Podcast, Ep. 260 Best Ways to Make a Room Look Finished with Jenna Gross

Designer Jenna Gross

Designer Jenna Gross

Today we are joined by Jenna Gross. Jenna is the founder of Colordrunk Designs here in Atlanta. Jenna grew up in the design business spending countless hours surrounded by textiles at her family’s antique and upholstery shops. After working in the fashion industry with Marc Jacobs, Jenna turned her attention to interior design. Today she serves up masterful mixes of pattern and color concocting designs that are refreshing from start to finish. Jenna gives us all of her tips on creating a finished look in a room; everything from drapery, lighting, rugs, and–you guessed it–color!

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • What sets designer rooms apart from DIY rooms.
  • What timeline should people expect to achieve a fully finished look?
  • Jenna’s tips for choosing and hanging drapery.
  • How to get your lighting just right using different layers, lamps, and even can lights!
  • When to have pairs and when to have singles when you decorate.
  • Jenna’s advice for getting a rug that’s just right for the space in terms of size, texture, layering, and more.
  • How small details can pull together a room and allow for more customization.
  • How does Jenna like to use color on wood and millwork?
  • How can people with more neutral palettes in their rooms start to incorporate color?
  • What are Jenna’s thoughts on having to match various sources of color in the room?
  • We got to join Jenna at her Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle Showhouse room; inspired largely by vacation.

Decorating Dilemma

Hi Ballard Team,

I’ve been listening to the podcast for a couple years now and absolutely love it – thank you for such a wonderful resource!!

Now for my design dilemma. I have a “bonus room” downstairs that I am planning to convert to an office with a Murphy bed to pull down as needed for the occasional guest. Here’s where things get tricky. I have always loved rooms that pick a fun color and paint ALL of the woodwork, including baseboards, window trim, etc. I’d like to do that in this room with a fun wallpaper on top. I am considering Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay paint for the color.

  • What should I do about the plantation shutters?
  • Should I paint the shutters Oyster Bay or leave them white?
  • Thoughts on lacquer?
  • Should I stick to a more matte paint?

HELP! Please and thank you.


Hi Amy,

It sounds like you want a really fun space. We say if you want to paint the plantation shutters, paint them how you want to see them in your space. We think you should definitely choose a fun wallpaper. If you decide you don’t like the plantation shutters, you can always take them down and do a fun Roman shade. Some of us really hate the plantation shutters (hint: Caroline) and are in favor of taking them off! As far as lacquer goes, you could do that or you could just do a high-gloss; we definitely wouldn’t do a matte. Have fun and make it as dramatic as possible because that seems to be what you’re really aiming for! We would say the Oyster Bay paint color is more of a neutral than anything bold, so it would be nice to use in the whole space. However, if you haven’t picked your wallpaper yet and you definitely want to use one, we would wait to pull a color from there. We would also paint the ceiling too!

We are excited for you! We think it’s going to look great and would love to see the after photos!

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.