Podcast, Ep. 144: designer Keita Turner

Designer Keita Turner joins the podcast to talk design, art, and more

Photo: Edgar Scott

We kick off this week sharing our own personal tactics for creating the perfect work from home space, how command hooks can help in a variety of ways, and a site where you can see handsome men enjoying great books. Then, our guest Keita Turner, New York-based interior designer, joins the show. Keita talks with us about stepping out of your comfort zone, her aesthetic of mixing rustic with modern, rules for hanging art, and ways you can find what works for you and blend it together in a seamlessly clean and interesting way.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode:

  • Trials and triumphs featuring a beautiful painting with a floating frame, working without an office, the perfect place for a great houseplant, a water heater that won’t define us,
  • How effective command hooks and organizational trays can be to keep our spaces free and clear.
  • Keita shares how her background in mass-market fashion and high-pressure corporate work lead her to take classes and work for her mother in interior design.
  • How Keita’s mother’s style inspired her own, and ways that they are different in their personal approach.
  • How freelancing gave Keita the confidence to know that she could branch out on her own.
  • Keita’s motto: “don’t be afraid to do things that frighten you.”
  • Ways that we can mix things through travel and build a collection of pieces that are meaningful and beautiful to us personally.
  • The balance of nudging clients to go a certain design route and honoring their vision to courage their collection in a way that works for their ultimate goals.
  • The rules for hanging art, and what Keita continually sees people doing wrong!
  • What makes a great art handler, and why you may want to work with one.
  • How Keita is adapting to virtual presentations to still show the texture and composition of individual fabrics and swatches.

Decorating Dilemma:

Hey yall!

I LOVE the show and have been a fan since the start! Especially during this quarantine, it has been a fun listen to lighten the mood!

I have a design pickle that I need help on. There is a corner in my living room that drives me NUTS! I have put chairs, plants, baskets, tables…you name it in this spot and nothing seems to work.

Our house was built by a single guy 20 years ago and he laid it out to be all about the tv and the sound system AND Karen you will have my back on the CORD CRISIS. Its obnoxious how many wires and sockets and bright orange cords and control boxes need to be HIDDEN. It’s THE WORST.

I currently have an el cheapo recliner over there to appease my husband but it DOES NOT have to stay and a folding antique game table just bc…

The corner is next to the Ballard Slim Chadwick in Tuscan brown. A window is also in this corner and I have a neutral buffalo check drapery panel. The fireplace is on the other side of the window in a brown and neutral brick with large white mantle and the gold fireplace screen is a Ballard outlet deal. I do have art there but again it can be moved!
I do have a bird print set and mirror on the other side of the room so that’s the only thing I couldn’t repeat.

The rest of the room is a linen sofa, 2 spindle chairs, and the Ballard Felicity coffee table (my most favorite purchase EVER). An antique rug on top of a border sisal. My pillow fabrics are Schumacher by miles redd peacock aqua, and a ballard designs antelope needlepoint pillow.

Love the idea of a lamp, chair, somewhere to put a drink and maybe an ottoman or footstool to prop feet! TOTALLY open to fun print, color or even the Bunny Williams faux fiddle leaf fig tree! Yall are the experts!

I NEED HELP and ALL suggestions and ideas are SO APPRECIATED!

I’ve attached pics and measurements!

• 71 inches from Chadwick to corner.(Red)
• 65 inches from tip of Chadwick to tip of fireplace. (Purple)
• 60 inches from window wall to fireplace. (Blue)
• From the corner out towards to coffee table at a diagonal 65 inches (yellow) would be about as far as something could come out and be able to walk around.

Thank yall so much!


Lauren's living room corner

This is a good looking room, and you have done a great job of pulling it together thus far. The recliner and antique table can’t occupy that space, but we like the recliner so don’t want to see it go! You could find cabinets with doors that provide cord management. Adding some art and accessories with some black could add texture and depth, and the blue from the painting could also be used in a buffalo check pillow or another way to pop some color in. Some small tables could provide a place for drinks, and a nice floor lamp will add more lighting options. You have great style, so just a few final tweaks and you are good!

Mentioned In This Episode:

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

    danylle leeds

    June 3, 2020

    Love your podcast. May I have the Etsy site you guys mentioned on episode 144 for the fake rosemary topiaries?
    thank you so much!

    • Reply

      Abbey Nolte

      June 11, 2020

      Karen got hers from an Etsy shop called Gardenerscottage451. Here is a link to something very similar to what she got. Hers is only a single ball.