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





All Episodes
Now displaying: May, 2017
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.


-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.


  • 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!


  • 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.


  • 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!


  • 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