Interview | Monica Pedersen | Make It Beautiful


photo credit peter rosenbaum
When I was contacted and asked if I would be interested in reviewing, Monica Pedersen Make It Beautiful: Designs and Ideas for Entertaining at Home  I have to admit I was thrilled at the opportunity to get a peak.  How was I to know over a year ago when I attended Las Vegas Market, and briefly meet Monica Pedersen, that one day I would be writing about her.  The truth is, it was just a brief moment where we were introduced, though I vividly recall thinking to myself, what a truly kind down to earth person she is.



Well here I am!  The day my copy of Make It Beautiful arrived in the mail, I opened the package to get a look at it.  As I perused the pages I was immediately drawn in by the beautiful photography and I could hardly wait to sit down, open it up and read each and every page.
photo credit peter rosenbaum
And that is exactly what I did!  From page to page I was captivated by the story, impressed by the thoughtful expression and intrigued by the really fun and inventive entertainment ideas, many that I will be referring to again and again.  The kind of icing on the cake was the beautiful photography that put it all together and made me feel like I was attending each event as it played out in the pages of the book.  The fact that each chapter represents a party, event or occasion that Monica planned, designed and executed for her friends and family is really a testament to the type of person she is.  She has a very deep connection and bond to her family, friends and her husband of 14 years.  This book is more than a book, it is a capsule of memories from Monica's life that she has chosen to share with everyone.  

From the moment I started the book until I turned the last page I had questions spinning through my head.  What a thrill that I was able to have a question and answer with Monica to get some of those questions answered and learn more about her and her book Make It Beautiful.

 ~ all photos to follow credit Peter Rosenbaum unless otherwise stated~














First and foremost thank you for sharing your book with me.  It is not only visually beautiful but the read was so relaxed and enjoyable.  I appreciate that I have had the opportunity to read/review.

 a few questions...

Carmen~I truly loved that you have such a wonderful connection with you family and drew from that inspiration for your book.  In your dedication you mention in memory of Michael & Michele could you share with me who they are?  
Monica
"Michael and Michele are my siblings that sadly passed away much too young. Michael was my twin brother who died when we were 16yrs old and Michele, my older sister passed away suddenly a few years ago. I miss them every day and to see their names in print and including photos of them in the intro was very special to me. The title and message of make it Beautiful means more than decorating. It is about making the effort to celebrate with loved ones. My Mother did that beautifully and I am so grateful for the memories of special times with my siblings."

Carmen~If you had to pick a favorite Design Style what would it be and why? And does this influence the way you entertain and how you dress a table?


Monica
"My favorite design style is traditional. And in the world of television where there is an emphasis on being “hip” I am often defending it.  Traditional details like table skirts china and tabletop accessories  that have been passed down definitely have an influence on my overall design."

Carmen~What is your favorite event/holiday to celebrate and why?

Monica
"Christmas is sooo my favorite holiday for entertaining and for decorating. My holiday china is my prized possession and can be seen in the book on page 149 under a pile of cookies."

Carmen~Who is the cook in your family?  You or Erik?  

Monica
"Unfortunately I am the cook in my household and not a very good one at the moment I must say. While there was a time when I really enjoyed cooking will, my travel schedule at work has taken a bit of the fun out of it. Until I can get a regular design show back home in Chicago, there will continue to be a lot of take out at our house."  
Carmen~How long have you and Erik been married and who planned/designed your wedding?  Did you have a wedding planner or do it yourself?

Monica
"We have been married for 14yrs and yes had a wedding planner.  When we were married I was working in fashion so most of my efforts were about my dress, bridesmaids, flower girls and making sure my Mom looked FAB! I regret not spending more time on the design. Although it was a beautiful winter wedding with layers and layers of white, and gorgeous centerpieces of white roses. The church we exchanged vows was supposed to have been candlelit and when I walked into it the place was lit up like a parking lot. I was so dissapointed. However someday we will renew out vows and I will get my candlelight service."

Carmen~Of all the events you put together for this book which one was your favorite and why?

Monica
"My favorite party in the book from a design standpoint is the graduation party. The setting was beautiful and as the night went  on, the candlelight from those gorgeous chandeliers was magical."
Carmen~How many table skirts (table cloths) do you own?   And more importantly how many does your mom own? 

Monica
I have 6 different table skirts that I use for different holidays. Now my Mother has an entire linen closet full of them. The last time I was at her house she was working on sewing another one.

Carmen~Would you rather be a guest or a host?  And why?

Monica
Hmmm, host or guest? At the moment I would say guest! I am a bit hosted out at the moment... 


Carmen~As a guest at someone else's party what is a memorable moment, item, theme you that is memorable to you?  Or what makes for a great entertainer?

Monica
"My favorite party to attend however was definitely Tea forTwo with my Mom. In the opening shot of the two of us there is a ray of sunshine pouring in on her. Five minutes before that shot was taken it was overcast, drizzling and we had tohelp her up from a nearby sofa where she had been taking a nap after a tough morning session of dialysis treatment. The minute she sat down at the table the sun came out. My photographer actually stepped out from behind the camera and said” did you see that?”   Her dog who was under the table was also putting on quite a show for us throughout the shoot. We have such great memories of that day."
 











Carmen~If you could invite and entertain anyone for a special dinner party who would it be and why? And what would the theme be? 

Monica
Oprah! Can you imagine what a fun dinner guest she would be? 
photo credit oprah.com













CLICK HERE  to WIN a Autographed copy of Make It Beautiful by Monica Pedersen




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