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!