Tuesday, December 14

My Favorite Things: Newell Turner


I have been intrigued by Newell Turner since following his personal account, documented online for House Beautiful, of building a 1,200-square-foot house in New York's Catskills Mountains from scratch. In his writings Newell always comes across as astute, yet well grounded. It only makes sense that he would land the position as the new House Beautiful Editor-in-Chief.

After having lunch with Newell last week it’s easy to see why he is so well liked and respected in the industry. He is knowledgeable, honest and charming.

Newell has been quoted as saying, “interior designers are worth every penny. In the long run, they can save you lots of money by helping to prevent mistakes. Designers are masters at conceiving spaces and arranging furniture in rooms. It sounds like a simple thing to do, but it’s not.” While many share a similar belief when it comes to the interior design industry, few could say it so clearly and succinctly.

And despite 25 years of experience in the design business, Newell is the first to tell you that he's no pro when it comes to decorating. "I'm not a designer, I'm an editor," he says, “I have to test and experiment and make mistakes just like everyone else.” Great advice to live by.

Favorite gift to give this year?
Found T-shirts printed with odd or unexpected messages and images.

Favorite way to celebrate the holidays?
With family in Mississippi.

Favorite current book?
I just read Dead End Gene Pool by Wendy Burden.

Favorite holiday song?
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas sung by Judy Garland.

Favorite party clothes?
A knit navy blazer. It works with just about everything and parties up or down.

Favorite cookie?
Peanut butter

Favorite place to shop?
Small neighborhood stores that have a strong sense of place and owners’ with an original eye.

Favorite movie to watch again and again?
The Cockettes

Favorite holiday memory?
Any Christmas Eve after mass.

Favorite charity?
The Smile Train

Profile by Ronda Carman

6 comments:

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Rhonda,
I really enjoyed this interview! I too found his HB accounts so interesting as I am facinated the construction process and the decisions that go into it! Did you ever see the Bloomies ad where they did a little feature on him? I think I've got it saved somewhere. The picture above is just adorable. What a good sport he is for sharing it with all of us!
~Rebecca

The Devoted Classicist said...

We are all expecting a lot from Mr Turner, but there is every reason still to be hopeful he can really make "House Beautiful" a magazine worth buying.

Concrete Jungle said...

Off to read his account now! Fun interview.

quintessence said...

I've always liked his down to earth approachable style. His house project was a wonderful feature and I loved that it had usable practical advise. I'm looking forward to his tenure at HB. And what an adorable shot - hey - I think we had the same rug!

Carol@SofasandSage.com said...

This feels like such a down-to-earth, honest interview and personality. It's nice to get to know him better! Thanks.

red ticking said...

hi rhonda..
great interview...
i would love to have newell walk thru my little store front one day... what fun...
xx pam