Podcast, Ep. 195: designer Clinton Smith

Today’s guest is the multi-talented Clinton Smith. Clinton is a New York-based designer, creative director, award-winning magazine editor, and author of several books. From 2013-2018 he was the Editor in Chief for Veranda and is now the Editor at Large for New England Home Magazine and Style Editor for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. With two decades of experience, Clinton is considered an expert in the fields of interior design, architecture, outdoor living, entertaining, and other luxury lifestyle topics.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • How did Clinton get his start?
  • When and how did Clinton come to write his first book?
  • What is the job of a magazine editor?
  • What are Clinton’s favorite magazines to read?
  • Where does Clinton keep his large magazine collection?
  • More about the Christopher Spitzmiller and book that Clinton collaborated on.
  • The differences in design and architecture between New York and New England.
  • How to put a twist on trends or look for microtrends.
  • How do designers get published?
  • How does Clinton stay up to date on the latest design books?

Decorating Dilemma

Hi Ladies,

I’ve been listening to your podcast since it first debuted and love it!  Having always lived in the north, I enjoy learning styling and gardening approaches from a “Southern” perspective. I’m writing because I’ve struggled decorating a built-in cabinet/buffet wall in my dining room. I live in a 100-year-old craftsman style home. I’ve attached pics of the space I’m struggling with. As you can see, I do like plants and I use the cabinets for storing my entertaining glasses/dishes. I have liquor in a Ballard tray and I like the idea of using the buffet as a “bar,” but I’m struggling to know how to pull that off. I’d welcome any suggestions! Thanks for such a fun show… I feel like I’m connecting to friends when I listen! 🙂



Hi Christine,

You’re lucky to have some great architecture in your home—the craftsman detail is amazing! So here is a piece of advice that you didn’t ask for, but I think you can draw more attention to the detail by changing out the hardware on those drawers (unless it’s original then keep it). I like the bar setup you have but I would maybe just get a larger tray. You could add some votives or low pillar candles to reflect the light against the mirrored backsplash. I like where you’re headed with the plants against the taller glass-front cabinets. I would just put two overscale planters there and fill them with English ivy or some other fern to really anchor the space. I think the three in there are too small and you can really make a statement with two large ones. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could use some of those stick-on battery-operated lights to illuminate the glassware in those cabinets.

FYI, Ballard also has these beautiful LED rechargeable lamps that have a dimmer and these wonderful metal shades. One last suggestion is our acrylic easel where you could add a little painting for a pop of color. We know you have great taste because of your coffee table books we see by Tom Sheer and Alexa Hampton!

You gave us an easy one, Christine…thank you!

Mentioned in This Episode:

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Happy Decorating!

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Abbey Nolte

Abbey is a homegrown Georgia peach who loves a fresh take on Southern design. When she’s not working behind the scenes of the How to Decorate blog and podcast, you can find her cheering on the Appalachian State Mountaineers and spending time with her wheaten terrier, Charlie.