Podcast, Ep. 196: designer Melanie Turner

We are thrilled to welcome award-winning interior designer Melanie Turner, previously heard on Episode 10, back to the show! Melanie’s work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Veranda, Traditional Home, House Beautiful, and she just authored her first book Inviting Interiors: A Fresh Take on Beautiful Rooms. She is the founder of Atlanta-based Melanie Turner Interiors and has now launched a storefront in Montana. We talk about Melanie’s extremely varied style, her new book, her thoughts on colors, decorating with kids, putting a joyful spin on practicality, and so much more.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • All about Melanie’s new book Inviting Interiors: A Fresh Take on Beautiful Rooms.
  • Where does Melanie’s unique creativity come from?
  • How to have a house palette without being too matchy-matchy.
  • Utilizing everything in your home.
  • Pushing the boundaries with colors.
  • The misconceptions about a family home and decorating with kids in the house.
  • Making your house the most comfortable by thinking about how you live.
  • What’s a hot kitchen and a cold kitchen?
  • Melanie’s signature is often using distinctive art.
  • Back to Melanie’s kitchens!
  • Books are often the great divider with designers. What are Melanie’s thoughts?
  • What does Melanie think future color trends will be?
  • How to turn creature comforts into something that brings you joy.

Decorating Dilemma

Dear Caroline, Taryn, and Karen,

Hello, all the way from Athens, Greece! I hope you are all healthy and safe. Your podcast has kept me company and inspired me to engage with my surroundings and expect more from them. So, thank you <3

I am emailing you with a couple of updates—although I completely understand if you have given up on this annoying room.

a) My financial situation has changed, and I am now able to make some more changes if needed.

b) After 6 months of sleeping and working in this room, I am D-O-N-E with the idea of having super dark colours surrounding me. I feel suffocated. So, I’ve decided on Aegean Teal by Benjamin Moore for all of the walls (unless you have serious concerns about this?). Maybe I can paint the closet doors a different colour eventually if you advise me so. Your episode on how to pick paint with Fran Keenan was what inspired me to look for nuance. I love that Aegean Teal has some warmth and sweetness to it and it can be blue or green, depending on the light. After I decided on it I saw that it’s Benjamin Moore’s 2021 colour so I felt very accomplished. Seems like your podcast has unleashed at least some design instinct in me!

So, the questions in my first email still stand, but maybe a renewed version of them:

1) What would your timeline and task list look like for slowly “refreshing” a room?

2) What colours should serve as accents to create a warm and creative space (office chair, curtains, linen, decor, wall art)?

3) Do you have any recommendations for book storage? I dislike the shelves that I have now but can’t think of where to place a bookcase. I really like my books to be accessible. An idea my mother and I had was to empty one of the closets and re-work it to make it look like a bookcase. Maybe paint it a fun colour.

4) Any strong feelings about the layout considering I work here and have a lot of video calls?

And bonus 5) If I were to treat my closets as a “focal piece”, what would you recommend I do with them?

Thank you very very much and I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Sending all my love to you,


Hi Angeliki,

Since you said you are done with dark colors, I wouldn’t paint the room that color you have picked out. Although it’s beautiful, it’s very saturated and will make the room feel dark. I would go one to two shades lighter if you want to do a color and be sure to add some white. Otherwise, I would paint it white and look for that teal in an accent pillow, chair, or something else small. The other thing I would suggest is moving the furniture around. I think the bed right next to the door and closet makes the space feel cramped. I would put the bed opposite the wall of the closet, put the desk closest to the door, and the dresser closest to the window so now you have two nightstands where you can add two lights on either side. The bookcase should be on the left as you open the door. That will leave you a clean Zoom background for when you’re working at your desk. We’re going to send you this drawing to show you where to put things!

Another fun thing you could do would be to paint some of this furniture — properly! Be sure to sand so it doesn’t peel. If you end up painting the room white or ivory, then you could paint one of the pieces that teal you liked.

We would really love to see some after photos! Good luck and thanks for listening all the way from Greece!

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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.