Podcast, Ep. 189: Houston Week: designer Marie Flanigan

Interior designer and architect Marie Flanigan joins us for Houston Week to talk architect, texture, and more

Photo: Julie Soefer


It’s Houston Week! We are kicking it off with Houston-based designer Marie Flanigan. Marie is an award-winning interior designer and the author of The Beauty of Home. Her work has also been featured in publications such as Architectural Digest, ELLE décor, Vogue, Southern Living, Traditional Home, and more. We talk about Marie’s love of texture, fireplaces, breaking conventions, and the importance of how a space makes you feel.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • How Marie transitioned from her career in architecture to design.
  • Molding or no molding?
  • Marie’s love of using fireplaces as the focal point.
  • How to decide on a focal point in a room.
  • How lighting changes and affects design.
  • Marie’s guidelines for mixing materials, particularly wood.
  • Creating a flex space in the home using sliding doors.
  • All about a growing topic: home offices.
  • How Marie uses sconces.
  • A bedroom in the Telluride project.
  • How Marie likes to use sculptures and “found objects” as art.
  • What is so thrilling about tension in design?

Decorating Dilemma

Hi and happy holidays to my favorite podcasters!

My husband and I are new homeowners and my decorating dilemma is the fact that our dining room is also the entrance to our garage. I am trying to figure out how to create a functional mudroom-type area but also make it pretty to blend with the dining room furniture. Please help! And feel free to critique anything else that jumps out at you in my pics, I love to hear your advice and visions for the rooms you discuss 🙂 Thank you so much!

Caryn from Ohio

Hi Caryn,

The first thing I would do is come up with a way to make the dining room feel special. Add drapery, paneling throughout the room, and I definitely think it’s important to case the entry. One thing that casing does for rooms is it allows you to start and stop a wall finish. Then I would take a look at the architecture of the space to see if first I could recess the mud function into the wall and then be able to close it off with doors. That way when you are using the dining room, you could shut off the mess that accumulates in mudrooms. If that’s not possible, I would definitely go with the paneling idea and let the mudroom cabinets be an extension of that paneling so that it follows the same detail of molding on the cabinets. Just make sure you have doors in that area so you can “hide the mess”. You could perhaps lacquer the room or choose a fun color to paint all of the woodwork so that way the garage door just disappears, or you could even have the paneling go across the doors to hide it. Another thought is if you don’t use the dining room often, you could restyle the dining room table so it’s more of a round entryway table and you relocate the chairs to somewhere else while they aren’t in use. If you really want to embrace this as a more casual room, you could even do a built-in banquette under the windows and change from a round table to a square or rectangular table that would allow it to be pushed towards the corner more. Then you could use that bar cabinet for storage. A large area rug could also help to feel the space larger.

Good luck, Caryn!

Mentioned in This Episode:

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Happy Decorating!

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Caroline McDonald

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.

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