Why I love this How to Decorate Podcast

So I’m an 80s child and lately we’ve discovered Apple Music for our iPhones. At Christmas, Terreeia and I treated ourselves to a new portable Bose stereo which, of course, are now wireless, and then we started creating Playlists on our phones.

I created an 80s playlist which I listened to for a while in my car, but then got sick of it pretty fast.

Raise your hand if you love ABBA? I used to be embarrassed that I still love their music so much, but I’m over it.

Anyway, last year when I was in Charlotte, my good friend Lisa Mende attended my Specify Colour with Confidence workshop, (she wrote about it here on her blog).

Lisa is a maven and a great connector! She knows everyone and she has the kind of personality that makes you just want to be in her space no matter where it is. She has also decorated some amazing show houses, here’s one of her rooms:

Then, during her interview with the three gals at Ballard (below), she mentioned my Understanding Undertones System and how along with using my Large Paint Samples, they practically choose the colour for you.

After conducting thousands of colour consultations, where I first discovered the three undertones of beige and then as time passed, all nine undertones, which now complete my colour wheel, I noticed that I used the same collection of neutrals over and over again.

That’s why you pretty much need just the 50 in my Core Collection, the bonus collection is the VIP collection which includes many of the most popular greens and blues. None of these colours have been randomly selected, they have been carefully curated over years of working with colour.

Anyway, I even received a direct message on my Instagram from a designer in Vancouver who said, Maria, I knew you were famous but now you’re really famous because Lisa Mende is gushing about you on her podcast with Ballard. Listen to the podcast here.

And stay tuned, when I get to Atlanta for one of my workshops in October, Karen, Taryn and Caroline will be interviewing me for the podcast! Then I’ll really be famous, hooray!

Anyway, That’s when I started listening to podcasts in earnest, while driving.

The problem with video is that it needs your full attention, there are so many videos that go unwatched sitting in my emails.

Podcasts are a multi-tasking medium. You can even listen to podcasts while doing your housework.

The only issue with listening while driving, is that I find myself looking up furniture they are talking about or even some design terms I don’t know at stoplights – eeeek.

When Miles Redd talked about decorating his parents house and how he switched out his Mom’s lampshades to Empire shades, I was like, Whaaaat? In all my years of decorating, I’ve never heard of this shape referred to as an empire shade. He says he prefers Empire shades to drum shades which are more modern. So in case you don’t know either, here they are:

Glass Urn Table Lamp | Casa Florentina Table Lamp

I’ve suddenly become a big fan of Ballard furniture listening to all these podcasts as well. My shopping list is getting long. (I hope Terreeia is not reading this)

When Suzanne Kasler talked about her outdoor collection with Ballard along with her best-selling indoor/outdoor Campaign chair, I screeched to a halt to find it on my phone:

Campaign Chair

Sometimes I get asked what dining set should replace one that looks like this:

In case you have something similar and are looking for an upgrade, this one from Suzanne Kasler is the one:

Suzanne Kasler

Then, when Ballard’s bedding expert Beth Mars Dean talked about the preparation that it took to gt a bed ready for a photo (minimum half a day) I felt validated because that’s how long my fabulous assistant Kelly Parkinson took to iron all the bedding for a photo shoot we did in May (below).

Beds are really hard to photograph.

Here you can see a sneak peek of the laundry room I designed for this house (above). And here’s a sneak peek of the bed:

Pretty wrinkle free don’t you think? Thank you Kelly!

Crystal Hasell’s home (Studio Director and Owner of Studio B, follow her here on Instagram)

See the bed above? Beth says she covers her mattress in duvets FIRST before she does anything else. Minimum two sometimes three duvet’s depending on how thin the mattress is.

Look closely at the mattress above? See how poufy it is? And she says she uses two flat sheets, you can see that the flat sheet has been draped on top of the fitted sheet for the final shot.

When I heard that on the podcast, I laughed because it’s the very reason this photo (below) did not make it into my portfolio when I had this project photographed last year.


It looks like I strictly have a flat sheet on top of the bed because that’s exactly what it was. The duvet cover looked better folded on top of the bed and it worked for this shot (below). But not for this photo (above).

Interior Design and Styling by Maria Killam

My favourite conversation was when they talked about how many people make their bed everyday?

When they conducted a poll with their podcast listeners, the percentage of people who made their bed every day, was very high (I think it was around 80%) but listeners of a decorating podcast, care about decorating.

If you care about design and decor but you don’t make your bed, then all is lost one of them said, haha. And it’s true, I’m the one who cares, so I make the bed every morning (below).

Maria’s Master bedroom (see my full house tour here)

Why have a room that looks like it’s right out of the Four Seasons if you don’t even make the bed? That is exactly right!

Let us know if you make your bed every day!

And now that we are on the topic of beds, I am on the hunt for sheets that feel like some of the hotels we stay in.

Crisp yet soft? How much do you have to pay? This is what I’m wondering. I already know that thread count is not all it’s cracked up to be. I once bought some sheets with a very high thread count that instantly pilled.

I’d love your opinion!

Related posts:

 How to Work with Bedroom Carpet You Don’t Like

How to Specify Colour in a Bedroom or Closet

5 Ways to Transform your Bedroom Right Now



leave aREPLY

  1. I checked the fabric content on sheets I liked at a few hotels and they were all Cotton/Poly. For crisp and cool I prefer Target Room Essentials or Threshold cotton/poly over the more expensive high thread count cotton. Percale will give you cooler sheets but they need washing for quite a while before they soften.

  2. I make my bed every day and I need new sheet too so I will be reading all the comments! Maria, you’re awesome. Thanks for blogging!

  3. I love love love a well made bed. Every morning I make my bed and enjoy it, including the fluffing of my duvet and all 10 pillows that adorn my bed. I have a bit of a pillow issue, but who doesn’t love a good pillow!?!? Hahaha I’ve finally found the best sheets for me after going through so many various brands. Hands down, Pine Cone Hill Classic Hemstitsch 100% cotton. I love the cool crisp feel If them. Feels so luxurious!

  4. Hi Maria! I love my Eileen Fisher washed linen sheets from Garnet Hill!! Get them on sale when they have free shipping and you’ll save a bunch!

  5. Thanks for the great article on decorating podcasts! I have always made my bed every day, as I love the feeling of coming into the bedroom and seeing it looking pretty. (And my mother taught us to do this!)
    Three weeks ago, I ordered deluxe percale cotton sheets from Au Lit Fine Linens in Toronto. The sheets are smooth, cool and crisp. They have a great selection of colours and I chose white! I live in Canada so the delivery was quick. Your blog is so interesting and well-written and I love the photos!

  6. I like Bloomingdales house brand sheets Hudson Park. 100 percent cotton, thin and cool. I don’t think thread count is crazt high (just regular high) but I have been burned by high thread count before (heavy and hot sheets). Buy Hudson Park on sale only. . January white or 4th for best deals.

  7. Just heard a commercial for Boll and Branch sheets that piqued my curiosity. It said 3 US presidents use these sheets. I’m sure they’re pricey since they were offering $50 off and free shipping.

  8. I love a well made bad too! I try my absolute best every day to get it done, even if it’s at 4 in the afternoon. It can sometimes be a challenge with a one year old but it absolutely makes a difference with how your room looks, and even how you go about your day. More effort right from the start!

    And, good to know that in photos the beds have a million different items on them to make them look so puffy and cozy. I’ve always wondered how their bed photos looked so awesome, and mine look so bleh.

  9. Maria, First of all I want to congratulate you on your upcoming notoriety! We already thought you were famous. I never listen to podcasts but now I will!

    Such interesting subjects on your blog. I love them! As far as making your bed every day, I just do it out of habit. I love looking into my room and thinking it looks more like a designer put it together! As far as sheets I am not a brand snob and have always bought “no iron” sheets. I do like the bamboo sheets and want to try them. I go by the hand of the fabric and not the thread count.

    P.S. Excuse my other post because my computer acted up. Sorry!

  10. Check out roughlinen.com they have the most amazing linen sheets, nothing else compares. They also sell amazing linen pinafores which are great for cooking and gardening.

  11. Sferra make lovely sheets – but they are quite expensive. I’ve had a set for years and years but the still look good. I always make my bed – but you’ve got to leave it to air for a while – so get ready to go to work and make it before you leave. My friend always rips the duvet off the bed as soon as she gets up to let the bed air because she says bed bugs like a nice warm damp place to be!

  12. I think one of your True Colour Experts, Laurel Bern, talks about the perfect machine for pressing linens: the mangle. Maybe you need one? 😉

  13. Hi, Maria…Wasn’t that nice, what Lisa Mende said on the podcast! I think she has taken you another step closer, to your dreams! Great post, as usual!!! Love ya! 🙂

  14. ‘Old habits die hard’ so to answer your question; yes have always made my bed upon rising. As for the question of sheets; excellent point Maria about their high thread count not necessarily being ‘as cracked up to what its suppose to be’ as IMHO there are other factors to take into consideration namely being ‘how the sheets are weaved’ (weft and warp) plus the ‘quality’ (properties and performance) of the fiberS used in their manufacturing which come under the umbrella of natural or man-made.
    P.S.: Congrats on your upcoming podcast interview!

  15. I like old fashioned sheets that are 100% cotton and kind of crunchy. They’re the “comfort food” of sheets!

  16. To keep dust mites down, I leave my bed unmade for a few hours – and then make it. No matter what, it’s made before company or bedtime. If for some reason it isn’t made by bedtime, I have to make it before crawling in. Just can’t stand getting into an unmade, messy bed and my (allergy encased) down pillows have to be fluffed up and ready so I can just sink into them.

    So glad you asked about sheets! I’m taking notes on all these answers for my next set! My best sheets at the moment are also a set of older solid white percale sheets I received from my mother. Already softened, no pilling, fitted elastic still fine, no wrinkling, no sign of thinning, very cool and comfortable. Practically indestructible. They keep outlasting everything else I’ve tried – and they do feel nice. (Note to younger people – this might not apply to you – I’m a 50’s child with no idea when she bought them.)

  17. As an Australian, living on an island with a considerably smaller population than the continent of North America, choice here is far more limited. That’s why your posts are so enlightening Maria. In the global world you and your readers alert me to so many products. It’s always interesting to glean information: who knew thread count wasn’t the most important issue with sheets; or that there are drum and empire shaped lampshades? I look forward to listening to the Bollard podcasts, particularly the one featuring you.
    Because I like to live in an environment with colour – I tend very much to the yellows, greens and coral/terracotta warm shades I always find your decorating sensibility strikes a chord with me.
    Thanks so much for asking your followers about all kinds of things, such a wealth of knowledge is collected here.
    I always recommend your sight to my friends and co-workers when the subject of decorating comes up. You’ve got it naked in such a friendly and honest way.

  18. Shopping at Harrods in London about 10 years ago I was drooling over a set pf Frette sheets, so beautiful and luxurious, but, alas, wildly out of my price range. As I left the store my husband asked me why didn’t I buy anything, as we had promised ourselves we would each splurge on something for ourselves on the trip. When I told him how much just the shams would have cost, including the tax and dollar exchange, he just laughed. When he returned to London on business later that year, he pranced into Harrods and bought me not only the sheet set and shams, but the matching duvet cover as well, and presented this incredible gift to me upon his return. needless to say those sheets haven’t left our bed in over 10 years (except to get washed of course!!) They are the most beautiful thing I have ever felt against my skin, and have only gotten more soft with age. I’m not sure what the entire cost was but I’m guessing close to $1200.00 Can.

  19. Hi Maria,

    I recently purchased Thomas Lee sheets and love them! The color choices are limited, but they are extremely well made and comfortable.

    Great post!

  20. Maria, I’m one of those folk who do not make their bed everyday! Sometimes, but not always, and the reason is because sometimes I like to take a nap, and it’s easier just to crawl back in.
    Now as to sheets, let me tell you. I have been on the search for months. I bought linen sheets last year from Restoration Hardware, and initially I adored them, but they wore out (I mean thin areas and holes) very quickly! They weren’t cheap, so I was terribly disappointed! I mean, I have 20 year old Ralph Lauren sheets that are still in great condition, but they don’t fit my thicker mattress. So I went back to the search. I bought several brands, and they pilled, or didn’t launder or wear well. Ultimately, I chose RedLand Cotton sheets (redlandcotton.com) because they’re made locally from locally grown cotton. They sleep beautifully. I have a sheet from the 1920s, and this is how RedLand’s sheets feel; soft but sturdy. I HIGHLY recommend. The other sheets I would recommend are by Rough Linen (RoughLinen.com). Tricia’s linen is exquisite and representative of old linens from Europe. They’re pricier than RedLand Cotton but if you have the budget, go for it.

  21. The great thing about iPhones (and the Apple Watch), is you can have Siri do so many things for you. Instead of looking up something at a traffic light (guilty here too), is that you can just briefly pause the podcast and summons Siri to make a “reminder” for you to look up your information at a more convenient (and safer) time. I love listening to podcasts and Ted talks, and audiobooks while driving or cleaning. I feel like I’m accomplishing more. I can’t wait to see what the world of AI will bring us next.

  22. I love my new Brooklinen sheets! They are lovely crisp sheets in some nice patterns. They cost about $100 for the basic set of queen size. Order online.

  23. I love these sheets: Mezzati 1800 Thread Count Brushed Microfiber Prestige Collection Luxury Bed Sheets Set, Queen, White.

    They are not expensive and are on amazon. They are very comfortable and the best part is that if you get sweaty in the middle of the night (hello, perimenopause!) the sheets are not sweaty! Well, you still are, but the sheets aren’t. I LOVE them.

  24. Bed made. Daily. A Navy SEAL said something about starting your day with a task well done (very loose paraphrase) and it was about making your bed. Same reason I clean the kitchen all the time, I love walking into a room and having it be ready to go!

    My down duvet is in a woven cotton cover or a flannel cover depending on the season. Flip it over the sheets, then ten seconds to arrange pillows (four that I sleep with and two that I don’t) and I’m done… and the casual slightly-mussed result feels cozy and happy every time.

  25. Maria,
    It’s me, Caroline, from the podcast!! You are too sweet! Thank you so much for listening!! I am seriously looking forward to quizzing you about color in October. Can’t wait! See you soon!