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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: 2018
Aug 14, 2018

Elizabeth Bauer joins us today to share her story on how a passion for flea markets and shopping to repurpose led to a career design and a successful shop in the West Village of New York. She talks about the importance of “getting the bones right” of a home upon first moving in, how to make the most of small spaces, and decorating a seaside and vacation home in a playful and sophisticated way. We take listener questions on sprucing up long hallways,  painting vs renovating, and why you shouldn’t be afraid to mix and match whites! 

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • The story of how Elizabeth opened her store and started her business in Greenwich Village 2008
  • How she decides what she picks when shopping to repurpose, and the trends she is looking for now when she hunts and gathers
  • Elizabeth’s featured work in House Beautiful in March 2017, featuring stunning de Gournay wallpaper, painted floors, high-gloss aqua lacquer, and French Bistro bar stools
  • The proper prep work to paint, why lacquer costs so much and Elizabeth’s choice of tone and color palette when painting wood floors
  • Designing for clients with children, and the way Elizabeth’s own design has changed now that she has a family. Elizabeth believes in using (and enjoying) her furniture
  • Elizabeth’s tips on how to put those ugly chair and couch arm covers to good use
  • How to embrace and work with having a large television in your home
  • How to compromise design and style with the husband happiness factor
  • The opportunity to create a luxurious space in a small apartment or studio, and why Elizabeth believes a small space can create an amazing feel, whether it’s layered, bright and colorful or tranquil and simple
  • Elizabeth’s home in Nantucket, and how she plays up the nautical and New England theme
  • The solution to matching whites, and why different whites isn’t something to fret over
Jul 31, 2018

This week we are joined by the very talented Katie Lydon. Originally from London, Katie founded her downtown New York interior design firm in 2002. Katie has been featured in House Beautiful, Elle Decor, The New York Times, and Metropolitan Home. We talk with Katie about her love of color, her recent work with longtime client, author and podcaster Gretchen Rubin, and plans for the renovation of her home. We also speak with Katie about her favorite part of the design process, and ways to inject personality whether you are going for a contemporary, modern or classic look.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • How Katie got into the design field
  • Katie’s work with longtime client Gretchen Rubin, featured in the April issue of House Beautiful
  • Her love for Gretchen’s design confidence and bold yet elegant choices
  • The return of purple in editorial, and how to use the color purple to create a certain mood in the home
  • The similarities between her work in Gretchen’s home and an English countryside room in decor, molding, bookcases, and abundance of seating
  • Some practical tips and tricks of furniture arrangement, seating options and creating intimacy in a large space
  • Katie’s editing and simplicity in both contemporary and traditional spaces, and her method of letting the people bring the majority of the character and personality into the space
  • Katie’s plans to renovate her own home, including updating the loft with central AC, new kitchen area and mud room
  • How to pick fixtures and finishes in your kitchen that will stand the test of time and last through trends
  • How to cover the basics yet push the envelope when designing a home for a family
  • The importance of living in a space before renovating it
  • Katie’s design pet peeves, and why she may move tables at your home while you aren’t looking
  • The differences between English design and American design, and where Katie draws her inspiration from within each of them
Jul 17, 2018

In this episode we are joined with Tori Mellott, Senior Design and Markets Editor for Traditional Home Magazine. We talk trends with Tori from her recent trip at High Point Market, her background and where her love of design emerged from, some fun behind the scenes stories from her career in magazines, the roles and responsibilities of a Markets Editor and why we all feel that it’s impossible to have too many chairs.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • How Tori has had the energy and stamina to move (and decorate) 26 times.

  • A trends recap from Tori’s recent High Point Market Trip from all of the latest in designers and furniture manufacturers. Tori mentions the resurgence of canopy beds, traditional stylings, groovy 1970’s lighting, millennial pink, delicate silhouettes, and things just being pretty.

  • Tori’s love for auction shopping, specifically for occasional chairs for both herself and her loved ones.

  • Tori’s travel tips for roaming unencumbered.

  • The growing trend of bright yellow in home decor, and Tori’s closet.

  • The responsibilities and duties of a Markets Editor.

  • When Tori sees something that she wants, she waits on it. If she is still wanting it after one year, she knows it’s the real deal.

  • Why it’s important to know your audience when pitching a magazine editor.

  • Tori’s very own real life personal version of The Devil Wears Prada during an internship at NYU, and how it led to an internship at HomeStyle Magazine.

  • Caroline’s amazing memory when it comes to designer and pictorials.

  • Her personal side project of helping her sister decorate.

  • How to know when to splurge, and when to save, on interior design.

Jul 3, 2018

This week we travel to New York to catch up with interior designer Philip Mitchell and his very cute dogs.  Philip is based in New York and Toronto, and has been featured in Traditional Home, House and Home Magazine and Canada’s Style at Home Magazine. We talk with him about his beautiful captain’s house in Nova Scotia, his  approach to restoration, fun and affordable ways to add texture and details, and the art of mixing historic with contemporary and modern comfort.

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • How he and his husband ended up falling in love with Nova Scotia, and purchasing and restoring  a 1795 captain’s house in a beautiful Seaside Village
  • His love and respect for historic homes, and inspiration to maintain the integrity and sentiment of the original home during the restoration process
  • How they found an  incredible contractor to renovate their home with an artisan yet liveable approach.
  • The differences between current New York and Canada interior design trends and lifestyles
  • A fun “this or that” word game where we put Philip to the test of some of his favorite things including textures, finishings, patterns, panel molding and storage options
  • Why you shouldn’t be afraid to reuse what you already have, and take your drapery with you when moving out
  • In interior design - if you love it, you can incorporate it
  • Philip’s attitude towards furniture and pieces is to not focus on perfection, but comfort and the beauty within the story.
  • What Philip means when he says he is “big on appropriateness”
  • How to have the big talk with your partner about painting the wood in a room
  • Philip’s journey into interior design through growing up surrounded by women that appreciated a beautifully furnished home and environment
  • His participation with the 2018 Kips Bay Show House to benefit the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club charity
  • What Philip personally collects throughout his own travels and personal experiences
Jun 19, 2018

We love seeing the way interior designers use our products in their client's spaces, and that's precisely how we found interior designer Whitney Durham. Plus, her home is featured in the Summer 2018 issue of Atlanta Magazine HOME. We talk to her about how she decorates with two rowdy boys at home, her love of original art, and the dreaded over-the-mantel television dilemma.


What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • Whitney tells us how she started her design business
  • We talk about decorating with kids
  • We talk rugs and rug pags and why indoor/outdoor rugs are a staple for spaces Whitney designs for her clients
  • Why animal prints are a neutral
  • How Whitney likes to treat television in her own home and her clients' spaces
  • Why she typically chooses neutral paint colors in her rooms
  • Whitney's love of art and why it's so important to a space
Jun 5, 2018

This week we go to New York to catch up with Miles Redd, and his design partner in crime David Kaihoi.  Miles has been featured in Vogue, W, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest and now he brings his one of a kind style to outdoor furniture at Ballard Designs. We talk with Miles and David about the inspiration behind the new collection, which offers beautifully designed quality pieces that look expensive and high end but are affordable and functional. 

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • Decorating should be fun, and not a source of stress or pressure.
  • How Miles and David overcome a creative dry spell or artistic lull and get in touch with their inspiration
  • The importance of feasting your eyes on beautiful homes to gather ideas, even if it’s just on vacation
  • What it’s like to see things again with wonder and newness from the fresh eye of children
  • The role of performance fabrics and durability in a home with kids
  • The balance of giving their younger clients what they want between what is functional and makes the most sense
  • Their new self storing cushion chair in the outdoor furniture collection blends stunning aesthetic with practical usage.
  • Their special dining room tables that feature options and versatility
  • The colors and materials that they love enough to bring in to their new office,
  • Their work with Housing Works and Design on a Dime to help people get back on their feet and feel comfortable in society
  • Their special theme of color and wallpaper for the booth this year, and their inspiration behind it
  • A quick and easy way to decorate using wall sculptures
  • How Miles switches from designing for clients and interior design to product development and design
  • Miles and David’s propensity for adding in ebony or chalky white furniture to add an elegant and high end touch
May 22, 2018

Atlanta designer Lauren DeLoach caught our eye at the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Southeastern Designer Showhouse, so we were super excited to have her on today’s episode. She talks with us about why she loves brown furniture, why she uses a check in almost every room, tips on how to decorate bookshelves, and family-friendly design ideas.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • The room that she featured at the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Southeastern Designer Showhouse was one of the most coveted of the day
  • Ideas to create a balanced and yet lived in look for built-Ins and bookshelves, and what to do when the books you actually love to read don’t fit your color scheme
  • How the rule of three also applies to color
  • Her love for using brown furniture and antiques to add layers and history to a home
  • The tricks a camera plays in photoshoots, and a sneak peek of what really happens behind the scenes of a shoot 
  • Lauren’s insider recommendations for having a kid-friendly yet beautifully decorated house
  • The helpful way to add a pop of color and fun with buffalo and gingham checks
  • The general rule of thumb to measure your rug so you aren’t living on an empty rug island
  • Her favorite cream paint color and which paint finishes belong on which surfaces
May 8, 2018

We hear what keeps award-winning interior designer Suzanne Kasler so busy, and the inspiration behind her new wicker Southport Collection. We talk about her love for pink, modern trends, guilty pleasures and much more.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • How Suzanne stays relevant in the industry and fresh in her approach through travel, shopping and education
  • The more inspired you are, the more it seeps into your client work
  • The release of Suzanne’s new book Sophisticated Simplicity and her newsletter Inspired
  • How Suzanne picks certain projects to publish and her approach to photographing her book with designers, stylists and photographers
  • Her go-to accessories for photoshoots and why she keeps them indigenous to the area
  • How Suzanne uses lamp slips to create a look of proportion and layering
  • The trends of darker walls and wall coverings is something Suzanne is now seeing in every room of the house
  • The backstory of Suzanne’s Southport collection and how a daybed in a flea market in Paris was her muse in creating the collection
  • The difference between wicker and rattan and why you should have a piece in your home
  • The timeline of her purchases to when it is available for purchase as part of a collection
  • The mix of pieces and styles that go into her Paris Apartment collection for Hickory Chair, and why Paris is one of her top choices of cities to shop
  • Why she is in the “thinking pink” zone
  • Petite chairs and why Suzanne is always on the hunt for a great one
  • The new flagship store opening in Atlanta is coming soon, so check the website for grand opening event details
Apr 24, 2018

With Spring in the air, we thought we'd talk about our outdoor spaces. They're just as important as your indoor spaces, but for many of us, knowing what to do with them can be a challenge. Atlanta landscape architects Spencer Tunnell and Will McDonald of Tunnell & Tunnell Landscape Architecture stopped by to talk about when we need to call a professional, how to add a little curb appeal to your space, why non-native plants aren't a smart choice in many cases, and much more.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • We talk about Curb Appeal and how it isn't so different from interior design
  • I talk about my backyard project and the wild hair got to tear it all up
  • Karen wants turf in her yard. We ask Spencer and Will their thoughts.
  • Taryn asks about why and how you can choose plants that will bloom year round
  • We talk about when you should hire a pro to help you and when you can do it yourself
  • We talk about consultations and how a professional could help you make a master plan for your property that you could fulfill over time
  • Taryn talks about her experience splitting plants and her neighbor who's helped her learned what'll work in her yard
  • We ask Will and Spencer about their favorite plants
  • We talk about goats and how you can use them to rid your yard of invasive species
  • Why it's dangerous to plant non-native plants
  • Taryn wants to know about all of the pine trees in her yard
Apr 10, 2018

Almost a year ago Atlanta interior designers Julie Montgomery and Michele Gratch joined forces to create Montgomery Gratch Interiors. We loved hearing about how their unique strengths compliment and challenge each other. We talk family homes, renovations, the fifth wall, and much more.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • They tell us about how they joined their firms and how their individual strengths work together
  • Why you shouldn't wait to decorate until your kids are older and how to make your home kid-friendly and beautiful
  • Why it's important to consider how you live in your home before starting the decorating process
  • How to approach your home with a fresh eye
  • We talk about showhouses, why they're fun, why they're a great place to learn about decorating, and why you should check one out in your town
  • How Michele and Julie bring that layered, collected look into your room
  • We talk about a friend of Julie and Michelle's who does a bus tour of great shopping places
  • Why it's absolutely crucial to make a floorplan and to measure before buying anything
  • Karen asks Michelle and Julie for tips on how to encourage dinner party guests to use her living room
  • Thoughts on decorating outdoor spaces, especially the dilemma of keeping cushions clean and pollen-free
  • We talk about renovations -- kitchen trends, how to make an impact on the ceiling, and more
  • Michelle and Julie tell us about their client who has a wine bar in her closet
Mar 27, 2018

This past Fall, Karen met antique dealer Shane Robuck of Robuck & Co on a buying trip to Europe, and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to chat with him about antiques, travel, and his love of furniture. Shane travels the world looking for the most beautiful curiosities and furniture pieces and sells them in his shop in Atlanta.

  • Shane tells us about his love of Italy and his favorite cities for finding the best pieces
  • Shane tells us about how he started buying antiques and who helped him educate his eye
  • The guiding principal he uses to buy pieces -- gauging with your heart and buying what you love
  • We talk about why the millennial generation doesn't buying as many antiques
  • Shane gives us a quick lesson on antiques from various countries
  • Shane tells us the story of buying his tufted sofa with adjustable arms
  • He tells us what types of antiques are currently trending in his shop
  • Taryn asks about tips about shopping for antiques in a shop
  • We talk about negotiating and what's a fair price to offer
Mar 13, 2018

Atlanta interior designer and owner of Verde Home on the Upper Westside Laura Walker Baird joins the podcast to talk about antiquing overseas, why Europeans rarely hire designers, and her own major home renovation.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • We talk about purging -- what's worth keeping and what needs to be tossed
  • Laura tells us about her time abroad shopping for antiques
  • We hear about Laura's bedroom -- mauve with green carpet
  • She talks about why she wasn't really an interior designer when she lived in Italy
  • Laura tells us about the proper Italian way to eat spaghetti
  • The most common issue Laura's clients deal with
  • Taryn asks Laura about her favorite design era
  • We talk about getting pieces custom made
  • Laura talks about accessorizing an unused room in her client's home to make it functional 
  • We talk about how to make your dining room more inviting so you'll actually use it
  • Laura tells us about her home renovation which she's recently finished
Feb 27, 2018

Design blogger and interior designer Paloma Contreras stopped by the podcast while in Atlanta to talk about her upcoming book, the ten year anniversary of her blog, and how important it is to enjoy living in your home.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • We talk about Remodelista’s 2018 trends
  • Paloma tells us about her upcoming book publishing in Fall 2018
  • We talk about the difference between finding inspiration and executing a room design based on that inspiration
  • We ask Paloma about what she’s had to talk clients out of
  • How do we incorporate trends without falling victim to those trends
  • Paloma talks trends and her ‘oops’ moment
  • Why Paloma is so glad classic rooms are having a big moment in design
  • How La Dolce Vita got started and eventually evolved into a full service design business
  • Paloma tells us about her design style and ‘hero fabrics’
  • Why it’s easy for us to incorporate bold patterns and colors into the rooms of the catalog, but how we know most people are going to order something more subdued
  • Paloma talks about the process of writing a book and how important it was to schedule blocks of time to write
  • Why it’s important to know how to live and love in your home
  • The biggest faux pas as a dinner party guest
  • Paloma’s favorite ways to inject personality into your home – travel souvenirs and color
  • Holes in your décor – should you wait to fill a blank space until you find something perfect or do you add in something inexpensive and temporary?
  • Taryn and Karen ask for Paloma’s suggestions to replace their juju hats
Feb 13, 2018

We've gotten lots of questions from listeners about performance fabrics. What are they? Why are they so durable? Are they safe to use in our homes? We thought we'd answer all of your questions, so we went straight to the source. Kimberly Peoples and Emily Cosgrove of Sunbrella stopped by the podcast to give us a 101 lesson in performance fabrics. Plus we talk about our newest collection of over 100 performance fabrics we're adding to our line.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • Why our performance fabrics by Sunbrella are stainproof, fadeproof, and super durable
  • We talk about the 'face test' and why we're so excited to use our new performance fabrics on our furniture
  • Emily talks about how she became a textile designer
  • Kimberly and Emily tell us about all the cool green and eco-friendly aspects about the Sunbrella company
  • We talk through common stains and the handy chart that'll make cleanup a breeze
  • Which furniture pieces you should consider using performance fabrics on
  • We talk about some of our favorite fabrics in the new collection
  • We help Kimberly sort through her own decorating dilemma
Jan 30, 2018

While in Atlanta for market, Baton Rouge interior designer Rachel Cannon stopped by the podcast to talk brown furniture, waiting for that perfect piece, letting your layout dictate your furniture pieces, and her 'cantaloupe' bookshelf styling trick. Definitely don't miss this one!

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • First things first, we get a lesson in how to say 'Baton Rouge'
  • Rachel talks about her first room and the most important decorating lesson her mom taught her
  • Rachel talks about why your room dictates your furniture layout and the pieces you need
  • Rachel tells us her number one piece of dream furniture
  • We give Rachel all our Scott's Antique Market tips and we talk about AmericasMart in Atlanta
  • We quiz Rachel on her tips for dressing up a space while keeping it comfortable
  • Why paint color isn't necessarily the best route if you want a colorful home
  • Rachel shares her favorite paint colors
  • We talk bookshelves and how to fill all that space without it being cluttered
  • Rachel's 'cantaloupe' trick for bookshelf styling
  • We ask Rachel who about her designer inspirations -- Suzanne Kasler, Kelly Wearstler, and Phoebe Howard
Jan 16, 2018

The impossibly talented Barbara Westbrook stops by the podcast to talk antiquing, her book Gracious Rooms, her client work, renovating her homes, and her decorating pet peeve. And of course, we answer your decorating questions!

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • Barbara tells us about some of her earliest memories antiquing with her mom in a shop in her hometown of Lynchberg, Virginia
  • How she ended up in Atlanta in the interior design business working for one of our podcast guests
  • Barbara tells us a story of Suzanne Kasler's bathroom, and we talk about Miles Redd's mirrored bathroom
  • We talk about Barbara's previous home in a historic neighborhood in Atlanta
  • She talks about why it's a good idea to live in your home before you renovate
  • Barbara tells us about why she bought her new house and the improvements she's making to it
  • We talk about collecting items you love and finding a place for them later
  • Why she loves designing kitchens and how she'd love to just design kitchens one day
  • Her best lesson for designing a kitchen or bathroom -- edited the design down to two 'tricks'
  • How she transitioned from a petite home to a larger home
  • We talk about picture frames and Barbara's approach to incorporating them into your decor
Jan 2, 2018

Atlanta native Jennifer Boles of The Peak of Chic stops by the podcast to give us a decorating history lesson, her favorite decor books, and much more. We talk about the origins of her book In with the Old: Classic Decor from A to Z and the concept for her next book coming out Fall 2018.

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • Jennifer tells us about her book obsession and how she started The Peak of Chic
  • Jennifer shares the five big names in decorating that you need to have in your design education -- Elsie de Wolfe, Dorothy Draper, Billy Baldwin, Albert Hadley, and Nancy Lancaster and John Fowler
  • Jennifer tells us about how Dorothy Draper's Decorating is Fun was the impetus for her study and obsession with decorating history
  • We talk about how Jennifer almost worked at Ballard
  • We talk about decorating books and which ones Jennifer says we have to have in our libraries
  • Jennifer talks about one of her favorite new decor books -- Ardrossan
  • We talk about working old things into your home so it doesn't feel outdated
  • Jennifer talks about how her first book In with the Old: Classic Decor from A to Z came about 
  • The one thing that immediately dates a room
  • We talk about classic pieces and how they come in and out of fashion
  • We talk about where you should spend your decorating dollars
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