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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Jul 16, 2019

Recording from Karen’s cozy and mythical basement, 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

Jul 9, 2019

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


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 2, 2019

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 matching
    • Matthew's design process which starts with fabrics and furniture layout
    • Matthew'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 layout
    • Great ways to bring down the formality and humanize the room using a formulas for curtains, sofas and rugs
    • Built 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 room
    • Every room needs a mix of high and low, and Matthew reminds us we can’t be too intimidated by decorating in general
    • If you have to move a pillow to sit down — it’s flat out wrong!
    • Matthew’s take on curtain length

Mentioned In This Episode


Jun 25, 2019

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 help
  • She tells us a story about a dining table she bought off Craigslit
  • Why it's important to invest in upholstery but to find deals and one of a kind pieces on Craigslist
  • Find one place to start and work from there
  • Why Tori loves Ballard but why she never shies away from mixing high and low
  • Why 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 blue
  • Why you shouldn't necessarily consider art when decorating your room
  • We talk about scale for that dreaded empty space over the back of the sofa
  • Some of Tori's favorite affordable sources for art
  • Why window treatments can help you solve issues like window placement and scale
Jun 18, 2019

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

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 11, 2019

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 buildings
  • How Olivia started as a paint color consultant 
  • The differences between normal housing and the sensitive nature of working with a historical home
  • Olivia's house in Southern Living which she and her husband totally restored
  • Our 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 pieces
  • Why she sees historical buildings as people that want to tell you their story, and it is up to us to listen
  • We talk paint -- testing swatches, favorite whites, and more
  • Brown 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 project
  • How curtains can really do a lot for a room, and what types Olivia recommends
Jun 4, 2019

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

Scotts Antique Market

Kenneth Turners Flower Style

Alexa Hampton




May 28, 2019

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, CA.

  • How 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 together.

  • How 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 bliss.

  • What 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.

Mentioned In This Episode

Antique Rose Emporium

Atlanta Magazine Home - Angela Blehm

Patina Living

Patina Farm

Patina Style

Velvet & Linen

Giannetti Home

A Pattern Language



Decorating Dilemmas:

Steve likes the big seagrass rugs that connect it all, and looks like the rug is too small for the space. The room needs a focal point, such as a big antique or paint a little of the wall around it. You are better off with a collection of the same items, such as a hodge podge of many. Brooke also thinks it would be nice for the piece behind your sofa to have natural color that ads lushness to the neutrals. Add a couple tall lamps on the table with white shades, and you would begin to see more of a focal point. Use furniture to create zones, and take away the rug under the stools by the kitchen bar to create a smaller space by putting the rug under the living room area. Define the spaces and start with big elements before you focus on the smaller elements.

May 21, 2019

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:


Kayla Rose Instagram

Traci Zeller


Of Rare Origin




May 14, 2019

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


The Design Connector

Miles Redds Outdoor Collection


May 3, 2019

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.
Apr 30, 2019

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 lifestyle
    • We talk about the rising popularity of libraries
    • What 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 recommendation
    • How to address family photos to make them sleek and beautiful
Apr 23, 2019

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 now the work and projects she is currently immersed in. She talks about pairing multiple fabrics together, where to invest and where to save, and the details people most often overlook. We also talk about her furniture collection, The Belle, and her business Dwell Interiors.

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 is!

  • The 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.

Mentioned In This Episode:

Dwell By Cheryl


Decorating Dilemmas:

A: We think you should tackle the windows first, and you can break the space with two different treatments. Your drapery should be at least twice the width of your window, and you want to be able to effortlessly close it without it looking like a sheet. The gray wall is an opportunity to add some color and texture! Cheryl would take advantage of the light by having two living spaces, and a statement chandelier that is tight to the ceiling. A small seating area and some ottomans would provide some great seating for guests.

Apr 16, 2019

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 attributes.

  • How she lays out a room, and ways we can work with the view to best socialize the space.

  • How 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.

Mentioned In This Episode:

Susan Ferrier Interiors



Apr 9, 2019

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 2, 2019

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.


Mar 26, 2019

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 19, 2019

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.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • The inspiration behind the 2016 Hampton Designer Showhouse, one of our most pinned showhouse rooms ever.

  • Why Kate believes it’s all about mixing the old, new and making things feel curated and layered.

  • The cornflower blue color that surprised her (in a good way!).

  • The give and take and collaboration between other designers in a showhome.

  • How she got started in the business, and the inspiration her grandmother Marie gave to her for style and design.

  • You don’t have to wait until you have a beautiful dream home, you can create a space that reflects your taste and style wherever you are.

  • Some good starting tips for people just starting to decorate their home, starting with the sofa.

  • Kate’s love of mixing the old and new at different price levels for a classic yet updated feel.

  • Why Kate loves old art and thinks it is one of the most important accessories to create a great look without spending a lot of money.

  • Why Kate stays neutral on rugs and the bigger pieces of furniture and goes for bolder colors in accessories.

  • How we can use pretty brown wood pieces while still keeping it light and airy.

  • Creative ways to camouflage a television in a room.

  • The colors Kate likes to pair with blue, and the shades of blue she prefers to work with most.

Mentioned In This Episode:

2016 Hampton Designer Showhouse

Kate Singer Home


Kate Singer Home Facebook

Mar 12, 2019

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 5, 2019

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.

Feb 26, 2019

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 19, 2019

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 stronger
  • How Anne and Suysel met and what sparked their initial creative projects
  • We talk about their fabric collections for Duralee and what inspires their prints
  • Anne and Suysel tell us about their most recent Duralee collection, inspired by a trip to Portugal
  • We talk about the design process of their patterns
  • Why surprising color palettes are their favorite way to refresh vintage prints
  • Why using a textile collection book can help you if you're intimidated by the volume of fabrics at a design center
  • How they mix patterns together and why fabrics are a great place to start
  • We talk about their own homes and how often they're changing things around
  • What they learned about their fabric collections and how it changed the direction of their second collection
  • The most expensive fabric they've ever used in a project and why they try to keep fabrics 
Feb 12, 2019

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 closet
  • Why Jenny thinks it's important to be honest with her clients about the pieces they already have
  • How her two girls affect her decorating style
  • Jenny tells us about her latest project -- a store in Pound Ridge, New York
  • What we can expect in her new store and why the project has been serendipitous 
  • We talk about decorating her girls' rooms
Feb 5, 2019

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 Business
  • What separates the most successful interior designers from the rest of the pack
  • Pillars of running a successful interior design business
  • We talk about systems and why you should iron them out
  • We talk about billing and the challenges of explaining your fee structure
Jan 29, 2019

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.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • What we are doing for the Super Bowl, along with some delicious snacks that may be created. Warning: potato bar and homemade guacamole discussion may cause hunger.

  • Gil’s description of what it is like to be both an architect and an interior designer on some projects, and his love of collaboration.

  • Why even the most seasoned and famed industry professionals should continue investing in their education and broadening their horizons.

  • More about Gil’s books: A Place to Call Home and The Great American House.

  • A little lesson on how to look at a renovation project through the eyes of an expert.

  • More about his work with the great Miles Redd, a total rock star designer, and how they complement each other perfectly.

  • Why we can learn something when we venture out of our comfort zone instead of staying within the confines of what we like.

  • His renovation of a summer camp home in Mill Valley, CA with designer Rita Konig, and how they kept the feel of an old house even though it was completely rebuilt.

  • What types of things signal a sense of being added over time in architecture, and why “perfect” isn’t always the goal.

  • Why bigger isn’t always better when it comes to architecture.

  • The importance of continuity, order, and clarity in creating a project that makes sense, and Gil’s personal pet peeves in architecture. (yes, Gil is a Virgo).

  • Ways to spruce up old lighting fixtures and improve the quality of lighting.

  • Ways to mix modernism and traditionalism in the same space.

  • The different feels of Gil’s homes in Hudson Valley and Maine.


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