186 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 • 530 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. 179: Picking Paint Colors with Fran Keenan Part II

    Ep. 179: Picking Paint Colors with Fran Keenan Part II

    Welcome back to Part 2 of “Picking Paint Colors” with interior designer Fran Keenan. If you missed Part 1, take a listen to episode 178. Today we talk all about exterior paint colors as well as a word we used a lot in Part 1—nuance! We also cover more of your FAQ’s all about paint including at what point in the design process to decide upon your paint color, how to make sure your bold wall doesn’t look cheap, and some expert tips in choosing specific paint brands and colors.
    What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

    Why picking an exterior paint color is a much bigger decision than interior

    Should you paint brick?

    How to choose front door colors

    Tips for choosing specific paint brands and colors

    What Fran loves about Farrow & Ball paints

    Fran breaks down her favorites within paint decks in several different brands

    Why paint should be the very last thing in your design

    What should trim color for white walls be?

    Can the front and back of interior doors be painted different colors?

    Should outlet covers be painted the same or different color?

    How to make sure a bold wall color doesn’t look cheap and/or depressing?

    What is Samplize?

    Paint ideas for coffered ceilings

    If you are doing DIY, should you use a roller, a brush or a spray?

    Mentioned in This Episode:
    Fran Keenan Design
    Fran Keenan on Instagram
    Ep 178 Part 1

    • 49 min
    Ep. 178: Picking Paint Colors with Fran Keenan

    Ep. 178: Picking Paint Colors with Fran Keenan

    More than any other topic, we're constantly getting questions about paint -- how to pick it the right one? What are the best colors? Which finish to use? We're answering all of your questions with today's guest, interior designer Fran Keenan. We're big fans of Fran's work, and she was a guest on episode 83. She's always picking bold, saturated color in her design work, so we thought she'd be the perfect designer to chat with us about one of the trickiest elements of design, paint. In Part 1 of this two part series, we're talking about picking colors.
    What You'll Hear on This Episode:

    We talk about why paint she be the last thing you choose in a room

    Questions you should ask before you pick paint colors like, what is the narrative?

    Paint is the easiest thing to change

    Light is a huge factor in how your paint and your furnishings will appear in your room

    Picking paint when you have a new build

    Testing samples, how many to test and where to test them

    Why paint should be the answer to questions about the tempo and vibe of your room

    What it means for a paint to have 'age'

    Should all of your paint colors across your house look good together?

    We'll cover more paint FAQs and more in next week's episode

    We talk a lot about 'nuance' and what that means in paint

    Show Notes:

    Fran Keenan Design

    Ep. 83 with Fran Keenan

    • 59 min
    Ep. 177: designer Debbie Mathews

    Ep. 177: designer Debbie Mathews

    Our guest today has been in the antique business for over 30 years. Debbie Mathews owns Nashville-based antique shop, Debbie Mathews Antiques and Design, and also created an interior design portion of the business in 2012. We talk all about Debbie’s love of antiques, why people shouldn’t be afraid to purchase them, and the best pieces to look for. Plus, Debbie weighs in on some Decorating Dilemmas about accent walls and mixing silver and gold!

    What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

    How Debbie got started in antiques and design in childhood and how it evolved.

    Why Debbie thinks people shouldn’t be “afraid” of antiques and how every room should have one.

    Tips for falling in love again with pieces you’ve had for a long time.

    Why Debbie is always on the hunt for a writing desk both for her shop and her clients.

    Debbie’s love of a Louis Philippe chest and mirrors.

    Which professionals to look for when restoring antiques.

    How to know when to leave an antique “as is”.

    Tips for feeling comfortable when buying an antique.

    Online sites for purchasing antiques.

    One of Debbie’s biggest goals is to make antiques more approachable.

    Decorating Dilemma(s)
    Hi Sheryl,
    First, I love accent walls! Nothing can quite transform a space like paint. Your focal point wall with the fireplace has too many different paint colors, and I definitely think you should paint the whole wall and cubbies one color. Leave the fireplace and the mantle as they are. I think it will make it more impactful and also more cohesive. This will also highlight that beautiful Oriental rug you’ve inherited. We all agree that we like the warm brown accent color so use that for the whole wall.
    We can’t wait to see it!

    Absolutely I think you can mix this china with gold. One of the reasons I say this is because many of us, including myself, have china with a gold rim and we’re using silverware! Also, so many of the kitchens we are designing now have stainless steel appliances, but I’ll still use brass hardware and plumbing fixtures. I actually really like mixing metals, but I don’t like going beyond 2 metals. I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules in creating a tablescape, and I like mixing silver and gold. I think of it as creating a painting. When you have a white plate, you could start with a colorful tablecloth or placemat and think of the other layers as accents that work with your “painting”. I’m also okay with mixing patterns. I’m personally a big fan, especially as we struggle for normalcy in 2020, of using a family heirloom in my tablescape. You can also search for older pieces in antique shops or garage sales. Karen says go ahead and stick a salad plate in your bag and carry it around with you so you can layer it up with what you find and see how it looks and feels. She also thinks you can add some more gold accent pieces like these gold partridge salt and pepper shakers!
    Thank you, Jamie!

    Mentioned in This Episode:
    Debbie Mathews Website
    Debbie Mathews on Instagram
    Debbie Mathews Antiques on Instagram
    Debbie Mathews on Chairish

    • 59 min
    Ep. 176: set designer Beth Kushnick

    Ep. 176: set designer Beth Kushnick

    Our guest this week, Beth Kushnick, has decorated sets from some of your favorite films and TV shows including The Good Wife, Jumanji, and Anchorman 2 just to name a few. She joins the show to share what exactly a Set Decorator does, and how she started as an art lover in New York to compose visuals for the top sets in the entertainment industry. Beth also geeks out with us about lighting, picking the perfect colors, and her biggest pet peeve in set decoration. Beth also is the host of the podcast, Decorating the Set: From Hollywood To Your Home.
    What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

    The difference between decorating for a TV series versus in movies.

    How Beth started in theater with design and painting and got led to set design for movies and television.

    Why you should be on the lookout for the little “easter eggs” in movies and TV, a clever gift from the crew!

    How Beth designs perfectly for each character and makes the sets seem realistic to their personality.

    Why you won’t see black drywall screws anywhere near one of Beth’s sets!

    Artwork is so important to the set, and Beth explains how she finds appropriately themed artwork for each production.

    Beth explains the decisions on picking a color to make the actors look good and bring out their best features.

    The nuance of paint and why natural colors are so classic.

    Beth gets super jazzed about lighting and shares what she uses to honor the set design by using practicals for lighting.

    Decorating Dilemma
    Thank you so much for writing in! So, we think you have more space than you think you do. Beth agrees with you that the entry-way can turn into a small cabinet, and you could possibly move it back to create more storage space. This would then help you dress the window behind the cabinet, lending to you to some interesting color options. In this circumstance, the tape measurer will be your best friend, especially when it comes to depth. We would go as big as possible which could be your buffet, and you can add lamps and candles for some great lighting options. A funky chair facing the sofa to ground the sofa would be great.
    Mentioned in This Episode:
    Decorating the Set from Hollywood to Your Home

    • 50 min
    Ep. 175: designer Cath Kidston

    Ep. 175: designer Cath Kidston

    Our guest today is known as the queen of print. Cath Kidston has a background in interior design and styling and started the brand, Cath Kidston, known for their vintage inspired prints and homewares. In 2017, Cath stepped down to start Joy of Print; a creative design studio that specializes in designing prints for interior design and fashion. She is also the author of A Place Called Home. We talk about joining the new and the old, the sentimental with the modern, and finding calm in color and patterns.

    What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

    While growing up in England, Cath started designing at an early age, studied fashion and design, then opened her own shop which grew into the Cath Kidston brand.

    Cath’s book reflects how all of us should think when moving into a new home, mixing some sentimental with modern elements.

    Cath’s goal in her home is to make it feel warm and relaxed; she loves using plants and flowers.

    How Cath is able to make strong colors work together without feeling too chaotic.

    Cath’s husband was a client; so, she eventually had to live in the bachelor pad she had designed!

    Moving is hard in terms of holding onto, letting go of, and finding new ways to use things we love.

    Why Cath is particularly fond of wallpaper and what here favorite types are.

    Cath doesn’t like clutter, so she finds ways to make small touches and “collections” in rooms.

    Cath has been finding hidden treasures at swap meets for years.

    The unique bathroom’s, and bathtubs, in Cath’s home.

    Procrastination can be a big, and expensive, mistake in design.

    How Cath was able to have a working, modern kitchen in such an old home.

    Plan for storage! It’s so important especially if you want to play with patterns and colors.

    Decorating Dilemma
    I’ll start with the easier end; the desk should go on the far end away from the fireplace. I really like it in the middle of the room. Then while you’re working you could look towards the fireplace or even have someone sit opposite of you. Maybe under each of those windows you could build out window seats and put bookcases underneath the seats. For your father’s mirror, what about that area of the wall opposite that little niche? Just before you get to the dining room. If it’s a tight squeeze, you could even rotate and have it as a long mirror. A low table and a lamp would look really nice below it, as well. It would really open up the room when you first walk in. The couch could go on the wall to the right of the front door as you walk in. The couch could be L-shaped, but a short L. Or a section couch with a little foot stool. Put the TV over the fireplace. I wouldn’t do a rug in the middle but rather two rugs: one on the office end and then one on the fireplace end of the room. Behind the couch would also be a really nice place to hang some pictures and make it feel cozy. On the office side of things, you could have a big plant or a floor lamp or something that will make it less cluttered. Wall color will depend on what color the couch and the rugs are. Lastly, you could have a really cool feature chair in the corner in that gap near the fireplace.
    Take a look at the floorplan I’ve drawn up and be sure to send your pictures along!
    - Cath
    Mentioned in This Episode:
    Joy of Print on Instagram
    Joy of Print
    A Place Called Home

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Ep. 174: designer Alyssa Rosenheck

    Ep. 174: designer Alyssa Rosenheck

    Today’s episode features the multi-talented Alyssa Rosenheck. Alyssa is a renowned interior and architectural photographer, stylist, a cancer survivor, a lifestyle expert, and best-selling author of The New Southern Style. Alyssa shares her inspiring background and life pivots, and she encourages us all to tap into our creativity; whatever that means for us.
    What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

    Alyssa’s story; including growing up as one of the only Jewish families in OK, life pivots, cancer, and staying YES to herself.

    Alyssa left high stress corporate jobs and started helping build small businesses about 7 years ago.

    What is “The New Southern” movement and where was Alyssa when she came up with it?

    Alyssa describes what her new book The New Southern Style is; not just a picture book!

    Why rituals are so important and what some of our favorites are.

    What “living in the light” means to Alyssa.

    Alyssa shares some tips on how to counteract burnout with creativity.

    The different ways you can define “creativity”.

    Alyssa’s process for writing, and photographing, her book.

    How Alyssa does the job of two people both styling and photographing her shoots.

    Why you should be flowering your home with Israeli Ruscus.

    How Alyssa picked the people she would feature in her book.

    Alyssa’s book inspires and nurtures the idea that you can make a living being a creative.

    Mentioned in This Episode:
    Alyssa Rosenheck
    Alyssa Rosenheck on Instagram
    The New Southern Style

    Decorating Dilemma
    Hi Cindy,
    I think this is a really great open space. I would love for it to all be one color and be light, bright, open and airy to reflect all the windows in the house. We all agree that statement walls need to be very intentional and think white walls with white trim in a different sheen will work wonders. I think this will be the biggest bang for your buck then you can bring in in textures and layered accessories within the same tonal family. Use art for pops of color. You can really change the meaning of this room by bringing the furniture in closer to the fireplace. Adding another chair and maybe a little card table would be good because this is a great room for people to gather. Add some more lamps with the plants on that table behind that long sofa, as well.

    I do like the bar area, but I almost want to see those top cabinets gone and do shelving above it instead. The important thing is to make this room more intimate.
    - Alyssa
    The first thing I think you need to do is check out Lauren Liess; a designer in Washington, DC that specializes in this style house and uses an earthy, 7os color palette in a really modern way. The second thing is I think you really need to invest in your art collection. You have a lot of blank walls and I wouldn’t buy (or even make) anything under 40”. It doesn’t need to be expensive! I know you have a lot of windows, but 2-3 pieces above the TV, flanking the windows, above the bar or above the dresser could be great places. Think outside the box! I also with giant ceilings like this you could get some great, large light fixtures. I personally don’t hate the wood trim; you could try the wood trim but you’d need a professional help you out. We’re not sure about painting the brick around fireplace; start with painting the room one color first.
    Good luck, Cindy! We really like this room and its architecture and can’t wait to see what you do with it.
    - Caroline

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
530 Ratings

530 Ratings

Mitch1723 ,

Could be my best friends in real life

Ladies you guys are awesome and please continue being yourselves. I really enjoy how often you publish episodes and loved Nashville week. Keep them coming. It’s the one constant during this crazy COVID season. Being at home 24/7 has made me realize the investment in my interior is a direct correlation to my mental health. Thank you for the tips and tricks. Please continue deciphering designer terms like “clean lines” and “cool colors”, etc. I’ve learned so much already!!

bennettlynn ,


Y’all are adorable! But you have really got to stop the giggling! It’s awkward, and it makes you sound immature and unprofessional... sorry but it’s true.

anabelly ,

In my top 3!

Absolutely love the podcast! I’ve learned so much and am so impressed with the fact that it has continued through a pandemic! I know that you ladies have day jobs and kids but you show up for the podcast with enthusiasm and genuine curiosity and it really helps me as the listener to engage and learn. I have to agree with other reviews about the new intro-so bad and it doesn’t do the podcast justice. Love you ladies-please do this podcast forever! Happy holiday!

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