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.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
How to Decorate





All Episodes
Now displaying: July, 2017
Jul 25, 2017

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

What You'll Hear on this Episode:

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

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

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

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

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

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

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

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


-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