Inspiring Decorator: Kelly Ballard

Kelly and Mike Ballard

The DIY journey of a California citygirl and a Montana farmboy has inspired us to follow Kelly Ballard. This humble homegirl knows the value of hard work and how to add some big city swing to her Farmhouse favorite stylings and design. We’re really impressed, too, with her DIY Friday Features on Instagram for easy how-to’s on DIY design on a dime. (Check out the cute mini curtain rods she made to frame our Express Faux Wood Shutters for just $10!)

1. What inspired you to become a designer? What has your journey been like?

I have always loved decorating. It started while I was young and would watch my mother hand-stencil little blue and pink houses on the border of our kitchen walls — over and over until the one stencil she had had been painted across the entire border. She also taught herself to sew and made our curtains to match perfectly. We had very little extra with seven kids in the house, but she always did her best to DIY our home to perfection. I tell others now that she would have been the queen of Pinterest if it was around back then!

So I started copying her. I would save my money from my after-school job at Kentucky Fried Chicken and head to Mervyn’s. This is where I would browse and get so many ideas while I dreamed of one day buying my own house and setting it up like the floor models they had. I eventually bought all my hunter green bedding and decor to match my 1990s girls bedroom from there. It was as cute as ever, in my opinion. 🙂

When I got married, I wanted so much to have a welcoming home, but with my husband in law school, we were on a very tight budget. I became extremely good at shopping at the local thrift store and spicing up my new found treasures. There was also a local craft store called Provo Craft that had an outlet shop. Here I would find amazing steals on unfinished wood decor. While my babies were young, I tried my hand at painting and staining these items and fell in love with it. I still have my very first project — a shelf — hanging in our guest room 14 years later. Since then, I have always decorated my home on my own, with the help of vast tutorials and Google searches. Because of these tutorials from DIY masters like Shanty2Chic and Liz at LoveGrowsWild, I was able to learn on my own while still at home. It was a perfect fit for me. I continue weekly to teach myself a new skill set from masters who publish themselves on the internet. I am so grateful for them! Now I am often asked to help friends and family with their homes. It’s amazing how the circle of decor just keeps on turning!

 

Kelly Ballard living room

 

2. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

My design aesthetic is a vast mix and has changed over the years. My current home is completely different than the Tuscan-style home I had before. I focus on Farmhouse style, with a hint of Shabby Chic and Industrial. I love wood in any way, shape, or form. Paired with some industrial metals and a bit of chippy paint, to me, you’ve got something amazing. I often wish I could have 10 houses and decorate them all differently, because I am inspired by so many styles. None are wrong to me as long as they are uplifting.

3. What was your favorite project(s)? Why?

One of my favorite projects was creating a seating area for my tiny entryway. My current home does not have a lot of space to sit down and take off your shoes, so I created one. My plain wall was converted to a brighter look with wood plank accents and white paint. I built a sturdy bench with a white base and Briarsmoke Varathane on top. Then I added a coat and backpack rack for the kids to hang their things on. It became a completely functional space instead of unusable with a farmhouse swing, and I love it!

4. What’s your favorite trend right now?

So many amazing trends are tempting my decorbuds right now! I want to implement them all! Sometimes I wish sleep was unnecessary so I could have eight more hours a day to work on projects swimming through my head. Something I do adore right now is plumbers pipe. It is so versatile and sturdy, and pairs well with the Farmhouse style. I love the Industrial look with it, too. I was asked to build some plumbers shelving for a client and I loved it so much, I added it to my kitchen. It makes me smile every time I see it. It’s an easy DIY and adds a lot of character to a home.
Plumber pipe shelving