As I am shopping for clients, it is always important to me to find the best price. I am a hug fan of Ballard Designs and have purchased many items both for my own home and for client's homes. (I am actually hoping to be able to finish a project or two to submit to the CSI Project before the deadline passes!) I have been noticing over the last few months that there seems to be quite a lot of similarity between the Ballard Designs offering and those of Home Decorators Collection. I have been wondering if they are just low-balling Ballard, but it seems it depends on the item. Here is a comparison of a few of their product offerings.
The Le Poem rug from Ballard is offered in 4 colors and 6 sizes. In the 8 x 10 size, the price is $428.
The Poetry rug from Home Decorators is also offered in 6 sizes, but only two colors. As you can see, it is the exact same rug. Their 8 x 10 price is $389 and they are currently offering free shipping on orders over $299. We are really just talking about a $30 difference here, but the shipping can make a big difference.

Here is the Stella Mirror from Ballard. It measures 40" x 27" and is priced at $249. Here is the Gella Mirror from Home Decorators (could they have been more obvious with the name?). It is selling for $289, so this time Ballard's price is better. I am not sure why they would so obviously sell the same item, with a similar name and not offer a better price. This is the Sabrina Mirror from Home Decorators. It is available in two sizes, 35.5" x 45.5" and 28.5" x 35.75". It is available in distressed Mahogany and Ivory. The larger version is $199. This is the Ballard version and it is called the Charleston Mirror. It is available in one size, which is larger than the other version, 56" x 45.5". The finish is Black with red undertones. It was originally $399, but is now on sale for $239.99. This is kind of a wash between the two because you would make your decision on what size and finish works best for your space. These are just a few comparisons to give you an idea. In the end, I guess the lesson learned is to look at all your options. Home Decorators does offer a lot of great products at reasonable prices, so they are often my go to for items. However, I am always more partial to Ballard and they do also offer a generous and easier to use Designer discount program.

Just thought I would share some thoughts to help you in your own decorating projects.
October 05, 2010 — Laura Putnam