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 Well folks, I’m back. It’s about time, right? I’m still not positive my head is on 100% straight, but I’ve figured out some things, and it’s time to get back to business. This is actually going to be a busy week for me. On Thursday and Friday I’ll be in New York City for another little adventure.

Before I hop on a plane again, I figured it would be a good idea to finish the recap of my trip to Atlanta in December. As you already know, I spent the second half of that week with the wonderful folks at Buick. Yes, I still can’t believe it.Earlier in the week, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the people at Ballard Designs. They invited about ten bloggers to get a behind-the-scenes look at how they operate and bring their catalog to life. I’m a huge fan of their products so replying yes to their invitation wasn’t even a question!

I apologize in advance as some of these photos were taken with my (or another blogger’s) iPhone camera. This is one of those photos. 


If you are a big blogger follower, you may recognize some of these ladies. In the front row are CassityMelissa, Rhoda, and Traci. In the back are me, SarahBeth, and Kate.  Yes, I know. Talk about a brush with fame. Ballard certainly knows how to pick them! It was an absolute joy and pleasure meeting these ladies. I had to pinch myself several times throughout the experience. It’s one thing to read and follow along with someone via her blog. Meeting all of these bloggers in real life was completely wonderful but surreal. 

The first evening we had a fabulous dinner and then a night cap (with lots of conversation) at the hotel bar. The next morning Ballard picked us up and took us to their headquarters. Four other Atlanta-based bloggers and designers were there as well – SherryLoriErika, and  Dayka. Since they weren’t staying at the hotel, they missed out on the fun photo above. Anyway, Ballard was kind enough to take us through their entire facility, showing us offices, design boards, warehouses, and so much more. 




They also flew down Britney Simon, who was the runner-up and fan favorite of the past season of HGTV’s Design Star. Isn’t she adorable?

It was amazing to see exactly how much goes into producing a catalog and online shop. From the initial product conception to the final catalog, the amount of work, time, and dedication in unbelievable. They even have folks who travel across the world looking for inspiration from vintage pieces.


After that we were whisked over to a multimillion-dollar estate that Ballard was renting to photograph their newest catalog. 


Talk about being speechless – I can now say with certainty that I have never been in a more beautiful, grand house in my life. It was still being completed when we visited, but you could tell it is going to be a showpiece.  


Creative Director Jill Sharp Brinson gave us a tour of the property and showed us how she and her team use and style the space for the catalog photo shoots.


Clearly, the photographer in me failed on this particular day. For much better shots of this space, check out Rhoda’s and Traci’s posts. 

What a joy and thrill it was to see how this process worked. 



There were accessories everywhereStacks and stacks of books, all in color order.



 Dozens of bottles of wine and, of course, fabulous design.


I’m so thankful to Ballard Designs for those two fun-filled days. I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves for us bloggers in 2013. I mean, Ballard loves bloggers, right? A huge thank you to all of the bloggers as well. With most of you knowing each other already, you certainly made this small town boy from Pennsylvania feel welcome. 

Thanks for sharing in my little recap. Have you shopped from Ballard before? Any favorite pieces?



Disclosure: I was not asked by Ballard or compensated to write this post, I just think they are awesome.


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Comments

  • Funky Junk Interiors at

    That home tour must have been completely amazing! So glad you got to experience this! I don’t have any Ballards items yet but there were quite a few pieces I would love to have… swooning over that chandy! Wow!

  • Anonymous at

    Sounds like such an amazing trip! I love Ballards and think their catalogues are always gorgeous. I have bought so many things from them over the years from decorative pieces to leather furniture–I’ve never been disappointed. I like how recently they’ve made their catalogue more informational regarding design tips/ tricks–it feels almost like a magazine.

  • Heather at

    I always love getting the Ballard Designs catalog in the mail. They have beautiful products and the catalog pictures are always beautifully decorated.

  • Renee Caron :: creatingHOME at

    So cool Michael, thanks for sharing the juicy behind-the-scenes tidbits!!! I can’t wait to see what you’re up to in NY :-) Safe & happy travels!

  • Michelle Helsel at

    How exciting and thank you for sharing. I’m a huge fan of Ballard design and have been getting pieces here and there for our home the last six years. I recently purchased an indoor outdoor rug and pillow for our newly renovated home office. I love their products and enjoy looking through the catalogs.

  • keizerfire at

    What an exciting trip, that looks like it was so much fun! I don’t mind saying I’m envious! Have fun on the next leg of your journey!

  • Jane S. at

    I love the Ballard catalog! How exciting to get a behind the scenes peek. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Katherine at

    Ballard Designs is a favorite catalog! I just bought the large Bellasol mirror for my entryway. Wow – it is such a statement piece and a great value. I couldn’t be happier with it.

    I’m envious of your behind-the-scenes tour!

  • Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns at

    I love Ballard design! How exciting to get a behind the scenes tour of the catalog and photo shoot!

    Good luck on your next adventure~

    Elizabeth

  • Our Pinteresting Family at

    Sounds like an amazing time! Thanks for sharing so many pictures. The home looks so beautiful. :)

  • Claire TheRusticPig at

    I am beyond jealous!!! At one time I had three beautiful Ballard rugs that I bought off Craigslist… does that count? :)

  • JuneA** at

    An exciting experience! Your pictures are inspiring!

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