Podcast, Episode #11: Interior Designer Suzanne Kasler

Suzanne Kasler is our guest on the How to Decorate podcast for Ballard Designs

Today’s guest is not only one of our favorite designers and a hometown hero in the design world, she’s also our design partner, Suzanne Kasler. Suzanne’s interiors are usually riddled with classic furniture pieces, but she presents them with a modern point of view. They’re tailored, edited, and punctuated with color. We launched our first collection with Suzanne in 2011, and ever since then, we’ve been making design magic together, so we’re thrilled to have her as our guest today on the blog!

Karen's latest art triumph where she framed art using craft paper from the art store

Karen’s latest art triumph — she framed pieces using craft paper from the art store

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Karen’s recent framing victory inspired by Natalie Nassar’s house
  • Taryn talks about a product she recently designed
  • A new hobby I’m trying out
  • Suzanne talks about showhouses and why she loves them
  • Why she likes to keep her team small
  • How she does it all and where she finds her creative energy
  • How her love of shopping translates to design inspiration
  • Why Suzanne can’t share her favorite places to shop
  • Why she started working with design partners
  • We talk about her new outdoor furniture collection, her Directoire collection in white
  • Why you should start planning your outdoor space early
  • Suzanne talks about using white as a paint color and she uses it so much in her clients’ homes
  • Suzanne talks about her ‘architectural envelope’ and why she pays so much attention to the architecture of her clients’ homes
Blue living room from Ballard Designs catalog

Taryn’s triumph was seeing the rooms we designed in real life on our catalog location shoot

Decorating Dilemmas:

What are your tips for small spaces? My husband and I live in 400 square feet with tiny everything. Most of our stuff is very functional but I want to start adding more décor without adding more clutter. Would love to hear your thoughts!


Suzanne recommends buying pieces that are larger but buy fewer things. So scale up with your functional furniture pieces. She also recommends hanging an oversized mirror, preferably across from a window. Then hang drapery right at the ceiling. Karen brings up the question of a color palette, and Suzanne thinks your color palette doesn’t matter as much as the scale of your pieces. Karen emphasizes how important it is to be tidy so that everything gets put away. Small homes that are tidy feel larger! I think you should become an art collector. Art won’t take up any floor space, and you can incorporate décor and personality through your art. Karen talks about decluttering your space and maybe keeping your special, sentimental pieces in private spaces.


Hi!  Love your podcast and so appreciate all of your good advice and fun personalities.

I am nearing completion of a home addition whereby I’m adding a guest bedroom and guest bathroom.  My house is a farmhouse style with a modern flair.  The ceilings are vaulted with shiplap and hanging beaded chandelier.  Here’s my question.  I have a blank canvas wall with no windows or any furniture against it.  How do I create a fabulous art wall and what should I budget?  Thank you!


Suzanne says that to build a great art wall, start with at least five pieces, then organically add to the wall. Don’t worry about the frames matching, just frame them how each piece looks best. When Suzanne’s team is working on an art wall, they often lay things out on the floor, then they leave room for her clients to continue to build the wall. It could be art or objects, but just start with five!

Suzanne Kasler's new white Directoire outdoor furniture collection for Ballard Designs

Mentioned in This Episode:

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Subscribe in Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

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.


  1. Reply


    May 13, 2020

    Hi, where are the design dilemma pics? that is best part?