Podcast, Ep. 294: Blending Past and Present with Mallory Mathison

Mallory Mathison, Interior Designer

We catch up this week with Atlanta-based designer Mallory Mathison, who blends the classical richness of the past with endless design possibilities for today. Mallory’s work has been featured in Southern Homes, Atlanta Homes, and most recently in the 2022 Flower Magazine Show House here in Atlanta. We talked with Mallory about how much we loved her room, and the steps she took to create a glowy, gilded garden room. Mallory shares what she loves about showrooms, and shares a few key pieces of wisdom to make your space classic and comfortable, and always ready for the perfect party.

Mallory Mathison’s “Home for the Holidays” 2020 Showhouse

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Mallory’s process of creating a character-driven showroom.
  • How Mallory chose warm glittery glowy lighting and the perfect pink in her Show House room.
  • How did Mallory hang her mirror in the show house on top of the beautiful fabric over a daybed?
  • How do we make our bars look amazing and what can we do to be always party ready?
  • The importance of staying on the good side of a contractor.
  • Wicker is like comfort food for the home.
  • How to use brackets in different ways.
  • Where Mallory starts with color on a project.
  • Tips for framing and creating a beautiful eye-catching gallery wall.

Decorating Dilemma:

Hi ladies!

I am submitting my dilemma for consideration and have framed out a couple direct Qs that may make it easier. So here’s my dilemma – the kitchen!

Background: We purchased a 100 year old craftsman home. I’d say our overall style leans a bit modern, but with a traditional emphasis to help honor the home’s history and built-in character. This is not our forever home, but the kitchen definitely needs an upgrade…

It’s a fairly small space with a funky layout including a half bath, a built in booth and a door leading to the basement (opposite the fridge). At first, I thought the booth would be the first thing to go, replacing it with some sort of pantry/shelving situation, but it’s become a highly used area of the house that I’m not sure I want to lose.

I also totally dislike that the powder bath is in the kitchen, but it’s the only one on the main floor and I’m not prepared to lose that.

As far as cosmetics, while it’s charming in a vintage Airbnb type way, it all has to go. Rather than replacing the (mostly) original cabinetry, I like the idea of painting them since they’ve been previously painted already.

  • My dining room next to the kitchen is a deep purple with white bead board, what color would you recommend in the kitchen for a neutral but warm wall/trim color that coordinates?
  • I love a grey/green color for the cabinets, what are your thoughts?
  • I’d like to do tile flooring, something unique but traditional to mirror the history of the home, any ideas?
  • I like the idea of making the built in booth area a statement piece, but not sure where to start. What are your thoughts on the fabric for booth and window?

Thank you for considering my dilemma!

– Lauren


First off, what a cute kitchen! Mallory suggests really leaning into the historic nature of your home, instead of trying to make it “modern” and making it something that it’s not. First, we can make it feel cleaner and brighter, and definitely more stylish. For the color, Mallory suggests a very light soft celery green or green that has a bit more of a yellow base than a blue base. That’s going to complement the purple tones much better than something that has a blue base. Check out Benjamin Moore’s “Stolen Moments 477”.

You can also add crown molding that’s appropriate to the house in the kitchen. On the walls, Mallory suggests an eggshell so you have reflectivity. In your little charming breakfast nook, we think you should use the Margo Hanging Shade Light Fixture and for flooring, check out American Restoration Tile.

If you are needing to prioritize things, first do the lighting and then paint the cabinets. Thanks for writing in, and keep us posted!

Mentioned in This Episode:

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

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Kelley Bostian

Kelley enjoys a light and livable home decor and is always searching for that "finishing touch" antique piece he can never seem to find. Here on How to Decorate, it's his goal to help you bring your own unique design vision to life.


  1. Reply


    February 6, 2023

    WOW! This was an great interview and a FABULOUSLY generous dilemma segment. I followed Mrs. Mallory immediately on IG.

    Thank you all and best wishes from CA

    • Reply

      Kelley Bostian

      February 14, 2023

      Glad to hear you enjoyed our interview with Mallory–It was such a treat to have her on the podcast, and I’m sure we’ll be inviting her back in the future.
      Happy Decorating,