The Rest

Ballard Designs Review: One Shopper’s Experience

April 8, 2010

If you get many home decor catalogs at all, chance are the Ballard Designs catalog is one of them. (If not, request it right away; the ideas alone are worth it.) Like a lot of amateur home decorators, I LOVE this catalog. I drool over the furniture and accessories. I remember once telling my sister-in-law, “If I could afford the whole Ballard Designs catalog, I’d order everything in it.” She agreed.

And while I had ordered an accessory or two over the years, I had never ordered anything major. Until last year. I was redecorating my dining room on a budget, and while I had bought some furniture pieces off of Craigslist, I really wanted to spring for something special: two Ballard Designs parsons chairs in my own fabric.

That experience went great. I bought the fabric in the amount Ballard requested and sent it to them on a bolt. Not long after they received it I got a call from them making sure that I wanted my stripes to go vertically and not horizontally. (I breathed a big sigh of relief with that phone call because I knew that 1) they had received the fabric 2) they were working on my chairs and 3) they cared enough to make sure they got it right. A few weeks later my chairs arrived and they were beautiful! Exactly what I needed to make my dining room special.

Last week I decided to take the plunge again and order Ballard’s terrific table trio with a burlap tablecloth like the one in this picture. I placed my order online, received an email confirmation a few days later and received UPS delivery of the table two days after that. I was thrilled. I ordered the 30″ table, which is $149 plus shipping, although I was able to get it for a bit less. (More about that below.)

The table came in three boxes, which was great. Because even though the UPS man put the boxes in my entryway, I appreciated not having one, large box to deal with. The table came in three pieces, which concerned me at first. Until I realized that it fit together without any tools or bolts or nail. It didn’t even need instructions. I had it together in under a minute and had the tablecloth and glass topper on in a minute after that. (I was in such a hurry to see it put together that I didn’t bother to press the tablecloth. I’ll have to make time to do that later!)

All in all my shopping experiences with Ballard Designs have been great! I love their stuff and their prices are reasonable (even for a bargain shopper like me). Speaking of bargain shopping, I like to do my Ballard Designs online shopping through the Mr. Rebates site. I get a 4% cash back rebate on all my Ballard purchases that way. It is free to sign up with Mr. Rebates and they’ll even give you a $5 signup bonus to start you off. They’re rated ‘A’ by the Better Business Bureau as well.

I can’t wait to thumb through the Ballard Designs catalog and plan my next purchase. Such good shopping experiences with them has made me confident to do more!

    1. The problem I have with Ballard designs catalogs is they don’t discuss construction of their furniture pieces. For me, if I am going to spend $30-50 on upgraded fabric, I want it on cushions that are down wrapped high density foam. You have to call the company to find out they don’t have down back cushions (Arhaus and other companies at least have a few pieces with this option. They charge way too much money for custom upholstery on standard foam cushions….If you don’t think there is much difference, find a store that carries down wrapped and full down back cushions…you won’t ever want to go back!!

  1. Julie – I am just seeing your post so I hope you answer me. I am thinking of ordering this for my 3 season porch and am wondering if there is much leg room when sitting down to pull chairs up to the table for eating? Thanks.

  2. Hi Pat,

    The table is set up in an 'x' below the skirt, so as long as you were sitting in the right place there would be some leg room. We're using it as an accent table so I can't determine if it would be enough leg room for, say, eating a meal.

  3. Hi…Found you in a google search. I’m having difficulty in finding a Christmas stocking Ballard offered in its Fall 2010 catalog. It is not a Ballard item, but was from a vendor (though the rep said Ballard does not reveal who their vendors are.) The stocking sold out by the time I received the catalog and I was told to check back late spring/summer. Ballard tells me they have no record of the item and have no way to research what they offered last year. I find that odd…I imagine they would have digital files of all recent catalogs. Would you have the Fall 2010 by chance, being such a fan? I LOVE this stocking and have my heart set on finding it. Thanks!

    1. Hi Bella,

      I’m sorry, I don’t have a Fall 2010 catalog. Have you tried eBay? And maybe if it was so popular, Ballard will carry it again in the Fall. Good luck with your search!


      1. Hi Julie:
        Thank you for the reply.
        Ballard is now having a “specialist” look into my inquiry. Strange that they initially claimed they have no way of tracking merchandise offered last fall. I look forward to finding the beautiful Christmas stockings!

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