About Us

Husband and wife team Richard (Rudge) Balado and Tara Marino boast over twenty five years in the set design industry, with careers that have seen them working alongside photography giants Patrick DeMarchelier, Albert Watson, and Bruce Weber. Their enviable client list also includes staples such as Vogue, Elle, Chanel, Victoria’s Secret, and Target.  

Together they developed the concept behind Tip Top Props after realizing they had accumulated so many unique items that could be useful to other prop stylists and creatives.   Tip Top Props sets itself apart with a distinctive collection of pieces curated by the duo after years of experience, and a passion for design.












Richard Balado  Began his career as an interior decorator in London. He later progressed to full home renovations for clients including the Cadbury family, Dave Allen, and Ann Boyd.   Shortly after this, he conceptualized and launched London’s first juice bar, Crussh, which has since expanded to include 23 locations throughout the city.  After a move to NYC in 2000, he became involved in set design, custom building, and interiors

Tara Marino  After a 10 year career in modeling, she attended the Fashion Institute Technology with a specialty in interiors.   She has been a prop stylist for 16 years, and has an instinct for marrying modern and vintage pieces with her own custom designs.