Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Design Diaries: Joni Webb of Cote de Texas

Happy Wednesday!  I am back today with the 2nd installment of "The Design Diaries."
 Today I have the lovely Joni Webb of the popular interior design blog, Cote de Texas.  Joni is a fellow Houstonian that designs gorgeous antique-filled interiors with a decidedly French flair.  Her work has been featured in such popular publications as HGTV, The Examiner, Houston House & Home, Better Homes & Gardens, and much more.  Needless to say, her work is delicious:

Interview with Joni:

What are 5 words to describe your style?

Casual, comfortable, contrast, patina, texture 

How would you define your aesthetic?

My aesthetic is pretty simple- slipcovers, seagrass, linens, velvets, and taffetas, antiques, zebra prints, baskets, urns, dark and light woods, a touch of gilt, books, checks & stripes, mirrors, blue & white porcelains, and creamware & ironstone.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I work at home.  I usually do research for the blog for most of the day on in to the night.  I don't take on that many design jobs anymore because the blog keeps me so busy.  I stay up 
all night, so I sleep in late.  I usually don't make any plans until after lunch!

How did you decide you wanted to be an interior designer?

I don't think I decided that - I knew since I was about 7 or 8.   Of course I started out in the field after college and discovered I was too shy to be a designer and worked for my father for years and years as a secretary!!!  Finally, in my early 40s, a friend hired me to do her daughter's room and from that my business grew and grew.  I still do design work for her.  We are working on her bedroom right now.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Installations, picking out fabrics, designing the floorplan, and buying the accessories.

What is the best piece of advice you have gotten regarding your career?

Be confident.  I am sorely lacking in confidence and am very insecure.  It helps when I get positive feedback about my work.

Do you have any advice for aspiring designers?

Try to find clients who like your personal style or aesthetic.  Working for clients who don't can be tiring and uninspiring.  I used to take any jobs- but when I couldn't design the way I wanted to, I resented them and the work.  It's just not fun putting together a room that you personally don't like or wouldn't want to live in.  With my blog so many people can see my aesthetic- if they like it, fine.  If not, call someone else.  It's so much better that way!

What are 3 items currently on your "bucket list"?

I would love to get a beach house, for sure.  Maybe even move to the beach!  And I would love to start over in a new house that reflects who I am today, rather than who I was when I moved here 20 years ago!  And - be a grandmother.

What is the most rewarding part of your job and the least glamorous?

The most rewarding part is after an installation and the client walks in and goes crazy. I love that part! Crazy- with happiness.  I've had a client go crazy with anger- twice actually! OMG the stories.  But usually that's the best part.  The worst? Ordering and billing. Horrible! 
How do you balance your home life with your work life?

Well it's just my husband and I now that my daughter is in college and my husband just let's me be.   He doesn't demand anything of me. Not dinner, not a made up bed- nothing!   I am so lucky that he  respects me and gives me the independence that I crave.  He's not in to my work at all, or my blog- so I'm pretty much on my own. But after a good installation, I may show him the pictures and he says, "Nice!" So between him and my housekeeper, everything is balanced in my life. 

A big thank you to Joni for taking the time to answer the interview questions!  Her answers both inspired me and made me laugh.  I imagine she has quite a few good stories of her experiences in design!  Her advice for aspiring designers really resonated with me.  Finding a way to enjoy the process and please your client is what it's all about!  
See more of Joni's gorgeous work here.

{all images via Joni}
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