Podcast, Episode 48: Montgomery Gratch Interiors

Julie Montgomert and Michele Gratch of Montgomery Gratch Interiors

Almost a year ago Atlanta interior designers Julie Montgomery and Michele Gratch joined forces to create Montgomery Gratch Interiors. We loved hearing about how their unique strengths compliment and challenge each other. We talk family homes, renovations, the fifth wall, and much more.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • They tell us about how they joined their firms and how their individual strengths work together
  • Why you shouldn’t wait to decorate until your kids are older and how to make your home kid-friendly and beautiful
  • Why it’s important to consider how you live in your home before starting the decorating process
  • How to approach your home with a fresh eye
  • We talk about showhouses, why they’re fun, why they’re a great place to learn about decorating, and why you should check one out in your town
  • How Michele and Julie bring that layered, collected look into your room
  • We talk about a friend of Julie and Michelle’s who does a bus tour of great shopping places
  • Why it’s absolutely crucial to make a floorplan and to measure before buying anything
  • Karen asks Michelle and Julie for tips on how to encourage dinner party guests to use her living room
  • Thoughts on decorating outdoor spaces, especially the dilemma of keeping cushions clean and pollen-free
  • We talk about renovations — kitchen trends, how to make an impact on the ceiling, and more
  • Michelle and Julie tell us about their client who has a wine bar in her closet

Decorating Dilemmas

Hey girls! 

I emailed y’all a few weeks ago just to tell you how much I have enjoyed this podcast, and now I finally have my Living Room in order to send some pictures for my decorating dilemma!  In a nutshell, I really just want to finish my Living Room. Overall, I love it, but there are some things that need a change. 

  1. My biggest dilemma is how to fill the wall over the sofa. I love the mirror but it needs something on either side, I think. What do you think? Plates? 4 small pieces of artwork stacked on either side? Brackets? Lose the mirror and do something different altogether?  I have plaster walls so I have major analysis paralysis when it comes to hanging things on the walls!
  2. The table in between the two blue chairs-I think the scale of the lamp is correct, but what do y’all think? However, the lamp itself does not work at all with the room.  Any ideas? Something about that little vignette is off to me. 
  3. What kind of coffee table would you suggest? I definitely think I need a change. Fun fact- most of our meals are eaten here! Our baby is only 6 months old so family dinners around the table aren’t a thing for us just yet.
  4. Change the drapes? 

This living room is the first thing you see when you open our front door. We don’t have an entry way or foyer, unfortunately. For now, it’s where we spend the majority of our time. When we are able to afford it, we will furnish an empty room in the back of our house for more of a lounging, tv watching den, but for now this is it. I also included pics of the Dining Room so you could see what the room opens into. If you have any ideas for that room, let me know! I think I definitely need a colorful rug ASAP!

Thank y’all so much! I’m so excited!


Let’s start with your rug. Julie thinks you’re right and that you need a colorful, patterned rug. Because your foundation pieces are solids, a rug will definitely bring personality to your space while being kid-friendly. Michele suggests a round coffee table because it’ll break up the square pieces. We don’t mind the lamp on that table, but we do recommend a new shade. Pull your chairs in closer to the table in between them so it’s a cozier vignette. 

Overall, you’ve got a great spaces going here, so we all think you’ve done a great job so far! We all like the idea of plates around your mirror. I suggest relocating your mirror to another part of the living room or somewhere else in the house and placing one large painting over the back of the sofa. It’ll definitely bring a more modern touch and make a dramatic statement. Also, you don’t have to worry about ruining your plaster!

Julie and Michele also recommend maybe taking a risk in either the living or dining room with patterned drapes. They also suggest trying a narrower rod, something slightly more delicate. Also, bring your same living room panels over to the fireplace wall so keep them consistent.

Michele has a great tip about nailing into plaster — just place a piece of scotch tape and put it over where you’ll place your nail. It’ll keep the plaster from cracking.


We recently purchased a second home, a condo, in Florida and in decorating, I’m after a relaxed, comfortable feel. We just purchased a cream color slipcover sofa (very similar to the Davenport) and a taupe color slipcover side chair (similar to Candace).  I love these two pieces.  My dilemma is this:  My husband so far insists on having a recliner, to be honest, I haven’t found one that matches the comfy yet updated look I’m after.  I have thrown out the idea of another slipcover chair with an ottoman, but if I do that it would have to be the Davenport style because he doesn’t find the other chair all that comfortable (arms are too low).

Here are my questions.

if I buy another chair that matches the style of the couch, should the chair color be the same as the couch or the other chair?

Do you have any other suggestions for that second chair?  Again, either has to be a recliner or a chair he’d approve (eye roll – haha).

I can’t wait to hear back! 

BTW – Per your advice on buying drapes from Ballard Designs, I did just that (bedroom and living area) and can I say I LOVE them!

Carol B.

Don’t be afraid of recliners! They are some good looking ones out there. I suggest the Morrison Recliner in a pattern. Some of the ladies disagree with me, but one of our coworkers’ husbands loves the pair of Morrison Recliner. It’s ‘his’ chair.

We all agree that you should pick a pattern. Don’t try to get it to match your other pieces. If you want leather, our Layla Recliner is great. 

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, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

Subscribe in iTunes | Stitcher | Google Play

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


    April 11, 2018

    Ladies~ This podcast is full of great information, but the sound is very muffled. I tried downloading it rather than just listening as is on the website, but it didn’t make a difference. My sound is turned all the way up and there are many things that I cannot hear clearly. It sounds like you were all sitting too far away from the microphone. I am a frequent listener and look forward to each new podcast, but this one is just torturous to try to hear! I am in a silent environment (early morning stillness–everyone else is still asleep), and it sounds like many of the words are being swallowed up before they can get fully projected.