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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: August, 2017
Aug 29, 2017

This week, we're talking with the 'First Lady of Ballad' Rebecca McKelvey. Since she's married to our president Ryan McKelvey, we thought she needed to stop by talk about how she owns two of every product we've ever made, the river cabin they're currently building, and a wealth of Ballard insight she has to share. Plus, trials and triumphs are back for another round!

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • The three of us share our trials and triumphs -- including several 'oops' moments
  • Karen's trial involves slipcovers and cowhide rugs
  • My trial involves several inches of water in our kitchen
  • Taryn's trial and triumph involve a painting project
  • Rebecca explains the curious nickname she calls her husband, our president Ryan McKelvey
  • Rebecca tells us about their home's style and how she approaches decorating her space
  • Rebecca talks about their 'no shoes' policy in the house
  • Rebecca tells us about how she needed a bathroom cabinet, so Ryan designed our Miranda Corner Cabinet
  • We start bribing Rebecca to help us get our product ideas made
  • We talk about Ryan's obsession with the floor planner and how he used it to design their river cabin, new build house, and even their daughter's dorm room
  • She shares her tips for new construction -- it's all in the builder
  • Rebecca explains why she travels with her vacuum cleaner
  • Rebecca talks about the carpet debate she and Ryan had when they were building their house
  • Rebecca tells us about how she and Ryan collected all of their oriental rugs
  • We talk antiques and how Rebecca and Ryan blend new and old in their home
  • We talk entertaining tips, how Rebecca seats Thanksgiving for 26 people, and the idea of a 'payback party'
  • Rebecca talks about her go-to entertaining entree -- standing rib roast
  • We talk about funny Southern words that we'll define for you
Aug 22, 2017

Once we photographed Virginia's house, we knew we had to get her on the podcast. She graciously invited us over to talk about her Atlanta bungalow and of course to answer your decorating questions.

What You'll Hear on This Show:

  • We all talk about the decorating compromises we've made in our homes
  • Taryn tells us about her brown on brown den that she hates
  • We talk about 'sit-abouts' and how silly they are
  • Karen tells us about the leather-wrapped rock
  • Virginia tells us about why she left architecture school to get into interior design
  • We talk about Virginia's style and how she blends traditional, southern style with the California cool she picked up while living on the west coast
  • Virginia tells us about micro-sealing and how she plans to do this to her home
  • We talk about the difference between her clients in California and her clients in Atlanta
  • We talk about contrast and why it's important to consider when you're furnishing your home
  • We discuss whether it's a yay or a nay to paint antiques
  • We talk about Virginia's genius TV trick
  • We talk about whether each of us appreciated interior design when we were young
  • We talk about working with renovation choices that previous owners had done
  • We talk about lighting and why dimmers are important
Aug 15, 2017

When we were in New York for Miles Redd's launch party, we got the chance to stop by the House Beautiful offices and have Editor in Chief Sophie Donelson on the podcast! She tells us what makes a home beautiful, what projects make it into the magazine, and we test her interior design knowledge!

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • We play a little pop quiz where I test Sophie, Taryn, and Karen's knowledge of design and interior designers
  • We talk about editors' letters and how Sophie writes hers. Does she wait until the last minute?
  • We ask Sophie what in her mind makes a house beautiful?
  • Why a house does and doesn't make it into the magazine
  • What the House Beautiful team does to a home when they come to shoot it
  • We talk about how purple is making a comeback -- yes, purple!
  • Sophie tells us what she thinks has changed about the way people decorate their homes
  • We talk about paint colors and how to pick them
Aug 8, 2017

We invited our exclusive artist Andrea Costa onto the podcast to talk to us about art, being an artist, and how she began her career as an interior designer.

What You'll Hear on this Episode:

  • Andrea starts by telling us how she began her career as an interior designer before transitioning into art
  • She talks to us about how she gets her inspiration for a new painting and her favorite size canvas to paint
  • We ask her about how she works with interior designers to create art for a specific room
  • She tells us about decorating her new space and how often she mixes up her decor
  • She talks about why she loves to hang other people's artwork instead of her own
  • We talk about the pros and cons of having a separate studio space rather than a studio in her basement
  • Andrea tells us about how her music playlist impacts the look of her canvas
  • Andrea coaches us on picking out a piece of art -- she suggests first choosing a budget
  • Andrea likes to start a room with her piece of art, then building a room about that piece
  • Andrea tells us about her first big art piece
  • We ask her about gallery walls and how to put one together
  • Andrea tells us how to mix different colors, styles, and sizes of art in one room
  • Karen talks about why she loves accessorizing her dining room
  • We talk about feedback, seeing her pieces in real homes, and working with expectations for a commission
  • Andrea talks to us about how long it takes her to paint a piece and why painting abstract pieces takes so much longer
  • Andrea gives us a lesson on paint mediums and why you might prefer working with one versus another
  • We talk about how she started working with Ballard and why she wanted to sell her prints through us
  • We talk about our Exclusive Artist program and why we love having this option for our customers
Aug 1, 2017

Celebrated New York decorator Miles Redd welcomed us to his home for this week’s episode of the podcast. With the launch of his new collection, we couldn’t resist the chance to talk with him about his inspiration for the pieces and how he envisions them living in people's homes.

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • We all share the best thing we’ve done to our homes, and also our biggest regret or mistake
  • He talks about his home, and how he longs for wide open spaces
  • He shares how he went about designing the pieces for his collection, nearly all of them in his own home
  • How his experience as the Creative Director for Oscar de la Renta helped inform his Ballard Designs collection
  • We ask him about his favorite pieces in the collection — the dining table and the Kidney Accent Table
  • Why juxtaposition is so important in decorating
  • We talk about drama, and why Miles doesn’t necessarily see his collection as being ‘dramatic’
  • He tells us the story of how he custom built his Miles Bookcase
  • We talk about how his Fire Island home is all beige
  • What color would he pick if he could pick the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year
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