Podcast, Ep. 25: Interior designer Maggie Griffin

Gainesville, Georgia interior designer Maggie Griffin joined the ladies of the How to Decorate podcast to talk about her work, how to decorate a family home, her love of wallpaper, and more

Interior designer Maggie Griffin from Gainesville, Georgia decorates spaces much like her personality, warm, happy, and with classic Southern charm. We loved touring her house and couldn’t resist the opportunity to get her on the podcast. If you aren’t yet following her on Instagram, then you’re gonna want to start. We talk about decorating with kids, how to build a gallery wall, the deal with decorating around the TV, and other decorating ‘don’ts’ like ceiling fans.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Maggie shares the unique way she built up her first clients
  • She talks about how she and her husband love renovating and moving
  • She tells us about counseling James Farmer while he was building his house, Farmdale
  • We talk about how she starts a room — either a rug or a special keepsake
  • Maggie’s always moving things, and she shares how art is the way she keeps things fresh
  • Maggie cleverly treats all of the TVs in her home, and she shares her best tips for decorating around them
  • We discuss the dreaded ceiling fan — is she for or against the ceiling fan?
  • She tells us about redecorating her husband’s bachelor pad once they got married
  • She talks about decorating her sons nurseries and how to decorate your child’s bedroom with pieces that will endure
  • How she manages all the kids toys
  • She talks us through laying out a room — where to start
  • Maggie gives us a lesson on wallpaper and shares her favorite white paint color
  • We talk about building a gallery wall

Maggie Griffin's foyer has a metallic sunburst wallpaper, blush pink ceiling, and eclectic art hung in a gallery style

Decorating Dilemmas:

Hello Karen, Taryn, and Caroline!

I have a dilemma I would love to get your/ your interior designers opinions on…i apologize in advance… it’s…ahhh…detailed… My husband and I just bought a new build home in Seattle. It is a modern version of a classic four square. It sits on a corner lot with the corner exposure being southwest/ west and it has an east facing outdoor room in the back corner off the dining/living room with double sliders…so lots of natural light in the house which is great here in Seattle.

My dilemma is—we need window treatments and with 39 windows, with most of those being 2-3 panes wide, it has me a bit overwhelmed. I feel that white 3-4 inch plantation shutters would look great in the house and compliment its lines and overall style. Along with the shutters maybe some Hunter Douglas pirouett blinds on the main floor and master bedroom, and then blackout cellular shades in the kids bedrooms. My problems are, since we are higher up, privacy is really only an issue in the lower parts of the windows with the upper parts mostly having nice territorial views of evergreens and in the master bedroom a peek-a-boo view of a lake. I hate to cover the upper view just to get the privacy for the lower half but I don’t love the look of cellular shades on the main floors… but the top down/ bottom up feature is great. I am thinking about doing cafe style shutters in a few areas.. but haven’t really seen these in person and am wondering if they look ok or if they just look unfinished? I am also a little afraid of losing a lot of light if I do all full shutters with a divider bar so I can block out more of the bottom portion while leaving the uppers open. We had white 2 inch shutters in our old house also mixed with the pirouetts and loved them… but here there would be a lot more of the shutters. So questions… how do you all feel about cafe shutters? Do you think cafe shutters on bottom with very tailored romans on top would look ok? What do they think of doing full shutters with the divider bars? Do you have any other thoughts and or advise for this project? Sorry for the long drawn out question… Thanks for your time and any input!!

P.s. the included photos are not my furniture, they are the staged promo photos from when we bought. Our furniture and style is more but we just moved in and, it’s a mess.

Thanks so much Ladies!!!

David

David,

Thank you so much for sending in your question! We all agree that the half up plantation shutters that you mention can be a great option. You could also consider sheers on some of the windows where you only want something decorative and don’t necessarily need privacy. Another option is cafe curtains. There are some really beautiful ways to do cafe curtains that are just tailored and pretty.

Another thing to consider is how much you actually need privacy. Of course in your bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need something, but in your downstairs living and dining areas, consider just putting up some decorative drapes that won’t ever be closed and let the light and beautiful views in. 

You have a beautiful home. Best of luck!

Hi again!

We have only been in our home about a year and have recently updated our fireplace. We are very happy with the updated look and now get to decorate the room! We have used a lot furniture/decor that we already had and it’s definitely coming together. BUT it seems like something is missing or off. I am happy to rearrange decor, art, furniture and reconsider what is already there too. We’ve thought of changing the table’s light fixture, adding drapes, or even painting the fireplace surround black but just aren’t sure. Can you give me suggestions on what your next steps would be and how to bring this room to the next level?

Thank you!
Heather

We suggest some drapery panels to finish off the look and maybe a larger scale pair of chairs on either side of the fireplace. The scale of the ones you have aren’t quite right. Look for something with a higher back. A matching pair will also help reinforce that great symmetry you have going.

Consider placing a large buffet or console in the niche by your dining table. This will be a great vehicle for a pair of lamps and can also hold the kids toys you currently have in a bin. You definitely need more ambient lighting — a couple of floor lamps, some table lamps, and maybe a new light fixture. 

For your bookshelves, consider starting a collection. An easy way to start is to pick a color palette, then just anytime you see something in that palette, say at a thrift store or home store, just slowly build that collection.

You’ve built a great base for this space. You’re farther along than you think you are. Best of luck!

Show Notes:

Cajun White Beans with Coconut Milk
 
Ingredients
  • Cajun White Beans with Coconut Milk
  • 3 cups dried white navy beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 5-6 stalks celery
  • 2 yellow or sweet onions
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cans coconut milk (may not use them both)
  • 1 lb. cajun or Conecuh sausage
Instructions
  1. Chop all the vegetables and add to a dutch oven with the navy beans and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3-6 hours.
  2. Brown the sausage in the frying pan, drain on paper towel.
  3. When the beans are soft and almost ready to eat, start gradually adding the coconut milk until you get the consistency, taste that you like. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the sausage just before serving.

 

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! 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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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.

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3 Comments

  1. Reply

    Caroline McDonald

    July 20, 2017
     

    Maryl,
    I don’t have a recipe for it! The chefs described it for us but there was no written recipe. Here’s what I did:

    3 cups dried white navy beans
    6 cups water
    5-6 stalks celery
    2 yellow or sweet onions
    1 red pepper
    2-3 cloves garlic
    2 cans coconut milk (may not use them both)
    1 lb. cajun or Conecuh sausage

    Chop all the vegetables and add to a dutch oven with the navy beans and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3-6 hours.

    Brown the sausage in the frying pan, drain on paper towel.

    When the beans are soft and almost ready to eat, start gradually adding the coconut milk until you get the consistency, taste that you like. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the sausage just before serving.

  2. Reply

    Maryl

    July 12, 2017
     

    Hello,
    I loved the podcast yesterday. If possible, please put a link to the recipe for the beans cooked in coconut milk. I would love to try it!
    Thanks,
    Maryl

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      July 17, 2017
       

      Maryl,
      I don’t have a recipe for it! The chefs described it for us but there was no written recipe. Here’s what I did:

      3 cups dried white navy beans
      6 cups water
      5-6 stalks celery
      2 yellow or sweet onions
      1 red pepper
      2-3 cloves garlic
      2 cans coconut milk (may not use them both)
      1 lb. cajun or Conecuh sausage

      Chop all the vegetables and add to a dutch oven with the navy beans and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3-6 hours.

      Brown the sausage in the frying pan, drain on paper towel.

      When the beans are soft and almost ready to eat, start gradually adding the coconut milk until you get the consistency, taste that you like. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the sausage just before serving.

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