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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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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
Dec 19, 2017

Okay, when Anne Scott Shelley and Allison Smith of Maison Studios stopped by for this episode of the podcast, we had a serious case of the giggles! Get ready for a fun episode, where the decorating duo behind this 30A interior design firm talks vacation homes, granny chic, online shopping, and much more.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode

  • How Anne Scott and Allison started working together and they’re different strengths in their partnership
  • Why they love unconventional color palettes in beach homes
  • Where they like to save money in their projects, especially since they often decorate second homes
  • We talk about how far outdoor fabrics have come and why they’re great for beach homes
  • Allison shares her love for granny florals
  • They talk about how their approach to decorating may differ from most shoppers because they’re decorating rental homes
  • We talk about cafe curtains and why they’re aren’t considered ‘granny’ anymore
  • We talk about plates on walls and why they’re classic
  • Anne Scott and Allison share their favorite places for finding vintage and antiques
  • We talk about about our Atlanta store opening and why the Maison girls will need to come visit us!
  • How do you create a beachy feel without going kitschy
  • Anne Scott and Allison also share how you bring a beachy vibe to your home if you’re nowhere near the water
Dec 5, 2017

We're huge fans of stylemaker, shop owner, and clothing designer Ann Mashburn, so we were thrilled when she stopped by for an episode of the podcast. She tells us about starting her and her husband's stores in Atlanta (which have now spread all over), raising 5 girls, decorating their homes and retails shops, and she shares some outfit ideas for holiday parties.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • Ann tells us about how they started their shops Sid Mashburn and Ann Mashburn
  • She tells us about her real life Devil Wears Prada experience
  • She talks about how the interior design style of her stores reflects the style of their homes
  • She talks about her philosophy when it comes to buying furniture -- buying what you love and not necessarily things that 'go together'
  • We talk about lots of pieces that used to be in their homes ended up in their stores
  • She tells us the story of the iconic horse painting in Sid's flagship Atlanta stores
  • Ann talks about why each store they open has an inspiration board in it
  • Ann and Sid's living room was featured in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles years ago, and if you've been on Pinterest you've likely seen her pair of hot pink roll arm sofas
  • We ask Ann about her daily 'uniform'
  • Ann and Sid raised 5 girls all of whom have great, unique style
  • We ask Ann about dressing for the holidays and her go-to outfits for holiday parties
Nov 21, 2017

We've been waiting to get color expert Maria Killam on the podcast ever since we heard about her October color workshop here in Atlanta. She captivated us on day one of her workshop, and afterwards, we sat down to talk paint, color, undertones, and timeless interior design. This is an episode you won't want to miss!

What You'll Hear on This Show:

  • Maria gives us a rundown of paint undertones and why they're important
  • What makes a decor choice timeless
  • We talk about paint swatches, why you need big ones, and how fan decks are made
  • We ask how you know which paint color to shoot for?
  • We talk about why choosing a paint color should be an easy choice
  • What's the difference between a 'clean' versus a 'dirty' color?
  • Why mixing your own custom color isn't necessarily the best strategy
  • We talk about choosing exterior paint colors and why you should approach them differently
  • We talk about choosing colors in adjacent rooms
  • Why the right wallpaper can totally transform outdated fixtures and finishes
  • Why styling and decorating can solve a ton of problems before you renovate
  • Why you should look to your closet when searching for color inspiration
  • We ask Maria what the biggest mistake is that people make when it comes to color?
  • We talk about why it's so important to use large swatches of fixtures and finishes when you're renovating
Nov 7, 2017

Ever since we worked with interior designer Jonathan Savage on the 2016 Southern Style Now Showhouse, we've been itching to share his work with you. When he was in town for Discover ADAC, he sat down with us to share everything he's been up to, tips for renovating, and so much more.

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • Jonathan gives us a rundown of his first overseas designer
  • We talk about Jonathan and Suzanne Kasler's recent shopping trip in London
  • We talk about how style differs from coast to coast and even generation to generation
  • Jonathan shares the inspiration by his stairwell in the Kips Bay Showhouse
  • Jonathan shares why showhouses are such great opportunity for designers
  • Jonathan plans to use pieces from Miles Redd's collection for an upcoming showhouse
  • We talk about updating family heirlooms
  • We talk about choosing appliances when you're doing a home renovation
  • Jonathan suggests talking to friends and family members before choosing appliances
  • Why it's important to test drive appliances and fixtures before using them in your renovation
  • Jonathan walks us through his Nashville home renovation
  • We talk about how we were inspired by Jonathan's room in the Southern Style Now Showhouse in New Orleans
  • We talk about wallpaper and why some rooms need it
Oct 24, 2017

'Jack-of-all-trades' is the only way to describe this week's guest. He is a licensed landscape architect, a gardening expert, a flower arranging expert, host extraordinaire, celebrated decorator, and even a cookbook author. James Farmer does it all , so we were thrilled when we finally caught up with him at Discover ADAC to bring you this show.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR ON THIS EPISODE:

  • James talks about how one of his earliest memories foreshadowed his life now
  • We talk about pruning, hydrangeas, and crepe myrtles
  • We talk about James' new house Farmdale
  • We talk about James' interior design projects and why he finds himself working all over the country
  • James shares his secret for building a new home that looks old
  • James tells us about his latest antique find
  • We talk about china patterns and how many James has
  • James spills his dinner party formula -- pork tenderloin, roasted vegetables, and biscuits
  • Taryn asks James for a suggestion for the centerpiece of a shower she's hosting
  • We talk about James' projects, his approach to layering, and how many projects he's working on at once
  • We talk about James' next book
  • We talk about trends and using the classics
Oct 10, 2017

Our guest today on the How to Decorate podcast needs no introduction. If you've watched a decorating TV show in the last two decades, you most likely know Vern Yip -- from TLC's Trading Spaces, HGTV's Design Star and Bang for Your Buck. We love his book Design Wise: Your Smart Guide to a Beautiful Home, so we were thrilled to sit down with him and talk shop.

What You'll Hear on This Show:

  • Vern tells us his background, how he ended up living in Atlanta, and his path to becoming a designer
  • He tells us about his first design project for Disney
  • We talk about how incredible Vern's book Design Wise is, especially as an instructional tool
  • Why designing is actually a lot simpler than you'd think and why Vern's book is so helpful in making it easy
  • We talk about value in furniture and why a deal isn't always the best choice and why a splurge isn't always smart either
  • Why space planning is the first crucial step before shopping
  • Why embracing your personal style can save you money
  • Vern shares his favorite exercise for uncovering someone's personal style
  • He tells us about designing his childhood bedroom and how he sees his own style in his son
  • We talk about mixing styles together and how to create a 'thread of continuity'
  • Why you shouldn't be in a hurry to fill your space
  • Why it's important to collect pieces while you're traveling
  • The most dramatic travel souvenir he brought home
  • Taryn tells us about her most recent travel treasure
  • Vern tells us about why he's always redecorating -- it's not the reason you think!
  • We talk about how Vern's house has changed becoming a dad
  • We talk about the incredible antique education Vern got from his mom
  • We talk about how his kids are already developing their own unique sense of style
  • Vern tells us about his favorite place to visit
  • Why it's worth it to spend the time making your home a reflection of you
Sep 26, 2017

Before we even published our first episode of the How to Decorate podcast, we had today's guest on our list of designers we couldn't wait to interview. Here at Ballard, we've worked with interior designer William Peace on several projects including the time he styled three spreads for our catalog and designing the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival together. A few weeks of us, he joined us to talk style, getting into the design business, his work out west, and of course, we answered your decorating questions.

What You’ll Hear on This Show:</b>

  • Bill tells us about how he started working out west
  • We ask Bill about his ‘style’ and how that lines up with his projects out west
  • He tells us about his decorating philosophy and how he translates that in his design projects
  • We ask Bill about shopping regionally and whether he furnishes his spaces with local items
  • Bill uses a lot of locally sourced art, and he tells us about how he works those pieces into his rooms
  • We talk about collections, including Bill’s knife collections
  • Bill tells us about his Atlanta home -- it’s an old gas station
  • He tells us about the best change he made to his home
  • He tells us about how he displays his collections and why he likes changing things around
  • We talk about the Atlanta design community and why he doesn’t feel pressure to impress his design colleagues when he’s entertaining at home
  • We talk about getting into the design business and why Bill feels it’s important to go to school before trying to break into the industry
  • Bill gives us a lesson on how to buy antiques and the story behind one of his favorite travel treasures
  • We ask Bill how to decorate a space so that it’s relevant to the location without being kitschy
  • We’ve worked on a couple of projects with us, and he talks about how he reinterprets our pieces and what inspired the rooms he designed for our catalog
  • Bill tells us about a trick he uses to make rooms feel calm and laid-back
  • We ask Bill about making a tonal room that doesn’t feel boring
  • Bill tells us about how the styles of his Montana and Atlanta homes differ
  • We ask Bill his opinion on TVs in bedrooms and his decorating pet peeves
  • He gives us a lesson on scale, why it’s important, and why it can be fun to manipulate it
  • Bill tell us why it’s important to first consider the mood you’re wanting to set before you start decorating a space
Sep 12, 2017

Our in house design expert, Miriam Leuthold, joins us to talk about the most common decorating question we get in our stores, on our blog, and in our reader emails. How do I layout my room? Miriam is a trained interior designer, so she's answering all of your questions, including traffic flow, focal points, spacing, and much more.

What You'll Hear on This Episode:

  • Before we get started, we talk about the 'life' of a Ballard product -- how it gets made, where our inspiration comes from, and how long it takes
  • We talk about building your room about a focal point, including what that focal point can be
  • Miriam suggests starting with a rug and keeping all of your furniture pieces on the rug
  • We talk about focusing your seating around your TV versus a fireplace
  • What to do when you walk right into the living room through the front door
  • Karen tells us how she's solved this problem in her own 1920"s bungalow
  • What to do if you have a really, really large living room
  • What to do when you don't have an architectural feature that creates a focal point
  • The TV dilemma -- how to address it? Hide it in plain sight? Or hide it completely?
  • We discuss traffic flow, including proper distance for a walkway and distance between coffee table and seating
  • Why we all love occasional chairs so much
  • We talk about laying out your bedroom, and why keeping it simple works
  • How do we approach a home office?
  • Karen calls out her cousin who has a really depressing home office situation
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
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
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