FARMER’S DOZEN: Clinton Smith

Akin to a baker's dozen, my Farmer's Dozen is a quantity of a dozen or so questions - a series of questions with fellow designers, authors, tastemakers, friends and Southerners alike.

Clinton Smith is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade’s worth of experience covering the fields of interior design, style, architecture, travel and other lifestyle-related topics. A native Texan, Smith currently serves as the editorial director of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine. He is a graduate of the The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss).

 FARMER’S DOZEN: Clinton Smith

1. Tell us about growing up in Texas. How has that influenced your
style and your work?
Maybe it's because Texas was its own country at one point in history,
but part of the Texas mystique is that anything is possible there,
especially if you have a can-do attitude. From an early age, Texans
are told that they can do whatever they want if they put their minds
to it. Somewhere along the way, that sort of confidence was instilled
in me. Texans celebrate independent spirits.

2. If you were a color, what would you be and why?
Blue, without a doubt. I love nothing more than a clear blue sky.

3. What are some of your favorite heirlooms? What do you love about
them? How have you incorporated them into your decor?
My collection of vintage magazines is my favorite heirloom. I'm pretty
specific about what I buy, but the magazines are only incorporated
into my decor in so much as they take up valuable closet space!

4. What's your favorite room in your home?
My living room and bedroom. There isn't anything in my house that
doesn't have a story, whether it's the faux bois bowl I bought in
London, the dining table I bought at auction while still in college,
the porcelain I found at a market in Beijing or the great side table I
got at a scratch-and-dent sale.

5. We both love to eat, and ATL has no shortage of terrific
restaurants. Whether its a bar, a restaurant, a farmer's market, or a
food truck, where would you send a first time visitor to eat in the ATL?
Oh, gosh. Where do I start? I'm such a creature of habit myself. For a
fresh take on Southern cuisine, Miller Union never disappoints. JCT
has a fun outdoor bar area. The food truck park on Howell Mill is
great on summer evenings when it doesn't get dark until 9 o'clock.
And, since I grew up in Texas, salsa verde runs through my veins. I
still eat Mexican food three times a week. Taqueria del Sol is a
unique concept that, surprisingly, many other cities still don't have.
I always love Star Provisions for a lemon bar or another sweet treat.

6. Where is your favorite get-a-way?
This might be the most difficult question. Living in Atlanta, we are
spoiled by an amazing airport, and I take full advantage of it! But as
much as I like to go, when I return from a trip I'm always reminded of
the great quality of living we're afforded in Atlanta. It's hard to
beat. For the past two summers, when the heat and humidity got
unbearable, I spent a little bit of time in Colorado. I swear that the
altitude allows me to think more clearly.

7. How would you describe Atlanta's style?
It's constantly evolving. It's grounded in classic design, but there's
definitely a contemporary influence now that's impossible to ignore.
Just when you think you have Atlanta style figured out, it changes—and
that's a good thing.

8. What was the last meal you made in your home? Who did you share it with?
The last meal I put together was my breakfast—a hard boiled egg, a cup
of greek yogurt and half of an avocado with sea salt, cracked pepper
and a spritz of lemon. Every day. And since its wintertime, citrus is
so good right now, so I had half of a blood orange, as well. And
always coffee, which I drink until noon.

9. I have a handsome orange tabby cat named Talousse. He is pretty
dapper if I may say so. Tell me about your cats--I always see their
antics on Facebook.
I have two Maine Coon cats, Lady Bird and Sam Houston. With names like
that, you know I have to be from Texas! Their breed is quite hearty
and is known for having some dog-like characteristics. They're very
smart. Sam Houston will fetch a ball over and over and over again, and
Lady Bird loves being in and around water. They're crazy.


10. Who inspires you?
My mother.

11. What's your favorite article that you've produced and/or written
about for the magazine? What was it about that story that made it so
great to you?
The most rewarding stories are the ones where the homeowner had a
specific vision and was able to see it fully executed. Whether it's a
contemporary house filled with cutting-edge art or a sweet cottage
with heirloom antiques, the style doesn't matter. The fact that their
dreams were fully realized is all that matters.

12. Do you have a favorite ATL neighborhood?
Buckhead is great for shopping and dining. Midtown for more eating
out, as well as its walkability. Druid Hills for Sunday Drives.
Decatur for its small-town feeling, less than 10 miles from downtown
Atlanta. Plus, we are so lucky to have unspoiled places like
Sweetwater Creek State Park, Stone Mountain and the Chattahoochee
River nearby.

13. What's on your coffee table right now?
A Diane Von Furstenberg red lacquer tray, blue agate coasters and a
Cire Trudon candle. In the springtime, I always try to have fresh
flowers. I love peonies. If you had asked me last week, the answer
would have been disheveled piles of garden and design books. But the
stacks got so tall, I was having to peek over them to see the TV!