes. Amazing. So, without further ado, here's more on the affable Miss Joni.......

Joni and her daughter, Elisabeth

Are you married? Children? Pets?
I've been married 20 years to Ben - We are 11 days apart and we married late - at 33, had our first and only child, Elisabeth at 37. We were definitely late bloomers. Very, very late bloomers. And we have two dogs which you graciously immortalized in your portfolio. Ben and I were looking at your portfolio yesterday and he said, "That looks like Georgie!" I said - It does - because it IS Georgie!
What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your success/well-being as a person and designer/business owner?
My laptop - I can not live without my laptop. I get anxious without it. If it breaks, I'll be at the store at 9am to get a new one - I can't wait to get it fixed. I travel in the car on road trips with it. I have wi-fi AND a mobile cell phone account for it for the car and out of town places. It actually calms my nerves and helps with anxiety!!! As a businesswoman - I don't know - I guess I would say the decorative center in Houston is essential to me. I always go there for fabric inspiration when I start a new job. And - the antique stores in Houston are VERY essential to my work as a designer: Tara Shaw and Joyce Horn have provided many of my client's furniture over the years.
What's your pet peeve?
Cheap, tight people. Absolutely. I hate that in a person. I like people who are generous - they tend to be generous in all aspects of their lives and much more understanding, forgiving, nonjudgmental and empathetic. My husband is like that - empathetic, generous, and kind.

Joni's charming breakfast room with her signature white slipcovers

Joni's family room

Do you have a motto?
"There's no place like home" and my husband's favorite "Anyplace together beats anyplace apart." Also, "Anywhere in Texas beats any other place." He has quite a few mottos actually. Mostly about Texas and home, ha! We are both HUGE homebodies. My mom and I have another saying "We do house, we don't do clothes." That's another biggie in my life. Totally.
What's your favorite color?
I love blues - any "cool" color. I love the colors of hydrangeas.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Either an interior designer or an architect which I quickly got over after taking a few architecture classes in college. But definitely, something to do with house and floorplans. I was obsessed with floorplans throughout my entire youth for some reason.
What inspires you most creatively and gets your creative juices flowing?
Fabric. I always start each project with a key fabric. Once I have that - the rest is easy and everything falls into place, the colors, etc. Designing a room is a process for me: I usually do a floor plan first, then together with the client we pick one inspirational fabric. I usually pick the remaining fabrics. Then I either design the furniture or buy it. Do the curtains and the rugs; and the accessories I pick up the week before the installation - so they can be easily returned. It's not so daunting if I do it step by step. I'm not one of those designers that can look at a space and visualize something immediately. It comes more slowly to me. Also, I visualize myself living there - if this was mine, what would I do, WWJD? Haha!!! That makes it really easy then.


The living room (I love it that she says," I never use this room, except for spying on the neighbors!")

What keeps you awake at night?
Me? Awake at night? hahahah!! I don't sleep. No, seriously, coffee? My father actually sent me an article that said the two worst things that cause insomnia are coffee and blogging! Bingo!!!! I swear it named blogging.
I guess, honestly - it would be worrying about when my daughter's upset about something. I think when she gets hurt, it hurts me more than her. They don't tell you that in the manual.
Where do you live and work?
I live in Houston, in West University, which is a small town inside of Houston - we have our own mayor, our police department, trash pick up, little town center - it's almost as old as Houston itself. It's like living in a country town inside of a large metropolitan area.

Favorite food?
Wendy's Caesar Salad - I eat that every night for dinner. You would think I'd be very, very thin. I really don't care for food that much and never have. My parents had to force me to eat when I was young. When we would go on family road trips, I would eat a blt for lunch and a club sandwich for dinner. Every day. Ben is actually exactly the same as I am. He ate a pbj every single day and a bowl of cereal for dinner every night of his life. He stills eats cereal for dinner every night. We are very, very compatible, to say the least.
3 words you'd use to describe yourself?
Mother, wife, daughter.


If you haven't acqainted yourself with Joni and Cote de Texas yet, check it out here. I guarantee you'll be hooked!

43 comments:

sandra/tx said...

I love Joni -- her blog and her style. You've got a pretty great blog yourself. :-)

Villa Anna said...

What a fabulous profile! Joni is one of my favourite people in the world. I hang off every word she writes. I've learned so much from her and she constantly inspires me. Thank you Anne for allowing me to learn more about this fabulous lady.

Anna :)

Cote de Texas said...

ooooh, who IS that person? uggh. ok. I wrote all that? hmmm. pretty obnoxious sounding. Can I change some of the answers?

Anne - thank you so much for this! What a surprise to click on it!! And I love what all you wrote - I wish I could only live up to it. You are the sweetest girl on the blogosphere and you know I'm crazy about you - we go back to the beginning - we're like old timers now! Thanks a ton and I owe you a BIG one!

Joni

Alkemie said...

What A Fantastic interview and portrait of Joni. She's definitely one fabulous lady and she's so funny and caring. I've actually not seen the other parts to her home such as her kitchen and family room. I had to totally smile at the Zebra pillows. Very Joni :)

Karen

pve design said...

Love this - Joni deserves a standing ovation!
Fun to know even more than I already do.
I love that she stalks homes and shares that with each of us.

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Fabulous interview. I am a devoted fan of Joni!

Things That Inspire said...

What a lovely profile! Cote de Texas is my favorite blog, no question about it. Joni's style and informative posts have had such a huge influence on clarifying what I really like in design. She is a wonderful person, too - very generous and kind. Not only does she create the most amazing posts, but she takes the time to read and post on others' blogs. Almost every time I find a new blog, Joni has usually visited already and posted an encouraging comment.

Pigtown-Design said...

What a wonderful profile of a charming, gracious and generous woman with a great sense of humor and style. Love ya, Joni!!!

The Peak of Chic said...

Don't we all love Joni!!! Great and cute profile of her! Joni- how do you not get tired of Caesar Salad every night???

Cheri (aka "The Mom Lady") said...

Great profile! I know Joni only from her blog but we back and forth on the email (mainly pet peeves about your neighbors and what they do/don't do with their exteriors - "facade snobs" I guess). One day I hope to meet her "in the flesh" as I live in west Houston (Katy) - another "small town within a town".

Ivy Lane said...

Thanks for giving us some more insight of this wonderful woman! I love her description of herself..telling! and Anne, Your blog is FANTASTIC as well!

stljoie said...

When Cote de Texas appears on my blogroll my heart skips a beat. I always find it enchanting. I have wondered when, where, how she manages to do this and now I know. My husband is a person who either doesn't need or can't get a lot of sleep also...that is his time..4 am...to peruse the internet...quietly...our computer is in our bedroom away from active areas of the house.

Barbara said...

Love her,even more!

niartist said...

I only recently found Joni, and I'm so glad that I did. When she referred me to your post today to see the wonderful blog you've done, I now can say - I'm glad I've found you! I'll definitely be back!

annechovie said...

Thanks to all of you for the great comments! Short on time right now, so I can't respond to each one individually, BUT thank you so much for your kind words on Joni (and my blog). I am so glad you enjoyed this - I have been telling Joni that she is a celebrity in the blogosphere and maybe now she'll believe me! LOL. Joni is a sweetheart.

Cottage said...

Who wouldn't LOVE Joni?? Her energy is fabulous and doesn't it just reach right out and take your hand?

Her home is absolutely FABULOUS! I am so glad to have a peek inside.

And I am SO glad to have been introduced to your blog. I ADORE your art!! ...adding you to my blog-roll.

Melissa

KarenB said...

Joni's blog is a must read for me. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of her life. I've often wondered how on earth she does everything. Now I know. Thanks again!
Karen B.

Leslie said...

that was so fun, i love joni's blog, too. i lived in houston for 7 years and recently moved to dallas. i think joni and i have all the same favorite West U houses. :)

Rebecca@Harmony and Home said...

Thank you for your blog on Joni! I just recently started a blog this summer and Joni has been invaluable to me with the many questions that I've had. She's been so gracious with information and it's no secret that Cote de Texas is my favorite blog as well! I tell ALL my friends about it.

Mary said...

I just love Joni's blog, her decor sense, and yes, even her occasionally outspoken style. Thank you so much for giving us this glimpse into her life!

chriskauf said...

Oh I love Joni , she is so wonderful , she is so kind to give me support and advice , really great girl.

I can't wait to get my print I bought from you today and so glad you have a blog.
Chris

Eloise said...

Thank you for the wonderful interview with Joni! She's one of my favorite bloggers, and I loved learning more about her *real life.*

I'll be back to visit your blog again too.

Visual Vamp said...

Thanks for a great interview with a great woman!
PS I would love for you to answer the same questions about yourself :-)

Cote de Texas said...

omg - I am like crying. This is just too overwhelming. Thank you - all of you - I loved seeing your names and just knowing all of you immediately!! blogging is such a wonderful thing - the best thing I've ever done - that's for sure. Thank you - all of you. I'm just overwhelmed by the kindness.

Joni

annechovie said...

Thanks so much to each and every one of you that has taken the time to read and comment! I know you all love Joni as much as I do and it has been a pleasure for me to know her and to interview her and learn a little more...

Treacy said...

How enjoyable to have a little peak into Joni's life!

I feel the same as visual vamp- I too, would love to see you answer the same, Anne!

~Treacy

Ann said...

Thanks for featuring Joni. She's up there with the best. Nice feature.

MIMILEE said...

How divine! Your home is gorgeous and you are very talented, Joni!
Anne, you did a great job with the interview and presentation!

I loved it!

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

As captivating as Joni's articles themselves! Great job on the interview.
Karla & Karrie

Layla said...

Love your work!
I, too, am in the "inspiration business", and your quote prints are fabulous!

Stop by my blog sometime if you have a chance!

:-)
Layla
The Lettered Cottage

Lisa said...

I read Js blog all the time, shes inspiration, humor and down to earth.. among other things. I think the thing I like about her the most is shes a teacher to me. I love the way she weaves the stories she tells on her blogs. I am REALLY hoping that all goes well with the huge storm coming her way.
Thanks for the post! Ive never been her, wonderful blog, sister!
Lisa
coastalnest

Alex said...

Great interview with the Queen of inspiration! Love your posts.....thanks for the good reads.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Let me hitch my little wagon to the "I love Joni" fan club. Thank you for profiling her.

Brilliant Asylum said...

It was fun to read more about Joni. She is one of the most open and honest bloggers in the bunch and I love her unique design p.o.v.

annechovie said...

Glad you all enjoyed this! I appreciate your feedback and thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment, everyone!

la la Lovely said...

Great profile/interview as always Anne.. it is fun to get to know Joni a little better and see some lovely pictures of her home!!!! Thanks!

LIBERTY POST EDITOR said...

I don't really like to cook (although when I do...I'm pretty darn good) and we have a Wendy's...so Joni would be my perfect house guest..plus, the bonus..she's funny and feisty. I adore her!

Style Court said...

Anne -- great idea to profile Joni. She is so supportive of everyone else! A true original. I did not know about the salads :)

dolcechic said...

I love that light blue bed, and that zebra print rug is gorg! Ok, after seeing this, I guess I'll bring back the wicker chair into my bedroom, as this looks phenomenal!!!! Great, great, great post!

Michelle said...

I saw Joni Webb's house featured in the October 2008 issue of BH&G and just love her style and the paint color used in her home. I am trying to find out what the name/brand of the yellowish color used. Any help would be appreciated.

annechovie said...

Michelle~
Thanks for visiting and commenting! If you email me at:
anneharwell@hotmail.com, I can send you information. Thanks!

Karena said...

Joni is so special and now I feel that I know her even better! Terrific interrview.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant site, I had not noticed annechovie.blogspot.com earlier during my searches!
Carry on the fantastic work!

 
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