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How to Decorate

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.
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How to Decorate
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Nov 7, 2017

Ever since we worked with interior designer Jonathan Savage on the 2016 Southern Style Now Showhouse, we've been itching to share his work with you. When he was in town for Discover ADAC, he sat down with us to share everything he's been up to, tips for renovating, and so much more.

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • Jonathan gives us a rundown of his first overseas designer
  • We talk about Jonathan and Suzanne Kasler's recent shopping trip in London
  • We talk about how style differs from coast to coast and even generation to generation
  • Jonathan shares the inspiration by his stairwell in the Kips Bay Showhouse
  • Jonathan shares why showhouses are such great opportunity for designers
  • Jonathan plans to use pieces from Miles Redd's collection for an upcoming showhouse
  • We talk about updating family heirlooms
  • We talk about choosing appliances when you're doing a home renovation
  • Jonathan suggests talking to friends and family members before choosing appliances
  • Why it's important to test drive appliances and fixtures before using them in your renovation
  • Jonathan walks us through his Nashville home renovation
  • We talk about how we were inspired by Jonathan's room in the Southern Style Now Showhouse in New Orleans
  • We talk about wallpaper and why some rooms need it
Oct 24, 2017

'Jack-of-all-trades' is the only way to describe this week's guest. He is a licensed landscape architect, a gardening expert, a flower arranging expert, host extraordinaire, celebrated decorator, and even a cookbook author. James Farmer does it all , so we were thrilled when we finally caught up with him at Discover ADAC to bring you this show.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • James talks about how one of his earliest memories foreshadowed his life now
  • We talk about pruning, hydrangeas, and crepe myrtles
  • We talk about James' new house Farmdale
  • We talk about James' interior design projects and why he finds himself working all over the country
  • James shares his secret for building a new home that looks old
  • James tells us about his latest antique find
  • We talk about china patterns and how many James has
  • James spills his dinner party formula -- pork tenderloin, roasted vegetables, and biscuits
  • Taryn asks James for a suggestion for the centerpiece of a shower she's hosting
  • We talk about James' projects, his approach to layering, and how many projects he's working on at once
  • We talk about James' next book
  • We talk about trends and using the classics
Oct 10, 2017

Our guest today on the How to Decorate podcast needs no introduction. If you've watched a decorating TV show in the last two decades, you most likely know Vern Yip -- from TLC's Trading Spaces, HGTV's Design Star and Bang for Your Buck. We love his book Design Wise: Your Smart Guide to a Beautiful Home, so we were thrilled to sit down with him and talk shop.

What You'll Hear on This Show:

  • Vern tells us his background, how he ended up living in Atlanta, and his path to becoming a designer
  • He tells us about his first design project for Disney
  • We talk about how incredible Vern's book Design Wise is, especially as an instructional tool
  • Why designing is actually a lot simpler than you'd think and why Vern's book is so helpful in making it easy
  • We talk about value in furniture and why a deal isn't always the best choice and why a splurge isn't always smart either
  • Why space planning is the first crucial step before shopping
  • Why embracing your personal style can save you money
  • Vern shares his favorite exercise for uncovering someone's personal style
  • He tells us about designing his childhood bedroom and how he sees his own style in his son
  • We talk about mixing styles together and how to create a 'thread of continuity'
  • Why you shouldn't be in a hurry to fill your space
  • Why it's important to collect pieces while you're traveling
  • The most dramatic travel souvenir he brought home
  • Taryn tells us about her most recent travel treasure
  • Vern tells us about why he's always redecorating -- it's not the reason you think!
  • We talk about how Vern's house has changed becoming a dad
  • We talk about the incredible antique education Vern got from his mom
  • We talk about how his kids are already developing their own unique sense of style
  • Vern tells us about his favorite place to visit
  • Why it's worth it to spend the time making your home a reflection of you
Sep 26, 2017

Before we even published our first episode of the How to Decorate podcast, we had today's guest on our list of designers we couldn't wait to interview. Here at Ballard, we've worked with interior designer William Peace on several projects including the time he styled three spreads for our catalog and designing the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival together. A few weeks of us, he joined us to talk style, getting into the design business, his work out west, and of course, we answered your decorating questions.

What You’ll Hear on This Show:</b>

  • Bill tells us about how he started working out west
  • We ask Bill about his ‘style’ and how that lines up with his projects out west
  • He tells us about his decorating philosophy and how he translates that in his design projects
  • We ask Bill about shopping regionally and whether he furnishes his spaces with local items
  • Bill uses a lot of locally sourced art, and he tells us about how he works those pieces into his rooms
  • We talk about collections, including Bill’s knife collections
  • Bill tells us about his Atlanta home -- it’s an old gas station
  • He tells us about the best change he made to his home
  • He tells us about how he displays his collections and why he likes changing things around
  • We talk about the Atlanta design community and why he doesn’t feel pressure to impress his design colleagues when he’s entertaining at home
  • We talk about getting into the design business and why Bill feels it’s important to go to school before trying to break into the industry
  • Bill gives us a lesson on how to buy antiques and the story behind one of his favorite travel treasures
  • We ask Bill how to decorate a space so that it’s relevant to the location without being kitschy
  • We’ve worked on a couple of projects with us, and he talks about how he reinterprets our pieces and what inspired the rooms he designed for our catalog
  • Bill tells us about a trick he uses to make rooms feel calm and laid-back
  • We ask Bill about making a tonal room that doesn’t feel boring
  • Bill tells us about how the styles of his Montana and Atlanta homes differ
  • We ask Bill his opinion on TVs in bedrooms and his decorating pet peeves
  • He gives us a lesson on scale, why it’s important, and why it can be fun to manipulate it
  • Bill tell us why it’s important to first consider the mood you’re wanting to set before you start decorating a space
Sep 12, 2017

Our in house design expert, Miriam Leuthold, joins us to talk about the most common decorating question we get in our stores, on our blog, and in our reader emails. How do I layout my room? Miriam is a trained interior designer, so she's answering all of your questions, including traffic flow, focal points, spacing, and much more.

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • Before we get started, we talk about the 'life' of a Ballard product -- how it gets made, where our inspiration comes from, and how long it takes
  • We talk about building your room about a focal point, including what that focal point can be
  • Miriam suggests starting with a rug and keeping all of your furniture pieces on the rug
  • We talk about focusing your seating around your TV versus a fireplace
  • What to do when you walk right into the living room through the front door
  • Karen tells us how she's solved this problem in her own 1920"s bungalow
  • What to do if you have a really, really large living room
  • What to do when you don't have an architectural feature that creates a focal point
  • The TV dilemma -- how to address it? Hide it in plain sight? Or hide it completely?
  • We discuss traffic flow, including proper distance for a walkway and distance between coffee table and seating
  • Why we all love occasional chairs so much
  • We talk about laying out your bedroom, and why keeping it simple works
  • How do we approach a home office?
  • Karen calls out her cousin who has a really depressing home office situation
Aug 29, 2017

This week, we're talking with the 'First Lady of Ballad' Rebecca McKelvey. Since she's married to our president Ryan McKelvey, we thought she needed to stop by talk about how she owns two of every product we've ever made, the river cabin they're currently building, and a wealth of Ballard insight she has to share. Plus, trials and triumphs are back for another round!

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • The three of us share our trials and triumphs -- including several 'oops' moments
  • Karen's trial involves slipcovers and cowhide rugs
  • My trial involves several inches of water in our kitchen
  • Taryn's trial and triumph involve a painting project
  • Rebecca explains the curious nickname she calls her husband, our president Ryan McKelvey
  • Rebecca tells us about their home's style and how she approaches decorating her space
  • Rebecca talks about their 'no shoes' policy in the house
  • Rebecca tells us about how she needed a bathroom cabinet, so Ryan designed our Miranda Corner Cabinet
  • We start bribing Rebecca to help us get our product ideas made
  • We talk about Ryan's obsession with the floor planner and how he used it to design their river cabin, new build house, and even their daughter's dorm room
  • She shares her tips for new construction -- it's all in the builder
  • Rebecca explains why she travels with her vacuum cleaner
  • Rebecca talks about the carpet debate she and Ryan had when they were building their house
  • Rebecca tells us about how she and Ryan collected all of their oriental rugs
  • We talk antiques and how Rebecca and Ryan blend new and old in their home
  • We talk entertaining tips, how Rebecca seats Thanksgiving for 26 people, and the idea of a 'payback party'
  • Rebecca talks about her go-to entertaining entree -- standing rib roast
  • We talk about funny Southern words that we'll define for you
Aug 22, 2017

Once we photographed Virginia's house, we knew we had to get her on the podcast. She graciously invited us over to talk about her Atlanta bungalow and of course to answer your decorating questions.

What You'll Hear on This Show:

  • We all talk about the decorating compromises we've made in our homes
  • Taryn tells us about her brown on brown den that she hates
  • We talk about 'sit-abouts' and how silly they are
  • Karen tells us about the leather-wrapped rock
  • Virginia tells us about why she left architecture school to get into interior design
  • We talk about Virginia's style and how she blends traditional, southern style with the California cool she picked up while living on the west coast
  • Virginia tells us about micro-sealing and how she plans to do this to her home
  • We talk about the difference between her clients in California and her clients in Atlanta
  • We talk about contrast and why it's important to consider when you're furnishing your home
  • We discuss whether it's a yay or a nay to paint antiques
  • We talk about Virginia's genius TV trick
  • We talk about whether each of us appreciated interior design when we were young
  • We talk about working with renovation choices that previous owners had done
  • We talk about lighting and why dimmers are important
Aug 15, 2017

When we were in New York for Miles Redd's launch party, we got the chance to stop by the House Beautiful offices and have Editor in Chief Sophie Donelson on the podcast! She tells us what makes a home beautiful, what projects make it into the magazine, and we test her interior design knowledge!

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • We play a little pop quiz where I test Sophie, Taryn, and Karen's knowledge of design and interior designers
  • We talk about editors' letters and how Sophie writes hers. Does she wait until the last minute?
  • We ask Sophie what in her mind makes a house beautiful?
  • Why a house does and doesn't make it into the magazine
  • What the House Beautiful team does to a home when they come to shoot it
  • We talk about how purple is making a comeback -- yes, purple!
  • Sophie tells us what she thinks has changed about the way people decorate their homes
  • We talk about paint colors and how to pick them
Aug 8, 2017

We invited our exclusive artist Andrea Costa onto the podcast to talk to us about art, being an artist, and how she began her career as an interior designer.

What You'll Hear on this Episode:

  • Andrea starts by telling us how she began her career as an interior designer before transitioning into art
  • She talks to us about how she gets her inspiration for a new painting and her favorite size canvas to paint
  • We ask her about how she works with interior designers to create art for a specific room
  • She tells us about decorating her new space and how often she mixes up her decor
  • She talks about why she loves to hang other people's artwork instead of her own
  • We talk about the pros and cons of having a separate studio space rather than a studio in her basement
  • Andrea tells us about how her music playlist impacts the look of her canvas
  • Andrea coaches us on picking out a piece of art -- she suggests first choosing a budget
  • Andrea likes to start a room with her piece of art, then building a room about that piece
  • Andrea tells us about her first big art piece
  • We ask her about gallery walls and how to put one together
  • Andrea tells us how to mix different colors, styles, and sizes of art in one room
  • Karen talks about why she loves accessorizing her dining room
  • We talk about feedback, seeing her pieces in real homes, and working with expectations for a commission
  • Andrea talks to us about how long it takes her to paint a piece and why painting abstract pieces takes so much longer
  • Andrea gives us a lesson on paint mediums and why you might prefer working with one versus another
  • We talk about how she started working with Ballard and why she wanted to sell her prints through us
  • We talk about our Exclusive Artist program and why we love having this option for our customers
Aug 1, 2017

Celebrated New York decorator Miles Redd welcomed us to his home for this week’s episode of the podcast. With the launch of his new collection, we couldn’t resist the chance to talk with him about his inspiration for the pieces and how he envisions them living in people's homes.

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • We all share the best thing we’ve done to our homes, and also our biggest regret or mistake
  • He talks about his home, and how he longs for wide open spaces
  • He shares how he went about designing the pieces for his collection, nearly all of them in his own home
  • How his experience as the Creative Director for Oscar de la Renta helped inform his Ballard Designs collection
  • We ask him about his favorite pieces in the collection — the dining table and the Kidney Accent Table
  • Why juxtaposition is so important in decorating
  • We talk about drama, and why Miles doesn’t necessarily see his collection as being ‘dramatic’
  • He tells us the story of how he custom built his Miles Bookcase
  • We talk about how his Fire Island home is all beige
  • What color would he pick if he could pick the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year
Jul 25, 2017

If you love color, then this is an episode you can't miss. Interior designer Meg Braff injects vibrant hues into all of her spaces, but always in an elegant, tailored manner. She shares the process behind writing her new book, her love of color and pattern, her recent house renovation project, and gives us a little lamp shade lesson.

What You'll Hear on this Episode:

  • We all share our dream vacations
  • Meg tells us about how she realized she loved decorating -- it has to do with her dorm room at Vanderbilt
  • She tells us about the process of writing her book which took three years
  • She gives us a lesson in mixing patterns -- where to use them and how to mix them together
  • We talk about her love of color and how even though she uses a lot of color, white is the main color in many of her spaces
  • Meg reveals her favorite color
  • We talk about her use of color -- using one really generously with teeny accents of something complementary
  • We ask whether a house needs to have the same palette all the way through
  • How a home's location influences the color palette you should be working with
  • We talk about treating fabrics to make them more stain resistant
  • How she decorates her home with four boys
  • How often she redecorates her own home
  • Taryn mentions how often we've pulled her rooms as inspiration for building our seasonal rooms
  • Meg talks about why she loves a dressing table so much
  • Why editing is so crucial to creating a beautiful, comfortable home
  • Of course, we ask Meg about her decorating pet peeve
  • Meg gives us a little lesson on using lampshades and lighting
  • Meg tells us about her recent home renovation
  • She tells us about her wallpaper line and how it fell in her lap
Jul 18, 2017

Our resident art expert Karen Fleenor stopped by the podcast to talk buying, hanging, and framing art! We talk about how to pick the perfect piece, how to size art over your furniture, framing options, cost, commissions, and gallery walls.

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • We all talk about our best art moment in our homes -- where we got them, how we hung them, and why we love them so much
  • Karen tells us about her background in the art world and how she started working with Ballard Designs
  • How do you know if it's the right piece for your home and for your space
  • Why you should hang a piece of art over a piece of furniture with a contrasting style
  • We talk about our exclusive artists and why it's perfectly fine to have art that isn't originals
  • Taryn asks us how she can update a piece of art that belonged to her husband's grandfather
  • We talk about how to hang art -- including what height they should hang and how far apart pieces should be
  • We talk about small art -- hanging it with other pieces, on a small sliver of wall, or hang it low over a piece of furniture
  • We talk about framing and why it's so expensive (it basically comes down to materials and labor)
  • What size piece should you get if you're hanging it over a piece of furniture
Jul 11, 2017

Interior designer Maggie Griffin from Gainesville, Georgia decorates spaces much like her personality, warm, happy, and with classic Southern charm. We loved touring her house and couldn't resist the opportunity to get her on the podcast. If you aren't yet following her on Instagram, then you're gonna want to start. We talk about decorating with kids, how to build a gallery wall, the deal with decorating around the TV, and other decorating 'don'ts' like ceiling fans.

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • Maggie shares the unique way she built up her first clients
  • She talks about how she and her husband love renovating and moving
  • She tells us about counseling James Farmer while he was building his house, Farmdale
  • We talk about how she starts a room -- either a rug or a special keepsake
  • Maggie's always moving things, and she shares how art is the way she keeps things fresh
  • Maggie cleverly treats all of the TVs in her home, and she shares her best tips for decorating around them
  • We discuss the dreaded ceiling fan -- is she for or against the ceiling fan?
  • She tells us about redecorating her husband's bachelor pad once they got married
  • She talks about decorating her sons nurseries and how to decorate your child's bedroom with pieces that will endure
  • How she manages all the kids toys
  • She talks us through laying out a room -- where to start
  • Maggie gives us a lesson on wallpaper and shares her favorite white paint color
  • We talk about building a gallery wall
Jul 4, 2017

Atlanta interior designer Nancy Braithwaite stops by the podcast to talk about her signature style, her book Simplicity, how she trained her eye to see rather than just look, and of course she helps us answer your decorating questions.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

-Nancy talks to us about her style, how she zeroed in on it, and what steps she takes creating it
-Nancy talks about seeing vs. looking
-Nancy compares dressing a room with dressing yourself, and why accessories sometimes take away from your design
-Why proportion and scale are crucial to creating a well designed room
-She tells us a story about being mesmerized at a decorators showhouse in New York and how it changed the ways she decorates
-We ask Nancy how we can train our eyes to see instead of look
-Nancy tells us about working with Deanne Levison, one of the top American antiques dealers in the country
-How Nancy and Deanne came to work together and their adventures at antique shows all over the country
-How to compose your room -- start with large pieces then add what makes those large pieces feel better
-We talk slipcovers, which ones Nancy likes, and why she uses them so often in her spaces
-She tells us about staining the floors in a recent project black and why it transformed the space
-We talk about how she helped her daughter decorate her home which was featured in Cottage Living
-How you can learn from the best by studying their work and learning to see rather than look
-We talk about when to stop
-Nancy talks about when she started to really understand her own style and aesthetic
-Why it's so important to just go for it -- try something and move things around if they don't work
-We discuss one of the pillar's of Nancy's style -- whimsy
-Nancy chimes in about where you should invest your decorating dollars
-When to use symmetry and when to use asymmetry

Jun 27, 2017

We couldn't pass up the opportunity to sit down with Jason & John, the Madcap Cottage Gents, at their home in High Point, North Carolina. They graciously invited us over for dinner, and before we dug into their spread, we discussed all of the gorgeous details in their home, their upcoming book Prints Charming, and much more.

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • Taryn shares her trial -- putting toilet bowl cleaner in her dishwasher!
  • Her triumph was successfully getting her dog's drool off her car's leather interior
  • I share my newest go-to appetizer for entertaining
  • Karen's triumph was getting some new goodies from Etsy for her summer vacation
  • We talk about Jason & John's upcoming book, Prints Charming
  • The guys talk about why you should always talk to the antique dealer to hear the story of the piece
  • We discuss many of the details in Jason and John's home -- like the way they hung art in their library
  • So many pieces in their home have special details they've customized themselves
  • We talk about creating seating areas -- you can likely fit in more seating than you think
  • We talk about the lost art of entertaining and why you shouldn't stress
  • Lighting is so important -- you likely need more than you think
  • We talk about the challenges of renting
  • We talk about why you should mix styles in your home
Jun 20, 2017

This week, we're bringing you another interview from our time at High Point Market. Living on the Gulf Coast, interior designer Cindy Meador specializes in decorating and furnishing second homes. From 10,000 square foot houses to high rise beach condos, Cindy and her team have done it all, and she's sharing a lot of behind the scenes tidbits with us.

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • Taryn's trial and triumph was yardwork-related
  • My trial was a disgusting rodent that was in our yard, and my triumph was the peony arrangements I got to do at our event at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival
  • Karen's triumph was doing a professional looking hydrangea arrangement for her friend's birthday
  • Her trial was the string lights in her backyard falling down
  • We ask Cindy how her work became featured in a cocktail book
  • We talk about how style differs from region to region
  • Cindy often will start working with a client on their second home, then later work on their primary residence
  • We talk about designing a home for a client from the ground up
  • Cindy shares the entire process of installing a project
  • We talk about how she got into interior design and her advice for people getting into the business
  • We talk about her own personal style and how her style differs from her client work
  • We talk recliners and the fact that there are some good ones out there
  • We talk about market, what she's looking for, and what trends she's seeing
  • Cindy shares where she thinks people should invest their decorating dollars
  • She talks about where she starts her rooms
Jun 13, 2017

It took some persuasion, but we finally got our Senior Director of Merchandising Phil Lancaster, or "The Professor," on the podcast! Phil knows it all, teaches us some furniture history, tells us all about how furniture is made, what you need to look for, and generally schools us on the nitty gritty details of furniture and antiques. If you're wondering how to look for quality in your next furniture piece, this is the episode you need to listen to.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • We start off with a furniture lesson on modern vs. contemporary
  • How does modern differ from mid-century modern?
  • What's going to make it from the furniture being created right now? How do we know what will last?
  • There's a lot of innovation around lighting right now in new types of light bulbs
  • We discuss light bulbs and why the color they give off is so important
  • What's the difference between an antique and vintage
  • We talk about his 100 year old house, how he bought it from the original owners, and how he loves the hunt
  • How important it is to talk to antique dealers when you're out hunting for things
  • What we look for when we're going on one of our big antique shopping trips
  • How to shop for a wooden antique -- open the drawers, look at the back, examine the construction to know whether it's well-made
  • We ask Phil about his favorite interior designer and artist
  • We talk about furniture styles, how the style Ballard is known for differs from Phil's own aesthetic, and the fact that good design is good design
  • We talk about why we use MDF to manufacture furniture and why you shouldn't assume something made from MDF is poor quality
  • Taryn tells us a story about a mahogany table she sent to a furniture show and why real wood isn't always better
  • We talk about kiln dried wood -- if you remove the moisture from the wood, it's less likely to warp
  • We talk about teak and why you remove the moisture from teak
  • We dive into upholstery and the four main parts -- the frame, the suspension, the cushion, and the cover
  • Phil jumps on his soapbox about the pitch of upholstery and why it's the most important quality about your furniture piece's comfort
  • We talk about what 8-way hand tied is and why you don't need it anymore
  • Phil tells us about cushion construction and what's on the inside of your sofa
Jun 6, 2017

Lisa Mende's room in the Traditional Home Southern Style Now Showhouse stopped us in our tracks, so we knew we had to get her on the podcast. Her spaces are bold, jubilant, and inviting, and we quickly learned that she herself is too. If you've ever had questions about paint, then this is an episode you have to listen to. We talk about choosing paint colors, paint finishes, fan decks, why you can't just look at the paint chip, and Lisa gives us all her favorite paint colors.

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • I talk about Tom Sheerer's book Tom Sheerer Decorates which I devoured over Memorial Day weekend
  • Taryn talks about her leaky roof and how the dry cleaner got out the stain in her blue dress (which she discussed in the last episode)
  • Lisa tells us all about her 'she shed' in the Traditional House showhouse in New Orleans
  • We talk about her guest house becoming the center of the party during the showhouse opening
  • We talk about showhouses, how designers are paired with sponsors, and why we love showhouses so much
  • Why 'the mix' is so important
  • She tells us about the questionnaire she gives potential clients
  • We talk about the importance of getting to know your own likes and dislikes before decorating your home
  • She tells us about her new house and her plans for decorating it
  • Why she decorates her own house in stages
  • A great rule she has for splurging on a piece of furniture -- how can you use it three different ways
  • Why you might want to coordinate your dining room and living room upholstery
  • How she's working around the 80's fireplace in her new house
  • We talk about striped rugs and outdoor rugs
  • We talk about white paint colors, why they're complicated, and why they work
  • I share how I picked Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace for my dark little craftsman
  • We talk the pace of a room, and why it's an indicator of how much color you want in your space
  • My mom's recent paint mistake
  • Why you can't just ask your neighbor the color they used for their house
  • We talk paint finishes and why they're important
  • We talk lacquer -- this is on Lisa's list of Don't DIY
  • She shares some of her drapery tricks for getting a designer look on a budget
May 30, 2017

Flower Magazine editor in chief and founder Margot Shaw joins us from Birmingham to talk about flowers, being a green thumb, and why she decided to start Flower Magazine. We talk fake flowers, the etiquette for cutting from the yard, and why your containers or vases are as important as the flowers you're trying to arrange.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

-Taryn's very upsetting wardrobe malfunction
-Karen talks about how she oxycleans everything
-Taryn's triumph is that she had a piece of art framed
-Karen shares the mystery of her collapsed faux boxwood balls
-Karen's triumph was painting her back fence black
-My triumph is that I had my Nala Stool reupholstered in our Natural Woven Sand fabric which looks just like raffia
-My trial is a recurring experience in which my neighbor's get to see my pajamas
-Margot shares the incredible story of how she started Flower Magazine
-We talk about how people are really the cornerstone of the magazine, not plants
-She shares that she does not in fact ... have a green thumb
-How her daughter's wedding started her in a whole new career
-Margot says that a French hand tied is the best method for arranging flowers for beginners
-Margot shares her favorite flower to arrange with -- garden roses
-The secret to a great flower arrangement is really in the container
-Why flowers and floral patterns are considered to be feminine
-How leaves and flowers actually form the foundation of so many classic forms -- like acanthus leaves and Corinthian columns
-What flowers (or style of arranging flowers) are trendy right now
-Why it's actually harder to make an arrangement look organic and effortless
-Her favorite greenery to add to her flower arrangements
-We talk about fake flowers, or 'permanent botanicals'
-We all admit to whether we've cut flowers from our neighbors' yards

May 23, 2017

This week we have a very special guest all the way from California, interior designer Mark D. Sikes. Mark is a veritable renaissance man with a furniture line, fabric collection, rug collection, book, fashion line, and of course his interior design business. He shares the story of how his Los Angeles home landed on the cover of House Beautiful, his love of fashion and experience working in fashion, how he approaches a new space, and how to get that effortless California style in your home.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • Taryn's trial involves the yearly dilemma of pollen versus outdoor furniture.
  • Karen gives us tips for pruning hydrangeas.
  • My London travel momento is both my trial and my triumph.
  • Karen's guest bedroom saga continues. This week, she's talking about paint.
  • Mark shares the process of designing his furniture collection and where his inspiration comes from
  • How his degree in finance helps his interior design business
  • We press him on how he started his MDS Stripes fashion line
  • Mark loves a stripe -- so much that he started a striped clothing line -- so he schools us on mixing stripes together
  • Why no room should ever look perfect
  • His one design rule is that a space looks like it's been created over time
  • We talk about California style and how we can bring a little of it into our homes
  • He shares the inspiration and plan for the Coastal Living Idea House that he's designing in Newport, Rhode Island
  • We talk about his living room in the Southern Living Idea House which was all neutral
  • Of course we have to ask him his decorating pet peeves
  • Mark shares the incredible story of how his house landed on the cover of House Beautiful
  • His decorating advice for anyone looking to start out in the design industry
May 16, 2017

We recently traveled to High Point, North Carolina for their Spring Market and had the chance to sit down with some of our favorite tastemakers. This week, we're sharing our interview with the Editor in Chief of Domino Magazine, Jessica Romm Perez. She's worked at some of our favorite magazines -- Martha Stewart, Food & Wine, and Elle Decor just to name a few -- so we loved chatting with her about what trends she's seeing at market, her recent home renovation, and how her team dreams up such a gorgeous issue! Of course we couldn't end the episode without her answering your decorating questions!

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • We're in High Point Market in North Carolina interviewing interior designers and editors
  • We talk about why we love market and what it is
  • Karen's triumph is the new bed she put in her guest bedroom
  • Her trial is that her guest bedroom closet won't close because of the bed!
  • We talk about how everything in Karen's house is from Ballard but why it doesn't actually look like our catalog or store
  • Taryn's trial and triumph is a new console table she got from the Ballard outlet
  • My triumph is that I took a macaron making class with my mom and now I'm a macaron expert!
  • My trial is that I missed my rose bush blooming while I was in London, and it won't bloom again until next year. So disappointing! Also the saying about roses that I couldn't remember is, "First it sleeps, then it creeps, then it leaps."
  • We talk about her favorite part of market, how her editorial team decides which trends to feature in the magazine, and what is exciting her right now at market
  • She shares her best tips for decorating with kids, including organizing kid's toys in her small New York apartment
  • How systems are a crucial part of her decorating and organizing strategy
  • How she stepped into the role of editor in chief at such a beloved brand and magazine
  • We talk about our favorite recent features in the latest issue of Domino, like the crudite platter Karen recently tried
  • Jessica talks about their focus at Domino which is focusing on real, attainable living by real people. It's not just about a fantasy, everything they share is attainable.
  • Jessica shares her rules for mixing metals in your home -- just go for it!
  • She shares her most recent home purchase and talks about her home renovation
  • What colors she's gravitating toward and why color impacts the mood of your home
May 9, 2017

This week, we're bringing you a very special Mother's Day edition. Our guests are our three moms! We gave them a little pop quiz and challenged them on how well they know us and how well we know them. We talk about our childhood bedrooms, how our styles differ, and much more.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE

  • My trial which consisted of being in the middle of the Atlanta I-85 interstate collapse
  • Taryn recaps her travels to South Africa, including what she brought home on the plane
  • Taryn's sweet lab Baylor came home from the daycare with a tumor
  • Karen talks about her carpenter bee problem and her gardening triumph
  • We played a game with our moms where we made them fill out a quiz to see how well they knew us
  • We talk color, wallpaper, sentimental things, and hoarding tendencies
  • We talk about our childhood bedrooms
  • We share another round of entertaining disasters
May 2, 2017

Our guest this week has seriously enviable style that blends vibrant colors with doses of white and black. We love the way she uses vintage pieces but creates rooms that feel totally fresh and modern. Gen Sohr is one half of the husband and wife team at Pencil and Paper Company, and we had to pick her brain about decorating with kids, color, pattern, thrift shopping, and how she and Ben manage to do it all, and together no less!

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • Taryn tells us about her fun new find
  • I shopped my house to redo my living room mantel
  • Karen tells us about the mysterious dots all over her kitchen and den and her clever solution to her tray which scratches her coffee table
  • We talk favorite paint colors and color palettes with Gen
  • What it's like working with her husband, how they met, and when they decided to open their business
  • We talk about her new hometown of Nashville and how the city has changed since they've moved there
  • Does she have any pet peeves when she visits friends' homes
  • Her go-to white paint color
  • What she loves most about helping her clients with their homes
  • How she has and hasn't comprised her home decor for her two young kids
  • Renovations, moving, and why there's always something on the horizon
  • We talk about her love for thrift shopping and scouring the flea market
  • She talks about her son's love of design
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