Dear Alice | Interior Design

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1034 reviews
This podcast has
145 episodes
Date created
Average duration
43 min.
Release period
7 days


Dear Alice is an Interior Design podcast brought to you by Jessica Bennett and Suzanne Hall, the spunky geniuses behind Alice Lane Interior Design. These two ladies break down the highest end of the design and interior fashion world through their beautiful lifestyle approach with a heaping dose of wit and taste.

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Answering Listener Questions | More Design Details for Our Listeners
Today we’re doing listener questions again because after looking at the data, it shows that these are your favorite podcast episodes. Whenever we answer your questions, everyone seems to tune in, so we always want to make sure we do this for you guys after saving up the questions until we have enough to do one of these. If you have a specific question you’d like answered on here, send in your question to Must have item for kitchen styling 2:16 Rug material for high traffic area 7:03 Best color and material for bathroom fixtures 10:11 If lighting is brass, should knobs be brass? 13:28 Vaulted vs coffered ceilings 22:34 Finding quality craftsmen 26:48 Elegant ceiling fan 31:58 How to elevate a cookie cutter or tracked home 35:53 Does Alice Lane offer design service for just one or two rooms? 40:29 Great vintage looking tile that is budget friendly 42:57 The most important thing to update when renovating a room 44:58 Making a shower curtain look chic 46:45 Pocket doors 48:43 Fabric 51:12 Can you put a mirror in the middle of a two window wall? 54:32 “So we have a service, it’s called ‘It’s Furniture Designers’ and it’s free. So you guys, they are going to choreograph and use everything from our showroom and inside of our warehouse that’s ready to go out, they know how to use our website. They just all have really, really gorgeous taste and they’re designers. A lot of them are graduated, they’re using AutoCAD and you’re gonna talk to them on the phone, send them your measurements, Pinterest pictures, and then they’re gonna lay out all the furniture.” 40:44 News Letter:
Answering Listener Questions | Next Time on Dear Alice
Pools | Best Design Choices and Layouts
Today we are going to be talking about pools and it’s Summer time, we’re all thinking about it, and some of you are planning them for your future homes, so we’re here to talk about everything we’ve learned and all that we can share with you from an interior designer’s perspective. There are a lot of questions we’ve had for different pools and price points, so we want to talk about the different types of pools, and then we get into the one we used most as designers for homeowners that want something really pretty and lovely. The limitations that may come with pools 2:55 Different types of pools 4:38 The anatomy of the pool 8:57 Salt water vs chlorine pools 11:40 Making above-ground pools look beautiful 13:57 Pool covers 19:04 Pool depth/child and safety 20:57 Stone and tile, patio material for cold weather 28:33 Black bottom pools 33:58 Hot tubs 37:44 Beach towels 39:54 “We did this one home down in St. George and they called it a spool… spool is for small pool, and it was just enough for them to get wet, for the kids when it’s so hot in Saint George, but they didn’t have a group of room back there. So spool is great, and he was also saying that where he lived he did a lap pool that was 70 feet by 5 feet, strictly for laps, but you can do a pool to whatever constraints you have land wise. You can get as big as you want, or as small as you want.” 16:25 News Letter:
Paloma Contreras Interview | Tips and Methods She Uses for Design
Today we’ve got Paloma Contreras who is an award winning interior designer and taste maker based in Houston Texas. Her design is a modern take on traditional style gravitating toward classic silhouettes and timeless pieces paired with a touch of glamour and an infusion of color. Paloma is highly decorated when it comes to being a designer. She’s in the Next Wave interior designer by House Beautiful and has been named on LUXE Magazine’s gold list, the ELLE Decor A List, and she has also been named number 4 on Forbes list of the Top Social Media influencers in the home category. Her book Dream, Design, Live 3:15 How she starts with people who are stumped 9:14 Kips Bay Showhouse 11:47 Paloma’s style 17:27 Sources of inspiration 20:03 Tried and true design advice 23:31 Being a teacher 26:07 What she’s learned from having a showroom 29:38 “You usually get about 2 and a half months from the time that you’re asked to participate until opening night and in this particular case of Palm Beach, we couple that with a pandemic and a global supply chain crisis and it’s not for the faint of heart, but I actually loved that part of it. I loved the challenge and having sort of the satisfaction at the end of it to think ‘OK guys, we pulled this off. We did it.’ And you know, that feels really great.” 14:38 @palomacontrerasdesign @shoppalomaandco News Letter:
Cabinets | Everything You Need to Know Part 2
Today is part two on cabinetry. We had 4 pages of questions from you guys and got tired the last episode and quit early, but today we wanted to try and be less wordy with these ones and get through them all as best we can. We talked about a whole plethora of things, such as what tones have become more popular, or what styles will stand the test of time, to which we answered that it depends on you. Know who you are and style so that things represent who you are. Refinishing and changing the style 2:36 Details to watch for 4:37 Affordability 7:46 A shift in tones 10:50 What style will stand the test of time? 15:15 Glass shelving vs wood and clear fronts vs solid 17:06 Lighting a cabinet 19:00 Design layout of the kitchen 20:44 Flat panel drawer fronts with shaker doors 26:35 Storage 27:33 Cabinet must haves 31:51 Island dos and don’ts 41:18 “A lot of homes that we do have what we call a show kitchen, which is the beautiful place that they spread their doordash on, or maybe they’re cooking and they just have this lovely party place, but then behind, like say you have your range wall, you’ll have a big pantry and it’s usually a bit more linear and you have other secondary appliances that you need if you’re like ‘I have to have another double oven,’ you might throw that in there. You’ll usually have another sink back there, you’ll have these spots.” 23:03 News Letter:
Party Pantry | A Perfect Place to Store All Your Fun Items
Many of you may be wondering what the party pantry is, which is why we have set aside a whole episode on it. We didn’t really feel like the party pantry had a name, but we felt like we were doing it even before and we first saw it on Veranda, which also goes by the name of party closet. In a word, it’s a place where you’re going to store all your things to party, such as your cake plates, tea pots, vases to put flowers in, napkin rings, birthday candles, table cloths, and things you’re actually excited to store and display. Where it came from 2:13 Creating a butler’s pantry for a client 8:08 The aroma kitchen 9:42 The butler’s pantry 13:07 Reconfiguring a client’s kitchen 15:41 Tiger oak’s pantry 18:01 A beautiful pantry we did 20:12 “I just think there’s something about going through and seeing your collections and seeing all your tea cups, and saucers, and travel little bits and pieces that you bring home in one place. A lot of times the butler’s pantry is in route from the kitchen to the dining room. That’s historically where you see that.” 13:36 News Letter:
Remaining Unique with Laura Kirar | Remarkable Design and Experiences
Laura Kirar is the founder and Creative Director at Laura Kirar Design (LKD). She is an internationally renowned interior & product designer as well as a sculptor, a design industry connector and a creative experience producer. She’s in every single highly published shelter magazine that we love, she’s an artist, she’s fun, and we got to hang out with her at Market this last Fall, 2021. You just get lost in the conversation because she just has so many great stories and is just a truly inspired individual. We’re so excited to share this great conversation we had with Laura for all our listeners to enjoy. Laura’s history 4:32 Her guesthouse boutique in Mexico 9:28 Travel and her process of working with someone in Mexico 15:31 The process of working with brands 22:27 Favorite era 32:34 Favorite icons and inspiration 34:31 “In a collection I think there’s always places for what I’ve always called the little black dress pieces, and then the jewelry pieces, and you always have to have the foundation pieces in a collection to make it work, but then the jewelry should be really exciting, it should be really uniquely original and memorable. They’re not just the things that the press grab onto, but eventually it’s just great designers, such as yourselves, say, ‘Yeah, let’s go for it. Let’s do that. That’s perfect for that client.’ So that’s what I see as a designer as my job is to push the boundaries, push the limits, and create something new.” 27:17 @laurakirar News Letter:
Cabinets | Everything You Need to Know Part 1
We’ve had so many questions about cabinets, so we have gone to some experts and done quite a bit of research in order to be able to answer the various questions you might have on this subject. The cost of cabinetry is speculated to be around 15-20% of the home, which is similar to what we recommend for furniture when people are willing to go all in and style their home to its fullest potential. The cabinet work and finish work are two separate things, which many may assume is the same worker, and then your sizing is typically going to be custom, being what we often push on this podcast. The cost of cabinetry 2:29 1960’s Colonial home and cabinet door profiles 5:31 Is your cabinet maker also the one to do the moldings? 15:06 What to expect from your cabinet maker 18:42 Sizing 22:37 Dimensions of drawers for pots and pans 26:56 Ideal height of sideboard/buffet and barstools 27:48 Color 30:34 Paint vs stain 33:31 Is white out? 37:16 Timeless wood stain and grain of wood 40:07 Should white cabinets match the trim color? 45:28 Backsplash, order of install 46:39 Refinishing and filling knots 48:28 “Somebody wanted to know, is your cabinet maker also the one to do the moldings? So these are like your door casings, your window casings, your crown molding, that paneling you’ve always dreamed of in your dining room. The answer is no, that’s your finish worker. You do need a finish work budget and you need a cabinet work budget, they’re two different things. Maybe in a small town he does both, but for the most part they’re different specialties.” 15:09 News Letter:
High Point Market Spring 2022 Recap | What Jess Experienced While There
We’re talking about one of our favorite topics, which is High Point Market. We’re gonna tell you all about it, answering the questions of what’s new, what’s the latest, and addressing concerns about making huge purchases like new furniture, which can cost a lot, so we’re here to answer your questions and give you the information you’re searching for. High Point is an entire city and all they do is furniture, so you have to know your lay of the land and have vendors with appointments and special buyer’s cards. It took us a while, but we’re finally good at it and want to share our experience with you. A consistent trend Jess saw 9:07 What space she felt the most at home in 17:51 What blew Jess away 23:51 A funny story at Market 30:43 What Jess bought for herself 37:10 “Do not ask me if you can buy them because then I’ll have to sell them to you because everything’s always for sale, but I do not want to sell them. They’re so beautiful… It’s one of the things that I purchased that I just love so much that really I’m like, ‘Please don’t buy it. I just want it to stay in the store forever, it gives it soul.’” 29:32 News Letter:
Interiors with Kara Mann | Smart Design Choices and Process
Today we’ve got a really fun guest with us who is a big hero and favorite of Susan’s and mine. Kara Mann is the founder and creative director of KARA MANN established in 2005 with offices in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Over the past fifteen years, she has acquired the reputation of a cultural vanguard for pushing the boundaries of tradition. Her impactful, refined interiors draw inspiration from a myriad of creative fields including art, architecture, and fashion, where Mann began her career. Join us in this episode to listen to our discussion about Kara’s design process and some of her favorite design choices. How Kara started 1:45 Kept 6:22 Leather Collection 9:41 From where Kara draws inspiration 16:08 Travel and books 21:18 What scent she’s crushing over now 23:59 What influenced her to get to her point of view 24:42 Her design process 26:14 Favorite piece she’s designed 29:07 Defining luxury 38:28 “I like to dialogue with my client a lot to get to understand who they are and what they are, and I always say you have to pull some references for me. And if they don’t have references, I’m like, ‘Here’s a second magazine, look at this thing and pull some images.’ Because I wanna know what they see, and so for me it’s sort of getting into their head and into what they see, and what they gravitate to and how I can take that and turn the volume up or quiet it down a little bit, or guide that in a certain way.” 27:51 @karamanndesign @kept.home News Letter:
Answering Listener Questions | Our Tips and Preferences for You
For today’s episode we will be answering all of your questions you’ve asked and sent us in recent months. We do an episode like this about once every quarter in which we answer the questions that have a shorter answer, but we sometimes do whole episodes around one question if it requires a lot more explanation. Send in your questions to Walls and trim color 3:13 Favorite wood tone for furniture 5:47 Pattern curtains vs rugs 9:46 Jess’s front door and home 12:09 Questions for Sue and picking art 19:20 Questions on windows 24:53 One thing that every room needs 32:11 Best tip for warming up white walls 37:04 Kelvin/light temperature 39:38 What to put on a 9 foot dining table 46:20 Styling a very large basement wall with a TV, but no fireplace 51:45 “I think we’re done with that day where people are painting their walls just white. It looks like a white piece of paper. That’s not cool anymore. I think you want something that looks more organic, more artisan, and has a little bit of warmth to it. It doesn’t have to be beige, it doesn’t have to be taupe, but there is a white that is a lot more special.” 37:16 News Letter:
Windows with John Valdez | Best Options and Advice
We’ve got John Valdez with with Epic Windows and Doors and we’re so excited to have him because we get asked all the time as interior designers about windows and we don’t have the answers always, so we felt like if John came on and answered all the questions, then all of us would know all of the answers. In this episode he gives us a vocabulary history lesson and answers all the questions you guys have been asking us. Deciding about windows and how early to start planning them 3:05 Vocabulary, grids and mullions 9:34 Remodeling and jumping the frame 16:06 Glass, tint, and efficiency 19:50 Adding charm to your windows and home with casements, awnings, and sliders 27:15 Modern vs traditional homes 30:11 Nanawall 33:37 The steel windows 39:11 Price differences between vinyl and aluminum 43:03 Screens 47:08 Windows in bathrooms 48:31 “There’s a type called Satin Edge, which is kind of a sandblasted, contemporary looking obscure glass, or what’s become really popular and I do quite often is Switch Glass where you’ll have either on a Lutron switch or a switch on the wall, or it can be wired in your automation system, where with the flip of a switch it goes from clear to obscure.” 49:02 News Letter:

Podcast Reviews

Read Dear Alice | Interior Design podcast reviews

4.8 out of 5
1034 reviews
ysfjoihvnhcgjmn 2022/04/24
How do I define luxury?
This podcast!! I always walk away with super helpful nuggets of information after listening to an episode, I pull them out at the most useful times- s...
BrittanyCurtis 2022/05/20
Please introduce yourselves
I have been listening to the podcast a lot and I know who the hosts are, but I feel an intro would be nice. Sometimes I listen and then 37 minutes in...
reynowa 2022/04/21
Invaluable advice
Great advice, great chemistry with the hosts. It’s effective because now I shop Alice Lane. And Ms. Jess, I, too, have no doorbell.
Uniq1 2022/04/15
Fun and Informative a Love!
I enjoy listening to all 3 on this pod. and I love your voices Jessica, Suzanne and Cory. You guys crack me up a lot. I get loads of info. on your des...
jennette q 2022/03/18
Best design podcast
this is so good and informative. I bought a new house, and this podcast is helping me tremendously. I can’t believe all the good tips it has. Just qui...
Sweetlittlekumquat 2022/03/27
I have been struggling
The use of the word “like” is excessive. Also, ending every sentence with a question mark, I am Ron Burgandy?” The content is good but I can’t listen...
itsmorgie 2022/02/18
Smart, funny, talented girls! Great podcast
I read through the reviews and I agree with the majority of people. I think Jess & Sue are great! I’m listening to an interior design podcast to hear ...
Ashmelon16 2022/02/09
This podcast is a MUST for anyone who loves design
If you love anything involving interior design or decorating then you will quickly be inthralled with this podcast! i love the mix of personality’s a...
anabelly 2022/02/09
I don’t know where to start! Such rude, snobby, condescending attitudes. They talk as though there weren’t thousands of people from all walks of life ...
dindikrqpkhdudjajfijwjzhjsi 2022/02/09
Amazing design explained by amazing people
Absolutely love this podcast. The discussions, tips and look into their design world is so informative and very elevated. Not to mention these talente...


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