When you’re smack-dab in the middle of the dog days of summer, it’s hard to even think about fall. But we think you’ll reconsider once you get a glimpse of the luscious pages of our August-September catalog. While you’re waiting for your copy in the mail, you can read our conversation with Karen Mooney, our Senior Vice President of Brand Management, about the new catalog and some of her favorite fall looks.
Ballard Designs: Let’s talk about this great cover. It’s indicative of where we’re headed for fall — and, frankly, it has us warming to the idea of saying goodbye to summer.
Karen Mooney: Isn’t it great? It all started with our Kashan Hand Tufted Rug. It’s a little unusual for us, because we find that our customers really love a spa or gray or otherwise neutral colored rug. But there has been a little interest of late in the bolder, more traditional colors of Persian rugs.
BD: It has great colors.
KM: Yes. It’s not the usual red you often see in Persian-style rugs. It’s more of a spice tone, and then it has the navy in it, which we thought would be great to bring to the wall for a bold statement. Then we layered in spice with our velvet — we can’t get enough of our velvets right now — and threw in some animal print to make it totally Ballard.
BD: So we’re seeing a deepening of colors?
KM: Exactly. What we’re calling spice is where we would have had those peachy-apricot tones in spring and summer. In art, bedding and some accessories, our signature spa and mineral tones are deepening into a beautiful, crisp navy. It also morphs into a peacock-teal color we are so in love with at the moment. You can see that in our velvets, our newest Garden Seat color and wall art. It is so pretty.
BD: The other color we’re seeing a lot of in this catalog is green.
KM: We’re going more olive and emerald, and even mixing those two. When you mix them, it suddenly feels very modern. The juxtaposition of those hues that are not quite the same is so great. I love this room — it’s all about those saturated green velvet curtains. This shows how you can have a neutral room and just add that one thing.
BD: So what are you most excited about with this new catalog?
KM: Suzanne Kasler is introducing furniture into her line for the first time. We were so excited when she expressed an interest in going bigger. She started with this really pretty, yet streamlined, home office, which is perfect timing. This is the time of year when everyone is getting ready to go back to school or work. It’s a transitional period back into those routines. And the scale and versatility of these pieces is perfect. You don’t have to have a dedicated office — you can tuck it in anywhere. The desk chair is like a truncated wing chair, so it’s great for a man or woman.
BD: Suzanne has also expanded her bedroom collection.
KM: Suzanne designed four different upholstered headboards for us — and they’re all beautiful. She’s also developed a new art collection that leans abstract with lots of color. The nice thing about the art is that you can get it on canvas or framed and in the size you need. You can really adapt it to your room.
BD: If we’re talking about Suzanne, we have to talk about that Peony Linen color.
KM: That color is so bold, but then you get it on that one piece and it’s just perfect. It’s so funny, because it started out here in the office as a tiny swatch, and we were all a bit afraid of this bold, saturated color. And then, of course, this chair was immediately snapped up after the photo shoot. Everyone wanted it. Pink is really on a big upswing. You’ll see more of it next year — pink walls, pink fabric — we’re really getting into it. Thanks, Suzanne!
BD: And speaking of the bedroom, we’re introducing some beautiful bedding.
KM: Our bedding has been in the spa palette for two years, and you can see it moving into reds and navys. One thing we always do is layer bedding from two different collections, such as a duvet and a quilt. We love that mix. We also love the look of matching the headboard with the bedskirt. It’s so easy! I’m not even sure that people know they can customize their bedskirts with us. And, look, you can even add a matching lamp shade.
BD: Aside from warming up the color palette and layering, were there any major themes on your mind while putting this catalog together?
KM: As we mentioned earlier, it’s a time where we’re getting back into our routines and tidying up, and I think you can see that in the catalog. There’s an order to the rooms and everything is in its place.
BD: What else are you excited about for this edition?
KM: I want to thank the customer who gave us the BOO wreath idea! We sell our alphabet wreaths during the holidays, and a customer wrote in a product review that she bought the letters for “JOY” and got an extra “O” and “B” so she can do “BOO” at Halloween, then transition into holiday. And she said, “You really should do a kit for “BOO.”’ So we thought it was a great idea and did it. You can always keep the “O” up for the holidays, too.
BD: That’s great! It’s not the first time you’ve found inspiration from customer comments. Okay, it’s time to get to your favorites.
Karen’s Favorite New Additions for Fall
Every single container in this organizer is designed to hold very specific things. One holds your sticky notes, one holds your paper clips, one holds all your pens, and one holds bigger things, like scissors. I wanted to design something like this, because I like to have everything in its place on my desk. I have separate cups for sharpies, pens and highlighters. And it all nests in this tray, which is actually 8 ½” x 11”, so you could also use it as a paper tray if you wanted. I like a tray to corral things, because I think it looks tidier.
This is one of my favorite items in the whole book. It’s made in Italy. We took a Louis chair and stripped it down to its essential form, and then we picked three very simple, clean finishes. This chair feels very modern.
I bought four of these tiny little cocktail napkins in Paris five years ago. They have this cute little tassel and a nice whipstitch on the side. I kept them on my bar, and everybody falls in love with them, so we designed this whole collection based on these adorable napkins. The timing is right, because we’re obsessed with tassels, fringe, pom poms and all of those boho details. You’ll start to see some of those 70s hippie chick fashion details coming on strong.
This is a huge seller for us, which is why we’re so excited to now offer it with custom upholstery. Instead of the standard cream, you can use any of our fabrics. We have them upholstered in North Carolina. Now there’s no excuse to do that head of the table thing. Or you could have a couple flanking a console. This is also the case for our Sofia Settee.
We’ve wanted to do this for a while. It’s great because you can choose from the 15 finishes in our Casa Florentina line. It’s a great opportunity in a bathroom or powder room to add that touch of drama. It would be so fun in a red or a spa blue.
The black frame with the gold is really striking. It’s kind of masculine feeling, so it’s a nice counterpoint to this room. It offers such a strong statement. I love it. It would be great over a dining console with a couple of lamps.
This is a nice scale. We are seeing that trend in lamps, getting larger and larger and larger, and being a statement unto themselves rather than just a practical lighting device. We also love really oversized shades. That exaggerated scale is really coming into play.
We’re seeing feathers everywhere in decor and design. It’s that back to nature thing; a love for organic objects. And the palette is so great for fall.
We’re experimenting with different interior colors on furniture, and this is one of our favorites. That contrast is lovely. This is also something customers can do with an old piece they have. If you want to spice it up, pick a color from your room and paint it on the inside. It’s less work than painting the whole cabinet! It’s great for kids’ rooms, too.
We’ve had this chair for a while, but now we’re offering it as a barstool. It’s has a great vintage-industrial feel. And that little pop of color in spice is absolutely striking in your room. Of course, it comes in nickel and spa, too.
I’ve decided I’m no longer going to keep my phone by my bed. I usually charge it there every night, and then I’m getting texts or email alerts waking me up and I can’t go back to sleep. I bought a charging station, and I’m going to put it in the bathroom. So now I need an alarm clock for my bed. It is so cute and petite and doesn’t take up a lot of room on my bedside table.
Bunny has the original tucked under her bar in her barn. The idea is that it’s a piece of furniture you can easily integrate into your room, and you don’t have to be embarrassed by it. It has a Sunbrella cushion, so you can keep it clean.