Podcast, Ep. 31 with designer Virginia Cheek

Tour interior designer Virginia Cheek's airy, bungalow in Atlanta

Once we photographed Virginia’s house, we knew we had to get her on the podcast. She graciously invited us over to talk about her Atlanta bungalow and of course to answer your decorating questions.

Tour interior designer Virginia Cheek's airy, bungalow in Atlanta

What You’ll Hear on This Show:

  • We all talk about the decorating compromises we’ve made in our homes
  • Taryn tells us about her brown on brown den that she hates
  • We talk about ‘sit-abouts’ and how silly they are
  • Karen tells us about the leather-wrapped rock
  • Virginia tells us about why she left architecture school to get into interior design
  • We talk about Virginia’s style and how she blends traditional, southern style with the California cool she picked up while living on the west coast
  • Virginia tells us about micro-sealing and how she plans to do this to her home
  • We talk about the difference between her clients in California and her clients in Atlanta
  • We talk about contrast and why it’s important to consider when you’re furnishing your home
  • We discuss whether it’s a yay or a nay to paint antiques
  • We talk about Virginia’s genius TV trick
  • We talk about whether each of us appreciated interior design when we were young
  • We talk about working with renovation choices that previous owners had done
  • We talk about lighting and why dimmers are important

Decorating Dilemmas:


Love the podcast! It’s like a little weekly treat for me. I am so interested in getting your advice for two questions related to carpeting and rugs. I have a three story traditional brick colonial in Virginia. (Loving the new Tysons store, btw). I have hardwood throughout the first floor and on the open foyer front staircase. The rest of the home is the dreaded WALL TO WALL carpeting. This is a requirement of my husband, who I have to live with. Hahahaha. That said, when I chose the original wall to wall, it was a beach sand colored closed loop Berber with no pattern. Now it needs to be replaced and I would like to switch things up a bit. Can you share your thoughts on wall to wall carpet styles and ideas that look fresh and stylish?

Also, you all have a terrific diamond sisal rug that is the bomb. Problem is you do not make it in a 9×12 or 10×14. This rug needs more size options. I have had actual conversations with my girlfriends about this. I also spoke with your head of retail, who assured me that larger sizes were on the way. I will be your first customer, promise. That rug in larger sizes will sell, mark my words.

Any thoughts you can share on my carpeting dilemma would be very appreciated.


Virginia recommends a carpet with a texture and a small pattern so that it has more movement than a standard carpeting. 


Hi Ladies,

I have enjoyed listening to your podcast and am hoping you can help with a decorating problem I have had for some time. As you can see from the attached photos, we have a king size tufted leather headboard in our bedroom with a cathedral ceiling. Unfortunately we have an off center air register above the bed. We cannot move it and need the air ventilation. What can I do to make the space interesting. I am an eclectic person and have enclosed a photo of the rest of the bedroom so you can see.

Many thanks,


Virginia suggests adding more pattern and contrast to the bed rather than decorating around it. That pattern will distract you from the air vent.

Another option is to paint the walls a dark color (maybe super dark gray or navy), then swap your headboard for something light and curvy. The darkness will hide the air vent and the curvy headboard is a better shape to distract from the headboard.

Karen suggests some found object that is maybe an old screen or something that will let the air through, but cover the actual opening.

Show Notes:

Take a tour of Virginia’s home, or listen to more episodes of the How to Decorate podcast.

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 an 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.


  1. Reply


    October 18, 2017

    Also, where are the pictures of the same listener’s decorator question. I am so curious about this air vent register and where it is compared to the bed, etc.

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      October 19, 2017

      I can’t believe I forgot to add the pictures! They’re in there now though. Thanks for mentioning it. And also thanks for listening!

  2. Reply


    October 18, 2017

    Yes, the magazine Highlights is still around and indeed, I think the most popular part is the Hidden Picture. Now the same company makes entire books on just Hidden Pictures!