Every once in a while, as a blogger, an opportunity arises that I get really giddy about! And last week was one of them. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard about Ballard Designs… uh yeah, I just said Ballard Designs, of course you’ve heard about Ballards. And I for one LOVE to scour the pages of their catalog to get ideas for our home, so when I got am email from them… I almost jumped up on the couch (Tom Cruise style- does anyone still remember that Oprah moment!)
So you can’t believe how exciting it was for me, and how blessed I feel to have been invited to go and see what went into creating the beautiful spreads that you see in their catalog, and also how they conceptualize a product from start to finish! Since I have a design background and I happen to LOVE business- it was completely fascinating, to learn it all!! I was like a little school girl who got to have an entire day of recess…it really was that much fun!
I jumped on a very early flight over to Atlanta last Tuesday morning, of course I was so excited that I didn’t’ sleep a wink.
Luckily, my sister in law lent me a good book to read (Pope Joan), it made me so thankful to be a women born in America with all my freedoms and opportunities, and it got me through all the plane rides! The hotel I stayed at was a really cool place. The design was based around music, I should have taken more pictures but I was just too excited to focus. We went out for a nice dinner and got to meet some of the designers and rub shoulders with some of my favorite home design bloggers.
I love these people, they truly are such great friends, and I am so happy to know them and learn from them, and hear about what they are planning on doing. (and actually meet some of them in real life for the first time!) Here is an instagram shot of the blogger who came to town (borrowed from Beth…)
Back row from left to right: Michael of Inspired by Charm, Sarah of Thrifty Décor Chick, Beth of Home Stories A to Z, Kate of Centsational Girl Front row from left to right: Me, Melissa of The Inspired Room, Rhoda Southern Hospitality and Traci of Beneath My Heart.
The next day we all got to go on a tour of Ballard’s corporate offices. I have never wanted to work for a company more, the offices were all decked out with their furniture pieces, it felt so comfortable and the atmosphere was amazing! One of my favorite things were the HUGE cork board gilt frames that everyone had, and the fabulous inspiration walls that were organically growing on them! Even the cubicles were inviting!
Later, in the afternoon we hopped on over to a house they are staging shooting for their March /April-ish catalog. The architectural details inside and out on this house were amazing. One of my favorite things (that I actually remembered to photograph) was the natural wood planked ceiling in the kitchen and dining room.
Not only was the house amazing, but learning how they staged and planned their rooms was so enlightening!
I was so jealous how the images uploaded automatically to a large screen so they could check out their images as they photographed each space.
But I think the most exciting process for me was how the catalog actually comes to life about 6 times a year (a TON of work goes into it all)
|1. They start with about 2,000 items that need to be included into the new magazine, and about 50+ 11 x 17 sheets of empty paper with 8 divided sections. The designers go through each item and group them into what will become the room designs for each photograph in the magazine.|
|2. They include some magazine tear sheets that help to give an idea or feeling or layout for the room they are envisioning.|
|3. In the studio at their corporate office they bring all the pieces together from their store room to shoot a quick snapshot. This helps to workout the rooms and if they need to make any changes before they get onsite. The yellow boxes are how they work out text and any other changes and they work out the rest of the page layout, text etc.|
|4. Then they photograph the space, and make sure the colors are perfect|
|5. Bam, the space we all want in our own home is staged and perfect and ready for print!! Okay, so it wasn’t exactly just BAM! But after hours and hours and hours of work, they have a perfectly laid out page of the catalog!|
|6. One of my favorite takeaways from the photoshoot was the prop room that the had! Items in every color of the rainbow! . And just because I am working on my storage room right now, I LOVED how easy it must have been for them to add that perfect pop of color to everyshot!!|
Here are some of the shots I took from the house interior, some rooms were done and some were mid shoot, I LOVE the colors!
A Bright Sunroom!
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this wicker wingback, I REALLY want one uhem or two…, but I don’t think it is out quite yet!
A Beachy Office!
Thank you Ballard Designs for making it possible for me to come snoop around I’ve got my eyes on some awesome pieces! We also got to take a few pictures in one of their stores, I will have to show you all a little later!
*Disclosure: Ballard Designs provided for my travel expenses. There was no expectation for me to post about the trip, but I couldn’t stop myself, and I hope you find all my opinions inspiring! All opinions are always 100% my own, I was not compensated to write this post. Thanks!