Podcast, Episode 46: Laura Walker Baird of Verde Home

Verde Home's Laura Walker Baird

Atlanta interior designer and owner of Verde Home on the Upper Westside Laura Walker Baird joins the podcast to talk about antiquing overseas, why Europeans rarely hire designers, and her own major home renovation.

Verde Home's Laura Walker Baird's interior design work

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • We talk about purging — what’s worth keeping and what needs to be tossed
  • Laura tells us about her time abroad shopping for antiques
  • We hear about Laura’s childhood bedroom — mauve with green carpet
  • She talks about why she wasn’t really an interior designer when she lived in Italy
  • Laura tells us about the proper Italian way to eat spaghetti
  • The most common issue Laura’s clients deal with
  • Taryn asks Laura about her favorite design era
  • We talk about getting pieces custom made
  • Laura talks about accessorizing an unused room in her client’s home to make it functional 
  • We talk about how to make your dining room more inviting so you’ll actually use it
  • Laura tells us about her home renovation which she’s recently finished

Decorating Dilemmas:

Hey ladies! 

My names Melissa and I am from Syracuse, New York. I absolutely love your podcast and have learned so much already! I purchased my home a little under a year ago and it is a 192  bungalow with a lot of original woodwork and an extra amount of work in general. My living room is very narrow in size and has a fireplace that is running pretty much the entire winter. My question for you ladies is if I should use an area rug and possibly layer two- one under the couch and one overlapping under the chair and ottoman. I am worried that it will look too busy and tight but am open for suggestions! Side note- I am in the process of decorating this room so the gallery wall is not finished and the tiny lamp/ tables are not sticking around! I also want to say thanks for entertaining and educating me at the same time! 

I have attached a couple pictures of current and one of when I bought it for giggles.

Thanks so much ladies!


Laura isn’t a fan of layered rugs. It’s often a tricky look to pull off. Instead, she suggests doing one long rug that fits the whole room. Find a local carpet store, and they’ll be able to make a custom sized rug for you. It can fit right around that fireplace hearth, creating a U-shape. The word ‘custom’ implies super expensive, but depending on the type of carpet you choose, it might not be any more expensive than buying two separate rugs.

Karen suggests switching out the coffee table for something upholstered and get rid of the leather ottoman. Then, pull the chair in closer so it relates more to the seating group. Replace that chest with a petite chair to add another seating. Or use the chest for a coffee table.

We all also think you should paint your fireplace surround so it blends more into the wall. Right now, it just feels so heavy and eats up the whole room.

Consider switching out either your large chair or your sofa for a new piece with a narrower silhouette. It doesn’t need to be immediately, but it will help your space come together. A piece with a narrower arm won’t be as bulky and is more in scale with this petite room. Check out a Larkin Swivel Glider which has just the silhouette we’re talking about — narrow arms and a cleaner line.

Laura also suggests raising your drapery a little bit so it hangs just below the moulding. Maybe have your dry cleaner add a foot or so of a solid fabric to the bottom of the panels you already have.

Good luck!

Hi guys!

Love the podcast and thank you for answering my previous question! Now I have another ๐Ÿ™‚

My NYC living room is quite small and I am having the hardest time deciding on a new sofa color/fabric. The walls are white. The rug is sisal. I have your Bocca coffee table, along with a small dark wood bookcase, and a dark wood side table. The dresser which the TV sits on (across from the sofa) is a light painted gray. 

So my dilemma is this. I know what sofa I want. It comes in cotton, performance linen, linen, and velvet. I cannot decide between the cotton in a light gray, or performance linen in an ivory. I am very scared to have an ivory sofa, but I think it would look the best for the room itself. On the other hand, in general I would really prefer a light gray, but will that be too much light gray with the dresser? The light gray fabric and light gray dresser are about the same shade. I don not want a darker gray because I currently have a slate color and have been dying for something lighter. I do not want a beige or taupe because with the rug I think it will be too much brown for me. 

So I cannot decide between performance linen or cotton, and also cannot decide on the color.  (the performance linen does not come in light gray). Will the cotton be durable? Will white just give me anxiety? Will the gray sofa be way too match-y with the dresser (that is my biggest question!) Is pure linen (or performance linen) going to be really wrinkly? Any input would be much appreciated!! Thank you and keep up the great work! 




First of all, your living room is so freaking cute we can’t stand it! Well done pulling together such a stylish living room and making the most of your small space. We love seeing out Boca Coffee Table in here. 

We think you should go light gray in a cotton fabric. Our only other suggestion would be to switch the lampshade for something lighter.

Show Notes:

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, itโ€™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


    March 14, 2018

    Hey gals! Just wanted to drop you a note to say I wish I could be a foursome on the podcast… it always sounds so fun and chock full of advice. It’s one of my favorite podcasts!

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      March 14, 2018

      Thank you! Thank you! So happy to hear you’re enjoying the show. If you ever find yourself in Atlanta, give us a holler and join us for an episode! We’d love to have you.