Podcast, Episode 17: Domino Magazine Editor in Chief Jessica Romm Perez

New York living room from Domino magazine

Photo: Nick Johnson

We recently traveled to High Point, North Carolina for their Spring Market and had the chance to sit down with some of our favorite tastemakers. This week we’re sharing our interview with the Editor in Chief of Domino Magazine, Jessica Romm Perez. To say she’s worked at some of our favorite magazines — Martha Stewart, Food & Wine, and Elle Decor just to name a few — so we loved chatting with her about what trends she’s seeing at market, her recent home renovation, and how her team dreams up such a gorgeous issue! Of course we couldn’t end the episode without her answering your decorating questions!

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • We’re in High Point Market in North Carolina interviewing interior designers and editors
  • We talk about why we love market and what it is
  • Karen’s triumph is the new bed she put in her guest bedroom
  • Her trial is that her guest bedroom closet won’t close because of the bed!
  • We talk about how everything in Karen’s house is from Ballard but why it doesn’t actually look like our catalog or store
  • Taryn’s trial and triumph is a new console table she got from the Ballard outlet
  • My triumph is that I took a macaron making class with my mom and now I’m a macaron expert!
  • My trial is that I missed my rose bush blooming while I was in London, and it won’t bloom again until next year. So disappointing! Also the saying about roses that I couldn’t remember is, “First it sleeps, then it creeps, then it leaps.”
  • We talk about her favorite part of market, how her editorial team decides which trends to feature in the magazine, and what is exciting her right now at market
  • She shares her best tips for decorating with kids, including organizing kid’s toys in her small New York apartment
  • How systems are a crucial part of her decorating and organizing strategy
  • How she stepped into the role of editor in chief at such a beloved brand and magazine
  • We talk about our favorite recent features in the latest issue of Domino, like the crudite platter Karen recently tried
  • Jessica talks about their focus at Domino which is focusing on real, attainable living by real people. It’s not just about a fantasy, everything they share is attainable.
  • Jessica shares her rules for mixing metals in your home — just go for it!
  • She shares her most recent home purchase and talks about her home renovation
  • What colors she’s gravitating toward and why color impacts the mood of your home

The macarons I made after my macaron workshop

Decorating Dilemmas:

We have a beautiful wood table in our kitchen and I want to protect it.  I love using a table cloth but we have 2 small children and it always seems to get stained or moved.  What is the best fabrics that looks nice but is durable.  Any recommendations for keeping it in place?  And how much length should hang on the sides?  Thank you ladies!


Jessica suggests a couple of options for you, Heather. First off, there’s no harm in geting those knicks and spills on your table. It’s patina and in most cases will make your home feel lived in. Of course, if you want to protect it, we suggest an oilcloth tablecloth that can easily be wiped down. There are some great ones out there like Marimekko or you could even check Etsy. You could also get a piece of glass to place over your table. That’ll protect against stains and also keep it in place! As far as length, in a kitchen we suggest that it doesn’t hit the ground as kitchens get a lot more traffic and grime. Not letting it graze the floor will keep it clean longer. Consider a length where it just hits your knees. Look for busy patterns as they’ll be more forgiving to stains.



I just want to start by saying I love your podcast! You all have given me so many decorating tips and ideas, I’m always excited when I get the new podcast notification. I’m visiting Atlanta this month and I can’t wait to visit Ballard. We don’t have one here L

So I’m moving into a new apartment soon and I’m struggling with ideas for furniture placement. The apartment has an L-Shape living room/dining room floor plan (image below) with a hall that divides the room I would use as the living room.  I currently plan to buy a new sofa so I have flexibility on the size/style to make it functional. But I already own a dining room set that seats up to 6 and I have an electric fireplace t.v. stand  both that I wanted to keep.  Can you give me some ways that I can place my furniture and items to purchase to make the space functional? Any help is appreciated! Thanks!!



We have a couple of options for you. Jessica suggests a sectional because it works so well in an L-shaped room. Focus on your conversation areas, and build your layout around those. It can also help you define the different areas of the room. Karen also suggests moving your dining room over to the other side so your doorway doesn’t chop your living room in half.

We all agree that you should float your sofa and chairs in the middle of the room so you can place your TV against the wall. You could have a long, narrow console table behind the sofa near the doorway to help different the rooms. Two sofas is a great way to get lots of seating without making your space feel too busy.

Use a room planner, like this one, and play around with different layouts. Drop in the dimensions of your existing furniture and move stuff around to figure out just the right layout. Good luck!

Crudite recipes from Domino Mag

Mexican Crudite board from Domino Magazine; Photo: Alex Farnum

Mentioned in This Episode:

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.