Color Trends

May 9

How to Coordinate Our Outdoor Fabrics

2017-02-03T16:12:40+00:00 By |Fabric & Slipcovers, Fabric & Slipcovers, How-to's and Tips, Outdoor Living|3 Comments

When the weather turns nice and the days grow longer, we find ourselves spending as much time as possible outside.

And while we love bringing the outdoors in, this is the time of year to take the indoors out.

With that in mind, our designers have pulled together groups of coordinating outdoor fabrics that will help make your exterior living spaces as chic as your interiors (you can find the four color-coordinating collections on the last page of our May 2013 catalog).


Feb 4

Susanna Salk Revives Her Love seats With Ikat

2017-02-03T16:13:01+00:00 By |Design Experts|2 Comments

The cheerful pair of love seats that faced each other in front of our living room fireplace were starting to fade. The zest of their brown and green stripes — once so chic and cozy — had aged under the constant company of dog paws and human loungers. The whole space sagged as a result.

pair of love seats

I did my research: replacing them was costly and I couldn’t quite duplicate their unique shape and size. Reupholstering them was the best answer: while still costly there was a familial element attached to their makeover that felt comforting: we knew they already looked proportionally perfect in our living room.

First, the fun part: falling in love and taking a slight risk on a new fabric. Ballard Designs is my go-to fabric destination because it offers a selection that’s not overwhelming but just enough options to make you feel like you did your homework. (And the price point is delightfully affordable. No more dangerous liaisons with $100 a yard fabrics pour moi!)

Also they send swatches out immediately so you can touch and feel your investment in context. I must confess however, that I didn’t even get the free sample: I clicked and enlarged the swatch on my laptop screen, held it up in the general area of the sofas and imagined the lively juxtaposition and transformation and decided to make the leap.

The chartreuse Ikat pattern I was flirting with felt just enough right and scary: I wanted bold, but bold embedded in a classic pattern that was exotic to enliven my little living room without taking over.

chartreuse Ikat pattern

If my mantra was to decorate fearlessly, here was the very opportunity to make the leap. I didn’t worry about it exactly “going” with the Chinese red vintage bar set up behind it: together they’d be like two lively dinner companions.

The nuts and bolts part soon followed: I had emailed a picture of one of the sofa and its dimensions to my upholsterer and she guestimated the amount of yardage I needed to order. A week later a large roll of fabric arrived from Ballard Designs at my doorstep and of course I didn’t show it to my husband. He knew about the project but would have thought me insane for going with a pattern other than a quiet chintz.

The sofas were soon picked up and taken away: it was as though they were being sent to get facelifts at some secret spa in Switzerland.

Midway through their two weeks hiatus I drove by the upholsterer and visited them. I had always wanted to see what the actual process looked like and the trip did not disappoint. One of the sofas was actually being worked on when I entered, its stuffing exposed and coiled black hoses hooked in. A cheerful craftsman man with an Italian accent broke into a big smile when he heard it was my sofa. “Is a good fabric! Is exciting!” he exclaimed and confirmed with me exactly how he was going to line up the the repeat across the widest part of the sofa.

A week later the finished duo was slipped back into place before my husband got home. Everything was the same and yet so different.

The reaction? The upholsterer couldn’t have said it better: “Is exciting.”

reupholstered pieces


Jan 11

Our Velvet Crush

2017-02-03T16:13:09+00:00 By |Furniture, Style Tip|8 Comments

We love velvet

Flip through our latest catalog and you might notice that we have developed a major crush on velvet. What’s not to like? The sumptuous texture instantly warms a room and adds richness in depth and character to absolutely anything you cover in this cozy fabric. Better yet, the new crop of velvets is in bright, saturated hues that boldly serve up that fun pop of accent color everyone is craving right now.


  1. Queens Velvet Yellow
  2. Velvet Apple
  3. Velvet Spice
  4. Queens velvet Magenta
  5. Queens Velvet Teal
  6. Queens Velvet Spa
  7. Queens Velvet Chartreuse


For more color options, visit the Ballard Designs velvet fabric page.

Much like adding a chunky necklace or an armful of bangles to really make an outfit come alive, a well-appointed, eye-popping accessory covered in velvet is guaranteed to add that “wow” factor in a room. Better yet, it’s the kind of style update that doesn’t require a huge commitment or blowing the budget.

Start small and live big, says Carmen, Ballard’s rug and fabric buyer: “It’s really about adding bright color in a fun, usable way that’s easy on the eyes and doesn’t require redoing a whole room just to accommodate the next trend. You have to live with what you already have, so it’s being able to mix in those accent colors for major impact.”

A little tension is good, so look for ways to inject an unexpected bold color into your room, whether it’s a pair of pillows, an ottoman or a slipper chair. See what we’ve done with our velvets for inspiration.

Sacha Bedroom

Go glam. Our Camden Tufted Headboard in Queens Velvet Teal brings the Hollywood Regency look to the bedroom.

Chadwick Living Room

Weave the same accent color throughout the room for flow. We used Queens Velvet Yellow on throw pillows and a pair of Upholstered Cubes.

Hudson Home Office

Make your workspace a fun space with color. The bright pop of Queens Velvet Yellow on our Louis Chair plays off the chartreuse wall.


Dec 18

January-February 2013 Paint Colors

2017-02-03T16:13:10+00:00 By |Catalog Paint Colors|28 Comments


Providing the paint colors used in Ballard Designs catalogs can be difficult, because we constantly shoot at actual homes that have been painted by their owners. However, our team of stylists has chosen paint colors that are as close to the actual wall colors as we could find. These colors will blend with our furniture, accessories and fabric.