158 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

    • Design
    • 4.5, 479 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. 152: design firm Massucco Warner

    Ep. 152: design firm Massucco Warner

    This week we give a warm welcome to Julie Massucco Kleiner and Melissa Warner, founding designers of the West Coast-based firm Massucco Warner. Their portfolio is a joy to look at, so we couldn’t wait to catch up with them to talk about using color, texture, and unexpected details in an approachable way. We also talk with Julie and Melissa about patterns, their great lamp game, making the most of the space in a double-height room, the importance of using samples, and color threading from room to room.
    What You’ll Hear On This Episode:

    Why Julie and Melissa love working with color so much, and how they pull it off in such a fun and approachable way.

    Neutral doesn’t always have to mean beige or white, it can be navy blue or any other solid color when done correctly.

    Ways we can color thread throughout our home so colors complement rather than compete with one another.

    Using samples are important and leave them out long enough to decide if it really is a fit for your everyday life long term.

    Ways that Julie and Melissa create beautiful and chic looks in high traffic areas using textures such as faux leather.

    How to use a colors you may be unsure of, like mustard yellow in a kitchen.

    Recommendations for tying in our outdoor furniture with indoor colors so they seamlessly flow.

    A few rules of thumb for using patterns and how adding another color can help break up and tone down the pattern.

    Ways to create a focal point from scratch.

    Lamps can be a great source of color and flair to a room without making a huge commitment.

    How to treat a double-height room without over-engineering it.

    Mentioned In This Episode:
    Massucco Warner
    Decorating Dilemma:
    The table and the chairs totally fit the room, but we think you can tweak the size of the rug and beef it up to cover more space! You want to be able to pull your chairs out and still have them on the rug. As far as your seats, it’s super easy to unscrew cushions (and even may be fun to do@) and recover them with a navy and white performance fabric. Two smaller lights over the island and a big one over the dining table could be a great call!
    Find all of the Show Notes at Ballarddesigns.com/podcast. 

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Ep. 151: designer Courtney McLeod

    Ep. 151: designer Courtney McLeod

    Let’s bring some joy and color into our week with Courtney McLeod, the designer behind Right Meets Left Interiors. Known for her beautiful and fun yet sophisticated body of work, Courtney is a true pro at using color to create joy and personality in her clients' homes. She talks with us about taking risks in business and in design, ways that we can start to incorporate more color in our design, and how to use color in small spaces.
    What You’ll Hear On This Episode:

    Trials and triumphs about new art lighting up our homes, a doctor’s visit for the pup, and great solutions for those unorganized beach towels.

    How Courtney’s background of business and the finance industry mixes with her artistic side to create a perfect balance of mixing creativity with the analytical.

    Courtney’s process at Right Meets Left Design is all about listening to her clients and interpreting their desires and dreams into what is doable for their particular situation, taste, and budget.

    Color doesn’t always have to be loud, but it can be just as interesting when it is soft.

    Having a contrast of shapes creates an interesting and engaging space, so it’s not all about going all angular or all circular.

    Ways we can work with color, even if it intimidates us. Also, using color in small spaces and busting the myth that you can’t use bold color in a small space.

    Do what feels good for you when it comes to color and pieces that you love. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, or if you aren’t able to use it in your home just yet - you will one day!

    The inspiration behind Courtney’s super cute designs in both New Orleans and Antiqua.

    Fun and imaginative ideas for kids rooms that are interactive and great to stand the test of time including a comic book mural wall.

    Mentioned In This Episode:
    Melissa McGill
    Ballard Cabot Hook
    Sherwin Williams Dynamic Blue
    Right Meets Left Interior Design

    Decorating Dilemma:
    The tile to the ceiling is one of our favorite tricks, so we are glad you did that, and your space already has incredible bones and structure! It looks like you already have an area for counter stools in the kitchen and a really great dining area, so maybe make the center section more of a seating area and snacking area. We would recommend a tight back bench so you don’t get the squishiness when you sit on it and you can have an upright feel. Check out our banquette sofas, and one that was skirted would add some softness with a classic dining table look. For a chandelier, something smaller and undersized that looked like a little jewel would be super cool.
    Your pieces have great lines, and we do agree that the brown feels a bit heavy. The two head chairs with chartreuse cushions would be excellent as white, making the cushions pop even more. Check out the Ballard chair options here, If you do decide to go for print, pick a print where your accent color is that smallest color in that print. You will be surprised how the solid will pair with the print.  

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Ep. 150: designer Marika Meyer

    Ep. 150: designer Marika Meyer

    This week we welcome Designer and Artist Marika Meyer, who has a lot of advice about fabrics and rugs from creating and running her own firm, Marika Meyer Textiles. Marika discusses her style that mixes beautiful patterns, polished pieces, and rooms that can provide both beauty and space for young families. Marika also talks with us about how to keep a room looking elevated and gorgeous even when it is heavily used, the process of creating fabrics, and how she picks a color palette for her collection.
    What You’ll Hear On This Episode:

    Trials and triumphs about the removal of both a cast and trees on the roof, some patio construction, repurposing a terrarium, and some creative fixes for lighting up a ceiling,

    Marika combined her love of business and data with art and photography when following a career in design and opening her own firm.

    Being a designer is a very personal business, so you better make sure you are into people before you choose this path!

    Our homes can be the background for great stories, and it’s okay to design a beautiful and edited space knowing it won’t stay perfect forever.

    Why the phrase “practical luxury and functional beauty” perfectly sums up Marika’s work.

    How to keep a room looking elevated and gorgeous using basics as the backdrop and the “little black dress” of the room.

    Ways we can design a room for purposefully for exactly how we plan to use it, how much we plan on entertaining, etc.

    More about the process of creating fabric from start to finish and taking a painting into a pattern.

    How Marika picks the color palette for her collection.

    The dirty little secret about her giant Palladian windows in a design house and how we can use Roman shades to add layers and hide mistakes.

    How we can use textiles, tones, different values, and colors to make a neutral room lively.

    Mentioned In This Episode:
    Ep #66: Andrew Cogar and Kristin Kong
    Ballard Suzanne Kasler Chairs
    Meyer Interiors
    Marika Meyer Textiles

    Decorating Dilemma:
    We love your thoroughness, and actually this is a lovely dilemma. First, if you were to move the eating area to the top of the L shape on the porch, you could take advantage of the more narrow space without sacrificing the light. One trick could be putting together two square tables to make a larger rectangle, and you could separate the tables and pull them apart if you need more distance. We agree that Option #1 could work, and it appears as if the view is nicer from the backside, so maximizing that view would also create a nice space to add in more seating to fill out that area, augmented by two sets of chairs on the existing porch that could be easily pulled in to the conversation area if needed. Some school house benches that also serves as a cocktail table could be fun and easily defined. The layering of texture is key, and we believe in you!  

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Ep. 149: Cullman & Kravis designers Ellie Cullman and Sarah Ramsey

    Ep. 149: Cullman & Kravis designers Ellie Cullman and Sarah Ramsey

    This week, we welcome Ellie Cullman and Sarah Ramsey of Cullman & Kravis Associates, one of the top design firms in the country known for providing the highest quality of design and personal service. They discuss how the firm was founded and rose to be one of the leaders in design, along with the inspiration behind their new book, From Classic To Contemporary. We talk with them about ways to infuse traditional interiors with a modern and liveable perspective, what to do when you don’t want to be formal in a larger space, and how to create an art collection that best showcases your emotions and unique style.
    What You’ll Hear On This Episode:

    Ellie shares her great story of getting into design through a screenplay that didn’t go to well in a pitch meeting.

    The four ways to make a huge impact when creating a space that feels refreshed and flows seamlessly.

    All your art does not have to come from one specific time period or collection. You can have art reflect your individual taste and lead with emotions rather than what you think should be in the rooms.

    Why attending an art fair (once we can go to them again) is a great idea to find affordable yet meaningful pieces or even just an idea of what’s out there.

    Just like finding love, don’t commit to a certain design idea until you’ve looked around and “dated” a bunch of other ideas. If you are constantly seeing the same design ideas reflected back through your searches or Instagram algorithm pages, you can break out and try to embrace something new!

    Ellie and Sarah work with designers of all ages at Cullman & Kravis, and they find this to be a source of inspiration and fresh ideas.

    Ways we can create “lamp harmony” by adding uplighting, chandeliers, or even just changing an outdated light bulb or shade.

    The Hudson River home that exemplified how to arrange furniture in a large room that doesn’t need to be so formal.

    More about the Palm Beach project that portrayed beautiful accent walls and big colorful gestures.

    Mentioned In This Episode:
    Cullman & Kravis
    From Classic to Contemporary
    American Folk Art Museum
    Kramer vs. Kramer

    Decorating Dilemma:
    First, as a pet owner, we understand the comfort of wanting to have an indoor and outdoor rug. The technology is amazing these days, and you can get ones that look nice, like the Ballard Anders Indoor/Outdoor rug, that hopefully, your cat won’t destroy. You could paint the top of the table and get a pop of color that way, which allows you to get a 48” table and save some space. Your house is light and open, we love it! Good choice of neutral yet beautiful paint colors as well.  

    • 59 min
    Ep. 148: designer Jonathan Adler

    Ep. 148: designer Jonathan Adler

    This week we are joined by the wonderful, whimsical, and swagger filled Jonathan Adler. He talks with us about how he grew up on a tiny farm town in New Jersey and used his skills as a potter to see beyond just one path and create a huge and well-respected name in the industry as a designer, author, and personality. Jonathan shares how he got started in design, the inspiration behind the iconic Parker Hotel Palm Springs and Modern American Glamour style, why worrying about trends is a thing of the past, and why we shouldn’t be afraid to design with putting our most optimistic and bold foot forward.
    What You’ll Hear On This Episode:

    Trials and triumphs including a whole lot of painting, Ikea basket storage, furniture placement, and office spruce up.

    Jonathan grew up in a tiny farm town in New Jersey and tried pottery when he was 12 at camp. He fell immediately in love with the art and knew he wanted to pursue it for his lifelong passion in a unique and inimitable way.

    Jonathan got studio space in SoHo by teaching classes and his atypical thinking kept him open to branching out towards all elements of design, including his friends’ home.

    Jonathan’s Modern American Glamourous style encourages people to reach beyond their limitations and preconceived style restrictions and get as funky and weird as they want.

    As a decorator, Jonathan feels like he is a slimming mirror for his clients, reflecting the best and most optimistic version of themselves.

    Why a neutral slate is a great place to start and build colorful and whimsical additions.

    Jonathan shares how he used timeless elements mixed with rustic modern and hippie aesthetic in the Parker Hotel, and what his process was behind the refresh.

    Why we can take more risks now more than ever with so many options being out there that trends are really just more about people picking what they personally like.

    Mentioned In This Episode:
    Jonathan Adler
    Jonathan’s Hilarious Timeline
    Benjamin Moore Crushed Velvet
    New York Magazine
    Elle Decor
    Parker Palm Springs
    David Hicks
    Strand Book Store

    Decorating Dilemma:
    First off, this house is incredible and your staircase is amazing! What Jonathan would do is keep the floors and paint everything else white including the kitchen. Since it is a loft-like space, you will need to do some seating pavilions and pads. White walls and wood floors will bring a cohesive feel. We are loving the front doors! Marble would be lovely for the countertops.

    • 49 min
    Ep. 147: Dorm Room Decorating

    Ep. 147: Dorm Room Decorating

    We have two very exciting guests this week, Jennie Seward and Ann Mashburn. These two powerhouse designers just happened to have daughters that ended up rooming together as college freshmen and are now two peas in a very well decorated pod. Jennie and Ann talk with us about ways to maximize space in a small shared area, tips for making the most out of bed storage, and share a few of their favorite budget-friendly ideas for adding warmth and personality to a dorm.
    What You’ll Hear On This Episode:

    Trials and triumphs about a broken femur, trip to Maine, a very heavy fountain, dripping faucets, and much more!

    How Jennie and Ann’s daughters ended up rooming together, and how these two peas in a pod get along.

    The difference between decorating a dorm room for a boy vs. a girl, and why the boys just may be happy with one loan Home Depot bucket.

    How Pinterest has changed dorm room decorating, and where Jenny and Ann and their daughter’s collected ideas for inspiration.

    All about the bed including bed skirts, maximizing storage, and reupholstered sidewalk headboard.

    How to keep spaces separate for sleeping and studying, even if space is an issue.

    Ideas to decorate the walls and not have them so bare without needing to spend too much money.

    Tell your kids you will buy everything once, so they know to keep good care of what they have!

    Our love for the touch kitchen faucet, and why it will change your life!

    Mentioned In This Episode:
    Jennie Seward | @jenniesewardco
    Ann Mashburn | Sid Mashburn | @annmashburn
    Casper Mattress
    Garnet Hill
    Decorating Dilemma:
    We agree that you should paint the brick and the green should be painted a nice off white. Changing your hardware could really modernize your kitchen, and you can check out Ballard’s hardware for some inspiration. Add some great lighting such as a fabulous light fixture over the island. You may not need stools for the counter, and this will add space for one long bench without having people bump into each other.

    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
479 Ratings

479 Ratings

Misses the South ,

So entertaining!

You ladies are great! I recently discovered your podcast and am catching up with the early ones. Love the variety of guests you’ve had and that you have some of them back again. One person I’d love to hear is Phoebe Howard and/or her husband Jim. I believe they spend a fair amount of time in Atlanta. Robert Brown is another talented Atlanta designer I think would be interesting to hear from. Anyway, just a couple of suggestions. I really enjoy the interactions among you and that you sound like you’re having fun. Keep up the great work!

hehzbsbs ,


Uh can this podcast actually help me learn!!

Janice9520 ,

It doesn’t matter

Wherever you are in the process of designing a space this podcast inspires!
There is so much to gain hearing professionals discuss their point of view.
I’ve learned so much about details and common sense solutions that it won’t go to waste! Truly the best.

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