Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A place to create and dream

Yesterday one of my favourite bloggers, Struggler of Struggling to be Stylish wrote about Ballard Designs, and it reminded me of the first time I heard about this company. About ten years ago I bought an interesting book called A Room of Her Own, by Chris Casson Madden. It featured the beautiful office/study of Ballard Design's founder, Helen Ballard Weeks.

Author Chris Casson Madden explained the focus of her book:

"Many of us long to find the time in a busy schedule to relax and refresh ourselves, body and spirit. I firmly believe that in order to give back to our relationships, careers, families, and passions, we must pull in for short moments to take care of ourselves, then we can return to the people and places of our lives renewed, refreshed, and ready to continue the drama of our days with all the joys, sorrows, pleasures, and stresses that go with it."

A Room of Her Own: Women's Personal Spaces features the special places that a variety of creative and dynamic women from all walks of life have created as retreats from their busy lives.

"The connective thread, for all of these personal spaces, is that each one, in dazzlingly different ways, brings its owner the sense of solitude, of the sanctuary they need in their rich and engaged lives".

Here's the fabulous Helen Ballard Weeks, as featured in the book.

So many things about Helen Ballard Week's room intrigued me. The mannequins and the architectural salvage above the door immediately captured my interest.

I adored the natural seagrass flooring and the classic white sofa.

Helen Ballard Weeks' office is full of interesting bits of bobs, which she used as inspiration for her famous catalogue. This was her place to dream and create.

Sentimental photos are displayed beautifully.

Love the desk and the mirrored screen.

Helen Ballard Weeks is now retired. I'd love to see what her home looks like now, I'm sure it is stunning and full of interesting architectural pieces and French antiques.

I love seeing the personal spaces of creative women - they can be so inspiring. I think the message of this book - that women must create a sanctuary for themselves where they can rest and re-energise before they can give to others, is an important one we should all heed.

I hope you have a room of your own, or even a corner of your own to rest, dream and reinvigorate.

Best wishes,


the7daggetts said...

Her home is beautiful. And I love Ballard Designs! Can't wait to receive their new catalog in the mail!

Melissa said...

I love Ballard Designs, and I love those rooms pictured! Once again you've inspired me to want to throw away everything in my bedroom and start over. :)

Struggler said...

Catherine, how fascinating to see Helen Ballard Weeks' office - I can clearly see the inspiration for some of the Ballard products there.

Your posting has reminded me that creating a quiet, orderly space should be moved a little higher on my mammoth to-do list.

Thank you also for what I believe is often known as 'linky luv' !

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Catherine,

thanks for the lovely post.
I love it that our room should be a place to relax and re-energise.

Loved the photo board and everything about Helen Ballard Weeks office.


IRENE said...

Such a beautiful book , indeed! I love your blog. It is not like everyone else's. You know what YOU like and it shows. Thank you for sharing your eye view.

Brabourne Farm said...

This is the most divine book. My mother and sister gave it to me a long time ago and I never grow tired of looking at it. Love that this book is from two of my most favourite women about wonderful creative women! Leigh

Blair said...

Oh, adore the mirrored screen--so beautiful!

Struggler said...

Just wanted to let you know, I've found this book in my local library system and have requested it. I'm so looking forward to curling up on the sofa and getting inspired!

Lee said...

I remember that book! And I remember loving it so much. This room still looks stylish and contemporary even after 10 years. Lovely post. Lee:)

My name is PJ. said...

I actually own Chris' book! I'm a firm believer that everyone should have a room of their own!

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

Love the pictures, they're beautiful.

Alison Gibbs said...

Great post and photos. I think we all need a room of our own but you can't always have that so even just a space of your own in a room is a great substitue,

sealaura said...

i am working on it dear catherine! My bedroom is a clean canvas waiting to be "painted" I also have an extra bedroom that is full of my books and other stuff after downsizing recently. I wonder if you know of any tips on how to downsize gracefully. I feel I have paired down A LOT, but I need a little inspiration, Perhaps it might help me create that second bedroom into a room of my own.

as always so lovely to visit your lovely blog. :)

River said...

I love that room with the noticeboard and the bookstacks on the floor.

Millie said...

Lovely post Catherine - I loved BD when Helen owned the Company, but think it's lost its way somewhat since she sold it. I've still got a lot of the print catalogues from those days & just can't bring myself to toss them out they are so wonderful.
Millie ^_^

prashant said...

I can clearly see the inspiration for some of the Ballard products there.
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adem said...
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adem said...

Really,This one is very wonderful design of home decorative images.I like this grate images of decorative kitchen and living room.I love this amazing patterns and cool design of home.

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