Podcast, Episode 22: designer Cindy Meador

Interior designer Cindy Meador joins the Ballard designs podcast to talk decorating in the Southeast, vacation homes, and much more


This week, we’re bringing you another interview from our time at High Point Market. Living on the Gulf Coast, interior designer Cindy Meador specializes in decorating and furnishing second homes. From 10,000 square foot houses to high rise beach condos, Cindy and her team have done it all, and they’re sharing a lot of behind the scenes tidbits with us.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Taryn’s trial and triumph was yardwork-related
  • My trial was a disgusting rodent that was in our yard, and my triumph was the peony arrangements I got to do at our event at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival
  • Karen’s triumph was doing a professional looking hydrangea arrangement for her friend’s birthday
  • Her trial was the string lights in her backyard falling down
  • We ask Cindy how her work became featured in a cocktail book
  • We talk about how style differs from region to region
  • Cindy often will start working with a client on their second home, then later work on their primary residence
  • We talk about designing a home for a client from the ground up
  • Cindy shares the entire process of installing a project
  • We talk about how she got into interior design and her advice for people getting into the business
  • We talk about her own personal style and how her style differs from her client work
  • We talk recliners and the fact that there are some good ones out there
  • We talk about market, what she’s looking for, and what trends she’s seeing
  • Cindy shares where she thinks people should invest their decorating dollars
  • She talks about where she starts her rooms

Decorating Dilemmas:

Hello ladies,

I love your podcast, and have been binge listening! ? Thank you for all of the great tips and insights you share. I have a decorating dilemma that I hope you can help me with. My husband and I are remodeling a farmhouse that I recently inherited, which was built in 1888 by my great great grandfather. I am planning to buy all new furniture, an area rug, and window treatments for the family room. I am attaching pictures which I hope will help you, but please note that the carpet will be replaced by black walnut hardwood. Also, since most of the trim throughout the house is white, we are planning to paint the family room trim a soft white along with the walls.

Although it has an east facing bay window, the room is rather dim after 11am. (The other window you see in the photo is blocked by a sunroom.) I want to keep my large upholstery pieces neutral, and I love a blue and white color palette. What do you think is the best way to layout the furniture in this room which has many openings? What are appropriate styles and sizes for the couch and chairs given the small room size? What do you suggest for the bay window treatment? How can I make this room really pretty and inviting?

Thanks so much,

Let’s start with your bay window. They can be tricky. Consider putting some seating in that nook, probably a built in banquette that can be a sweet little reading space. Because your room is on the petite size, we suggest a sectional with a smaller footprint, like our Davenport Sectional. Consider adding a Salerno Cabinet on the short wall between your two doorways with your TV on top. This piece even has cord management so you can hide all of your media gadgets.

Without knowing which rooms are through the doorways, you might need to swap the two chairs for a narrow bench to allow for flow. 

Like most of our designers, we suggest choosing neutral fabrics for your big pieces, then bring in lots of blue and white with your pillows and artwork. You could even add in a great blue and white rug, like our Lindley Hand Knotted Rug. Best of luck, and send us picks once you’ve started bringing in pieces! 

PS – We used our Room Planner tool to put together this layout. Feel free to get in there and try some more combinations!

Show Notes

  • Karen’s backyard blogpost
  • Find Cindy Meador on her website, Instagram, and Facebook
  • Room Planner

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.