Sunday, October 25, 2009

O You 2009 Conference: Part One

This weekend, I’m enjoying a four-day getaway to Kansas City. The occasion for my visit -- O Magazine’s O You! 2009 Conference.

Yesterday, my best galpal and Kansas native Lisa and I joined approximately 4,000 women at the Kansas City Convention Center for the all day event. O You! featured seminars with O’s most popular contributors, along with the opportunity to meet the experts at book signings.

Gayle King looked fit and fabulous in a red sheath dress and black pumps

O Editor-At-Large Gayle King kicked off the conference, sharing an affection for Kansas City that began years ago when she worked for WDAF-TV here and later met her ex-husband. As she spoke about the city’s many charms, from fabulous dining and barbecue to friendly locals, I smiled in agreement.

Gayle introduced adorable interior designer Nate Berkus, who charmed the crowd with his quick wit and user-friendly home decorating advice.

Nate Berkus charmed the 2,800 person audience

“Our homes should tell the story of who we are,” he said.

Nate says creative inspiration can come from anywhere -- magazine articles, flea markets, even a friend’s personal style. A pattern on a wallet, for example, can become a pattern for a throw pillow.

He also advised looking at what you can add to surfaces like end tables and not being afraid to take risks.

“If you want a chandelier in the bathroom, do it,” he said. “There shouldn’t be rules in design.”

Nate and I at his book signing

After his seminar, Nate signed copies of his decorating how-to book Home Rules, and Lisa and I caught a glimpse of a few other O contributors on the scene, including political strategist Donna Brazile and life coach Martha Beck.

Up next…great advice from Suze Orman and Dr. Oz and a big announcement from Gayle about upcoming O Magazine’s tenth anniversary.

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