Thomasville Times Enterprise

February 8, 2014

Thomasville native Lisa Newsom to speak at ‘A Toast to 25’

Staff report

THOMASVILLE — Lisa Newsom’s prolific and self-propelled career in Southern shelter magazines began in a playhouse in her native Thomasville, where, she says in the introduction to her first book, The Homes of Veranda, “Magazines were my window to the world.” She would rearrange the furniture in her playhouse over and again, and credits having done so with helping her understand the importance of interior design and aesthetics.

Newsom, founder of Veranda magazine and author of The Homes of Veranda and her newest book, The Art of Outdoor Living, will return to Thomasville on Friday, Feb. 21 for a champagne reception and book signing in conjunction with the Thomasville Antiques Show and in partnership with Liam’s restaurant. “A Toast to 25” will be held from 5:30 p.m- 7:30 p.m. at the Thomasville Center for the Arts’ gallery at 118 S. Broad St.

In the 1970’s Lisa Newsom learned that the W.R.C. Smith Co. had been toying with the idea of creating a magazine that might give the world a window to the homes, designers, furnishings and gardens of the American South. “Many people outside the region,” she said, “seemed to think we lived either by the railroad tracks or at Tara.” Newsom set out to change those misconceptions by co-founding Atlanta-based Southern Accents with publisher Walter Mitchell, and serving as its editor-in-chief until the magazine was purchased by an Alabama-based publisher. Newsom left Southern Accents, still as resolved as she was in the beginning to have a quarterly magazine based out of Atlanta, which showcased lush southern homes and interiors, along with their architects, furnishers and designers.

In 1987, after enlisting the help of Architectural Digest art director Charles Ross, Newsom launched Veranda. Her first issue sold 40,000 copies, and the rest as they say, is history. Hearst Magazines bought Veranda in 2002, and in 2010 Newsom was made editor-at-large for Hearst and turned the reigns to Veranda over to the award-winning founder of Domino. By that time, Veranda was being printed eight times a year, with a circulation of more than half a million copies distributed in the United States, Canada and Europe.

In May 2012, Hearst released Newsom’s The Houses of Veranda, a tome filled with 30 of the most remarkable homes from the magazine, divided into classic, modern and romantic abodes, along with a chapter of “Artful Retreats.” October of last year saw the release of Newsom’s second book, The Art of Outdoor Living, featuring lush outdoor landscapes and high-design gardens, also from the pages of Veranda, shot in America, France, the Caribbean and elsewhere around the globe.

“A Toast to 25” celebrates 25 years of the Thomasville Antiques Show Foundation, 25 fabulous years of Veranda, as well as Newsom’s remarkable career and two Veranda-based bestselling books. Space for this event is extremely limited, and tickets may be purchased at, where Newsom’s books are also available for pre-purchase.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to meet the Thomasville native who profoundly impacted the magazine world with her determination to showcase the splendid architecture and interior design of the American South.