Posts Tagged ‘ballard designs’

The Slipcover Report

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

It’s been a week of lethargy around here and the start of summer is totally to blame. We’ve spent most of the mornings just lying around and then sometimes we find the energy to do something fun but I admit it’s been nice being extra lazy the past two weeks. 

Ever since the house tour I’ve had a few questions, namely about the furniture in our home and especially in the family and dining rooms with other inquiries like how we live the way we do with kids and pets and my answer comes down to one word or choice that I’m sure several of you endorse and that word is this: slipcovers.

Slipcovered furniture is a mom’s BFF and I’m a true believer. What’s better than a washable piece of furniture when those oops and spills and mistakes of life occur? Slipcovers buy me piece of mind because I know (like last week) when applesauce gets spilled on them, they can go straight to the wash. I prefer the tailored fitted versions, the ones that mimic upholstered pieces but have the benefit of easy removal when “oh no mom I spilled on the couch” moments happen.

Our family room sofas and dining room chairs are our most used pieces and as a result, limbs and hands and paws are on them constantly so naturally they’re bound to get soiled. So here’s the slipcover report after all these years of living with them with kids and pets and life’s circumstances and the lowdown on my two favorite pieces of slipcovered furniture.

First the family room sofas. I bought these sofas five years ago – they are the Pottery Barn Basic sofa and loveseat and worth the investment. They were manufactured by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (in partnership with Pottery Barn according to the label) and still are as comfortable as the month they were delivered.

pottery barn basic sofas centsational girl

This color of slipcover is (sadly) no longer available, they are the “Slate Blue” brushed canvas fabric, and as you know I’m a sucker for anything in the blue gray family so the choice was easy. The cushions are polyester which are more firm and hold the shape a bit better than down blend as I understand (but tell me your experience if you have the down blend versions). They’re not in direct sun, so I have no idea how the fabric color holds up those circumstances, but ours has been consistent through the multiple washings. 

I’ve washed these slipcovers more times than I can count and they still keep their shape, but a few tips: don’t wash all the cushion slipcovers together if you have both a loveseat and sofa, I’ve confused them before when they come out and struggled with which belongs with which. It’s better to wash the loveseat cushions and loveseat cover together, then just the sofa cushion covers, then just the sofa cover, in three separate washes. That’s my routine anyway. Also dry them on a low heat cycle and pull them out when ever so slightly damp so you can smooth any wrinkles away.

Also, the sofa is the foldout version, which we love for family movie night or kid sleepovers when we move the loveseat back a foot and move the coffee table out of the way and they all pile on top in front of a movie with blankets and pillows and popcorn.

In the dining room are the Ballard Designs Couture Chairs that I bought seven years ago and still going strong. I have three of the pleated slipcover sets for them, a dark brown velvet which is yummy in the fall, a cream velvet which I love in the winter, and then a spa linen (seen below) in a pale gray blue which I use in the spring and summer and complements the family rooms sofas nicely.

dining room centsational girl

The regular price on the pleated slipcovers is $49 but I wait for the $39 each sale or use a 15% off coupon (find it in House Beautiful or other publications). I like that the flirty pleat adds a feminine touch and that the chair legs are visible. They’ve gone through multiple washings as well and have held their color and shape for years.

So there you have it, the secret to sanity in my house: tailored slipcovers. Fitted and washable, I couldn’t ask for more!

 

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Behind the Scenes with Ballard Designs

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

I’ve been receiving the Ballard Designs catalog for a decade and shopping their online store for the same amount of time.  The new catalog comes in the mail five times a year and I savor the new and the classic furnishings and accessories inside the pages. 

I really love their style, European inspired but always fresh, not too stodgy or too grandma.  Just about every room in my house has something  from their collection.  Their mirrored Savon Tray Table sits in my master bathroom and I use it daily! 

kate master bathroom

 

I absolutely adore the Bellasol Mirror in our powder room.

kates powder bathroom after

 

And just recently we hung their Grand Claire chandelier in our bedroom.

master bedroom centsational girl

 

Their Mariestad chandy (no longer available) and Couture chairs sit in my dining room, and a painted a trio of their Grand Palais mirrors are hung in our family room to mimic a window.  So it goes without saying, I’m a big fan! 

I was invited to attend a behind-the-scenes glimpse at their company last week and a peek into the process of creating the products and photographing the catalog, and I was very excited!  I spent a day learning about the products that start as a “twinkle in the eye” of their team and end photographed in the final rooms depicted inside the lovely spreads inside the catalog.

ballard cover

 

The event started with a tour of the corporate facility and a peek at the upcoming Jan/Feb and Spring catalogs.  Forgive the mediocre pictures, I brought my fancy camera but not a memory card (doh) so I had to rely on my iPhone for images.

The main headquarters is in Atlanta and there all the decisions for the company are made.  Headquarters has less than 80 employees, not including fulfillment centers and the phone and online order center.   For having such a national presence, I was  surprised by the small amount of employees they rely on to make the Ballard magic happen and so impressed at their willingness to open their doors to the bloggers they invited inside.  

We spent the morning touring the main office, meeting the employees, and seeing how they pull together inspiration for upcoming collections.  They use mood boards and pin inspiration all around the office!

ballard memo

 

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