Podcast, Ep. 158: designer Katie Ridder

We kick off this week with some tree talk, then welcome our guest, interior designer Katie Ridder.  We couldn’t be more excited to talk with Katie about her new book, More Rooms, which is yummy beyond words, is loaded with color, and features exquisite details on every page. We talk with Katie about her bold choices, her love affair with custom banquettes, her advice on bedding, and how she counters colorful choices with colors and tones that blend together seamlessly.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode:

  • Trials and triumphs about a big plant overhaul, a much needed cushion deep cleaning, rotting plants, and spooky chic Halloween decor.
  • More behind the amazing details and bold statements of color featured in Katie’s work, how she dreams up all the details without it feeling too busy or overdone.
  • How she chooses color scheme and builds on it with all the colors, and why you need to just trust her when she mentions bringing in a brown couch.
  • Why she chooses quiet carpets when you have colorful carpet schemes.
  • More about her love affair with custom banquettes, and fun ways to add seating options for everyday living and entertaining in a home.
  • How to make a cozy study, especially now since so many of us are working from home.
  • Her advice on beds, low profile mattresses, and her choice of bedding.
  • What working with large publications such as House Beautiful and House and Garden opened her eye to different styles and learning about scale in person.
  • Katie’s advice for outdoor rooms, and how she has really gotten more into gardening during this time of quarantine.
  • Ways that we can make sure our furniture and design choices are in scale.

Decorating Dilemma:

Hello my favorite ladies! I have a dilemma!

My husband and I inherited an antique Persian rug and antique dining set from his mother. The rug and dining set were antiques when his parents bought them from an antiques dealer in New Orleans in the 1950’s. We had the rug cleaned and repaired recently and were told it is very valuable.

That doesn’t make me love it though. It is too large for the room as you can see. And the ragged, brown edges make me crazy! I know we need to get a new sectional (it looks awful with the rug) because our 17 year old red sofa is showing it’s age even though we have loved it all these years. It looked great on our saltillo tile! I was looking at recovering the sectional or buying a new one anyway before we got the rug.

So, do I keep the rug? I can’t seem to make it work. I thought about two matching a couches facing each other but then you would see the back of one right when you walk in the front door and totally not see the prettiest part of the rug, which is the middle. The middle is pink and blue. Two sofa’s would also make the rug “fit better” in the space. What color fabric do I use on the sofa/sectional? Light gray, dark gray, camel, navy blue? Do I get performance velvet? Help! I am really trying to embrace this rug because it has been in my husband’s family for a long time. He asked me to write you all to help us figure it out. I hate how it sticks out behind the sectional and has to go all the way under the TV console! I need to do something with the TV also. Maybe hang it on the wall and get rid of the black TV cupboard. Also, the dining set is so matchy matchy and as you can tell by the photo’s I am not that kind of decorator! Maybe some fun performance fabric (ideas?) on the chairs to make them pop!

Help me! Love Tuesday’s when you come into my home again!

Thank you,


Thank you for writing! Here are our suggestions: we don’t think the rug is too large. You can cut it down a little bit if you want, and it would not hurt the value too much. Katie agrees that your instinct to get rid of the cabinet under the TV is right, along with putting the TV on the wall. Check out some of our Ballard console tables to anchor the side of the room. Also, we would lacquer the chairs and use a performance fabric for the cushions.

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

    Cabby Flynn

    September 18, 2020

    How do I access this episode? There is no way that I can see to click into the podcast.

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      September 29, 2020

      Hi Cabby, the podcast player is in the post now. Are you able to see it?