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: May, 2019
May 28, 2019

We are thrilled to talk to authors and design duo Brooke and Steve Giannetti of Giannetti home. Steve is an architect, and Brooke is an interior designer, and together they are the talent behind Patina Style, Patina Living, and Brooke’s cult favorite blog, Velvet & Linen. We caught up with them to talk about the importance of emotional connection, how their work as a duo came to be, their interests as a husband and wife duo, and to bust the myth that goats will eat absolutely anything.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Why Brooke thinks people have really caught on to her blog, Velvet & Linen.

  • How Patina Style articulates the process of how to dream your design property, and Patina Farm demonstrates how they manifested the style and design philosophy at their beautiful farm in Ojai, CA.

  • How they took the history and unique elements of Ojai to make sure their design reflected the story.

  • The way they molded the different textures and materials together, and the inspiration Belgium gave them for putting a variety of pieces together.

  • How long the Patina Farm took, the description of the inside and outside, and the challenges that arose along the way.

  • Why in design it’s important to start at the emotional connection to the space.

  • How they chose the plants and planning the outdoor spaces, and why we want to always think big and simple.

  • How Brooke developed her passion for interiors and made a full time career of working with Steve in addition to their marital bliss.

  • What they wish they would have done differently at Patina Farm.

  • That no, goats won’t eat everything you give them, except for a yummy rose bush. Thorns and all.

  • What they have up their sleeve next now that Patina Farm is pretty much a done deal.

  • Why we need a focal point, and how we can create them.

  • The most prized possessions (besides their animals and other living entities!) inside their home.

  • What suggestions they would give to someone looking to bring their significant other into their design dreams.

Mentioned In This Episode

Antique Rose Emporium

Atlanta Magazine Home - Angela Blehm

Patina Living

Patina Farm

Patina Style

Velvet & Linen

Giannetti Home

A Pattern Language



Decorating Dilemmas:

Steve likes the big seagrass rugs that connect it all, and looks like the rug is too small for the space. The room needs a focal point, such as a big antique or paint a little of the wall around it. You are better off with a collection of the same items, such as a hodge podge of many. Brooke also thinks it would be nice for the piece behind your sofa to have natural color that ads lushness to the neutrals. Add a couple tall lamps on the table with white shades, and you would begin to see more of a focal point. Use furniture to create zones, and take away the rug under the stools by the kitchen bar to create a smaller space by putting the rug under the living room area. Define the spaces and start with big elements before you focus on the smaller elements.

May 21, 2019

Traci Zeller joins us in Charlotte to share her unique background and super interesting story of being a former lawyer turned interior designer. She talks with us about switching careers, her commitment to creating a rendering for each project, the inspiration behind her polished and put together style, and how it all practically plays out in her house with twin boys and a puppy.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Trials of dogs breaking into cabinets, expensive inspection results, a rushed backyard construction project, and rocky 50th birthday.

  • Triumphs of animal print fashion (sorry you are left out camouflage!), good luck in the form of a baby robin’s nest, déja vu, and a beautiful vase.

  • Tips and tricks to clean the outdoor pillows that won’t leave you spending your whole time scrubbing.

  • Traci’s path into interior design, and how she knew it was time to leave her career as a lawyer to shift more into her career into interior design.

  • Dressing for our audience, and why Traci loves it much more now.

  • Why Taryn believes so much in renderings, and won’t do a project without them.

  • Organizational practices and systems that help Traci’s home remain polished yet practical with two twin boys and a puppy.

  • How her lines, although very different, carry a through line of Traci’s voice and style to sit well together.

  • Creating cohesion with different pieces and why we don’t need to matchy match everything.

  • How Traci mixed a traditional pattern with lavender trim to take a well received and beautiful bold room.

  • How Traci describes Southern style and how she applies it to practical living family homes.

  • The showroom inspired by French Couture and the Christian Dior exhibit.

  • Traci’s process when taking on a new client, and how she digs in to get a feel for how they live and what they love.

  • Materials that are best for families and hold up through a lot of wear and tear, and the two products she swears by for ink and stain disasters.

  • More about her adorable puppy Chloe and the plans for making her crate beautiful, fancy, and stylish using Ballard products.

Show Notes:


Kayla Rose Instagram

Traci Zeller


Of Rare Origin




May 14, 2019

Designer Lisa Mende returns to the show to talk with us about designing our rooms to the fullest of their potential, and truly creating the home of your dreams. She also shares more about the ins and outs of renovation, her blog The Design Connector, and why design dilemmas are really just opportunities for us to be creative.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • An update on her famous pink sofa, and who else in her household may love it even more than her.

  • Why functionality is just as important as design, and how Lisa helps her clients use every room to the fullest of their function.

  • The crazy story of her studio roof leaking, and how it ended up being a blessing in renovation.

  • Yes, you can both make your home feel like a hotel and have a billiard table in the middle of your living room.

  • More about her blog, The Design Connector, and how it connects us with the people, products, and places we need to know about in the home design world.

  • What she loves about her work with Ballard, and how it inspires us to have a reimagined and fresh new look.

  • The brilliant solution to outdoor couch cushions, and a few of Lisa’s favorites in the outdoor Ballard products including Miles Redd’s collection.

  • Lisa’s answer to Caroline’s painting question for the ceiling in her soon to be new home.

  • How to still use neutral colors in a rich way when you may be not ready to commit to a color.

  • Why design dilemmas are not anything to freak out over but instead are actually great ways for us to be creative problem solvers.

  • Where one can buy leather or fake leather by the yard.

  • Lisa’s rules for using either satin or eggshell finish.

Mentioned In This Episode:

Lisa Mende Design


The Design Connector

Miles Redds Outdoor Collection


May 3, 2019

Holly Hollingsworth Phillips is a designer and owner of The English Room in Charlotte, North Carolina. We love her bold, colorful, and elegant style and how she mixes tradition of the past with the modern style of today. She talks with us today about how The English Room began, the different projects she has done ranging from super modern to traditional, her love of color, patterns, and layering, and why it’s more than okay to break the rules.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Her work in the world of design from an early age, and how her mother inspired her to develop a passion for all things antique.
  • Ways we can be confident about mixing it up with colors and patterns in our homes.
  • Using art as an accent, and why what’s popular and trendy in the moment isn’t always right for us.
  • How she loves to take antiques and make them modern with a playful twist.
  • How Holly renovated her own home and even got to keep what’s known as “the naughty chair.”
  • Advice on when to shop for antiques, and where to begin bringing them in the home.
  • How she came to be the brand ambassador for Florence Broadhurst.
  • Her opportunity in the fall to do a room in a showhouse as Florence Broadhurst using her new rug collection, furniture, fabric and wallpaper.
  • Her personal use of “crazy” pattern and color.
  • The importance of looking at measurements before you buy anything.
  • How to balance finding great antiques with longevity, even though you know it may not be your forever home.
  • Why a great sofa could (and should) last you several decades. 
  • It’s okay to change up your color, and realize it’s the layers and the mix that makes it interesting, rather than matching everything and achieving perfection.
  • How Holly decides what spaces call for drapery vs. Roman shades, and her love of a blackout curtains.
  • Why you may want to rethink painting your nursery yellow.