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!