Podcast, Episode 80: designer Kate Singer

Interior designer Kate Singer joins the Ballard Designs How to Decorate podcast

Interior Designer Kate Singer joins the show to talk about her experiences with showhouses what she loves to mix to keep classic and traditional design style fresh, creating a sanctuary no matter where you are, and why loving colors (and neutrals!) may be something woven into our DNA.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • The inspiration behind the 2016 Hampton Designer Showhouse, one of our most pinned showhouse rooms ever.
  • Why Kate believes it’s all about mixing the old, new and making things feel curated and layered.
  • The cornflower blue color that surprised her (in a good way!).
  • The give and take and collaboration between other designers in a showhome.
  • How she got started in the business, and the inspiration her grandmother Marie gave to her for style and design.
  • You don’t have to wait until you have a beautiful dream home, you can create a space that reflects your taste and style wherever you are.
  • Some good starting tips for people just starting to decorate their home, starting with the sofa.
  • Kate’s love of mixing the old and new at different price levels for a classic yet updated feel.
  • Why Kate loves old art and thinks it is one of the most important accessories to create a great look without spending a lot of money.
  • Why Kate stays neutral on rugs and the bigger pieces of furniture and goes for bolder colors in accessories. 
  • How we can use pretty brown wood pieces while still keeping it light and airy.
  • Creative ways to camouflage a television in a room.
  • The colors Kate likes to pair with blue, and the shades of blue she prefers to work with most.

Decorating Dilemmas:

Hi there!

I’m recently married, and my husband and I are putting together our first home. I’m really struggling to make our spaces warm and inviting. It feels like we need so many things – like a dining room table for example!

We recently updated our fireplace, so we need to mount the mantle back on the wall and also paint the rooms. We have chosen Classic Grey for walls and Simply White for trim (both Benjamin Moore). I like spaces that are light, bright, and tailored. I’m on the more traditional side, but still want something that reflects the young couple we are/

There is also an awkward window to a space that used to be a porch, but is now an enclosed sunroom.



This whole space is off to a really great start! We recommend getting one of our round dining room tables and a few more of the Dayna chairs. We need to come up with a plan to camouflage the chords, whether it’s a cable box, taping them to the side, or hiding them within books. The light fixtures can be upgraded, and maybe one by the TV and the dining room table. Two different lights are fine, and adding a pop of green would go great in this setting now. Get some beautiful new woven blinds, and a fun pattern all around will help unify and tie together the look. A rug in the dining room would show the great size of the room. A big mirror, lamp, or art would look great above the chest.

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!

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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 21, 2019

    Hey Ladies! I love, love,love , your podcast! While I enjoy hearing from all your guests, I especially like hearing Trials and Triumphs from the three of you, and I have really missed those lately. Hopefully they will return? Thanks for all the information and ideas. Keep up the great work!

    Warmest regards,
    Suzi W.
    Morganton, NC

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      March 22, 2019

      Thank you so much for your comment and for listening! Don’t worry, Trials & Triumphs aren’t gone forever. We were just taking a little break until we had better updates to share. We’re doing a round of Trials & Triumphs in next week’s episode!