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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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Now displaying: 2017
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
Apr 25, 2017

Interior designer Beth Webb's spaces are comfortable, tailored, and utterly timeless, so you can our imagine our delight when she joined us for this week's episode of the podcast. We talk about her recent challenge of blending her own style with her new husbands, we talk entertaining, southern hospitality, and the importance of great lighting, among other things.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE

  • My garden related triumph and allergy related trial
  • Taryn has a cleaning conundrum she needs help solving
  • Taryn talks about her recent accessory addition
  • Karen's stranger danger experience in her neighborhood
  • Why it's so great to be an interior designer in Atlanta
  • We talk the business of design, including comraderie, client relationships, and social media
  • How she's combined her own style aesthetic with her new husband's more contemporary style
  • What are her decorating pet peeves
  • The importance of having layers of light in your space
  • Why scale is so important, why it's hard to teach, and how to approach scale in your own home
Apr 11, 2017

Hold onto your earbuds because our guest today is none other than our own design partner, author, acclaimed interior designer, and hostess extraordinaire Bunny Williams! We traveled to Bunny's office in New York to record this special episode in her office, and she definitely did not disappoint. Bunny shares some incredible decorating tips and stories, including how she furnished her first apartment and decorating her home in the Dominican Republic. We talk about her new outdoor furniture collection La Colina, and of course she answers your decorating questions!

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • We talk about my red lipstick trial and Karen schools us in her red lipstick protocol
  • Karen's cord control decorating triumph
  • Taryn talks about the incredible meal and incredible decor at Marcel in Atlanta
  • Her trial involves public speaking
  • Bunny tells us why she decided to do a product line with Ballard Designs
  • She tells us about how we're all faced with the same dilemma when it comes to decorating -- budget
  • Why only buying things you love is the best investment in your home
  • Her proudest achievement in her first apartment in New York
  • Her first big purchase was a good sofa, and why it's important for everyone to buy a really good one
  • Bunny addresses the big pet question -- do hers get on the furniture and what does she do about it?
  • We talk entertaining, why she's so comfortable with it, and what corners you can cut to make it easier on yourself
  • She tells us about her home in the Dominican Republic
  • She tells us about the time her husband John wanted to veto her decor choices
  • We talk about redecorating and why it's not necessary if you get it right the first time
  • We talk about her decorating pet peeve -- furniture that's always against the wall
  • She gives us a lesson on laying out your room
  • Hostess etiquette, especially when it comes to drinks and coasters
  • She tells us about her new outdoor furniture collection, La Colina
  • Why she never buys a chair online
Mar 28, 2017

**Disclaimer: We had some technical difficulty with one of our mics. It refused to cooperate! We hope you'll enjoy the show anyway.**

Being the design-aholics we are, we couldn’t turn down an opportunity to interview the Editor-in-Chief of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME, Betsy Riley. We have Betsy to thank for reviving the title in 2015. Each issue brings some of the most gorgeous and inspiring spaces in Atlanta, so we were thrilled to pick her brain about what makes a house magazine-worthy and how she decorates in her own home.

WHAT YOU’LL HEAR IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Karen’s bathroom-related entertaining disaster 
  • Karen tested our Brian Patrick Flynn’s drapery training trick
  • Taryn talks about her entertaining pet peeve — everyone gravitating to the kitchen
  • Taryn’s shade swap with a big lighting lesson — take your lamp base to the store!
  • Why some beautiful homes just aren’t right for a magazine
  • How she picks which homes to feature and what types of spaces don’t make it to the magazine
  • What her biggest decorating challenge is
  • Why you have to be able to let things go
  • Betsy’s tips for making your spaces look good in photographs
  • We talk about Betsy’s black and white issue

 

Mar 14, 2017

Today's guest is not only one of our favorite designers and a hometown hero in the design world, she's also our design partner, Suzanne Kasler. Suzanne's interiors are usually riddled with classic furniture pieces, but she presents them with a modern point of view. They're tailored, edited, and punctuated with color. We launched our first collection with Suzanne in 2011, and ever since then, we've been making design magic together, so we're thrilled to have her as our guest today on the blog!

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON TODAY'S SHOW:

  • Karen's recent framing victory inspired by Natalie Nassar's house
  • Taryn talks about a product she recently designed
  • A new hobby I'm trying out
  • Suzanne talks about showhouses and why she loves them
  • Why she likes to keep her team small
  • How she does it all and where she finds her creative energy
  • How her love of shopping translates to design inspiration
  • Why Suzanne can't share her favorite places to shop
  • Why she started working with design partners
  • We talk about her new outdoor furniture collection, her Directoire collection in white
  • Why you should start planning your outdoor space early
  • Suzanne talks about using white as a paint color and she uses it so much in her clients' homes
  • Suzanne talks about her 'architectural envelope' and why she pays so much attention to the architecture of her clients' homes
Mar 2, 2017

We're opening a new store outside of Boston at Natick Mall, and to celebrate, we wanted to talk to some local design talents. You may remember me mentioning Katie Hutchison's book The New Small House on our episode with Annette Joseph. We ended up connecting with Katie and were thrilled when she agreed to join us for a live podcast episode from the floor of our brand new store! Since we're live, you'll notice lots of background noise (we apologize in advance), but we loved picking Katie's brain about living in a small house, designing a small house, and takeaways even those of us not in small houses can utilize in our own spaces!

IN THIS EPISODE YOU'LL HEAR:

  • The background story of Katie book and how it came to be
  • We talk about Katie's own house which we briefly talks about in the book
  • The 'keys' Katie discusses in the book which each of the small houses have in common and which we can all utilize, like 'pockets for privacy'
  • Taryn and I both talk about our experiences seeing the 'pockets of privacy' at work
  • The variety of styles illustrated in the book
  • We talk about the glass, kit house featured in the book
  • How long it took the write and shoot the book
  • How she found all of the houses for the book
  • Ways those of us who aren't planning a large renovation can maximize the space we have
  • We talk about the tiny house movement and how a tiny house differs from the houses in her book
  • We talk about built-ins and how important they are for making small spaces super functional
  • We talk about Katie's outdoor spaces and the many outdoor rooms in the book
  • Katie tells us about her gardening mishaps, like transplanting weeds
  • We talk about the strange things we've all found in our yard from previous owners
  • We ask Katie about her favorite style of architect
  • Common mistakes people make when they're designing a new home
  • Why the answer to your home woes may not necessarily mean adding more space but reworking the space you already have
  • Why the location of private and public spaces are so important for the way you live in your home
Mar 1, 2017

We're big fans of interior designer, blogger, and author Erin Gates, so when we headed to our new Boston store at Natick Mall, we knew we had to sit down with this local stylemaker. She joined us for our first live podcast recording in the front window of our brand new store to talk about designing for families, her massive home renovation, and so much more.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR IN THIS EPISODE:

  • We talk about what guys universally love and hate
  • How one finished room can inspire a client to finish the whole house
  • We talk about which room you should invest in and complete first
  • She shares the topic of her new book, decorating for families and why you don't have to dumb down your decor just because you have kids and pets
  • Why having a well-designed master bedroom is so important
  • The misconceptions many people have about what they can and can't have in their home if they have families
  • Why white is actually appropriate -- if you have bleach on hand!
  • How much Erin's team has grown and how delighted they all are to have a new, organized office space
  • The color they use in almost every project
  • We talk about Taryn's color addiction
  • Karen and Erin bond over their love of animal print
  • Erin tells us all about the massive home renovation of her fixer upper
  • Her next big project in her home renovation
  • Her love of real estate and how she's always browsing houses
  • We talk TVs -- what's too big and should you have one in your bedroom
  • Erin gives everyone a rug lesson
  • I share a story about a 'rug island'
  • We talk about what you do when your friends asks for decor advice about a home purchase they've made
  • Why it's fun to work on projects that are out of your comfort zone
  • Where people can save in their budget, and where they should in vest most of their dollars
Feb 28, 2017

We can't help but be struck by how powerful yet restrained interior designer Melanie Turner's spaces are, and we were even more struck by how down-to-earth and cool she is. In only seven short years after opening her interior design business, she's earned such accolades as Veranda's Southeastern Designer of the Year, Trad Home's Top 10 Designers, Architectural Digest's 2010 Kitchen of the Year, and many more. We were beyond thrilled when she sat down to talk with us about her recents trip to Morocco, the power of vision boards, why she never puts bookshelves in a home, and so much more.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THE SHOW:

  • How Melanie uses vision boards to turn her dreams into reality
  • We talk about the photo shoot Ballard Designs did at Melanie's house
  • The powerful history of her historic home and the spiritual connection she has to it
  • Why she feels like a steward of her house instead of an owner
  • She talks about how practical the home is for modern life, even though it was built in 1923
  • We talk a bit about Atlanta architect Phillip Shutze and historic preservation
  • How owning a historic home has helped her with her client work
  • All the fabulous locales where she currently has projects
  • She tells us all about her trip to Morocco, including what she brought home and visiting Yves Saint Laurent's house
  • How you remember much more if you can't take photographs
  • Why instead of gifts, they take a family trip every year during the holidays
  • Why editing is the most powerful thing you can do to refresh your home
  • Her approach to picture frames -- framing them in one big mass on a stairwell instead of spread throughout
  • Melanie talks about how she manifested her project onto the cover of Veranda magazine with a vision board
  • How rewarding it is to give purpose to her client's homes
  • How at her client installations, the husband is usually the one who cries the most!
  • Why you shouldn't dismiss how important your home is
  • Why she loves decorating for bachelors
  • Why it's so hard to decorate her own home
  • How many times she's moved since she's been married (she's married to a builder and developer)
  • How you can give a new build home that old character that gives a house soul
Feb 14, 2017

Go ahead and pinch us because we can’t quite believe we get to introduce this week’s podcast guest, interior designer Miles Redd! We were beside ourselves when he agreed to sit down with us while recently in his hometown of Atlanta (and ours). Plus, he’s our first AD100 Designer on the podcast. Miles’ spaces are packed with style, drama, and whimsy, plus we were struck with how darn nice he is! 

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • Karen’s juju hat insect infestation
  • The next addition Karen made to her ongoing guest bedroom project
  • Taryn painted her carport Sherwin Williams Vogue Green
  • Taryn needs help with her guest bathroom because her beadboard wainscoting makes it difficult to hang a mirror
  • My all-time worst trial involving a ‘ceiling pimple’
  • How Miles got his start at NYU and made his way to John Rosselli
  • His time at Oscar de la Renta
  • Why it’s important to trust your own instincts and take risks
  • Miles talks to us about color and why it’s all about relationships
  • Why you should tackle your walls and floors first
  • What it was like working on his parents’ home and why it was a lifelong fantasy
  • Why he loves a door and all the fun things he does with them
  • His thoughts on lampshades, including what everyone does wrong and how he jazzes them up
  • His list of ‘greats’
  • Who he follows on Instagram (mostly his friends)
  • We asked about his new office space, and he confirms that it’s just as glamorous and we imagined
  • The one color he doesn’t like
  • Miles’ decorating pet peeves
Jan 31, 2017

Natalie has worked with us here at Ballard Designs for years, so when we caught a glimpse of her chic, layered family home, we knew we had to share. We posted her whole home tour here on How to Decorate yesterday, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to get even more decorating goodness out of her to share on the podcast! We talk about decorating with kids, styling, layering, and so much more!

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THE SHOW:

  • I hosted my largest ever dinner party and I give you a whole run down
  • My seriously embarrassing 'trial' that involves my robot vacuum
  • Another installment of Taryn's dog chewing disasters
  • Taryn tells us about her trip to South America and what she brought back
  • We ask Natalie about her style which she calls 'collected, global'
  • Why Natalie likes to choose neutrals for her large furniture pieces, then adds in colorful accessories
  • Her history with Ballard Designs and how she got started styling rooms
  • We talk about her dining room, which you can see here
  • Natalie talks to us about how she prioritized decorating each room
  • We talk about the cute little ways Natalie styles her home, like buying cute hand soap (shown below)

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, please subscribe to the podcast in iTunes so you never miss and episode. Of course, you can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Jan 17, 2017

This week on the podcast, we're talking with stylist, entertaining expert, author, and workshop master of ceremonies, Annette Joseph. Annette does it all and makes it look so easy. We sat down to talk about the villa in Italy she's renovating, her workshops, how she got into styling, and so much more!

What You'll Hear on the Show:

  • How Karen did a mini bathroom makeover in her guest suite
  • How Annette started styling
  • What it was like pitching a show to Bravo and shooting a pilot
  • Annette has been vacationing in Italy since she was a kid
  • Annette talks about her upcoming book about Italy
  • Why it's hard to be an ex-patriot in Italy
  • Why it's always better to go shopping in Italy with an actual Italian (or someone who knows everyone)
  • The scoop on buying real estate in Italy ... and renovating from a different continent
  • Italy's all about 'juice'
  • The faux pas Annette committed recently while walking around her property
  • How they ended up buying the property they chose
  • All about the workshops she hosts -- perfecting branding, photography, styling, and more
  • What you could expect if you were to attend one of Annette's workshops
  • The book she's working on about the cocktail culture in Italy
Jan 3, 2017

This week, we are interviewing our own bedding expert, the stylist that makes all of the beds in our gorgeous rooms, Beth Mars Dean. You probably never knew a bedding stylist exists, but she's the lady that makes sure all of our beds look picture perfect and snooze worthy. For all of your bedding questions answered, be sure to listen to this episode!

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE

  • The most recent catastrophe that happened with our photoshoot
  • The surprising amount of time it takes to make a bed for one of our photo shoots
  • All of the extra things Beth adds to her beds that you wouldn't normally use
  • From start to finish, how Beth makes a gorgeous catalog-worthy bed
  • Whether all of us make our beds every day, what the nation-wide average is, and what percentage of our How to Decorate readers make their beds everyday
  • How many pillows each of us have on our beds
  • What Beth's bed looks like and how she makes it every day
  • How Beth became a bedding stylist
  • How you can create a luxurious bed in a realistic way

We answer all of your burning bedding questions, including how to coordinate with your existing bedding collection, how to streamline bed making so you're more likely to do it, where to put your pillows when you get into the bed, and how many throw pillows are too many?

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