How to Decorate, the podcast from Ballard Designs

We have a secret project in the works that it’s been killing us to keep under wraps, but today we get to finally share that we’ve started a podcast! The goal of the (bi-weekly) podcast will be to help you unleash your inner decorator. We’ll be interviewing interior designers and stylists, sharing the trials and triumphs from our own homes, and answering your burning decorating questions!

Hosting each episode will be three ladies from the Ballard team — Caroline McDonald, Taryn Schwartz, and Karen Mooney. You know Caroline from right here on How to Decorate where she is constantly posting to the blog and answering your questions in our comments section. Taryn Schwartz is a trained industrial designer (and also super talented artist) that you’ve met here and here. Finally, Karen Mooney is our fearless leader who we sit down with to discuss each new season. You’ve read our interviews with her here, and we also shared her kitchen renovation … and her backyard 🙂

In today’s episode, we’ll be telling you more about each of us, how we work together designing the rooms you see online and in our catalog, and what projects we’re working on in our own homes.

Notes from the Show:

These are the chartreuse silk drapery panels Taryn’s been lusting over.

I’ve been thinking about adding the Mazey Pillows to my living room.

Pet crate covers we talk about here and here.

Recipe for Ina Garten’s grilled herb shrimp

Question #1
“We have a light cream colored sofa with a love seat and four of the Courtney Spa Pillows. I am stumped on what other throw pillows to use. Any suggestions? The rest of the room is mostly neutral — white light grey, cream, and wood tones with shades of light blue and green on the edge of the pillows.” -Lauren

Karen’s suggestions to coordinate with the Courtney Spa Pillow: keep the neutral color palette going with Buffalo Check Pillows, Kiki Pillows in Flax, or an Essential Pillow in Natural Linen

Caroline’s suggestions: balance the floral pattern with a wide stripe like two 20″ Custom Pillows in Suzanne Kasler’s Sky/Blanc Stripe

Taryn’s suggestions: punch up the color with Kiki Pillows in Citron for the spring and summer and Signature Velvet Pillows in Deep Teal for the cooler months.

Question #2:
“I have a living room with corner fireplace wall & large wall , other two sides are open, Please let me know how to arrange furniture in this room.” -Samina

Taryn’s suggestion: Treat your corner fireplace like the missing corner to your sectional, then add some sort of storage to the large wall.


Depending on any functional needs you have, you can place a console table there to store toys, bookcases, a gallery wall or a very large piece of art. Don’t be scared!

Question #3:
“My struggle is our entry way and staircase. When you first walk in there is a small first floor foyer space that opens to a very tall ceiling with the staircase in the middle and the more stairs up on each side. (It is a Y shape). The landing between the two staircases has a tall open wall space that screams “Empty” yet I am nervous to decorate it because I don’t what would be right with the scale. I have thought about a gallery wall, but it would need to be huge. I’ve thought about a large painting, but one huge painting selection gives me anxiety! I’ve also thought about a tiny console with a painting at eye level and two sconces on the sides, but there is not enough room on the landing for a console. Please help!” –Rachel


Rachel, we all agree. Hang a big piece of art and flank it with sconces!

If you aren’t sold on the piece of art, choose a narrow console (like this one I mentioned).

And of course, please subscribe to the podcast in iTunes so you never miss and episode. Of course, you can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

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