Curate My Life

Design Challenge: Danielle’s Breakfast Nook

By: Danielle Clockel

I moved into my very own studio apartment a couple of months ago, and I’m in love. It’s in my favorite part of midtown — walking distance to Piedmont Park, close proximity to all the goodness on Ponce, and in a neighborhood chock full of tree-lined sidewalks — plus it’s in a building built in the 1920’s. It’s full of character and the perfect size for me, my cat, and my tiny pup. I’ve been here long enough that I’ve settled in with everything and can see what my needs for the space are. The number one priority? My breakfast nook.

Surprised that I have extra space in a studio apartment? Me too! But I’ve spent the last three moves pairing down more and more, so I’m left with only the things I treasure and use constantly. This little nook is separated from the kitchen by a built-in glass door cabinet, and has enough room for a small desk or cafe table and a petite chair or two. Small space living means everything needs to pull double duty, and for this space I’m envisioning a place to sit and have my morning tea as well as occasionally set up shop to work from home.

So, I’m putting forth the challenge to the design team here: help me create a multifunctional area in this limited space that reflects my quirky, eclectic style. I can’t wait for them to put on their “Danielle hat” and think outside the box!

Learn it!

Charcuterie Boards: Edible Masterpieces

By: Shelby Adamson Pawlak and Danielle Clockel

The holidays are upon us! Now is the time to be with friends and family, and for many of us that means hosting holiday parties. So what’s a surefire way to impress your guests? Food, of course! We were so inspired by Lady and Larder’s artful charcuterie creations that we tried our hand at our own.

Choose your base.
Rustic wooden cutting boards, stone slabs, vintage plates, trays turned upside down for added elevation — any kind of larger surface is fair game to lay out your spread. Feel free to layer surfaces and add in small bowls for dips and sauces. The sky’s the limit!

Select your meats.
We made sure to include a varied selection of aged/cured meats: prosciutto (always a crowd pleaser), soppressata, salami, pepperoni, and a softer meat like a pate are classic components to a charcuterie board. (We chose a vegetarian mushroom and artichoke pate — no one gets left out of this taste fest!) At least two meats are recommended, but you could have as many as you want. Extra points if you can create your meats to look like ribbons or rosettes!

Compliment with cheese.
You just can’t have a charcuterie board without cheese, am I right? Include hard, creamy, and crumbly cheese to represent all the textures, and cut them into small triangles or morsels for the ease of serving. Hard cheeses are those like cheddar, parmesan, manchego, gouda. Creamy cheeses like brie and camembert are perfect for spreading on crackers. A crumbly goat cheese, blue cheese, or gorgonzola rounds out both the flavor and texture palette.

Chop up the crudités and adorn with fruit.
Chopped veggies add color and crispness to a spread, and provide a light and refreshing palette cleanser between the richer meats and cheeses. Persian cucumber spears, rainbow carrots, cherry or grape tomatoes, and watermelon radishes are all delicious solo or as vessels for tasty hummus. Adding fresh or dried fruit also opens up a world of possibilities! Tried and true favorites like grape clusters, blackberries, and raspberries are sure to please. Or broaden your guests’ horizons with the surprising flavors of pomegranate seeds, figs, persimmon, or dragon fruit. Whatever your heart desires!

Make room for side bites and finish off with foraged accents.
You can really elevate your charcuterie board by including an assortment of olives, cornichons, hummus, nuts, grain mustard, and honey (just to name a few!). But what to eat these with? French or Italian bread, crackers, bread sticks, pita — it’s good to have an assortment (and maybe some tasty gluten free options as well). So now you’ve got your beautiful assortment of meats, cheeses, veggies, fruits, and other nibbles. How do you finish it off? We suggest petite local flowers and/or fresh cut herbs, but the possibilities are practically endless. Get creative!

Have fun arranging all of these incredible components! Think of the board like a canvas, and the delectable treats are your paint. Consider color groupings as you place your fruits and veggies — imagine a swath of deep purples and vibrant oranges sweeping across a canvas, framing the textural earth tones of crisp crackers. And when in doubt, sprinkle some tiny blossoms across the board!

Artist in Residence, On our Turf

Balance Design Open House: Modern Gothic

By: Melody Richardson

One of the best things about having a gallery space (besides getting to gaze at art every day) is meeting the talented artists that create meaningful and beautiful work. Whether it’s a long-time friend introducing us to her recent endeavors, or finally meeting a local favorite we’ve been following, we love broadening our artistic horizons.

 

Eva Magill-Oliver is a multi-media artist currently living and working in Atlanta, GA. The natural world is an ever-present theme in her work, and one that is transitional based on the landscape that surrounds her. It inspires her color palettes, the way she creates patterns, and informs the organic shapes and silhouettes prevalent throughout her work.

Eva had been working uniquely on paper over the past several years, but expanded her work to include oil/acrylic abstract paintings on canvas. The work is organic and playful and represents the continuously dynamic evolution that is the natural world.

 

In 1999 Kristin Thorsen accepted a grant from Georgia Perimeter College to study painting in Imatra, Finland. Guided by Russian and Finnish masters, she explored printmaking, painting, photography, and independent studies. In 2002, she was accepted by the Atlanta College of Art and received a portfolio scholarship. She made the most of this opportunity to hone her technical skills, receiving her BFA magna cum laude in 2004. She has participated in over 30 group shows and personally organized four solo exhibits and five group exhibits. Her work has appeared in galleries all over the Atlanta area, including a year-long exhibit at the Chrysalis Gallery. Her work can be found in private collections throughout the United States as well as Finland, Russia, Norway, Ireland, and Vietnam. She is a member of the Women’s Caucus of the Arts of Georgia, Wonderoot, and the Atlanta Artists Center.

Join us Thursday November 2nd for our fall 2017 open house! We will be proudly featuring the incredible works of these two artists, as well as revealing our new collection. We’ve designed and created custom pieces inspired by Eva’s and Kristin’s art as well as gothic European architecture.

Come by the Balance Design studio at 1653 McLendon Avenue from 7-9pm for drinks, small bites, and conversation! We’ll see you there!

On our Turf

Sophisticated Style: The Sitting Room

By: Stephanie Andrews

The interior designer/client relationship is a very special one, and we absolutely fell in love when these recent empty nesters approached us about redesigning their home. Their inspiration included pictures from the New York Times style section, their personal art collection, photos from their travels, and a cherished turn of the century family quilt.

Photo courtesy of Christina Wedge for Balance Design.

This couple wanted a home that reflected their personalities and sense of humor in a beautiful and comfortable way. Our favorite space to design was this front room, featuring the framed family quilt over a show stopping emerald velvet sofa. We revamped the fireplace, found this awesome mid century chair, and pulled it all together with the perfect wool/silk rug. The cherry on top? Beautiful brass accents.

On our Turf

Scout Pop Up Shop: Vintage Rugs Galore!

By: Scout Vintage Rugs

Stephanie, Mia, and Lailee — we are Scout Vintage Rugs! Our business started when we realized we shared an obsession for Persian and Turkish rugs. We also happened to share a “problem”; between the three of us, we’d accumulated (some might say, hoarded!) way more vintage rugs than we could actually use. So we decided to start sharing our love for these beautiful pieces with others and showing people how to use them in their own homes.

No longer consigned to the formal living room, Persian and Turkish rugs are finally being used the way they were intended — to ground family life. We put them in our kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms, and hallways. We let our kids play on them. Scout rugs are beautifully timeworn, retaining traces of the artists that weaved them and the families that lived on them. They are a connection to the past, a soulful addition to our modern homes. And they are just plain ol’ gorgeous.

We’d love to see you at our pop-up at the Balance Design Studio, Oct 21-22. Come by to shop or say hi! And if you’d like to see our rugs another time or try them out in your home, let us know.