Podcast, Ep. 272: How to Decorate Fearlessly with Drake/Anderson

Interior designer Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson join the podcast to discuss their new book, Bold

Designers Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson of Drake/Anderson; Photo: Brittany Ambridge

We are so thrilled to welcome award-winning design duo Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson of the design firm Drake/Anderson. Their iconic work has been featured in several issues of Shelter, on the AD100 List, ELLE DECOR’s A-List, and they’ve also received the highest awards and accolades in the industry. They are known for luxurious and sophisticated residential and commercial spaces that are fearless and bold. We discuss their new book,  Bold: The Interiors of Drake/Anderson, as well as their best tips for how to design fearlessly.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • How did they get started on the book and chose their projects?
  • The common thread throughout their book is that the contemporary work is informed by history and their traditional work also includes modern elements.
  • What is the thought process while blending the bold elements?
  • Where does the fearlessness come from?
  • How can others become more fearless?
  • Do they tend to influence their clients to be bolder or are bold clients drawn to Drake/Anderson?
  • How do you balance the room’s strength?
  • To achieve boldness, it’s important to be intentional with your choices.
  • With several statement pieces, how can you find balance?
  • Creating a visual with a board,PowerPoint, etc., can help tremendously in the planning process.
  • Often the element of surprise is what can make a space the most interesting.
  • What are Jamie and Caleb’s favorite projects from the book and why?
  • Why can unexpected colors work so well if used right?
  • More about the historic preservation project in London.

Decorating Dilemma:

Hello to my favorite podcast hosts!

I heard you need some dilemmas 😉

We built our house while Taryn was building hers, and at this point, my budget is sort of shot. Originally, I had grand plans, dreams of wallpaper or applied molding… but… $$$$. Your help would be greatly appreciated with our new entry. It’s all painted Benjamin Moore White Dove, so it looks slightly creamier in person. I’m including other photos so you can see “my Ballard” and the “”look”” I’m going for..

What should I do on each side of the front door?
What should I do going up the staircase?

I’m open to painting, DIY suggestions. Whatever you got! Tired of the blank walls.

Thank you again!

Hi Jamie,

Either side of the door should be easy to handle especially with resources from Ballard! I would do a stack of 3 related prints on each side; something that’s all related. This would give it scale and texture. I wouldn’t go any higher than the doorframe and maybe go down to about 24” above the floor. An interesting thing we’ve seen a client do, especially if you’re on a budget, is to frame wallpaper panels and make an art installation out of it. One idea for how to deal with the wall off to the right is to paint it; maybe pick two shades of green (we love Benjamin Moore). Then you could stencil something up the wall like a flower motif, birds that fly up, or anything that brings your eye up to the stairs. You could also do a collection of mirrors of different styles and sizes up the stairs; an orientation similar to a gallery wall. I would do a mix of Ballard mirrors and maybe some antiques. We love the Ballard drapes you have! Since you’re on a budget now, perhaps you could think about adding a runner up the stairs that adds even more softness down the road. If there is room near that skirted table, maybe you could also add a bench on the side of the stair. It’s always great to have a bench in an entryway. 

A great thing to remember while you’re on a budget is to be patient! Start small and do it over time; we call it “value engineering” to do small inexpensive things that add a big impact. Good luck, Jamie! Send us photos!

Mentioned in This Episode:

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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.