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I grew up in the small towns of Central Illinois but now I live in Chicago, America's friendliest big city, where everyone will answer your questions with a smile, even when they have no clue what they're talking about.

I'm interested in lots of stuff, but my big interests are architecture, interior design, history and the place where they all intersect. And if you ever need great advice when you're decorating your place, check out I 've got a ton of it. Of course, it will cost you.

My heroes: Alfred Schweitzer: Doctor, writer, theologian, musician and a great humanitarian to boot. Elsie De Wolfe: An amusing writer, the first Lady Decorator, and a dynamic woman who, when the crunch came, rolled up her sleeves & became a nurse. Teddy Roosevelt: A Republican who behaved like an enlightened Democrat

MAGNAVERDE RULE No.1: Don't confuse decorating with shopping.