How to Decorate

By Ballard Designs

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Subscribers: 198
Reviews: 2

 Nov 11, 2021
Yikes, couldn't get past the first episode where they talk about how they crate their dogs all day while they're at work and all night and go on to talk about how naughty the dogs are, exhibiting classic anxiety behaviors. GEE, I WONDER WHY

 Jan 16, 2019


We want to teach you how to decorate! We'll help you unleash your inner decorator with interviews from interior designers, sharing the trials and triumphs from our own homes, and answering your burning decorating questions. Brought to you from the Ballard Designs team.

Episode Date
Ep. 294: Blending Past and Present with Mallory Mathison
We catch up this week with Atlanta-based designer Mallory Mathison, who blends the classical richness of the past with endless design possibilities for today. Mallory’s work has been featured in Southern Homes, Atlanta Homes, and most recently in the 2022 Flower Magazine Show House here in Atlanta. We talked with Mallory about how much we loved her room, and the steps she took to create a glowy, gilded garden room. Mallory shares what she loves about showrooms, and shares a few key pieces of wisdom to make your space classic and comfortable, and always ready for the perfect party. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Mallory’s process of creating a character-driven showroom. How Mallory chose warm glittery glowy lighting and the perfect pink in her Show House room. How did Mallory hang her mirror in the show house on top of the beautiful fabric over a daybed? How do we make our bars look amazing and what can we do to be always party ready? The importance of staying on the good side of a contractor. Wicker is like comfort food for the home. How to use brackets in different ways. Where Mallory starts with color on a project. Tips for framing and creating a beautiful eye-catching gallery wall. Mentioned in This Episode: Ballard Designs Mallory Mathison: Website | IG Decorating Dilemma First off, what a cute kitchen! Mallory suggests really leaning into the historic nature of your home, instead of trying to make it “modern” and making it something that it’s not. First, we can make it feel cleaner and brighter, and definitely more stylish. For the color, Mallory suggests a very light soft celery green or green that has a bit more of a yellow base than a blue base. That's going to complement the purple tones much better than something that has a blue base. Check out Benjamin Moore’s “Stolen Moments 477”. You can also add crown molding that's appropriate to the house in the kitchen. On the walls, Mallory suggests an eggshell so you have reflectivity. In your little charming breakfast nook, we think you should use the Margo Hanging Shade Light Fixture and for flooring, check out American Restoration Tile. If you are needing to prioritize things, first do the lighting and then paint the cabinets. Thanks for writing in, and keep us posted!  
Jan 31, 2023
Ep. 293: Trend Report for 2023
It’s a really exciting show this week as we hear about the 2023 Ballard Designs Trend Report from Taryn and Hillary in Product Design. In this special episode, both Product Designers break down the latest in key interior design trends including color, finishings, wallpaper, and hospitality design. From a well-traveled home to color choices to a Barbie pink renaissance, we’ve got the latest and trendiest in interior design covered to help make your home an even more beautiful sanctuary. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What is a trend report, and why did they go through this exercise? What’s popping in pattern and color? Some aspects of the well-traveled home. The indoor garden movement? Sign us up. A Pink Renaissance! Are we really living in a Barbie dream house? Trends for 2023 colors like Pantone, raspberry, and terracotta. Are chrome finishes going to get even more popular this year? Trends in fabric and wallpaper. Mentioned in This Episode: Ballard Designs
Jan 24, 2023
Ep. 292: Romancing the Home with Stewart Manger
It’s all about getting out of the routine and the regular this week as we welcome New York-based interior designer Stewart Manger to the show. Stewart has worked in some of the most celebrated design offices in the United States, and we talk to him about learning from David Easton, Bunny Williams, and David Kleinberg as well as his advice for new and upcoming designers. Stewart shares the inspiration behind his new book, Romancing The Home, and gives us a few expert tips on balancing both style and comfort in design. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How the point of view comes from the voice of the house as well as the client. Stewart’s ability to naturally blend traditional and modern while bringing in contemporary. How working with celebrated names like David Easton, Bunny Williams, and David Kleinberg influenced him and what elements of their work and habits he draws into his own practice now. How can we better distribute patterns around the room? How small details can have a large impact, such as leading edges on drapery. Ways to mix it up and get out of your own routine. Why your upholstery should be comfortable, and the rule that you shouldn’t buy a chair if you haven’t sat in it! Textured and tactile fabrics can make our furniture feel more comfortable. Why Stewart is a big fan of white kitchens and that NOW is the time to buy that brown furniture. How can we use rugs to warm up the room? What was it like for Stewart to hop over to Scotland and design a castle? The importance for future designers to work in a professional office for someone they admire. Mentioned in This Episode: Ballard Designs Stewart Manger @stewartmangerdesign Romancing the Home How to Make a Bed with Bunny Williams Decorating Dilemma: Thank you for writing in Susan! First, you have a great home and you are doing very well! Next, it is not a missed opportunity if you don’t fill the space, so don’t worry about that. Stewart agrees that you don’t want to over furnish it, and sometimes there are areas that don’t necessarily need anything at all. With that in mind, we agree that a bench can be a great method to add more storage and still put your Christmas tree there. Also, there is a 3-inch span of the wall next to the door, and you may want to consider an oversized bracket or wall-mounted table that can serve as a perch. Check out the Julian wall bracket. Here you can also add some lamps or candles to add a nice glow.
Jan 17, 2023
Ep. 291: Celebrating Ballard’s 40th Anniversary
Karen Mooney, our fearless leader and President of Ballard Designs, joins us to celebrate the milestone of Ballard’s 40th Anniversary. We dive into the company history, how Ballard Designs grew into what it is now, and then Karen shares a few of her favorite trends over her 22 years with the brand. Then, we talk about what’s next for Ballard as it enter 2023 and everything beyond. Thank you so much for your support for Ballard Designs: we couldn’t have helped inspire home decorators over the past 40 years without our lovely patrons, community, and listeners like you. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Who is Helen Ballard? The 40-year story of Ballard Designs. The value add of upholstery and unique other special touches Ballard is proud to give their customers. The history of architecture and design and the importance of mixing both high and low. Okay for real, how do you sneak an ottoman into a room during a coffee break? What really went on in the Ballard backroom? What products do we think “what was that?” Yes, monogrammed toilet paper is a thing. The importance of doing your homework in the design process. New Ballard news for 2023 and beyond. Mentioned in This Episode: Ballard Designs
Jan 10, 2023
Ep. 290: Aphrochic and the Legacy of Black Design
It’s a very special episode this week as we welcome Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason, the brainchild of the husband and wife team behind AphroChic. Their latest release, AphroChic: Celebrating the Legacy of the Black Family Home, is a gorgeous and impactful book that showcases the stories of numerous homes and the in-depth conversations with the residents that celebrate their unique family story. Jeanine and Bryan talk about the inspiration behind the book and how the story of home begins way before we enter the home we’re in now. They talk about the decision to create a design book that is also a history book, and the intention of storytelling in a way that is educational, expansive, and entertaining. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Jeanine and Bryan talk about their journey into Aphrochic and their “why” behind the book. The families selected were some designers, but also teachers, chef, writers, and just people with aesthetic and authentic taste. Aphrochic shows that design is so much more than just choosing color and a palette. It’s about creating a feeling and sharing your story. The feeling of safety, freedom, and visibility is extremely important in many Black family homes. Jeanine and Bryan talk about their own upbringings and how the feeling of a space impacted them to their adult lives. Jeanine and Bryan talk about working together to write the book even through health challenges. The stories in Aphrochic tell stories of both economic perspectives between Black and white homes and also feature beautiful portraits of resilience and joy. What’s a “womb room?” A bit about what’s next for Jeanine and Bryan, including their magazine Aphrochic Magazine and a line of products. Mentioned in This Episode: AphroChic: Celebrating the Legacy of the Black Family Home
Jan 03, 2023
Ep. 289 Extraordinary Interiors with Suzanne Tucker
We welcome the wonderful Suzanne Tucker to the show this week, where she gives us a preview of her third book published last month, Extraordinary Interiors. Suzanne is recognized as one of the country’s leading interior designers, known for her endearing style, attention to detail, and passion for architectural and decorative arts. Suzanne talks with us about many things including the beauty of having a second set of eyes when making interior design decisions, how to put your own stamp on something, and why the bones of a room or space matters first before you start adding the extra things on top of it. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How to put your own stamp on something in a way that gives it your personal touch. The beauty of having a trusted friend and pair of eyes when it comes to design. Why multi pigmented paint is such a great choice, and how it changes a room hour by hour. How bringing in art that you love and feel connected to can tie a room together stylistically. Why should we start with the “bones” and the framework before adding the little touches. How lighting can completely transform a room and is a key component and the three different levels of lighting. Suzanne’s talks about “mouse house” in Santa Barbara and how it gives her a beautiful respite for serenity and peace. More about Suzanne’s new book, Extraordinary Interiors and a few of the special projects featured in it. How we can make modern contemporary still feel warm and layered. Mentioned in This Episode: Suzanne Tucker: IG | Website Extraordinary Interiors Decorating Dilemma: Thank you for writing, and between the slow pitch ceiling, and angled fireplaces, what a beautiful space you have. We all agree that it already has fantastic bones, so brava for that. Suzanne says that she would not worry too much about the door, and you can leave it as is instead of painting it a particularly strong color. As far as the little telephone table, the cute little bench with the navy upholstery, we suggest putting something over it. Possibly a mirror, but if you go that route, be sure to note what exactly it is you are reflecting. If it’s the kitchen, we may want to opt for something else. If you aren’t feeling the chandelier, don’t worry about tossing it! Remember, someone’s trash is someone else's treasure. We love the black wall, and you can paint it black or just change it to a black outlet so it disappears. In that outlet, you can plug in a pair of lamps. Don't underestimate the power of having a piece of art in the kitchen. That's kind of fun. But, Suzanne also thinks the open shelves would be good there. Thanks so much, and let us know how it goes!  
Dec 27, 2022
Ep 288: Trials and Triumphs
It’s a fun trials and triumphs episode this week! We cover everything from fancy diffusers from Target to fill your home with lovely scents, and how pressure washing a white home can make a world of a difference. Liz finally tells the “tub story”, and we discuss how a new house doesn’t mean it comes without issues and putting some TLC into it. At the end, everyone shares their holiday plans and we dream about shopping in Paris. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Diffusers are great for old homes with a funky smell, or new homes with older dogs that also have a funky smell. Some tips for hosting a book club at your home. More on woven blinds and how they can level up a room. Some of the first steps What do you do with your kids when you’re having people over? Wait, do our kids actually think we’re cool? As Liz heads to Paris, we share some of our favorite places to shop there. Mentioned in This Episode: E. Dehillerin
Dec 20, 2022
Ep. 287 Styling Secrets with Robin Zachary
This week we welcome New York based prop stylist Robin Zachary. After working as the Creative Director for Bridal Guide Magazine, Robin launched her prop styling career and has since founded The Prop Styling Experience: a popular prop styling workshop. Robin talks with us about how to start styling with the things you already have and love, advice for those looking to get into the field, and more about her book, Styling Beyond Instagram: Take Your Prop Styling Skills From the Square to the Street.  What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What exactly does a prop stylist do? What are some of the biggest misconceptions about prop styling? Advice for those looking to get into prop styling. What led Robin to develop both her workshop and book? How Instagram and Pinterest have changed the world of photography. Robin’s great advice on how you can make things look beautiful on a daily basis. How to find the perfect pillow cover for your sofa. Some of the inspiration behind Styling Beyond Instagram. A plug for Ballard - you can order any of our 350 fabrics and a pillow cover, and we will make it for you! Mentioned in This Episode: Robin Zachary @robinzachary Styling Beyond Instagram Decorating Dilemma: First, you have an incredible start, and your photos already look like an “after” with all the great textures. Now let’s get into it. You absolutely can find some throw pillows that unite all the colors together, and something in the family of colors should be fine, maybe even some stripes to contrast from the patterns already in the space. The pillows on the brown leather chairs are a little overpowering in size for that really unique shape, so you may want to downsize in a roll pillow that is navy. to quiet down the busy chairs. Take a page from Robin’s book to find something with a contrasting texture to your sofa, and maybe try to find a real nubby linen or something kind of woven. The great thing about pillow covers is that it's easy to replace them and try something new. So order some to bring them home, you can send them back if they don't work. It would be great to decorate the mantel for the holidays, with branches, bows, candles, and other winter tidings that you can transition out after the Christmas season. We would have items that are ready to pick up and move as you need the table but keep the table decorated, and we would have a low floral arrangement or plant with a wide bowl on the table. You are a great stylist, and thank you for taking the time to write in!  
Dec 13, 2022
Ep. 286 Renovating a Country House with Country Living
We’ve got a great duo here this week on How to Decorate: Rachel Barrett, Editor in Chief of Country Living and acclaimed singer songwriter, serial house renovator and contributing Country Living writer Holly Williams. In the November issue of Country Living, we get to see the beautiful country house they renovated using some Ballard products. We hear the story of how they came to collaborate and the little details that turned out to be one big vision. They also talk about working in a tight timeline, along with some behind the scenes moments of a not so glamorous photo shoot. We also talk about fun ideas for ping pong rooms, how bold colors can make a big difference, and the importance of having a touchstone item. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How to create a cohesive vision for a project, especially when working in a tight timeline. Maybe you should look on Craigslist for real estate? How they incorporated an itch to use hunting lodge decor in their farmhouse. The importance of starting with a neutral color. Empowerment of happy accidents and being able to roll with things. The importance of having a “touchstone” item. Using brass lamps and skirted tables to create contrast. The importance of window coverings in the house. What to do if you have an eyesore in your home. Mentioned in This Episode: Rachel Hardage Barrett Holly Williams Country Living Magazine Decorating Dilemma: Thank you for writing in! First, the fireplace already has contrast against the white wall and then the shelves are pretty high contrast, so, maybe something that's a little bit like richer, darker, and warmer color might help it feel like one unit. Next, a skirted table underneath the TV in some great fabric can be repeated in the same fabric on the windows. And remember, bold fabric will change the world! It makes everything feel intentional and beautiful, without busting your bank. As far as curtain rods, check out luddite brass ones. For color, Oakmoss by Sherwin Williams could work, or a Jasper or Moss Point Green.  
Dec 06, 2022
Ep. 285 Achieving an Eclectic Look with Veronica Solomon
This week features Veronica Solomon, Houston interior designer and CEO and Creative Director of Casa Vilora Interiors. Veronica is also a mentor and a professional coach to other interior designers looking to build their businesses in the design community. She talks about the development of her bold style, her love of the eclectic and layered looks, her inspiration for taking more risks, and how not to be afraid of a dark wall.  What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What does it mean to be eclectic?  Are there certain rooms where Veronica feels like it makes sense to be a little more bold?  When is the right time to use draperies? Veronica’s advice on taking more risks in a way that is calculated and intentional. Low commitment but big splash items that can lend themselves to be a little more bold such as art and light fixtures.  How to know when it’s time to just call a designer?  Thinking about putting your favorite color everywhere on the wall? Veronica shares why you may want to think again, and how to weave it in using a more methodical way.  How to spice up a neutral space.  Plants are a great way to add texture to a space.  Veronica’s love of a BIG light fixture.  Mentioned in This Episode: Veronica Solomon @Casa Vilora  Decorating Dilemma:  First off, we love that you are bold and Veronica is certainly the right guest to answer this! She thinks you should keep it in red, match whatever trim color in the space, and do it in satin instead of high gloss for a nice sheen without too much shine. A grayer red versus an orange-red is what you want. Let us know how it turns out, we can’t wait to see! 
Nov 29, 2022
Ep. 284: Holiday Essentials with Karen
We are so excited to have former host Karen Mooney back on the show! On this special holiday episode, Karen gives us an update on her life since becoming President of Ballard Designs, walks us through her new beach house design, shares her favorite holiday Ballard products, and joins Caroline, Taryn, and Liz in giving tips for entertaining, holiday decorating, gift ideas, and more. Also, be sure to check out Ballard Design's Black Friday Deals while they last! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Karen gives us an update of what she’s been up to since becoming President of Ballard. Karen surprises us, and herself, with how colorful she has decorated her beach house. How the podcast has helped Karen expand and embolden her design style. We each offer our best hosting tips. Thanksgiving dinner in the day or the evening? Karen gives us her secret recipe for gravy. How to set the table so it breaks the ice for guests. What are the main parts of the house we decorate for the holidays? How to accent faux decorations with “real” natural elements. Does holiday decor need to match your existing decor or have a theme? We gush over a few of our holiday items available. Which Ballard products make great gifts? Mentioned in This Episode: Holiday & Seasonal Decorations Andros Linen Panel Café Dinnerware Collection Holiday Dinnerware Collection Drinkware Flatware Ballroom Folding Chairs Marseille Linen Napkins Tree Garland Angel Pine Garland Essential Stocking Holder Mercury Glass Hurricane Belissima Flax Linen Bedding Amelie Bath Towel Collection Faux Fur Blanket Petite Acrylic Easel Personalized Coir Mats More Personalized Products Holiday Pillows Book Assortment Candles Angel Bottle Wings Celebratory Cocktail Napkins Ornaments Ep. 117: designer Janie Molster Tom Scheerer
Nov 23, 2022
Ep. 283: Flower Showhouse: Recap
We conclude our special series highlighting the FLOWER Magazine Atlanta Showhouse with a recap of our in-person tour! Ballard Designs is proud to be one of the sponsors of the house. We share our initial thoughts and takeaways and go room by room to marvel at each designer’s work. Our biggest takeaway? The house is so awe-inspiring that we have to go again! And if you’re local, we highly recommend a visit. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: We start with the breathtaking entryway which includes textures, patterns, and a plethora of wallpaper. We dig into the wallpaper, the details, and the cohesiveness of the house. We are hoarse from talking so much at the showhouse; everyone was so inspiring and welcoming! The house had everything you could imagine; including LIVE birds! Did we mention there was pink marble? We attempt to pick our favorite room. Is it even possible? Which room had hand-painted tiger wallpaper? Each space, even the small ones, was designed as its own room. A reminder to maximize every space. Our only complaint was the space-age toilets the builder put in. Why every single space was a wow moment; you must go in person if you can! Mentioned in This Episode: Visit the FLOWER Magazine Atlanta Showhouse to preview each designer’s space. Buy tickets to the Showhouse HERE!
Nov 15, 2022
Ep 282 Flower Showhouse: The Primary Bedroom with Cathy Kincaid
We are back with our special series highlighting the FLOWER magazine showhouse here in Atlanta. This episode features the celebrated Dallas-based interior designer, Cathy Kincaid. Known for her use of color and her exquisite eye for antiques, Cathy talks to us about how no detail is too small, her love of cozy bedrooms, and her tips for creating elegant yet livable designs inside your home. Cathy talks more about different ways to personalize your bedroom including getting clear on how you like your lighting, bed dressings, textiles, and furniture set up. If you’d like to visit the house in person you can purchase tickets here, and also follow along with the podcast series whether you can see it in person or not! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Cathy loves smaller bedrooms and finds them to be super cozy. What was Cathy’s inspiration behind the color choice in the bedroom, other than it being the woman's domain? The influence of the baby Taj on the bedroom design. Cathy dives more into her choice of fabric and drapery in the bedroom. What are some ways that we can create bedrooms that feel elegant, timeless, and livable? How we can bring more comfort to ourselves in the bedroom, and also make it family-friendly for other partners, children, and of course…our pets. Some ideas if you are like Cathy and want a desk somewhere in your bedroom. Beautiful lighting ideas and how to make your nightstand more functional. Cathy gives some great bed sheet recommendations and is not one to spend her morning stacking a million pillows. What are some classic colors for a bedroom that stand the test of time? Mentioned in This Episode: Cathy Kincaid The Well Adorned Home: Making Luxury Livable
Nov 11, 2022
Ep 281 Flower Showhouse: The Library with Barry Dixon
We are back with our special series highlighting the FLOWER magazine showhouse here in Atlanta, and the fun continues with acclaimed designer Barry Dixon. His work can be found all over the world, and on the pages of your favorite magazines like House Beautiful, Traditional Home and of course, Flower magazine. Barry talks about designing for all five senses, telling the story of a space from beginning to end, and his choice of textiles, colors, and books in the beautifully inspiring library. Ballard Designs is proud to be one of the sponsors of the house, and we are so excited to share all the gorgeous spaces with you. If you’d like to visit the house in person you can purchase tickets here, and also follow along with the podcast series whether you can see it in person or not! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Barry talks about the foundation of the library, and the little bit of Hollywood Regency appeal to the house. The views of the exterior are such an important part of the beauty of any interior. Some masculine ways to bring in florals. Barry talks about his curation of the books in the library and the intention behind the visual cues on the shelves. What advice would Barry give to people who are trying to blend styles or work with someone who doesn’t have their same opinion on design? A beautiful truth: you're never alone in a room that speaks to you. How do you balance the personalities in your home (aka ones that love taxidermy and action figures)? How design is like writing a story, and it’s important to tell the story from beginning to end. Barry’s love of the extreme in design in every way, including location, architecture, and style. Mentioned in This Episode: Barry Dixon Barry Dixon’s Books Decorating Dilemma: Thank you for writing in! First, Barry has some great thoughts and advice for you. The buffet always traditionally belonged in a dining room, so you can keep that and you can also keep the chairs you have. Maybe you want to paint those Hepa white chairs a really pretty French Gray from Farrow & Ball so they look fresh. Mix that with the green buffet, and it leaves your table to be brown, with some beautiful yellows and grays to add a sorbet of color. Let’s buy a really beautiful paper with a pattern that goes with the Tudor or Arts and Crafts style - Barry has some good suggestions for ones from the 1800s. The Benjamin Moore color can be brought in as the trim color for the windows, baseboards, and door casings. Since you are just investing in the paper, maybe you can even do a coordinating pattern for your seat cushions on those chairs. This ties everything together in one grand statement. Please send us after photos so we can see your final choices! 
Nov 10, 2022
Ep. 280: Flower Showhouse: The East Wing with Julie Dodson
This episode continues our special series highlighting the FLOWER magazine showhouse here in Atlanta. Ballard Designs is proud to be one of the sponsors of the house, and we are so excited to share all the gorgeous spaces with you. Each day this week we will interview a different designer from the showhouse to talk about the room they designed, their inspiration, trends throughout the space, and much more. This episode features Julie Dodson, of Dodson Interiors. For 20 years, she has brought chic French inspired spaces to her Houston clientele. Her love of antiques and ability to add a fresh spin on traditional elements is evident in her polished spaces that she creates her clients. Julie talks about the inspiration for the showroom, her choice of the color palette, and how we can find the balance between the old and the new with antiques. If you’d like to visit the house in person you can purchase tickets here, and also follow along with the podcast series whether you can see it in person or not! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What do you look for in a wallpaper especially in a space that small? Why it’s important to keep scale in mind when picking a wallpaper. Can one have too many wallpapers in a home? Does Julie feel like brass is going to wane in popularity as far as finishes go? Are wallpapers in bathrooms a good idea? Julie talks about the camaraderie in the house, and how the design community comes together and is excited to see what everyone is up to. Why Julie loves antiques and the character that comes with hard to find finishes. Julie provides some great resources for getting great antiques all year long, including the Round Top Antiques Fair. How does Julie start helping her clients create their art collections vs. ones that have been collecting for years? Mentioned in This Episode: Dodson Interiors @dodsoninteriors The Original Round Top Antiques Fair Decorating Dilema: Julie would do a custom rug that covers the entire room, and cuts out the hearth of the fireplace. A nice wool flat leaf would allow you to open and close the door, and it would make the room feel like one big comfy space, as opposed to multiple smaller rugs. Whatever you can do to bring it a little bit closer to the door would be nice. This brings up a great tip: if you're layering rugs on top, maybe go a little closer to the wall. As for the windows, Julie feels like adding trim is not a good investment, and you won’t even notice if you are dressing them nicely. Julie would keep the marble surround that you have, but add an old beam or boxed shelf that goes the length of the fireplace. 
Nov 09, 2022
Ep. 279: Flower Showhouse: The Scullery with Melanie Millner
We are continuing our special series highlighting the FLOWER magazine showhouse here in Atlanta. Ballard Designs is proud to be one of the sponsors of the house, and we are so excited to share all the gorgeous spaces with you. Each day this week we will interview a different designer from the showhouse to talk about the room they designed, their inspiration, trends throughout the space, and much more. Our guest today, Melanie Milner, discusses her work on the scullery in the showhouse. Melanie is an Atlanta-based designer with The Design Atelier known for her timeless style and use of colors. Her work has been featured in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle, LUXE, and more. If you’d like to visit the house in person you can purchase tickets here, and also follow along with the podcast series whether you can see it in person or not! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What is a scullery and why did it speak to Melanie? Why Melanie worked alongside the dining room team of the showhouse to coordinate designs. Melanie chose plaster finishes for the scullery for a durable, unique, and ethereal look. All of the lighting in the scullery is recessed to have a functional and practical workspace. What appliances go into a scullery? Why the small details can be the star of the show; especially in a kitchen space. How was designing this space different from designing other clients’ kitchens? What are some new things Melanie is seeing in kitchens? What goes in the cabinets of a scullery? Why do Taryn and Melanie like bridge faucets? What other trends is Melanie seeing that she’s excited about? Why organization can be such an important, albeit luxury, design element. Indoor/outdoor rugs are a great way to soften a space in a kitchen while still being easy to clean. Decorating Dilemma: Hi Nancy, There are a lot of really cool switch plates out there if you’re willing to spend the money. A metal backplate would be a good place to start or you can find a colored one. I wouldn’t paint it since it doesn’t generally last. If you were to get wallpaper, you can have the installer cover that as well for an easy solution. Depending on how you design the bar, it could be a good idea to integrate the metal from the plate with hardware and accessories. I would say it depends on whether you want to be more subtle and integrate the switch plates or make a bold decision. We appreciate your level of detail, Nancy! Let us know what you decide. And thank you for listening to all of our episodes; twice! Mentioned in This Episode: The Design Atelier The Design Atelier on Instagram Domingue Finishes - Plaster Forbes and Lomax - Switchplates Lutron - Switches
Nov 08, 2022
Ep. 278: Flower Showhouse: The Powder Room with Nellie Jane Howard Ossi
This episode kicks off a special series we’re doing highlighting the FLOWER magazine showhouse here in Atlanta. Ballard Designs is proud to be one of the sponsors of the house, and we are so excited to share all the gorgeous spaces with you. Each day this week we will interview a different designer from the showhouse to talk about the room they designed, their inspiration, trends throughout the space, and much more. Our first designer, Nellie Jane Howard Ossi of Mrs. Howard Design Firm walks us through her powder room design for the house. She’s a lead designer, a domestic expert, and has a tabletop line coming out next year with Dillards. If you’d like to visit the house in person you can purchase tickets here, and also follow along with the podcast series whether you can see it in person or not! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How did Nellie get the chance to work on the showhouse? What was Nellie’s inspiration for how to begin the powder room design and what is the theme? How do you account for no natural light when choosing design elements? Why did Nellie choose blue trim for the powder room? Nellie shares last-minute dilemmas while working on showhouses. What are the most common delays still happening in design, decorating, and building? What are some must DOs when designing a powder room? Why the powder room is a great place to do something bold–like wallpaper on the ceiling! Lighting is one of the most important elements of a powder room. Nellie’s tips for getting it right. What are some must DON’T’s when designing a powder room? How antiquing has influenced Nellie’s design (and her personal life!) All about growing up in a design family and how it influenced Nellie’s style. Why accessorizing is expensive but can’t be overlooked. It’s what finishes a room. Will Nellie continue to do showhouses? How kids have impacted Nellie’s design; for better or worse! Mentioned in This Episode: Nellie Howard Ossi on Instagram Nellie Howard Ossi Mrs. Howard Andrew Howard Interior Design Visual Comfort Lighting Pioneer Linens Made Goods
Nov 07, 2022
Ep. 277: Decorating the English Way with Emma Sims-Hilditch
Today's lovely guest is English designer Emma Sims-Hilditch. Emma got her start designing sets for Ridley Scott before opening her own firm, Sims Hilditch, in 2009. Her work has been featured in Vogue, House & Garden, The Telegraph, and many other publications. We discuss Emma’s new book The Evolution of Home: English Interiors for a New Era and her tips for decorating the English way. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What has been the evolution of Emma’s design style through childhood, travels, and beyond? How does Emma find balance between rustic and clean, modern styles? Why does Emma paint her house twice a year? Why light plays such an important role in color and hue choices. Why is storage in the bedroom priority #1 for Emma? Emma encourages people not to always get hung up on symmetry and matching; nature is the perfect example of this. The case for brown furniture! What Emma likes to consider for home office spaces. How did working in set design influence Emma’s design style? What does Emma recommend for adding European design elements into a space? What are ways to add charm to your room even after decorating? Overstuffed upholstery and pillows are English staples that are fun to play with. What does Emma consider the ideal kitchen layout? Decorating Dilemma: Hi Jackie, This is a lovely kitchen with fantastic bones and storage. I personally wouldn’t change the white cabinets because I think it’s much easier to paint a wall. If you don’t like it, it’s also much easier to repaint. I would personally do a soft gray like Mizzle by Farrow & Ball. You could also go darker like a blue-gray. A white kitchen is a great starting point and I love the black contrast. I notice the countertops are polished vs. honed; I would recommend getting a quote to see how much it is to get them honed. It’s an easy process that gives a much softer edge and makes a huge difference. I would also recommend some pendant lights over the bar if it’s not too difficult to add them now. You could use fabric-colored shades or even play with patterns. If it’s practical, upholstered bar stools are another fun way to bring color in. I would also even look at the curtain; the soft white curtain could be swapped for something with more texture or pattern that’s more structured and less floaty. I would base it on what you choose for the pendant and barstools. You could also try a coordinating Roman shade above the window as well; whether it’s decorative or functional it will often up that space. I would not wallpaper the backsplash as cooking can be damaging to wallpaper. If you really want to wallpaper somewhere or even if the room carries on around the corner, you could paper one wall. I would pick out a pattern that’s complimentary to the paint color you choose from the kitchen. We all think drawing more attention to the island will be your best bet. With that in mind, you could also paint the island 2 shades darker than whatever you choose for the wall. We don’t think the dog crate is permanent, but if you want you could put a rug under it for now! The kitchen looks wonderful as is and just needs some finishing touches–you’re almost there! Good luck and please send us some pictures! Mentioned in This Episode: Sims Hilditch Sims Hilditch on Instagram Emma Sims-Hilditch on Instagram The Evolution of Home: English Interiors for a New Era Margot 2-Light Pendant Hector Finch
Nov 01, 2022
Ep. 276: A Vision to Design with Stephen Sills
We have a major treat for you today, in the form of a great conversation with the dean of American design, celebrated interior designer Stephen Sills. You’ve seen Stephen’s work in your favorite design magazines including Architectural Digest, Town and Country, Elle Decor, and many more. Stephen walks us through his new book, a Vision for Design, and a few of the recent projects featured in the book, including stunning homes in Florida, New York City, and his own Connecticut home. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Considerations when choosing a wallpaper. How dining rooms are becoming less formal and more usable. How to use boards to see the whole of the house, and work with layout and scale. What should you consider when choosing a shape and size for a sofa? What has changed in Stephen’s Connecticut home over the 30 years he has lived there. In Stephen’s work, how does he approach both beauty and functionality of the space? What’s next for Stephen now that the book is out? How Stephen curated certain moods and atmospheres in the different homes featured in a Vision for Design. How you can bring some of Stephen’s expert eye into your design decisions. Mentioned in This Episode: Stephen Sills A Vision for Design Hello, and thank you for writing! First, when hanging art, it’s all about your choice and intuition. We think you should make a choice between a height that works for you, and a height that the guests can enjoy. Stephen agrees that it’s always nice to look up at art instead of just looking straight at it. The bigger the painting, the higher you can hang it. The smaller the painting, the lower it could be. Hope this helps!
Oct 25, 2022
Ep. 275 Trials & Triumphs
Welcome back to another Trials & Triumphs episode! Last time Caroline shared with us that lightning struck her house and did some damage. She took the opportunity to make some additional upgrades while doing those repairs. The Schwartz House is nearly finished and Taryn is very happy with her wallpaper choices; but not so happy with the broken appliances. Liz has no trials OR triumphs to report, but this episode got her thinking about what she wants to do next in her house. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Turning lemons into lemonade, Caroline took the opportunity to add a medicine cabinet after a lightning strike destroyed part of her house. Caroline’s medicine cabinet addition led her to add some other design elements to both her primary bathroom and powder room. Caroline took advantage of the Ballard clearance sale and found a life-changing new way to dry clothes. The good news is the last big appliances arrived in The Schwartz House, bad news is they aren’t working. The pool is just about ready in The Schwartz House. Taryn is extremely happy about the wallpaper that has gone up; it all came together! Why is Taryn waiting on the wallpaper for the dining room? We are all frustrated with the way wallpaper is sold; why can’t there be a standard?! Caroline’s kids are happy because her cooktop has been replaced and she can make pasta again. Liz feels inspired to look at her laundry room and consider some wallpaper in other parts of her home. Listeners – we appreciate all of your feedback, questions, and dilemmas! Now send us your wallpaper adventures and photos so we can take a peek! Mentioned in This Episode: Corday Accordion Drying Rack Beadboard Drying Rack Mural Wallpaper The Schwartz House
Oct 18, 2022
Ep. 274: Rugs 101
Today we are deep diving into rugs. They are a foundational part of any space and very functional, but can be quite challenging. Not only are rugs expensive, but they are high traffic and take up a lot of space. So to discuss such an important and high commitment design element, we brought in our rug expert and 23 year veteran here at Ballard Designs–Carmen Barbee. Carmen breaks down the different types of rugs, how to care for them, her favorite tips and tricks, and so much more. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What are the common rug materials? Is there a rulebook for where rugs should be throughout the house? Why is natural fiber not kid or pet friendly? What role does synthetic fibers play in rug making? When it comes to hand knots, the smaller the hand knot the more expensive it is. How to care for wool rugs. What is an oushak rug? What is a flat woven rug? What is a kilim rug?  Every rug needs a rug pad. What does it do? The difference between hand tufted and hand hooked rugs. Are machine made rugs still high quality? The name of the game is easy care; and why many people are using performance rugs indoors now. Tips for rug sizing and placement. How to use rugs in an open floorplan to define a space and work together. The rule of thumb is–start with the rug. This is why considering the color palette is so important. Carmen’s thoughts on solid vs. patterned rugs. How to use fashion rugs to rotate designs or change with the seasons. What is the longevity/lifespan of different types of rugs? Tips & tricks for treating stains on rugs. Rugs are always going to lean more classic than trendy, but what are some of the upcoming trends? Mentioned in This Episode: Ballard’s Rug Size Guide Polypropylene Rugs Wool Rugs Performance Rugs St. Tropez Indoor/Outdoor Rug Rug Pads
Oct 11, 2022
Ep. 273: Decorating with Emotion with Anne Hepfer
Toronto-based interior designer Anne Hepfer joins the podcast to talk about her new book, Mood, plus why her client work is led by emotion. Anne shares her design work is anchored in rooms that make her clients' feel and how we can all bring more feeling into our spaces. On the show you'll hear: The evolution of Anne's new book, Mood Her path to writing her book on her own before shopping it to a publisher The format and concept of the book, and all of the heart she poured into the book Why it's important to uncover your emotional triggers and use them in your decorating Color as a way to evoke emotion in a room, but how to bring emotion into a neutral room too Pattern and why it's such an inspiration to Anne's work Why it's important to consider texture when choosing upholstery items Anne shares the inspiration behind her lake house, which has a totally different feel than her house in the city Anne's passion for travel and how it refills her design cup Why asking yourself the 'why' questions are so important to the design process, whether you're working with a designer or decorating for yourself Why you should incorporate nostalgia into your spaces The color and spine of her new book Mentioned in this Episode: Anne Hepfer Anne's new book, Mood Anne's Instagram
Oct 04, 2022
Ep. 272: How to Design Fearlessly with Drake/Anderson
We are so thrilled to welcome award-winning design duo Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson of the design firm Drake/Anderson. Their iconic work has been featured in several issues of Shelter, on the AD100 List, ELLE DECOR’s A-List, and they’ve also received the highest awards and accolades in the industry. They are known for luxurious and sophisticated residential and commercial spaces that are fearless and bold. Their new book Bold: The Interiors of Drake/Anderson is available for pre-order now. We discuss that book and their best tips for how to design fearlessly. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How did they get started on the book and chose their projects? The common thread throughout their book is that the contemporary work is informed by history and their traditional work also includes modern elements. What is the thought process while blending the bold elements? Where does the fearlessness come from? How can others become more fearless? Do they tend to influence their clients to be bolder or are bold clients drawn to Drake/Anderson? How do you balance the room’s strength? To achieve boldness, it’s important to be intentional with your choices. With several statement pieces, how can you find balance? Creating a visual with a board, PowerPoint, etc., can help tremendously in the planning process. Often the element of surprise is what can make a space the most interesting. What are Jamie and Caleb’s favorite projects from the book and why? Why can unexpected colors work so well if used right? More about the historic preservation project in London. Mentioned in This Episode: Pre-order BOLD: The Interiors of Drake/Anderson Drake/Anderson Website Drake/Anderson on Instagram
Sep 27, 2022
Ep. 271: Bedding 101
Today we are so excited to have Ballard’s in-house bedding & bath expert Amy Jourdan on the podcast. Amy knows everything about thread counts, materials, mixing and matching, and more. She designs all of the gorgeous beds in our catalog, and she knows what makes the perfect bed. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How to design a bed with not just look but function in mind. What are some of the most popular bedding materials for sheets and how do they differ? What are popular materials for duvets, coverlets, and quilts? Tips for layering the bed from basics to catalog-worthy. What is the bell of the bed? What to think about when mixing materials on a bed. All about how to arrange pillows depending on bed size and design goal. Our love of the lumbar. A tip for how to find the right orientation of the duvet cover. What are we doing with box springs? The trend now is a shift from headboards to platform beds. What is the best way to style kid’s beds? What are the different duvet fillings? Is a signature scent necessary for bedding? How often should bedding be washed? Bed-making tips including some hot pillow insert tips. A double-stuff duvet trick. How to change bedding with the seasons. Tips for drying sheets and having fewer wrinkles Why we (or our spouses) like to make our beds every day. Mentioned in This Episode: Percale Bedding Sateen Bedding Linen Bedding Quilts & Coverlets Duvet Covers & Pillow Shams Linen Lumbar Pillow Velvet Quilt Heidi Callier Katie Ridder
Sep 20, 2022
Ep. 270 Trials & Triumphs
Perhaps the biggest of triumphs after two years of trials; Taryn finally moved into her new house! Plus, Liz and Caroline catch us up with all the Trials & Triumphs of their homes from bookcases to lightning, and more. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Liz finished her bedroom wallpaper project, but it uncovered a new “problem”. The hunter green lining; Liz found a great paint color and is styling her bookcase. Caroline’s house was struck by lightning…really! Since Caroline now has to fix her living room, she’s going to repaint the walls and possibly the ceiling. A BIG triumph for Taryn; they are in the house! But there are still workers in the house. Taryn is making strides in her outdoor space. Taryn installed, and then uninstalled, and then reinstalled some lighting (and outlets). A lesson to be learned; have the rugs cleaned BEFORE you move all of your furniture around. The fun is in the details but so is the devil. Taryn updates us on the service and selection available from Now it’s time to decorate The Schwartz House…so stay tuned! Mentioned in This Episode: The Schwartz House Society Social/Wall Pops Wallpaper Collection Find all of the show notes on our blog,
Sep 13, 2022
Ep. 269: How to Decorate Like a Parisian with David Jimenez
Today we are joined by designer David Jimenez, owner and founder of David Jimenez Studio. David is a creative force who got his start working at household names like Banana Republic, Pottery Barn, and Restoration Hardware. Six years ago he left his corporate job to move to Paris and start his design business, and he now designs spaces all over the world for his clients in that enigmatic Parisian style. His style is effortless, dripping in antiques, but also livable and fresh. This fall he is publishing his first book Parisian by Design: Interiors by David Jimenez. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: We gush over David’s new book Parisian by Design and discuss how it came together. David’s work history started by folding clothes in the Gap and eventually, it led him to Paris. A staple in Parisian design is using and reusing antiques and heirloom pieces. One of David’s tips for layering a room is setting a mood and finding joy within the room during the process. Gallery walls are a big component to Parisian design and one David has adopted; he likes to lay pieces out on the ground first before hanging. David doesn’t limit himself by watching all wood or metal tones; it’s okay to mix and match. Scale is very important to anchor or pull focus in a room. David uses room dividers and screens not only for privacy but also to add a layer of color or texture. Black and white stripes are very classic Parisian and curtains are a good way to add them to a space. David loves to use black in a room for punctuation but especially for a lampshade. David discusses some of his favorite French designers and how they have influenced him. The second half of David’s book gives an insider’s guide to navigating the Parisian streets. Certain colors are specific to Paris and hold cultural and historical significance. David’s intention with his work is to use his expertise as a catalyst to design a space that reflects you. Mentioned in This Episode: Pre-Order Parisian by Design David Jimenez Studio on Instagram David Jimenez Studio Madeleine Castaing Henri Samuel The Schwartz House Find all of the show notes on our blog,
Sep 06, 2022
Ep. 268: Creative Ways to Change Your Aesthetic with Amanda Brooke Interiors
We are joined today by Houston-based designer Amanda Holliday. Amanda opened her firm, Amanda Brooke Interiors, in 2019 after working commercial and residential design for many years. Her approach is a balance of contemporary and vintage, architectural and organic, and she is an expert in experiential storytelling through your space. Amanda shares with us all of her tips, tricks, and creative ways to change your aesthetic. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Where can you start when you are getting sick of your home? What are your options for changing your aesthetic if you can’t change things structurally? What swaps make the biggest impact in changing a room? How plaster can be used to transform a space. Why Amanda likes to break the rules when it comes to artwork and accessories. How does Amanda like to style bookcases? Some of Amanda’s tips to revitalize and repurpose furniture. How to use accent lighting to completely revamp a room. The many nuances of and versatility of lampshades. Options for changing out fabrics. Amanda’s instant tips if your room is feeling too dark and heavy. What if a room is not feeling layered enough? How to freshen up non-modern and antique pieces. How to scale a room up. Why Amanda challenges everyone to create their OWN artwork for their space. Mentioned in This Episode: Amanda Brooke Interiors Amanda Brooke Interiors on Instagram Amanda Brooke Interiors on Facebook Amanda Brooke Interiors on Pinterest Ep. 43: with designer Rachel Cannon Petite Acrylic Easel Kalklitir Urban Grace Interiors on Instagram The Schwartz House Find all of the show notes on our blog,
Aug 30, 2022
Ep. 267: What Sets a Room Apart with Lorraine Enwright
Today we welcome award-winning designer Lorraine Enwright. Lorraine was the lead designer of the 2021 Serenbe Showhouse, and she also recently won Bath of the Year from Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. We chat with Lorraine about what sets a room apart to achieve a designer look. We discuss the main differences in using a designer vs. going at it alone, why focal points are so important, and why Lorraine says the last 5% is the most important part of the room design. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What are the main differences between those rooms done by a designer vs. a homeowner? What resources does a designer have at their disposal? Where do you begin the discovery process for a client that doesn’t know what they want? How can someone understand scale and spatial relationships? Why an emotional and instinctual connection to a style is important to pay attention to. The details and last layers in the space are what really complete a room. Where do people often go wrong with their details without using a designer? Why odd numbers and asymmetry work best in design. How often should you rotate or repurpose pieces, if at all? Are there any times when you can ignore scale? Every room has to have its focal point(s). If you want to be bold or add drama, how do you know where to do it? How to make an oversized room feel cozy. How to work with the windows and lighting your space has. Decorating Dilemma: Hi “T. Schwartz”, Normally I would suggest Roman shades, but with kids, you might want to think about roller shades. You can use really any fabric you like to customize, so they work really well and look great. You could also consider indoor shutters. If you’re wanting a uniform look from the outside of the house, both shutters or roller shades are a great choice. If you really want to do Roman shades, I would recommend having the backs of them look similar from the outside. I love woven shades for that reason. If you don’t want to worry about the chords from Roman shades you could always motorize them; especially if you’re using an installer. Mentioned in This Episode: Intuitive Dwellings by Enwright Designs Intuitive Dwellings on Instagram Serenbe Showhouse Bath of the Year The Schwartz House Find all of the show notes on our blog,
Aug 23, 2022
Ep. 266: Designing the Perfect Entertaining Environment with Elle Cole
Dallas-based interior designer Elle Cole joins the show this week to walk us through how to design the perfect entertaining environment. Now that we are reopening our homes up to people and hosting again, Elle’s tips can get you back to feeling confident hosting events from a casual friend gathering to a larger holiday feast. Elle sheds some light on how to create the right vibe using the five senses, tips for creating an easy space to access your entertaining goodies, and her recommendation on creating a welcoming atmosphere from the minute your guests walk in up until it’s time to go home.  She gives her expert advice on the staple furniture pieces a dining room needs including a table of course, along with chairs, artwork, and décor. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Be clear on who and what you are entertaining for. Asking more questions about what you are looking to get out of entertaining each specific event is key. Why starting with color and the five senses can help create a welcoming atmosphere. How to decorate beautifully but still give your guests breathing room and space to enjoy themselves. The ideal size of a dining room table to host people comfortably. Upholstery can add a bit of your personality to the space. How dimension and scale are also important to getting your environment feeling great. Some ideas for colors that make your guests feel calm and welcomed. Elle walks us through her table setting that she can bring together in 20 minutes or less. What Elle means by the “power of one”. Yes, you can use plastic dinnerware and paper napkins for outdoor entertaining and still have it look beautiful. It’s important for the host to set the tone for being calm and setting good energy. Logistics of the night including when to serve the appetizers, what to serve, and how long we should prepare our guests to be there. You may not have 15 sets of dishes like Elle, but have at least 5 dish sets each with a different theme. Ideas for gifts when you are invited to a dinner party and how a handwritten note is an artful and kind touch. Mentioned in This Episode: Elle Cole Interiors Elle Cole Interiors on Instagram Find all of the show notes on our blog,
Aug 16, 2022
Ep. 265: Trials & Triumphs
We are back with this month’s trials and triumphs. Last time, Taryn was ready to move into The Schwartz House, but some new trials are holding up their move-in date. Liz gives us an update – the good and the bad – on her meeting with the architect. Plus, Caroline shares all of the tips she learned from TikTok on how to make the perfect bed! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Taryn is still not living in her house; what’s the hold-up? So what IS ready in The Schwartz House? Tips on different types of blinds. How is Taryn feeling about her paint colors? Liz met with the architect for her kitchen. What are they planning for the stove? In coming up with a plan for remodeling her bathroom, Liz found out nothing is up to code. Caroline’s tips for making the perfect bed. Thank you, TikTok! Speaking of bed-making, how does everyone do theirs? Please email us if you have any tips for getting wrinkles out of duvet covers! Mentioned in This Episode: The Schwartz House Blindster June Kantha Quilt Ballard Linen Duvet Cover
Aug 09, 2022
Ep. 264: Art 101 with Liz Lidgett
We are so excited to be joined today by Des Moines based art advisor and gallery owner Liz Lidgett. Liz works with clients in more than 45 states and 7 countries. She has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Business Insider, and Forbes. Part of what makes Liz’s business so successful is her accessible approach to art. For Liz, art is for everyone. We talk about all the ins and outs of how to feel good about your art investment, how to release the fear and intimidation around art galleries, and much more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How being based in the Midwest impacts Liz’s view on art as well as her business. Liz’s philosophy that “art is for everyone” is intricate to her design. Art and art galleries are for everyone; no one should ever feel like they don’t belong. How do you buy art if you don’t know anything about it? Why it’s important to know more about the artists behind their work. What to do when your taste varies greatly from your partner’s. How does Liz suggest buying art online or sight unseen? Liz tells us more about price levels and how they are determined. Why Liz loves commissioned pieces. All about framing; when to frame, when it’s included, what to choose, etc. Tips on how and where to hang art. When should you light artwork? What are Liz’s tips for artists to get their work in a gallery? Mentioned in This Episode: Liz Lidgett Gallery + Design Liz Lidgett Gallery on Instagram Liz Lidgett on Instagram
Aug 02, 2022
Ep. 263: Pools, Patios, and Porches w/ landscape architect Brantley Snipes
We had such positive feedback on our last episode with landscape architect Brantley Snipes, that we decided we had to have her back for part 2! Brantley is a Mississippi-based landscape architect as well as the owner, lead designer, and project manager for Brantley Snipes Landscape Design. Among many accolades, Brantley was named to the Greenwood Commonwealth’s Top 30 under 40. The last time we had Brantley on the show, we talked a lot about plants and softscaping. Today we “dive” into pools and other hardscaping elements. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What to consider when deciding to build a patio. What are the pros and cons of concrete and when is it best to use it? What other hard materials should be considered and when? When should you consider using loose stone? How to determine the size, depth, shape, etc. of a pool. What to consider for the surrounding area of a pool; especially when kids are using it. All about pool tiles…and why are they so limited?! Considering liner vs. gunite pool surfaces. Does Brantley recommend a pool cover, fence, or both? What is a swim shelf?! And other popular pool accessories. It’s important to consider pool storage, using the bathroom, and other elements of hosting/entertaining. What is a realistic landscaping budget; for both softscaping and hardscaping? Mentioned in This Episode: Ep 248: Creating Outdoor Spaces with Brantley Snipes Brantley Snipes Landscape & Design Brantley Snipes Landscape & Design on Instagram Brantley Snipes Landscape & Design on Facebook Osmanthus Market
Jul 26, 2022
Ep. 262: What Makes Upholstery Last with Hope Austin
The team welcomes Atlanta-based designer Hope Austin to the show today. Hope’s passion for craft started while working in design showrooms such as Brunschwig & Fils and Schumacher. She created her own brand, Hope Austin Interiors, where she works closely with her clients to create homes that are beautiful, comfortable and keep function top of mind. Hope talks about what’s going to make certain pieces last, starting with choosing a sofa that you like with fabric and patterns you will be excited about for years to come. She talks about how to treat the fabrics, some tips for having a nice sofa with kids and pets, and how to best clean when the inevitable wear and tear does happen. Hope also shares what she is putting in clients’ homes regarding counter stools, and how we can shop with realistic expectations. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What really makes a sofa last? Hope gives her tips for having a nice sofa that is both kid and pet friendly. How do you do a white sofa? How you can use high performance fabrics and still have a punch of personality. What color fabric has Hope been seeing people stay excited about long term? Do practical and nice fabrics have to be expensive? What’s the real expectation we should have for big items such as high performance fabric, dining chairs, upholstered beds and barstools? Cleaning tips and frequency to keep your sofa nice and clean. Why the fabric should be your #1 priority in picking out the sofa. Mentioned in This Episode: Hope Austin Interiors @hopeaustinint Ballard Designs Performance Fabrics Sunbrella Performance Fabrics InsideOut Performance Fabrics Crypton Performance Fabrics
Jul 19, 2022
Ep. 261: Trials and Triumphs
Today we’re catching up with this month’s trials and triumphs. Taryn is finally moving into The Schwartz House, which many of you have been following on Instagram. But…is it ready? Plus, we hear about Liz’s new kitchen renovation plans which include many upgrades but most importantly a dishwasher. Finally, Caroline tells us why she really wants to build a fence to complete the vision for her home. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Taryn’s moving day is FINALLY here….during a heat wave! From stair railings to bathrooms, to fireplaces, and more; the finishing touches are almost complete in The Schwartz House. What is the update on The Purple Dining Room? The Schwartz House’s kitchen has come together with green and brass and other perfections. Liz has the first set of architectural plans for renovating the kitchen in her 1930s home to include a butler’s pantry, extra shelves, a dishwasher, and more! Caroline really, really, REALLY wants to build a fence. Did Liz try to buy Caroline’s house or was there not enough curb appeal? Mentioned in This Episode: The Schwartz House
Jul 12, 2022
Ep. 260: Best Ways to Make a Room Look Finished with Jenna Gross
Today we are joined by Jenna Gross. Jenna is the founder of Colordrunk Designs here in Atlanta. Jenna grew up in the design business spending countless hours surrounded by textiles at her family's antique and upholstery shops. After working in the fashion industry with Marc Jacobs, Jenna turned her attention to interior design. Today she serves up masterful mixes of pattern and color concocting designs that are refreshing from start to finish. Jenna gives us all of her tips on creating a finished look in a room; everything from drapery, lighting, rugs, and–you guessed it–color! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What sets designer rooms apart from DIY rooms? What timeline should people expect to achieve a fully finished look? Jenna’s tips for choosing and hanging drapery. How to get your lighting just right using different layers, lamps, and even can lights! When to have pairs and when to have singles when you decorate. Jenna’s advice for getting a rug that’s just right for the space in terms of size, texture, layering, and more. How small details can pull together a room and allow for more customization. How does Jenna like to use color on wood and millwork? How can people with more neutral palettes in their rooms start to incorporate color? What are Jenna’s thoughts on having to match various sources of color in the room? We got to join Jenna at her Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle Showhouse room; inspired largely by vacation. Decorating Dilemma: Hi Amy, It sounds like you want a really fun space. We say if you want to paint the plantation shutters, paint them how you want to see them in your space. We think you should definitely choose a fun wallpaper. If you decide you don’t like the plantation shutters, you can always take them down and do a fun Roman shade. Some of us really hate the plantation shutters (hint: Caroline) and are in favor of taking them off! As far as lacquer goes, you could do that or you could just do a high-gloss; we definitely wouldn’t do a matte. Have fun and make it as dramatic as possible because that seems to be what you’re really aiming for! We would say the Oyster Bay paint color is more of a neutral than anything bold, so it would be nice to use in the whole space. However, if you haven’t picked your wallpaper yet and you definitely want to use one, we would wait to pull a color from there. We would also paint the ceiling too! We are excited for you! We think it’s going to look great and would love to see the after photos! Mentioned in This Episode: Colordrunk Designs Colordrunk Designs on Instagram Southeastern Showhouse
Jul 05, 2022
Ep. 259: Living Large in Small Spaces with Ginger Curtis
We are joined today by Dallas-based designer Ginger Curtis of Urbanology Designs. Ginger is passionate about helping others elevate their home’s beauty, comfort, and function to create a stunning design. She has appeared in over 100 magazines and digital publications, as well as several TV & radio shows and podcasts. Her new book Beauty by Design is available now nationwide. Most recently Ginger was recognized as the winner of HGTV’s Designer of the Year award for her tiny home transformation. We talk about the details of that project as well as other tips and tricks for designing a small space, Ginger’s inspiring personal journey, and more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Ginger discusses the origin of the tiny home project that won her the HGTV award. Multi-use function is a key element when designing for a small space. Is symmetry important for a small space? Sharp corners will not be your friend; lean into relaxed and more rounded items. Artwork can be used to create balance. How to know when to lean into symmetry or asymmetry. Are colors off-limits in a small space? After multiple cancer journeys, Ginger realized the impact that homes have on your life. The first thing Ginger does for her client’s homes is draw in the natural light. Why Ginger’s favorite color is always evolving. How you can use artificial lighting to balance the cast from natural light. Ginger likes to choose her floors before cabinets. Decorating Dilemma: Hi Hannah, Your home is lovely and I love the white wall color you chose. To first address the window treatments, yes definitely get them for texture and warmth! I would suggest using curtain panels but not two on each window. Instead, I would hang your curtain road above the arch so it’s really tall and just flank the far left and the far right side of each window with a double width or even triple width panel. Since you have the fireplace in the middle you don’t want to suffocate it. It will also add drama and it will draw the eye up. Personally, I prefer using ring clips and a pinch pleat when hanging curtains. When it comes to using a solid or a pattern, I think both are appropriate so it will be what your heart gravitates to. I would look at some inspiration photos with rooms that are light and bright and see what speaks to you! You can ask yourself questions like whether you want it to feel more formal or more relaxed. For other suggestions for the room, you could consider painting the fireplace mantle. A dark blue or green, charcoal, or even black; anything to add some weight to the walls since it’s all very light right now. As far as the furniture layout, I like what you have going on right now. On the right side of the couch you could consider a bench instead of a chair. It would add additional seating with also a unique design element. We love the bookshelf and the wallpaper, as well. We really think the window treatments are going to go a long way in transforming the space! Please send us after photos! Mentioned in This Episode: Urbanology Designs Urbanology Designs on Instagram Beauty by Design Ginger’s Tiny Home Project for HGTV
Jun 28, 2022
Ep. 258: Giving New Builds Charm & Character with Brandon Ingram
Today we are thrilled to welcome Georgia-native Brandon Ingram to the show. Brandon is a Georgia Tech alum and two-time winner of the prestigious Philip Shutze Award for Excellence in Classical Design from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art (ICAA). In 2012 he founded C. Brandon Ingram design; a full-service residential design firm specializing in custom homes, renovations, and architectural interiors. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Southern Living, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, and more. Brandon has a special ability to craft homes that are rooted in history but also unique and of their time. He flawlessly weaves a sense of charm and familiarity through his use of subtle details. Brandon shares with us his best advice for giving a new build charm and character. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Brandon fell in love with classical architecture as a child in South Georgia. Why Brandon advises clients to dig into their feelings and nostalgia when searching for a design style. How true to the original design style of a house do you need to stay? How to pick the moldings and other features that stay true to the house. What Brandon recommends for reviving a 90’s architecture house. Brandon recommends using Get Your House Right as a guide to working with your home’s architecture. What materials you should prioritize when budgeting for a new build. What works more often than not when choosing lighting for a new build? What impact has Graceland had on Brandon’s personal design? Why it’s important to have an expert help you to preserve the POV of the house. Brandon’s simple details are what keep his designs classic. What led Brandon to creating house plans? What is the advantage of working with an official house plan vs. just working with a builder? What is Brandon’s favorite style? Outdoor living spaces have become a big focus in-home designs. Are people still having large primary bedrooms including sitting areas? Why Brandon doesn’t want to see traditional dining rooms go away but rather serve as multifunctional spaces. Mentioned in This Episode: C. Brandon Ingram Design C. Brandon Ingram on Instagram Get Your House Right
Jun 21, 2022
Ep. 257: Trials & Triumphs
This week we're catching up with our trials and triumphs of the month. Thanks to an email from our listener Judith, we decided to talk about some of the Ballard Designs products we love! We talk about many products and how we style and customize them; from bedding to sofas to lighting and more. Plus, Taryn gives us an update on The Schwartz House…which is almost done! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Caroline and Taryn customized their Brie Channel Bed and why Liz wants one! Why we love our different bedding options and how we care for them. Caroline loves our towels; especially the Suzanne Kasler Trimmed Towels, but Taryn is still on a mission for the perfect ones. What Taryn likes about her new Suzanne Kasler Mathes sofa and her standby Sofia sofa. Liz is asking the big question; sectional or no sectional? Why the Hartwell Sofa may fit better under a window. The Connelly Bench is great for additional seating and an easy piece to customize the fabric. Caroline sold Taryn on Nala Stool. It’s a great nestler for extra seating! The Schwartz House is going to be chock-full of Ballard products like lighting, mirrors, and wallpaper. What is the update on the rest of The Schwartz House? Taryn’s fireplace and sconce trials and what she’s learned from building a custom home. Some of the tips and tricks Taryn got from you…our listeners! Mentioned in This Episode: Brie Channel Bed Margot Velvet Bedding Belgian Linen Sheet Set Suzanne Kasler Trimmed Towels Suzanne Kasler Mathes Sofa Hartwell Upholstered Sofa Connelly Bench Nala Stool Felicity Acrylic Side Table Amelie Wall Sconce Bodhi Dome Pendant Atoll Mirror Felix Sconces Juliet Floral Wallpaper World Traveler Wallpaper Spoonflower Wallpaper The Schwartz House
Jun 14, 2022
Ep. 256: Vibrant Interiors with Andrea Monath Schumacher
We are so excited to welcome Andrea Monath Schumacher to the show. Andrea is an interior designer based out of Denver, Colorado. Her experience ranges from commercial and residential spaces, as well as set design for television at Days of Our Lives and Columbia Pictures. Her design style is heavily influenced by travel and emotion which is laced throughout her debut book Vibrant Interiors: Living Large at Home. She was named House Beautiful‘s Next Wave Designer and she’s also been featured in Architectural Digest, Veranda, and more. Today we talk about injecting personality into our interiors and how to tell a story with design. Andrea talks about how she taps into emotions to make a space feel warm, cozy, and inviting so her clients and guests can feel welcome to share their stories. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Andrea talks about her childhood and travels as the daughter of a virologist. What does Andrea mean by “storytelling your interior”? Why Andrea loves using conversation starters in her design. Layering is a big key to making a space feel cozy. The formal dining room is out and the multi-purpose dining room is in. Andrea loves making a breakfast nook truly inviting and loungey. What are Andrea’s tricks for designing to make people feel their best in their homes? The story of how Andrea found her home and the items in it. Why Andrea loves grasscloth everywhere; even on the ceilings. How Andrea mixes and matches patterns. What is in Andrea’s secondary kitchen? Andrea’s tip for protecting her wallpaper. More about Andrea’s textile and wallpaper collection. How does Andrea like to bring art into her clients’ homes? Decorating Dilemma: Hi Krista, That whole corner where the tree is, I would put an L-shaped banquette. As far as the table, I would probably find a pedestal/center-based table so it’s easier to get in and out. I don’t like to throw anything away so I would find a way to repurpose it; maybe even as a desk? You could even cut the legs down to use as a tea-height table in the living room! I think the glass table in the living room is too small so that would be perfect. The chairs are fine, and if you had a banquette you could use them on the outside of the eating area. If you were to do the banquette, you would have to swag the lighting fixture to put it over the space. With kids, a zinc top table and/or an oval shape is great. I don’t think you need a rug if you use lots of cozy pillows or fabrics at the banquette, but if you want one you could use an indoor/outdoor rug. With kids, you need something easy to clean. I think you can also use drapery to warm up the space since the window coverings are sparse; you can even do a mock valence to make it look wider if those are operable blinds. Good luck, Krista! Mentioned in This Episode: Andrea Schumacher Interiors Andrea Schumacher Interiors on Instagram Vibrant Interiors: Living Large at Home Liesl Collection
Jun 07, 2022
Ep. 255: Breaking Design Rules with Summer Thornton
We are thrilled to welcome Chicago-based interior designer Summer Thornton to the show. Her work has appeared in Architectural Digest, ELLE Decor, House Beautiful, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, as well as on the recent cover of Veranda. Her style is described as maximalist with a modern sensibility, whimsical textiles, bold art, and surprising patterns. She also wrote a fabulous and fun new book called Wonderland: Adventures in Decorating. We talk all about Summer’s fantastic use of colors, how to break the rules, and how if you really love something it’s never “too much”! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: We talk about how much we all love Summer’s coffee table book Wonderland: Adventures in Decorating. Why Summer loves using her dining room table as a “stage” when entertaining. How does Summer account for having two young children when designing? What are Summer’s guidelines for coming up with a color scheme? How you can break the color rules of a color palette and make it work. Summer’s biggest tip for designing a room is to try to plan it all at once. Summer thinks the important investment pieces are fabric and textiles. What are some of Summer’s favorite fabrics, colors, and combinations? Summer loves using bold and fanciful shapes. To layer and “make it work”, Summer really recommends truly loving everything in your space. Rules that Summer likes to break like using neutral sofas and the idea of throwaway spaces. Summer is designing a beach dream house in Mexico. Follow the progress for Casa Rosada Sayulita! Summer’s final tip is to use a larger sample swatch to truly see a color. Decorating Dilemma: Hi Deb, I love the idea of incorporating an older piece into this space. I don’t like rooms that have all painted furniture, so I think the concept of using a wood tone balances this. What I think might be throwing things off is the style of this piece; I think it’s maybe too delicate compared to the other pieces. That said, if you wanted to try to paint it, you could see if that helps it fit in better. Otherwise, I would recommend getting a different piece with a wood stain finish; I do think that works well. The other thing to consider is the styling; I would maybe take the runner off and style the lamp with a more modern shade. If you wanted to try, you could also bring more warm tones in to incorporate with this piece; maybe something like throw pillows and/or a floral fabric. I think you could live it up a little and change that wall color! If you are set on neutral, really soft pink or if you want to stay on the cool side a light lavender is a good place to start dipping your toe into colors. Good luck, Deb! Pick up Summer’s book for inspiration and send us pics! Mentioned in This Episode: Summer Thornton Design Summer Thornton Design on Instagram Wonderland: Adventures in Decorating Casa Rosada Sayulita “The Blue Room” - Lakeshore Drive Co-Op Veranda May/June issue Mary Blair Farrow & Ball Paint Colors
May 31, 2022
Ep. 254: Designing Kid Spaces with Pebbles Nix
We are so excited to cover a topic that we get asked about a lot – how to design and decorate kid spaces! Our guest today, Pebbles Nix, is an Atlanta-based interior designer and founder of Pebbles Nix Interiors. Pebbles has built her business on repeat customers like young families who need more space, empty nesters who are downsizing, and vacation homes for special family gatherings. Her work has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle, Charlotte Magazine, and more. We talk about leaning into performance fabrics, not waiting to invest in design when kids are grown, how to keep those toys organized, and so much more! If you have children (or even if you’re a kid at heart!), this episode is definitely for you. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How you can still design the way you want and work around to make it “kid-friendly”. In the end, it’s always worth investing in beautiful and high-end pieces even with little kids. Diving into the different options for performance fabrics. Patterns and darker colors are also great for camouflaging stains. When to use leather vs. when to use faux leather (vinyl). Are people using slipcovers? Pebble likes to use indoor/outdoor rugs in kid spaces; especially seagrass and sisal. Pebble has tricks like painting floors and patterns to make things fun. Wallpaper is very on-trend right now; is it durable enough for kids? Tips for having kids’ storage and a dedicated space for toys. How does Pebbles account for multiple ages and lasting design when kids’ preferences change so much? Does Pebbles recommend any house rules for families with children? An important thing to remember is that they won’t be kids forever; so let them enjoy the design too and explore their individuality! Decorating Dilemma: Hi Brenna, I think you should use peel-and-stick wallpaper on all of the walls! I agree; replace those towels with some fun, colorful ones. If you can paint, I would paint the vanity and/or the door or the trim. I love painting the ceiling, too. Powder rooms are actually great places to go bold. The nice thing with a small space like this is it’s not a huge expense; so even if you decide to paint and have to repaint it wouldn’t be that costly. We think one big piece of art instead of lots of little ones would be nice; even if you could move the towel bar to the other wall. Since your artwork seems to be all very beachy and tropical, even a mural wallpaper with that theme would work well. Another non-permanent way to decorate is to accessorize the counter space. We don’t think this is the primary bath, but if it is and you’ll be using the shower a lot, then consider using paint instead of wallpaper due to the humidity factor. We’re so excited for you, Brenna! Make some bold moves and show us what you did! Mentioned in This Episode: Pebbles Nix Interiors Pebbles Nix on Instagram Crypton Fabrics Sunbrella Fabrics Indoor/Outdoor Rugs Phillip Jeffries Wallpaper Stuffed Animal Storage Bean Bag Chair Cover
May 24, 2022
Ep. 253: Trials & Triumphs
Today we are excited to be starting something new! Over the years we’ve heard from those of you who love our Trials & Triumphs. And those who… don’t. So we have decided to introduce a series of episodes that will only include our Trials & Triumph, as well as episodes that will only include interviews with our guests. This empowers you, the listener, to choose to listen to what you want; either or both formats. We value your feedback, so please let us know what you think! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What outdoor projects Caroline has been doing; some inspired by our episode with Carmen Johnston and her faux boxwood planter tutorial. Caroline has revamped her outdoor dining table with succulents and also repainted her front door… again. Apparently, Taryn, Caroline, and Liz all have interesting color choices – especially when it comes to green. How Caroline’s roses from Antique Rose Emporium are doing and how she inspired Taryn to do her own. Liz has hired an architect to remodel her kitchen and what the previous owners left behind. Can Liz give us a sneak peek into her plans and color scheme ideas for the kitchen? Beige and taupe are back! Samplize peel & stick is a great way to try different paint samples; see Taryn’s Secret Garden swatch here. Inspired by our episode with Gail Davis. Liz was able to choose a peel & stick wallpaper. Find out what her hack is applying it. Like Caroline, Liz has also been doing a lot of gardening. And she might have a problem… Taryn has given her 60 Day Notice on her rental; but will her house be livable? The Schwartz House suddenly has a lot going on; from doors to power lines and more. Taryn has decided to make her own wallpaper, inspired by a look she saw from designer Danielle Rollins. To make big statements with her lighting, Taryn chose the Talia Chandelier and Bodhi Dome Pendant. How cabinet colors caused a domino effect in Taryn’s wall paint colors. Mentioned in This Episode: Ep. 250: Landscape Design with Carmen Johnston Ep. 240: designer Gail Davis Watch Carmen’s Outdoor Decorating Series with Ballard Designs Carmen Johnston Gardens on TikTok Antique Rose Emporium Samplize Ace Hardware Zulily The Schwartz House Danielle Rollins Circa Lighting Talia Chandelier Ballard Designs Bodhi Dome Pendant
May 17, 2022
Ep. 252: A Modern Take on Traditional Design with Katie Rosenfield
On today’s show, we welcome Massachusetts-based designer Katie Rosenfeld. Katie’s design style can be summed up as happy, family-friendly, and approachable. Katie’s ability to approach traditional design in an unexpected way makes her stand out. She blurs the lines between classic and modern with bits of quirky added for good measure. Her work has been featured in Architectural Digest, New England Home, HGTV Magazine, and House Beautiful. Katie will also be launching a new line of bathroom vanities called Vanity & Co later this year. We discuss with Katie what her tips are to modernize a traditional look, which designs are on trend and which are classics, where she uses chintz, why she doesn’t like the term Grandmillenial, and so much more!  What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What does traditional with a twist mean to Katie and what are tips to modernize? Is floral trendy or timeless? How to avoid falling into trendy furnishing traps. Where does Katie’s love of traditional design come from? How geography can influence what “traditional” means. What is chintz and what are the different ways Katie is using it? How does Katie get those ruffled flange pillows to look modern? Needlepoint is on trend and this is why we love it. Does Katie begin patterns first and then add artwork or vice versa? Why does Katie want to get “dirty” right now? Are hunter green and burgundy back?! Katie enjoys imperfections and mismatching as a key to style like in this plate wall. How does Katie pull off using an allover print or camouflage effect? Katie is still a fan of cohesion between rooms without being too matchy-matchy. Decorating Dilemma: Hi Sarah, Thank you for writing in. Love the idea of dark and moody. However, this room has a lot going on in terms of pitch, so I would actually argue possibly painting the ceilings, walls, and trim all of the same neutral, creamy colors to detract from the pitch issues. Then I might do the dark and moody on the floor or in other textiles like furnishings or textiles. This is a great room for art! I love the contemporary piece over the bed and I might load the wall over the windowsill with all sorts of different art. I see a lot of solids, so I would definitely call for some patterns. Noting that you have wall-to-wall carpet if you can replace it with a patterned broadloom like stripes or checks that would be my first place. I almost see the big sea of the beige floor as your biggest problem. So if you don’t want to replace it, you can easily get area rugs and layer them over it. It all depends on your budget and what you want to do! For window treatments, I definitely think bold drapery is the way to go. Since you don’t have a lot of natural light, dark and moody draperies can help warm things up. You could even reupholster your bed in the same fabric or something complementary. You have great ceiling height so be careful with proportion and scale when it comes to light fixtures, but you have a lot of license to do a lot of interesting things with your light fixtures. It can even be multi-tiered to fill up the space. In the corner where you have the armoire, I would have several questions before I could fully answer it. For instance, is it being used for storage and function? To me it seems big and crammed for that space so if there is another place in the room I would relocate it; maybe even the wall perpendicular. That will give full access and potential to your drapery. You could even put a chaise lounge in that corner if it’s in the budget. In terms of bedding, I love white bedding as the base; but NOT cream! I think a classic monogrammed white bedding would look great here with some patterned sheets and even some additional white sheets. I think we got everything, Sarah! Good luck and please send us after photos! Mentioned in This Episode: Katie Rosenfeld & Co Katie Rosenfeld & Co on Instagram Vanity & Co Katie Rosenfeld on YouTube
May 10, 2022
Ep. 251: How to Hire an Interior Designer with Emily Wyatt
We are delighted to welcome Atlanta-based interior designer Emily Wyatt, of Wyatt Designs, to the show. Emily’s designs are fresh yet classic, and her signature strength is her ability to achieve these results while working within her clients’ budgets. We get candid with Emily about all the ins and outs of hiring an interior designer in order to demystify the process. We talk about everything from costs, to timelines, to how to get started, and much more. If you’re feeling intimidated about hiring an interior designer or just want to learn more, you’ll want to tune in to our conversation with Emily. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What is the first step when thinking of hiring an interior designer? Which credentials, if any, should someone look for in an interior designer? Which red flags to look out for. Why individual chemistry is so important when matching with a designer. Why there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to hiring a designer. Why it’s crucial to define your own needs before you begin the process of working with a designer. Communication is a two-way street between designer and client, and it’s so important! What are some general timelines after meeting with a designer? Does a client need to have their style defined before getting started? So…how much does it cost?! What is a realistic budget for furnishings? Are there different payment options or levels of service? What to consider during the installation process. What happens when clients are unhappy with their choices? What was Emily’s favorite install thus far? Decorating Dilemma: Hi Heather, Thanks for writing again! I think for the side of the room that shares a wall with the bathroom, clothing storage is going to be your best bet. I would definitely not block the window if I were you because natural light is so important, so maybe set your sights on just a taller dresser. If it’s in the budget, I would highly recommend installing built-ins in place of where the armoire is. There’s a way to do it where it doesn’t have to be too expensive but can still look great. Also, you can customize it to meet your exact needs. In terms of nightstands, a lot will depend on user preference but if you need storage look for ones with drawers. I wouldn’t go any bigger than what you have and I’m a big fan of white nightstands. To choose the right finish I don’t think there is a wrong answer. I like to think of the finishes as a contrast to the piece. I also think you can definitely mix and match wood, but I would limit the amount that you use and think of how they play into the overall texture of the room. I love an heirloom, so the horse lamp can definitely stay along with the rug and the bench. They all really compliment each other. I am generally a fan of making the bed the focal point of the bedroom and then building out layers from there (think 3 supporting layers/pieces). You can keep your next layers on the lighter side then accent them with things like patterned drapes, bedding, chair upholstery, etc. We are excited to see how the WHOLE renovation works out. Please keep us updated and send photos! Mentioned in This Episode: Wyatt Designs Wyatt Designs on Instagram
May 03, 2022
Ep. 250: Landscape Design with Carmen Johnston
We are so excited to welcome Georgian native, Carmen Johnston of Carmen Johnston Gardens. If you’re on TikTok, you’ve likely seen Carmen’s helpful tips & tricks for gardening. She is known for her attention to aesthetics and the creation of stunning outdoor spaces, while taking function and lifestyle into consideration. Coming soon in 2022, Carmen will continue her role for HGTV as their Outdoor Living Designer & On-Camera Expert. We chat about landscape design, include some questions from listeners (and ourselves!), and hear SO many tips and tricks about all things garden. You’ll definitely want to take some notes and get planting after this episode! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How to use Ballard’s faux boxwood planter fillers in a brand new way. What does it mean to “top dress” your planters? How to know which size boxwood to use. Why Angelina Sedum is the most universal plant for outdoor design. Where should you place your boxwoods? Tips for which plants to use to last through the heat and how often to water them. Which flowers should be deadheaded? Is there a difference between deadheading and pruning? Why it’s important to figure out what Zone you live in to determine your maintenance times. When is it best to plant perennials? Tips and common mistakes for container gardens. Tips for indoor plants & containers. Where can you find good moss? Which plants and flowers are good for Snip and Clip gardens? Which plants are good for a shade garden? How to have your garden “cocktail ready”! What to plant to keep bugs and mosquitos away. What are the best resources for gardening tips? A series of listener garden questions like which Magnolia tree to plant, when to plant wisteria and jasmine, and how to grow plants on a house. Who is Carmen’s favorite landscape architect? Why you need to create layers, anchors, and leave breathing room in front of the house. How can you disguise a compost bin? Tips for landscaping with high-energy dogs. Tips for lawns that get shade in the morning but blasted with sun in the afternoon. All about the rules for roots. Pine straw or mulch? Why coming up with a landscape plan is so important. Mentioned in This Episode: Watch Carmen's Outdoor Decorating series with Ballard Designs Faux Boxwood Planter Filler Canopy Self Watering Planter Carmen Johnston Gardens Carmen Johnston Gardens on Instagram Carmen Johnston Gardens on TikTok Bespoke Garden Plans Ballard Designs on YouTube Find Your Extension Service Agent Fafard Soil Ben Page Landscape
Apr 26, 2022
Ep. 249: A Sustainable Approach to Design with Laurence Carr
Today we are discussing the very important and fast-growing topic of sustainability in design with expert, Laurence Carr. Laurence is the creative director and CEO of her award-winning New York-based design studio Laurence Carr Inc. Her signature style blends well-being practices with contemporary design and smart technology. She shares with us her passion for educating the design community on its impact on the environment, how our well-being is inextricably intertwined with our surroundings and materials, and where we can focus our efforts to design with sustainability in mind. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: When did Laurence first combine her design, wellness, and environmental work? What does it mean to design a healthy interior? Biophilic design and how Laurence uses it. What is “forest bathing” (Shinrin-yoku in Japanese) and how does it relate to design? In the practice of engaging every sense in design, how can you incorporate scent? What it means to buy sustainable items. Materials and fabrics that are more sustainable. Are solar panels on your home worth it and what needs to be considered in the installation? The best way to upcycle your home goods. How does smart technology tie into sustainable design? The #1 wellness item in Laurence’s home that has made the biggest difference. Decorating Dilemma: Hi Kimberly, My first inclination would be to mount the TV on the orange painted wall so it’s not a focal point, is easy to watch, and is out of reach for young kids. To distract from the bulkhead I would find a way to incorporate it into the design of the living room. You can paint it the same color as the ceiling, use recessed LED lighting to highlight parts of the mantle, or you can decorate it to make it look like a wood beam. Or even replace it with an actual wood beam! No matter what you need to paint that current wood trim so it blends instead of sticks. For the best flow, I would have a sofa that faces the fireplace with armchairs on either side instead of a sectional. Your final question about hidden storage for kids' books and toys, I would suggest putting a wall system in that very long wall where the fireplace is. You can make the height go up to the height of the mantle and you can play around with doors, movable shelves, etc. The key is making it easy to reach while also reducing clutter. You want efficiency but also for it to be multi-purpose for longevity purposes; you want to be able to use it for built-ins after the kids outgrow this phase. Don’t forget to of course use GREENGUARD gold-certified materials! Mentioned in This Episode: Laurence Carr Inc Laurence Carr Inc on Instagram Laurence Carr Inc on Pinterest Chez Laurence Ballard Designs Performance Fabrics by Sunbrella Wren Dining Table The LBC Red List Sustainable Furnishings Council What does GREENGUARD Certified mean?
Apr 19, 2022
Ep. 248: Creating Outdoor Spaces with Brantley Snipes
Spring is here and that means many of us are doing outdoor decorating. Our guest today, Brantley Snipes, is a Mississippi-based landscape architect as well as the owner, lead designer, and project manager for Brantley Snipes Landscape Design. When she’s not working with clients, she works on preservation projects for the nonprofit Main Street Greenwood, Inc. where she serves as Executive Director. Among many accolades, Brantley was named to the Greenwood Commonwealth’s Top 30 under 40. We talk all about the importance of landscape design, creating outdoor rooms, what to know before you DIY, how to embrace pine straw, and address many of your landscape questions. What You’ll Hear in This Episode: Why time is such a crucial element in landscape design. The importance of using native plants as part of a landscape design and avoiding invasive plants. Where do you find native plants? What should the first step of beginning landscape design be? How can you design a low-maintenance cutting garden? How to have a balance of seasonal blooms, evergreen, and deciduous plants. Does your landscape style need to match your house style? How to balance soft curves and sharp angles with landscape design. When is the best time to plant and the best time to move/replant? Do plants need to be pruned before they are moved? What are Brantley’s thoughts on raised beds? Why would someone use a raised bed instead of just planting in the ground? What are Brantley’s preliminary maintenance tips to know about before planting? Which mulch does Brantley prefer? How to protect plants from invasive species in your yard. When to DIY and when to hire professionals for design and/or maintenance. Good news. A holistic approach to landscaping means no more bagging leaves! Why a mature landscape can mean less maintenance. Brantley’s final thoughts and why you should never plant before Easter. Mentioned in This Episode: Brantley Snipes Landscape & Design Brantley Snipes Landscape & Design on Instagram Brantley Snipes Landscape & Design on Facebook Osmanthus Market
Apr 12, 2022
Ep. 247: Product Design 101
We’re doing something a little different and very exciting on the show today! Zoe, Hillary, and Taryn are here from the product design team. They give us the inside scoop and their different perspectives all around the in-house product design process here at Ballard Designs. When we did our listener survey a little while back, so many of you said you wanted to know more about the product. Well, we heard you and today we answer all of those questions and more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How far in advance does the planning for product design happen? Where does the initial concept for product design come from? How much input do different Ballard Designs employees or customers have on product design? Why a problem or challenge can lead to the best product design. What tools do we use to design products? What are our favorite recent projects? The Hutton Office Collection and exciting updates that are coming. How we are improving and updating our Original Home Office (OHO) line. Have there ever been times when the sample from a design comes in terribly wrong? How small design changes can actually make a BIG impact. How does having only US-based upholstery vendors affect design? How many new products Ballard launches each year. What are some upcoming materials and trends the team is excited about? Mentioned in This Episode: Ballard Designs Hutton Office Collection Original Home Office Lucille Chandelier Allister Upholstered Chairs Abbeville Collection Request a Catalog
Apr 05, 2022
Ep. 246: How to Live in Color with Sophie Robinson
We are beyond excited to have UK-based stylist and interior designer Sophie Robinson on the show! Sophie has over 20 years of experience working across TV and magazines. She hosts her own show, Dream Homemakeovers with Sophie Robinson, where she transforms homes with her keen eye for paint, patterns, and furnishings. Sophie also judged the best emerging design talent on BBC Two’s The Great Interior Design Challenge. Throughout her blog, online courses, and TV shows you’ll find that Sophie’s secret sauce is her use of color (or “colour” if you’re in the UK). She’s on a mission to liberate us all from the beige and boring! Sophie’s personality is as colorful as her work, and we loved talking to her about her process and the psychology behind it. We’ll also dive deep into her tips and tricks for how to LIVE IN COLOR! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Sophie knew at a young age she wanted to be a designer and how she grew to love color. When and where did Sophie officially begin her career? Sophie dives into the psychology and importance of color. How can you make color choices feel cohesive? How our emotional connections to seasons can play into our color choices. Are we allowed to have more than one “season” in our home design? How do you find the values and undertones of colors? Sophie describes how to rate colors as “soft” and “hard.” Why Sophie recommends evaluating your wardrobe and environment to discover your color palette. What is the best way to gather and arrange a mood board? Why it’s important to have physical swatches even with the ease of digital services. What is the biggest color mistake Sophie has ever made? How does Sophie describe the very popular minimalist style? Sophie helps Taryn pick some colors for her dining room in The Schwartz House. Decorating Dilemma: Hi Stacey, You have great proportions and a generously sized living room, and the layout is not complicated so that’s great! The big windows are lovely, and I can see the treetops and lots of gorgeous natural light. I don’t think this home is lacking, personally. You’ve got good bones! We might have some cultural differences on this, but I don’t think you need to add any moldings. Here in the UK, we are into honoring the integrity of the architecture, and when I hear the word “moldings” it’s quite different than what you may think in terms of just adding texture to the walls. That said, my rule of thumb is never to put period moldings into a home that is older than your house. So for instance in your 1970s house, I wouldn’t put Victorian, Georgian, etc. In terms of window treatments, you want to keep this light and openness, so I would stick to ones that are minimal. I think Roman shades would look great or you could have curtains, but just keep them very tailored. I am afraid I can’t tell you what color to paint your walls! After listening to this podcast you know you have some work to do in terms of figuring out your color choices. You can mix patterns and plains as long as there is a common thread throughout. In open-plan spaces like this, people tend to stay neutral throughout as to not overwhelm, but I think you can do really cool things with paint. I would keep the ceiling one color throughout; it doesn’t have to stay white but I would keep it light. I think using the 90-degree turn of the walls is a perfect natural breakpoint to change colors; you don’t need an architrave or molding to do it. It all depends on what tonal family you choose in order to choose actual colors. You could also use cabinet doors as an opportunity to paint. Please let us know which color palette you choose, Stacey. Send pictures! Mentioned in This Episode: Sophie Robinson Sophie Robinson on Instagram The Great Indoors Podcast The Great Interior Design Challenge The Beginner’s Guide to Colour Psychology, by Angela Wright Designers Guild
Mar 29, 2022
Ep. 245: Modern Approaches to Classical Architecture with Jeffrey Dungan
Award-winning architect and author Jeffrey Dungan joins us on the show today to talk all about bringing joy to home design. He founded his firm, Jeffrey Dungan Architects, with a focus on creating private residences with lasting beauty. He’s known for his clean and modern approach to classical architecture. His accolades include numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects, Veranda, and ADAC’s 2017 Southeastern Architect of the Year, being named a Shutze fellow by the Institute of Classical Architecture, and a prestigious Palladio Award. His work has been featured in The Wallstreet Journal, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, House Beautiful, and many others. His highly regarded book, The Nature of Home, is available now and he’s also working on a second book. We talk all about Jeffrey’s creative process, his playfulness and childlike approach to design, why he thinks a house should “wink” at you, an in-depth look at natural light, and much more. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Jeffrey’s journey to architecture began on his family farm in rural Alabama. Why Jeffrey likes to create ethereal homes by focusing on natural light and materials. Using visual interest to create an inviting, intuitive flow in a home. Jeffrey likes to be playful and have “zingers” in a home design; what is his favorite zinger? How Jeffrey accomplishes his ultimate goal in his work: to bring joy. The trick to bringing in the right amount of natural light and materials. How geography and topography play a big part in architectural design. How Jeffrey’s personal home build with his wife is coming along. When does Jeffrey recommend bringing in a team of professionals in the home-building process? Decorating Dilemma Hi McKinley, Some of the best interior decorators never went to interior design school, so you don’t have to necessarily go to a specialty program. That said, it’s not a bad idea either! Anecdotally, I went to architectural school with Ray Booth who now spends most of his time doing interior design, but he had a strong foundation from his education. If you have interior design firms in mind, I would say go ahead and reach out to them. You could certainly see if they have an internship or summer program so you can get your feet wet and decide if it’s really what you want to do. Family ties can always be helpful, but there is SO much work out there right now that I don’t think you’ll have trouble finding a place that would be happy to bring you on. Never underestimate the power of a handwritten note! My best advice would be to follow your heart. If you’re at architectural school and you still feel interior design pulling at you, I would explore it. Even if you spend some time doing it and decide it’s not for you, it's better to know now than always wonder. It’s a true gift to be able to do something you naturally love and are passionate about. Good luck! Mentioned in This Episode: Jeffrey Dungan Architects Jeffrey Dungan on Instagram The Nature of Home
Mar 22, 2022
Ep. 244: Furniture Buying Tips
Today is all about, you guessed it, furniture shopping! We have scoured your questions, consulted with our SVP of Merchandising and Design Skye Kirby Westcott, and used our collective knowledge and personal experiences to bring you today’s episode! We're sharing our best tips on what to know before you buy furniture, how to not regret your purchases, what to splurge on, and so much more. Plus, we bring back the “highly divisive” Trials & Triumphs! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs with welcoming a new baby, redesigning a home office with our Hutton Collection, organizing and storage, a housewarming party, house building updates, doorknob dilemmas, tile adventures, and more. The piece we got the most questions about – all about choosing a sofa! Breaking down the differences in fabric and why you should splurge. Why you should consider additional seating. How to navigate long lead times. Why you need to measure, measure, MEASURE! How to evaluate your family’s needs when choosing a dining room table and chairs. Why you should always talk to the store and showroom sales associates. How to select furniture that makes a space feel collected but not like a showroom. Do all of the woods in a room need to match? What items to splurge on. How to set up a budget and develop a plan. How to stay focused for a room design with an inspiration piece. A tip to “sample” a rug before purchasing a large one. What to do when you love a piece but don’t have room for it. How to know if a piece will look and fit right in your home before purchasing. How to take your color palette everywhere with you. What furniture regrets we have. What our favorite furniture pieces are. What we know now about furniture after working for Ballard Designs. Mentioned in This Episode: Hutton Collection Lemonde Dining Table Ep. 159: How to Pick the Perfect Chair Meet Skye Ep. 138: Skye Kirby Westcott Ep. 212: Light & Livable with Skye Kirby Westcott
Mar 15, 2022
Ep. 243: How to Choose Fabrics with Meredith Ellis
Today we welcome Dallas-based interior designer Meredith Ellis to the show. Meredith has over two decades of experience in the industry and specializes in creating soulful, layered homes that are sophisticated yet livable. Her career began while she worked under the legendary Bunny Williams in NYC before moving west to hone her skills with internationally renowned designer Michael Smith. Meredith is also the founder of JAMES showroom featuring fabric, wallpaper, furniture, lighting, and carpets for Texas and the South. Her work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living, and The LA Times. We dive into Meredith’s “seamless” use of fabrics with patterns, colors, and textures and tips and tricks for how (and where) to use them! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How did Meredith start a career in design? What tips & tricks did Meredith learn from working for legendary designers? Where should we begin with fabrics? What are the best fabrics for tufting? What patterns does Meredith gravitate to for sofas, drapes, and wallpapers, respectively? All about how to use fabric for lampshades. Does Meredith have tips for making bold vs. subtle decisions with patterns? How Meredith was able to use fabric in a modern way for the Kips Bay Room. When does Meredith like to use a mural wallpaper? How to bring fabric with textures and patterns into bedding. What’s the best way to familiarize yourself with fabrics before choosing? Where does Meredith draw inspiration and influence? What antique malls and dealers does Meredith love? Decorating Dilemma: Hi Kristen, Your house has such classic and beautiful bones. I think the biggest bang for your buck is going to be painting and adding some color. I would draw color from the living room maybe from the Oriental rug; I would probably use sage or gray blues. Drawing shades from nature is a great way to get comfortable adding color. A real show stopper is just painting your walls, trim, and window casings. If you are just going to paint the dining room, I would do maybe a soft gray-blue and then your millwork a little darker to give some depth. On the ceiling, I would lighten up that color by half. If you need storage I would paint that breakfront a pretty high gloss color; either a contrast like black or dark dark green. You could also do wallpaper in the back of the cabinets and display the china there. In terms of the drapery, I don’t think you have to do the same fabric in both of the rooms. You can do one as a pattern (in the dining room) and maybe one a little more tame (in the living room). Just have them relate on some level, but they definitely don’t have to be the same. One of the other things you could do is use some bold art as a great statement piece; maybe something with some color. Since you’re on a budget you could try places like Facebook Marketplace, antique malls, Chairish, or 1st Dibs. On the rug, it depends on how bold you go with art, but it definitely needs to be a low pile so you can move chairs easily in and out. You could do sisal but I would not do another Oriental since that's in your living room. Maybe a pretty stripe, diamond, or another geometric pattern. When you get to the point that your budget allows it, I would do some pretty upholstered chairs for the dining room–something that’s really durable especially if you have kids. Think performance fabric or pattern. Otherwise, just paint the window frames. I also love painting doors a contrast color, so if you want you can paint the french doors either a fun color or go darker than whatever you choose for the millwork. But I really think we gotta get some green in there. A little paint can really make such an impact! This house has such great bones…good luck and please send us some pics! Mentioned in This Episode: Meredith Ellis Design Meredith Ellis on Instagram JAMES JAMES on Instagram Kips Bay Room
Mar 08, 2022
Ep. 242: Renovation Tips with Rasheeda Gray
Our guest today is the inspiring and highly knowledgeable interior designer Rasheeda Gray. Her Philadelphia-based firm, Gray Space Interior Design, specializes in residential and boutique commercial projects. Her work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Architectural Digest, ELLE Décor, HGTV, and more. In 2021 Rasheeda was named one of House Beautiful’s Next Wave Designers. This episode is all about renovating! Rasheeda gives us tips and tricks for the entire renovation process, insight into her personal and professional experience answers all of your renovation questions and more. She gives us an in-depth look at why planning is so important as well as how to stay focused and on budget! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What kind of questions should you ask yourself before a home renovation project? Rasheeda walks us through the budget and pricing process. How often do clients veer off course during renovations? Is it better to renovate project-by-project or all at once? When to hire a professional vs. when it’s okay to DIY. How supply chain issues are affecting renovation projects and what delays to expect. The importance of taking a holistic approach to renovation and design planning. How to keep a focus and theme during the entire process. How much should you worry about resale value when renovating? What colors are trending in 2022 and where can you use them? If you’re on a tight budget, what one room would Rasheeda suggest focusing on? The importance of getting measurements and creating a floorplan. Decorating Dilemma: Hi Tracy, This is definitely a complex design dilemma! Keeping in mind that you want the space to be comfy and inviting, let’s start there. Since there are no defined walls I would suggest you float the furniture. I would recommend getting an area rug that’s big enough to contain all the furniture and ground the space. I would lean towards putting the sectional on the window wall. Then I would have 2 chairs and maybe a small ottoman flanking the sofa to create conversational areas. The ping pong table is a really difficult addition to this space! But you could put it to the far right side of the room. If possible, I would look for a table where you can put a cover or nicer fabric over it that makes it look less “ping pong-y!” To save space I would put some ottomans for seating in this zone that can slide under the table. Regarding window treatments, I wouldn’t cover the windows since you love that natural light. Think of window treatments like eyebrows in that they frame and complete the look. It will give the room a sense of cohesiveness, as well. On those 2 thin windows on either side of the main window, I would hang the curtain rods the same height and use one small panel on each. If you’re worried about baseboard heaters you could use shades, but I don’t think it’s a problem. I prefer floor-length curtains for this space and you could always use tiebacks when you use the heaters. The chandelier is a bit big and formal for the space so if you’re looking to change it, I would personally get rid of it. If you have a choice I would go with recessed lights throughout the space with a few accent lamps, as well. For paint, I always say pick it last. You can certainly go with white, but to make the space feel really cozy I would go with a medium neutral color like a taupe or gray to warm it up. One of my favorites is Repose Gray. Then bring color in with all of your furniture, artwork, accessories, etc. We’re so glad you enjoy the show, Tracy! Please send us the after photos! Mentioned in This Episode: Gray Space Interior Design Gray Space Interior Design on Instagram Gray Space Interior Design on Facebook Gray Space Interior Design on YouTube Gray Space Interior Design on Pinterest House Beautiful Next Wave Designers
Mar 01, 2022
Ep. 241: Vivian & John Bencich of Square Feet Studio
Today we welcome husband and wife team, John & Vivian Bencich. They are the founders of Square Feet Studio; an award-winning architect, planning, and design firm based in Atlanta. With Vivian’s background as an interior designer and John’s as an architect, they and their team specialize in smart, simple, and sustainable designs meant to last a long time. They have created beautiful and warm spaces throughout Atlanta including many popular restaurants like the iconic Kimball House. Listen in as they share tips on how to recreate our favorite restaurant ambiance in the home, the importance of numbers in planning, how to use a holistic approach to design, and more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How did Vivian and John get their starts? How John and Vivian take a holistic approach to design. A glimpse into how they create such a warm, intimate, and hospitable space like in the Kimball House. What tips & tricks do they have for narrowing down a style? What small yet important adjustments do professionals bring into design plans? What are their thoughts on impulse buys within the design plan? How a restaurant mood can translate to residential design and how to create it. How we can design a home while thinking about how we move through our space. How to create a mood in an outdoor room or space. Tips & tricks for choosing the right paint color (and not wasting time or money). Decorating Dilemma: Hi Bev, We like the way the color looks! But if you want to change it, I would not recommend a darker gray and would instead make it very warm. From Benjamin Moore, I would suggest using either Calm or Lacey Pearl to go with the blue furnishings. To select the right paint color in the future I would suggest getting sample pods and painting a 3’ x 3’ square on the wall. To test how it looks in different lights you could either paint one square on every wall or use a loose piece of drywall and move it around. Always test the actual paint sample vs. pictures or swatches! Another tip we have, even though you didn’t ask, is to pull the seating apart a bit to air out the space. Great job with the space, Bev!    Mentioned in This Episode: Square Feet Studio Square Feet Studio on Instagram
Feb 22, 2022
Ep. 240: designer Gail Davis
Interior designer Gail Davis joins us today and gives us a glimpse into her unique journey and style. For 15 years, Gail has transformed her clients’ houses into homes using her eye for colors, textiles, and traditional styles. After leaving a career in fashion, Gail studied at the New York School of Interior Design and interned for two New York design powerhouses; Bunny Williams and David Kleinberg. Her work has been featured in House Beautiful, AD PRO, Domino, as well as many more publications. She also hosts her own podcast Design Perspectives. We discuss how Gail’s background in fashion heavily influences her design, how she creates spaces that are elegant but livable, as well as her love of layering, fabrics…and dogs! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How did Gail switch careers to become an interior designer? Why is the job of a designer much more logistical than creative? How supply chain and delayed lead times due to COVID are impacting designers. What is the biggest change in design Gail has seen this year? How does Gail’s process begin? How does Gail define “the wow factor”? How Gail’s fashion background impacts her design process. How does Gail choose her color palette for a room? Why Gail wants a space to be enjoyable and livable; especially for people with dogs! How did Gail add femininity to the traditionally masculine home office? Mentioned in This Episode: Gail Davis Designs Gail Davis Designs on Instagram Design Perspectives The Kaleidoscope Project Her Office
Feb 15, 2022
Ep. 239: designer & TV host Jasmine Roth
Ep. 239: Designer Jasmine Roth We are so excited to welcome Jasmine Roth to the show. Jasmine is a designer, builder, and host of HGTV’s hit shows Hidden Potential and Help! I Wrecked My House. Her new book, House Story, gives an inside look behind the scenes of home renovation with tips, tricks, and step-by-step instructions. Not only does she have an incredible knack for making homes personal, functional, and beautiful, but Jasmine has walked through the fire of her own home renovations. Jasmine shares some of her many tips with us and walks us through how to simplify and demystify the home renovation process. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How did Jasmine get started in renovations? How does Jasmine’s book House Story help people find their specific design style? What important lifestyle questions like location and entertaining does Jasmine ask her clients? What are Jasmine’s tips on developing the right floor plan? Why can something simple like moving furniture completely change a room? How to choose flooring and grout… and make it simple! What should we consider when doing a kitchen renovation and how can we use Jasmine’s checklist? What is a “self splash” in a kitchen? How does Jasmine recommend choosing kitchen counters and cabinets? What are Jasmine’s bathroom design and renovation tips? How to bring happy memories and personality into your home design. What gems are in the back of Jasmine’s book? Mentioned in This Episode: Jasmine’s Book House Story Jasmine Roth Jasmine Roth on Instagram Built Custom Homes on Instagram Hidden Potential Help! I Wrecked My House
Feb 08, 2022
Ep. 238: design firm Huff-Dewberry Inc.
Today we welcome Atlanta-based designers Will Huff and Heather Dewberry. They are the dynamic duo behind the boutique, residential interior design firm Huff-Dewberry, Inc. Their signature style brings together timeless beauty and modern comfort while reflecting the personality of their clients in their design. They have been featured in House Beautiful, Southern Home, and many more publications, including their recent cover feature in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. Heather and Will talk about what they’ve learned in their 20-year work partnership, how they use antiques in a fresh and modern way, their favorite colors and how to use them, and so much more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How did Will and Heather each get started in design? And how did they team up? What are the biggest strengths and weaknesses they see in each other? How are Heather and Will able to use antiques in a modern way for their projects? Wait. Is chocolate brown making a comeback?! What are Heather and Will’s g0-to colors and how do they use them? Will’s tips and tricks for finding the best rug. Heather and Will break down the good trends vs. the bad trends in design right now. How to choose wallpaper that will last? How to lead the eye outside through doors and windows. Decorating Dilemma Hi Casey, We tend to gravitate towards 28” side tables with a lamp on them. With the shape of your sofa, you could try a drinks table with a floor lamp so it’s not a huge side table. This would give the functionality of having somewhere to put your drinks without taking focus from the sofa arm. You could even just have a coffee table and floor lamps if you want to keep it simple. For the window treatments, we would tuck the panels into the window and go all the way from the crown molding to the floor with the drapery. Maybe to keep it light and bright try a simple white or use a trim or print in the blue-green from the sofa. Regarding the mantlepiece, you can paint the brick the same white as the bookcases and mantle so it looks more like one white wall with interest and texture. For the backs of the bookcases, you could paint them one shade lighter than the blue-green sofa or even a slightly textured white and blue-green wallpaper. You can also fill the bookcases with a collection of things so the speakers aren’t the focal point and become part of the layout. One big rug would definitely help to soften this area and tie it all together. You could put a bench in front of the fireplace or another small “perching” spot for some extra seating. Some pillows and throws would also add some warmth and personality, as well! This is a really welcoming spot and we can’t wait to see what you do with it. Mentioned in This Episode: Huff-Dewberry, Inc Heather Dewberry on Instagram Will Huff on Instagram
Feb 01, 2022
Ep. 237: organization expert Sabrina Gardner
We are so excited to welcome organization expert Sabrina Gardner to the show. She’s the founder of Salt by Sabrina; a company that specializes in custom-built acrylic drawers and organizers. Her innovative designs are made to simplify yet beautify your space. Sabrina gives us tips & tricks to get organized with ideas that are simple, attainable, and imperative to good design. We discuss why organization not only brings peace of mind but allows more time to do the things that we love. Her ideas are so approachable, you can get started today in just 5 minutes! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How did Sabrina get started in the organization space? Why is organization key to good design? How can we get started getting organized? Sabrina breaks down getting organized room by room including the mudroom, pantry, kitchen, bathroom, home office & workspace. Why does Sabrina love a good whiteboard? How to keep your bedroom an organized sanctuary. How to maintain the basement and garage. How to get organized in 5-minute increments. Where are the best places to donate items? Sabrina’s philanthropic commitment to America’s Kids Belong. Tips for limiting surplus and excess. Mentioned in This Episode: Salt by Sabrina America’s Kids Belong Dear Alice Podcast
Jan 25, 2022
Ep. 236: designer Chauncey Boothby
In today’s episode, we are pleased to welcome Connecticut-based designer Chauncey Boothby of Chauncey Boothby Interiors. Chauncey has cultivated an aesthetic that’s classic yet contemporary. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including House Beautiful, Domino, New England Home Magazine, and The Wallstreet Journal. In 2018 she was named a House Beautiful Next Wave Designer. We talk about how Chauncey creates clean yet cheerful spaces, her love for antiques and vintage pieces, how to give rooms layers, her use of fabric for inspiration, and much more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What is Chauncey’s background and how did she find a career in design? How Chauncey came to love antiques and vintage pieces. Why Chauncey doesn’t want a room to look like a catalog. How to get creative with old or existing pieces. What does Chauncey take into account when designing children’s rooms? How does Chauncey get all the color details to work together in a space? How does Chauncey like to customize Roman shades and other drapery for everyday use? Why Chauncey likes to focus on function and durability in design; especially for kid’s rooms. What is Chauncey’s use of fabric for inspiration and grounding for a room? How does Chauncey create custom paint colors? What does Chauncey do to decorate for the holidays? Chauncey’s tips & tricks for entertaining and hosting guests. Decorating Dilemma Hi Sarah, This is a great space with a lot of potential, but I understand your dilemma with the layout. I would definitely replace the curtains. With the radiator at the bigger window, you may not be able to draw them, so that may be a good spot for layering a shade behind it. With the other pair of windows if there is space to put curtains behind I would do that, otherwise, you can do outside mounted Roman shades at the same height as the curtains. In terms of finish, I would do either black or brass; I personally love mixing finishes. I would layer in a lot of classic table lamps and floor lamps for lighting with nothing too contemporary. Then I would replace the ceiling fixture with something a little more contemporary. And yes we would all recommend a fireplace screen! A whitewash to the fireplace brick could be a nice way to brighten it up. I’m not sure what the primary function of this room is, but if there are other places to watch TV I would not recommend it in this space. So I would make the TV more secondary and not mount it over the fireplace. But if this is the only room you have for TV watching then so be it! I don’t often use sectionals but rather a sofa with a pair of chairs or a chaise component. If you do go with a sectional, the performance velvet is a good idea and a tight back will be less maintenance with kids. It all depends on if this is a cozy TV space or an entertaining space. How you organize and divide the furniture will be dictated by the purpose of the space. One way might be to have a pair of sofas flanking the fireplace with the TV on the opposite wall and chairs in other sections. Another way is to use back-to-back sofas to divide the room. With the 2 doors going out to the mudroom, you don’t have to use both doors and you can utilize that space instead of making it a thoroughfare. I think the space between the two windows would be a great place to put a mirror or piece of art with a chest below, and I wouldn’t put a bookcase there. If you really want a bookcase I would put it in a corner of the room especially if toys and such will be in there. For rugs, again, it will depend on how this will be laid out. Smaller or even round rugs will be less committal and better for smaller seating areas. Good luck and send us photos! Mentioned in This Episode: Chauncey Boothby Interiors Chauncey Boothby on Instagram Christie’s
Jan 18, 2022
Ep. 235: designer Jeremy D. Clark
Our guest today is interior designer Jeremy Clark based out of Birmingham and Nashville. He is the founder of Jeremy D. Clark Studio; a full-service design studio specializing in luxury residential, commercial, and hospitality projects from coast to coast. His timeless style has been featured in Veranda, Southern Living, One Kings Lane, and a variety of lifestyle blogs and publications. We talk about his layered approach to colors and patterns, his love of painted floors, his tips for tablescapes, and more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How did Jeremy get started in design? Which designers have influenced Jeremy? How does Jeremy incorporate so many layers and colors while staying neutral? More about Jeremy’s Birmingham Showhouse project. When is a good time for a canopy bed? Jeremy walks us through the Nashville Condo project. Find ideas on Jeremy’s Shop section of his website. Jeremy’s tablescapes work in Veranda and his tips for decorating. What colors does Jeremy gravitate to? All about Jeremy’s use of trim, textures, and patterns. Why Jeremy loves painted floors and how to use them right. Decorating Dilemma  Hi Liza, First of all, we are so sorry for your loss. We are going to help make this space awesome for you. You have great pieces and your space is so charming. You said the floors were beat up, but I think they fit the 1920s bungalow vibe. In terms of art, I think we should take away the petal motif above the already decorative mantle and add something simple instead. Let’s keep that circular mirror there and add the art above the sideboard. While the Zoe Table is wonderful, for your specific space I would recommend a sleek, nesting coffee table that can be multi-functional. I love mismatching chairs, personally, so I would scour Facebook Marketplace for something that’s patterned but still neutral so it doesn’t compete with what you have. You already have lots of warm tones and wood, but to make this space even cozier I would have sofa pillows with more contrast. If you wanted to add some woven wooden shades on the windows next to the fireplace that could be really cozy. A buffet lamp just when you walk in could also add a nice, warm glow. I would also add another piece of art above the art over the sideboard to draw the eye up. Lastly, if you’re in a good space to do this, some personal pictures could also be a nice way to showcase your memories. You have already done such an amazing job…and on a budget! This space looks luxurious! Mentioned in This Episode: Jeremy D. Clark Studio Jeremy Clark on Instagram Ashley Whittaker Jeffrey Bilhuber Chris Pearson Floors
Jan 11, 2022
Ep. 234: designer Travis London
Today’s guest is fabulous celebrity chef turned interior designer Travis London of Studio London Co. Travis has a unique style that fuses American design sensibilities with European glamor. His distinctive point of view on color and interiors has been recognized by media outlets including Architectural Digest, Domino, and more. This colorful episode is chock-full of quotes and wisdom from Travis about his love of dogs, how his different locales have influenced his design, why he believes in different glassware for every occasion, why he and his home always smell so good, and more. Travis is lifestyle! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Travis likes to mix colors. Travis’s background from high school dropout to celebrity chef to interior designer and beyond! How has living in Europe influenced Travis’s style? Tips for how to make a room look BIG. How has Miami influenced his color choices? How does Travis recommend taking risks in design? What are a few of Travis’s favorite kitchen designing tips? Why is Travis passionate about glassware? Travis designed the dining room in AD's The Iconic Home. How often does Travis redo a room or house? Designing with dogs in mind. How does Travis eat healthy with a busy lifestyle? What is Travis’s next step for his brand? Does Travis have any pet peeves in dealing with clients? Decorating Dilemma  Hi Stacy, First of all, I’m going to say no to the seagrass. If it’s already a small space you’ll need a wood or tile floor and you can put a rug over that if you’d like. In terms of painting, paint it all the same color floor-to-ceiling except the border trim that’s on the inset tray that you talked about; that will accentuate it. When you choose the colors, think about how you want your guests to feel. Where the ceiling fan is, you can do a wide flush mount light or even better a flush mount chandelier like one from Kelly Wearstler. I would do wood blinds for window coverings. They are more decorative and allow for more light. They come in a wide range of colors as well. The space is actually very nice and you would never know it was a garage! I would make this feel like a hotel suite. So I would also add two chairs in front of the bed, a small thin dresser on the wall and also a TV there, on the wall where you have that glass-like dresser I would add a mirror, and then, of course, two nightstands. It could be so cozy in here! Travis is coming over!!! Mentioned in This Episode: Studio London Co. Studio London Co on Instagram Travis London on Instagram AD's The Iconic Home Virtual Tour
Jan 04, 2022
Ep. 233: Decorating a nursery with Naomi Coe
Our guest today is Southern California-based interior designer Naomi Coe. Naomi’s award-winning firm, Little Crown Interiors, specializes in designing nurseries and children’s rooms. Her book, Your Perfect Nursery, is a step-by-step approach to creating your dream nursery from both a practical and aesthetical approach. Naomi has been featured on Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight, as well as in publications like People, The Wallstreet Journal, and countless more. Naomi talks about the importance of walking into a nursery and feeling good, practical placements, safety tips, modern trends, and more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs on windows & doors, making decisions, furnace maintenance, making room for the Christmas Tree, AirBnB odors, shower curtains, tubs, and more! How did Naomi get started in nursery and kids’ room design? Naomi’s book, Your Perfect Nursery, was born from a challenge to find one resource. How does Naomi recommend starting the nursery design process? Naomi gives us her top tips for crib, window treatment, and earthquake safety. How to choose the right crib. Naomi’s tips on choosing the right glider or rocker. What should go on or in reach of the changing table? Tips and tricks for arranging and storing kids' clothing. How to design a room that grows with a child. Why Naomi’s book is the perfect baby shower gift or resource for any new parent. Decorating Dilemma  Hi (again) Jamie, First of all, I would say paint the actual walls with the paint samples. It’ll look very different on the wall than it would on a board; especially white paint. I’m personally a big fan of Chantilly Lace, but it’s going to look different in every room and every home. I very much love the painted trim look right now; white walls with slightly darker doors and trim. I think Seapearl or Putty color could be pretty. Good luck with the new build! You’re already ahead of Taryn in the process! Mentioned in This Episode: Little Crown Interiors Little Crown Interiors on Instagram Your Perfect Nursery The Schwartz House
Dec 28, 2021
Ep. 232: Building A House Series: The Final Stages
This is the fourth and final episode of our Building a House series. If you haven’t already, be sure to listen to the first three episodes in the series. We are so grateful to put the “finishing touches” on the series with our guest host and interior designer Maggie Griffin. Maggie and her staff regularly help clients build and design primary residences and vacation homes from the ground up. She walks us through how to get started, realistic expectations, what parts of the home to invest in, and so many more of the questions you all have asked throughout the years! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How to get the process started. What goes on “the Google doc”? The timeline and order for style selections. A typical item that gets used as a focal piece to build around. Where is the best place to invest money? The kitchen is often the heart of the home; what’s important to consider? Why does Maggie recommend going to a showroom? Other rooms to focus on and invest in. What are pantry trends today? What are mud rooms looking like today? Where are some nice places to tuck in a home office or workspace? How to transition from the contracting phase to the installation phase. What does the installation process with an interior design team entail; and what’s the full turnkey option? How design on a primary residence differs from a vacation home. What are some common pitfalls seen on a project? Who do you call if something goes wrong within a year of construction? Final thoughts on what the design process and finishing touches look like. Is this is Maggie’s final home or will she build another from the ground up? Mentioned in This Episode: Maggie Griffin Design Maggie Griffin at Home Maggie Griffin Design on Instagram Maggie Griffin Design on Pinterest
Dec 21, 2021
Ep. 231: Building a House Series: Getting it Built
We are back for the third episode of our Building a House series! If you haven’t already, be sure to listen to the first two episodes in the series. Today we welcome to the show contractor Aaron Burgess of Freedom Construction. Aaron focuses primarily on high-end, custom homes in the resort town of Lake Oconee. Also with us again is interior designer and guest host Maggie Griffin. Aaron and Maggie talk about the collaboration process, navigating permits, the importance of walkthroughs, managing expectations, and so much more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Aaron and Maggie first start working together on a custom home and the importance of having a good team. Where to look and how to hire a contractor. What should be the most important factor in choosing a contractor? How can the appearance and cleanliness of a jobsite be indicative of the quality of contracting work? Who typically handles permits and regulations for a build? What’s the next step after getting a permit for a build? Where are the best places to invest and/or save your dollars from a contracting perspective? How are delays and timing affecting projects? What do walkthroughs entail? Why the framing walkthrough is the most important walkthrough of the project. What are best practices for homeowners communicating and making change requests to contractors? How much will the plan typically change or vary from the start to finish of the project? What are 2 things that both Aaron and Maggie wish their clients knew before beginning a project? Mentioned in This Episode: Aaron Burgess Freedom Construction Maggie Griffin Design Maggie Griffin at Home Maggie Griffin Design on Instagram
Dec 14, 2021
Ep. 230: Building a House Series: Planning & Design
We continue our Building a House series by welcoming architect Kevin Clark to the show. Kevin is a veteran and senior principal at the Atlanta-based firm, Historical Concepts. Also with us again is interior designer and guest host Maggie Griffin. Kevin explains why choosing the right architect can be a lot like a marriage, the different reasons people use an architect, creating a dream home specific to how you live, the importance of collaboration, and so much more invaluable advice. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials and Triumphs on Christmas decorations, custom cabinets, redecorating an AirBnB, skipping out of Thanksgiving cooking, creating a greenhouse, landscaping plans, and more. Kevin walks us through his personal project in his Atlanta home. How to choose the right architect. The importance of walking through your daily routine and lifestyle when creating blueprints. How often do people use architects for a renovation? The different budget considerations and project level options of using an architect. How much does a building sight complicate plans and home customization? How many specialists you need in a new build and how they all collaborate. How long do the design options/versions take? When is it okay to tear down a house vs. maintaining the historical structure? What do Kevin and Maggie wish clients would know about them, and the process, right away before getting started? Mentioned in This Episode: Historical Concepts Historical Concepts on Instagram Kevin Clark on Instagram Episode 66 with Andrew Cogar Episode 183 with Andrew Cogar Maggie Griffin Design Maggie Griffin at Home Maggie Griffin Design on Instagram
Dec 07, 2021
Ep. 229: Building a House Series: Getting Started
We are so excited to finally launch our new series, Building a House, that we’ve been talking about for many years! This is a multi-part series where we’ll welcome some amazing experts to help guide us through the entire process of building a brand new house. Joining us for the series is guest host Maggie Griffin. Maggie is an interior designer with a full-service firm in Georgia with a team of 10 working throughout the Southeast. She also has a retail component, Maggie Griffin at Home, and is working on a product line. Not only has Maggie recently done her own big personal project, but she regularly helps clients build homes from the ground up. Throughout the series, she’ll bring us some of her favorite experts, like an architect and contractor, while Maggie takes us through the interior design process. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Maggie walks us through her own personal project. How to find a building site or property depends on which market you are in. How to come up with a budget and how to finance a build. Who is the first expert professional that people will contact when starting a new build? The importance of keeping function in mind and everyday life in mind when you build. How to prioritize what your needs are in a build. Why Maggie likes to organize ideas on Pinterest. The importance of driving around to find your house style and select the right architect or builder. Other ideas for finding a building plan especially when you’re short on time. So, who are the people you need to call and what is the timeline? Maggie’s final words of wisdom on what people need to do to get started to Build Your Dream House. Mentioned in This Episode: Maggie Griffin Design Maggie Griffin at Home Maggie Griffin Design on Instagram Maggie’s House Tour Episode 25 with Maggie Griffin Bonus Decorating Dilemma Episode with Maggie Griffin Pinterest Southern Living House Plans Brandon Ingram House Plans Spitzmiller Norris House Plans
Nov 30, 2021
Ep. 228: All About Holiday Decorating
The holiday season is finally here! Today we’re talking all about decorating for the holidays with Ballard’s own Skye Westcott and Li Kurczewski. Skye is the SVP of Merchandising, Design, & Sourcing and Li is our Director of Decorative Accessories. Both are veterans in the industry and instrumental in curating Ballard’s holiday style every year. This episode will have you ready to pull out your holiday decorations and begin decking the halls! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs with a special guest, Karen! Li & Skye’s impressive career backgrounds and where they’ve intertwined. Skye believes in starting holiday decorating with tradition. How to layer holiday decorating and evolve the house aesthetic through the seasons. How to evoke emotion and hit all senses with decorating. The debate over real and faux trees… and why Skye and Li are leaning faux! The trends and color schemes for outdoor décor and lighting this season. What patterns are in for this season? What tree topper is everyone using? All about tablescapes for this season. Some holiday entertainment ideas, gift-giving tips, and other traditions. Gift wrapping trends and ideas. What are the holiday movies everyone watches each year? A fun response game on our holiday styles (plus what is a tree collar)?! Fun ideas to bring the whole family into the holiday decorating. Mentioned in This Episode: Ballard’s Holiday Décor Gingerbread Lane Gift Wrap Ep. 212 with Skye Westcott Meet Skye Westcott
Nov 23, 2021
Ep. 227: designer Emily C. Butler
Our guest today Emily C. Butler is a New York City-based interior designer. Her work has been featured in House Beautiful as well as multiple design books such as Elements Of Family Style written by one of our favorite podcast guests, Erin Gates. Emily’s signature style is beautifully grounded in tradition with a modern lightness. She has a particular flair for doing big designs in small spaces by bringing her big “Texas vibes”. We talk about how she does that, her use of color, her love of fabrics, and more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How did Emily get started in design? Emily describes her style and how her use of color stands out in NYC. How Emily manages to fit a lot of style into a small space. What are some tips for setting up a small space? Tips for the “drop zone” for keys, mail, etc. Emily loves to use wallpaper and fabrics in her designs. How Emily uses fun lighting like lamps and sconces in her design. Details of the Upper East Side Apartment designed for a family. What is Emily working on now? How we use vintage finds in design. Decorating Dilemma  Hi Tara, This is definitely an open space and I see some beautiful marble-type floors. The two cabinets you are referring to seem to be competing with one another because one is for the TV and the other is a China cabinet. I would maybe move the media cabinet against the long wall even though it’s in the pathway. There is a lot of circulation to consider in this apartment and this room is a pathway to multiple spaces. I agree the rug is a little small for the space and it’s also contrasting too much with the floor color so I would go with something more neutral. There is definitely room for more seating in the space; maybe even a pair of ergonomic chairs placed together. You could probably get an L-shaped configuration of seating going if you also add a loveseat and move the China cabinet out. Neutrals can be a little tricky and I see multiple whites in the space so adding some textures could help and add to the beachy theme. Something like a seagrass rug could be great. Where the dark chandelier is, I would suggest sticking with the theme of having a nod to the beach and adding texture with natural material. Once you remove the China cabinet it might not feel as formal in there and this would be a good space for something more natural and casual. Good luck, Tara! This is a gorgeous space and please send us the after photos Mentioned in This Episode: Emily C. Butler Emily C. Butler on Instagram Emily’s 325 sq ft Apartment Upper East Side Apartment The Bug Lamp Episode 214 with Erin Gates Episode Bonus Boston with Erin Gates Elements of Style
Nov 16, 2021
Ep. 226: designer Lauren Liess
Our guest today, designer Lauren Liess, has quite an impressive rap sheet. She began writing her blog, Pure Style Home, in 2008 and has since written the two best-selling design books Habitat and Down to Earth. Her new book, Feels Like Home, is hitting shelves this Fall. Her HGTV show, Best House on the Block, follows her and her husband as they design and renovate homes throughout the DC metro area. Her work has been featured in House Beautiful, Country Living, Traditional Home, Architectural Digest, Martha Stewart Living, and many more. We talk about how she manages her incredibly busy life, embracing the imperfect, her new book, lighting toys on fire, and much, much, more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Lauren’s design journey began. More about Lauren’s new book Feels Like Home. How does Lauren manage her very busy life and balance her work and family? What does Lauren do to bring out her calming aesthetic in her projects? Some tips & tricks for finding the “diamond in the rough” of houses. How does Lauren recommend embracing imperfection? What is Lauren’s approach to managing all the “stuff” with kids? Lauren’s gardening tips and favorites. What are some of Lauren’s go-to white paint colors? Some staples in Lauren’s new book. Decorating Dilemma  Hi Hillary, I can identify with this right now! My advice is to arrange things as best as you can and hang up some artwork even though they aren’t quite right; just enough to make it feel like home. My house is a mess right now, so I’m trying to live each day one at a time. I’m bringing in simple things like branches, flowers, candles, and good music and meals. Focus on experiences and bringing the outside! It’s so hard and we get it! It’s definitely a mental exercise in patience when you can’t quite make the space the way you want it, but find the joy where you can. Mentioned in This Episode: Lauren Liess on Instagram Pure Style Home Lauren Liess & Co Best House on the Block Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating Down to Earth: Laid-back Interiors for Modern Living Feels Like Home
Nov 09, 2021
Ep. 225: architect Roger Seifter
We are long overdue for our conversation with the amazing architect Roger Seifter. He’s a partner at the renowned firm Robert A.M Stern Architects (RAMSA) and has designed houses all over the world including in the US, UK, India, and Canada. His work has been featured in Architectural Digest, House & Garden, The New York Times, Lux, and many more. He recently co-authored the book HOUSES with his colleagues featuring projects and the design work from the firm. We talk all about his processes, projects in the book, adapting to different architectural styles, and more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: All about the process of writing HOUSES and the projects in the book. Details about the incredible Las Olas project featured in the book. Roger’s advice about designing or landscaping when you can’t build from scratch. What is Roger’s process in building and designing a house? How much input does a client have in a project? How ornamentation is used in Mediterranean architecture. Why a geographic location often dictates the architectural style of a building. What’s the best way for a person to learn about architectural styles? Is there such a thing as too much in terms of texture, ornament, patterns, etc., and how do you decide when and where to use it? How to work with a boxy house. More about Roger’s personal home in New Jersey he designed with his wife — a fellow architect. Details on the Kiawah project that RAMSA worked on. Decorating Dilemma  Hi Amanda, The easiest answer is DO NOT put a glass top table in the dining room; I would put a nice wood table. There’s enough beautiful tile that we don’t need to see through it, but you could do with some leggy chairs. Regarding the fireplace; it’s beautiful but it’s tiny, so it would be odd to focus the furniture around the fireplace. Your instinct to mount the TV in the built-ins is the way to go and then position the furniture in a way that you can actually sit in it to watch. I would put the sofa across the room with the two chairs opposite it and then some pull-up chairs by the fireplace. In terms of types and colors of furniture, I would keep the upholstery simple and soft in a neutral, lighter color. Then use pillows that pick up the colors from the tile. Just remember not to pick oversized furniture that will overpower the floors. If you decide to go without a rug, you’ll be relying on your furniture and window coverings to balance the sound, so maybe steer towards lush, skirted upholstery and ample, soft curtains. A bonus with skirted chairs is you can have them on swivels to access both the TV and the fireplace! This is an amazing space and we can’t wait to see it finished. These floors are so unique and such a treat to see! Please send us the after photos. Mentioned in This Episode: Roger Seifter RAMSA: Robert A.M. Stern Architects RAMSA Houses RAMSA on Instagram HOUSES on Amazon Las Olas Project Kiawah Project
Nov 02, 2021
Ep. 224: designer Mikel Welch
We are thrilled to welcome the talented and hilarious Mikel Welch this week. Mikel shares his colorful journey with us to becoming an interior designer and TV show host, going from offering free design on Craigslist to now working on The Drew Barrymore show and co-hosting Roku’s Murder House Flip. Mikel talks with us about how set design informed his perspective on home decor, the bold move he made with Steve Harvey that paid off, how he taught himself design, and the importance of knowing what you are working with before you commit to anything in design. Mikel also has great advice for spray painting, finding the right plants, and navigating thrift stores. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Mikel has always been bold and not afraid to jump in and say “yes”. Posting on Craigslist to help people decorate one room led to Mikel meeting a decorator on Dexter, which opened his mind to the wonderful world of set design. From Jerseylicious to The Steve Harvey Show to Design Star, what are some of Mikel’s takeaways from set design and TV? What is it really like working with Drew Barrymore? His rule of thumb — if you can touch it, it needs to be real! How Mikel creates drama when working with a neutral palette. What’s really behind those big barn doors in his NYC apartment. The importance of planning out the scale and laying out images to see if the elements work. Don’t be shy to get in there and really work it through. Ways we can create impact and have fun with spray paint. Why Mikel calls showhomes the gift that keeps giving and his love of Kips Bay. His thrift store rules learned from Emily Henderson. If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no! And always do a second lap. Decorating Dilemma Hi Melissa! Thanks for writing in. Mikel loves your Pinterest board of wonderfulness but wants to narrow it down so we can get down to what will work best. First, start with wallpaper, which should be the backdrop. Mikel would like to see soft white trim, which would make it bright and airy, and really balance things off. For the awkward window, large drapery is one option. Another can be a singular rod with pinch-pleated draped, in a solid color. In terms of furniture, consider spray painting the dresser so it matches the crib and swapping out the hardware for something more modern. Your artwork may work great on a larger wall as your impact pieces, and it will pick up on the wallpaper just across the way. We know you believe the layout is awkward, but make some of these changes and we think you will be pleasantly surprised! Last but not least, Mikel has to say it — the carpet has got to go! If you rip it out in just the nursery, hopefully, there’s something great underneath. You’ve got the bones, now you just have to lay everything down! Mentioned in This Episode: Mikel Welch: Website | Instagram Morehouse College CB2 Furniture Jerseylicious HGTV Design Star The Drew Barrymore Show Emily Henderson
Oct 26, 2021
Ep. 223: architect Peter Pennoyer
We are so thrilled to welcome renowned and veteran architect Peter Pennoyer to the show. Over the last 30 years, he has grown his business, Peter Pennoyer Architects, to a 50-person firm of architects, interior designers, and related professionals with projects completed all over the world. He has co-written seven (!!!) books including most recently the introduction for Rowdy Meadow: House - Land - Art available now. We talk in-depth about the house in the book, the many details involved, and Peter’s approach to this and every project. Also, be sure to take our survey at the end of the episode! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs with a basement turned art studio, communicating with a builder and architect, hosting visitors, falling in love with a hallway, modern sconces, gardening fails, robot vacuums, and maternity leave! Background on the house and property in Peter’s new book Rowdy Meadow: House - Land - Art. Were all of the craftsmen on the house based locally in Cleveland? Peter gives a description of what the Czech Cubism of the house looks like and its origin. How long was the design process? Was it difficult to make the house feel like home while also being museum-quality? More about the incredible tilework of the house. How was it mixing antique pieces with modern pieces? What it was like coordinating with so many people on a project. What it was like working with all the landscaping and incorporating it into the design. What is Peter’s favorite part of the house? Did Peter approach this project the same as his other projects? Creating a 16-sided room! What is Peter’s favorite part of any building process? Why Peter recommends every design professional visits Prague. Decorating Dilemma  Hi Consuela, I think you’re very lucky that your apartment is facing South on a high floor, is full of light, and that the living room has windows on the long side. There are two ways to do this. One is to place an L-shaped couch in the Northeast corner of the room with maybe a club chair facing into the corner. Then place the TV to the left of the window on the other wall. This will give you more space to have a larger desk which could also double as a table to host friends to eat in that room instead of the small breakfast room. With this option, you would have to take that door off the hinges. It’s taking up too much room and I don’t think you’ll ever close that. The other way is to have the TV on the narrow, East end of the room. And then place a sofa and two chairs in a more conventional set up around the fireplace facing the TV. It would also give you plenty of room to put the desk against the West wall. With either option, I think you could hang a fabric panel or identical large-size mirrors on the niches of the fireplace wall. I think the radiator would look better if you take that large box off of it (if you don’t have small children) and you could pay someone to clean it up and paint it. This is a really great NYC apartment with a beautiful view. Good luck and please send us after photos! We want to see if you chose option 1 or 2… or neither! As always, we recommend using our Room Planner. Mentioned in This Episode: Peter Pennoyer Architects Peter Pennoyer on Instagram Rowdy Meadow: House - Land - Art Stray Dog Designs A Year at Clove Brook Farm by Christopher Spitzmiller
Oct 19, 2021
Ep. 222: stylist & author Melissa Penfold
We are joined today by our first Australian guest ever! Melissa Penfold is Australia’s foremost authority on style and design, a bestselling author, columnist, editor, and journalist. She calls her book Living Well by Design the ultimate decorating book. Melissa talks about keeping design simple, functional, and uniquely you. We also discuss a lot of pointers from her book to help you create a style that makes you happy. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What was Melissa’s process and selection for creating her book? Why Melissa doesn’t think design is “hard”. How to play up your home’s strengths. How to differentiate your house especially in a subdivision. What are Melissa’s g0-to design elements? How to shop for quality no matter your budget. Why having a variety of textures is so important. It’s important to use every room in your house; and make them all your happy place! How does design in Australia differ from design in the US? Decorating Dilemma Hi Emily, What would make the biggest difference of all is to open up the entire back as one large door ceiling to floor. I’m not sure if that’s in your budget, but it would make it fabulous! However, if you want to stick with what you’ve got you can correct the window and sliding door by getting rid of the vertical blinds and hanging new curtains from the ceiling. Hang them on the left on a metal rod and use fabric the same color as the walls; it doesn’t have to be expensive but use it in abundance. Go wider than the window and do a proper Roman shade instead of faux. I like the floors and the tulip table, but I would lose the tablecloth and put the chairs around the table in a pair. I would also keep the banquet and the Ikea cabinet. If you want to change the paint just carry it through the whole space. It’s a lovely color, but you could go slightly warmer with less grey and more beige. I would also change the handle on the sliding glass door to something more modern. A very large, rectangular rug in that space would also anchor the whole area. One thing I would do outside is get two large potted trees just outside that door; maybe orange or olive trees. You could even grow something along that fenceline--jasmine smells lovely and grows like wild! Good luck, Emily! You’re 90% there. Please send us photos when you’re done! Mentioned in This Episode: Melissa Penfold Melissa Penfold on Instagram Living Well by Design
Oct 12, 2021
Ep. 221: designer Lilse McKenna
Our guest today is interior designer Lilse McKenna. Before starting her own firm, she worked with designers Markham Roberts and Lindsey Coral Harper and drew inspiration from their styles. She has since had her work featured in House Beautiful, The Wallstreet Journal, Real Simple, and more. Her signature style is rooted in tradition yet layered with colors, textures, and patterns. We talk about how she uses layers, where she searches for killer fabrics, her best budget buys, and more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Why Lilse wants your interior to make you “think”. How did Lilse get started? What does Lilse love about fabrics? Tips for the pattern people and non-pattern people. What are Lilse’s rules for sconces, wall art… and mattress heights? What are Lilse’s thoughts on the “Grandmillennial” style? Are vertical line patterns in wallpaper a new trend? Where does Lilse like to save vs. splurge on items? Decorating Dilemma Hi Melissa, I like the Pinterest example you showed with the custom shower curtain that was especially long, hung close to the ceiling, and almost to the floor. You may have to custom make it, but I would get an ivory linen with a narrow contrast banding on all 4 sides that pulls from the colors of the wallpaper. This will make sort of a fabric wall and make it look less “bathroomy”. You could even have the shower curtain made with pinch pleats or grommets to make it look more like a curtain. Good luck! We are very invested in your shower curtain so show us after photos! Mentioned in This Episode: Lilse McKenna Lilse McKenna on Instagram Etsy
Oct 05, 2021
Ep. 220: designer Charlotte Lucas
We are beyond thrilled to welcome our guest today, Charlotte Lucas, of Charlotte Lucas Interior Design based in Charlotte, North Carolina! Since starting her business in 2012 she has been featured in ELLE DECOR, Southern Living, Veranda, House Beautiful, and more. Charlotte also has an incredible fabric and wallpaper line called House of Harris. We talk about Charlotte’s love of color and patterns, how she balances funky and traditional, using layers, and more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs with nursery completion, organizing kid clothes, basement flooding, house updates, and caretaker insight. Charlotte’s approach to choosing bold upholstery. How Charlotte helps her clients visualize their spaces with artist renderings. What is Charlotte’s process for getting to know the client and their tastes? When, where, and how does Charlotte use a contrast wall? How does Charlotte balance traditional and daring styles? More about Charlotte’s fabric & wallpaper line House of Harris. Charlotte leans towards funky MCM pieces, but mixes them in with other styles. Charlotte loves using layers and telling a story in a space. What are Charlotte’s g0-to accessories and where do her clients usually struggle? What unusual pieces does Charlotte like to put on bookshelves? What is Charlotte’s approach to gallery walls? Important questions about designing Taryn’s door! Decorating Dilemma  Hi Shari, We just did this for a client! A beach house is all about embracing where you are. So this is a place to restrain from color, as hard as it is, and go for texture, layers, and warmth. I like to do this with materials like caning, bamboo, rattan, and anything woven. There are so many vintage dealers both in local coastal outlets and online for wonderful pieces like this. I would definitely keep the furniture neutral but maybe add soft color with a lamp/lampshade or other accessory; your pillows would be a great place to add some. You could even paint one of those woven pieces. Try to grab color inspiration from your natural, outdoor surroundings (i.e. sky, sunset, sands, plants, etc) at different times of day. Another great thing for a beach house is grasscloth wallpaper. It’s not terribly expensive and it provides incredible texture; there are a lot of brands out there. You could even do it in the back of the bookshelves! We think your rug is too small, so think you should either size it up, or layer it with another bigger rug. With an open floor plan, it is important to create defined and separate spaces. Light fixtures in the kitchen or dining area could definitely help accomplish this. You already have a great base, so no drastic suggestions! You can message me on Instagram at @charlottelucas if you have more questions or want to send me after photos! Mentioned in This Episode: Charlotte Lucas Interior Design Charlotte Lucas on Instagram House of Harris
Sep 28, 2021
Ep. 219: designer Janie Molster
We are so thrilled to welcome back our guest today, Janie Molster, who you may have heard on episode 117. She is an interior designer from Richmond, Virginia known for decorating spaces with exuberant color and a masterful mix of antique and contemporary pieces. Since we last spoke to her in 2019, she has written a book called House Dressing: Interiors for Colorful Living. Today we chat about her signature color usage, antiques, the importance of balance, and designing your house for TODAY and not waiting for someday! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs with gallery walls and wires, soft washing a 90 year old house, getting rid of bats, new windows and doors, finding the perfect nursery rug, and doggies ruining the perfect nursery rug. Janie’s philosophy is to make homes glamorous yet durable. Balance is the key! What are Janie’s rules when it comes to window treatments? How does Janie do pink so well? How to still have fun and be bold with neutral colors. What are Janie's tips to shop for antiques? What antique piece is Janie currently in love with? Janie’s design philosophy on ceilings and floors. Decorating Dilemma  Hi Christie, I love where you’re going with the performance fabrics! To your point about patterns, I’m with you and think you should stick with a solid color. They have come a long way. If it were me, I would definitely consider going slightly darker on your sofa and in a warm taupe or gray to ground your room. Overall for your space go for warmth. On that back wall, I would do some sheer curtains (you can hear my rant earlier in the episode about curtains!). Then I would consider a console table for the back of that sofa. I can tell you’re drawn to a quieter mix of materials, so for patterns I would focus on pillows and lampshades. You could add something like an upholstered bench for when you have guests over and you could potentially add some pattern there. I would not get hung up on adding pattern to the pair of chairs; I would go with performance linen white. Art, like you said, is a great way to add color! Lastly, with the spaciousness of your room I think you can size up on your coffee table. Your furniture is rather spread out so I would consider pulling it in to make it more convivial. Don’t create a “time out” space for your guests! In your dining room, the chandelier is great. But it could also really use some beautiful and bold curtains! I would also consider painting the walls all the same color. If you’re nervous about patterned curtains, you could use the same color as the paint for warmth. And the colors from the rooms should speak to each other. Then I would put something fabulous that lives in the center of your dining table. It doesn’t have to literally be “alive” as it could be a collection of vases, sculpture, etc. You have such a great space with wonderful lighting. We love it and can’t wait to see what you do! Mentioned in This Episode: Janie Molster Designs Janie Molster Designs on Instagram House Dressing also available at Target, Amazon, Barnes & Noble HTD Episode 117 Chairish 1stDibs
Sep 21, 2021
Ep. 218: Dutch interiors w/ Barbara de Vries
Our guest today, Barbara de Vries, has a most impressive and varied background as a creative. Her prolific career includes launching CK at Calvin Klein, working on projects for Ralph Lauren and Pantone, creating her own fashion line, and co-founding her own publishing and media company. She also worked as a model and an environmental activist. Today we talk to Barbara about her new book, Coming Home: Modern Rustic, Creative Living in Dutch Interiors. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Barbara’s adventurous career path. How Barbara’s Dutch lineage has inspired her philosophy and style. The difference between using the old and the new in the US vs. Europe. How the work from home movement is evolving our spaces. Cultural differences make a big difference in kitchen size and design. Why we all can benefit from using more daily conservation efforts. A Decorating Dilemma about the power of well-adjusted drapes. What can we learn about Dutch Interior Design to take into our own homes? Barbara was a model and an environmental activist? Decorating Dilemma  I must say I have never seen a house with all the ceilings painted before and I understand that not being your style. Ideally, you would paint all over everything. If your budget doesn't allow it, though, then I would advise painting the ceilings white. Your house would immediately come much lighter and bright. Going room by room, I would buy 2 paintings and a mirror for the dining to the wall to the left of your window. I wouldn't worry about a rug because the light reflects beautifully on the natural wood floor. Drapes could also make it look cozier in there. I would get large vases and keep fresh flowers in there. I would also paint the wall below the staircase and the hallway ceiling white. I would live with the terracotta in your living room and maybe add some pieces that reflect that color. If there isn't a rug in there, I would get a rug that picks up on those colors. And if you don't want to paint, maybe try tile underneath the cabinets. If all the suggestions are too much work, I would definitely start with the white ceilings, white dining room, and white panel on the stairs. It's a great, sunny space! We would love to see the after photos! Mentioned in This Episode: Barbara de Vries Going Dutch Interiors on Instagram TED Talk - Plastic is Forever Coming Home: Modern Rustic, Creative Living in Dutch Interiors
Sep 14, 2021
Ep. 217: designer Philip Mitchell
We are so excited to welcome back one of our favorite guests, Philip Mitchell, of Philip Mitchell Designs to the show! He is a Toronto and New York-based designer with a full-service firm. He has been featured in House Beautiful, Better Homes & Gardens, House & Home, Veranda, Architectural Digest, and more. His upcoming book, Collected Interiors: Rooms That Tell a Story, is available for pre-order now. We talk about Philip’s love of storytelling, finding joy in the unexpected, a commitment to loving your space, and ART! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Discussing Philip’s new book and his belief that a house should tell a story. Philip’s two questions he asks all clients. What are some exercises we can do to edit our own design ideas? How Philip breathes new life into old pieces. Philip’s philosophy and approach to art. Why Philip thinks loving a piece is more important than style or investment value. Philip loves unconventional places to display art. When does Phillip like to place lighting on art? Decorating Dilemma  Hi Sarah, Your space and your view are extraordinary! These are all great questions. For me, the number one thing regarding the paint is that Northern rooms are tricky. It looks as though you are in a very tropical location. I would tend to go very neutral, use one of the whites you have because then it will not fight with all of the colors that will change throughout the day with the light. Regarding the shelves, I agree with all of your suggestions. I love the idea of doing a new pair of chairs. I would also add a third chair by the fireplace. I love the family gallery wall, but I would move it to where you have that contemporary piece of art. Then you can move that piece to the “gallery” wall. Just swap them! It’ll be a great focal point. I know you are on a budget, so I would find similar fabric drapery panels to match what you already have on some of those bare windows. I don’t feel that your lamps are too small, but I would probably move the side table with the lamp over to the sofa backing to the dining room. Then I would look into adding another small side table where we are taking that one away. Then possibly a floor lamp there and over by the small chair next to the fireplace. Instead of having a giant ottoman in that big floor space, how about more than one thing? Maybe a rectangular ottoman (forget the always falls with kids!), round table, and square table. It will add some flexibility and practicality with a room that the family uses often. Let’s also toss some color in here with pillows, drapery, or other accents. We are so jealous of your view and think buying this place was the RIGHT move! Thank you so much for listening and please send us some after photos! Mentioned in This Episode: Philip Mitchell Design Philip Mitchell Design on Instagram Pre-order Collected Interiors: Rooms That Tell a Story Ep 54. with Philip Mitchell
Sep 07, 2021
Ep. 216: designer Ashley Whittaker
We loved our first episode with Designer Ashley Whittaker so much that we are thrilled to have her back this week to talk about her new book, The Well-Love House: Creating Homes with Color, Comfort, and Drama. Ashley talks about her love of natural and durable materials and how we can have an indestructible yet elegant home. She shares tips on adding some beautiful pieces to keep things fresh and happy, how to tell if your furniture is talking to each other and what’s going to make a room feel inviting vs. off-limits. Ashley also shares some stories behind the photos in her beautiful book and a few client success stories that we can learn from in undertaking our own design adventures. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Ashley’s goal of “set it and forget it” when it comes to designing well-loved homes. The ingredients of a comfortable family room and how to still add elegance and beauty. Examples of natural fabric and textures that can take some wear and tear but still hold up beautifully. How to know when you have the right furniture plan. Why Ashley recommends starting the design process with the walls. If your walls aren’t finished, your house does not feel finished. A few of the homes featured in Ashley’s book include a Connecticut estate, a chic Manhattan home and a beach home, along with a fun special story about each client. How to make rooms not feel so seasonal so they can flow from season to season. When it comes to styles like midcentury, a little goes a long way. Ashley’s imaginative use of lampshades, and how we can use lamps and lighting to create beauty in our well-loved home. Decorating Dilemma We admit this is a little bit of a challenge to wallpaper a room like this. If you were to paper, it may be more than just this one room and you will have to figure out where your wallpaper ends. Also, there’s not a ton of walls in this room so you may not get the biggest bang for your buck. How can you get an even bigger and better wow factor? Well, maybe you could paper the ceiling or even add textured grasscloth. Painting the ceiling a sky blue may be able to work in a beautiful reflective way. As for the wall color, I would get a more creamy or modern white. That would be a great contrast with the sky blue. Thank you for writing, and good luck! Mentioned in This Episode: Ashley Whittaker Design Ep #93 - Ashley Whittaker @ashleywhittaker The Well-Loved House Michael Smith Jeffrey Bilhuber
Aug 31, 2021
Ep. 215: designer Kimberley Seldon
Our guest today, Kimberley Seldon, does a little bit of everything in the design space. She’s a designer, TV show host, business coach for interior designers, keynote speaker, and a design podcast host. Kimberley takes us through the evolution of her journey in the design world, her “3-legged stool” approach, tips for the business of design, and more. We also take a Decorating Dilemma where we discuss the importance of being clear on your vision before you go into any big project. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs in construction, landscaping, keeping a tidy house, and working from home. How did Kimberley go from the TV world to the design world to the business coach world? What is Kimberley’s client process? How Kimberley turned her speaking engagements into a brand. Business lessons that Kimberley has learned. Kimberley believes in staying mostly in a style without doing a “theme”. What is Kimberley’s 80/20 rule? What is Kimberley’s approach to mixing woods? Final thoughts on the “3-legged stool” inspired by Yellowstone. Decorating Dilemma Hi Kat, Here’s my opinion...even though I’m not sure you’re going to like it! Because the windows are narrow, I wouldn’t draw attention to it by setting the drapery outside the frame. I think the house needs it, maybe in a beautiful pattern, but I think they should fall exactly as they should. You could do an outside mount, soft Roman shade with the draperies floor-t0-ceiling on top of those, but you could absolutely skip this to save money and just go with the drapery. In terms of furniture, you want it to support the function you want the room to accomplish. Since we aren’t sure of that from your email, our rule is to use the largest furniture possible to make the room cozy and functional. And be sure to consider flexible seating for visitors if you plan to entertain often. I always approach with a plan of, “What do I want this room to do?” Keeping in mind how you actually live. We think you need to really come up with a vision for the house! Pick a paint color last to highlight the rugs, drapery, etc. In other words, don’t pick the lipstick before you pick the outfit! Good luck, Kat! Mentioned in This Episode: Kimberley Seldon Design Group Business of Design Kimberley Seldon on Instagram Business of Design on Instagram Business of Design Podcast Cityline “At Home in the Woods”
Aug 24, 2021
Ep. 214: designer Erin Gates
We are so excited to welcome back Erin Gates, of Erin Gates Design, to the show. She joined us for an episode back in 2017 at the beginning of the podcast days! Erin is a true Renaissance woman in the design world. In addition to running her design firm, she has authored two bestselling books, has an extremely popular blog, “Elements of Style”, several product collections, a personal home renovation, and is raising a family! We discuss how to decorate with family in mind without sacrificing style, the resurgence of the home office, and other tips from Erin’s wealth of knowledge. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs about grading the backyard, rodents in the house, and toddler “remodeling”. How did Erin make her way into design? What’s next for Erin? What are some misconceptions and tips about decorating with family in mind? Which performance fabrics does Erin recommend (and not recommend)? What does Erin look for in rugs? How has the pandemic impacted home office design? What are Erin’s best tips for a home office? Decorating Dilemma  Hi Stephanie, I think with a space like this the most important thing is to create some symmetry so the layout you have is perfect. I would probably do a sectional that has another arm rather than a chaise to get more seating towards the TV. I would also do a 76-80” media console, to not limit your TV size, and hang the TV. Then add a matching pair of taller bookcases on either side. On the taller wall to the left, you could do a really nice symmetrically hung gallery wall or one giant piece of vertical art. You could do anything for a coffee table, but if you wanted to soften up you could try an oval shape. There’s also room to add an accent chair to use when entertaining. You also need some lighting in here! Think all different levels; wall sconces, hanging fixtures, table lamps, floor lamps, etc. We also think you need to pop some color in here! If you really prefer the neutral, definitely use texture and tones to create contrast. Definitely need some window treatments (functional or not) on the sliding doors to soften it up. Lastly, we also noticed that little niche above the doorway. You could totally ignore it, or ideally fill it in with drywall. Good luck, Stephanie! Thanks for listening and send us the after photos. Mentioned in This Episode: Erin Gates Design Erin Gates on Instagram “Elements of Style” Blog Elements of Style Elements of Family Style
Aug 17, 2021
Ep. 213: designer Gray Walker
Our guest today is Charlotte-based interior designer, Gray Walker, of Gray Walker Interiors. She’s a 20 year industry veteran known for her feminine design that mixes both modern and antique elements. Her work has been featured in publications such as Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Southern Living, and many more. Gray shares tips on how she manages to create a fresh look while showcasing heirloom pieces, where she makes bold choices, her love of outdoor lighting, and more. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: When did Gray first know she wanted to be an interior designer? How does Gray begin the discovery process for her clients? How is Gray’s home decorated and what is her current home project? What is Gray’s philosophy and approach to using colors throughout the house? The importance of outdoor lighting. How Gray uses upholstered doors and where to get one. Where does Gray like to take risks in decorating? Decorating Dilemma  Hi Bethany, I think you could do the quartzite countertops like in the kitchen or choose a marble where the stone color pulls from the adjacent room. I would definitely extend the cabinets all the way to the ceiling. In terms of paint, I wouldn’t use 3 colors. For the cabinet exterior would use a different finish of paint, maybe in a high gloss, that matches the wall color. For the inside of the cabinet, I would pull a soft color from the quartzite. You could also change the hardware and go for longer pulls on the uppers and/or consider centering the hardware on the lower cabinets and drawers. I would also mirror the backsplash--like use actual mirrors--that can extend the look you have from your Ballard mirror! You could definitely use some softness like a rug or curtains. The rug should match the interior color of the cabinets. And you need a WAY bigger chandelier. Think massive! Let’s add some lamps on that back buffet, too. We aren’t sure exactly where you live, but that view! You have a beautiful space. Good luck, Bethany, and we’re so glad you found us! Mentioned in This Episode: Gray Walker Interiors Gray Walker Interiors on Instagram Kate’s House “Outdoor Lighting Ideas to Make Your Yard Look Like a Luxury Resort” -The Wallstreet Journal
Aug 10, 2021
Ep. 212: Light & Livable with Skye Kirby Westcott
This week we welcome our Senior VP of Merchandising and Design, Skye Kirby Westcott back to the show. We talk with Skye about the inspiration behind our latest Fall collection, a lighten-up look we’re calling ‘Light & Livable.’ Listen in as we chat about Skye's vision for this collection, where she found her inspiration, and the fall pieces you need now. What You'll Hear on This Show: Trials & Triumphs about rugs for Caroline's nursery, how Liz is tackling her storage dilemmas, and an update on Taryn's home build. How Skye's time in California inspired the look of our Light and Livable spaces. The design decisions that went into creating this collection. How to successfully pull off a neutral room. Accessorizing and editing spaces so you are only living with things you really love.  How to mix wood tones in a room. Skye's favorite pieces from our Light & Livable collection. Show Notes: Ballard Designs Fall Look Book Shop the Light & Livable Collection Light & Livable videos @skykirbywestcott Find all of the show notes on our blog,
Aug 03, 2021
Ep. 211: textile designer Candice Kaye
Our guest today is textile designer Candice Kaye of Candice Kaye Design. Candice first got her start in interior design then fell in love with textiles and continued her education at FIT in New York. With her background in design and textiles, Candice has found a unique niche for her work in the hospitality and branding space that is recognized all over the world. We dive into how Candice landed in this space, the technical aspects of it, and her personal design tips. What You'll Hear on This Show: Trials & Triumphs about indoor plant success, plumbing fixtures, renovations, painting the floors while the family’s away, building walls, attacking a brick wall, decorating a baby nursery, and wallpaper chat. Candice describes what her unique niche in the design world is. What is the branding process like with Candice’s clients? How Candice begun the wallpaper design process that she uses today. Candice's best tips on mixing patterns and textures. The point in the design process when a client brings in Candice How can we consider using scale in our own homes? Does Candice do more murals or wallpaper? What is digital printing? Show Notes: Candice Kaye Design Candice Kaye Design on Instagram Candice Kaye on Instagram Find all of the show notes on our blog,
Jul 27, 2021
Ep. 210: designer Kara Cox
Our guest today is Kara Cox of Kara Cox Interiors in Greensboro, North Carolina. She's a North Carolina native in furniture country, so you know she's passionate about craftsmanship, handmade details, and supporting local artisans. We talk about her own home renovation and how to take on a big project for yourself.  What You'll Hear on This Show: Why she loves being a Southern designer Her background and how she got her first clients How her style has evolved over time influenced by her own home projects How she prepares her clients for home renovations Details that set her clients' rooms apart Show Notes: Kara Cox Interiors Kara Cox on Instagram Find all of the show notes on our blog,
Jul 20, 2021
Ep. 209: designers Mark Williams & Niki Papadopoulos
Our guests today are Mark Williams and Niki Papadopoulos, partners at Mark Williams Design. They share with us their thoughts on how homes are changing with their clients' changing needs, how to approach design challenges, and more. What You'll Hear on Today's Episode: How Mark and Niki got their starts in the design industry How homes have been evolving over the last couple of years Why it's important for your home to bring strength and optimism to your life Challenges their clients' have had that have influenced their architectural and design choices Why it's important for all of us to look honestly at our daily lives and address challenges with design How Mark and Niki work antique pieces into their clients' homes Show Notes: Mark Williams Design Mark Williams on Instagram Niki Papadopoulos on Instagram Find all of the show notes at
Jul 13, 2021
Ep. 208: designer Ariene Bethea
Our guest today is interior designer Ariene Bethea from Charlotte, North Carolina. She has a decor shop called Dressing Rooms Interior Studio, where she offers full service interior design and a carefully curated mix of vintage finds collected by Ariene herself.   What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Ariene got her start in interior design The Ariene was able to open her own brick and mortar shop How to breathe new life into vintage pieces Factors that go into pricing upholstered pieces Ariene’s perspective on the energy of color Mentioned in This Episode: Visit Dressing Room Interior’s website. Follow Ariene on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. Find all of the show notes at
Jul 06, 2021
Ep. 207: design duo Lauren & Suzanne McGrath
Mother-daughter design duo Lauren and Suzanne McGrath of McGrath II join the show to share their love of the classics. We talk about the way they approach their client spaces, investing in antiques, floor plans, and more. What You'll Hear on This Show: Trials & Triumphs this week Why Suzanne and Lauren fell in love with classic design and how they approach their client spaces Why taking chances is an essential element of designing a traditional space How they often tweak or even transform old furniture for their designs Why old houses often make their jobs easier We talk all about kids rooms -- how to design with longevity, style, and comfort Bedrooms in general and why they think of the primary bedroom as one of the most important spaces in a home Lauren gives us a lesson in dressing the bed Show Notes: McGrath II McGrath II on Instagram Good Bones, Great Pieces by Suzanne & Lauren McGrath Ballard Designs Room Planner Find all of the show notes at
Jun 29, 2021
Ep. 206: comedian Heather McMahan & designer Jared Hughes
We've got a hilarious duo for you today -- comedian Heather McMahan and designer Jared Hughes. They're longtime friends, and they recently made over Heather's bedroom using Ballard Designs products. Today, we're talking about mixing styles, adding traditional elements to a modern design, and more. What You'll Hear on This Episode: Why Heather designed her whole bedroom around our animal print Robbie Chair Animal print inspired the whole room How Jared took Heather's style to the next level and helped her learn what decorating rules to follow and which ones to ignore Why painting every wall white isn't always the answer How Jared really reigned in his bold style to ease Heather into the room design How important is it for your room to look big? Why a small room isn't necessarily a bad thing We talk about Heather's mom and how much of a say she has in the design Show Notes: Heather McMahan's Tour Schedule Heather on Instagram Jared on Instagram Jared Hughes Design Robbie Chair in Serengeti Fabric Giselle Bed Acrylic Console Table
Jun 23, 2021
Ep. 205: designer Vicente Wolfe
We have a very special episode this week because we're welcoming our new host, Liz! Plus, we've got celebrated designer Vicente Wolfe on the show. He's one of the biggest talents in the design world, he's a published author, and he's here to chat with us about editing, color, mixing styles, and more. What You'll Hear on the Show: How his extensive travels inspire him and his design work Why each room should include the past but always be moving forward Why you need to branch out and take risks in your room Why it's the most fascinating to examine rooms that are different than what you'd normally do Why not being traditionally educated in design has been an advantage in Vicente's work We talk a bit about gallery walls and how to execute them well Show Notes: Bissell Little Green Machine Vicente Wolfe Associates Books by Vicente Wolfe Vicente Wolfe Designs on Instagram For more show notes, visit our blog at
Jun 15, 2021
Ep. 204: thrifting expert Margie of Thrift & Tell
We have a fun guest for you today as we welcome Margie from the fashion blog, Thrift and Tell. She is a consignment and thrifting expert, and is sharing her best tips on purchasing luxury items for your wardrobe and home. What You'll Hear on This Episode: Margie's clever philosophies on getting a great deal How to mix high and low style in your home Margie's favorite places to shop for deals The importance of patience when shopping Where you should invest your money vs. when to look for a bargain How to tune out trends Show Notes: Thrift & Tell on Instagram Thrift & Tell blog Thrift & Tell on Pinterest Find all of the notes or stream the episode at
Jun 08, 2021
Ep. 203: designer James Farmer
Our guest today is back for another episode. He's a garden expert, interior designer, and author of 9 books, James Farmer. We talk about his love of traditional design elements, why the rooms he designs for his clients feel like a hug, and his new book Arriving Home. What You'll Hear on This Episode: Why James loves traditional design elements and why he works them into his client spaces James explains his love of oyster plates and how they make their way into his clients' collections James' lesson on lampshades and why a lampshade can make or break a lamp James' three sofa layout design trick and when it works best for a space James' obsession with patterned sofas and why they're just so practical Why wallpaper and paneling give your home age We get a lesson on decorating your outdoor rooms Show Notes: James Farmer's Instagram James' Website, James' latest book, Arriving Home Find all of the notes or stream the episode at
Jun 02, 2021
Ep. 202: designer Heidi Callier
Our guest today is Heidi Callier of Heidi Callier Design in Seattle, Washington. Her work has been featured in Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Better Homes and Garden, the Wall Street Journal, and many more. Listen to this episode as she shares decorating tips and advice from her many years of experience in the decorating field. What You’ll Hear on This Episode:  Heidi talks about neutral colors and how to use them Heidi shares about her journey to decorating How to keep colors from feeling depressing and combining different shades The hosts and Heidi talk about how to balance different colors How to incorporate different floral patterns Heidi discusses her own house transformation The hosts and Heidi talk about brown furniture and how to decorate with it Heidi shares tips on how to approach layouts of rooms, small spaces, and decorations   Decorating Dilemmas Hi Jill, For small spaces, Heidi suggests doing all the interior doors the same color, but everything is dependent on the house itself and the architecture. If you are dealing with a place that has six doors in a small space, then you probably shouldn’t paint the doors a color. But in small doses, you could do all the interior doors the same color and maybe leave the trim white.  -- Hi Jordan, What this room needs is a vintage rug, maybe with some violet, purple, or brown undertones to ground the space. There is a lot of white going on in the dining chairs, chandelier, and buffet, so something to richen it up the lighter colors would be lovely and child friendly. Pattern rugs are a great way to hide stains so vintage, wool rugs are wonderful for this. This room really needs draperies. Go all the way to the ceiling or as high as you can with the rod and all the way to the floor. Put panels on each window so it frames the pretty piece of artwork in between, and keep the colors just a neutral linen with a pinch pleat at the top. Another option would be to layer in some color and patterns through the draperies. Lastly, for the dining room, there seems to be enough furniture in there. However, a random vintage chair to bring in some floral patterns would be gorgeous. Good luck, Jill and Jordan!   Mentioned in This Episode: Learn more about Heidi Callier at her website Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest Find all of the show notes on our blog, How to Decorate.
May 25, 2021
Ep. 201: designer Corey Damen Jenkins
Our guest today is New York designer Corey Damen Jenkins. Corey is on the AD100 List, Elle Decor’s A List and his work has been featured in House Beautiful, Traditional Homes, The New York Times and more. He won HGTV’s Showhouse Showdown and has recently published his first book called Design Remix: A New Spin on Traditional Rooms. What You’ll Hear on This Episode:  The driving force behind Corey’s signature eclectic exuberance Corey’s background in the design industry Detroit as the background of Corey’s work How Corey puts his modern spin on traditional architecture The importance of light fixture in interior design Corey discuss his maximalist approach Corey’s creative process How Corey negotiates when working with couples with conflicting ideas The statement opportunity in ceilings The importance in thoughtfully curating children’s rooms    Mentioned in This Episode: Corey Damen Jenkins website Corey’s book Follow Corey on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Find all of the show notes on our blog,
May 18, 2021
Ep. 200: designer Brian Paquette
Today's guest is Seattle designer Brian Paquette. He joins us to talk about his brand new book At Home: Evocative and Art-Forward Interiors, as well as his unconventional path to design, his love of art, and why he finds so much inspiration in an earthy palette. What You'll Hear on the Show: His unconventional background into the design field Why it's important to listen when working on a clients design (or your own home) Why he typically favors weaves over patterns in his more permanent pieces We talk about his book (why Karen loved his captions) Sense memory in a room and why Brian loves to speak to a client's sense memory Why Brian creates a signature scent for each of his clients' home Brian thinks listening and inferring information is his super power Why asking about a paint color someone used in their home isn't a smart way to choose a paint color Why he likes a monotone palette for media rooms and bedrooms Why Brian leaves art to chance in his design projects Why a home should age and we should accept and enjoy the aging process Decorating Dilemma: Brian suggests switching your throw pillow inserts to Trillium which is a down alternative. This is what Brian uses for all of his clients! For the rest of the room, own the blue sofa! Add more blue in with two club chairs to coordinate with your sofa -- it could be pillows, some cording on the chairs, or a similar but different blue fabric on the chair. You're almost there. Just two more chairs will tie it all together. Mentioned in This Episode: Brian Paquette Interiors Brian Paquette on Instagram At Home: Evocative & Art Forward Interiors, by Brian Paquette Trillium pillow inserts from PillowFlex
May 11, 2021
Ep. 199: designer Kate Lester
Our guest today is California cool designer Kate Lester of Kate Lester Interiors. Her spaces are infused with an airy, coastal vibe and her style embodies easy living. We ask her about incorporating coastal elements into homes not near the water, how to start a room, and more. What You'll Hear on This Episode: How Kate infuses a clients' personality into their home We talk about the most important design elements including linens, natural light, windows, and the importance of thinking outside the box in decorating Why you should follow the architecture of the house during the decorating process How to increase natural light in a home along with different window treatments. Why Kate loves vintage rugs and how these are a great way to add patterns and color into a home Why having a theme or concept board can help prevent lots of wasted time and money. All about sectionals -- why they're practical and why you should invest here Decorating Dilemma: For Lauren's question around how to frame her art, Kate first wants to address everything else first. Are there any layout issues. Is your floor plan just right. You want to nail the core elements in your room first before deciding on any art or accessories. Your frame choice isn't going to make or break your space. It's far more important that your furniture layout function well for everything you want to accomplish in here. You may want to shift your sofa back from the fireplace a bit and swap your side tables. Your sofa may not be centered on the window anymore, but we think that's fine. Also, in terms of picking frames for your art, all of the frames in a room don't need to match, so pick the frame that best complements the art piece. Also, Lauren we just love what you've done with this space so far. Your console looks great, we love your rug, and you have a solid foundation you've built. Great job! Show Notes: Follow Kate on her Instagram and her home decorating website. Shop Kate's finds at Kate Lester Home Find all of the show notes or stream this episode on our blog, How to Decorate.  
May 04, 2021
Ep. 198: designer Roger Higgins
Today we welcome the delightful Roger Higgins to the show. Roger is a Nashville-based designer that has been creating classic and timeless spaces for his clients for over 25 years. His work has been featured in Traditional Home, Architectural Digest, Style Blueprint, Nashville Lifestyles, and more. Roger takes pride in creating spaces that can not only be admired but lived in. We talk about his love of patterns, dining rooms, breaking the rules, and more. And why he doesn’t sweat the small stuff! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs about Caroline’s basement project, another baby joining the HTD family (which also means a nursery!), and all about Karen’s trip to Scott’s Antique Market. How Roger is able to pull off a loose and casual style. Roger loves a neutral couch with patterns and texture. Our strong feelings on throw pillows. Why Robert loves his books—especially Elements of Style. Is painting the walls, trim, molding, etc., all the same color classic or trend? How to work with couples who have different styles. Robert’s tips for picking fabrics. Why does Robert love a dining room so much? Shedding light on a go-to way to quickly update the look of a room. Why Robert doesn’t sweat the small stuff. When is it better to recover or reupholster a piece vs. replace it? Decorating Dilemma  Hi Jenn, I personally think the chair can work just as it is. I will always go to draperies because I think they finish the room. The big-ticket items are probably the rug and the upholstery and because they are neutral and soft enough, I would be more inclined to pull a color from the rug and use it in the drapery panel; you only need one long rod along the wall for the panels and place the panels in between the glass sections. They don’t necessarily have to function—more for the aesthetic! The blue color from the rug is really nice. Also, I would change up the warmer-toned pillows like the burgundy and blush. Or find a bridge fabric that has those colors as well as the colors of the rug in it. It’s a very inviting aesthetic you have! So maybe they find something with all of these colors that has a fun pattern. There might be a bit of a sticker shock on the drapery, but it will be SO worth it. In the kitchen, I would maybe put some faux Roman or valance in the window over the sink. On the wall opposite the sink with the mirror, that would be a great place to maybe install panel molding and paint inside of that the color of your drapery. You could even upholster in there with the drapery fabric. It’ll be a very impactful statement and will tie everything in. I would love to see some kind of large lantern for a lighting fixture or just something heavy over the island. Even one with a shade the color of the drapery like the Margot could be perfect here! For the bar, if you’re open to painting, I love that pale grey-blue accent color from the rug like I talked about. You could do the cabinets on the bar that color. So, it would be the same color as the drapery and the panel wall in the kitchen. A lamp would also be pretty in there, too. We would take all of the small things out and slowly add them back until you get to the look you want. Caroline likes the idea of tiny art on the wall…almost like wallpaper out of art. Robert and Karen are open to that, but not as sold! Robert is more apt to paint the back wall the same color as the cabinets, stopping the paint on the inside corners just at the top of the window molding. Not on either of the sidewalls; just the back wall. We know we’ve given you a ton of different ideas here, so we can’t wait to see what you do. But we already love this room. The big stuff is mostly done here; you just need a few tweaks. So great job, Jenn! Mentioned in This Episode: R Higgins Interiors R Higgins Interiors on Instagram Elements of Style by Erin Gates
Apr 27, 2021
Ep. 197: interior design duo Tavia Forbes & Monet Masters
Our guests today are the interior designers behind the firm Forbes Masters; Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters. Based in Atlanta, they work with high-profile residential and commercial clients and their work has been featured in Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Essence, Architectural Digest, and most recently on The Drew Barrymore Show. They also have a fabulous wallpaper line through Mitchell Black. We talk about how they have married their talents to create bold, eclectic, imaginative designs that reflect their unique personalities. We also discuss the magic of wallpaper, working within a budget, decorating built-ins, and more! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs about spring plants and pollen! The fascinating story of how Tavia and Monet met and started working together. How has their relationship and partnership evolved over the years? How do Tavia and Monet pitch their bold style to clients? How Forbes Masters commits to maintaining authenticity to their client in their design. More about their wallpaper line and the inspiration. The importance of a good installer with wallpaper. Progress on the design of the Kips Bay Show House. Where does creative inspiration come from for the duo? How Tavia and Monet get innovative on a budget. A very informative Decorating Dilemma all about decorating built-ins! Decorating Dilemma  Hi Sarah, First, paint is going to be your friend! It will hide imperfections and create forgiveness for asymmetry. You can either do paint to hide it or a fun wallpaper to make it stand out. You will want to paint the bookcase all the same color in a satin finish and then style it very intentionally. Hardware on your doors will really help accentuate. Long, maybe gold or gunmetal, but definitely not stainless steel. The open space on the side? We really want to knock it down! If you can’t, you could use it to highlight a great piece of art using one of Ballard’s easels and place a large bust or urn in front of it to really fill the space. The key is to be intentional with your styling and consistent. Some examples are turning books horizontal, wrapping them in black or white, using the same baskets, vases, picture frames; or choose 3 different types of vignettes for some diversity. For each shelf, create the same vignette on both sides but at different levels. If the left side has adjustable shelves, you should even them out or even take out that top shelf and hang some art. For a rule of thumb, we say don’t decorate with anything smaller than a cantaloupe! For furniture layout, we like what you mentioned with the L-shaped sectional and two chairs. Another option is to do two sofas facing each other and accent chairs across from the fireplace. You could even add a bench in front of the fireplace. We also recommend painting that fireplace white or even a German smear. The bookcases should really read as their own pieces of furniture and not blend…so make them stand out by painting them all one consistent color that’s different from the fireplace. There is a sheen on the walls that’s reflecting light; we recommend repainting with a flat finish. Also, the lights have sort of a blue tint and we would go softer to make it warmer. We also suggest some sheer drapery and maybe some wood blinds if you want extra privacy. Finally, not a must-have, but maybe a bigger TV?! Thanks, Sarah, and good luck! Mentioned in This Episode: Forbes Masters Website Forbes Masters on Instagram Shop Forbes Masters on Instagram Forbes Masters on Houzz Forbes Masters Wallpaper on Mitchell Black Forbes Masters on The Drew Barrymore Show Kips Bay Show House
Apr 20, 2021
Ep. 196: designer Melanie Turner
We are thrilled to welcome award-winning interior designer Melanie Turner, previously heard on Episode 10, back to the show! Melanie’s work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Veranda, Traditional Home, House Beautiful, and she just authored her first book Inviting Interiors: A Fresh Take on Beautiful Rooms. She is the founder of Atlanta-based Melanie Turner Interiors and has now launched a storefront in Montana. We talk about Melanie’s extremely varied style, her new book, her thoughts on colors, decorating with kids, putting a joyful spin on practicality, and so much more. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: All about Melanie’s new book Inviting Interiors: A Fresh Take on Beautiful Rooms. Where does Melanie’s unique creativity come from? How to have a house palette without being too matchy-matchy. Utilizing everything in your home. Pushing the boundaries with colors. The misconceptions about a family home and decorating with kids in the house. Making your house the most comfortable by thinking about how you live. What’s a hot kitchen and a cold kitchen? Melanie’s signature is often using distinctive art. Back to Melanie’s kitchens! Books are often the great divider with designers. What are Melanie’s thoughts? What does Melanie think future color trends will be? How to turn creature comforts into something that brings you joy. Decorating Dilemma Hi Angeliki, Since you said you are done with dark colors, I wouldn’t paint the room that color you have picked out. Although it’s beautiful, it’s very saturated and will make the room feel dark. I would go one to two shades lighter if you want to do a color and be sure to add some white. Otherwise, I would paint it white and look for that teal in an accent pillow, chair, or something else small. The other thing I would suggest is moving the furniture around. I think the bed right next to the door and closet makes the space feel cramped. I would put the bed opposite the wall of the closet, put the desk closest to the door, and the dresser closest to the window so now you have two nightstands where you can add two lights on either side. The bookcase should be on the left as you open the door. That will leave you a clean Zoom background for when you’re working at your desk. We’re going to send you this drawing to show you where to put things! Another fun thing you could do would be to paint some of this furniture — properly! Be sure to sand so it doesn’t peel. If you end up painting the room white or ivory, then you could paint one of the pieces that teal you liked. We would really love to see some after photos! Good luck and thanks for listening all the way from Greece! Mentioned in This Episode: Melanie Turner Interiors Inviting Interiors available for Pre-order Episode 10: Melanie Turner Melanie Turner Interiors on Instagram
Apr 13, 2021
Ep. 195: designer Clinton Smith
Today’s guest is the multi-talented Clinton Smith. Clinton is a New York-based designer, creative director, award-winning magazine editor, and author of several books. From 2013-2018 he was the Editor in Chief for Veranda and is now the Editor at Large for New England Home Magazine and Style Editor for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. With two decades of experience, Clinton is considered an expert in the fields of interior design, architecture, outdoor living, entertaining, and other luxury lifestyle topics. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How did Clinton get his start? When and how did Clinton come to write his first book? What is the job of a magazine editor? What are Clinton’s favorite magazines to read? Where does Clinton keep his large magazine collection? More about the Christopher Spitzmiller and book that Clinton collaborated on. The differences in design and architecture between New York and New England. How to put a twist on trends or look for microtrends. How do designers get published? How does Clinton stay up to date on the latest design books? Decorating Dilemma Hi Christine, You’re lucky to have some great architecture in your home—the craftsman detail is amazing! So here is a piece of advice that you didn’t ask for, but I think you can draw more attention to the detail by changing out the hardware on those drawers (unless it’s original then keep it). I like the bar setup you have but I would maybe just get a larger tray. You could add some votives or low pillar candles to reflect the light against the mirrored backsplash. I like where you’re headed with the plants against the taller glass-front cabinets. I would just put two overscale planters there and fill them with English ivy or some other fern to really anchor the space. I think the three in there are too small and you can really make a statement with two large ones. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could use some of those stick-on battery-operated lights to illuminate the glassware in those cabinets. FYI, Ballard also has these beautiful LED rechargeable lamps that have a dimmer and these wonderful metal shades. One last suggestion is our acrylic easel where you could add a little painting for a pop of color. We know you have great taste because of your coffee table books we see by Tom Sheer and Alexa Hampton! You gave us an easy one, Christine…thank you! Mentioned in This Episode: Clinton Smith on Instagram Clinton Smith Studio Clinton’s books on Amazon New England Home Magazine Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine A Year at Clove Brook Farm by Christopher Spitzmiller
Apr 06, 2021
Ep. 194: art expert Katharine Earnhardt
Today's guest is art expert Katharine Earnhardt of Mason Lane Art. She's been in the art industry for 15 years and started her consultation business with the goal of making art more approachable and enjoyable for her clients. We ask her all the nitty gritty questions including understanding prices, rules of display, and sourcing the best artists. What You'll Hear on the Show: During trials and triumphs we talk about yard projects and Karen's exciting news! We talk about Katharine's background and education in art How and why she started her business Her talent for envisioning how a space should look when it's finished Building a collection with a variety of styles and mediums Why the art shouldn't match the room but should echo the overall vibe or feeling What goes into pricing an art piece Rules of hanging and displaying art Show Notes: Eden Brothers -- where Karen and Caroline bought their bulbs Mason Lane Art Mason Lane on Instagram Find all of the show notes at
Mar 30, 2021
Ep. 193: Houston week designer Meg Lonergan
It’s the final day of Houston week, and we close it out with Meg Lonergan, Founder and Principal Designer of Meg Lonergan Interiors. Since founding her firm in 2009, Meg has become one of Houston’s most in-demand designers. She talks with us about mixing classic with contemporary, how to balance investing in nice pieces while still knowing that we change our tastes and minds over the years, and get a behind-the-scenes look from her work featured on HGTV and Southern Living. Meg also has some great ideas for helping children appreciate the finer things in their home while creating an environment that welcomes play and comfortability. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Meg is originally from South Louisiana, but she has lived all over the world and this is a huge influence on her style and open mind when it comes to working with clients. Don’t let a bold sofa scare you! Meg shares some of her ideas for working with bright and vibrant colors. Meg’s own home is filled with funky patterns and textures, and she loves the surprise element of design. It’s okay for your house to evolve over the years. Try to plan ahead and stay flexible, but know that things such as toy storage are more temporary. The importance of teaching children to be around nice things, even if there is a major spill every now and then. How she incorporated color with the HGTV home. Why Meg believes designers should push their clients to think outside the box - if you aren’t a little scared every now and then your designer isn’t doing it right! Meg’s experience working with dark, moody colors for the bedroom. Ideas for mixing your taste with the design of the home, and what to do when they are vastly different. Decorating Dilemma Hello! Thank you for writing in. First, we would suggest painting your cabinets a cool color. We agree that it would make it feel charming and English! Meg thinks you should do an oval or round breakfast table, and lighting is very important. We aren’t feeling the dark grout. Next, check out Ballards Seagrass rug, and layer a small rug on top to maximize your space. Even though we mention off-center art, we wouldn’t do anything off-center for your built-in. It’s all about creating a warm ambiance here, and two cabinets painted white like the trim on the house with some pretty hardware could add a nice touch. For your entryway, a console table with lamps would be nice. Under the console table, you could put some storage cubes plus a mirror on the wall for a last-minute look as you head out. Warming up the kitchen will help balance the big navy blue sectional couch. We heard that you like Jonathan Adler, and adding a pop of saturated color even by adding pillows or art can add that special funky touch. You have your work cut out for you, but we believe in you and are glad you reached out! Mentioned in This Episode: Meg Lonergan HGTV Farrow & Ball - Studio Green Southern Living Suzanne Kasler @meglonerganinteriors
Mar 26, 2021
Ep. 192: Houston Week Jacob Medina
Houston Week continues with Day 4 featuring the awesome and talented Jacob Medina. Jacob started his design firm, Jacob Medina Interiors in 2016 and now people seek out this boutique interior design firm for their expertise on everything from clean and handsome to luxe and funky. Jacob talks with us about his interesting path to design, starting with a degree in biology and teaching himself many of the basics and important technological skills. He shares the inspiration behind his handsome style featuring clean lines and a little twist of style and funk and tells us why there is no such thing as too many chairs. Jacob also gives us his real thoughts on using gray, how to emulate his purple kitchen, and the importance of starting with a cabinet plan in the kitchen. Jacob makes us laugh (and agree) when he makes the analogy between a good designer and a good marriage counselor — trying their best to make everyone happy with the end results! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Jacob is not your average designer — he started with a degree in biology and was pre-med! He taught himself many of the programs he knows today. Jacob and his team focus on everything from residential projects including new construction, home renovation, and decorating. Yes, he is chair obsessed! There is no such thing as too many chairs, especially once we start entertaining again! How Jacob uses custom pieces and vintage to capture the essence of what the client is looking for in their soul. Gray will be here to stay, but Jacob tells us how to use it responsibly without making it boring or drab. Jacob talks about painting a kitchen a light mauve / purple color — and it works! The importance of starting with a cabinet plan. Ideas for keeping your kitchen neutral but adding a bold colored backsplash. Colors Jacob wants to see more inclusion of mustard yellow, rusty colors, and more patterns! We also talk about mixing plaids and florals and warm / cool tones. Changing the front door can make such a big difference! Everyone needs a little funky art in their life. Hacks for testing paint on your wall, and finding your favorite whites! Decorating Dilemma Even though we talked a lot about finding your best white paint color in this episode, Jacob doesn’t think white would be best here. A pale greige would be a good place to start. Check out Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray for a starter idea! We think moving the desk to where the table is facing the window could be a great idea and less boxed in. A square or rectangle table would be best, or maybe a banquette to go with the table you’ve already got, but not a round or oval table. A navy wall could feel neutral and not too much with some larger art on the long wall. As far as your coffee table, if it serves a function such as storage or a space to eat, then we can keep it. If not, you may want three different-sized tables for drinks instead! Mentioned in This Episode: Jacob Medina Why is it so hard to choose a paint color? @jacobmedinainteriordesign
Mar 25, 2021
Ep. 191: Houston Week Art Advisor Illa Gaunt
We continue on Day 3 of Houston Week with a conversation with Texas native and art advisor Illa Gaunt. Illa holds several degrees and has over fifteen years of experience in the art world in both galleries and major auction houses. She has developed a following on Instagram for her fascinating mini art history lessons, which is how we found her! Illa’s goal is to help people not be intimidated by art and curating a personal collection. We talk about how and where to buy art, putting a contemporary spin on family portraits, inspiring art in children, and more. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs about dust jackets on books, a black cat on a white sofa, spring planting projects, and some funny decorating videos on designer Kevin Isbell’s Instagram. More about Illa’s art history lessons on Instagram. How Illa got into her field. How does Illa know when art is “right” for her client? Should we think of art as an investment when we buy it? How does an emerging artist really catch Illa’s eye? How to reframe and modernize family portraits. What Illa says to people who think they can do contemporary art themselves. What are some general guidelines to have for an art budget? Tips for where to buy art and how to get a checklist from a gallery. How is Illa instilling a love for art in children? Does Illa save all of her children’s artwork? Mentioned in This Episode: Illa Gaunt Art Illa Gaunt Instagram Artsy
Mar 24, 2021
Ep. 190: Houston Week Designer Sherrell Neal
Today we continue to Day 2 of Houston Week with our guest Sherrell Neal. Sherell’s work has been featured in Houston Chronicle, Modern Luxury Interiors Texas, and more. In 2019, she won a Ruby Award from the American Society of Interior Designers. Sherrell specializes in creating timeless spaces by incorporating classic elements and antiques with a modern approach. We talk about how her love of design came from an early age and her attention to detail, craftsmanship, and functionality creates a unique and thoughtful look for her clients. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Sherrell’s thoughtful and lasting approach to design. How Sherrell caught the bug early for design while working on remodels with her contractor father. The importance of proper design and thinking of all the details—big and small. Do fabric shades and wood finishes need to match in a room? Embracing the imperfections and wear-and-tear of antiques. Pattern mixing and rule-breaking in Sherrell’s work, particularly in the River Oaks house project. How Sherrell recommends using and designing built-ins. When is it appropriate to use a valence on drapery? How Sherrell was able to add leather chairs to a room while keeping it light and airy. Decorating Dilemma  Hi Ashley, I think rugs have a magical way of defining a space. If you don’t already have a large rug (5’x7’ or 6’x9’) that you can put in front of the door that goes beyond the entry to define it, I would get one. The entryway can always involve consoles, mirrors, artwork, and lighting. If you have a console, a round or rectangular mirror would be nice. Then on either side of the console, you could add buffet lamps — or one nice colored ceramic lamp balanced with some fresh flowers, a stack of books or other elements. In terms of the living room layout, I would probably not float the sofa and instead move it back against the window. If you had any other chairs you could mirror the sofa. Sofa on the left, keep your fireplace in the center, and chairs on the right, and maybe some lower items like ottomans can float around in the middle. If there is no room to do that idea, you could add floor lamps on each side of the sofa. I definitely think the room needs more lighting. I’m not sure of the dimensions, but you could always use the Ballard Room Planner to map it out. I would probably move the shelving unit completely to the door wall along with the basket you have next to it. You could put some art above the basket or take it out completely and put an ottoman or leave a place for shoes. I would rearrange the shelves, so they aren’t all full, add some pretty elements, and adjust the books so some of them are horizontal. The console I would move to the wall where the etagere bookshelf is—just swap them! Lastly, if you are able to make the sofa fit against the windows, definitely get a neutral rug that defines that space that is separate from the entryway rug. With the entryway rug, you can definitely have a lot more fun with color and personality. Good luck, Ashley! Mentioned in This Episode: Sherrell Design Studio Sherrell on Instagram Ballard Design Room Planner
Mar 23, 2021
Ep. 189: Houston Week Designer Marie Flanigan
It’s Houston Week! We are kicking it off with Houston-based designer Marie Flanigan. Marie is an award-winning interior designer and the author of The Beauty of Home. Her work has also been featured in publications such as Architectural Digest, ELLE décor, Vogue, Southern Living, Traditional Home, and she also recently had a role on HGTV’s internationally broadcast series Property Brothers: Brother vs. Brother. We talk about Marie’s love of texture, fireplaces, breaking conventions, and the importance of how a space makes you feel. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Marie transitioned from her career in architecture to design. Molding or no molding? Marie’s love of using fireplaces as the focal point. How to decide on a focal point in a room. How lighting changes and affects design. Marie’s guidelines for mixing materials, particularly wood. Creating a flex space in the home using sliding doors. All about a growing topic: home offices. How Marie uses sconces. A bedroom in the Telluride project. How Marie likes to use sculptures and “found objects” as art. What is so thrilling about tension in design? Decorating Dilemma Hi Caryn, The first thing I would do is come up with a way to make the dining room feel special. Add drapery, paneling throughout the room, and I definitely think it’s important to case the entry. One thing that casing does for rooms is it allows you to start and stop a wall finish. Then I would take a look at the architecture of the space to see if first I could recess the mud function into the wall and then be able to close it off with doors. That way when you are using the dining room, you could shut off the mess that accumulates in mudrooms. If that’s not possible, I would definitely go with the paneling idea and let the mudroom cabinets be an extension of that paneling so that it follows the same detail of molding on the cabinets. Just make sure you have doors in that area so you can “hide the mess”. You could perhaps lacquer the room or choose a fun color to paint all of the woodwork so that way the garage door just disappears, or you could even have the paneling go across the doors to hide it. Another thought is if you don’t use the dining room often, you could restyle the dining room table so it’s more of a round entryway table and you relocate the chairs to somewhere else while they aren’t in use. If you really want to embrace this as a more casual room, you could even do a built-in banquette under the windows and change from a round table to a square or rectangular table that would allow it to be pushed towards the corner more. Then you could use that bar cabinet for storage. A large area rug could also help to feel the space larger. Good luck, Caryn! Mentioned in This Episode: Marie Flanigan Interiors Marie Flanigan on Instagram The Beauty of Home Forbes & Lomax Lutron Switches Bocci Outlets Telluride Project
Mar 22, 2021
Ep. 188: designer Jean Liu
Today our guest is Dallas designer Jean Liu. Her full-service interior design firm, Jean Liu Designs, specializes in high-end residential and commercial projects. In 2018 Jean was named one of House Beautiful’s 10 Next Wave Designers. Her work has also been featured in Traditional Home, Town & Country, Architectural Digest, Luxe, The Wallstreet Journal, and many others. We talk about Jean’s love for bold art, how to create a “Zen” kitchen, Jean’s great house with a great room, and much more. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How to start enjoying art in your space. What is an art trainer? Jean’s unconventional path to a career in design. How Jean created a Zen kitchen. What Jean recommends for designing with kids in mind. Jean used to stalk her current house from afar…and one day she finally got it! What was Jean’s process for designing her own home? Designing a great room with different functions. Strategies for reusing furniture when moving to a new space. What motivates people to take on a brand-new style? How to make warm spaces in rooms that aren’t inherently cozy. Decorating Dilemma  Hi Laura, Yes, definitely take the symmetry into account and we have three recommendations for you. First, is to consider adding a linear fixture over your island that runs the length of the island. This will help detract the eye from the lack of symmetry and the true center of the room. Another option, given your husband’s height, would be to use a flush mount or semi flush mount throughout the kitchen. We love the Greta fixture! Finally, the last option we suggest is using gooseneck sconces over your window to let the lighting be handled through recessed cans throughout. What direction your windows are facing and the natural light you get may influence your choice. We usually recommend with any kitchen remodel that you strongly consider adding LED under cabinet lighting. You could also add some small lamps or tiny accents to your surfaces. We are all big fans of having dimmers for all lighting, as well! One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll never really be looking at the room straight-on, so it won’t be as noticeable as you may be worrying about. It’s great that you’re keeping it in mind, but don’t let it trip you up too much! Good luck, Laura! Mentioned in This Episode: Jean Liu Design Jean Liu Design on Instagram Jean’s Personal Home
Mar 16, 2021
Ep. 187: architect & interior designer Barry Goralnick
Our guest today is New York-based architect and interior designer Barry Goralnick. His firm customizes projects to include everything from early planning stages in building to interior design, to product design — check out their impressive collections! Barry’s work has been featured in Architectural Digest, ELLE décor, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and he is also a featured designer in Rizzoli’s new best-selling book Interior Design Master Class – 100 Lessons from America’s Finest Designers on the Art of Decoration, among many, many other accolades. We discuss how Barry’s background in fine art & literature influenced his varied style, decorating for small and big spaces, his tips for getting back to basics, and more. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Why Barry is an architect and an interior designer. How would Barry describe his style? What Barry’s recommendations are for decorating built-ins. More on the State Street project in Brooklyn with built-ins, wood finishes, and an upright piano. Barry’s take on open floor plans; especially during the post COVID era. How to pack a lot into a small space while keeping it functional yet glamorous. Barry’s tips on what to do when getting stuck in the design process. Decorating Dilemma about how to modernize a cabin in the Smoky Mountains. Decorating Dilemma Hi Christine, One thing I would remove is the stone around the peninsula in the kitchen; it looks inauthentic to me. If you extended the top, you could create a place for barstools. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but if you’re considering changing the cabinets at all perhaps you could turn the peninsula into an island. There are even some great freestanding kitchen islands available. I like the idea of painting the cabinets and painting the walls. It will help break up the monolithic theme. I would not paint the cabinets and the wall behind the fireplace the same color. I would choose a light color for that wall and maybe even pull from the stone. Also, even if you just paint the wall behind the hearth it will not only bring some contrast, but it will make the space feel taller. If you want to keep some of the wood, you could maybe sand it down and do a clear or light finish to lighten it up a bit, so you keep that rustic mountain feel. I know you didn’t ask me, but the drapes need to go! I would either do some shades or floor lengths. Regarding the banquette, I wouldn’t do a built-in one, but I like the idea of a long bench. If this is a vacation home, you want to be as flexible as possible and be able to shift things around. I am not a huge fan of the black railings since they are kind of heavy; even if they were light grey with a wood rail on top it would lighten it up. In terms of overall decorating, we think you should choose some stylish, well-scaled furniture and don’t go kitschy with it. If you leave even half of the wood in there, you don’t need anything else that nods to the Smoky Mountains. And don’t get furniture in the same color wood! We definitely recommend adding some upholstery and softness to the space. If it’s a rental space, we highly suggest performance fabric! We are excited for you. Do we get a free weekend to stay there now?! Send us the photos…and the listing! Mentioned in This Episode: Barry Goralnick Barry Goralnick on Instagram Goralnick Architecture and Design on Facebook State Street Project
Mar 09, 2021
Ep. 186: designer Traci Connell
Today’s guest is Dallas-based interior designer and business coach Traci Connell. Traci’s work has been featured in Traditional Home, Luxe Magazine, and many more. Traci is known for her signature method, “Ease of Glamour”, where she aims to create homes that are easy to design, easy to live in, and overall practical. She tells us what it means to make a home “bulletproof”, how she implements technology in her process, her advice for emerging designers, and more. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs about dust jackets on books, a black cat on a white sofa, spring planting projects, and some funny decorating videos on designer Kevin Isbell’s Instagram. What Traci means by “bulletproof” homes and the evolution of performance fabrics. What is on the horizon for performance design? When is it okay to choose something more delicate in design? How Traci uses technology to improve clients’ ease of living. What Traci does to make large, open homes feel cozier. How to divide a space with drapery. When to use something classic vs. when to push boundaries. How Traci designed a house for a client that wanted no accessories. Why renovation is more challenging than new construction. What elements does Traci find make a home more joyful? Tips from Traci for aspiring and emerging designers. Decorating Dilemma  Hi Courtney, The biggest hiccup here is that it’s a long, narrow space. My initial thought is to flip the areas and put the TV over the fireplace. Then a sofa right in front on the wall in front of the fireplace. There is no room for a coffee table, but you could put two storage ottomans on either side of the sofa in a matching or coordinating fabric. Then you could roll those over when you’re watching TV and almost create a modular-type sectional. At the door where there is a bookshelf of shoes, I think you could use some vertical storage. You could definitely put a little rug right there, too. On the other side of the room where there is a door opening, you could flank two matching storage bookcases and you could store the toys there. That far side of the room is great for a play area. We think toy storage should not be in the entryway but rather where the playing happens…unless they are outside toys! You could also put two swivel chairs there that could be moved around. For the windows, I would add some panels in white oak or seagrass. For the window coverings, I would add Roman shades to all of the windows to match what you already have. If you do move the TV to the rock wall, I would add a light fixture that’s tight to the ceiling but sprawls out. Since you like the blue, you could paint the ceiling a light grey-blue in a satin or flat finish. You could even match the color inside the built-ins. If you really do entertain in this room, you could also add a mobile bar cart. The modular approach to the room will definitely give you more flexibility. For the dining room area with that “awkward space”, I would take out the white shelves in those curved niches. Then maybe wallpaper back in there and/or do floating shelves so it doesn’t go wall-to-wall. You can change the hardware and leave the bottom, but I love the curve. In the middle, if you can, take it all out. A nice and airy art light with a beautiful piece of large art would be lovely. The buffet can then be on the other wall for more storage. And then move a light over there, as well. Where that hole in the floor is where the hearth was, hopefully, you can patch it with wood because it doesn’t seem like you really want a fireplace. A little bit of construction there, but not too much. Well, there you go, Courtney! Those are your marching orders! Good luck! Mentioned in This Episode: Eden Brothers (Atlanta) Kevin Isbell Instagram Traci Connell Interiors Traci Connell Business Coach Traci Connell Instagram Traci’s Online Design
Mar 02, 2021
Ep. 185: Britt & Damian Zunino
Our guests today are a husband-and-wife team, Britt and Damian Zunino, of the Manhattan based architecture and interiors firm Studio DB. Their work has been featured in Luxe Magazine, Architectural Digest, The New York Times, ELLE Decor, and many others. We talk about their love of creative spaces, how New York has influenced their style, and how they aim to create a space that is beautiful but also livable, their collaboration process, and more. Their work exudes a swankiness that we really love, so be sure to check out their portfolio! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Britt would describe their style. Discussing the curvilinear elements, features, materials, color palette and other customization they chose for The Symon project. More about Britt and Damian’s unique country home outside of the city. Britt’s tips for making bold choices start with choosing a color palette. Designing around the unique pipes in the TriBeCa Franklin Street Loft. How to design when you have very high ceilings. Why you should invest more in lighting, especially with kids at home. What is Britt and Damian’s collaboration process? Where does the color palette in their projects come from? How they design custom cabinetry with creative detailing. Tips & Tricks for designing kid’s rooms and small spaces. Decorating Dilemma Hi Malorie, We love the idea of bringing in the pink, but with the color palette that you have we need to bring something to tie it in. The first option would be to incorporate a fun wallpaper on the ceiling that had some of these colors to bring it all together. Maybe something in pink with a micropattern. We thought maybe it would be nice to add two more swivel chairs that had a pretty back so you can see that right when you walk in but also be able to turn them around to watch television. We have even done something where we have upholstered the back of the chair in a different fabric that is a little more playful and the seat is more durable. Rather than having all of the furniture on the outside of the room, the swivel chairs will help pull it in and engage that space. Another option if you didn’t want to go the wallpaper route is to paint the ceiling a little bit of a softer green than what’s on the walls so it feels like a more uniform envelope of color. We love the idea of a stripe on the rug. Also, something in a pretty neutral, like a seagrass rug, would be nice. Then you could even layer on top of it with a more colorful or patterned rug to anchor the seating space. That one can be much smaller and cozier, and the bottom rug would stretch more towards the walls. To touch on the blue chair, the shape is really interesting but since you have so many lighter colors in the room you could reupholster this one to fit better with the room. It would be nice to even add a little footstool or side table. We also want to say that you’ve done a really good job! We love the custom sofa, the sofa table, the lamps, the sconces, the bench seat. It’s a great space and you’re really onto something that you just need something to tie it together. Good luck and send us the after photos! Mentioned in This Episode: Studio DB Studio DB on Instagram The Symon
Feb 23, 2021
Ep. 184: designer Alison Giese
Our guest today is San Antonio-based interior designer, Alison Giese, who recently relocated from Northern Virginia. Her work has been featured in Rue Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, Southern Home, and more. Alison’s signature style is to give the homes she designs character and soul, while still keeping it minimal and elegant. Be sure to follow her on Instagram and check out her Monday Mood Boards every week! We love them and so will you. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs! Taryn welcomed baby Miles! Ordering blinds, the Cat Lawyer, carpeting the basement, and finding a perfect workspace in the home. Alison’s career began in sales before she pivoted to design. How her time in Brazil influenced Alison’s style. Redefining what neutral colors are and Alison’s selection process. Cabinetry and hardware trends and preferences. How Alison uses “restraint” and minimalism in her design. Breathing life into a space with greenery. How many towels to display in bathrooms. When and where to use small lamps. Decorating Dilemma  Hi Beth, We agree that most of the upholstery does feel a little big for this space. For a sofa, I think you could try a sectional with a chaise at the end. You would have to measure the room and map it out first either with a scale drawing or using painter’s tape on the floor. Caroline personally loves the Hartwell sofa for this space, especially in front of a window because it has a pretty low back. It’s also really comfortable without being too deep. And it comes in leather, too! If you do go with a leather sofa, you could try an upholstered ottoman to soften it up. Whatever you go with, just make sure you pay attention to the height and the length of the arms; try to keep it more compact so it doesn’t look as bulky. Depending on if you want the big lounging sofa or not, you could also add additional seating—maybe even some vintage chairs since they have a smaller footprint. I love the large chair in the corner; it kind of looks like a reading nook with the lamp next to it. Potentially the other chair in the other corner does feel oversized so that could be an opportunity for a smaller chair or even a little café table. So many people are having to carve out even the tiniest spaces for homeschool or home office, so if you don’t have that this could be that place. We love your built-ins. You could easily make those a fun color and utilize some of that storage for kid stuff. The carpet is great too! For the TV stand, your current media stand looks a little too deep so you could give yourself more walkway space if you got a stand that is smaller. Like we mentioned in another episode, an IR repeater is a clever way to help you tuck away your electronics. Lastly, we think you could add some more lamps or even hire an electrician and put some sconces in. Thank you for sending in your question, Beth! Good luck and send us some photos! Mentioned in This Episode: Alison Giese Interiors Alison Giese Interiors on Instagram
Feb 16, 2021
Ep. 183: architect Andrew Cogar
We are thrilled to welcome back our guest today Andrew Cogar who is an architect and president of the award-winning firm Historical Concepts. We discuss his new book, Visions of Home: Timeless Design, Modern Sensibility, collaboration, the narrative of a house, a closer look at a historic Charleston single house, designing around honesty, the concept of the creative process, and more. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs! Karen’s lingering Christmas issues, the Wilcox mirror, adorable doormats, our love of Etsy, Taryn’s old bricks, where to store the extra toilet paper, and Caroline’s new dishwasher. What are some examples of “sparks of joy” as it relates to architecture? Why collaboration is a fun puzzle. What is the concept of a “house narrative”? Recent shifts around the open floor plan. Considering the guest experience and privacy in a house. Reinterpreting the historic Charleston single house featured in Andrew’s book. The importance of designing even the small spaces. Why it’s imperative to be honest with your design team about how you want to live. What Andrew studied and learned while in London. The concept of creative process; emphasis on two separate words. Decorating Dilemma  Hi Olivia, The biggest challenge is that this is a pass-through room and it’s hard to get around this square layout. My advice is going to come more from an architectural standpoint than interior design. First, I would suggest putting up a wall. Most people think of this as an impossible task, but it’s not! It’s actually some of the cheapest and simplest construction to do as long as it doesn’t involve any electrical or plumbing. Assuming the fireplace is a gas insert, I would close up that space above the couch and I would put the fireplace on that wall. Incorporate it in a complete wall of bookcases and built-ins and have the TV worked into the bookcase more to the right. You could get a big reading chair and ottoman to be able to take advantage of the fireplace. I would then shift the cased opening and put that where the fireplace was (assuming those are closets and not a powder room) and move the opening there. That way you can have a 3-sided enclosure at the West side of the room. You can put a couch or sectional where the TV currently is, so it really takes advantage of the natural daylight coming in from the sunroom. This really creates two zones; one is a sitting and reading zone and the other one is more of a living room. Being able to see this from the front entryway will really bring it in with the rest of the house. You can spend just as much money and time trying to solve this room, but I think making these inexpensive and simple changes will really unlock so much potential in the space. Hopefully, this is helpful and works out! – Andrew With regards to the rug, we think you should try to find the biggest rug you can find for the space. Usually anywhere from 3inches to a foot of space around the edges works well. It will really help ground and center the room in a good way. Good luck, Olivia! Mentioned in This Episode: Etsy Historical Concepts Historical Concepts on Instagram Andrew Cogar on Instagram The Charleston single house Visions of Home: Timeless Design, Modern Sensibility
Feb 09, 2021
Ep. 182: designer Lindsay Atapattu
Today’s guest is Boston-based interior designer, Lindsay Atapattu, of LEB Interiors. Her spaces incorporate traditional elements in a clean, edited way. We talk about her love of traditional and where it meets modern, which elements are making a comeback, which elements are trending, designing with kids in mind, using color and chintz, and more. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs! Updates on Taryn’s house and waiting for the baby to arrive, a new bed and sofa from Ballard, empty nesting, innovative ways to hide cords and devices using an IR repeater, and missing curtains. How Boston and Lindsay’s family background has affected her style. How Lindsay decorates areas that are not considered “beautiful”. Lindsay recommends decorating in layers and buying quality items that will last, but also looking for budget items. Where should families with kids splurge, and save, their dollars? Which traditional style elements are coming back? Decorating for kids’ rooms. What elements are trending? Decorating Dilemma  Hi Jamie, The first thing I want you to do is get in there and paint the walls. I always say paint it white if it’s a big room; you can always change it. Get two of the same rugs; one for the dining space and one for the living space. They can be different sizes, or really different designs if you want, but keep it cohesive. Next, let’s talk pendants; I would definitely pare from 4 pendants down to 2 or 3. Go for larger pendants and use painter’s tape to mark where you might want to place them. In terms of the lamps behind the sofa, that’s tough. You really have to have the outlets in the ground instead of coming out of the wall; especially with kids running around. Depending on the positioning you could have cords go under the rugs and plug into a wall if it’s close enough. The best thing to do would be to have an electrician come and if you have a basement, see if they can run a cord and drill up. If you’re having one come in to quote the pendants, you might as well get a quote for that too. Otherwise, I would say forego the lamps behind the sofa and add one on an end table closest to the outlet or even a floor lamp. Now the sofas; I think if you have a basement for the kids to go to that’s a perfect place for slipcovers. The space in the photo I think is a little more formal so I wouldn’t do the slipcover unless you’re going for more of a farmhouse look. Just be sure, to be honest with yourself about how often you’ll take the slipcover off; because it’s a pain! Ballard and others make really great performance fabrics these days, so I would opt for using that on a more formal piece in this room… especially if you have another place for the kids to hang out. Finally, we would all like to see you add some fabric or texture to add softness to your seating so it’s not all wooden (i.e. the stools and the dining room chairs). You have a good base here. Good luck, Jamie! Mentioned in This Episode: The Schwartz House on Instagram Brie Channel Bed Ballard Pleated Lampshades Bissell Spot and Stain Cleaner LEB Interiors LEB Interiors on Instagram
Feb 02, 2021
Ep. 181: designers Barry and Amanda Lantz
On the show today we have father and daughter design duo Barry and Amanda Lantz of Lantz Collective in Carmel, Indiana. We talk about Barry's art collection, why art is the perfect starting place for color, their new fabric collection with Kravet, and how their aesthetics differ. What You'll Hear on the Show: The unique paths they both took to interior design Why color is the perfect starting place for your home's palette How to use color and contrast to create drama in your room Why it's important to struggle in the design process (or any creative process) Symmetry and asymmetry and why your room needs a little of both How their new fabric collection came about Show Notes: Farrow & Ball's Sulking Room Pink Follow Me Art Brie Channel Bed Suzanne Kasler Mathes Sofa Barry's Serena Fabric Find all of the show notes at
Jan 26, 2021
Ep. 180: designer Matthew Patrick Smyth
Today’s guest is acclaimed interior designer and photographer Matthew Patrick Smyth. He has been on ELLE Décor’s “A” List, his work has been featured in House Beautiful, Traditional Home, New York Magazine and more. He also wrote a new book “Through a Designer’s Eye: A Focus on Interiors”. We talk about his polished yet comfortable spaces, his love of artisanal pieces and antiques, his attention to detail and light, and some touching personal stories. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs about feeling at home in a temporary rental, a pregnancy announcement (!), COVID within the family, tearing down and rebuilding a house, a nightmare new build next door, considering new drapery, and dishwasher woes. Matthew explains how his process begins — starting with the floorplan. Where Matthew finds his artisanal pieces and what he loves about them. Matthew’s love of antiques led him to interior design and carries into all elements of his style. How Matthew’s experience as a photographer impacts his design. The ways Matthew was able to decorate a casual seaside home and still use antiques. Why Matthew has an affinity for round dining tables and what chairs he recommends. More about Matthew’s personal home and falling in love with it. Matthew uses upholstery to modernize an older house with all antique interiors. Matthew’s love of black(ish) paint. What Matthew does to individualize the work for his clients. Matthew shares about his work and friendship with Gloria Vanderbilt. How is a designer’s eye different from the average person’s? Decorating Dilemma  Hi Jenny, First of all, thank you for including the floorplan—so helpful! This is a very generous width for a dining room so the sideboard is not going to throw off the room; there’s still plenty of room and no flow problem whatsoever. It’s not a floor to ceiling piece, so your eye will go right over it. I would put a big mirror over the sideboard to reflect the windows and the beautiful view. That will really open up the room. It’s really important to keep that chandelier centered with the windows so I would not touch that. The table centered in the room is the way to go. It’s good that you’re thinking about it now…but don’t overthink it! It’s actually a nicely designed floor plan and well proportioned; I wouldn’t play with that. You’re in good shape, Jenny! Matthew Mentioned in This Episode: Matthew Patrick Smyth Matthew Patrick Smyth on Instagram Through a Designer’s Eye: A Focus on Interiors on Amazon Zillow Gone Wild on Instagram The Schwartz House on Instagram Chicology Roller Blinds
Jan 19, 2021
Ep. 179: Picking Paint Colors with Fran Keenan Part II
Welcome back to Part 2 of “Picking Paint Colors” with interior designer Fran Keenan. If you missed Part 1, take a listen to episode 178. Today we talk all about exterior paint colors as well as a word we used a lot in Part 1—nuance! We also cover more of your FAQ’s all about paint including at what point in the design process to decide upon your paint color, how to make sure your bold wall doesn’t look cheap, and some expert tips in choosing specific paint brands and colors. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Why picking an exterior paint color is a much bigger decision than interior Should you paint brick? How to choose front door colors Tips for choosing specific paint brands and colors What Fran loves about Farrow & Ball paints Fran breaks down her favorites within paint decks in several different brands Why paint should be the very last thing in your design What should trim color for white walls be? Can the front and back of interior doors be painted different colors? Should outlet covers be painted the same or different color? How to make sure a bold wall color doesn’t look cheap and/or depressing? What is Samplize? Paint ideas for coffered ceilings If you are doing DIY, should you use a roller, a brush or a spray? Mentioned in This Episode: Fran Keenan Design Fran Keenan on Instagram Ep 178 Part 1
Jan 12, 2021
Ep. 178: Picking Paint Colors with Fran Keenan
More than any other topic, we're constantly getting questions about paint -- how to pick it the right one? What are the best colors? Which finish to use? We're answering all of your questions with today's guest, interior designer Fran Keenan. We're big fans of Fran's work, and she was a guest on episode 83. She's always picking bold, saturated color in her design work, so we thought she'd be the perfect designer to chat with us about one of the trickiest elements of design, paint. In Part 1 of this two part series, we're talking about picking colors. What You'll Hear on This Episode: We talk about why paint she be the last thing you choose in a room Questions you should ask before you pick paint colors like, what is the narrative? Paint is the easiest thing to change Light is a huge factor in how your paint and your furnishings will appear in your room Picking paint when you have a new build Testing samples, how many to test and where to test them Why paint should be the answer to questions about the tempo and vibe of your room What it means for a paint to have 'age' Should all of your paint colors across your house look good together? We'll cover more paint FAQs and more in next week's episode We talk a lot about 'nuance' and what that means in paint Show Notes: Fran Keenan Design Ep. 83 with Fran Keenan
Jan 05, 2021
Ep. 177: designer Debbie Mathews
Our guest today has been in the antique business for over 30 years. Debbie Mathews owns Nashville-based antique shop, Debbie Mathews Antiques and Design, and also created an interior design portion of the business in 2012. We talk all about Debbie’s love of antiques, why people shouldn’t be afraid to purchase them, and the best pieces to look for. Plus, Debbie weighs in on some Decorating Dilemmas about accent walls and mixing silver and gold! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Debbie got started in antiques and design in childhood and how it evolved. Why Debbie thinks people shouldn’t be “afraid” of antiques and how every room should have one. Tips for falling in love again with pieces you’ve had for a long time. Why Debbie is always on the hunt for a writing desk both for her shop and her clients. Debbie’s love of a Louis Philippe chest and mirrors. Which professionals to look for when restoring antiques. How to know when to leave an antique “as is”. Tips for feeling comfortable when buying an antique. Online sites for purchasing antiques. One of Debbie’s biggest goals is to make antiques more approachable. Decorating Dilemma(s) Hi Sheryl, First, I love accent walls! Nothing can quite transform a space like paint. Your focal point wall with the fireplace has too many different paint colors, and I definitely think you should paint the whole wall and cubbies one color. Leave the fireplace and the mantle as they are. I think it will make it more impactful and also more cohesive. This will also highlight that beautiful Oriental rug you’ve inherited. We all agree that we like the warm brown accent color so use that for the whole wall. We can’t wait to see it! Jamie, Absolutely I think you can mix this china with gold. One of the reasons I say this is because many of us, including myself, have china with a gold rim and we’re using silverware! Also, so many of the kitchens we are designing now have stainless steel appliances, but I’ll still use brass hardware and plumbing fixtures. I actually really like mixing metals, but I don’t like going beyond 2 metals. I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules in creating a tablescape, and I like mixing silver and gold. I think of it as creating a painting. When you have a white plate, you could start with a colorful tablecloth or placemat and think of the other layers as accents that work with your “painting”. I’m also okay with mixing patterns. I’m personally a big fan, especially as we struggle for normalcy in 2020, of using a family heirloom in my tablescape. You can also search for older pieces in antique shops or garage sales. Karen says go ahead and stick a salad plate in your bag and carry it around with you so you can layer it up with what you find and see how it looks and feels. She also thinks you can add some more gold accent pieces like these gold partridge salt and pepper shakers! Thank you, Jamie! Mentioned in This Episode: Debbie Mathews Website Debbie Mathews on Instagram Debbie Mathews Antiques on Instagram Debbie Mathews on Chairish
Dec 29, 2020
Ep. 176: set designer Beth Kushnick
Our guest this week, Beth Kushnick, has decorated sets from some of your favorite films and TV shows including The Good Wife, Jumanji, and Anchorman 2 just to name a few. She joins the show to share what exactly a Set Decorator does, and how she started as an art lover in New York to compose visuals for the top sets in the entertainment industry. Beth also geeks out with us about lighting, picking the perfect colors, and her biggest pet peeve in set decoration. Beth also is the host of the podcast, Decorating the Set: From Hollywood To Your Home. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: The difference between decorating for a TV series versus in movies. How Beth started in theater with design and painting and got led to set design for movies and television. Why you should be on the lookout for the little “easter eggs” in movies and TV, a clever gift from the crew! How Beth designs perfectly for each character and makes the sets seem realistic to their personality. Why you won’t see black drywall screws anywhere near one of Beth’s sets! Artwork is so important to the set, and Beth explains how she finds appropriately themed artwork for each production. Beth explains the decisions on picking a color to make the actors look good and bring out their best features. The nuance of paint and why natural colors are so classic. Beth gets super jazzed about lighting and shares what she uses to honor the set design by using practicals for lighting. Decorating Dilemma Thank you so much for writing in! So, we think you have more space than you think you do. Beth agrees with you that the entry-way can turn into a small cabinet, and you could possibly move it back to create more storage space. This would then help you dress the window behind the cabinet, lending to you to some interesting color options. In this circumstance, the tape measurer will be your best friend, especially when it comes to depth. We would go as big as possible which could be your buffet, and you can add lamps and candles for some great lighting options. A funky chair facing the sofa to ground the sofa would be great. Mentioned in This Episode: @BethKushnick Decorating the Set from Hollywood to Your Home
Dec 22, 2020
Ep. 175: designer Cath Kidston
Our guest today is known as the queen of print. Cath Kidston has a background in interior design and styling and started the brand, Cath Kidston, known for their vintage inspired prints and homewares. In 2017, Cath stepped down to start Joy of Print; a creative design studio that specializes in designing prints for interior design and fashion. She is also the author of A Place Called Home. We talk about joining the new and the old, the sentimental with the modern, and finding calm in color and patterns. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: While growing up in England, Cath started designing at an early age, studied fashion and design, then opened her own shop which grew into the Cath Kidston brand. Cath’s book reflects how all of us should think when moving into a new home, mixing some sentimental with modern elements. Cath’s goal in her home is to make it feel warm and relaxed; she loves using plants and flowers. How Cath is able to make strong colors work together without feeling too chaotic. Cath’s husband was a client; so, she eventually had to live in the bachelor pad she had designed! Moving is hard in terms of holding onto, letting go of, and finding new ways to use things we love. Why Cath is particularly fond of wallpaper and what here favorite types are. Cath doesn’t like clutter, so she finds ways to make small touches and “collections” in rooms. Cath has been finding hidden treasures at swap meets for years. The unique bathroom’s, and bathtubs, in Cath’s home. Procrastination can be a big, and expensive, mistake in design. How Cath was able to have a working, modern kitchen in such an old home. Plan for storage! It’s so important especially if you want to play with patterns and colors. Decorating Dilemma Jordan, I’ll start with the easier end; the desk should go on the far end away from the fireplace. I really like it in the middle of the room. Then while you’re working you could look towards the fireplace or even have someone sit opposite of you. Maybe under each of those windows you could build out window seats and put bookcases underneath the seats. For your father’s mirror, what about that area of the wall opposite that little niche? Just before you get to the dining room. If it’s a tight squeeze, you could even rotate and have it as a long mirror. A low table and a lamp would look really nice below it, as well. It would really open up the room when you first walk in. The couch could go on the wall to the right of the front door as you walk in. The couch could be L-shaped, but a short L. Or a section couch with a little foot stool. Put the TV over the fireplace. I wouldn’t do a rug in the middle but rather two rugs: one on the office end and then one on the fireplace end of the room. Behind the couch would also be a really nice place to hang some pictures and make it feel cozy. On the office side of things, you could have a big plant or a floor lamp or something that will make it less cluttered. Wall color will depend on what color the couch and the rugs are. Lastly, you could have a really cool feature chair in the corner in that gap near the fireplace. Take a look at the floorplan I’ve drawn up and be sure to send your pictures along! - Cath Mentioned in This Episode: Joy of Print on Instagram Joy of Print A Place Called Home
Dec 15, 2020
Ep. 174: designer Alyssa Rosenheck
Today’s episode features the multi-talented Alyssa Rosenheck. Alyssa is a renowned interior and architectural photographer, stylist, a cancer survivor, a lifestyle expert, and best-selling author of The New Southern Style. Alyssa shares her inspiring background and life pivots, and she encourages us all to tap into our creativity; whatever that means for us. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Alyssa’s story; including growing up as one of the only Jewish families in OK, life pivots, cancer, and staying YES to herself. Alyssa left high stress corporate jobs and started helping build small businesses about 7 years ago. What is “The New Southern” movement and where was Alyssa when she came up with it? Alyssa describes what her new book The New Southern Style is; not just a picture book! Why rituals are so important and what some of our favorites are. What “living in the light” means to Alyssa. Alyssa shares some tips on how to counteract burnout with creativity. The different ways you can define “creativity”. Alyssa’s process for writing, and photographing, her book. How Alyssa does the job of two people both styling and photographing her shoots. Why you should be flowering your home with Israeli Ruscus. How Alyssa picked the people she would feature in her book. Alyssa’s book inspires and nurtures the idea that you can make a living being a creative. Mentioned in This Episode: Alyssa Rosenheck Alyssa Rosenheck on Instagram The New Southern Style Decorating Dilemma Hi Cindy, I think this is a really great open space. I would love for it to all be one color and be light, bright, open and airy to reflect all the windows in the house. We all agree that statement walls need to be very intentional and think white walls with white trim in a different sheen will work wonders. I think this will be the biggest bang for your buck then you can bring in in textures and layered accessories within the same tonal family. Use art for pops of color. You can really change the meaning of this room by bringing the furniture in closer to the fireplace. Adding another chair and maybe a little card table would be good because this is a great room for people to gather. Add some more lamps with the plants on that table behind that long sofa, as well. I do like the bar area, but I almost want to see those top cabinets gone and do shelving above it instead. The important thing is to make this room more intimate. - Alyssa The first thing I think you need to do is check out Lauren Liess; a designer in Washington, DC that specializes in this style house and uses an earthy, 7os color palette in a really modern way. The second thing is I think you really need to invest in your art collection. You have a lot of blank walls and I wouldn’t buy (or even make) anything under 40”. It doesn’t need to be expensive! I know you have a lot of windows, but 2-3 pieces above the TV, flanking the windows, above the bar or above the dresser could be great places. Think outside the box! I also with giant ceilings like this you could get some great, large light fixtures. I personally don’t hate the wood trim; you could try the wood trim but you’d need a professional help you out. We’re not sure about painting the brick around fireplace; start with painting the room one color first. Good luck, Cindy! We really like this room and its architecture and can’t wait to see what you do with it. - Caroline
Dec 08, 2020
Ep. 173: designer Joyce Downing Pickens
Our guest this week is the founder of Los Angeles-based design firm JDP Interiors, Joyce Downing Pickens. She is the primary designer, and her work has been featured in the LA Times, Elle Décor, domino, and many more. We talk about her effortless design which features a California style mixed with a rustic English cottage look. Joyce gives us tips on bookcases and built-in stylings and other ways to make your space unique. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs about over power washing a deck, hurricane debris, packing for a move and 4 days without power. Joyce has a varied style that is often a meld of her aesthetic mixed with her clients’ desires. How Joyce describes the California style; laid back, rustic textures, linens, etc. Joyce leans towards using a cream or a richer white rather than pure white to add depth. Joyce has a quirky loft in her home that she managed to turn into a cozy lounge/sleeping space. Ways to make a builder's home seem unique like trims, furniture and collectibles. Styling bookcases and built-ins are difficult but so important; Joyce shares some tips. What design changes Joyce has made, or wants to make, during the pandemic. The go-tos Joyce likes to use on projects (plants!) and when she entertains. When to use sconces vs. a table lamp. Joyce had a project in San Francisco with huge windows and few walls; how she designed for this. Finding a designer as you’re house shopping, or building, will save a lot of headaches. How Joyce was able to design with intention (and velvet) in another space with floor-to-ceiling windows. Mentioned In This Episode: Joyce Downing Pickens on Instagram JDP Interiors Decorating Dilemma Hi Susan, The long skinny room is hard! The best thing you can do is what you’ve almost already done; break it up into two or three places. There is a lot going on, so try to think of those designated spaces and what you’d really like to achieve. Think of that center point as a place to have an entry center console table or an area with a daybed by the fireplace (see some examples from Jeremiah Brent and Nate Berkus). You could also use a bigger sofa in here; maybe on the left side that wraps in front of the window. Walking out of the kitchen area into two chairs could help break that up, but I understand wanting to be able to look out the window…this is not an easy room! Window treatments on the far left could really help warm up the room and finish it; think about them as the eyebrows to the room! I would do Roman shades on the double hung windows and either skip one on the sliding door or put a drape. Window treatments will overall give some height to this room. A standing tree or lamp could also help with height. I wouldn’t do a custom area rug for the whole room; use three rugs, that sort of tie together, to designate the different areas. Some vintage Turkish rugs that pair well together, but aren’t the same, I think would look great. We all agree that there are too many seating arrangements; you should really try for one big, focal seating arrangement. Maybe an L-shaped sofa with a chair; you could break up the “blockiness” by finding a chair with legs. Then you can have the chaise lounge in front of the fireplace. Then another seating area in the space you walk right out of. I even think you could make that a substantial dining area right by the kitchen instead of pushing the table into the corner; when you have guests over you can look out onto the water. The room is a little too piece-y now; I like to mix two different types of furniture but never more than that. One other thing you might want to consider is a floating desk; either where the table is now or in the kitchen nook. Both ways you can look out onto the sea. -Joyce The Ballard Design Room Planner would be really helpful here! It’s a beautiful room! Please send us some photos and then invite us over for that wine!
Dec 01, 2020
Ep. 172: designer Stefani Stein
This week our guest is Los Angeles-based interior designer Stefani Stein. Her work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Conde Nast House & Garden, Elle Decor, HGTV, House Beautiful, House & Home, and more. She was also named one of California Home + Design's 'Rising Stars' and has recently launched luxury wallpaper brand, August Abode. We talk about Stefani’s relaxed yet refined style, how California lifestyle affects her design, her love for an earthy palette and embracing imperfections. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials & Triumphs about eroding light fixtures, basement updates, lighting trials and triumphs, budget solutions on flooring, storing gift wrap, falling branches, broken fountains, plants, bushes and trees…oh my! Regardless of the style, Stefani doesn't like clutter. She appreciates the negative space; as in having mindful or selective emptiness and leaving breathing room around items. Stefani took a risk and left her first, successful career to go to school for design. How to make rooms feel light & airy; mix traditional, clean lines and vintage, choose lighter fabrics, and avoid high gloss finishes. Stefani is influenced by the wabi-sabi philosophy; appreciating beauty that is imperfect and incomplete. How to work multiple wood finishes into a room; pay attention to the tones. Some tips and tricks on how to care for brass. Why Stefani prefers an earthly palette for its lasting power. A Cape Cod glam project where Stefani brought in elements she hadn’t ever used along with some cozy elements. How to compromise when one member of a couple has a very different vision than the other. Designing for the bungalow means packing function and beauty into a small space. It’s all about understanding the client’s lifestyle. Mentioned In This Episode: Stefani Stein Stefani Stein on Instagram August Abode August Abode on Instagram Decorating Dilemma Hi Caroline, From what I understand, the back countertop would stay but the island would change. What I would do to give this a more current feel is I would actually hone that back countertop. It would help the 90s granite feel more like a soapstone. I absolutely think you can have a different material on the island. I personally like a calacatta paonazzo because it’s a mostly white-beige background with warm veining. The cabinets are quite a bit of wood; my inclination is to keep the uppers wood and paint the lowers. The uppers should probably be bleached to be more modern, as well. Or you could paint all of it and do darker lowers and lighter uppers. I don’t think white cabinets are the way to go in this kitchen. If you want to keep them light, maybe do ivory. For the backsplash, I would go with a zellige. It has the imperfections in there and feels more current, plus it would go well with everything. I would maybe change the cabinet hardware to a matte black or an oil rubbed bronze. For the range; I agree with the one you chose. I like the simple, clean-lined hood. The part where it has wood on the bottom, you may even be able to use the remnants of your marble slab and tie it in here. When it comes to the pendant lights, you could get away with doing only two that are larger in scale. My personal preference would be a round table, but the oval still works if that’s your preference. I wouldn’t move the light from where it is, but you could swag it so that it’s centered over the table. Just use a chain instead of a chord as we think it looks better. What you have there now feels too light so I would recommend something heavier like the Remington. For the bar stools, we have a lot of suggestions like the Dayna, Allister, Dorchester, Adrian and Southport, but it’s hard to say for sure without knowing the paint color you choose for the lower cabinets. Make this decision last after you make all of the other choices. We think your instincts are spot on about what you should change.
Nov 24, 2020
Ep. 171: architect Damian Samora
Our guest this episode is NYC-based architect Damian Samora. Damian studied at the University of Notre Dame and began his career in London before moving to New York and joining the esteemed architectural firm, Ferguson & Shamamian. Ferguson & Shamamian is on the AD100 and has been featured in all of the top design magazines. Damian has designed everything from rustic mountain retreats to historic apartment buildings to large family homes. We discuss why Damian and his firm always work in tandem with an interior designer, the challenges of working within the confines of NYC apartment structures, what to look for when hiring an architect and more. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Ferguson & Shamamian have a deep-rooted philosophy in designing spaces with interior design at the forefront. NYC apartments are often limited in their structural changes. How Damian and his team confront those challenges to achieve the client’s vision. How Damian works with an interior designer to face challenges like finding sources of light even in tiny apartment hallways and combining two apartments into one. Familiarity is often how people choose their “warm” or comfort in their homes. While being at home more, people are more activity-focused. Things like pools, homework rooms, dual offices, etc., are becoming more popular. So are doors and walls! After living in London, Damian’s design was influenced by parts of the English style like respect for context and uniqueness. How furniture structure can evoke a feeling and affect a mood. Why soundproofing and hiring an acoustician can be so important to the function of your home yet is often overlooked. Damian’s tips on where to spend and save; depending on if it’s your forever home. When looking to hire an architect, Damian recommends finding the firm whose work you like then trusting their referral to the individual architect. It should also be treated as any other relationship. Damian gets most excited when clients want to design around their art collection. Are people still doing screens on their windows? Yes, but Damian recommends being selective and not placing screens on every window. Mentioned In This Episode: Ferguson & Shamamian #FergusonShamamian on Instagram Decorating Dilemma Hi Kate, It’s going to be helpful to think about where your priorities are and then weigh it against what is most cost-effective. Your rangehood and your island carry the most weight in those spaces. So unless you are going to replace them, you have to work with them and not against them. In terms of light fixtures, we would shy away from matching them because they are doing different work. If you want to pull focus to the island, you could try a pot rack light fixture or something linear to give the kitchen some weight. For the breakfast room, we would definitely add a round table. We also like upholstery on the chairs to soften things up (Sunbrella or other performance fabric would be great with kids). Regarding the window treatments, you want them to be sort of “talking” to each other, and this is a great place to bring in some fabric. The backsplash is always hard and right now it’s grabbing too much attention. We would contemplate replacing the countertops to match the backsplash. We all agree that we like the color of your cabinets and painting it another color white won’t do much; the tile is the real problem. We also don’t think you need to paint the rooms; just balance the lighting and the window treatments. The island doesn’t necessarily need to change color either, but the stools should tie more to the value of color of the cabinets. Think of the breakfast room, the kitchen and the family room each as a node that pulls you inward to them. There’s a lot of great space here; don’t be down on yourself and give yourself some time. Good luck and please send us the after photos!
Nov 17, 2020
Ep. 170: Nashville Week: Ray Booth
This is the last day of our Nashville Week! Our guest this episode has many layers. Ray Booth is a designer, architect, bestselling author of Evocative Interiors, partner at McALPINE Design and this year launches his inaugural furniture collection with Hickory Chair and his first accessory and lighting collection with Arteriors. We talk to him about the design of his multiple homes including a home that rose from the ashes; Travelers Ridge. We ask him about decorating the mundane spaces, his love of light and drapery, and how to know when we have overfilled a room. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Ray got his start with McALPINE and his journey from Alabama to NYC and back again. The backstory on Ray’s grand hilltop home, Travelers Ridge, in Nashville. He literally built the home from the ground up on the land of charred ruins. Ray shares how he makes use of the outdoor space using terraces and how he makes a 5200 sq ft home feel intimate using layers, texture, proportion, and scale. Ray likes to think of a home as a story using pauses and punctuation and uses things like screens, scrims, and curtains in the home to accomplish that. Ray likes to use lightweight and thin drapery in order to “activate” the windows in a room. Ray created “working pantries”, complete with a sink, as landing place for dishes and other things so the kitchen can remain the gathering place without having the messy stuff front and center. Round rugs get a bad wrap, but Ray thinks if you do them in a solid color it becomes a fun, graphic way to define a space. In terms of embracing or ignoring the style of a home, it’s important to listen and hear what the client is asking for. You want your design to have staying power, so we have to acknowledge where we are both location wise and architecturally. The design of Ray’s homes are heavily influenced by this. Ray hopes that people will seek more authenticity from their homes due to spending so much time in them during the pandemic. Our homes are such an extension of our inner selves. Ray considers light to be “magic elixir” and designs and builds to allow light into the home. Mentioned In This Episode: Ray Booth Design Ray Booth Design on Instagram “Evocative Interiors” – On Amazon Travelers Ridge Decorating Dilemma Hi Amelia, Great to hear from you again! Here’s what Ray has to say. Let’s start with the drapery. A lighter drapery is going to allow the light to come in. If you have to have the blackout option, I would look to a Roman shade instead of the heavy velvet. I would encourage you to not put the patterned fabric on the lampshades. Lamps are for light, so I like the crispness and the brightness of a white shade rather than a gathered fabric shade. If you are going to use that accent fabric, think of doing almost a king-sized pillow with it rather than chopping it into smaller pieces. Color wise, I think your walls are really the opportunity to bring some color into the room. This will contrast with the white lampshades and lighter drapery. Keep decorating and sending us your questions, Amelia!  
Nov 13, 2020
Ep. 169: Nashville Week: Rachel Halvorson
We are on Day 4 of Nashville Week! This episode we are thrilled to be joined by another Nashville-based designer, Rachel Halvorson, of Rachel Halvorson Designs. Rachel found big success at a young age gracing the cover of Garden & Gun and she’s also been featured in LUX, Traditional Home, Southern Living and Better Homes & Gardens. Her work is incredibly varied; from farmhouse to contemporary to mid-century modern (MCM). We talk about how her approach is unique across every project, yet she manages to keep a clean style. We also talk about her go-to elements, her love of lighting, and the highly controversial “bookcase bathtub” that we mentioned in our last episode with Stephanie Sabbe. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Rachel found herself on the cover of Garden & Gun for her custom-designed porch swings. How Rachel makes a farmhouse, a very popular Nashville look, feel more authentic and elegant. Don’t rush the process! Designing your home is a journey. Rachel shares her approach to designing her own space. The highly controversial “bookcase bathtub” picture from out last episode with Stephanie Sabbe‘s was actually Rachel’s. How she came up with it and why she got hate mail on it. One of the most fascinating parts of design for Rachel is interpreting what people love and how they want to live, then incorporating that into her design. She likes people to think of their home as a time capsule. Bookshelves are a particular challenge for Rachel mostly because other people ask her to pick out their books! Are people actually reading books anymore or just decorating with them? “Tammywood” was an MCM project Rachel did for two members of the Little Big band. It was every bit as eclectic as her client; a kind of Hollywood glamour meets Bohemian. More than ever with people being at home, they want their homes to reflect them and their style.  Rachel’s go-to elements are anything that has patina or is aged to give a house a sense of history. In terms of window treatments, she goes for lightweight to bring the outside in. Rachel likes to use texture, rather than additional pieces, to add layers and a statement to a room. Rachel is a fan of mismatching and adding in small vintage pieces to give a space character and make it feel “lived in”. Beds are the hardest part of her job; while room-planning and lighting are the easiest.  Rachel uses things like sconces and lamps to create soft, flattering lighting; partially inspired by her grandmother. Mentioned In This Episode: Rachel Halvorson Designs Rachel Halvorson on Instagram Decorating Dilemma Hi Sarah, This is a very cute room! The first thing Rachel always does in a project is paint and lighting. We would pull the dark blue color from that rug (and push that rug under your sofa a bit!) and paint around the fireplace and even the built-ins in a semi-gloss. We would even consider painting the shutters that same color…even the trim! There is a lot of attention on the TV, so we would suggest buying a Samsung Frame. Then when it’s off, it acts as a piece of art. For the bookshelves? Go get more books! Old leather books from a used bookstore could be really nice. If there is an outlet by the bookshelves, little lamps on either side would be a great addition. How about those teeny lamps you already have on your acrylic table? Then add one single larger lamp on that table. Maybe add some floor lamps and some sconces on the panel wall. You do need more furniture. You could fit two chairs; stay away from matching chairs but two in a neutral fabric would be nice. Toss some throw pillows with maybe the same dark blue and/ or the red brick. A small chair by the fireplace would be very cozy and help round out the room. Another side table on the side of that sofa will also work. For window coverings definitely go for some lightweight or sheer curtains. If that’s a working fireplace, put some wood in it and use it. If not, some pretty birchwood or fireballs for a nice ambience.
Nov 12, 2020
Ep. 168: Nashville Week: Julie Couch
This episode comes to you from Day 3 of Nashville Week! Our guest is Nashville-based interior designer and nonprofit art gallery owner Julie Couch. Her work has been featured in Country Living, Southern Home, domino and she was named one of Traditional Home’s Rising Stars. She was also on DIY Network’s Nashville Flipped. This busy lady sits down with us to talk about her many projects, her love of performance fabrics and textiles, staying accessible and how to jazz up the popular all-white look. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Julie’s doesn’t have a particular style, but she likes to pull her client’s requests through her own filter. She particularly likes performance fabrics. Julie likes the motto, “If you feel like you have to impress somebody at your house, then you don’t need to invite them over.” And that design is evident in designing her own home. Having kids in the house doesn’t mean you can’t have nice things; Julie didn’t alter her home much when her daughter was born. Life is short—make your home beautiful! Even on a budget. Julie wants to take the intimidation out of the building and design process, so she is very transparent. What the best plan and biggest challenges are for all-white rooms; and how to make them unique. All about the spiral slide one of Julie’s clients wanted in her kids’ playroom. One thing Julie is seeing is clients being adventurous with their bathrooms, laundry and mud rooms. How to layer in textiles to make the light and white rooms feel more cozy. With more people at home, they are decorating and designing their spaces. Julie believes designing your home should be accessible; she has a blog with free advice and encourages people to think of design as an ongoing process. With so many clients finding Julie through social media, she has really embraced it as a tool. Why one of Julie’s biggest dislikes are rugs that are too small. More about Julie’s nonprofit art gallery, G Grace Gallery, that benefits chronically ill children. Julie’s tips on how to start and display an art collection. How Julie is able to bring back an old-fashioned classic, café panels, and make it feel modern. Mentioned In This Episode: Julie Couch Interiors Julie Couch on Instagram Julie Couch on Facebook G Grace Gallery Decorating Dilemma Hi Lee, This room is adorable! We agree that the wallpaper would be so pretty and we would put it on every surface you can; walls, ceilings, everywhere. We would use a fun print but in a lighter color. For the window, a Roman shade mounted all the way up where it meets the ceiling will define the window but add a softness. Over in the niche, a little desk or vanity table would be really nice with a shaded sconce above it. Wired sconces on the angled ceiling would be great, as well. We love this room and can’t wait to see what you do with it!
Nov 11, 2020
Ep. 167: Nashville Week: Stephanie Sabbe
Today’s episode comes to you from Nashville Week! We sit down with Stephanie Sabbe of Sabbe Interior Design. She started her career working in commercial and restaurant spaces and has transitioned to residential clients in her hometown of Nashville. We talk with Stephanie about how cozy her spaces make us feel, her love of traditional artwork, her favorite color palette and developing a flow to a room that feels personalized yet elevated! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Stephanie specializes in cozy and comforting spaces. She approaches design from a livable way and often works with families. How Stephanie pairs her unique curation of traditional artwork with fresh colors and clean lines to create a more modern look. Stephanie tries to evoke motion as you move throughout a house; she wants a flow but for each room to feel like it’s a different space. If there is a space in your house you aren’t using, you need to design it better. Designing with kids in mind requires a great deal of practicality and thinking ahead. A lot of Stephanie’s style was inspired from her time living and working in historic Boston. Stephanie has an affinity for the autumn and earth tone color palette and often muted colors. Stephanie talks about her widely shared image of a bookcase behind a tub. Fun and personality are so important to Stephanie’s brand and her projects. Second to natural light, Stephanie thinks sconce lighting is the best lighting. Stephanie tried an old but new trick; painting the trim the same color as the wall. Tips on designing the “dog chair”. Mentioned In This Episode: Stephanie Sabbe on Instagram Sabbe Interior Design Decorating Dilemma Hi Julie! We love this sofa. As far as furniture layout, we would pull the two wingback chairs back closer to the fireplace and flank them on either side. If you use the storage below the glass shelving often, you could probably angle the chairs in a way so you can still have access. You could definitely add a second sofa; something smaller like a loveseat. Just be sure to consider back height and arm height on the sofa to make sure one doesn’t dwarf the other. Since you already have so many solids, we would try something fun like a bold pattern to make that second piece pop. We like the grey upholstery on the wingbacks and adding a patterned throw pillow. The shelves are hard because of their differences; we like your lamp idea. Another thing we would suggest is taking the art over the fireplace and replacing it with a mirror since you already have artwork over the sofa. You might also consider painting the space; definitely the ceiling coffers. We like creamy white for the whole room. The fireplace has a lot of elements going on and we think if the room were all the same color, it would unify it. __________________________________________________________________________ How about a rug to ground the seating area? It’s not entirely clear from the pictures, but what if you centered the sofa with the fireplace? You may have to move the piano to the other wall because it feels a bit lopsided having everything on one side of the room. Stephanie agrees with moving the piano and then putting the bookcases behind the piano. Then centering the art and adding two side tables, two table lamps will make that wall feel more symmetrical. If you move the piano and wingback chairs, you have room to put additional chairs in there, as well, to accommodate all the people. You have a great space and a great start; especially for only 7 months living there! Keep us posted!
Nov 10, 2020
Ep. 166: Nashville Week: Laura Thurman
In this week’s episode, we sit down with interior design expert Laura Thurman of Thurman Design Studio based in Nashville, Tennessee. We chat about how to handle bold, fall colors as well as having pieces of furniture in your living space that create a splash. We also discuss how to balance decor pieces that you may have picked up from different parts of the world with decor pieces that you already have. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Laura’s take on the “modern” style and what it means to her. How important it is to educate clients on the design process, because most of the time, inspiration comes from education. How to not be afraid of bold, non-traditionally neutral colors and how to incorporate them into your fall decor. How Laura takes an outdated house and gives it a much more modern approach without tons of major renovations. How to utilize gallery walls in your space, and what goes into creating a good one! How your personality and interests should shine through when it comes to the design of your house, just like in Laura’s Cherokee Soul project. Design tips for when you have a bold-coloured piece of furniture. The importance of balancing new and older or collected decor pieces to keep a modern feel to your space. How to have a balance of scale and not have your space feel too cluttered while allowing your eyes to rest in certain areas. The three design elements that can spruce up a neutral color palette in a space. The importance of designing a fabulous powder room. How to decorate a foyer and give some advice on how to incorporate patterns, coffee tables, and faux plants! Mentioned In This Episode: Thurman Design Studio Laura Thurman on Instagram Laura Thurman on Facebook Laura Thurman on Pinterest Decorating Dilemma Laura thinks you should paint the whole foyer! Because the walls are faceted, painting just one wall doesn’t seem practical, so go big or go home! When it comes to the rug, Laura thinks a big, round, patterned rug would be best because it would take up more floor space.You should also put the Wedgewood gray on the ceiling and stick to navy on the walls. Laura also doesn’t think the arches should be the same color as the foyer, especially if the arches are introducing a room that is a different color. For having two young kids, we’re all very impressed with how tidy your space is! Keep playing with some more patterns since your sofa and pillows are pretty solid, we recommend swapping out the solid pillows for some patterned ones. We also noticed you don’t have a coffee table and have two square ottomans instead, but we think a bigger, round ottoman would complement your space very well. You should also consider painting the mantle navy blue or a deep green! Some drapes in the dining area would help make everything look a little more cohesive. Some greenery or faux plants would also make your home feel more lived-in and can bring life to a space.
Nov 09, 2020
Ep. 165: Peter Pennoyer & Alice Engel
Our special guests this week are renowned architect Peter Pennoyerand the Director of Interior Design of Peter Pennoyer Architects (PPA), Alice Engel. Their work has been featured in Architectural Digest, ELLE Decor, Veranda, Town & Country, and many more. We discuss their love of details and high craftsmanship; especially when they serve a function. We also hear about common mistakes they see from clients, favorite projects and what it’s like to have nearly 10,000 books! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How to balance designing for the particular needs of a family while also designing a space that will last for decades or more. Craftsmanship is the key to longevity. Ornaments personalize a house and Peter believes it joins art with architecture. Alice and Peter both find delight in small design details that improve functionality. PPA’s approach is to work early in the process with a designer and always include the design in the architectural plans. When meeting with an architect, always have a wish list of how many rooms, and be candid about your lifestyle. Peter and Alice get real on the biggest mistakes they see from their clients. Peter opens up about realizing his dream when he designed his house in the Hudson Valley as a square villa. It’s easy to overdo your design scheme; Peter and Alice remind us that simplistic consistency is often the best approach. Different ways to bring in and enhance natural light in a house; including “borrowing light”. The impressive lengths Peter and Alice traveled in order to combine traditional and modern on a house in Ohio that was featured in Architectural Digest. Why PPA likes to connect to each artisan involved in the process and make it a collaborative process. How trends and perspectives on design and architecture have been influenced by the pandemic. PPA has an impressive library of nearly 1o,oo0 books that are central to the office both in design and as a resource. Why bright red is a color seen throughout PPA’s projects. Mentioned In This Episode: Peter Pennoyer Architects PPA on Instagram Ohio Home designed by PPA New York project with copper dome Find all of the show notes at
Nov 03, 2020
Ep. 164: designer Brigette Romanek
Our guest this episode, Brigette Romanek, is one of LA’s most sought-after designers. Brigette is the founder of Romanek Design Studio and has been featured in Architectural Digest’s “AD 100”, ELLE Decor, Vogue and more. With no formal training, Brigette relies heavily on her intuition and doesn’t believe there are hard rules when it comes to design. We discuss how her one-of-a-kind style is heavily influenced by her musical mother, her travels and her love of eclecticism. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Brigette went from having no formal training to designing Beyoncé’s home. Why it’s important to tune in to each individual client’s needs and “speak their language”. Brigette believes less is more (especially on windows!) and often strays from traditional design elements. What Brigette means when she says “livable luxe” and why she wants a home to feel functional yet uniquely yours. When designing a house, a room should be its own vignette but also fit together as a whole. Lighting is so important, yet difficult, to enhance the overall feeling of a space. Brigette likes to keep the original character of a building’s architecture and work with it instead of against it. Brigette’s clients run the gamut of completely hands-off to overseeing each step of the process; and she learns something new each time. What it was like working with Queen Bey! One of Brigette’s most challenging projects was working on a commercial project because everyone involved had different ideas. How Brigette gets away with including a wild card in each of her projects. Decorating Dilemma Brigette thinks you can break this up into two separate spaces that will serve as their own vignettes. You can put a rug down when you first walk in to immediately ground the space as well as some curtains to outline a seating area by the window. You could also have a cushion made to go on the bench you already have. As far as the rest of the room, using shelving or bookcases will make a decorative but intentional break in the space. In that middle space you’re not fond of, how about a beautiful table to place vase and even store your keys on? To store your winter clothes and other items, you do have that coat closet that protrudes. Let’s enhance that area and own it so you really love it! You could cover it with a fabric you love, you could paint it, you could change the hardware…play with it. A visit to the Container Store would help organize the inside of it. __________________________________________________________________________ If we talk about using the things you already own, what if you took the bench you have and put it straight ahead when you walk in and then move the table where the bench is. And then just add Ballard’s double boot tray either right when you walk in or tuck on the backside of the closet. Maybe add hooks above it too? – Karen And don’t forget to use those high ceilings for some fun lighting! Mentioned In This Episode: Romanek Design Studio Romanek Design on Instagram Ballard Designs Find the show notes for this episode at
Oct 27, 2020
Bonus Episode: What We've Learned & Our 4th Anniversary
Today’s bonus episode marks four years since we started the How to Decorate podcast! We talk about our favorite takeaways, tips and tools learned over the years. We are so grateful for all of our wonderful listeners and the amazing guests we’ve had and look forward to way more fun ahead. Listen in for some of our takeaways about treating your room as a vignette, why we aren’t mad at brown furniture, and a little more of the personal ways we’ve grown and changed throughout the past four years. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Your house should be the most glamorous version of yourself. One of the biggest takeaways we’ve learned is there is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to design. Brown furniture was an unexpected key player to emerge. Tone value is such an important learning tool to apply across the board. Treating the rooms as vignettes is a simple and manageable way to break up a project. One of the easiest and most instant ways to change it up? Paint! The personal changes we’ve all been through since we started the podcast. Having a plan before you begin helps you reach your full vision and less like you’re never finished. How much energy is saved using LED lights vs. traditional lightbulbs and all the other things we’ve learned about lighting. “The Cantaloupe Rule”—no accessories smaller than a cantaloupe! Performance fabrics will save you many headaches in the long run. The important relationship between designer and architect. You should respect and decorate specific to house style while finding ways to infuse other elements. The relationship between a designer and a client is so personal. We’ve learned how important measuring is. Or have we? Use our room planner tool! Contrast brings a space to life; textures, finishes, colors, styles, shapes, etc. How your wardrobe and personal style can be a reflection of your design style. We can admire a someone else’s style or approach while not adopting it for ourselves; but there are ways to take elements and apply them towards our own design. Really study how you live to see if your home is (still) working for you. You don’t have to buy everything for your room all at once; especially expensive items. Mentioned In This Episode: Ballard Designs Find all of the show notes at
Oct 25, 2020
Ep. 163: designer Breegan Jane
In this episode, we sit down with the multi-talented Breegan Jane. She is an LA-based designer, entrepreneur, lifestyle blogger, TV personality, children’s book author, and mother. She’s been featured on HGTV, the Hallmark Channel, and more. We talk with Breegan about using design as a way to keep some order and cleanliness in the house, tips that we can learn from a 23-bathroom house, and how to keep things fresh and new using what we already have while at home with our family. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Breegan’s impressive and diverse resume has helped to shape her design style and visual expression. What exactly designing a 23-bathroom house entails. What kind of tips designers learn from their clients that they use for their own homes. How Breegan uses design to keep order and cleanliness with two young sons in the house. Why Breegan insists her 4 and 6-year-old share a bedroom (at least for now). How you can transition spaces, especially as we are at home more, without buying all new things. The opportunities and challenges Breegan has faced while working on HGTV’s Extreme Makeover and how she balances work and motherhood. Breegan talks about her go-to elements for glamour and what she calls “modern approachable luxury” including mixing textures. In our Decorating Dilemma, we dive deep into modernizing a space with color tones and having faith in the changes your designers suggest. Mentioned In This Episode: Breegan Jane Breegan on Instagram Breegan on Facebook Breegan on Twitter HGTV Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Decorating Dilemma Breegan thinks you know your biggest problem; you just have to be willing to fix it! The color tone in that wood is really dating the space. If you were to paint or stain over those cabinets in white, put two new pendants lights over the kitchen island and add a rug with some color in that space—you would be done! If you (or your husband) are not willing to part with the wood aesthetic, you could paint the kitchen white and try to ebonize the wood with a dark stain. Any color that gets you away from the yellow tone in the wood is really going to modernize it; you could do white, grey, brown or black. You already have a great, neutral style in your home and then you can accent it with any color you want; maybe even some fun bold-patterned drapery. There’s no getting around that dated tone, unfortunately, but you have a beautiful space with wonderful natural light! It may be labor-intensive, but you could do this yourself and it’s not very expensive. In terms of the backsplash? Leave it! You don’t need it and then you can put that money into the other things we recommended. Please report back, Megan! __________________________________________________________________________ To sort of play devil’s advocate, Caroline thinks you could start by painting the doors, trim and fireplace while leaving the kitchen alone. Breaking up the uniformity of the space will help it look less dated. If you start small, you can get your husband on board with bigger changes.
Oct 20, 2020
Ep. 162: designer Sara Barney
This week we were pleased to speak with Sara Barney—founder and principal designer of the Austin-based firm BANDD DESIGN. Sara is an Austin native who spent the first 10 years of her career in California in the sports and entertainment industries. Now back on her home turf, she’s taking the design world by storm. Sara was named one of Fortune Magazine‘s Most Powerful Women, one of Austin Monthly‘s Women to Watch, and is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and the Female Founder Collective. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Much of Sara’s style draws from her varied professional background and from living in California. Sara decided shortly after having her 2 daughters that she wanted to switch careers and try her hand at design. She took a 1 year online program and her business was booming before she even finished. We talk about Sara’s approach to styling shelves and her love/hate relationship with floating shelves. Solids work well for large elements and Sara ties in textures, layers and patterns with smaller pieces. Sara loves taking risks with wallpaper and shares some of her favorite sources. The all-white kitchen is a big trend, but Sara prefers playing with colors in the kitchen. Sara works a lot with young families and gives tips on where she recommends investing in more sturdy, stain-resistant pieces. 3D printed houses are here; and Sara explains how it works and how she got to design one. What are two of the things everyone is asking Sara for? (matte black fixtures and modern farmhouse) With people spending more time at home due to COVID, Sara talks about how design requests have been influenced. Sara talks about best home office solutions and how to make the space not look so “corporate”. We talk about Sara’s love of and use of deep teal and integrating functional items to fit within the design. Why one of Sara’s phrases is, “No Schluter ever!”
Oct 13, 2020
Ep. 161: designer Markham Roberts
This week, we welcome legendary designer Markham Roberts to talk about his new book, Notes on Decorating. We talk about how his style has evolved, and he shares his knowledge and humor with us. We discuss why practicality is key, how to better combine traditional and modern style, and why his love of hot dogs is unparalleled. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Markham thinks the most important thing is understanding your clients and what makes them happy. Practicality is key. Not all decorating is created equal. Markham recommends considering the difference between mountain houses vs. beach houses, country vs. urban, etc., and to choose materials that reflect location, terrain and climate. When combining traditional and modern styles, Markham thinks there are no rules and it’s best just to DO IT. See what happens and how they relate to each other. We talk about 3 houses Markham decorated all out West, belonging to 3 clients that were friends, that are very different. The Nantucket house that Markham decorated truly indulged his creativity. The client’s unique and blunt personality challenged him to make a mix of styles work together. We love how much Markham uses humor in his approach, and in his book, to enjoy his work. We dive into some of our favorite parts of his book. Markham tells us how he got creative with a client’s antique pieces so they could be highlighted and not hidden. We ask Markham about his guidelines on the contrast trend. Markham talks to us about his love of subtlety, details and the use of simple ticking of fabrics. We ask Markham for his best nuggets about textiles; don’t always go for the most formal and expensive fabric, play around with them, look at larger samples to really study it. Markham shares what he loves about one of his personal properties in a small Victorian town in Washington state and how he and his partner, James, have worked for 20 years to make this home truly their own. Markham tells us why he loves antique quilts and how to be careful when purchasing them. The only thing that compares to Markham’s love of his dog and tennis, is hot dogs. Mentioned In This Episode: MarkhamRoberts.Com Markham’s Instagram Notes on Decorating Decorating the Way I See It Find all of the show notes at
Oct 06, 2020
Ep. 160: designer Sean Scherer
Painter, shop owner, decorator, and author Sean Scherer joins us this week. We talk about creating authentic interiors that tell a story, and Sean shares the inspiration behind his new book, Kabinett & Kammer. We also talk with Sean about using scale and composition to keep balance and flow within a room, using small objects and bright colors to create a large impact, and why it’s okay to just go ahead and purchase that piece you’ve been eyeing up. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Trials and triumphs on some expensive roman shades, rewiring a lamp, a broken chair, tree talk, and exciting new house plans! In Sean’s new book, Kabinett & Kammer, he celebrates practical yet beautiful interiors in an honest and humble way. It’s all about taking the things we already have and love and displaying them in a new way to get a striking effect. Sean’s mother was a collector, and by watching her reorganize and repurpose, he fell in love with the process. In Sean’s new book, Anderson Cooper wrote the foreword and appreciated the aspect of how we can create a unique and authentic sanctuary for ourselves in our home. We can play with scale to make smaller objects more noticeable, and also use smaller objects as a way to experiment with bright colors. How Sean shops for the Kabinett & Kammer storefront, and uses the shop as another form of artistic output. If you really love something, buy it! It’s all part of building a conversation in our home that shows what we love and who we are. Ways we can take an object and successfully use it out of context, like a great taxidermy piece. Mentioned In This Episode: Karen's roller shades Kabinett & Kammer Kabinett & Kammer Book @kabinettandkammer Find all of the Show Notes at
Sep 29, 2020
Ep. 159: How to Pick the Perfect Chair
There's so much more that goes into shopping for a great chair than just picking what looks pretty. We invited our in-house upholstery experts Kelly, our Merchant and Buyer, and Hillary from our Product Design team to share their insights. We talk about everything from chair height, placement, arms, ottomans, and everything in between. We pick their brains on what to look for when purchasing a chair, and where to splurge vs. save in the chair department. Whether you want to swivel, recline, or sit up pin-straight, this is the episode for you. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Just as important to consider how you are going to use a chair is how you are going to use the space where the chair is going. That will determine the function whether it’s for office use, entertaining, What instances you would want high back chairs vs. lower back chairs. The best chairs for entertaining, and the best times that you can sacrifice comfort for something a little tighter. How your frame is the foundation of a chair and the different types of frames we use based on the specific engineer and general construction of the chair. The best choices for an office chair that can support long hours at the computer, now that many of us are working from home for the foreseeable future. What pitch is on a chair, and how the experts at Ballard design and development team determine that a pitch is right. The different styles of arms on a chair, and which ones are better fitting different functions. Ballard over 300 upholstery options and many of the performance fabrics are perfect for families, pets, and clumsy drink spillers. When are ottomans are appropriate, and how much lower they should be than our seat. Even our experts have scratches on their leather couches, so it’s okay to not be perfect if you do decide on leather! Mentioned In This Episode: Ballard Chairs Ballard Sofas Slipcovers Chairs Sharon Sofa Kathryn Upholstered Sofa Sofia Upholstered Sofa Find all of the Show Notes at
Sep 22, 2020
Ep. 158: designer Katie Ridder
We kick off this week with some tree talk, then welcome our guest, Interior Designer Katie Ridder. We couldn’t be more excited to talk with Katie about her new book, More Rooms, which is yummy beyond words and featuring color and exquisite details out of this world. We talk with Katie about her bold choices, her love affair with custom banquettes, her advice on bedding, and how she counters colorful choices with colors and tones that blend together seamlessly. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Trials and triumphs about a big plant overhaul, a much needed cushion deep cleaning, rotting plants, and spooky chic Halloween decor. More behind the amazing details and bold statements of color featured in Katie’s work, how she dreams up all the details without it feeling too busy or overdone. How she chooses color scheme and builds on it with all the colors, and why you need to just trust her when she mentions bringing in a brown couch. Why she chooses quiet carpets when you have colorful carpet schemes. More about her love affair with custom banquettes, and fun ways to add seating options for everyday living and entertaining in a home. How to make a cozy study, especially now since so many of us are working from home. Her advice on beds, low profile mattresses, and her choice of bedding. What working with large publications such as House Beautiful and House and Garden opened her eye to different styles and learning about scale in person. Katie’s advice for outdoor rooms, and how she has really gotten more into gardening during this time of quarantine. Ways that we can make sure our furniture and design choices are in scale. Mentioned In This Episode: Katie Ridder @katieridderinc Penn & Fletcher Swedish Grace Charles Beckley 1800 Matress Trees Atlanta Suzanne Kasler Decorating Dilemma: Thank you for writing! Here are our suggestions: we don’t think the rug is too large. You can cut it down a little bit if you want, and it would not hurt the value too much. Katie agrees that your instinct to get rid of the cabinet under the TV is right, along with putting the TV on the wall. Check out some of our Ballard console tables to anchor the side of the room. Also, we would lacquer the chairs and use a performance fabric for the cushions. Find all of the Show Notes at
Sep 15, 2020
Ep. 157: designer Joy Moyler
Award-winning interior designer Joy Moyler joins the show this week to share how we can carve off a little slice of luxury in our own homes. Joy works with actual royalty, along with dream celebrity clients such as Leonardo Dicaprio and John Mayer. Based in New York, Joy absolutely loves creating a whole home for her clients and talks about ways we can make both simple and layered designs clean and stunning. She shares what textiles and pieces are making her do a happy dance these days, and how working with huge brands such as Revlon and Ralph Lauren helped bring her eye for fashion into winning design creations. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Joy shares the benefits of working with different design firms and both residential and commercial projects. The same way that others mentored her, Joy pays it forward with hiring interns and mentoring the budding designers of tomorrow. How Joy works with clients who choose to layer heritage pieces, and those who opt for a minimal and simplistic style. What she loved working with huge brands such as Revlon, Armani, Ralph Lauren, and how fashion ties in so heavily with home design. What the celebrities are doing in their houses that we aren’t doing at ours, besides having multiple homes. What a meeting with Leo is really like, and how Joy fought back a flu to attend a movie premiere! A glimpse of what it looks like when Joy designs home from soup to nuts, including their flat-ware and tables. More about the Stone Barn Dairy Farm in update New York, which house some of the luckiest cows on earth! Joy’s tips for using fashion textiles as window treatments or cushions. Simplicity can sometimes be even more complicated. Which of Joy’s projects she would take on as her own home. Mentioned In This Episode: Armani Joy Moyler Interiors @joymoylerinteriors Decorating Dilemma: Joy thinks putting some artwork on the walls will create other focal points in the space. Definitely some colorful area rugs and Joy recommends a lighter printed window treatment. This will help soften it up and create a break from all the beige. A more translucent textile that is a lighter color instead of the blue would look better. For painting your walls, something celadon or light blue would look good. Thank you for writing, and be sure to keep us updated! Find all of the Show Notes at
Sep 08, 2020
Ep. 156: designer Marshall Watson
New York-based designer Marshall Watson joins us this week to talk about trusting your intuition, his connection to Swedish design, and more. We also talk with Marshall about the importance of creating a floor plan and knowing a home’s architecture before going in on a big design. Marshall also talks about his new book, The Art of Elegance: Classic Interiors which pairs his personal stories of beautiful homes with photos showing their elegance and luxury. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Why hiring a New York designer is the best - just ask Marshall how many unexpected obstacles and challenges come up when designing in small spaces that need both beauty and function. Marshall believes in getting the architecture right first, then other design elements will fall into place. Marshall is a native of Kansas City and graduated with three majors from Stanford University. He also has a love for theatre design and made it onto the Soap Opera As The World Turns as an actor! We can interview ourselves when about to design our own homes, much like Marshall would interview a client. The first place to start is asking “how can I spoil myself in the best way possible?” How to find artisans you trust and find it pleasurable to work with. Marshall doesn’t believe in bad taste - there are opportunities to take a vision and make it fit. Marshall shares how he got into Swedish design, and how the Swedish sensibility is practical, clean, and geared to bring more light in a home. Decorating Dilemma: Brenda, we love that you love color and pattern. Marshall believes in pulling spaces together, and the tables along with the wallpaper as well. It would be nice to have a stack of two photos on top of it, preferably with the frames being the same color as the consoles so they are unified. He would put two frames and a pair of pictures that are a large print or have a large mat. A suggestion would be painting the wooden part of the chandelier white, along with the base of the table. You have a lot of doors, you might as well paint them the same color and celebrate them. An indoor/outdoor carpet four inches from the wall could help accentuate and tie together the shapes while embracing what you have already done. If you decide to paint the entry, you can’t paint the ceiling white because it will look cheap. You can use a little of the wall color, but dark walls mean a somewhat darker ceiling. If budget allows, you may want to think about new flooring for the entry-way to fit your bold and colorful vibe. Mentioned In This Episode: The Art of Elegance Marshall Watson Interiors @MarshallWatsonInteriors Find all of the Show Notes at
Sep 01, 2020
Ep. 155: designer Carmeon Hamilton
This week, we are happy to welcome Carmeon Hamilton, a Memphis based designer who is also behind Nubi Interiors. Carmeon talks to us about the positive effects great design can have on our mood, how her background in retail merchandising and working around construction gave her a solid foundation, and her book that teaches us to all be better plant parents. Carmeon also shares some great plant purchasing and plant care tips, and affordable ways to spruce up our home and add extra space as we continue to work remotely. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials and Triumphs about ways to make your space better at no cost, a drop ceiling replacement, new cabinetry, and paint jar organization. How Carmeon went from having the best designed dorm room in college to switching from physical therapy to design as her focus in college. The ways that working with construction and architecture gave Carmeon an understanding of what a project needed before interior design can even begin. Carmeon’s work in healthcare showed her how important a well designed space is for our mood, and a large part of that is having plants and beautiful greenery to care for! Some great tips for picking plants and keeping them alive, for even the most newbie plant parents. How to balance working from home and comprise your vision when you are co-workers with your husband and even children. A few of the great ways Carmeon utilizes double use furniture in her living room and kitchen, creating more space for guests and entertaining. How to use accent walls in a way that is not cheesy, and if you are going to go for it, really go for it. The most genius idea for more counter space in the bathroom so those toothbrushes aren’t always on display. Tips and tricks on picking the right container or planter for your plant for the best growth and drainage. How she shops for plants, and yes you can get amazing plants and flowers at your neighborhood grocery stores, and also support local businesses as well. Mentioned In This Episode: 11 Zero-Cost Room-Changing Ideas Carmeon Hamilton Nubi’s Guide to Plant Parenting @carmeon.hamilton Ballard Beds, Daybeds & Headboards Decorating Dilemma We would paint the cabinetry, walls, and wet bar area all one color, and you can continue to use it for office space if you are like the rest of us working from home! We also would find a different location for the TV, possibly mounting it on the wall. The windows are challenging, but we definitely would think about a scenario where you build in a day bed with some sconces on the wall and some good funky shades. You have a lot of options, and we look forward to hearing which direction you go!   Find all of the Show Notes at
Aug 25, 2020
Ep. 154: designer Tish Mills
Tish Mills is known for creating peaceful yet livable spaces that reflect the homeowners personality. She joins us this week to talk about her love of construction, how a great design team makes the whole thing seem effortless, and ways we can create peace and harmony in our busy homes and lives. We also reminisce about the showroom we worked on together in 2014, and draw from that how to take pieces and customize them in a beautiful way that is meaningful to you. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Trials and triumphs on good neighbor relations when it comes to painting, a fun pastel door color, the wrong sized curtains (take two), and a few of the best options for good ergonomics when working from home until who knows when. The difference between console and desks in terms of height and surface working area. Why Tish used the word “peaceful” when it comes to her design, and examples of projects that fit this description perfectly, including a home with fluted kitchen cabinets. How a great team in design can make a project seem effortless. More about Tish’s love of construction, and how it’s like a mix to go through labor and to therapy when doing a major remodel. Tish’s dad was one of the four major developers of Hilton Head, so construction is in her blood. Why planning ahead and knowing our traffic patterns can help make the best decisions in every aspect of design, as early as we can. How Tish works with her clients to use pieces that are personal and meaningful that they collect over time, rather than feeling like they need to furnish and decorate in a hurry. How we can use earth tones correctly. More about the Not Your Average Downsize project which boasted a 30,000 square foot incredible home. Using metals as the base for your interiors, and options that you may not have otherwise thought about. More about the showhouse we did together in 2014 at the Atlanta Symphony Showhouse, and what we can learn about taking objects and customizing them to make them feel like your own. Mentioned In This Episode: @tishmills Tish Mills Carin Console Rachel Cannon - Ep #44 Forward Thinking with Ballard Designs Decorating Dilemma: We love this question, and love that you are up for a change. Tish agrees 100% that the bed facing the fireplace is too expected, and doesn’t feel that you need to move the chandelier. Do some floor to ceiling panels, and weight the treatments slightly more to equalize the windows. Do complimentary tables on the side, and they do not have to match. The part of the door to the right of the fireplace that you don’t use, the mirror feels a little out of place, so you could find another place for it. You can also put a nice comfy chair there and create a seating area or cozy reading nook. Art is important in this space, and Tish would float a piece of art over the headboard. There are also some “lazy” options that we suggest, and we won’t tell anyone if you decide to go for them! Find all of the Show Notes at
Aug 18, 2020
Ep. 153: designer Jena Salmon
We kick off this week’s show with our favorite design books, and what better time to start reading then now, while we are all still at home? Then, we welcome designer Jena Salmon from Atlanta to talk about her style that incorporates classic and traditional with a little funk. Jena discusses her love of color, how novices can get started with bold choices that will stand the test of time, tips and tricks for wallpaper, and ways to mix in traditional older pieces with modern furniture and design. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Our top books in design for beginners, fancy homes, “normals”, and everyone in between! Design books can be an investment themselves, but they are a great accessory and also make for great gifts and trading. Jena’s style is funky, but also classic and traditional. She shares how just using one acrylic or contemporary piece out of context can make a big difference. How to choose colors that are bold but stand the test of time. An inner glimpse at a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired house that Jena is working on, and how she captures the client’s requests with the overall architecture of a home. How we can save money and time by using wallpaper in the most efficient ways. Why Jena chose blue and tile tile, and how this can create classic neutrality also found in plain white kitchens. What happens with showrooms after they are done, and why a designer would want to do one. Mentioned In This Episode: Habitat by Lauren Tom Scheerer No Place Like Home - by Madeline Stuart Vacation at Home - by Vern Yip Modern Mix by Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar Bunny Williams One Man’s Folly by Furlow Gatewood Gil Schafer Soul of the Home - by Tara Shaw The Art of Place - by Lee Ledbetter The Big Book of Chic - by Miles Redd Jena Salmon @jenasalmon Decorating Dilemma: Thank you for writing in! We would make sure everything is painted the same color and in flat paint so there is not a lot of reflection. Since you have young children, they are going to need a place to play and a TV above the fireplace will work here. Check out our Coventry Benches that would provide some great space for storage and also additional seating options. A solid tall piece of furniture could also be used for storage without competing with color. Behind the sofa, a drop leaf table could be a great option for eating and more storage. Great for kids and it will soon serve as your new dining room table/drop space for walking in the door, etc! Find all of the Show Notes at
Aug 11, 2020
Ep. 152: design firm Massucco Warner
This week we give a warm welcome to Julie Massucco Kleiner and Melissa Warner, founding designers of the West Coast-based firm Massucco Warner. Their portfolio is a joy to look at, so we couldn’t wait to catch up with them to talk about using color, texture, and unexpected details in an approachable way. We also talk with Julie and Melissa about patterns, their great lamp game, making the most of the space in a double-height room, the importance of using samples, and color threading from room to room. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Why Julie and Melissa love working with color so much, and how they pull it off in such a fun and approachable way. Neutral doesn’t always have to mean beige or white, it can be navy blue or any other solid color when done correctly. Ways we can color thread throughout our home so colors complement rather than compete with one another. Using samples are important and leave them out long enough to decide if it really is a fit for your everyday life long term. Ways that Julie and Melissa create beautiful and chic looks in high traffic areas using textures such as faux leather. How to use a colors you may be unsure of, like mustard yellow in a kitchen. Recommendations for tying in our outdoor furniture with indoor colors so they seamlessly flow. A few rules of thumb for using patterns and how adding another color can help break up and tone down the pattern. Ways to create a focal point from scratch. Lamps can be a great source of color and flair to a room without making a huge commitment. How to treat a double-height room without over-engineering it. Mentioned In This Episode: @massuccowarner Massucco Warner Decorating Dilemma: The table and the chairs totally fit the room, but we think you can tweak the size of the rug and beef it up to cover more space! You want to be able to pull your chairs out and still have them on the rug. As far as your seats, it’s super easy to unscrew cushions (and even may be fun to do@) and recover them with a navy and white performance fabric. Two smaller lights over the island and a big one over the dining table could be a great call! Find all of the Show Notes at 
Aug 04, 2020
Ep. 151: designer Courtney McLeod
Let’s bring some joy and color into our week with Courtney McLeod, the designer behind Right Meets Left Interiors. Known for her beautiful and fun yet sophisticated body of work, Courtney is a true pro at using color to create joy and personality in her clients' homes. She talks with us about taking risks in business and in design, ways that we can start to incorporate more color in our design, and how to use color in small spaces. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Trials and triumphs about new art lighting up our homes, a doctor’s visit for the pup, and great solutions for those unorganized beach towels. How Courtney’s background of business and the finance industry mixes with her artistic side to create a perfect balance of mixing creativity with the analytical. Courtney’s process at Right Meets Left Design is all about listening to her clients and interpreting their desires and dreams into what is doable for their particular situation, taste, and budget. Color doesn’t always have to be loud, but it can be just as interesting when it is soft. Having a contrast of shapes creates an interesting and engaging space, so it’s not all about going all angular or all circular. Ways we can work with color, even if it intimidates us. Also, using color in small spaces and busting the myth that you can’t use bold color in a small space. Do what feels good for you when it comes to color and pieces that you love. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, or if you aren’t able to use it in your home just yet - you will one day! The inspiration behind Courtney’s super cute designs in both New Orleans and Antiqua. Fun and imaginative ideas for kids rooms that are interactive and great to stand the test of time including a comic book mural wall. Mentioned In This Episode: Melissa McGill Ballard Cabot Hook Sherwin Williams Dynamic Blue @rightmeetsleftinteriordesign Right Meets Left Interior Design Decorating Dilemma: The tile to the ceiling is one of our favorite tricks, so we are glad you did that, and your space already has incredible bones and structure! It looks like you already have an area for counter stools in the kitchen and a really great dining area, so maybe make the center section more of a seating area and snacking area. We would recommend a tight back bench so you don’t get the squishiness when you sit on it and you can have an upright feel. Check out our banquette sofas, and one that was skirted would add some softness with a classic dining table look. For a chandelier, something smaller and undersized that looked like a little jewel would be super cool. ____________________________________________________________________ Your pieces have great lines, and we do agree that the brown feels a bit heavy. The two head chairs with chartreuse cushions would be excellent as white, making the cushions pop even more. Check out the Ballard chair options here, If you do decide to go for print, pick a print where your accent color is that smallest color in that print. You will be surprised how the solid will pair with the print.  
Jul 28, 2020
Ep. 150: designer Marika Meyer
This week we welcome Designer and Artist Marika Meyer, who has a lot of advice about fabrics and rugs from creating and running her own firm, Marika Meyer Textiles. Marika discusses her style that mixes beautiful patterns, polished pieces, and rooms that can provide both beauty and space for young families. Marika also talks with us about how to keep a room looking elevated and gorgeous even when it is heavily used, the process of creating fabrics, and how she picks a color palette for her collection. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Trials and triumphs about the removal of both a cast and trees on the roof, some patio construction, repurposing a terrarium, and some creative fixes for lighting up a ceiling, Marika combined her love of business and data with art and photography when following a career in design and opening her own firm. Being a designer is a very personal business, so you better make sure you are into people before you choose this path! Our homes can be the background for great stories, and it’s okay to design a beautiful and edited space knowing it won’t stay perfect forever. Why the phrase “practical luxury and functional beauty” perfectly sums up Marika’s work. How to keep a room looking elevated and gorgeous using basics as the backdrop and the “little black dress” of the room. Ways we can design a room for purposefully for exactly how we plan to use it, how much we plan on entertaining, etc. More about the process of creating fabric from start to finish and taking a painting into a pattern. How Marika picks the color palette for her collection. The dirty little secret about her giant Palladian windows in a design house and how we can use Roman shades to add layers and hide mistakes. How we can use textiles, tones, different values, and colors to make a neutral room lively. Mentioned In This Episode: Ep #66: Andrew Cogar and Kristin Kong Ballard Suzanne Kasler Chairs Meyer Interiors Marika Meyer Textiles @marikameyersinc Decorating Dilemma: We love your thoroughness, and actually this is a lovely dilemma. First, if you were to move the eating area to the top of the L shape on the porch, you could take advantage of the more narrow space without sacrificing the light. One trick could be putting together two square tables to make a larger rectangle, and you could separate the tables and pull them apart if you need more distance. We agree that Option #1 could work, and it appears as if the view is nicer from the backside, so maximizing that view would also create a nice space to add in more seating to fill out that area, augmented by two sets of chairs on the existing porch that could be easily pulled in to the conversation area if needed. Some school house benches that also serves as a cocktail table could be fun and easily defined. The layering of texture is key, and we believe in you!  
Jul 21, 2020
Ep. 149: Cullman & Kravis designers Ellie Cullman and Sarah Ramsey
This week, we welcome Ellie Cullman and Sarah Ramsey of Cullman & Kravis Associates, one of the top design firms in the country known for providing the highest quality of design and personal service. They discuss how the firm was founded and rose to be one of the leaders in design, along with the inspiration behind their new book, From Classic To Contemporary. We talk with them about ways to infuse traditional interiors with a modern and liveable perspective, what to do when you don’t want to be formal in a larger space, and how to create an art collection that best showcases your emotions and unique style. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Ellie shares her great story of getting into design through a screenplay that didn’t go to well in a pitch meeting. The four ways to make a huge impact when creating a space that feels refreshed and flows seamlessly. All your art does not have to come from one specific time period or collection. You can have art reflect your individual taste and lead with emotions rather than what you think should be in the rooms. Why attending an art fair (once we can go to them again) is a great idea to find affordable yet meaningful pieces or even just an idea of what’s out there. Just like finding love, don’t commit to a certain design idea until you’ve looked around and “dated” a bunch of other ideas. If you are constantly seeing the same design ideas reflected back through your searches or Instagram algorithm pages, you can break out and try to embrace something new! Ellie and Sarah work with designers of all ages at Cullman & Kravis, and they find this to be a source of inspiration and fresh ideas. Ways we can create “lamp harmony” by adding uplighting, chandeliers, or even just changing an outdated light bulb or shade. The Hudson River home that exemplified how to arrange furniture in a large room that doesn’t need to be so formal. More about the Palm Beach project that portrayed beautiful accent walls and big colorful gestures. Mentioned In This Episode: Cullman & Kravis From Classic to Contemporary @cullmankravis American Folk Art Museum Kramer vs. Kramer Sotheby’s Decorating Dilemma: First, as a pet owner, we understand the comfort of wanting to have an indoor and outdoor rug. The technology is amazing these days, and you can get ones that look nice, like the Ballard Anders Indoor/Outdoor rug, that hopefully, your cat won’t destroy. You could paint the top of the table and get a pop of color that way, which allows you to get a 48” table and save some space. Your house is light and open, we love it! Good choice of neutral yet beautiful paint colors as well.  
Jul 14, 2020
Ep. 148: designer Jonathan Adler
This week we are joined by the wonderful, whimsical, and swagger filled Jonathan Adler. He talks with us about how he grew up on a tiny farm town in New Jersey and used his skills as a potter to see beyond just one path and create a huge and well-respected name in the industry as a designer, author, and personality. Jonathan shares how he got started in design, the inspiration behind the iconic Parker Hotel Palm Springs and Modern American Glamour style, why worrying about trends is a thing of the past, and why we shouldn’t be afraid to design with putting our most optimistic and bold foot forward. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Trials and triumphs including a whole lot of painting, Ikea basket storage, furniture placement, and office spruce up. Jonathan grew up in a tiny farm town in New Jersey and tried pottery when he was 12 at camp. He fell immediately in love with the art and knew he wanted to pursue it for his lifelong passion in a unique and inimitable way. Jonathan got studio space in SoHo by teaching classes and his atypical thinking kept him open to branching out towards all elements of design, including his friends’ home. Jonathan’s Modern American Glamourous style encourages people to reach beyond their limitations and preconceived style restrictions and get as funky and weird as they want. As a decorator, Jonathan feels like he is a slimming mirror for his clients, reflecting the best and most optimistic version of themselves. Why a neutral slate is a great place to start and build colorful and whimsical additions. Jonathan shares how he used timeless elements mixed with rustic modern and hippie aesthetic in the Parker Hotel, and what his process was behind the refresh. Why we can take more risks now more than ever with so many options being out there that trends are really just more about people picking what they personally like. Mentioned In This Episode: Jonathan Adler Jonathan’s Hilarious Timeline @jonathanadler Benjamin Moore Crushed Velvet New York Magazine Elle Decor Parker Palm Springs David Hicks Strand Book Store Decorating Dilemma: First off, this house is incredible and your staircase is amazing! What Jonathan would do is keep the floors and paint everything else white including the kitchen. Since it is a loft-like space, you will need to do some seating pavilions and pads. White walls and wood floors will bring a cohesive feel. We are loving the front doors! Marble would be lovely for the countertops.
Jul 07, 2020
Ep. 147: Dorm Room Decorating
We have two very exciting guests this week, Jennie Seward and Ann Mashburn. These two powerhouse designers just happened to have daughters that ended up rooming together as college freshmen and are now two peas in a very well decorated pod. Jennie and Ann talk with us about ways to maximize space in a small shared area, tips for making the most out of bed storage, and share a few of their favorite budget-friendly ideas for adding warmth and personality to a dorm. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Trials and triumphs about a broken femur, trip to Maine, a very heavy fountain, dripping faucets, and much more! How Jennie and Ann’s daughters ended up rooming together, and how these two peas in a pod get along. The difference between decorating a dorm room for a boy vs. a girl, and why the boys just may be happy with one loan Home Depot bucket. How Pinterest has changed dorm room decorating, and where Jenny and Ann and their daughter’s collected ideas for inspiration. All about the bed including bed skirts, maximizing storage, and reupholstered sidewalk headboard. How to keep spaces separate for sleeping and studying, even if space is an issue. Ideas to decorate the walls and not have them so bare without needing to spend too much money. Tell your kids you will buy everything once, so they know to keep good care of what they have! Our love for the touch kitchen faucet, and why it will change your life! Mentioned In This Episode: Jennie Seward | @jenniesewardco Ann Mashburn | Sid Mashburn | @annmashburn Casper Mattress Ikea Pinterest Garnet Hill Decorating Dilemma: We agree that you should paint the brick and the green should be painted a nice off white. Changing your hardware could really modernize your kitchen, and you can check out Ballard’s hardware for some inspiration. Add some great lighting such as a fabulous light fixture over the island. You may not need stools for the counter, and this will add space for one long bench without having people bump into each other.
Jun 30, 2020
Ep. 146: Dining Room Basics
This week it’s all about the dining room, kitchen, and fun seating options with our in-house expert Sara Stephen. Sara guides us through ways that we can use our existing dining room and kitchen furniture to maximize space, support the flow of a room, and create a consistent yet not too matchy look. We talk with Sara about how to choose a dining room table, what trends she is seeing in the world of kitchen and dining decor, why banquettes and benches are so hot right now, and whether you really need to sit next to your loved one at a party. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: What to look for a dining room table including size, shape, function, clean up ability, and seating size. Beautiful fabrics that are also easy to care for - they are out there! Sara explains which fabrics are great for families that have to deal with spills and messes way too often. How to know which chairs go with which tables, and it’s okay to mix and match! We can also have host and hostess chairs that stand out to break up the pattern and make it feel like less of a set. Place cards and seating orders can be fun if you are having a get together where the guests are feeling friendly and like leaving their dates for a few hours! Good rules to go by when picking out legs and finishes for your dining room table. Tips for picking out benches and banquettes for a narrow room, and how to pick dining benches that provide a great space but not too much like a conference room. How to get the perfect bar stool height, surface, and swivel. How Merchants at Ballard infuse their own personality and taste with the Ballard product line. Mentioned In This Episode: Ep #8 Stylist Natalie Nassar Ep #84 Susan Ferrier Ballard Designs Dining Room and Kitchen Barstools and Counter Stools
Jun 23, 2020
Ep. 145: designer Dana Wolter
In today’s episode, Birmingham, Alabama interior designer Dana Wolter joins the podcast to about how to create drama and edge in design, ways to use texture and layers to create softness, and the magic of drapery panels. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Trials and triumphs about the most traumatic power outage, new house plans, digital picture frames, adjusting to a longer working from home schedule, paint color testing, rose tips, and some fun basement renovation. Dana’s goal is to give her clients something custom, unique, long-lasting, and special to them. When using trendy pieces, she tends to pick items that are a lower price point so it’s not a huge loss to move along from them every few years. Dana gives some advice on creating drama and edge using different layers and textures. Just because a space is neutral, doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of depth and layering. When the architecture is strong, we need less drama in our design. Coming from a large family, Dana understands first hand how important it is to create a space that is comfortable and able to expand with any family needs. Dana’s take on how high up the wall art should go up to create balance and work with the scale of a room. Why we just love sconces so much not only to fill the room with light but add an element of drama and art. A pair of chaise lounge chairs in the living room can be a comfortable and inviting solution for more seating. Mentioned In This Episode: @danawolterinteriors Dana Wolter Interiors Traditional Home Spring 2020 Livable Home Ballard Designs IG TV William McClure Skylight Digital Picture Frame Decorating Dilemma: Congrats on your new home and you are so close! We need to find a way to ground the space in the dining area, and a banquette would add some weight. Check out the Coventry one that we have at Ballard. Add some sconces! We love the art on the credenza, placing a beautiful bowl with some books could add layers to your already wonderful foundation. We have an acrylic bar cart that would vibe with your modern yet traditional look, and this would bring in another fun texture.  
Jun 16, 2020
Ep. 144: designer Keita Turner
Our guest Keita Turner is a New York-based interior designer who talks with us about stepping out of your comfort zone, rules for hanging art, and ways you can find what works for you and blend it together in a seamlessly clean and interesting way. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Trials and triumphs featuring a beautiful painting with a floating frame, working without an office, the perfect place for a great houseplant, a water heater that won’t define us, How effective command hooks and organizational trays can be to keep our spaces free and clear. Keita shares how her background in mass-market fashion and high-pressure corporate work lead her to take classes and work for her mother in interior design. How Keita’s mother’s style inspired her own, and ways that they are different in their personal approach. How freelancing gave Keita the confidence to know that she could branch out on her own. Keita’s motto: “don’t be afraid to do things that frighten you.” Ways that we can mix things through travel and build a collection of pieces that are meaningful and beautiful to us personally. The balance of nudging clients to go a certain design route and honoring their vision to courage their collection in a way that works for their ultimate goals. The rules for hanging art, and what Keita continually sees people doing wrong! What makes a great art handler, and why you may want to work with one. How Keita is adapting to virtual presentations to still show the texture and composition of individual fabrics and swatches. Keita's pillow collection Livvy and Neva, made from vintage textiles Mentioned In This Episode: Picture @hotdudesreading @keitaturnerdesign Keita Turner Design Redd Kaihoi Ballard Designs IG TV Decorating Dilemma: This is a good looking room, and you have done a great job of pulling it together thus far. The recliner and antique table can’t occupy that space, but we like the recliner so don’t want to see it go! You could find cabinets with doors that provide cord management. Adding some art and accessories with some black could add texture and depth, and the blue from the painting could also be used in a buffalo check pillow or another way to pop some color in. Some small tables could provide a place for drinks, and a nice floor lamp will add more lighting options. You have great style, so just a few final tweaks and you are good!  
Jun 09, 2020
Ep. 143: antiques expert Tara Shaw
Antiques expert, designer, and author Tara Shaw joins the show to share her passion for antiques and how to decorate with them in our homes. She talks about sourcing antiques, steps for bringing beautiful pieces in our space, and the inspiration behind her new book Soul of the Home: Designing with Antiques. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Tara’s new book, Soul of the Home: Designing with Antiques ties in education about designing with antiques and explanations of how furniture that is both old and modern can work together. Take it from us, it will be the kind of book you want to bring out on a relaxing morning and savor with a cup of coffee. Tara’s amazing story of how she made the transition from antique importer to working on Harry Connik Jr.’s home in Connecticut, and how the experience of “doing it afraid” opened the door to take on new clients. How she went to school for education, worked in apparel, and ended up in antiques. What an exponent is, and why personal carvings are so special when shopping for the right antique piece. How Tara’s suggestion of purchasing one nice piece a year can really lead to an entire home of beautiful antiques after some time. Tara’s real confessions on what she keeps for herself, and how she decides just what items she can’t live without personally. Why Tara loves mid-century and how to effortlessly mix different styles of furniture. Why she buys mid century and its a good thing to mix with antiquity so it doesn’t feel stale. A glimpse into Tara’s process of shopping for antique items and bringing them home for her now sought after container parties. Start with one room and an anchor piece. Take a minute to find your voice and be fearless to execute it. How her love of canopy beds and hand forging them keeps artisans in New Orleans employed. Mentioned In This Episode: Tara Shaw Soul of the Home @tarashawdesign Matthew Carter Interiors Decorating Dilemma: We love that you encompass exactly what talk about in this episode - you know what you like and you are fearless about it! This room screams pink and green to Tara, a Palm Beach look that is congruent with the Lily Pulitzer type fabric. It would also look more bespoke if you found trim that you could trim your draperies with, and use a drapery hook with pointy edge rings instead of a clip. Some art that can thread the colors in together would be great, and we love the pink chair.  
May 26, 2020
Ep. 142: designer Sophie Donelson
We kick off this week talking about some possums and raccoons, flower power, and getting our storage until control. Then, we are joined with fabulous previous guest and design expert, speaker, consultant, and former editor of House Beautiful, Sophie Donelson. Sophie talks with us about her latest essay in the New York Times about why we don’t need our house to be perfect for Instagram, recommendations for picking out a paint color, and what life is like for Sophie in Montreal during this stay at home time. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Trials and triumphs about good ole neighbor Jim and his possums, labeling and storage containers, cottage cheese, and sentimental yard maintenance. More about the English and French decorating in Montreal, and the amazing views Sophie sees in her community. What are homes can do for us, and how we can have a loving and less combative conversation between ourselves and our homes. What lead Sophie and her husband to Montreal, and the pros and cons of living in a big city. The inspiration behind Sophie’s essay in The New York Times, “Self-Quarantine is No Time For An Instagram-ready Kitchen.” We have more flexibility and bandwidth to make our home comfy for our own needs, and not so much for the sake of it being pleasing or impressive to others. Sophie recommends experimenting with the design and flow of a room and reminds us we are not locked into one way of design in our homes. Get your one little perfect corner and you can branch out from there. It’s never all going to be perfect. The decision making behind her beautiful lavender walls. Why having a designated playroom and sleep room has been a life and sanity saver. Mentioned In This Episode: House Beautiful House & Home @sophiedow Sophie Donelson Self-Quarantine is No Time For An Instagram-ready Kitchen Big Books Small Talk Justina Blakeney Ikea Bunk Bed Decorating Dilemma: Caroline’s painter used oil because it’s harder and more durable than latex. You can get a beautiful finish with brushing, it is just labor-intensive. A semi-gloss will be easier to clean, and if you are getting it professionally done have them spray it and use oil. If you are capable, patient, and thorough enough to do it yourself - good for you! Luckily this plan is easy to put into action! Sophie would recommend going to the hardware store to find some aluminum pails with some pebbles on the bottom. The rug is so important to make it feel homey and to collect the space together to make it feel one vibe. We love the natural charm of the ceiling and we wouldn’t change it! Sophie’s favorite trick for a bedside table is to use a bracket because it can fit your phone and a glass of water. Plants could help up the comfort level, and vintage rugs that don’t necessarily match could look great and also elevate the room.  
May 19, 2020
Ep. 141: designer Suzanne Kasler
We kick off this week with some Trials and Triumphs about architects, puzzles, and house plans. Then, our beloved partner and award-winning interior designer Suzanne Kasler joins the show. Suzanne updates us on how she is personally dealing with way more time at home than usual, and the cool products and pieces we can expect from her new line with Ballard in terms of colors, textures, and accessories. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Some trials and triumphs on a new architecture endeavor, fancy house plans, puzzles, hoses, and a cool wardrobe idea for men. Suzanne collects what she likes as she travels and visits new places. We can pull our design from what inspires us and makes us feel the most connected to our home instead of having strict boundaries or rules. Suzanne explains why people are gravitating towards woven texture, and how to incorporate woven texture with other patterns and textiles in an elevated and timeless way. Our new summer collection with Suzanne features the classic and tried and true pieces, but also new fabrics, bright patterns, and items that will create a splash of fun and liveliness. Fashion and interior design can be very much interwoven, and some of Suzanne’s plaid pieces are inspired by the shirts from Christmas. Of course, Suzanne is making the most of her stay at home time, and she gives us ideas on easy ways to make big changes while our resources may be limited. Ideas on how we would use a divider screen in our house. How we can mix brown furniture in a light and bright room without making it feel heavy. Suzanne’s two favorite white paint colors, and how to know which one to choose for the specific function. A few of the new colors in the collection such as mandarin orange, and more about the cyclical timeless colors like blush. Mentioned In This Episode: Ballard - Suzanne Kasler Collection Link to Sweepstakes for $10k at Ballard and tour of Suzanne Kasler’s house Martha Stewart Charlotte Moss John Derian Hermes Benjamin Moore White Dove Benjamin Moore Simply White Decorating Dilemma: You have so much space and natural light already, so congrats on that! A few suggestions of ours would be to paint the brick white and buy a fireplace screen. If you don’t use the fireplace then adding some white birch logs could look great. If you wanted to add a divider screen that matches the linen on the bed, that could be a solution to your window/bed issue. The room could be a great place to relax and watch TV, so making it comfortable and functional would give you options for a retreat or just a temporary escape! In the fall, Suzanne will be expanding her Mathes collection, so check back in for some chaise options that would look great. Also, we love your wood floors! Suzanne recommends a neutral linen sofa, and you can add your color in through beautiful throws and pillows. That way you have a timeless couch, and you can change up your color scheme as you desire. The neutral linen sofa would also look great with the textures and tones in your room. We recommend moving the sofa so it is centered, and getting a bigger rug. Put the two end tables at each end of the sofa, and two lamps on them would bring an anchored feel to the room.
May 12, 2020
Ep. 140: designer Barrie Benson
Designer Barrie Benson joins the show to talk about how she creates spaces that are both super sophisticated and also lively and fun. She talks with us about how to start an art collection, why she thinks more Southern homes are embracing contemporary styles, and how to update that traditional chair with a modern fabric. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: How Barrie mixes fun and colorful with sophisticated and well thought out design. Why it’s important to really know your taste when working with a designer, and it’s okay to embrace if your taste is different or eclectic! Ways we can reinvent old family heirlooms or furniture and how just a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference. It’s great to call a friend (or designer of course) to get a perspective and outside look at what you have going on in terms of your design. Barrie has seen more Southerners mixing traditional and stately with new and lively lately. Ways you can get involved in your local art community and get to really know your taste and palette for art. The more you are passionate about your house, the more you are proud and connected to it. How Barrie uses the 80/20 rule to plan out her rooms, but leave space for new and organic pieces. What toile wallpaper is, and how we can use it in a fun way. Barrie’s choice of performance fabric rugs that look great and also are durable and forgiving on wear and tear. Mentioned In This Episode: Barrie Benson @barriebenson Soco Gallery Sheila Bridges SONY
May 05, 2020
Ep. 139: designer Alexandra Kaehler
This week, Chicago designer Alexandra Kaehler chats with us about editing, when to know a room is finished, and how to make a meaningful antique feel chic. Alexandra also talks about her love of sourcing art, and how we can use art and wallpaper together in a way that works with the scale and intention of a room. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: Trials and triumphs including the obvious of working at home with young children, painting projects, outdoor lighting, and some moss-some yardwork. Alexandra talks about her own home being featured in Luxe Magazine, and how she went into it knowing that she had to take on her own space with the same detail oriented nature in which she works with her clients. Ways in which we can use traditional pieces mixed with the modern and chic to create a beautifully edited space. How Alexandra knows when the space she is working on is ready to be done, and why we can always go in and add more or change things around as time goes on. Alexandra sees less edited collections when working with her younger clients, however, creating a tradition of collecting a certain thing over a long period of time can be fun and add to the meaning of the decor. Ideas for taking an heirloom or antique and repurposing it make it feel chic and contemporary. Tips for working with brown furniture to make it feel chic and not outdated, and incorporating multiple wood finishes in one room. What to know when working with wallpaper according to the scale of the room. Alexandra loves the “grandma look” but mixes it with contemporary to make it feel fresh and clean. How Alexandra shops for her art and mixes it together in a room, and some suggestions on where to find great art that won’t break the bank. Using pillows for color and pattern in a room is an inexpensive way to add fun and experiment with different looks. Mentioned In This Episode: Alexandra Kaehler @alexkaehlerdesign Decorating Dilemma: By moving the sofa to a different area in the room you can open things up a lot. Alexandra envisions putting the sofa on the right side of the room up against the window and a pair of chairs on the other side with a bench for more seating. If you put your TV across from the couch, it will be off-center but will create a nice flow in the space. Adding some nice drapes could bring in more warmth and texture, and if you don’t use the blinds we suggest getting rid of them! It looks like your vibe is modern and simple so it could be an opportunity to add some color or black and white photography, but not pack the walls and overwhelm the already beautiful light space.  
Apr 28, 2020
Ep. 138: Skye Kirby Westcott Ballard’s Senior VP of Merchandising and Design
We’ve been waiting to get her on for a while, and this week we sit down with Skye Kirby Westcott, Ballard’s Senior VP of Merchandising and Design. She talks with us about her impressive tenure in design industry and how she seamlessly blends different styles. Skye also shares where she finds inspiration for new products and what trends she is excited to see come (and go) in the future and at Ballard. What You’ll Hear On This Episode Skye is responsible for much of the vision of Ballard, and she pulls her inspiration from many things including her travels around the world. She has an extensive background in design and merchandising and a love of interior design. Yes, it is possible to blend the eclectic and colorful with the modern and contemporary. Skye talks about the different styles within her homes in Atlanta, Connecticut, and even her “tree house” in LA. Skye’s time as an exchange student in Sweden introduced her to how the culture took time and thought to decorate their home, and she soon fell in love with their design style and IKEA. She talks about working for IKEA and how it still inspires her today. Skye gained a ton of experience from working on the team that developed the first Anthropologie store, and developed more skills while at Lillian August in New York. We can learn a lot from asking customers about what they don’t like. Tips for creating a card catalog of inspiration while traveling, and to have an eye out for art and design elements that you will forever appreciate from your travels. What product design trends Skye is looking forward to going away. Why Skye believes we should finish one room at a time to build our confidence and sense of accomplishment. Skye discusses where Ballard is headed visually, including the influence of Scandavidian design. Get excited for some color in upcoming Ballard bedding collections! Mentioned In This Episode: Skye Kirby Westcott Vern Episode @skykirbywestcott
Apr 21, 2020
Ep. 137: design firm Toledo Geller
Virginia and Jessica, who own the boutique design firm Toledo Geller, join the show this week. This design duo who were just named House Beautiful’s “New Wave Designers” talk about the interesting way they met, how their styles compliment one another, and a home should be designed to fit your lifestyle. What You’ll Hear On This Episode The intention behind the way they design spaces Yes, it is possible to meet your next business partner on Craigslist. Virginia and Jessica are perfect examples. How their different styles compliment each other Each of their signature design go-to’s when working on a project Why both women believe we can work around anything, and examples of how they found solutions in challenging times. Projects where they worked holistically and made sure the decor was perfectly trimmed and tailored to the space. Ways that we can work with the architecture and blueprint of the home to decorate it in a way that really brings out how it was meant to be presented. Why we shouldn’t be scared of everyday wear and tear because they are memories and part of experiencing life. More about Jessica’s New Jersey Home and the inspiration behind all the beautiful patterns and textures. How we make a room feel happy and joyous using colors and a play on patterns. Why Virginia and Jessica ask their clients what they wear when they entertain, and what the answer tells them about their clients. Mentioned In This Episode: Toledo Geller House Beautiful Casa Bohemia
Apr 14, 2020
Ep. 136: organizing expert Clara Schoen
Luxury home organizing expert Clara Schoen joins the show, to talk about what it takes to be a professional organizing expert, and gives her advice on how we can best use this time to get our home tidy and streamlined. Clara also talks about how we can get our family excited and onboard for organizing, how to get through the sentimental part of throwing things away, and what products she finds the most helpful as an organization investment. What You’ll Hear On This Episode How one gets into the organizing space in the first place, and how it’s different than organizing for yourself. Why labeling things really does help you save time, and how to get your family onboard (and maybe even excited?!) about labeling. What organization products Clara feels is worth the investment, and where we can save money. Clara’s advice on organizing things that can create clutter such as junk drawer items, extra pens, and chords. Organizing can be an emotional or sentimental practice, so how to feel better about ditching things you really won’t use. How to get things looking clean and uniform, and where we spend small amounts of money to have everything looking streamlined. How Clara folds clothes, and tips for getting our closets under control and storing handbags. Great ways to organize sentimental items that the kids create, and why it’s okay to not keep everything they bring home from school. How we store and file away our important papers, so that they are easy to find and clearly labeled. Great tip: stores will load paint for you in your car, so you don’t even have to go in the store! Mentioned In This Episode: The Home Organized @thehomeorganized_ Ballard Desk Organizers Decorating Dilemma: It’s all about thinking big! A 36 inch round skirted table that fits your own vibe with a big round ceramic lamp would look great. Feel free to buy larger things, like big artwork, as you have a good amount of space to fill. This will add height and presence to the room. We also bet your friend Taryn may paint something for you, if you ask nicely! Some modular seating that flow around the room could work to add more seating, and you do have the space for it. The color of the headboard depends on how much light comes in the room, and how much you want to create a little cocoon feeling in the room. We like a color called Urbane Bronze, so check it out and see if it would work for you. Also, deep purple or green would go great. Think about getting bigger lamps, with something big and exaggerated with drama and pizazz.
Apr 07, 2020
Ep. 135: bonus Trials & Triumph episode
We are back with a bonus episode, filling you in on exactly what we’ve been up to at home, and sharing our successes and challenges during this time. Whether it’s family cocktail hour or more time with the family, we are definitely finding a silver lining in this time. We also share what we’ve been ordering online, how to decorate using things already inside your home, and which of us is wearing high heels with our athleisure. What You’ll Hear On This Episode: The ways we are passing the time - planting flowers, creating yummy meals, online shopping, tackling long term projects, and a lot of home decorating! How we are all keeping our sanity by creating a functional home office and sacred space to have some alone time in. Even just cleaning a nook once a day will give you a good sense of control and accomplishment. What parts of our home we are just upgrading, and which ones we are completely reorganizing. How we are staying sane with our partners and family being around 24/7. Cute ways to make arrangements or centerpieces on the dining room table using what you already have in the house. How this time is making us appreciate our homes even more and the effort we put in to making the little details nice and enjoyable. The plans we have coming up to make our homes and outside spaces even better. What are are ordering online, tackling our to do list one by one. Yes, yoga pants really are that comfortable during this time, but it also feels good to slap on some mascara and brush the hair every now and then. Mentioned In This Episode: Gallery Easel
Apr 02, 2020
Ep. 134: designer Rachel Cannon
Interior Designer Rachel Cannon is a self described Loudmouth Introvert, hence why this is the title of her new podcast. She returns to the show to discuss exactly what a loudmouth introvert is, the importance of having a quiet room or space in the house, and why introverts need a space like this for their rest and rejuvenation. Rachel gives some tips on setting up a quiet space and how we can begin right away with our schedules now being pointed more towards home. What You’ll Hear On This Episode What a “Loudmouth Introvert” means to Rachel, and why our assumptions about introvert and extrovert aren’t always right. How the Loudmouth Introvert podcast was born, and the epiphany she had that the more she designed her show for introverts like herself, the more traction the episodes got. The importance of introverts being able to have a quiet room and space to recharge themselves and take care of their mental health. There are no design rules when it comes to a quiet room, just a separate space that is soothing and comforting. What features Rachel designed in her quiet room that serve to provide relaxation and deep focus. Tips for setting up a successful work from home space, which we all need as we stay home for the next several months. Yes, we do have a “Zen Den” at Ballard where employees can go in and have a quiet moment themselves. Mentioned In This Episode: Rachel Cannon Loudmouth Introvert @rclinteriors Saturday Style with Karen Profita Myers Carpet Decorating Dilemma: What a beautiful room! It’s really about filling it up with texture and getting the right proportion down. We feel as though getting some decorative Birch logs in there would look beautiful and add some raw texture to fill up the room. Since the room is so large, you could probably keep the rug and get a big natural fiber rug underneath it, and when you are ready, get a larger couch. Some drapes and a bigger rug would also help fill up the room. Thank you and be sure to send us the after photos!  
Mar 31, 2020
Ep. 133: homeschooling expert and supermom Erika Ward
While we are inside and schools are closed for the time being, we thought an episode on homeschooling could be helpful. This week, we welcome Erika Ward, owner of Erika Ward Interiors, based in Atlanta, Georgia. As a mother of 5 who homeschooled her children through their education, this supermom has great advice for us on how to create a space that welcomes both fun and learning, what sort of things we can do to transform our home into a homeschooling space, and ways we can keep our home beautiful with our kids running around full time inside of them. What You’ll Hear On this Episode Why Erika decided to homeschool her kids, and how it helped her raise them in a way that was aligned with her values. How to schedule better so that you allow for learning, play, and fun. Ways to create spaces so that kids don’t feel trapped, but they also don’t feel too comfortable. How Erika transformed her home using tables and chairs to set exact spaces for learning, but also provided an area for her kids to get up, move around, and do the work they need to. Lunch and snack time can be a challenging area for homeschooling parents, and Erika explains her winning strategy. Hot tip for keeping the house looking great with little ones around full time - put all the beautiful things in spaces and crevices they can’t reach. Ways that we can get our kids to be accountable and tidy up in their playroom. Tips for designing a space that can stay functional and is worth the investment. Mentioned In This Episode: Erika Ward #5: Erika Ward #89: Traci Zeller
Mar 24, 2020
Ep. 132: event planners Laura Maddox and Sara Parker
The planning and event duo Laura Maddox and Sara Parker, who started and run Magnolia Celebrates, join the show to talk about their vast experience in events. Laura and Sara share how event planning mixes with design, the home decor they are seeing used in events, and all you need to know about registries. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Laura and Sara’s combined experience of working both as an Executive Assistant to a CEO and planning over 2,000 events. How we can plan smaller events such as a baby shower and have it be just as beautiful and memorable as a huge one. How to curate a theme and weave in personalized decor and keep it elegant instead of cheesy. What things we can think about to combine both beautiful decor and a comfortable guest experience. If there is an alternative to flowers, and what other home decor items Laura and Sara see currently at events. Registries — what you should pick and how, what you shouldn’t pick, and how we all feel about going off the registry to purchase your gift. Who puts their China in the dishwasher, and why. How to set the lighting and mood at an event, why this can make or break the night, and why it’s crucial to use a dimmer. Mentioned In This Episode: Magnolia Celebrates BallardDesignsRegistry Decorating Dilemma: We suggest making things a tad less busy by taking the dark green from the wall paper and implementing it also on the vanity, molding and crown. Add a more modern light fixture, along with some cool abstract art and acrylic frames. If you could install a toilet paper holder on the side of your vanity, that will help declutter. Update your faucet and hardware, and take it from Taryn — you can get a pretty sweet one for$40!
Mar 17, 2020
Ep. 131: Dilemma Blitz with Tanya
We’ve had so many of your wonderful Decorating Dilemma’s come in that we wanted to do a special episode focused just on them. To join us, we welcome Tanya from the Designs Solutions team to answer your questions including topics on how to emphasize existing cool architecture, what the cantaloupe rule is and why you may want to follow it, what paint colors Tanya recommends for certain looks, and her advice on how to decorate for young active kids when you know they will want a fresh start in a short time. Decorating Dilemma: We think a huge full bodied floor mirror would look great on the wall, and you can even get the kind that has a shelf down the middle for extra display options for a tiny entry such as this one. For inspiration, check out our Hollen Entryway Mirror. Add some bright pieces of art. A demi-lune can also be a great solution in a tight space, so you can display items but not have the corners clipping your hips as you walk by. You can add 3 or 4 sconces, and grouping of long pendants with lights on dimmers could look beautiful as you are going down the stairs. Get something that is glass, instead of full metal. Caroline painted it gray using a Benjamin Moore Metropolitan Gray high gloss enamel, which was actually the color of 2019! Make sure your painter does the ceiling before the grass cloth, so you have a tidier finish. In terms of storage, smaller modular pieces that are seperated would be a great solution for you. Check out these acrylic frame ideas that you can attach artwork to and easily change out. A nice plaid with the navy walls could look great, and check out our friend Brian Patrick Flynn for inspiration on how to use bold patterns and colors, and big geometrical shapes to give a clean but masculine feel. Since they will be playing a ton in the rooms, it really all comes down to concealed storage. This is already a beautiful room, and we love your style, so great job! You know how much we love dimmers, so this could add even more lighting options. As you walk into the room, something open and not heavy will break up and help visually. Don’t feel bad about poking a hole in the rug to run your wires, and we love that you layered these rugs too. A new sofa, and a little round table with some cool ottoman stools could be beautiful. Check out our Banquettes for some fun options, which will also serve to warm up your room too. Paint the brick white to create a uniform look, so at least visually it appears more cohesive. You can paint it the same tone and do it in a higher gloss finish with an eggshell that is the same tone, but get that area evened out. Center the mirror over the firebox, and you may want to employ the “cantaloupe rule”, where you edit down items to have fewer but bigger accessories. We have styling guides for shelves and this can help you minimize and pull off a fresh look.   Mentioned In This Episode: Ballard Designs Design Solutions Miles Redd Bunny Williams's gray ceiling trick Hollen Entry Mirror
Mar 10, 2020
Ep. 130: designer Lauren Lowe
Lauren Lowe of Lauren Elaine Interiors in Atlanta joins the show to talk about her unique perspective from moving from the world of commercial design to residential. Lauren discusses her style which highlights the classic and adds a timeless Southern twist. She also talks with us about her new home, rules of thumb for creating seating a room with a limited layout, and her use of both masculine and feminine textiles. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: More about Lauren’s new home including a sneak peek of some of her personal favorite choices for decor. Why she sold an open concept home for a major fixer upper that was half the square footage. What didn’t make the cut including gaudy and the quirky, and how we can know what looks good as old and antique, and what we may want to part with. What she liked about the house structurally, and what things she changed. How the right paint color can make a big difference, and why you want to pay attention to painting the crown, door and ceiling. What the learning curve was like for Lauren to go from commercial to residential, and ways her commercial background has helped her residential projects. How to get seating in a room that has a limited layout. Why the silhouette and style of a sofa can make a big impact. Yes, it’s possible to have a beautiful home even with active kids and a playroom filled with toys, and in fact it’s even more important to have a beautiful house when you have children. Lauren walks through how she picks textiles and explains how we can make different patterns work together seamlessly. How to have success using prints that are both masculine and feminine. Mentioned In This Episode: Atlanta Home and Lifestyles @laurenelaineinteriors Lauren Elaine Interiors
Mar 03, 2020
Ep. 129: design duo Lathem Gordon and Cate Dunning
Design duo Lathem Gordon and Cate Dunning from GordonDunning join the show this week to talk about their Atlanta based boutique interior design firm. GordonDunning was recently named House Beautiful’s Next Wave Designers, and we totally understand why. Lathem and Cate works with their clients to honor the story of the house, and this team has a knack for creating beauty in working both with the new and old. Lathem and Cate also chat with us about not worrying if you’ll get tired of a decision, how to use sectionals properly, and why things need to actually be comfortable instead of just looking that way. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Lathem and Cate are very simpatico, but they do share what they disagree on including lights, and toilet paper display! What each of their go to’s are in terms of design and decor, and the inspiration behind them. What it was like to be named as House Beautiful’s Next Wave Designers. What things we should be hanging on to for antique purposes, and what relics we may be better off parting with. How their company GordingDunning works with clients to tell the story of the home, and weave it in with how they want their present and future to look. Ways that we can bring the spirit of an old home into a new house. A few examples of projects in their portfolio where the style ranged from playful and cheerful, mature and refined, to classic and southern. Let’s not make decisions based on fear that we will get sick of it! We are more likely to like our choices for a longer term when we finish it completely instead of stopping midway. What frames can make a house look more textured and charming, and how to bring proportion and scale into your frame choices. Things don’t need to look comfortable, they need to be comfortable. Mentioned In This Episode: House Beautiful Lux Magazine Gordon Dunning @gordondunning Decorating Dilemma Good for you for taking a risk, first of all! Your plan sounds like a good one, but it’s not the only option. There are multiple ways to tackle, and it really comes down to your budget and which one works best for you. We like the French Door idea towards the living room, and love your idea of closing the off arch to close off your office. You could do built in bookcases on the wall, and do something with the mill work to make the offset french door make sense. Since there is a lot of height, there’s an opportunity.  
Feb 25, 2020
Ep. 128: floral expert Scott Shepherd
Scott Shepherd has worked in the floral industry for 27 years, and as the host of the very popular podcast The Flower Podcast, he is the go to guy on all things floral. He shares his expertise to talk with us about how we can tell if a flower is fresh, what goes behind the cost of flowers, how we can utilize our local farmer’s markets, and tricks and tips to keep our flowers fresher and more beautiful for even longer! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials and triumphs on a romantic rosemary hedge, Ninja air fryers and crispers, important dermatologist news, growing plants from seeds, and some drapery workarounds. More about Scott’s podcast The Flower Podcast, and some of the super cool takeaways he has from interviewing people all over the world in the flower industry. How social media has affected the flower industry, and what we now expect from our florals. What it’s really like to work in a flower shop when you have high volume clients mixed with individual personalized orders. How Scott and his team find flowers, and how he finds brokers and importers for rare yet important flowers such as autumn eucalyptus. The most popular flowers and greenery for both high end and affordable weddings. What really goes behind the cost of purchasing flowers from a florist, including transportation, inspection, and details you may not have thought of that adds to the expense. A step by step method of what to do should we buy flowers from our local grocery store to keep them fresh and beautiful for as long as possible. Why hydrangeas are Scott’s favorite flower, and the lowdown on how we should actually cut them. Why we use floral film, and how to use it properly. How we know what type of vase to use with our flowers. Mentioned In This Episode: Ninja Air Fryer Floret The Flower Podcast Faith Flowers Reeves Syndicate Sales Decorating Dilemma If you are open to moving the tables, flanking them with matching lamps and botanicals with a large print on either side would add both symmetry and drama. If you paint the banister black, that could look fresh and modern! ______________________________________ You may want to move the console to where the TV is, and put the little leggy chair under the TV, push it all closer together and that way it opens it up for comfortable seating and opens up the options to make the room appear even bigger. Buy yourself those great chairs that you love, or at least start making a plan using our room planner tool!
Feb 18, 2020
Ep. 127: Lighting Basics
This week, we switched it up to take a deep dive into lighting with Ballard lighting experts Valerie and Roger. They answer all our lighting questions including, how many light sources we actually need, the rules for wattage and color that can help us get the best brightness and not waste money, and why light fixtures are like the jewelry of a home. They also give their personal picks for the type of lighting that works best in a space, share rules for using shades and finding the right lamp height, and common mistakes we make that can make a huge difference in creating a simple yet beautiful mood in a room. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Valerie handles the “pretty” part of lighting at Ballard, and Roger hands the technical. How Valerie and Roger work together to make things both as functional and aesthetically pleasing as possible, and what a day in their work life looks like. How we know if a room is under lit, and if there is a thing as too much lighting in a room. The rules of thumb for hanging lights at different levels, and the most important rules of can lights. Why we shouldn’t rely on one fixture such as a chandelier to be our main source of light. The many different ways light bulbs can make or break a room, what exactly wattage is and how we are paying for it, and how to know which LED colors to pick. Why Roger loves incandescent lighting, and how we can use the Kelvin temperature scale on the Ballard website to better understand which type of bulb to pick. What a humming sound inside our bulbs means, and what we can do about it. How to check to see if a light meets your “CBD” needs - Color, Brightness, and Dimmable. Pleated, paper, and printed textures are in, so bring those shades on! How to best match the lamp with the appropriate piece of furniture, and how to know what height and width works best for picking lamps. What makes some lamps more expensive than others, and how to get the right deal when paying for a lamp. If we should or should not put shades and chandeliers, and the rules surrounding it regarding functionality. The true confessions of how often we really clean our ceiling fans. Mentioned In This Episode: Ballard Designs Lighting YouTube.Com/BallardDesigns Ep 122: Tom Scheerer
Feb 11, 2020
Ep. 126: designer Kevin O’Gara
Design blogger Kevin O’Gara joins the show this week to discuss the inspiration and background behind his traditional yet youthful style. Kevin is a rising superstar in the world of design, and talks about his blog Thou Swell, the inspiration behind his new maze inspired rug collection, and what trends he is most excited. Kevin also talks with us about using contrast and color in both traditional and modern, how he took his design skill to his very own dorm room, and what it was like working with Suzanne Kasler. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials and triumphs including water leaks (yes, a new one!), garbage disposals, and why you should leave it to the professionals to do the fixing. Also, a search for the perfect lamp, the Margot Slubby Velvet Quilt, and finding the right box that is both beautiful and functional. Kevin has always found ways to turn things he is interested in into a business or entrepreneurial venture. He started his blog, Thou Swell, in high school, and mixed his interest in design, photography, and graphics. Kevin’s design style is rooted in classics with a playful twist. He grew up with traditional design, but found balance between that and modern while spending time on Pinterest and blogs, What it was like for Kevin to work in Suzanne Kasler’s office, and the biggest things he learned throughout his experience. Some do’s and don’t of wallpaper that Kevin has learned, including accent walls and how to get over the feeling of intimidation when starting with a blank slate. Kevin’s rug collection, and how the color choice was inspired by nature. The Invitation Homes show house that has been one of Kevin’s favorite projects, where he got to be playful and step out of his comfort zone. Why working on tiny spaces such as a dorm room has been one of Kevin’s most fun challenges and how they are a great creative experience. Kevin’s biggest tip: focus on textiles and invest in comfortable bed linens and lots of throw pillows and blankets. How Kevin’s blog name “Thou Swell” mirrors the traditional and modern aspects of his design. Mentioned In This Episode: Kevin O’Gara | @kevinfrancisdesign Kevin Francis Design Thou Swell Double Gourd Lamp Margot Slubby Quilt Suzanne Kasler Ep #115 with Tammy Connor
Feb 04, 2020
Ep. 125: Carson and Thom are back!
Carson Kressley and Thom Filicia, Emmy winning style makers, designers, and stars of the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy join the show this week. These super fun and successful men answer some of our burning questions including who their design idols are, what has been the bargain of a lifetime, and the last time they got starstruck. Thom and Carson both give an update on what’s next for them professionally, and we chat about design and lifestyle at any budget! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials and triumphs about Staghorn ferns, old doors, a tricky IKEA bookcase and some heavy duty man cave organization Thom Filicia Inc. is one of today’s most influential and respected interior design firms. Hear more about their projects including residential, hospitality, and commercial Carson’s upcoming appearances on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Couched on The Design Network How we can let our interior design reflect our authentic story, and create a home that feels both personal and chic Thom and Carson’s design idols, and the last book they each read More about Thom’s Home Collection, featuring wall covering, furniture, drapery and much more The story of how Thom modernized a family heirloom painting in his New York place The best bargains of their lifetime, from cars to accessories and just how dedicated they are about getting that great deal
Jan 28, 2020
Ep. 124: designer Jade Joyner
Athens based designer Jade Joyner joins the show this week to talk about Metal + Petal, the full service interior design firm that she and her husband own and operate. We hear the inspiration behind Jade’s use of bold yet tasteful patterns and textures, and why she believes sometimes less is more. Jade also gives her advice on where to splurge and where to save, why she loves a good console table, and designing living rooms and kitchens for big families. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Where Jade developed an eye for the bold and sculptural pieces we see on her blog and social media Jade’s use of unique silhouettes to create interest in a room Jade’s work with the Alpha Phi sorority to renovate a historic home into a residence for the group of young women Why Jade suggests carrying some aspect of a room’s color all throughout the house, whether it is in an accent piece, paint color, or accessory Don’t be afraid to edit. Jade reminds us that often, less is more. Some of Jade’s tips for using custom tables and sofas in living rooms, and why a great sofa that stands the test of time is one of her top items to splurge on. Hear why Jade loves a beautiful console table, and quite frankly — we agree! Our realization that ranches may be the next big dream home. They are spacious, more affordable, and offer things traditional houses may not. What projects Jade has now, including the Golden Pantry Market where she works with local artisans based in Athens. Behind the scenes of what really goes through a designer’s mind when their home is part of a photoshoot or magazine spread.
Jan 21, 2020
Ep. 123: designer Brian Patrick Flynn
This week, Brian Patrick Flynn joins us to talk about his career path as a TV producer turned designer, now working on HGTV Dream Home and Urban Oasis. Brian combines his talents as a producer, writer, personality, and designer to create content, change lives, and bring a “it’s okay to not be perfect” vibe to design. Brian also talks with us about the TBS hit series Movie & a Makeover, his Icelandic getaway home, his own production company, Flynnside Out Productions, and his bucket list wedding in Antarctica. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Brian’s first dream may have been to be an Art Director on MTV’s The Real World, but life had even bigger and better plans. More about how Brian worked his way to HGTV Dream Home and Urban Oasis. Brian’s Instagram is one of our favorites because of his beautiful production quality and storytelling on the photos and stories. Brian shares the amazing story of getting married in Antarctica, including seals, glaciers, and almost an avalanche. How Brian fell in love with Iceland so much that he decided to purchase space in a Historic Row Flat there, and why he loves the country so much. Tips for making a room comfortable for both men and women, and embracing what Brian refers to as the “soft masculine” of design. The first step to being perfect is deciding it’s perfectly okay to not be. When we embrace our uniqueness and flaws, we realize the character that makes our space beautiful. Brian’s dream celebrity to work with - and we all agree. Where Brian would splurge and be bold such as art and window treatments, and why he tends to stay classic when it comes to sofas. Brian’s home in Georgia, and what it’s like to own a home in the mountains. Why Brian loves a good piece of furniture used out of context, to keep things fresh and playful. Mentioned In This Episode: @bpatrickflynn HGTV Dream Home | Urban Oasis Flynnside Out Productions Melanie Turner Kacey Musgraves Amy Osaba House Hunters International Tina Fey Sally King Benedict
Jan 14, 2020
Ep. 122: designer Tom Scheerer
This week, New York based designer Tom Scheerer joins the show to talk about his background practicing architectural and interior design since 1985. Tom talks about his new book, More Decorating, and the inspiration behind the projects that display his sophisticated yet relaxed style. We also discuss incorporating more light and air into design, areas that we are okay to splurge and save, and why showering with your plants may not be the worst idea yet. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: More about Tom’s books, More Decorating, which came out in September of 2019, and Tom Scheerer Decorates, 2013. More about each of Tom’s six properties, and why each of them are special to him in their different ways. How Tom gets a strong picture in his mind early on when taking on a new project. Situations where Tom used found objects and works of art already existing inside the clients home. We pick Tom’s brain on using big sconces, communal headboards, and matching dressers to the wall art. Tom explains his own stylistic choices for his first New York apartment, and how it has differed from his other homes. How Tom picks inexpensive items, including IKEA chairs, and where he prefers to work with objects that are fine and stand the test of time. What Tom means when he says that he can sometimes like artists more than he likes work of art. Why Tom loves using tulip tables, and some ways they can elevate a space to give it a sturdy softness. The use of bold color in Tom’s Paris apartment, and ways that we can both use bold colors and have neutrals and beige work for us. Tom’s getaway Bahamian home that was featured in such publications as Architectural Digest. Mentioned In This Episode: @tomscheerer More Decorating Tom Scheerer Ballard Designs Wembley Chair Ikea 365 glass
Jan 07, 2020
Ep. Bonus: designer Maggie Griffin answers dilemmas
Welcome to our special holiday bonus episode, to wrap up the year and answer all your remaining questions! Thank you so much for all the letters, inquiries, and fun over the past year and we look forward to answering even more questions in the New Year. We are joined by designer Maggie Griffin to help answer your questions, you may remember Maggie from a previous episode, and winning our special “Best Instagram To Follow” award. We answer questions from all types of dilemmas in this episode, including creating rooms that feel modern yet established, using upholstery to get more texture, how to spruce up a guest room, and tips to win when mixing contemporary with classic. Mentioned In This Episode: Ballard Designs Maggie Griffin Design @maggiegriffindesign Tammy Connor The Shade Room Decorating Dilemma Lisa. Hi Lisa! It depends more on the feel you want to create for the room, but a leather ottoman is always a great place to start. It looks great and is easy to clean. You don’t want all bold patterns in the room, so make sure you balance out all the patterns and use different colors, shapes, and designs. There is nothing better than a velvet sofa, but a silk velvet sofa is hard to take care of and prevent stains! Kerry. Kerry, you may be able to tell how excited we are about your space due to our photoshopped plan for you that was already sent back! Next, a giant piece of art over the sofa would look great, and moving the secretary hutch will help fill the room and counterbalance the built-in and the fireplace with the TV on it. We think splitting the silhouette of your four children to flank the window will add some symmetry. A beautiful gray rug would cover the carpet and make it cozier. Maggie suggests adding a chandelier, maybe something modern or funky! Becky. Thank you Becky, and wow, what a nice space! So, an 8 foot wide sofa would give you plenty of room to walk around, and a console table with some lamps behind the sofa would be lovely. A chair in the corner to the right of the fireplace would give another nook to sit and read, or just enjoy a cup of coffee. Lauren. Maggie loves wallpaper, but thinks it could be so fun to paint the room one color. It would give you a soothing look that would match your table and chairs. She would put a cushion and some pillows in the window, and a big area rug to give the room some texture. We also suggest a bigger and more modern chandelier hung 32-34 inches from the table top for more romantic light. Three chairs on each side would give great seating options but also give you ample room on the sides. Check out Ballard’s acrylic shelves, and if you want plate inspiration check out Maggie’s Instagram. Shawn. A sofa with a taller back and large side table with floor to ceiling drapery would give this beautiful historical home what it needs! We recommend a new rug and even going a little riskier with the accessories and colors you use! The name of the game here is chunky lamps and big side tables. Painting your built in is not a deal breaker, but can be really fun. Check out the Kenneth Pleated Drum Shade Chandelier! Julie. We first wanted to give some suggestions about your drapery! The rod pocket is dating it a bit, and a ring would be easier to move back and forth. Maddie mentions that adding a bamboo shade behind the bed would be easy to open and close. To find a seamstress that you love, try fabric stores, a dry cleaner, or just good old word of mouth. We do feel as though the lamps are a bit small, and a rectangular shade can look great. A mirror on either side of the window would be beautiful and reflect light. In terms of color, off white or cream would give it a clean and cozy look.
Jan 02, 2020
Ep. 121: designer Vern Yip
Designer Vern Yip returns to the show to tell us about his new book, Vacation at Home and gives us insight into 18 special steps to create your everyday getaway inside your home. He talks about why we feel so relaxed on vacation and in luxury environments, and how we can start to foster that in our homes with a foundation that helps us live the way we want, and takes things off our “to do” list permanently. Vern also shares how he keeps his personal home so beautiful with kids and over 500 lbs of dogs, why fewer but bigger may be better, and a few suggestions for picking out a color scheme that will work best for your home. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Vern Yip is back to talk about his new book Vacation at Home, but first, we must give a special nod to his book Design Wise that won the podcast’s award for “Best Design Book”. A special quick mindfulness practice to gain clarity on how to visualize a space that gives you that feeling of rest and regeneration. Some great ideas on decluttering, storing mail, and deciding what things should stay or go. A few of Vern’s 18 primary rules to creating a home that feels as though you are on vacation. Why we breakdown things in terms of things we love, things we need, and where exactly that thing will go. The beauty of refreshing your environment and rotating things out, even including bedroom art. What Vern means when he says “designing for a focal point” to create a view and give the eyes a rest. Yes, it’s possible to take things permanently off your to-do list. Vern explains how organic components and great planning can assist in this mission. Symmetry is your friend, and Vern shares some things you can do to implement a sense of organization and balance. Why we will never go longer than a week before washing our hand towels!! How Vern set a few easy rules and guidelines for his children to follow to keep the home neat and free of toys scattered about. Mentioned In This Episode: Vern Yip @vernyip Vacation at Home Marie Kondo Decorating Dilemma First off, wow. What a beautiful home with an amazing view. We suggest working with spacing first. You can use our Room Planning Tool to put in the dimensions of your room (and even your furniture!) and figure all of it out before you start purchasing things. After that, Vern agrees that the walls should be a lighter color than the ceiling. To create a feeling of expansion and openness. ______________________________________________________________________ Vern thinks this is a great room in terms of windows. We do think, however, that the cut out is making it less symmetrical, so just something to consider. Vern mentions that you can possibly edit your furniture and take off some of the open shelving. Second, when you decide to put window treatments, take the curtain rod all the way up and have your treatments go under the crown to the floor. This will increase the perception of volume in the room. Don’t be afraid of a contrast color, and when it comes time to choose your wall color, Vern suggests having a couple ideas up on the wall, and take down the ones you don’t like until you are left with two or three. Then, you can get sample pots and see how they perform before you make a single choice.  
Dec 31, 2019
Ep. 120: textile designer Lisa Fine
Textile designer Lisa Fine joins the show this week to talk about how she got into textile design, the path that unfolded after a trip to India, and the top things we should know when working with textiles. Lisa also shares the inspiration behind her new book, Near & Far, and wisdom she has inherited from starting and running her own business. This episode will also support that there is beauty in imperfection, and if you love something you can find a place for it in your home. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Lisa got into textile design, and why she feels it is such a crucial piece to having a home that is both stylish and comfortable. The travels to India that got Lisa even more passionate about textiles, and also what she loves so much about Persian textiles. A few twists and turns that occurred while Lisa was growing her own business, and how she took them as learning lessons to get even better. Why Lisa loves a hand-printed linen so much, and how it creates a natural yet custom made look. Beauty is in imperfection, so embrace the flaws and know it’s okay to not have things perfectly perfect! Lisa works in homes that range from grand and opulent to refined and simple. Hear how she makes things work for each particular space. Lisa believes if you love something, you can find a place for it in your home. Why we are here for the trend of using one particular pattern to the point where it becomes a neutral. Slipcovers can be a great way to give your couch shape and a streamlined look, but there are certain things you need to know when using them. Mentioned In This Episode: Lisa Fine Textiles Near & Far @lisafinetextiles Richard Keith Langham Wine Away The Frame TV Decorating Dilemma First, Lisa loves that you want a lot of seating areas, and this space is great for entertaining already! It also seems like putting the dining room near the kitchen would work well, and we either vote for a round table to welcome a break from the square, or put the dining room table in front of the fireplace where the sofa is. Maybe the length of the sofa goes perpendicular to the fireplace, and put the two chairs across from it. A slip to cover the chairs would be a great way to match the sofa and have a theme carry across the room. We would love to sit in front of the fireplace too, so feel free to get creative with your seating in front of it! _________________________________________ We think it’s brilliant the way you have used tape to outline where everything will go, so good use of understanding proportion already! We are okay with the TV in front of the fireplace, and just suggest bringing in more round shapes in your bookshelf accessories to add some softness to the room.
Dec 24, 2019
Ep. 119: designer Lisa Furey
Interior Designer Lisa Furey joins the show to talk about keeping neutrals chic yet interesting, her award-winning luxury boutique firm, Lisa Furey Interiors in Philadelphia, and how she fell in love with her Palmetto Bluff vacation home. Lisa shares how she went from a career as a divorce lawyer, her passion for the “bricks and sticks” aspect of design and building, and her approach to creating beautiful and practical homes that are just as livable as they are beautiful. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials and Triumphs featuring misbehaving bats, ruthless bin cleaning, leaf blowers, and delegating out Christmas light tasks. Tips on ribbons and accessories that are both kid-proof and beautiful for the holidays. Real talk on where everyone stands on ornaments as Christmas gifts. How Lisa’s core business is Lisa Furey Interiors in Philadelphia on the mainline, but she also does work in Georgia and South Carolina. More about Lisa’s projects including the Beach Cottage in South Carolina, the main house in Palmetto Bluff, and her own personal home featuring an upside-down design of the living room upstairs with floating stairs. How Lisa fell in love so much with Palmetto Bluff that she came home and purchased a loft for her personal use. More about the original cottage that people loved so much that it led her to a carriage house, and then a main house. Fun fact: Lisa was a divorce lawyer before a designer and actually attended two colleges at once. Lisa describes her style as minimal with an emphasis and natural and simple. She enjoys using clean lines and nice materials that create a relaxed and welcoming feel. Why Lisa loves using woven pieces to give spaces an organic look. A glimpse into the process from when Lisa decides to work with a client to working with them on a large renovation, remodel, or building from the ground up. Some risks Lisa has taken recently in her own home and work, including some fun blue cabinets and an upside down home. What similarities and differences Lisa sees between working in Philadelphia and the South. While we do love some photos of your cute pets, we are all for editing and trimming out the unnecessary parts within a room. Tips for matching appliances, and how to use different shades of the same color with it still looking clean and cohesive. Mentioned In This Episode: Ballard Designs Ornaments Lisa Furey @lisafureyinteriors Beautiful Kitchen and Baths Palmetto Bluff Marie Kondo Sunset Villanova Harcum College GE Cafe Hartwell Sofa Decorating Dilemma Congrats on your place! Lisa would cover up the gray tile with as much rug as she could using natural fiber rugs. She recommends two, maybe an indoor / outdoor version to kid proof them, and if you are looking for more color you can put a prettier rug on top. A pendant light would bring the ceiling down, and make it feel a bit more comfortable and welcoming. If you do the bar stools, one option would be to get the saddle ones without backs, so that you can tuck the stools under the table for easy storage. Instead of a mirror above the fireplace, Lisa suggests a wreath or tobacco baskets with two candle sconces on either side. She would also have the layout of the space be: kitchen on one side, fireplace in the middle, and built in on the other side to elevate and bring in a sense of balance.
Dec 17, 2019
Ep. 118: designer Madeline Stuart
Celebrated Los Angeles Designer Madeline Stuart joins the show today. Madeline talks about her new book, No Place Like Home and a more inside look at some of the articles and photographs featured in the book. She also talks with us about the research that goes into a new project, her passion for both design and architecture, reinventing the wheel with each home, her love of vintage lighting, and the design elements she goes back to time and time again. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: The design process behind her Madeline’s new book, No Place Like Home, and why it’s a great read along with the beautiful photos. Madeline’s passion for incorporating difference influences to create a cohesive story in each home. Madeline’s collaborative process (sometimes!) when working with a client, in order to get them to feel that they have the space to really express their design desires. Why Madeline loves some good vintage lighting, and some impressive lighting stats on a few of the larger homes she has worked with. How Madeline also draws much of her design inspiration from the architecture and general form of the house to create a space that fits together. Even in the fanciest homes, furniture should be something that guests can sit, relax, and feel comfortable in. Examples of moments where Madeline scaled back the accessories and objects for a photoshoot, rather than try to stuff it with decor. What Madeline refers to as the “mosh pit approach” to decorating. What to do when your house style doesn’t match your decorating style. The wide range of Madeline’s projects including Hispano Moresque in La Jolla, Streamline Moderne in Los Angeles, and Spanish Revival in Santa Monica. Mentioned In This Episode: Madeline Stuart Interiors @madelinedstuart No Place Like Home Georgia O’Keefe Elle Decor Mabel Dodge Luhan Decorating Dilemma Madeline recommends hiring a professional, who you can work with on layout, proportion, scale and much more. Also, find examples of spaces that have a neutral background, and you can begin to get ideas on using items such as textured rugs and vintage finds to add value to a bland space. Just because you may not like the outside doesn’t mean you can’t create an inside that totally fits your style!
Dec 10, 2019
Ep. 117: designer Janie Molster
Janie Molster, Interior Designer in the Richmond, Virginia area, is known for her fun and light-hearted designs, mixing the beautiful with the well-choreographed messy. She joins the show this week to talk about her love of pink, decorating for the holidays, and why we don’t always have to go with the traditional red and green. We also all talk about decorating with comfort in mind first, when twin beds may be the way to go and creating symmetry that is pleasing to the eye. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: More about Janie’s style, recently described as “pretty, happy, and layered.” To some, it may look like it’s done with abandon, but really it is choreographed with a ton of thought. The juxtaposition between the old and new in a home, and Janie’s suggestion that people mix and match objects they most love together even if it’s different style-wise. Janie’s top tree decorating tips including ribbon, colors, and not worrying about blending homemade with fancy. Janie’s love of pink since she was little, and ways we can create a Christmas-y feel without having to be tied to the traditional red and green. What a story about Disney cartoons with hairy arms has to do with design! New idea: Christmas trees that come with a remote? When twin beds and be engaging and pleasing, especially for people like Janie who do a lot of hosting. Why she loves pairs to create symmetry that is pleasing to the eye, and constantly recycling and swapping items from room to room. Janie explains her love of an upholstered headboard and gives some unique design thoughts on using them to spruce and liven up a room. Mentioned In This Episode: Janie Molster Designs @JanieMolsterDesigns House Beautiful “In Defense of Twins” Decorating Dilemma If your budget allows, Janie loves your idea of wallpaper. She would not only wallpaper the walls, but the ceilings as well, wrapping front to back. A stripe or vertical pattern can be really fun, and you can run it up the eaves vertically and across on top to create a cabana tent effect. The funky trimmed doors are so fun and filled with personality, and they could be so fun to accent as well. Great job and we are very impressed by you! One final note: Janie also thought having a custom headboard made could be really cool to get the feel of an arched headboard. __________________________________________________________________ If there is room on the other end of the sofa, a chair could go nicely there. Janie recommends creating two seating arrangements: one that is oriented to the TV and the other one under the windows. If you layered a room size rug and your current rug on top, it could hide a little of the asymmetry. If you are looking to fill up some wall space, more artwork or mirrors can look great — and only get a bookshelf if you are really needing space for more books! Our final thought is that adding some drapery could be great for adding some softness to the room.
Dec 03, 2019
Ep. 116: designer Timothy Corrigan
This week we start off by talking about holiday decorating with some tree talk and gift wrapping strategy. Then, we welcome the great Timothy Corrigan to talk about his chateau addiction, his signature style described as “comfortably elegant”, and his new book The New Elegance. Timothy believes our home is the place to bring out our best selves, elegance doesn’t always have to take a lot of effort to achieve, and there is nothing better than mixing styles and quality. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials on a broken Sunbrella storage ottoman, and triumphs on appreciating a beautiful fall day in a great home, toy organization, and a valance using Ballard hardware. What Timothy means when he says elegance is misunderstood, and how it can transcend any style. More about Timothy’s new book The New Elegance - a great read that shares the stories of homes in which he has defined a new contemporary elegance. Ways we can include classic design principles in our busy life. If you are comfortable in your home, everyone has a better experience. Research shows that when you like your environment, you are healthier. Why Timothy believes we don’t have to always trade-off beauty for comfort, and the liveability aspect of our design is so important to the overall experience. Timothy was working in advertising in New York then moved to Europe at the age of 30, and it opened up his eyes to the world of beauty and design. When Timothy became an auction addict, and why he views it as a great opportunity to learn and gain information on the history of pieces. Timothy’s love of chateaus and his detailing of how people live in them and update them to meet their modern needs in his book An Invitation to Chateau du Grand-Luce. Design is about learning, exploring and then figuring out how to do it yourself to meet your scale and proportion. Tim explains why color very much shapes the way you experience a room. How to know what to respect the integrity of the home, yet also update the architecture to reflect the function and style of what you may need today. Surround yourself with things you love, and feel free to mix and match from colors, accessories, and furniture that speak to you. The primary types of symmetry, and how understanding them can help us design in a way that compliments and highlight proportion and space. Mentioned In This Episode: Timothy Corrigan Books @timothycorrigan Decorating Dilemma Hello Denmark! The views outside your windows are so dreamy. To Tim, the biggest issue is starting to create some separation between the living and dining area. He would recommend a rug under the sofa and chairs in the living area, to ground it and make it feel more cozy and comfortable. Next, if you put a sofa table behind it with objects (or table lamps) to subtly divide space and open it up in an interesting way to make it feel even bigger. Also, some softening to the space will make it feel more inviting. As far as your dining space, a longer oval or rectangle table anchored horizontally could work very well. ----------------------------------------------------- You can move the banquette back a foot up against one day, which would tremendously open the space up. This is a perfect example that we don’t have to be a slave to our home. We like the chairs you have, and think the combination as it is looks sweet and pretty. Window treatments are important to make you feel safe and protect your privacy, so go ahead and put some curtains in.  
Nov 26, 2019
Ep. 115: designer Tammy Connor
Interior Designer Tammy Connor’s goal is to make hard work look easy and to focus on implementing more about what her clients really love vs. what’s in trend for the moment. Tammy joins the show this week to talk about her signature style of real, livable homes, how she ended up going from working in Alabama to Atlanta, and why rules really are meant to be broken when it comes to design. Tammy also talks about her projects including The Sword Gate House in Charleston, her Seaside Cottage, and Sewanee Cabin. You’ll also hear Tammy’s tricks of the trade to creating the perfect “man room”, and yes - it involves leather. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Tammy’s goal is to help her clients make their home look less perfect, and more like they just have great taste and have collected beloved pieces over time. Trends may come and go, but a believable color scheme and authentic use of a home will always stay in vogue. Tammy feels we must know the rules before we break them, and you can follow what you love rather than jumping on every latest trend. The advice Tammy would give to young entrepreneurs from opening up her own business at 25, and what she may do differently if she had a second chance. Tammy loves working with people on their first home, but by the time they get to their second or third, the wheels are already set in motion and they trust her vision much more. More about her first client, The Sword Gate House in Charleston, and how she landed the chance to work on this historically significant home. The differing approach Tammy had for projects such as a Central Park Apartment, her Showhouses, and the Historic Hunting Pavilion. Why it’s important to have a thread throughout rooms that both ties them together and gives our eyes a place to rest. Ways Tammy uses proportion and 3d to work with small and large spaces that can have challenging spacial issues. Neutral upholstery can serve to highlight other objects and put the focus on other things in the room. Mentioned In This Episode: Tammy Connor Interior Design Historic Hunting Plantation @tammyconnor Sewanee Cabin Decorating Dilemma Two things you can do. You can keep the red brick and paint the rest of the trim to match the windows and doors. Or, if you wanted to do a whitewash on the brick and paint the trim green instead of blue. A good green is...wait for it... Charleston Green! We love what you have done so far, and you are really stepping up that ranch!  
Nov 19, 2019
Ep. 114: designer Jennifer Nanni
This week we welcome Jennifer Nanni, owner of Rittenhouse Home in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Jennifer talks about how her hobby in design and a naturally great eye for spaces turned into a sought after business with critical acclaim in Luxury Interior Design. Jennifer talks about the kitchen being the hub and heart of a home, what trends she is seeing in kitchens and living rooms currently, and designing for aesthetic meeting the needs of form and function. Jennifer shares her personal design loves, what finishes and materials she is using heavily now, and how she manages to have a white living room sofa with five children. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials regarding some expensive drawer upgrades, and squirrels vs. a cutting garden. Triumphs of gaining a whole new wardrobe when you Marie Kondo it up, pleated shower curtains, and what cayenne pepper has to do with a successful bird feeder. Jennifer’s business started as a hobby and she was always a purveyor of beautiful things with an eye for design. Jennifer is Italian, and she feels the heart of every home is in the kitchen. She discusses what she loves about electronics in kitchens, and how they help us become better cooks. More about the use of gold finish in kitchens, and how it can go with our existing brass and metal. How we can glam up a kitchen using seating, hardware, lighting, and certain backsplashes. Ways we can carry the glam from our kitchen to a living room using subtle accents and shine. Not everything needs to be matchy-matchy, and Jennifer is a big proponent of integrating personal style instead of transient trends. What Jennifer’s personal kitchen looks like, and how she created it to function for her children ranging from 3 to 14 years old. The “magic” fabrics that have us not worrying too much about our rugs and sofas. Why rug pads in the nursery are a great idea. How Jennifer takes risks with her design, including creative closet solutions, tile, and colors. More about Jennifer’s showroom, and how it showcases how she can work in different mediums but still tie in a beautiful space together. What wattage is best for different lights, and what brightness we use in the bedroom. Walk-in showers are awesome, but we are still loving a tub in the home as well! Mentioned In This Episode: Ikea Hackers Renee’s Garden Rittenhouse Home Jennifer Nanni’s Instagram Dacor Victoria + Albert Lauren Liess Emily Henderson Decorating Dilemma We love how vibrant your teal is! Check out Benjamin Moore Classic or Nimbus Gray. They will be in the same color tone as your teal. _________________ You can do one lamp on each nightstand, and a taller one on the dresser. Another option would be to get the remote so you can turn on all the lights as soon as you walk in. Add some surfaces in the room, and fill them with some lamps and light and you will be in a great position!  
Nov 12, 2019
Ep. 113: designer Susan Sully
This week, we welcome best selling author of over 18 books, Susan Sully. She tells us all about Southern Hospitality At Home, her new book that details the inspiration behind the art of finding joy and generosity in hospitality. Susan talks about what surprised her most about the history of Southern homes and hospitality in her research for the book, the importance of a welcoming entrance hall, why the door was almost always open in the South and her go to tips for entertaining at home. We also talk about dining room etiquette including the rules on lighting candles, ways we can update tradition, and incorporating high/low into your entertaining. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials regarding a cool Ballard lamp, a Prosciutto haunted hand, and failed kitchen outlets. Triumphs of rediscovering the right way to use a fan, a killer centerpiece, and new dining table. Why Susan thinks that hospitality and comfort have remained so ingrained in Southern culture. Why old Southern houses work with the climate to encourage an environment of fun times and great parties. Why porches were arranged on the side in Charleston, and the difference between a porch, Side piazza, and gallery. No matter how big or small the entrance way in a home, do something to make it welcoming. The hilarious story of how cheese straws and the bald eagle are both a thing. Some of Susan’s must-haves for decorating including cloth napkins, beautiful place cards, comfortable chairs, things that gleam and glimmer, and how to get ahead of the game by setting the table the night before. The etiquette around lighting candles, and ways we can update tradition with boldly colored candlesticks and candle holders. What we need in our guest rooms to make our special visitors feel appreciated and welcomed. Mentioned In This Episode: Susan Sully books Susan Sully @susan.sully Southern Hospitality At Home Devon Lamps Blair Bench Mrs. Whaley’s Garden University of Georgia Erika Powell Florida Water The Charleston Silver Lady Decorating Dilemma Susan loves the idea of a wicker bar cart with you changing out flowers or greenery. She said a polypropylene runner to put along the front of your house, to soften up the floor and bring color. You can paint the bar cart a color to go with it. We love the idea of having that table next to your door, with plants on it to add some depth and color. ___________________________________________________________________ One of Susan’s mottos is “there is no problem that a good curtain can’t fix”, but here it can be dramatic and make it feel like a pavillion. Her advice is a very long curtain rod with two panels on either side all the way down the floor. Susan also throws out that two curtain rods with two panels on either side and treating them on individual windows may work really well too. We also throw in the idea of Roman shades, to help add softness.
Nov 05, 2019
Ep. 112: designer Jennie Seward
Interior Designer Jennie Seward began her career as a colorist and designer of fabric and wall coverings. Jennie shares how she managed to fall in love with surface design, and with the help of a few side hustles, worked her way up to opening her company Jennie Seward Interior Design. Jennie also talks about her love for color, her custom decoupage lamps and decorative accessories, and her passion for designing beautiful wall coverings and fabrics. We also talk about the importance of paying attention to the exterior when designing as well, what goes behind her “Traditional With a Twist” style, and where Jennie recommends we save vs. splurge. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials regarding a fractured tibia, mother in laws, and a lesson in entertaining with silver spoons and hot dishes. Triumphs about the Final Cut outlet, new sofas, and a power audit to help bring down the electricity bill. Also, a discovery about a cordless serving heating warming tray — thanks genius listener Sharon! Jennie describes her style as “Traditional with a Twist”, and loves working with a variety of clients and projects. Jennie was always either designing rooms or upgrading her fort as a child. She has a natural talent to take a space and bring it to a new level of beauty. Good things happen when you go above and beyond your job, and say “yes” to side hustles that move you further in your dream. Jennie works for her clients to create an interior that feels fresh but includes any important historical objects they are holding on to from their family. Jennie is a fan of wallpaper, and sees how it adds so much to freshen up a room. Where to splurge on beautiful fabrics such as wallpaper, and where to save, like seagrass and sisal rugs. Why Jennie recommends buying the ugliest house on the best block, and the importance of both interior and exterior for curb appeal. Great design is not about the price you pay, but rather the choices you make. As you are going through a project, always be open to make sure the next step is the right decision. Mentioned In This Episode: Final Cut Cuisinart Warming Tray Syracuse University Schumacher Designs Charlotte Moss Hartwell Sofa Duran Jennie Seward @jenniesewardco Mathes sofa Suzanne Kasler Decorating Dilemma You either need to paint or reupholster your sofa. We don’t know the size of the room, but we are thinking painting might be easier. Jennie is already on the hunt for a fabric that will pull it together, and check out some Ballard custom drapery. If you love your gray wall and don’t want to paint, consider a new sofa! If you don’t like your sofa, don’t waste any resources trying to match it until you can purchase one that you love! _________________________________________________________________ Maybe a Person table would work, since it’s neutral we have a lot of options such as a marble top and chair with fabrics to help with the hard surfaces. A round table works best in a square room. Think of it as a conscious contrast rather than a near match to be intentionally different.  
Oct 29, 2019
Ep. 111: designer Betsey Mosby
Betsey Mosby, interior designer and owner of Betsey Moby Interior Design, pairs the contemporary with the tried and true to create spaces that are traditional with a twist. We caught Betsey while she was in Atlanta on a new client project and talked with her about using pieces you already love and how she helps clients develop a space where they can live their life comfortably. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials regarding a hornet’s nest, a NYC apartment fire, and a not so hidden garbage can. Triumphs on some great Target Anniversary purchases, new living room love and nice looking melamine plates. Betsey works with clients to use what they already love, and to add new furniture and accessories that will stand the test of time. Betsey is all about helping clients develop a space where they can live comfortably in an environment that suits their particular lifestyle. Betsey took an unconventional path to design, but her background as a CPA helped her in the business and entrepreneurial side of things. Your best advertisement is your last client. When Betsey starts a room at a showhouse, it is her to her truest form. Why a good power wash can have performance furniture and rugs looking just like new. Embrace where you are at every stage of design. We can make our own rules when it comes to creating new places for guests to sit and be comfortable while entertaining. Hanging art on the headboard is a new way to make the space interesting. Monograms are a way to add a classy touch to soft goods such as towels and linens. Betsey’s use of lattice in a room to create a warm yet polished look. More about the Southern Idea Living Showhouse. Mentioned In This Episode: Betsey Mosby John Derian Vesper Martini Table Pinterest Sunbrella Hatchimals @betseymosby Southern Living Idea House
Oct 22, 2019
Ep. 110: stylist and editor Eddie Ross
Jack of all trades, Eddie Ross is a stylist, author, editor, trained chef, decorator, and thrift store addict. We visited his production studio and event space Maximalist Studios to sit down with him and talk entertaining, his house renovation, and much more. What You’ll Hear on This Episode:The historic renovation of Eddie’s Edgewood Hall, and how they brought it back to life. Eddie’s addiction to thrift stores, and how he stores all his precious finds in his prop house and photo studio.More about Eddie’s new book Modern Mix: Curating Personal Style with Chic & Accessible FindsA home should have a sense of things collected overtime to give the space a personal feel.How to know when to thrift, and when not to thrift. How Eddie made his Butler Pantry dreams come true and made the best use of a small space. What’s in his summer flower drawer, and what a berry spoon is. Some of Eddie’s seasonal tips to spruce things up and make things feel lighter in the summer and cozier in the winter. A behind the scenes look of shooting for House Beautiful, and how it gave Eddie time to really decorate the space and make sure everything felt authentic. People that are friends with designers — please still have us over! We promise not to judge, and just want to escape our home every now and then. What a celery vase is, and why it’s everything. Buffet etiquette including how to navigate the assembly line to maximize time and space. Why “inspiration” on social media can sometimes stress us out, and what to do about it. Some delicious dishes to serve for a party of 20 or fewer guests. Ice cream sandwich station, anyone? Eddie’s entertaining stock kit: cutting board, footed board, cake plate in two sizes, celery glass, low bowl, pitcher, ice bucket, ice scoop, and linen cocktail napkins. Wash and iron your cocktail napkins. You will take great pleasure in the steam. Mentioned In This Episode: @eddieross MaximalistStudios HouseBeautiful | EdgewoodHall Eddie RossModern Mix Better Homes & Gardens Bunny Williams Herman Wendell Angie Hranowsky
Oct 15, 2019
Ep. 109: designer Barbara Balongue
Designer Barbara Balongue specializes in hospitality design — restaurants, bars, and boutique hotels. We loved chatting with her about the intricacies of restaurant design, how it impacts our dining experience, and everything those goes into building out a gorgeous venue. She blew our minds with all of the details we’ve never even thought about! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: The challenges with restaurant designWhy you can take a bigger risk in restaurant design than you might at homeWhy booths are great and why they’re great to use in residential spaces as wellThe science and psychology of restaurant designWe talk about restaurants that haven’t used designers and a client of Barbara’s who was blown away by how interior design changed his bottom lineNew trends in restaurant designHow Barbara chooses color in her projectsRestaurant noise — how to combat it and why its an after thoughtWhy people covet the ‘hotel feel’ when they’re designing their own homesBathroom lighting and everything you need in your guest room WilliamMcClure @balonguedesign BalongueDesign TheWhiteDogCafe Schumacher Autograph RestaurantImpossible Sunbrella
Oct 08, 2019
Ep. 108: realtor Haven Duddy
Haven Duddy is the founder of Main Line Haven and works with her team to do it all - from buying and selling, construction and renovation, to staging and interior design. She joins the show this week to talk about why it’s totally okay to embrace your style changing, how she came to start a business that offers a full-service experience in the real estate and design world, and simple things that make big changes in design and renovation. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Haven’s husband worked in construction, and they combined forces to create Main Live Haven, helping people through whatever process they are in. When someone employes Haven to buy or sell real estate, they also get 4 hours of professional interior design service. Philadelphia has a more traditional housing style, and many of Haven’s clients will make changes throughout the years to reflect a more modern and present look. What you love today, you may not love in 10 years. Your style will change, so embrace it! What people get hung up on that they shouldn’t, and simple things that make big changes such as new lighting, updated toilets, glazing tile, and painting cabinets. Living in the house may give you a great idea of the functional way you want to design it. Common mistakes people make when they are renovating a home or looking to design it from scratch. The gals varied thoughts on open floor plans and the trends Haven is seeing with her clients. When you are selling your home, less is more, so get ready for some garage sales! The weirdest thing Haven has seen in someone’s house. The staging of science and general rules we should keep in mind when getting the most for our home. 
Oct 01, 2019
Ep. 107: designer Kimberly Barr
Kimberly Barr is an Interior Designer in the Philadelphia area and is known for her youthful, put-together style. We talk about her love for antiques, not having strict rules, and how we can mix patterns and pieces in a way that brings a modern, fresh look to the traditional. We also get into some pillow talk, where in design you can have fun, and how it’s possible to design family friendly yet elegant spaces. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Kimberly’s inspiration behind mixing the traditional with a twist of elegant and modern. More about Kimberly’s company, Kimberly Barr Interior Design, and how she tends to work with clients from the beginning until completion. Kimberly’s love of working in Philadelphia because it allows her to bring a current feel to old stone homes and mill work within traditional homes. Ways we can mix fabrics without being over the top. Some good rules of thumb for mixing things that may not go together. How many pillows on a sofa is too many, and how to best store pillows instead of just throwing them on the ground! Kimberly may keep her master bedroom all white, but also knows how to design for families, knowing that a space needs to be livable and kid friendly. What a triple pleat is, and why it adds a crisp sophistication to drapery. The price range for working in custom fabrics, and how to know if it’s the right choice for you. When wallpaper is appropriate, and if Kimberly thinks the trend is here to stay. Art and sconces are great opportunities to have some fun and mix it up in a traditional home. Kimberly’s grandma owned an antique store, so her childhood was spent oohing and ahhing over the best antiques. Every situation is different, if you have rules you may be missing an opportunity. 
Sep 24, 2019
Ep. 106: designer Naomi Stein
Naomi Stein of Design Manifest joins the show this week to share how working with her contractor father gave her an eye for design and a purpose to help others make their lives more functional. We talk about making a room light, bright and comfortable, the big mistakes we tend to overlook in kitchen design, and hacks for small spaces. She also talks about finding that middle balance between your dream and your budget, and things people should look out for when working with an interior designer. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Naomi worked with her father for 12 years which helped her knowledge of working in high-end homes, and honed her skills for taking her clients to the next level. Common mistakes we tend to make including layout, form, and functionWhat Naomi doesn’t want to see in a kitchen, and what appliances she thinks is okayIdeas for storing trash bins in a sleek yet recognizable space, and ideas for housing composting and recycling containers inside a kitchen. Naomi’s best hacks using Ikea cubbies, and what she learned from renovating her own small space, or “twin” as they call it in Philadelphia. A large part of Naomi’s success is the fact that she is very aware with both the artistic vision of a project, along with the realistic overview about budget and what it will take to get it practically aligned. What works when mixing finishes in a kitchenWhere it’s easiest to take risks in the kitchen, and personal examples Naomi has worked with either in her professional life or in her own personal renovations. What to do with outlets! Do we color them, do we have USB outlets, lamps with USB options, etc!
Sep 17, 2019
Ep. 105: "The Trim Queen" Jana Phipps
"The Trim Queen" Jana Phipps stops by the show to tell us all about trims, fringes, tapes, and everything embellishments. She a world-renowned expert and advocate for embellishments and we talk about everything you want to know about the history of trims, how it's changed in the last few decades, how to use them, and how Jana became an expert in the topic. It's a fun conversation you won't want to miss! What You'll Hear on The Show: -Jana's background in trim and how she got her nickname 'the Trim Queen' -How we should be using trims in our homes and why they're so valuable -A little history of embellishments and where in the world they're made now -Her Venice experiential tour that's she planning -How designing trims differs from designing a fabric -We talk about trends in the trim world -Exciting collaborations happening in the world -How to get the most bang for your buck with a trim
Sep 10, 2019
Ep. 104: editor Margot Shaw is back
Flower Magazine editor Margot Shaw is back to talk about her new book Living Floral, why we should all be using our 'good stuff,' how to entertain graciously at home, and much more. WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE: -Margot tells us a little bit about her background -We talk about her new book Living Floral and why she wrote it -Why Margot finds the people behind the work so interesting -How the Flower Magazine readership and mission has grown (organically!) -We talk entertaining and everything you should know about it -Flower's mission is to help people live graciously at home indoors and out -Margot's passion is about inspiring the next generation -Why you're never to young to start entertaining and learning to host a party -Why you should use your 'good stuff' -Mixing high and low pieces on your table and why it makes for a more beautiful table -Margot tells us a story about entertaining for celebrated designer Charlotte Moss and why she was so nervous about her table and flower arrangement -Why you shouldn't be intimidated to host your friends -What is 'tole' and why does Margot love it -Margot's go-to arrangements -Why simple can be just as beautiful as an elaborate arrangement -Margot tells us about what's trending in the world of floral design -Why setting a beautiful table shows your guests that you care -We discuss the merits of placecards and why planning your seating is important SHOW NOTES: - What we used for our terrariums: Berakna vase, river rocks, pink quartz rock,  jade pebbles - Dutch Flower Line - Cut Flower Wholesale - Living Floral by Rizzoli - B Brooks Fine Flower - Flower Magazine
Sep 03, 2019
Ep. 103: designer Amanda Lindroth
Designer Amanda Lindroth joined us all the way from the Bahamas to chat with us about her home collection, book, her interior design work, and all of the joys (and difficulties) of decorating homes in your favorite vacation spots. We even talk about the Dunmore Hotel where she used our upholstery pieces. You'll be shocked to hear all that goes into maintaining this beautiful property! What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials of towels hanging on display where they don’t need to be, soapy stoves, crazy sinks and backordered rugs. Triumphs over a beautiful blue outdoor rug, sink and special chair finds. Amanda would have been a designer sooner if she knew that was a viable option! Amanda grew up living in a house with perfect mathematical scale, and that taught her about proportion right off the bat. What it was like for Amanda to grow up in South Florida in the 1970’s, and how it influenced her design now in the Bahamas. What people look for when decorating on an island home and resort. Warning — this will make you want to go on vacation ASAP! Amanada was intentional with learning about color, and studied it in a serious and motivated fashion. Why Amanda loves a pink wall, and it can be a neutral to go with everything. Why decorating for people’s second and third homes can often be easier, but they still may get sticker shock when it comes to tax and duties of the island! How Amanda navigates doing business in so many locations, and having a team all over the world. Setting a tone for using timeless antiques with a modern and contemporary touch. The places to spend money and really invest in great quality pieces, and what areas we can super glue it all together. Amanda’s thrift shop mentality suites life in the Bahamas well, and it’s not easy to replace things so she pays attention to every single thing she brings in and how she can reuse and recycle. Amanda’s book, Island Hopping, that takes us everywhere from Antigua to Cranberry Island. What we can expect next from the Amanda Lindroth product line, including lighting in early 2010.
Aug 27, 2019
Ep. 102: designer Susan Jamieson
Susan Jamieson, award-winning interior designer out of Richmond, VA, joins the show to talk about her brand Bridget Beari, her new line of wallpapers, and how her Southern upbringing gave her a foundation for the warm and imaginative style we see today. Susan also talks about the importance of knowing the mood you are trying to create, why we shouldn’t be afraid to use different whites, and her effective and practical steps of mixing patterns together. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials of a $600+ power bill, boxwood hedge trimmers, and a broken dishwasher. Triumphs of outsourcing yard work, an outdoor bench, and dish towel upgrades. How Susan’s business Bridget Beari has expanded from design to home furnishings to paint and wallpaper. Wallpaper is having a major moment, and Susan gives her thoughts on why it’s here to stay and not something to be afraid of. Susan’s line takes the guesswork of picking the right color for the client’s specific design and needs. Susan loves pushing boundaries and making each project unique to the client based on their taste and the architecture. How growing up in the south affected her taste and gave her a foundation of working in a Southern style with warmth and hospitality. How to use texture and contrast when working without color, and why it’s okay to not match whites. Why neutrals can sometimes be harder to work with than color, and the three main things to think about before you should even pick the color. The importance of identifying the mood one is trying to create when picking a direction for fabrics, textures, and colors of a room.   Mentioned In This Episode  Harringdons Alys Beach Bridget Beari Bridget Beari Colors Susan Jamieson @bridgetbeari Ballard Designs   Decorating Dilemmas: Susan thinks a round entry foyer is amazing, and she would put a round rug and a beautiful lacquered table in the middle with an even larger statement chandelier. She also suggests making it even more Spanish, and adding some jewel box color with crisp white trim to give it even more umph.   Susan would start with balancing the light on both levels, including a lamplight and light in the foyer. She would add a surface fixture outside the front door and maybe a pair of lamps depending on your mood. We love the idea of several fixtures that are grouped together.
Aug 20, 2019
Ep. 101: designer Whitney McGregor
Whitney McGregor, interior Designer based in South Carolina, joins the show today. Whitney’s home was recently featured in Southern Living, and talks about her traditional yet playful and welcoming style. She explains what she means when she tells her clients to “listen to the house”, her inspiration of combining clean with beautiful and traditional, and the importance of being transparent about your budget when working with a designer. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Triumphs on grass cloth wallpaper, dorm shopping, and a great anniversary copper wine cooler and pillowTrials about a dilemma on dead grass and hydrangea placement, and the same anniversary shaggy pink pillowWhen you go bold, go with a color you know you like.The special art of picking out gifts for people, and if you should go on or off the list.How Whitney incorporates fun and fresh beauty steeped in the traditional.Whitney is a self taught decorator, and has been designing for fun since she was only 4 years old.The mistakes Whitney gave herself permission to make when decorating her own home, and the lessons she learned from them.More about her new home, and how the flow and light caught the attention of Whitney and her husband.Why Whitney is a proponent of living in a house before making any major changes to it.Whitney doesn’t care if art matches, it’s all about how it makes herself and her clients feel and the emotion it stirs in them.The difference between splurging and investing, and why it’s important to be transparent about your budget.Mentioned In This Episode Wallpaper PlusSilver Comet TrailWhitney McGregor@whitneymcgregorSouthern LivingJohn Stefanidis Bobby McAlpineDavid HicksBilly BaldwinAngie HranowskyNashville Rug Gallery
Aug 13, 2019
Ep. 100: Our Guests' Best Tips
It's a pretty exciting episode today. When brainstorming how to celebrate our 100th episode, we wanted to talk about everything we've learned and all of the best tidbits our guests have shared with us. We hope you'll enjoy it! What You'll Hear on This Episode: How and why we started the show Who we’d want to hire as our interior designers Gil Schafer talked about thinking of your outdoor spaces as rooms The best color temperature for your light bulbs Dimmers are our best friends! Susan Ferrier’s advice about strengthening a view by placing furniture in front of it and why she loves banquettes and mixing dining chairs Nancy Braithwaite‘s concept about a power statement Pappas Miron talking about how your exterior spaces should influence your interior spaces Brian McCarthy’s talk about collage boards and how they can help you envision where items will work together Rachel Cannon’s design manta “haste makes waste”  Why a floor plan will tell you what you need Recurring themes — designing around the life you live Meg Braff’s talking about mixing fabrics and how repetition makes it intentional Liz Bauer’s talk about mixing whites and why you shouldn’t worry about it so much Amy Vermillion’s tip about testing paint color by using a board and folding it to see the shadows Ashley Whittaker’s strategy for finding a common thread for color as you go throughout your room Collections and why you should display them all together versus scattering them around the house Bill Peace’s thoughts on collections and why they’re important to creating a home that feels personal Keith Arnold’s pyramid tip for styling 4 Things that every room needs according to photo stylist Stacy Kunstel
Aug 06, 2019
Ep. 99: designer Angie Hranowsky
Angie Hranowsky has been named one of the “20 Designers to Watch” by Traditional Home, included in Southern Living’s “Top Five Fastemakers” and featured in House Beautiful amongst many others. Based in Charleston, Angie's style combines modern, vintage, chic and colorful all to highlight the taste of lifestyle of her clients. She joins the show today to talk about finding the confidence to take risks, gives us a peek into her favorite projects, and shares a few of her favorite resources for buying vintage and antique. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Triumphs about awesome birthday gifts including new lamps, giant watercolor paper rolls, and mid-century modern sculptures. Trials regarding kitchen shelves, very expensive power bills, and a nightmare situation with Taryn’s little boy. Angie’s background, and how she got into design and started her own business in Charleston. The Coastal Living Idea House, and how Angie went into it with the intention of making it look like a real project rather than just an idea. Why Angie gravitates towards using colors, especially purple, yellow, and turquoise. A few of Angie’s tips to get homes to feel beachy and coastal, without being too obvious in design. Angie loves to mix all sorts of styles and textures, and has been incorporating modern, vintage and found pieces for years.. How Angie made the best of economically challenging times, and some of her personal budget friendly tips for making the home look beautiful. How Angie ended up working with Darius Rucker and his wife, and the great time they had creating something original and chic while transforming their newly built home. Your house can be more about the art and the objects, doesn’t have to be all about color. Angie’s theory on threading color similar value and tone throughout the house. Angie’s new project of a kitchen house, and how it might be the most colorful project she has done yet. Angie’s unusual use of light fixtures, and why she tends to use vintage lamps to support originality in the homes. Why it’s important to treat your furniture, to kid, pet and spill proof your home. How to get a proper foyer, and why a package drop off room may be a thing in our near future. Mentioned In This Episode  ARCHES  Watercolor  Paper The Little Tart Bakeshop Lamp Arts City Issue Coastal Living Idea House Angie Hranowsky House Beautiful 1st Dibs Matthew Quinn @angiehranowsky Pic of Drapery next to fireplace - HTD will put in Decorating Dilemmas: Angie has had the same scenario before, and looks like there is plenty of room on either side of the fireplace. (We think!) If there indeed is, drapes would cozy up the room and add warmth to the space. Bamboo blinds would work, if they are mounted up high behind the rod with an outside mount. The other option besides panels on either side of the fireplace is doing drapes on the long wall, and using custom Roman shades using the same fabric. If the space between the drapery and the fireplace is too close, you may have to do the Roman shades to match the style of the drapes.  
Jul 30, 2019
Ep. 98: kitchen experts Matthew Quinn & Ric Parrish
We've gotten lots of emails about having Matthew Quinn and Ric Parrish on the podcast to talk about kitchens! They're the tour de force behind Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath, the premiere kitchen and design studio in Atlanta. They've worked with all of your favorite designers and most likely designed many of the dream kitchens you've all ogled. We know we certainly have. We ask all your burning questions and answer your kitchen conundrums. What You'll Hear on This Episode We talk about how Matthew got into kitchen and bath designHow and why he likes to design spaces with a unique look for each kitchen versus anything formuliacHow a client's closet might inspire his kitchen designPopular finishes, colors, and materialsWhy he prefers paneled appliances over exposed stainless onesHis must-haves for a great kitchenWhy it's important to learn everything he can about how a client cooks, entertains, and what kind of kitchen items they haveSo much more!Show Notes: Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath StudioMatthew Quinn CollectionMatthew and Ric's Atlanta penthouseMatthew and Ric's lake houseMatthew's Top 25 Kitchen TipsHouse Beautiful's 2016 Kitchen of the Year designed by Matthew
Jul 23, 2019
Ep. 97: Former President of Ballard Designs Ryan McKelvey
*Since recording this episode, Ryan McKelvey has been promoted to President of Cornerstone brands. Karen Mooney is the current president of Ballard Designs.* Recording from Karen’s cozy and mythical basement, former President of Ballard Designs Ryan McKelvey joins the show. Ryan talks about what it is like to be the fearless leader at Ballard, and how he got here on his own career path. He discusses moments that made him grow professionally, gives us a glimpse into his own home designs, and shares what we can look forward to next at Ballard. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: More about Ryan’s start at L.L. Bean as a Manager in Product Development, and how he got to be the President of Ballard Designs. Ryan has been working at Ballard for 19 years, and he has learned so much. He shares what is so special about the Ballard team, and his love for working with manufacturers to make the best products they can stand behind. Ryan is a finance guy that can also plug into his creative side, and he loves both. What Ryan means when he says he loves solving people’s issues with a sense of style. The design concepts that Ryan uses in his own homes to get a traditional yet eclectic look, using almost 90% of Ballard items (and where that other 10% comes from). How they built their home from the ground up and used scale drawings, a great builder and team, and a lot of research to do it correctly. What life at a river cabin is really like, and the funny story of how Ryan created his electrical plan on the fly. Our expert tips on how not to go completely crazy during a time of home building/renovation! What Ryan learned about honesty and transparency when it comes to customer service, and examples where they also learned from their mistakes. The next Ballard product that Ryan personally is excited about. Why Ballard waits until a product is really ready to go to market rather than forcing or rushing something. Mentioned In This Episode: Ryan McKelvey LinkedIn L.L. Bean Rebecca McKelvey Amy Vermillion Ryland Table Ballard Designs
Jul 16, 2019
Ep. 96: architect Lee Ledbetter
Lee Ledbetter is both an architect and interior designer with a love for combining traditional details with chic Modernism. He joins the show to talk about his book The Art of Place, and the projects in which he helps the client get their dream vision that is both unique and comfortable for their life. Lee also discusses how his homes stay rooted in the deep history of New Orleans, yet create a win-win for function and livability. He also shares his love of smaller homes, why we should embrace the color chartreuse, and the top three things to hit up next time you are in New Orleans. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Triumphs about homemade essential oil cleaners, black fences, and Ballard clearance shopping spree. Trials regarding carport mishaps, dead grass, and formal yet kid proof dining rooms. Lee’s inspiration behind his book The Art of Place, and how this book showcases his ability to incorporate the historic with the modern and chic. Lee’s background in both interior design and architecture, and why he himself loves working with both other decorators and landscape architectures. How the furniture sketches in Lee’s initial plans serve to get an idea of how the room will best work and function. That there is no wrong or right when it comes to what goes in the room, and it’s most important that the room serves its purpose for how the individuals live and entertain. Lee’s renovations and adaptations of historic New Orleans homes, and how he blends contemporary design mixed with the reverence to the original structure. The English Cottage kitchen of his brother and sister in law that Karen is very jealous of! Why the room feels more like a sitting room than a kitchen. Some interesting facts about his modern home making it to the first on a New Orleans Historic Home list, and what exactly it is about New Orleans that Lee loves so much. How he organizes his library. It’s okay to downgrade if you don’t have a need for more rooms. Lee only has one room in his own dream home! His take on open spaces, and why there is a luxury to height, volume, and open lighting. Advice for someone building a home from the ground up. Mentioned In This Episode All Purpose Cleaner Ashley Whittaker Leather Dining Chairs Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans  Galerie Nathaniel Buster Curtis Robert A.M. Stern Architects The Frick Collection   Decorating Dilemmas: You don’t have to do a floor lamp, instead, Lee would try to find a tall round table like an English Reproduction Antique. If your budget allows for pattern drapery, a printed one would add some height to the room, but it is not a necessity right away. Adding a pair of vertical prints on each side would reinforce the window. The view outside the window is so green and pretty, that using color to unite the spaces would look beautiful. Chartreuse is one that plays great with your existing neutral palette. Please do send us some “after” photos, we can never get enough!    
Jul 09, 2019
Ep. 95: designer Matthew Carter
We cover so much today with our guest, interior designer Matthew Carter, that it's an episode you don't want to miss! From brown furniture to bookshelves to investing in great pieces and so much more, Matthew offers us down-to-earth advice about decorating your home and how the laidback horse farms of Kentucky inform his style. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Why a collected and beautiful house feels more evolved than everything matchingMatthew's design process which starts with fabrics and furniture layoutMatthew's background and how it has evolved Why it’s okay to mix and match colors, finishes and fabrics.How to break up a room seamlessly, and why hosting a party can help you plan your furniture layoutGreat ways to bring down the formality and humanize the room using a formulas for curtains, sofas and rugsBuilt ins are a great way to add architecture to a space — just make sure you have books!Painted chairs are always beautiful and a new coat of paint is a great way to freshen up a roomEvery room needs a mix of high and low, and Matthew reminds us we can’t be too intimidated by decorating in generalIf you have to move a pillow to sit down — it’s flat out wrong!Matthew’s take on curtain lengthMentioned In This Episode Matthew Carter Interiors @matthewcarterinteriors  
Jul 02, 2019
Ep. 94: designer Tori Alexander
Nashville designer Tori Alexander sits down with us to talk about taking risks with paint, her $59,000 dining table (that she bought for $1000), green as her secret weapon, and much more! What You'll Hear on the Show: Her background and how she started her business in California when a neighbor asked for her helpShe tells us a story about a dining table she bought off CraigslitWhy it's important to invest in upholstery but to find deals and one of a kind pieces on CraigslistMEASUREFind one place to start and work from thereWhy Tori loves Ballard but why she never shies away from mixing high and lowWhy you should consider the energy of your home before choosing the design"The magic happen just beyond the point of comfort"Why Tori loves green and blueWhy you shouldn't necessarily consider art when decorating your roomWe talk about scale for that dreaded empty space over the back of the sofaSome of Tori's favorite affordable sources for artWhy window treatments can help you solve issues like window placement and scale
Jun 25, 2019
Ep. 93: designer Ashley Whittaker
Sitting down with Ashley Whittaker was such a joy, and we're confident you'll learn a TON from this episode. It's one of my favorite episodes to date because we talk about creating color palettes, why every room needs something grimy, the 'hows' and 'whys' of the room and why they're more important than the 'whats,' and why a jewel tone works in almost any space. We also talk about the difference between color tone and value and why that's important to consider when decorating your home. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Ashley wasn’t formally educated as a designer, but she cites working for a good designer as some of the best education out there. More about how Ashley and her team find a thread throughout each room of the home to have a place for our eye to land and bring restfulness to the design. The importance of contrast in decorating, and why we don’t have to be matchy matchy. Why seeing it on paper is sometimes easier than walking through the house, and a few of Ashley’s favorite storyboard ideas. What traditional elements Ashley finds herself gravitating towards, and ways she keeps it fun and fresh. Why it’s good to feel pretty, but not too pretty, and how throwing in an “ugly” flower now and then can take our projects to the next level. The golden rule of staying sane while decorating: Let go of control and be perfectly imperfect. Ashey’s goal on making sure clients really love their rooms, and the more livable the better. Her stunning use of wallpapers, and why we shouldn’t be afraid of it. Why she loves velvet, jewel tones, and camo green. Why the finishes are important to creating contrast, and her tendency to take a dark room and make it even darker. Mentioned In This Episode Ashley Whittaker Design  Billy  Baldwin  decorates  Jeffrey  Bilhuber’s  Design  Basics Lee Jofa  House  Beautiful @ashleywhittakerdesign Decorating Dilemmas: We love what you have going already! Some of Ashley’s suggestions are to leave the ledge undecorated, and think about putting a plantation shutter on the window, so it becomes more architectural and less of a window. Ashley always likes to be on the second floor reaching out to touch the light from the balcony, so that may be something to aim for in the future as well. Her rule for adding a light fixture: take the length and width of feet in a room and add them together for the inches. A large chandelier would add some depth and fill out the room. If you are also looking for a great shoe organizer, check out  this  one from Ballard Design!
Jun 18, 2019
Ep. 92: designer Olivia Brock
Charleston designer Olivia Brock joins the show to talk about her firm Torrance Mitchell Design and her background in historic preservation. We cover it all -- how she fell into interior design, tips on mixing the old and the new, and her go-to paint colors. Olivia never planned on being a designer, but rather a real estate developer that focused on adaptive reuse of historical buildingsHow Olivia started as a paint color consultant The differences between normal housing and the sensitive nature of working with a historical homeOlivia's house in Southern Living which she and her husband totally restoredOur partnership with Olivia on the Traditional Home Southern Style Now Showhouse, and the inspiration behind the guest room How to make old things look fresh and pairing antiques with a modern piecesWhy she sees historical buildings as people that want to tell you their story, and it is up to us to listenWe talk paint -- testing swatches, favorite whites, and moreBrown furniture is making a comeback, baby!Why patience, a great eye for antiques, and love for a home is truly necessary when embarking on a projectHow curtains can really do a lot for a room, and what types Olivia recommends
Jun 11, 2019
Ep. 91 designer Keith Arnold
Seriously charming Keith Arnold, Vice President of Suzanne Kasler Interiors, joins the podcast this week to talk about his path to design, the pyramid rule, flower arranging, and his new shop KeithEtc. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: How Keith started working with Suzanne over 15 years ago, the many jobs before that helped him in his wide array of roles now. Keith’s background of attending Auburn University with a degree of Architecture, working in visual merchandising for Neiman Marcus and Martyn Lawrence Bullard. How Keith and Suzanne collaborate and how he styles the photoshoots and projects. Keith’s new collaborative venture, Keith Etc. To curate the best in both the old and the new. The ways Keith and Suzanne use colors in big swathes and practice restraint yet an open mind when it comes to breaking the rules. His love of the saffron color! Why France is Keith’s favorite place to shop, and his favorite places in Atlanta. The Pyramid Rule as a structure to start from in design for shelving. The flowers Keith likes to use in a home, how he became an instant celebrity by using lemons in a flower arrangement. Tulip styling tips, where Keith buys his flowers and plants, and why a flower should still look like a flower. Mentioned In This Episode Suzanne Kasler Martyn Lawrence Bullard Scott’s Antique Market  Kenneth  Turner’s  Flower  Style Alexa Hampton @keithharrisarnold @keith.etc  
Jun 04, 2019
Ep. 90: design duo Brooke and Steve Giannetti
We are thrilled to talk to authors and design duo Brooke and Steve Giannetti of Giannetti home. Steve is an architect, and Brooke is an interior designer, and together they are the talent behind Patina Style, Patina Living, and Brooke’s cult favorite blog, Velvet & Linen. We caught up with them to talk about the importance of emotional connection, how their work as a duo came to be, their interests as a husband and wife duo, and to bust the myth that goats will eat absolutely anything. What You’ll Hear on This Episode:Why Brooke thinks people have really caught on to her blog, Velvet & Linen.How Patina Style articulates the process of how to dream your design property, and Patina Farm demonstrates how they manifested the style and design philosophy at their beautiful farm in Ojai, CAHow they took the history and unique elements of Ojai to make sure their design reflected the story.The way they molded the different textures and materials together, and the inspiration Belgium gave them for putting a variety of pieces togetherHow long the Patina Farm took, the description of the inside and outside, and the challenges that arose along the way.Why in design it’s important to start at the emotional connection to the space.How they chose the plants and planning the outdoor spaces, and why we want to always think big and simple.How Brooke developed her passion for interiors and made a full time career of working with Steve in addition to their marital blissWhat they wish they would have done differently at Patina Farm.That no, goats won’t eat everything you give them, except for a yummy rose bush. Thorns and all.What they have up their sleeve next now that Patina Farm is pretty much a done deal.Why we need a focal point, and how we can create them.The most prized possessions (besides their animals and other living entities!) inside their home.What suggestions they would give to someone looking to bring their significant other into their design dreams.
May 28, 2019
Ep. 89: designer Traci Zeller
Traci Zeller joins us in Charlotte to share her unique background and super interesting story of being a former lawyer turned interior designer. She talks with us about switching careers, her commitment to creating a rendering for each project, the inspiration behind her polished and put together style, and how it all practically plays out in her house with twin boys and a puppy. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials of dogs breaking into cabinets, expensive inspection results, a rushed backyard construction project, and rocky 50th birthday. Triumphs of animal print fashion (sorry you are left out camouflage!), good luck in the form of a baby robin’s nest, déja vu, and a beautiful vase. Tips and tricks to clean the outdoor pillows that won’t leave you spending your whole time scrubbing. Traci’s path into interior design, and how she knew it was time to leave her career as a lawyer to shift more into her career into interior design. Dressing for our audience, and why Traci loves it much more now. Why Taryn believes so much in renderings, and won’t do a project without them. Organizational practices and systems that help Traci’s home remain polished yet practical with two twin boys and a puppy. How her lines, although very different, carry a through line of Traci’s voice and style to sit well together. Creating cohesion with different pieces and why we don’t need to matchy match everything. How Traci mixed a traditional pattern with lavender trim to take a well received and beautiful bold room. How Traci describes Southern style and how she applies it to practical living family homes. The showroom inspired by French Couture and the Christian Dior exhibit. Traci’s process when taking on a new client, and how she digs in to get a feel for how they live and what they love. Materials that are best for families and hold up through a lot of wear and tear, and the two products she swears by for ink and stain disasters. More about her adorable puppy Chloe and the plans for making her crate beautiful, fancy, and stylish using Ballard products. Show Notes: @tarynschwartz Kayla Rose Instagram Traci Zeller @tracizeller Of Rare Origin Unique  Amodex  
May 21, 2019
Ep. 88: designer Lisa Mende returns
Designer Lisa Mende returns to the show to talk with us about designing our rooms to the fullest of their potential, and truly creating the home of your dreams. She also shares more about the ins and outs of renovation, her blog The Design Connector, and why design dilemmas are really just opportunities for us to be creative. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: An update on her famous pink sofa, and who else in her household may love it even more than her. Why functionality is just as important as design, and how Lisa helps her clients use every room to the fullest of their function. The crazy story of her studio roof leaking, and how it ended up being a blessing in renovation. Yes, you can both make your home feel like a hotel and have a billiard table in the middle of your living room. More about her blog, The Design Connector, and how it connects us with the people, products, and places we need to know about in the home design world. What she loves about her work with Ballard, and how it inspires us to have a reimagined and fresh new look. The brilliant solution to outdoor couch cushions, and a few of Lisa’s favorites in the outdoor Ballard products including Miles Redd’s collection. Lisa’s answer to Caroline’s painting question for the ceiling in her soon to be new home. How to still use neutral colors in a rich way when you may be not ready to commit to a color. Why design dilemmas are not anything to freak out over but instead are actually great ways for us to be creative problem solvers. Where one can buy leather or fake leather by the yard. Lisa’s rules for using either satin or eggshell finish. Mentioned In This Episode: Lisa Mende Design @lisamendedesign The Design Connector  Miles  Redd’s  Outdoor  Collection  
May 14, 2019
Ep. 87: designer Holly Hollingsworth Phillips
Holly Hollingsworth Phillips is a designer and owner of The English Room in Charlotte, North Carolina. We love her bold, colorful, and elegant style and how she mixes tradition of the past with the modern style of today. She talks with us today about how The English Room began, the different projects she has done ranging from super modern to traditional, her love of color, patterns, and layering, and why it’s more than okay to break the rules. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Her work in the world of design from an early age, and how her mother inspired her to develop a passion for all things antique.Ways we can be confident about mixing it up with colors and patterns in our homes.Using art as an accent, and why what’s popular and trendy in the moment isn’t always right for us.How she loves to take antiques and make them modern with a playful twist.How Holly renovated her own home and even got to keep what’s known as “the naughty chair.”Advice on when to shop for antiques, and where to begin bringing them in the home.How she came to be the brand ambassador for Florence Broadhurst.Her opportunity in the fall to do a room in a showhouse as Florence Broadhurst using her new rug collection, furniture, fabric and wallpaper.Her personal use of “crazy” pattern and color.The importance of looking at measurements before you buy anything.How to balance finding great antiques with longevity, even though you know it may not be your forever home.Why a great sofa could (and should) last you several decades. It’s okay to change up your color, and realize it’s the layers and the mix that makes it interesting, rather than matching everything and achieving perfection.How Holly decides what spaces call for drapery vs. Roman shades, and her love of a blackout curtains.Why you may want to rethink painting your nursery yellow.
May 03, 2019
Ep. 86: designer Amy Vermillion
Amy Vermillion joins the show to talk about her style that has been described as “comfortably elegant.” We talk about how good design can make your life easier, paint colors, an 80's house she brought into the 21st century, and her love of chandeliers. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: The renovation Amy has done again (and again!) from everything including the porch, office and master bedroom.The rule Amy uses when picking pieces that will be permanent and timeless. Her biggest design pet peeves, and why we should all just do what we love.The polarizing topics of gray, brown furniture, and a glimpse into the custom details she does for her clients.Amy’s love of a chandelier as decorative jewelry for the ceiling.Her description of a true 80’s house (but don’t knock a great wet bar in the den!)What is a scullery, and why would someone who entertains love one?How Amy gets to know her clients so she can design a space that functions for their lifestyleWe talk about the rising popularity of librariesWhat people are doing with their TV’s now that they are getting larger than ever.We talk paint colors and why it's so tricky to give someone a paint recommendationHow to address family photos to make them sleek and beautiful
Apr 30, 2019
Ep. 85: designer Cheryl Luckett
Designer Cheryl Luckett joins the show today to talk about form, function, and why we should love a good antique. She shares her background story as a professional dietician turned blogger and talks about pairing multiple fabrics together, where to invest and where to save, and the details people most often overlook. What You’ll Hear on This Episode:Cheryl’s story of working in corporate America for 15 years as a dietician and what led her to a path of design.How to take an antique and make it work to add depth, history, and warmth to a home.More about Cheryl’s experience as a blogger and ways she loves communicating with her clients and followers.What are good pieces to invest in, and where you can save.How we pair two fabrics together, and examples of recent clients where she put it to the test.The details people often overlook, which can help you save time by knowing where your TV remote iThe importance of form and function when creating a cozy yet sleek aesthetic.When you should spend a whole night in your own guest quarters.The essentials of what to put in a guest bathroom and bedroom. Get that plunger ready!Why the smallest knick-knack can have a huge impression on creating a “lived in” feeling in a home.Our love of white towels and pillows with just the right amount of fluff.White towels.Why we should live with something a few days before we make a final verdict on whether we like it or not, or if it works for our home.
Apr 23, 2019
Ep. 84: designer Susan Ferrier
Award-winning decorator Susan Ferrier joins the show today. Known for creating sensuous, atmospheric interiors, Susan created Susan Ferrier Interiors and co-authored the book Art of the House. She talks about how she lights a room while creating drama, creating an architectural rhythm and symmetry in a room, breaking rules, and being bold. What You’ll Hear on This Episode:Why Susan believes the people in the room need to be the pattern.Her creative and explorative use of texture, and strategy of creating shadow with light and darker tones.Her rule of thumb for having a way to read and drink wherever you sit in a room.The two reasons she loves banquettes.How she got into the business, and why she decided to start her own firm, Susan Ferrier Interiors.How she gets inspired by her projects and the ways she digs in to develop a relationship with the people behind every project.How she balances her clients’ with her own personal sense of style and expert quality of being what she refers to as a “visual mathematician”.Which design rules we should be following, and which ones are meant to be broken.The analogy of decorating our homes compared to dressing appropriately for our body type.How we can afford to raise the dynamic design in our kitchens.How Susan challenges the visual aspect of design by combining age with the sleek, modern, and shiny.Susan’s rule for using metals, and if she thinks it will go out of style anytime soon.What we can do to show those 1980’s homes some love and highlight the positive attributHow she lays out a room, and ways we can work with the view to best socialize the spaceHow to not have the price tag displayed on the back of a mirror or painting, and instead have a clean and consistent view.The foundation of creating a good interior for both very large spaces and smaller scale projects.
Apr 16, 2019
Ep. 83: decorator Fran Keenan
Decorator Fran Keenan joins the show this week to discuss her transition from magazine editor at Cottage Living to working with clients, and where she fell in love with the idea of functional and beautiful living. She also talks about how her family influences her work and vice versa, her love of transformation, what colors she currently loves working with most, and the importance of staying true to the personal narrative of the client. Fran’s background as an editor at Cottage Living, and how that influences her to this very day when working on a design project.What steps Fran took to launch her career as an interior designer, and how it went along with the time in her life where she wanted flexibility to spend time with her family.What Fran loves most about working with homeowners.More about the “alphabet” room, and ways Fran has succeeded from thinking outside of the box.How to not have a boring laundry room — drinks anyone?!Fran’s love of mixing functionality with style and warmth.Her use of earthy colors in a way that still feels fresh and energetic.Creative ways Fran pulls color throughout the house and creates a seamless transition throughout rooms.The rule of thumb when it comes to painting moving objects inside the house.A glimpse into the transformation of her own house, and the hilarious take her kids have on what type of houses she buys.How the design process works when Fran moves into a new house, and the lessons of reprocessing within each change.Mixing high and low. Where Fran splurges, and where she uses Ikea.The use of book shelf displays in a way that coincides with the best use of space.How to safeguard against common issues of creating a “Pretty House Prison”.Starting points for using textiles and patterns to bring both a modern sleekness and primitive warmth to the house.Storage solutions of hooks, baskets and hanging things!
Apr 09, 2019
Ep. 82: stylist and editor Stacy Kunstel
Stylist, writer, editor and producer Stacy Kunstel swings by to talk about the fun of adding colors, how she works with interior designers, where she finds inspiration as a stylist and why it call comes down to being different in design. She also discusses what’s new in style and what we can expect in a few years, along with her personal favorite trends. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Stacy’s attraction to big colors and patterns, and how she mixes it with the traditional. Why tradition doesn’t have to be boring - it can be big, bright and graphic. Color makes people happy! How Stacy picked the colors in her product line that were both on trend and ones she loved that has stood the test of time. Stacy’s encouragement to mix lacquer with natural wood. More about her furniture line, and how it came to be. Why it’s your personality and point of view that makes the space so special and a feature so interesting. Why taking some time to sit and organize ideas and visions is a game changer. What a “drink drop” table is, and why they are so important. A glimpse into Stacy’s job, and the many skills she needs to have to do her job as a stylist. Tips for folks on what to leave on their dining room table. Stacy’s advice to stick to the wedding theme when decorating. Go for something old, new, borrowed and blue. Stacy’s favorite publications to get style inspiration and ideas.  
Apr 02, 2019
Ep. 81: fabric expert Scott Kravet
Scott Kravet is referred to as the Indiana Jones of the Fabric World. As the Executive Creative Director of Kravet Fabrics, it is his job to travel the world and find the best textile to make the dreams of others come true. Today he joins the show to talk about his family business and passion for fabrics, what he puts in his own personal house, fabric care, and trends in the fabric world. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials and Triumphs including roofs, roses, rugs, benches and baby proofing. How Scott and his team travel all over the world to source out the best textiles. The wide array of textiles Scott works within the material, design and time period. The different lines that are in the Kravet line, and how the designer collaborations came to be. The family story of their passion for fabrics and the vision for generations to come. Scott’s role of overseeing a team of 45 people at Kravet. How Scott feels about digital printing, the pros, and the cons, and how it has improved over the years. A glimpse into the process of knowing how the colors will react to get the effect you want. A better understanding of getting what you pay for in fabric. The artwork, textiles, fabrics, and colors Scott uses in his own personal home. The digital catalog system Scott works with to keep track of hundreds of designs in their projects. Where Kravet’s mills are all over the world. Important insider information about rub tests and a performance finish. What things we should look for in fabric, including the option of slipcovers. What styles and colors Scott sees trending in the fabric world, and which are fading out. The elements of scale, color, and motif when working with antique fabric.  
Mar 26, 2019
Ep. 80: designer Kate Singer
Interior Designer Kate Singer joins the show to talk about her experiences with showhome designs, what she loves to mix to keep classic and traditional design style fresh, creating a sanctuary no matter where you are, and why loving colors (and neutrals!) may be something woven into our DNA.
Mar 19, 2019
Ep. 79: Pappas Miron Interior Design
This week we talk to the ladies of Pappas Miron, Tatyana and Alexandra, childhood friends and designers that have worked together since 2003. They talk with us about their contemporary and warm styles that mix together to create timeless and comfortable spaces. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: More about Tatyana and Alexandra’s updated traditional and modern eclectic style. Where their love of contemporary furniture comes from. How someone that loves a contemporary space can inject more warmth into their space. The challenges they are solving on a regular basis regarding weird layouts and smaller spaces in New York. Their creative use of closets, bins, and blanket boxes to provide even more storage for those with children. The way they encourage their clients to incorporate their warm personal style. What their individual homes look like, and how they each use texture and mood. Dark doesn’t always have to be sad and depressing. Tatyana and Alexandra’s advice for going over the top in a great way with pattern. The reason they favor curvilinear furniture pieces in their rooms. Their use of deep rich jewel tone colors for accents, and why we shouldn’t be afraid to embrace the dark. What really goes into upholstering a room. The favorite rooms they have ever done! The upsides of having a partner in design, and yes they do consult each other in their own personal projects.
Mar 12, 2019
Ep. 78: McMillen's Ann and Elizabeth Pyne
This week, we have mother-daughter design duo Ann and Elizabeth Pyne from McMillen Interior Design and Decoration, the oldest interior design firm in the country. They share why we should be fearless in design, the idea behind each room having a thesis, and a glimpse into what it is like to work as a mother-daughter dynamic. They also tell us about the three most important things to think about design wise when purchasing or renting a place, and rules for decorating with an infant. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Why we should be fearless and courageous in our career paths. An example of what they mean by each room having a thesis. The differences in Ann and Elizabeth’s design style, and how they complement each other’s range of style to create a fantastic finished product. You have to deal with the space first, and the client second. What elements are classic and won’t go out of style, and what Ann and Elizabeth have seen stand the test of time. Their own individual spaces, and Ann’s description of her 8 totally separate rooms. McMillen’s reign of over 90 years as a trusted and established interior design firm. Why we shouldn’t be intimidated by auctions, and how to navigate them in a confident manner. The give and take Ann and Elizabeth have with their clients and artwork, and how they plan for new and fresh art ideas in a space. The three most important qualities of any place to live: light, proportions and layout. You do not have to have expensive things to make your place beautiful, and the Stark rug that changed it all for Ann. Why we shouldn’t discount the unifying power of a beautiful rug, and some powerful “rug rules” in design. Decorating with an infant - it can be done! The classic approaches to design, and why we should invest in pieces that stand the test of time. How to keep up with the evolution of lighting.
Mar 05, 2019
Ep. 77: designer Alexa Hampton
Renowned interior designer Alexa Hampton has done it all — TV, books, magazines, you name it and Alexa has been featured there. Today, she joins the show to talk about growing up with her  designer father Mark Hampton, the inspiration behind her two books, Decorating in Detail and Language of Interior Design, her recent travels for an upcoming furniture collection, and why there is no room for snobbery in design. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: What has been Alexa’s biggest challenges over the many different collections she has created and titles she juggles. Alexa’s habit of drawing on a photograph as a low tech and practical way that gave her a “Eureka” moment. Her father’s designation between a decorator and a designer. People may not realize how much they really can put in a room. Alexa’s self-described “rookie mistake” when redoing her bedroom, and the lesson learned in bouncing back after a misstep. More about Alexa’s trips to Vietnam to check out prototypes for her new furniture collection, and going to Ireland with a group from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art. How publishing books in the world of decorating is more different than it has ever been. The point of views from her books The Language of Interior Design and Decorating in Detail. Design is no place for snobbery, and there is always more to learn, discover and see. How the fee can grow, but the markup will be scrutinized. The balance between having a trademark look, and being open to adapting based on the client’s needs.
Feb 26, 2019
Ep. 76: Tilton Fenwick's Anne Maxwell Foster & Suysel dePedro Cunningham
This week on the show, we've got design duo Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham of the design firm Tilton Fenwick. This pattern powerhouse is known for mixing prints and the bold color palettes they work into their clients' homes. In addition to their wallpaper and fabric lines, they're moms, masters of collaboration, and big Ballard fans! What You'll Hear on the Show: Why their partnership makes their designs strongerHow Anne and Suysel met and what sparked their initial creative projectsWe talk about their fabric collections for Duralee and what inspires their printsAnne and Suysel tell us about their most recent Duralee collection, inspired by a trip to PortugalWe talk about the design process of their patternsWhy surprising color palettes are their favorite way to refresh vintage printsWhy using a textile collection book can help you if you're intimidated by the volume of fabrics at a design centerHow they mix patterns together and why fabrics are a great place to startWe talk about their own homes and how often they're changing things aroundWhat they learned about their fabric collections and how it changed the direction of their second collectionThe most expensive fabric they've ever used in a project and why they try to keep fabrics 
Feb 19, 2019
Ep. 75: designer Jenny Wolf
Interior designer Jenny Wolf  draws from her clients' personalities when designing a space, and we love the way her spaces feel organic and collected. On the show, we talk editing, collecting, Jenny's new shop, and how to work with a designer on a budget. What You'll Hear on This Show: We talk editing and how important it is to your home -- just like in your closetWhy Jenny thinks it's important to be honest with her clients about the pieces they already haveHow her two girls affect her decorating styleJenny tells us about her latest project -- a store in Pound Ridge, New YorkWhat we can expect in her new store and why the project has been serendipitous We talk about decorating her girls' rooms
Feb 12, 2019
Ep. 74: podcast host LuAnn Nigara
As the host of the podcast A Well-Designed Business, LuAnn Nigara is a wealth of knowledge about the business of running and interior design studio, so we wanted to share that valuable information with you! LuAnn is passionate about entrepreneurship and coaching interior designers through the challenges of running their own business. If you're an interior designer with your own shop, this is the episode for you! What You'll Hear on This Show: What led LuAnn to starting her podcast, A Well-Designed BusinessWhat separates the most successful interior designers from the rest of the packPillars of running a successful interior design businessWe talk about systems and why you should iron them outWe talk about billing and the challenges of explaining your fee structure
Feb 05, 2019
Ep. 73: architect Gil Schafer
We kick off today’s episode with some talk about our favorite Super Bowl hosting tips, tricks, and recipes. Then, we are joined by the incredible architect Gil Schafer. Gil shares his love of embracing tradition and memory, why we should pursue our ideas with rigor and clarity, and the importance of moving past our comfort zone. We also talk with Gil about simple design using beautiful materials, collaboration, his work with Miles Redd, and how he makes new places feel as though they have a history.
Jan 29, 2019
Ep. 72: collector, decorator, and hoarder Nicki Clendening
Nicki Clendening is known for her eclectic style and ability to incorporate vintage and thrift store treasures into her design projects. Today, she talks about how to weave in old with the new, what she looks for when shopping at flea markets and antique stores, the opening of her design studio Scout Design and online store Beetle, and why blue painters tape should be your best friend. We will also hear some Trials and Triumphs, and get Nicki’s feedback on how to bring a small space together. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Trials and triumphs including new cookbooks, missing plants, cool performance rugs and more How Nicki’s dreams progressed from being Indiana Jones to working and living in New York, making money doing exactly what she loves to do What shopping for a client looks like, and if Nicki has ever had buyers remorse More about Nicki’s design studio, Scout Design Where she likes to go to shop for both herself and Beetle, and how she finds one of a kind pieces to add to her collection The inspiration her mom had on her in terms of art, creativity and fashion and her family’s love of global travel and collecting special items from all around the world Her top picks for flea markets, and the importance of building great relationships with vendors Functionality is key, along with using the space appropriately based on what your typical activities are (entertaining, reading, pets, etc) How she came up with her online store, Beetle, and curates what is on the site A glimpse into her own apartment, right at the top of Central Park Why we shouldn’t be afraid to paint the ceiling All about the mix of new and old, whether you own your home or you are renting
Jan 22, 2019
Ep. 71: designer Brian McCarthy
Brian McCarthy is an A-List designer with experience on projects all over the globe. His design projects are clean yet bold, traditional and contemporary with a fantastic eye for picking incredibly gorgeous art. Today, he shares how to create compositions that embrace the bespoke nature of the project, how we can shop for art on a budget, and what to consider when designing a boat. Brian is also the author of Luminous Interiors and Parish-Hadley Tree of Life, which he co-authored with Bunny Williams. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Taryn’s trial which includes Atlanta’s shocking ratistic (rat statistic) and how she and her husband are working to solve it Caroline’s trial when breaking down her beautiful Christmas tree, leading to possibly the biggest LED light knot, mess and spilled paste mixture in history Karen’s trial (but she owns being a 60%’er at least) of upholstering the doors in her guest bedroom. However, she made up for it with the best Christmas gift ever to her husband thanks to artist Lacy Freeman How the idea for Parish-Hadley: Tree of Life came about, which lead to him first writing Luminous Interiors How he handles clients that “ghost” him, and the reasons why he would possibly turn potential clients down How Brian’s design creates a joyful scrapbook in people’s lives, to cover the beauty and art that makes up their personal lives How working with Parish-Hadley informed the unique way he lays out a room Brian’s tips for creating a composition that works, including why you should never leave home without a folding ruler The glamorous makeover Brian gave to a storied New York apartment, and his tips to deviating from the expected path of design How we can shop for art on a budget, and where Brian finds art for his clients How designing for a yacht differs from designing for a home The importance of finding a mentor when developing an understanding of cost, and honing in on what art and pieces speak to you Simple easy ways to refresh your space and continue with maintenance that won’t break the bank  
Jan 15, 2019
Ep.70: Carson Kressley & Thom Filicia
This week, we are five peas in a podcast with besties and designers Carson Kressley and Thom Filicia. These hilarious gentlemen talk to us about how they met at the gym and eventually became members of the smash show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and a sneak peek into their new show Get a Room on Bravo. They also talk about why bad taste is better than no taste, their love of using design to tell a story, and how authenticity is the number one design trend in modern day culture. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: The hilarious story on how Thom and Carson met at the gym How they auditioned and got picked for Queer Eye, and went on to bond filming over 100 episodes together Their mutual love for taking on both large budget “dream” projects, and more small affordable DIY’s The impressive knowledge that there is a difference between draperies and curtains Thom and Carson’s tips to make a big impact with small places and smaller things Why we shouldn’t be afraid to mix brands and prices in design, the same way we do with fashion More about anchor pieces in each room, and why it’s crucial to invest in at least these items What makes their design show Get a Room unique, and how the show was developed Carson and Thom’s mission when working with people: to tell their story and bring it out in a beautiful way, and be serious about design while not taking themselves (or life) too seriously Why your kitchen may be your new living room
Jan 08, 2019
Ep. 69: 2019 Color Trends with Benjamin Moore's Ellen O'Neill
On the first day of the year, we thought it apropos to talk about 2019 color trends, so of course, we went straight to the source - Benjamin Moore's Ellen O'Neill. As the Director of Strategic Design Intelligence, Ellen and her team pick the color of the year. Naturally we had to get the lowdown on how the color is picked, why they chose this year's color, how paint is named, and many more of your top paint and color questions. What You'll Hear on This Episode: Ellen talks through how they pick the color of the year, including what she calls 'color embeds' or when her first hints of what trending colors areWhat type of influences there are in picking the color of the yearEllen's 'personal palette' and why she is drawn to itWe talk about this year's Color of the Year -- Metropolitan AF-690What makes Metropolitan special, why it's the color of the year, and why we should love this hueColor naming -- how the name of a paint color factors into whether it becomes the color of the year, as well as the complications of naming colors in generalWhat is a 'chip pull' and how it changes once the color of the year is announcedWhat the word 'metamaric' means and why that makes matching colors trickyWhy Benjamin Moore hasn't added any new colors in a number of yearsWhether you'll get the same quality and color of paint if you have another paint company color match a Benjamin Moore colorEllen shares with us the top 10 grays in Benjamin Moore's catalogThe secrecy involved in the Color of YearWe talk about the timeline -- when they pick the next year's Color of the YearEllen's background and how one starts to work in colorHow to get started picking a paint color for your space
Jan 01, 2019
Ep. 68 with author Susanna Salk
Over the course of writing her nine design books, author and design expert Susanna Salk has learned a thing or two about decorating. Today, she joins us to share her journey in becoming a bestselling Design Author, stylist, and host of the Quintessence design series, and (our favorite) Ballard partner. She talks about why it’s fun to be fearless, her new book The Power of Pattern, how to mix and choose combinations that work, ways to use wallpaper and store photos, and how to know when you’ve gone too far. What You'll Hear on This Episode: How our partnership with Susanna came about organically.How one can mix patterns and choose colors fearlessly.The inspiration behind her new book, The Power of Pattern, and why every pattern featured up close and personal is one that Susanna personally loves.The rules of patterns, and where someone can start if it’s a new concept.Photo storage solutions including having a section in your home to display them, keeping them in an ottoman, and creating an online nostalgia folder.Susanna’s recommendation on what we should display on our mantles.The obsession / labor of love project that Susanna’s husband welcomed in renovating their barn.Yes, you can have a rug in your bathroom!Pattern doesn’t have to be a print, it can also be a texture.Why wallpaper may be your solution for weird ceiling shapes and difficult rooms.How Susanna picks topics for her design series Quintessence.How it came about for Susanna and Stacey Bewkes to create the Quintessence video series, and some of the highlights of their already amazing filming locations.Tip: edit out and only keep what you are in love with.If all else fails - no ugly spoon holders!Susanna’s jewelry and closet rule - if you can’t fit what you have, something must go.Use pictures to guide you and remind you of what you love.
Dec 25, 2018
Ep. 67: lifestyle entrepreneur India Hicks
Lifestyle entrepreneur India joins the podcast to talk about her new book, A Slice of England, in which chronicles the process of decorating her home in England, as well as her other family homes. On the show, we talk about her upbringing into design royalty with iconic designer David Hicks as her father, what being an author, model and entrepreneur has taught her, amazing ways we can decorate without spending a lot of money and her new business model that empowers women. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: A firsthand look at India’s upbringing with her father, iconic designer David Hicks, along with some fun American culture references of his workIndia’s love of storytelling within her brand, books and decorWhy India believes that good taste and design are by no means dependent on moneyWhy she prefers an inclusive and accessible style in design, especially for those of us with families and petsMore about India’s home in Harbour Island, and their intention to take it back in time to the 18th CenturyThe true story that India and her partner David really had only one argument when designing their American FarmhouseHow India works antiques into her home, and expert ways to not be intimidated when mixing traditional and contemporaryWhat makes India’s new home collection so near and dear to her heartHow India’s company is giving women a chance to become ambassadors and work on their own time with a network of other amazing womenThe sunscreen that India swears byWhat room is most special to IndiaHow to keep a coastal home from being clicheThe inspiration behind her book, A Slice of England
Dec 18, 2018
Ep. 66: architect Andrew Cogar & designer Kristin Kong
Today we welcome Andrew Cogar, architect for Historical Concepts, and interior designer Kristin Kong! We talk to them about designing and building from the ground up, the balance of architecture and design together and the way the two fields complement each other, what to know when finding an architect or interior designer to work on your home, and some smart tips to help navigate this major investment. What You’ll Hear on This Episode: Taryn’s trial in the eyeglass world, and her triumph in seeing the comedian Celeste Barber live. Yes, you can have Prosecco on tap at your office too. The ongoing saga of Karen’s basement and her husband’s dream bar. Caroline’s Christmas Tree trials and triumph, and how to correctly flock your tree to give it that beautiful snow misted look. How the recession changed the relationship between architects and designers. The ways architects and designers inspire and complement each other. What Andrew and his team look for in renovations at Historical Concepts, and why one of their core values is to be “appropriate”. How Andrew helps steer and educate clients in the direction of quality, skill and proportion. Why seeing is believing holds true for what both Andrew and Kristin do. Andrew and Kristin’s expert tips to add an interior designer early on in the project. The importance of communication and trust in the process of both renovation and design. Why the challenges that arise between architects and designers can actually be an opening for better dialog and a stronger partnership. Personal stories from both Kristin and Andrew on some of the projects they are most proud of. How both Andrew and Kristin weave in trends but still keep the integrity and lifestyle needs of the project. Why it’s important to have a master plan, no matter how small the project is.
Dec 11, 2018
Ep. 65: Chip and Pauli Wade
Today we welcome Chip and Pauli Wade! You probably know Chip from the hundreds of episodes from the 14 shows he has been on during his impressive 12 year (and climbing) TV career so far. At just over 1,500 renovations in the past 12 years, he is always learning and pushing the envelope and loves seeing projects go from start to finish. We talk about Chip and Pauli’s partnership in all things work and personal life, how to discern between entertainment and real life renovation, how to plan and invest in design and decor correctly, and when we should embark on a DIY project vs. outsource to a professional, and how he is changing the dynamic of how the digital purchasing experience for both individuals and brands. What You'll Hear on This Episode: The way Chip fell into TV, starting out previously as a structural engineer.Real life in the fast paced crazy environment twist of Chip’s shows, including over 1,500 renovations in the past 12 years.How Chip and Pauli met, fell in love and became partners and cheerleaders for each other both in romantic and business life.What Chip feels is the most challenging in decorating and design, and despite what you think, it's not making things look good!Who makes up all of Chip and Pauli's team, and why each and every role is pivotal to help homeowners make all the right choices along the way.The biggest problems of e-commerce and online retail when it comes to curated confidence.Why something functioning correctly in a room or house is more important than having it just because it was featured on TV or the front page of an editorial spread.>The type of approach Chip uses when working with first time and potential clients to craft a concept of what is most suitable for their needs.Why most of us are doing master bedroom design completely wrong, and how we can remedy it.Little tweaks in our storage, layout, and function that can save us thousands of dollars and square footage of space.Chips love of multipurpose function.Some DIY projects that have spiraled out of control, both from us and Chip and Pauli.As much as he (and we) love DIY, we hear Chip’s top recommendations on when to outsource to a professional.Chip's new multipurpose and multifunctional furniture line, Xtraroom. 
Dec 04, 2018
Ep. 64: designer Bunny Williams
Design superstar and podcast fan favorite Bunny Williams joins us to talk about her new studio and creative getaway, her new upholstery collection, how to change a room with a simple few statement pieces, and a whole Living Room 101 lesson. What You'll Hear on This Episode: Bunny's new office that is adjacent to her home and how she converted a four bedroom house into one giant room with a beautiful viewA glimpse into her busy New York office and how she finds time and space to get inspiredHer new book “Affairs with Other Houses” due in the springHow Bunny Williams Home started 10 years ago, built out of a need for certain products for Bunny’s design projects and how it grew into upholstery, lighting and accessoriesThe optimum size and height of a drink table and why no guest should ever be without a place to set their drinksThe addition of modern fixtures in a traditional home and the ability to mix contemporary with antiqueBunny’s tips for organizing things by groups to create an interesting statementBreak up the finishes, textures and colors so each piece stands out on it’s ownHow to know what brown furniture to keep as is and which to paintWhy pieces should move around throughout the house over time, even as your tastes changeWhy we should invest in wonderful furniture pieces as a lifetime purchaseWhy the furniture has to fit the scale and proportions of the room it is going in, so you may want to opt for the 7 foot couch vs the 9 foot couchHer new upholstery collection, including a scallop backed sofa, chairs and casegoodsThe origin of the name of 'slipper chairs'Raffia as a great way to provide a clean and streamlined texture to a roomLighting options including standing lamps, and lighting fixtures on an end tableWhy your collection of items should be personal to you and not something you have someone else purchase just to fill the roomHow studying magazines will give you the confidence to make decisions in your own home
Nov 20, 2018