Podcast, Ep. 166 Nashville Week: Laura Thurman

Laura Thurman How to Decorate


To celebrate the opening of our new Nashville store, this week we’re featuring 5 episodes with some of the best interior designers in Nashville. In today’s episode, we sit down with interior design expert Laura Thurman of Thurman Design Studio based in Nashville, Tennessee. We chat about how to handle bold, fall colors as well as having pieces of furniture in your living space that create a splash. We also discuss how to balance decor pieces that you may have picked up from different parts of the world with decor pieces that you already have.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Laura’s take on the “modern” style and what it means to her.
  • How important it is to educate clients on the design process, because most of the time, inspiration comes from education.
  • How to not be afraid of bold, non-traditionally neutral colors and how to incorporate them into your fall decor.
  • How Laura takes an outdated house and gives it a much more modern approach without tons of major renovations.
  • How to utilize gallery walls in your space, and what goes into creating a good one!
  • How your personality and interests should shine through when it comes to the design of your house, just like in Laura’s Cherokee Soul project.
  • Design tips for when you have a bold-colored piece of furniture.
  • The importance of balancing new and older or collected decor pieces to keep a modern feel to your space.
  • How to have a balance of scale and not have your space feel too cluttered while allowing your eyes to rest in certain areas.
  • The three design elements that can spruce up a neutral color palette in a space.
  • The importance of designing a fabulous powder room.
  • How to decorate a foyer and give some advice on how to incorporate patterns, coffee tables, and faux plants!

Decorating Dilemma

Hello Beautiful Ladies of Ballard!
Caroline, Taryn and Karen- to say I love your podcast would be a gross understatement. Obsessed would be a more accurate description. Since discovering it last month I have been binge listening; my husband thinks I’m crazy. How it took me so long to find the podcast is beyond me, I have been a lover of all things design since I was little and a lover and customer of Ballard for many, many years. You all have seriously kept me sane since I am now home full time due to Covid with my boys who are 2 and a half an 1 and a half. Fun/crazy fact they we born exactly 366 days apart.
 Anyhow, since listening to and becoming inspired by the podcast I have been wanting to change up my space a little and would love your opinions and help with my foyer. We live in Greenville SC, my home newer construction and is is an open concept with mostly blues and greens throughout the main living area. I hope to have more of less of an open concept with our next home, it’s hard to keep it looking nice when you can see everything! My husband recently opened a Pediatric Dental office and we have leftover paint from the office in colors that we picked out and love: Wedgewood Grey (more blue then grey) and Hail Navy both by Benjamin Moore. My question is, should I paint just the wall behind the entry table, or the entire foyer the same color? Which color do you think would look better? I have attached a photo of his office with the colors for reference. Since the home is open concept I have included photos of the other rooms that can be seen from the foyer and visa versa. I think it is important to note that our home is on the smaller side and that our downstairs is around 900 square feet total. The only other rooms not pictured downstairs is the half bath and the playroom/office.

 Also, any other design advice for the rest of the home would be greatly appreciated! We are definitely on a budget since my husband just opened the office, but we plan on moving in the next two years and I want to make sure I enjoy this house to the fullest while I we here and also, make changes to appeal to potential buyers. Please and thank you!!!



Laura thinks you should paint the whole foyer! Because the walls are faceted, painting just one wall doesn’t seem practical, so go big or go home! When it comes to the rug, Laura thinks a big, round, patterned rug would be best because it would take up more floor space.You should also put the Wedgewood gray on the ceiling and stick to navy on the walls. Laura also doesn’t think the arches should be the same color as the foyer, especially if the arches are introducing a room that is a different color. For having two young kids, we’re all very impressed with how tidy your space is! Keep playing with some more patterns since your sofa and pillows are pretty solid, we recommend swapping out the solid pillows for some patterned ones. We also noticed you don’t have a coffee table and have two square ottomans instead, but we think a bigger, round ottoman would complement your space very well. You should also consider painting the mantle navy blue or a deep green! Some drapes in the dining area would help make everything look a little more cohesive. Some greenery or faux plants would also make your home feel more lived-in and can bring life to a space.

Mentioned In This Episode:

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Happy Decorating!

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Abbey Nolte

Abbey is a homegrown Georgia peach who loves a fresh take on Southern design. When she’s not working behind the scenes of the How to Decorate blog and podcast, you can find her cheering on the Appalachian State Mountaineers and spending time with her wheaten terrier, Charlie.