TV HOST, AUTHOR, LIFESTYLE EXPERT, EDITOR-AT-LARGE OF SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE
With a talent for making the ordinary extraordinary Kimberly Schlegel Whitman has taken her original and clever take on parties and created an entrepreneurial empire. While planning her own Idlewild Debutante Ball in Dallas, Texas, Kimberly found an undiscovered opportunity—a lack of quality goods for party rentals. In 1998, a quick thinking Kimberly launched her own event company, RSVP Soiree Luxury Event Rentals, and, after building up a wonderful business, sold it in 2006. She also took the century old RSVP Social Calendar online in 1999 and created an on-line resource with a comprehensive list of Dallas’ finest charitable events at www.RSVPcalendar.com. In 2015, she sold the website to CultureMap and they continue to maintain it. Kimberly’s success in this field led to the publication of eight books on entertaining, countless television appearances, a daily radio segment on CBS’s 103.7 KVIL, Dallas’ number one morning radio show, and a spot as co-host of KTXD's live daily television talk show, Texas Living. In 2011, she became the Editor-at-Large of Southern Living Magazine, the seventh-largest monthly paid consumer magazine in the nation. In 2015 Kimberly joined forces with sorority sister and calligraphy artist Jen O'Neal to create a line of table linens that brings classic designs to the modern hostess. Halo Home by KSW's monogrammable linens and popular emoji cocktail napkins are found in over 200 stores across the country. In 2018, the pair sold Halo Home to Mariana Barran de Goodall, the founder of Hibiscus Linens.
Kimberly’s most recent book, Parties Around A Punch Bowl (Gibbs-Smith, $21.99) was released in 2018. In the book, Kimberly introduces the lively, rich history of the punch bowl, from India to England & Europe to the American South and beyond. She creates a dozen festive party ideas organized around a punch bowl: an Easter Egg Hunt, a classic Blue and White Party, a Bar Cart Party, a Fall Gathering, a Holiday Breakfast Coffee, and more. Recipes for both alcoholic and nonalcoholic punches, plus recipes for what to serve with it are the center of each celebration. Kimberly’s expert hostess tips are scattered throughout. A variety of punch bowls, bases, and glasses featured in the book will send readers out shopping for their own special style.
Kimberly's seventh book, Monograms for the Home: The Art of Making Your Mark (Gibbs-Smith, $40) was released in September of 2015. Luscious photography and Kimberly's expressive writing peppered with quotes from etiquette experts shows that monogramming is still very much in vogue. From linens, lamps and chairs to silver, china, desk accessories and more, here are exquisite examples of how to use monograms as your "personal logo" in stylish, elegant ways in any part of your home.
Kimberly’s Wedding Inspiration (Gibbs-Smith, $40.00) shares an intimate look at beautiful weddings with stylish flair. In the book, experts in the wedding and event planning industries share opinions and advice on some of the most important elements of a wedding- the invitations, gown, cake, venue, and more. This book provides an unforgettable collection of inspiration and ideas for planning the perfect wedding.
Kimberly’s book, The Party Planner: An Expert Organizing Guide for Entertaining (Gibbs-Smith, $24.99) organizes the process of planning and hosting a party, from the earliest inception to working with a budget, choosing a venue, hiring catering and musicians, creating a guest list and invitations, decorating, seating, stocking a bar, photography, entertainment, favors and attire-- in essence, organizing every last detail for hosting a successful party for any occasion. The inspiring photographs and binder format are a great way to stay organized when making plans to entertain. Find more inspiration in “Kim’s Whims” which are scattered throughout the book. With this book, Kimberly holds your hand through creating a fun-filled soiree without stress.
Tablescapes: Setting the Table with Style (Gibbs-Smith, $39.95), is a book that brings focus to adding beauty to time spent with family and friends. This book brings Kimberly’s passion for setting the table to life with over thirty tablescapes that are meant to inspire. The book includes tips and hints on invitations, seating of guests, and up-to-date rules of etiquette. Whether you’re designing an intimate setting with a few close friends or a table for more than a hundred guests,Tablescapesincludes a list of resources for finding the perfect items to create your table setting.
The project closest to Kimberly’s heart is The Wedding Workbook: A Time Saving Guide for the Busy Bride (Gibbs-Smith, $24.95). The Wedding Workbook offers every bride-to-be a tool for staying organized while planning her big day. The workbook is designed to hold contracts and other official documents, but it is also filled with beautiful places to fill out all of the information about the bride’s gown, wedding party, reception site décor, ceremony flowers and much more. It is a great keepsake that can be pulled out on a future anniversary to reminisce.
Kimberly’s passion for pets is evident in her entertaining book exclusively for dog lovers, Dog Parties: Entertaining Your Party Animal (Gibbs-Smith, $19.95). Dog Parties is the essential new party planning guide that offers entertaining ideas for throwing any posh pup a fabulous soiree. From a birthday party to a “Howl-o-ween” party to an afternoon art gallery opening, Dog Parties offers great tips for planning and executing every detail of a party for your pooch.
Kimberly’s first book, The Pleasure of Your Company: Entertaining in High Style (Gibbs-Smith, $34.95) remains high on every hostess’s list of party resources. It is filled with tips and photographs from over thirty events from across the country. Kimberly shares not only her own ideas for entertaining, but also features tips from her favorite hosting mentors. From a gala evening to an intimate seated dinner, the book is a never-ending source of inspiration.
Kimberly and her flourishing business have been featured in national publications such as Vanity Fair, Elle, Vogue, Town and Country, Southern Living, Better Homes Gardens, Real Simple, Self, Businessweek, Traditional Home, Canadian House and Home, Animal Fair, Southern Lady, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, Martha Stewart’s Blueprint, Doggie Aficionado, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and many more. She has been featured in the books, “Storied Weddings: Inspiration for a Timeless Celebration that is Perfectly You,” “Southern Living Christmas all through the South,” “Southern Living Christmas Books 2016-2018,” “Texas Women,” “Texans and Their Pets” and the upcoming “Entertaining at Home” by Ronda Carmen. Kimberly has been coroneted an “Entertaining Expert,” a “Style Expert,” an “Etiquette Expert,” and an “Arbiter of Taste and Style” on the following television programs: The Today Show, Access Hollywood, CBS The Early Show, Hallmark Home and Family, The Nate Berkus Show, The Tyra Banks Show, Fine Living and HGTV, WB in the Morning, Designing America, Designing Texas, Good Morning Texas, Good Day Dallas, Good Day Atlanta, Good Day LA, NBC’s iVillage Live and many more. She was also a featured event planner on the Style Network’s hit show “Whose Wedding is it Anyway?” She has hosted lifestyle segments for MSN, The Montage Resorts, Southern Living, Fine Living, Designing America, Designing Texas, The Bridal Guide and more! She also loves interviewing celebrities on the red carpets from film premiers to awards shows.
Kimberly is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Real Estate Management Program and Southern Methodist University with a Honors BFA in Art History. By now you probably think you know everything there is to know about her, but I bet you didn’t guess that she has been to Flower School in Paris, Trapeze School in Santa Monica and went on a year long trip around the world with her family when she was a teenager. Kimberly lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, Justin, their two children and their Giant Schnauzer, Zeus.