260 episodes

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.

How to Decorate Ballard Designs

    • Arts
    • 4.0 • 2 Ratings

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.

    Ep. 253 Trials & Triumphs

    Ep. 253 Trials & Triumphs

    Today we are excited to be starting something new! Over the years we’ve heard from those of you who love our Trials & Triumphs. And those who… don’t. So we have decided to introduce a series of episodes that will only include our Trials & Triumph, as well as episodes that will only include interviews with our guests. This empowers you, the listener, to choose to listen to what you want; either or both formats. We value your feedback, so please let us know what you think!
    What You’ll Hear on This Episode:


    What outdoor projects Caroline has been doing; some inspired by our episode with Carmen Johnston and her faux boxwood planter tutorial.

    Caroline has revamped her outdoor dining table with succulents and also repainted her front door… again.

    Apparently, Taryn, Caroline, and Liz all have interesting color choices – especially when it comes to green.

    How Caroline’s roses from Antique Rose Emporium are doing and how she inspired Taryn to do her own.

    Liz has hired an architect to remodel her kitchen and what the previous owners left behind.

    Can Liz give us a sneak peek into her plans and color scheme ideas for the kitchen?

    Beige and taupe are back!


    Samplize peel & stick is a great way to try different paint samples; see Taryn’s Secret Garden swatch here.

    Inspired by our episode with Gail Davis. Liz was able to choose a peel & stick wallpaper. Find out what her hack is applying it.

    Like Caroline, Liz has also been doing a lot of gardening. And she might have a problem…

    Taryn has given her 60 Day Notice on her rental; but will her house be livable?


    The Schwartz House suddenly has a lot going on; from doors to power lines and more.

    Taryn has decided to make her own wallpaper, inspired by a look she saw from designer Danielle Rollins.

    To make big statements with her lighting, Taryn chose the Talia Chandelier and Bodhi Dome Pendant.

    How cabinet colors caused a domino effect in Taryn’s wall paint colors.


    Mentioned in This Episode:
    Ep. 250: Landscape Design with Carmen Johnston
    Ep. 240: designer Gail Davis
    Watch Carmen’s Outdoor Decorating Series with Ballard Designs
    Carmen Johnston Gardens on TikTok
    Antique Rose Emporium
    Samplize
    Ace Hardware
    Zulily
    The Schwartz House
    Danielle Rollins
    Circa Lighting Talia Chandelier
    Ballard Designs Bodhi Dome Pendant

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Ep. 252 A Modern Take on Traditional Design with Katie Rosenfield

    Ep. 252 A Modern Take on Traditional Design with Katie Rosenfield

    On today’s show, we welcome Massachusetts-based designer Katie Rosenfeld. Katie’s design style can be summed up as happy, family-friendly, and approachable. Katie’s ability to approach traditional design in an unexpected way makes her stand out. She blurs the lines between classic and modern with bits of quirky added for good measure. Her work has been featured in Architectural Digest, New England Home, HGTV Magazine, and House Beautiful. Katie will also be launching a new line of bathroom vanities called Vanity & Co later this year. We discuss with Katie what her tips are to modernize a traditional look, which designs are on trend and which are classics, where she uses chintz, why she doesn’t like the term Grandmillenial, and so much more! 

    What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

    What does traditional with a twist mean to Katie and what are tips to modernize?

    Is floral trendy or timeless?

    How to avoid falling into trendy furnishing traps.

    Where does Katie’s love of traditional design come from?

    How geography can influence what “traditional” means.

    What is chintz and what are the different ways Katie is using it?

    How does Katie get those ruffled flange pillows to look modern?

    Needlepoint is on trend and this is why we love it.

    Does Katie begin patterns first and then add artwork or vice versa?

    Why does Katie want to get “dirty” right now?

    Are hunter green and burgundy back?!

    Katie enjoys imperfections and mismatching as a key to style like in this plate wall.

    How does Katie pull off using an allover print or camouflage effect?

    Katie is still a fan of cohesion between rooms without being too matchy-matchy.


    Decorating Dilemma:
    Hi Sarah,
    Thank you for writing in. Love the idea of dark and moody. However, this room has a lot going on in terms of pitch, so I would actually argue possibly painting the ceilings, walls, and trim all of the same neutral, creamy colors to detract from the pitch issues. Then I might do the dark and moody on the floor or in other textiles like furnishings or textiles. This is a great room for art! I love the contemporary piece over the bed and I might load the wall over the windowsill with all sorts of different art. I see a lot of solids, so I would definitely call for some patterns. Noting that you have wall-to-wall carpet if you can replace it with a patterned broadloom like stripes or checks that would be my first place. I almost see the big sea of the beige floor as your biggest problem. So if you don’t want to replace it, you can easily get area rugs and layer them over it. It all depends on your budget and what you want to do! For window treatments, I definitely think bold drapery is the way to go. Since you don’t have a lot of natural light, dark and moody draperies can help warm things up. You could even reupholster your bed in the same fabric or something complementary. You have great ceiling height so be careful with proportion and scale when it comes to light fixtures, but you have a lot of license to do a lot of interesting things with your light fixtures. It can even be multi-tiered to fill up the space. In the corner where you have the armoire, I would have several questions before I could fully answer it. For instance, is it being used for storage and function? To me it seems big and crammed for that space so if there is another place in the room I would relocate it; maybe even the wall perpendicular. That will give full access and potential to your drapery. You could even put a chaise lounge in that corner if it’s in the budget. In terms of bedding, I love white bedding as the base; but NOT cream! I think a classic monogrammed white bedding would look great here with some patterned sheets and even some additional white sheets.
    I think we got everything, Sarah! Good luck and please send us after photos!

    Mentioned in This Episode:
    Katie Rosenfeld & Co
    Katie Rosenfeld & Co on Instagram
    Vanity & Co
    Katie Rosenfeld on YouTu

    • 1 hr
    Ep. 251: How to Hire an Interior Designer with Emily Wyatt

    Ep. 251: How to Hire an Interior Designer with Emily Wyatt

    We are delighted to welcome Atlanta-based interior designer Emily Wyatt, of Wyatt Designs, to the show. Emily’s designs are fresh yet classic, and her signature strength is her ability to achieve these results while working within her clients’ budgets. We get candid with Emily about all the ins and outs of hiring an interior designer in order to demystify the process. We talk about everything from costs, to timelines, to how to get started, and much more. If you’re feeling intimidated about hiring an interior designer or just want to learn more, you’ll want to tune in to our conversation with Emily.

    What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

    What is the first step when thinking of hiring an interior designer?

    Which credentials, if any, should someone look for in an interior designer?

    Which red flags to look out for.

    Why individual chemistry is so important when matching with a designer.

    Why there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to hiring a designer.

    Why it’s crucial to define your own needs before you begin the process of working with a designer.

    Communication is a two-way street between designer and client, and it’s so important!

    What are some general timelines after meeting with a designer?

    Does a client need to have their style defined before getting started?

    So…how much does it cost?!

    What is a realistic budget for furnishings?

    Are there different payment options or levels of service?

    What to consider during the installation process.

    What happens when clients are unhappy with their choices?

    What was Emily’s favorite install thus far?


    Decorating Dilemma:
    Hi Heather,
    Thanks for writing again! I think for the side of the room that shares a wall with the bathroom, clothing storage is going to be your best bet. I would definitely not block the window if I were you because natural light is so important, so maybe set your sights on just a taller dresser. If it’s in the budget, I would highly recommend installing built-ins in place of where the armoire is. There’s a way to do it where it doesn’t have to be too expensive but can still look great. Also, you can customize it to meet your exact needs. In terms of nightstands, a lot will depend on user preference but if you need storage look for ones with drawers. I wouldn’t go any bigger than what you have and I’m a big fan of white nightstands. To choose the right finish I don’t think there is a wrong answer. I like to think of the finishes as a contrast to the piece. I also think you can definitely mix and match wood, but I would limit the amount that you use and think of how they play into the overall texture of the room. I love an heirloom, so the horse lamp can definitely stay along with the rug and the bench. They all really compliment each other. I am generally a fan of making the bed the focal point of the bedroom and then building out layers from there (think 3 supporting layers/pieces). You can keep your next layers on the lighter side then accent them with things like patterned drapes, bedding, chair upholstery, etc.
    We are excited to see how the WHOLE renovation works out. Please keep us updated and send photos!

    Mentioned in This Episode:
    Wyatt Designs
    Wyatt Designs on Instagram

    • 57 min
    Ep. 250: Landscape Design with Carmen Johnston

    Ep. 250: Landscape Design with Carmen Johnston

    We are so excited to welcome Georgian native, Carmen Johnston of Carmen Johnston Gardens. If you’re on TikTok, you’ve likely seen Carmen’s helpful tips & tricks for gardening. She is known for her attention to aesthetics and the creation of stunning outdoor spaces, while taking function and lifestyle into consideration. Coming soon in 2022, Carmen will continue her role for HGTV as their Outdoor Living Designer & On-Camera Expert. We chat about landscape design, include some questions from listeners (and ourselves!), and hear SO many tips and tricks about all things garden. You’ll definitely want to take some notes and get planting after this episode!

    What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

    How to use Ballard’s faux boxwood planter fillers in a brand new way.

    What does it mean to “top dress” your planters?

    How to know which size boxwood to use.

    Why Angelina Sedum is the most universal plant for outdoor design.

    Where should you place your boxwoods?

    Tips for which plants to use to last through the heat and how often to water them.

    Which flowers should be deadheaded?

    Is there a difference between deadheading and pruning?

    Why it’s important to figure out what Zone you live in to determine your maintenance times.

    When is it best to plant perennials?

    Tips and common mistakes for container gardens.

    Tips for indoor plants & containers.

    Where can you find good moss?

    Which plants and flowers are good for Snip and Clip gardens?

    Which plants are good for a shade garden?

    How to have your garden “cocktail ready”!

    What to plant to keep bugs and mosquitos away.

    What are the best resources for gardening tips?

    A series of listener garden questions like which Magnolia tree to plant, when to plant wisteria and jasmine, and how to grow plants on a house.

    Who is Carmen’s favorite landscape architect?

    Why you need to create layers, anchors, and leave breathing room in front of the house.

    How can you disguise a compost bin?

    Tips for landscaping with high-energy dogs.

    Tips for lawns that get shade in the morning but blasted with sun in the afternoon.

    All about the rules for roots.

    Pine straw or mulch?

    Why coming up with a landscape plan is so important.


    Mentioned in This Episode:
    Watch Carmen's Outdoor Decorating series with Ballard Designs
    Faux Boxwood Planter Filler
    Canopy Self Watering Planter
    Carmen Johnston Gardens
    Carmen Johnston Gardens on Instagram
    Carmen Johnston Gardens on TikTok
    Bespoke Garden Plans
    Ballard Designs on YouTube
    Find Your Extension Service Agent
    Fafard Soil
    Ben Page Landscape

    • 1 hr 20 min
    Ep. 249: A Sustainable Approach to Design with Laurence Carr

    Ep. 249: A Sustainable Approach to Design with Laurence Carr

    Today we are discussing the very important and fast-growing topic of sustainability in design with expert, Laurence Carr. Laurence is the creative director and CEO of her award-winning New York-based design studio Laurence Carr Inc. Her signature style blends well-being practices with contemporary design and smart technology. She shares with us her passion for educating the design community on its impact on the environment, how our well-being is inextricably intertwined with our surroundings and materials, and where we can focus our efforts to design with sustainability in mind.
    What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

    When did Laurence first combine her design, wellness, and environmental work?

    What does it mean to design a healthy interior?

    Biophilic design and how Laurence uses it.

    What is “forest bathing” (Shinrin-yoku in Japanese) and how does it relate to design?

    In the practice of engaging every sense in design, how can you incorporate scent?

    What it means to buy sustainable items.

    Materials and fabrics that are more sustainable.

    Are solar panels on your home worth it and what needs to be considered in the installation?

    The best way to upcycle your home goods.

    How does smart technology tie into sustainable design?

    The #1 wellness item in Laurence’s home that has made the biggest difference.


    Decorating Dilemma:
    Hi Kimberly,
    My first inclination would be to mount the TV on the orange painted wall so it’s not a focal point, is easy to watch, and is out of reach for young kids. To distract from the bulkhead I would find a way to incorporate it into the design of the living room. You can paint it the same color as the ceiling, use recessed LED lighting to highlight parts of the mantle, or you can decorate it to make it look like a wood beam. Or even replace it with an actual wood beam! No matter what you need to paint that current wood trim so it blends instead of sticks. For the best flow, I would have a sofa that faces the fireplace with armchairs on either side instead of a sectional. Your final question about hidden storage for kids' books and toys, I would suggest putting a wall system in that very long wall where the fireplace is. You can make the height go up to the height of the mantle and you can play around with doors, movable shelves, etc. The key is making it easy to reach while also reducing clutter. You want efficiency but also for it to be multi-purpose for longevity purposes; you want to be able to use it for built-ins after the kids outgrow this phase. Don’t forget to of course use GREENGUARD gold-certified materials!

    Mentioned in This Episode:
    Laurence Carr Inc
    Laurence Carr Inc on Instagram
    Laurence Carr Inc on Pinterest
    Chez Laurence
    Ballard Designs Performance Fabrics by Sunbrella
    Wren Dining Table
    The LBC Red List
    Sustainable Furnishings Council
    What does GREENGUARD Certified mean?

    • 54 min
    Ep. 248: Creating Outdoor Spaces with Brantley Snipes

    Ep. 248: Creating Outdoor Spaces with Brantley Snipes

    Spring is here and that means many of us are doing outdoor decorating. Our guest today, Brantley Snipes, is a Mississippi-based landscape architect as well as the owner, lead designer, and project manager for Brantley Snipes Landscape Design. When she’s not working with clients, she works on preservation projects for the nonprofit Main Street Greenwood, Inc. where she serves as Executive Director. Among many accolades, Brantley was named to the Greenwood Commonwealth’s Top 30 under 40. We talk all about the importance of landscape design, creating outdoor rooms, what to know before you DIY, how to embrace pine straw, and address many of your landscape questions.

    What You’ll Hear in This Episode:

    Why time is such a crucial element in landscape design.

    The importance of using native plants as part of a landscape design and avoiding invasive plants.

    Where do you find native plants?

    What should the first step of beginning landscape design be?

    How can you design a low-maintenance cutting garden?

    How to have a balance of seasonal blooms, evergreen, and deciduous plants.

    Does your landscape style need to match your house style?

    How to balance soft curves and sharp angles with landscape design.

    When is the best time to plant and the best time to move/replant?

    Do plants need to be pruned before they are moved?

    What are Brantley’s thoughts on raised beds?

    Why would someone use a raised bed instead of just planting in the ground?

    What are Brantley’s preliminary maintenance tips to know about before planting?

    Which mulch does Brantley prefer?

    How to protect plants from invasive species in your yard.

    When to DIY and when to hire professionals for design and/or maintenance.

    Good news. A holistic approach to landscaping means no more bagging leaves!

    Why a mature landscape can mean less maintenance.

    Brantley’s final thoughts and why you should never plant before Easter.


    Mentioned in This Episode:
    Brantley Snipes Landscape & Design
    Brantley Snipes Landscape & Design on Instagram
    Brantley Snipes Landscape & Design on Facebook
    Osmanthus Market

    • 1 hr

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