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How to Decorate

We want to teach you how to decorate! We'll help you unleash your inner decorator with interviews from interior designers, sharing the trials and triumphs from our own homes, and answering your burning decorating questions. Brought to you from the Ballard Designs team.
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How to Decorate
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Now displaying: June, 2017
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
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