Podcast, Ep. 125: Carson and Thom are back

Designer Thom Filicia and Stylist Carson Kressley join the Ballard Designs podcast to chat

Thom Filicia and Carson Kressley, Emmy winning style makers, designers, and stars of the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy join the show this week. These super fun and successful men answer some of our burning questions including who their design idols are, what has been the bargain of a lifetime, and the last time they got starstruck. Thom and Carson both give an update on what’s next for them professionally, and we chat about design and lifestyle at any budget!

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Trials and triumphs about Staghorn ferns, old doors, a tricky IKEA bookcase and some heavy duty man cave organization
  • Thom Filicia Inc. is one of today’s most influential and respected interior design firms. Hear more about their projects including residential, hospitality, and commercial
  • Carson’s upcoming appearances on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Couched on The Design Network
  • How we can let our interior design reflect our authentic story, and create a home that feels both personal and chic
  • Thom and Carson’s design idols, and the last book they each read
  • More about Thom’s Home Collection, featuring wall covering, furniture, drapery and much more
  • The story of how Thom modernized a family heirloom painting in his New York place
  • The best bargains of their lifetime, from cars to accessories and just how dedicated they are about getting that great deal
Carson Kressley's new show Couched on The Design Network

On the set of Carson’s new show Couch on the Design Network

Decorating Dilemma

Hi Ladies,

I love the podcast and am always learning something new from you ladies and your fabulous guests.

I’m hoping you can help me with my breakfast nook.

The space is 9 1/2 feet x 6 feet. It is open to the kitchen on one side, with windows that look out to our backyard on the other three sides. I currently have a table that is 5 feet x 2 1/2 feet, and is not a good fit in the space.  My husband and I sit at the ends and are constantly having to scoot in to let one of our children out so they can get this or that.

So, I’m thinking about adding a banquette along the 9 1/2 foot wall. I’d switch to a round table with 4 chairs on the non banquette sides. I’d like to add a light fixture as well.

Is my space big enough for this arrangement? How large of a table could I fit in this space? I need to seat 6. The overall vibe I’m going for is casual coastal. Suggestions for a table, chairs and a light fixture are all welcome, as are alternatives if my banquette dreams cannot come true.

I’ve included pictures of my space currently, along with an inspiration photo of the banquette and round table combination.

Thanks for your help,


We think you would be better off putting the window treatments up above the windows, so they aren’t covering the view and this will create more fabric and texture. Also, a banquette that turns the corner in a L shape, and then you can have the 3 chairs around the side. A cluster of three giant sea grass orbs would give a coastal vibe.

Hello Ladies,

We love your Podcast and Ballard Designs; we are addicted!

Attached are pictures of my daughter’s condo in San Jose, CA. She has yellowish bamboo floors and blue/gray Behr Sonic Silver paint on the walls. It is one open room measuring 13.5’ x 24’ from black granite kitchen counter to white floor to ceiling shutters. The shutters are west facing so get afternoon light. Two sofas: one gray and one cream – cream one serves as a guest bed/trundle, two turquoise and white barrel chairs and navy blue velvet dining chairs. Her decorating dilemmas are:

  1. Should she ground the dining space with a rug and if so what size/shape/color/pattern?
  2. What color/size/style end chairs should she get for the dining table to be with the navy velvet?
  3. She will eventually be mounting the TV on the wall to the left of the shutters (where cable box is) any suggestions for furniture placement then?
  4. She loves the Toulouse open shelving to replace the white shelves she has. Any ideas there…
  5. She would be grateful for ANY of your expertise on spicing up her space. New paint/fabric/pillows/furniture/accessories etc…

Keep the shows coming! We love listening to you and all your guests!

Thank you!

Denise and Lauren

A round dining table by the windows would look great, and we would love to see the living room centralized. One big room for the living room would look great, and some head chairs with blue in it, or a slip covered high back upholstered chair would look great as well. Mount the TV on the wall, and a pretty painting behind the sofa is a great way to pop the light and add some chicness.

Mentioned In This Episode:

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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.