Podcasts have reemerged on the media scene after their introduction by MTV personality Adam Curry in 2004, a slight decline in popularity, and then a resurgence over the past few years. In 2019, one third of the population has listened to a podcast in the past month, according to findings by Edison Research and Triton Digital.

Editor’s Picks for Top 10 Design Podcasts and TED Talks

Affordable Interior Design

Betsy Helmuth’s podcast Affordable Interior Design which carries the same name as her company, has been on the air for more than four years. It’s a Q&A podcast where she gives tips, talks about DIY and discusses what it’s like being in business as an interior designer. “I give straight talk about stores that I love/hate,” she says. She also invites guests from various segments of the home space to be on the show.

The Business of Home Podcast

The podcast hosts interview different designers and other industry professionals on different facets of the business, says avid listener Joe Murphy, an interior design specialist at The Shower Head Store. Subjects range from branding to communication, experience and advice. Some popular interviewees include Nina Campbell, Vincente Wolf, Bunny Williams and Farooq Kathwari. “I enjoy listening to the podcast because it helps me as a professional understand where others began and perspectives on how to work in the industry,” says Murphy.

The Moth Radio Hour

While not a podcast specifically about interior design, Nicole Alexander, owner and principal designer of Siren Betty Design, an interiors firm specializing in hotels, restaurants and other hospitality spaces, says she still draws inspiration from it. It’s a podcast where people tell their real-life stories live. “When I’m designing a space, I always think about how people will move and exist in the space, how they will feel when they arrive there, how they’ll remember the space when they leave,” she says. “Sometimes a specific story or character from The Moth will help inspire a space,” she says.


A Well Designed Business

Luann Nigara

The #1 top rated interior design business podcast on iTunes, A Well Designed Business doesn’t just talk about trends in design and what’s hot. It gets down to the nitty-gritty of what it takes to run a successful business from peers who have done it before, says Sarah Bean with BookLaunchers.com, a big fan of the show. The shows creator and host has been an interior design business leader for more than 30 years. Her podcast which also was recently named in Architectural Digest as one of the top ten podcasts listened to by intro designers, “is the definitive resource for interior design professionals interested in operating a profitable and productive business,” says Bean.

Design Matters

A stalwart in the podcast space, this podcast was launched by Debbie Millman in 2005, long before the podcast boom fully took root. Having been around for almost 20 years, the podcast site offers access to more than 200 programs. Millman claims the position as “the world’s first podcast about design” and says the podcast is “an inquiry into the broader world of creative culture through wide-ranging conversations with designers, writers, artists, curators, musicians, and other luminaries of contemporary thought.”


For those who would like a little visual inspiration with their design inspiration, there are also some TED Talks worth checking out.

“Where Joy Hides and How to Find It” by Ingrid Fetell Lee

ingrid fetell lee speaking at a TED talk

Interior design is obviously a joyous endeavor and this popular TED Talk dramatically makes that point as Fetell Lee explores why some images evoke universal joy and how we all could benefit from finding or creating more joy in our lives.

“What? It’s not about the bean bag.”

In this TEDx talk, interior designer Phoebe Oldrey encourages viewers to think less about the pretty and more about the overall impact of spaces. Interior design is about more than wallpaper and bean bags, she says. Oldrey shares her passion for designing and some unique insights.

“Your Elusive Creative Genius”

Elizabeth Gilbert, best-selling author of “Eat Pray Love,” shares insights on drawing creativity from some pretty novel place, including Ancient Greece and Rome. A look at the creative process from a slightly different point of view.

“The First Secret of Design Is…Noticing”

Just imagine the inspiration you might have if you just took time to pay attention. That’s the thesis of this TED talk from Tony Fadell. Here he encourages designers to pay attention to explicit details in unexpected places—like stickers on apples or uncharged phone batteries.

“The Hidden Ways Stairs Shape Your Life.”

David Rockwell is an architect known for his love of drama and spectacle that he bring to bear as he designs high-impact settings for restaurants, airline terminals—even playgrounds. Here he takes a deep dive into a common theme in many places—stairs.


Inspiration can come from a wide range of places. Today’s designers benefit from a wide range of insights and perspectives that they can enjoy through podcasts, videos and more. What favorite sources of inspiration would you add to this list?

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