Podcast, Ep. 134: Quiet Rooms with Rachel Cannon

Interior designer Rachel Cannon and host of the podcast Loudmouth Introvert talks quiet rooms and design in the time of quarantine

Photo: Jessie Preza

Interior designer Rachel Cannon is a self described Loudmouth Introvert, hence the name of her podcast about being a successful, introverted entrepreneur. She returns to the show to discuss exactly what a loudmouth introvert is, the importance of having a quiet room or space in the house, and why introverts need a space like this for their rest and rejuvenation. Rachel gives some tips on setting up a quiet space and how we can begin right away with our schedules now being pointed more towards home.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode

  • What a “Loudmouth Introvert” means to Rachel, and why our assumptions about introvert and extrovert aren’t always right.
  • How the Loudmouth Introvert podcast was born, and the epiphany she had that the more she designed her show for introverts like herself, the more traction the episodes got.
  • The importance of introverts being able to have a quiet room and space to recharge themselves and take care of their mental health.
  • There are no design rules when it comes to a quiet room, just a separate space that is soothing and comforting.
  • What features Rachel designed in her quiet room that serve to provide relaxation and deep focus.
  • Tips for setting up a successful work from home space, which we all need as we stay home for the next several months.
  • Yes, we do have a “Zen Den” at Ballard where employees can go in and have a quiet moment themselves.

With all this talk about Quiet Rooms, we asked Rachel to design her own dream Quiet Room. See everything she chose below and why.

  1. Larkin Upholstered Chaise in Canvas Petal Sunbrella: In my Quiet Room, I want to be able to relax, but I don’t necessarily want to get in bed. I love to curl up with a good book, and a chaise lounge is perfect for recharging with a power nap or a great novel.
  2. Anza Handtufted Rug: I use area rugs anywhere and everywhere I can – even on top of carpet. The texture that a rug like this adds to a room is not only cozy, but it also helps to dampen sound.
  3. Stella Bookcase: A Quiet Room is the perfect place to put all of your favorite books, even the ones not “pretty enough” for the living room coffee table. I envision this bookcase as a pair in my Quiet Room, styled with my favorite books, objects, and items. It’s the perfect place to display what you love.
  4. Emeline Side Table: Because I like to counter all of the soft textures in a room, I love this table’s glam mirrored shelves and graceful lines. I’m not big on lots of wood tones in rooms, and using metal is a great way to introduce a little sparkle into the space.
  5. Julian Apothecary Floor Lamp: You can’t read without good lighting. I love an apothecary lamp for over-the-shoulder lighting, and this one feels like it could have been found at a vintage store.
  6. Margaret Desk: On the rare occasion I need to use my Quiet Room to work, I want to be able to sit at a beautiful desk while I cross off my to-do list. The interesting details on the front of this desk remind me of one I had when I was growing up.
  7. Camelback Parsons Chair in Canvas Petal Sunbrella with Welt and Kickpleat in Decor Mink Sunbrella: Since the rug is the start of this show, and I want the room to also “feel” quiet, I chose to use the same fabric on my desk chair, but I dressed it up by choosing a contrasting welt and kick pleat fabric. Layers are what make a room interesting, so don’t skip the details!
  8. Suzanne Kasler Gourd Lamp in Blush: I have a special place in my heart for a gourd lamp. They are so versatile, and they are real powerhouses when it comes to tying your color story together throughout a space. Plus, the shape is soft, which reiterates the notion of serenity.
  9. City Stroll Sketch Prints: A collection of artwork is crucial in a Quiet Room! It should be things you love, or that remind you of places you’ve been, experiences you’ve had, and people you love. This series reminds me of Florence, Italy, where artists sketch and watercolor their city.
  10. Summer Bamboo Throw: I’m never without a cozy blanket – even in the summer! If I’m really going to let my Quiet Room help me restore my mental and emotional wellbeing, you better believe I’m going to be wrapped up like a burrito!

Decorating Dilemmas:


I just love your podcast!  It keeps me company while I clean the house and as I’m cleaning it gives me ideas to improve my home.  Thank you for giving me the courage to consider changing things up! 

Here’s my decorating dilemma – We just moved to this gorgeous home in North Atlanta in June.  The dilemma room is our family room.  When you walk in the front door there is an entry way and you walk down two steps to find my dilemma room to the right, the dining room straight ahead, and the kitchen to the left.  It’s one big space with lots of large windows and doors.  And to the right of the entry is this dilemma family room.  As you can see in the last pictures — to the left of the fireplace is this archway and I can not for the life of me figure out what to put there.  So far I’ve left the fireplace tools.  I’ve tried a potted plant but they don’t get enough light inside the archway.  The plants I’ve placed on the floor in that corner are struggling.  We have another archway on the back porch right to the left of this room and that’s where we store our firewood.  I wouldn’t want to bring the firewood inside.  Each side of the room has 6 doors – only the middle two on each side open. 

Now to add our furniture – I changed the chandelier in the entry. The secretary desk in the entry was the first item I tried to put in the corner of my dilemma.  It covered most of the archway but was so unbalanced in the room.  I had this large secretary desk on one side and on the other a walkway.  It just felt wrong.  So there’s my dilemma – what to do with that archway.  Please ignore the dog hair and dog bed – we are dog people.  In fact, I am part of the Atlanta puppy raiser group for Southeastern Guide Dogs – best volunteer job every to raise a puppy and change a life! But back on track – archway suggestions please and any other ideas I’d love to hear them!

Thanks ladies! 

What a beautiful room! It’s really about filling it up with texture and getting the right proportion down. We feel as though getting some decorative Birch logs in there would look beautiful and add some raw texture to fill up the room. Since the room is so large, you could probably keep the rug and get a big natural fiber rug underneath it, and when you are ready, get a larger couch. Some drapes and a bigger rug would also help fill up the room. Thank you and be sure to send us the after photos!

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


    April 6, 2020

    I loved this podcast. I am also an INFJ and so identify. I am also someone who hates the sound of swallowing next to them and persistent reparative sounds too. Sound can also be clutter and any type of clutter drives me crazy. Serenity, beauty and calm should be fundamental human rights !
    I love your podcast and so appreciate how natural you are and how your individual characters come through. I do get that you are professionals and do this podcast for Ballard. All in all I have the impression that Ballard, as a company is people orientated and I love that.
    I live in Austria and was wondering if your services extend as far as Europe ?
    You guys are great and please keep the conversation going. There is nothing frivolous about crating beauty, balance and harmony even if it is just at home .