Curate My Life

5 Ways to Transform Your Home into a Modern Cabin Retreat

By: Danielle Clockel

When you think of a cozy cabin getaway, what comes to mind? Probably wood tones, comforting textures, and maybe some wildlife elements, but sometimes the style feels a little one-note. Forget what you think you know about cabin decor, and let’s get in the mindset of something edgier and more modern.

Photo courtesy of Trendir.

Yeah. More like that. Let’s dive in!

Wood Accents

Photo courtesy of Dwell.

Log cabins can sometimes have an overabundance of wood — wood floors, wooden walls, wood beams. We love this material too, don’t get us wrong! But using it as an accent or feature instead of overwhelming the senses highlights its natural beauty and character.

Wood Burning Stove

Photo courtesy of Charnwood.

No matter what style of cabin we’re talking about, a fire is an absolute necessity. However, we’re leaning away from grand mantles and giant stone walls in favor of small-space-friendly wood burning stoves. These can go super authentically rustic or more paired down, but the result is the same — a soul-warming fire. Bonus points if you put your firewood on display!

Mixed Up Pillows

Photos courtesy of Chairish, Zibbet, and Pinterest.

Plaid and buffalo check are time honored patterns of any cabin, and we are happy to pay homage to these roots. But a fun way to liven up this look is by adding an additional, unexpected style. Maybe some rug remnant pillows? Hey, why should the boho homes have a monopoly on these kilim treasures!

Faux Taxidermy

Photo courtesy of Anthology Magazine.

Speaking of accessories, let’s address the taxidermy trope. We say skip the dead animal heads and go the more environmentally friendly (and animal friendly) route with whimsical upholstered faux taxidermy. Go from creepy to cute!

Shag Rugs

Photo courtesy of Instagram.

We know, you’re probably a little surprised at this suggestion. Shag rugs are often found in either sophisticated glam spaces or funky global abodes (a la Moroccan wedding blankets), but why not a modern cabin as well? What’s cozier and comfier than a plush shaggy rug underfoot to warm your cold toes?

Winter gets a bad rep for being cold and icy, but who says that’s a bad thing? Surround yourself in a modern cabin aesthetic and revel in the cozy warmth it brings!

Need We Say More?

Need We Say More? The Le Cob Bath by Omvivo

By: Melody Richardson

In the past our “Need We Say More” posts have included pieces we were all in awe of. This time around, we thought we’d stir things up a bit. The Le Cob bathtub by Omvivo exudes modern luxury with its glass sides and waterfall drain. However, some of our team finds the impracticality of the sloped base less than ideal. Can we say, cold feet? Therefore, we are bringing the decision to you! Do you think this piece is the future of bath design? Or is it simply underwhelming?

Photos courtesy of Omvivo.

Learn it!

2019 Interior Design Trends

By: The Balance Design Team

Looking ahead for the year, we’re excited to challenge our design sensibilities by getting out of our comfort zone. Here are some of the new directions we’re headed in — we encourage you to try them as well!

Well-Adorned Walls

Photo courtesy of Divine Savages.

Did this photo stop you in your tracks like it did for us? This is a look we can really dive into this year! Bold, colorful wallpaper layered with fun and unique art makes a space sophisticated but approachable. Try this in a dining room, bedroom, library — really pretty much anywhere!

Curved Seating

Photo courtesy of My Domaine.

In 2019 we’re looking for a little softness in design, and curved seating is like a visual hug. Nothing says “hey, hi, come sit down, relax, it’s all good” like a sofa that can gently cradle you. The best part about pieces like this? They fit in so many styles! You can go for an ornate, tete-a-tete style loveseat or a clean-lined, modern statement sofa. Either way, the sumptuous curves are soooo inviting!

Maximalist Entertaining

Photo courtesy of Girlfriend Is Better.

We’re leaning into the maximalist movement, especially in tablescapes. Bringing meaningful pieces onto your dining table is more than just utilitarian — it’s an expression of family, personality, and community. Maybe you’ll mix your grandmother’s Wedgewood china with vintage shop dessert plates, topped off with assorted fabric memos for napkins. Incorporate local foliage from your garden or farmer’s market, mix in candles wabi-sabi style, and you’re ready for a beautifully cooked meal (paella anyone?). We see this movement as a celebration of the home as a gathering place for friends and loved ones, and a way to create a beautiful night with beautiful memories.

Modern Pastels

Photo courtesy of Style Me Pretty.

Pastels seem to flit in and out of fashion, but this color palette of mint, blush, and mustard yellow is modern and refreshing. These hues are often utilized as support for darker and bolder colors, and we’re happy to give them their time to shine! Adorning a sleek, modern space with these softies will instantly transform the feel from harsh to happy. Awww!

Modern Art Deco

Photo courtesy of Dwelling Decor.

We’re talking extravagant architectural elements, mixed metals, and luxe materials. Inspiration from the 20’s has waltzed back into the design world with a modern attitude! This fresh mix creates an aura of opulence without stuffiness by allowing quirks and individuality to shine through. Giving us the freedom to be as over the top and “extra” as we want to be, modern art deco is a bold way to ring in 2019 — and years to come!

Statement Tile Layouts

Photo courtesy of Instagram.

We love a striking statement tile, but sometimes it can be scary to go all out with color. Not to worry! This doesn’t mean you’re relegated to same old, same old looks for your kitchen or bathroom. A fun way to get creative with tile is playing with the layout. Chevron or herringbone patterns are always a cool go-to, but we’re really loving multiple directions, varying sizes, and bold grout.

Deep Dark Cabinetry

Photo courtesy of Devol Kitchens.

As shades of green, navy, and warm wood stake their claim as the new “neutrals,” we see more and more people venturing out from the classic all grey or white kitchen and bath color palette. This migration towards adding a bit more depth and personality is seen on walls, built-ins, and cabinetry (and sometimes all three). We love  how this deep forest green brings continuity from the walls to the cabinets, creating the perfect backdrop for showcasing art, lighting, and collected treasures.

It’s easy to get caught up in the “new year, new me” storm that happens every January, but we think it’s important to turn some of that attention towards your environment — your home, your community, even just a single room. The space you inhabit has a profound effect on your well-being, and if you nourish it and care for it, it will return the favor indefinitely.

FLUFF, On our Turf

2018: Year in Review

By: Stephanie Andrews

The year is coming to a close, and what a year it has been! We may be exhausted in this last little stretch, but we’re incredibly grateful for all the amazing experiences we’ve had as a team this year.

Photography by Christina Wedge for Balance Design.

The beginning of 2018 marked the completion of our first ground-up new construction in Roswell, GA. Designer Elisabeth Paulson worked alongside a team consisting of the architect, builder, and client to create a one of a kind modern treehouse home overlooking the Chattahoochee River. Not long after, we said goodbye to Elisabeth as she ventured out on her own. This was certainly a difficult change for both of us after seven years together, but we still collaborate on our Grain series of furniture and support each other’s individual design endeavors.

Photography by Garey Gomez for Balance Design.

Another design achievement early in the year was breaking through the walls of an Oakhurst farmhouse. Newly appointed senior designer Shelby Adamson worked with a master carpenter to create a totally custom, delightfully textured library and bar.

Things really started picking up at the end of spring. We brought on Jennifer Carter as our newest interior designer and immediately felt that she was the right fit. With a creative spirit, kind heart, and experience on new-build homes, we welcomed her to the team just as we began designing the dining room at Atlanta Home and Lifestyle’s annual Cashiers showhouse. The whole team pulled together on this project under Shelby’s direction to create an opulent, al fresco dining room experience.

But it didn’t stop there! We were also featured as one of Modern Luxury Magazine’s 2018 Faces of Design, AND we brought on a much needed administrative team member: project coordinator Magnolia Triplett. With this additional support in our studio (and our online presence, in case you haven’t noticed that we majorly upped our social media game), we were able to work with exciting new clients in Druid Hills, Old Fourth Ward, and Sandy Springs. Stay tuned in 2019 for photos of these finished projects!

And of course, as you know, we ended the year on a high note with our billiards room design at the Christmas at Callanwolde designer showhouse. Designers Jennifer Carter and Melody Richardson transformed this dark room off the side of the main hall into a distinguished-yet-cozy lounge that was widely applauded.

This is all to express our sincere, heartfelt gratitude for all who have supported us throughout the year. To our readers, clients, friends, families, and colleagues — we look forward to sharing meaningful moments and real design with you in 2019!

Curate My Life

Holiday Home Wishlist

By: The Balance Design Team

While we strongly believe this time of year should be spent with loved ones, cherishing relationships and friendships, we’re also human — it’s fun to give and get gifts!!! What’s on our wishlist this season? Check it out below.

Stephanie’s Pick: Modern Mobile

Photo courtesy of Etsy.

There will always be a spot in my heart for modern mobiles. This particularly lovely one is brass, stainless steel, and copper, and inspired by willow branches. Mobiles are all about structure, proportion, and movement, and this one conveys pure grace. I picture it hanging above a reading chair in an office, perhaps as I continue to armchair shop Etsy’s vast array of emerging artists!

Shelby’s Pick: Teak Housewares

Photo courtesy of Steel+Plank.

This year I’ve tried to embrace a more minimalist way of life, collecting functional items that I truly love and will stand the test of time. When I came across Athens, GA based Steel+Plank, I fell in love with their curated kitchen accessories, especially these teak measuring spoons and cups. My family loves to spend time together in the kitchen and entertain, so these pieces are perfect for us to enjoy this holiday season! (PS – we met the ladies of Steel+Plank at an event recently and could not have loved them more!)

Danielle’s Pick: Indoor Olive Tree

Photo courtesy of HonestlyWTF.

I may have 16 plants in my studio apartment, but that’s still not enough for me. Most of my plant children are hearty succulents, cacti, and a couple of mosses, and I think I’m ready to branch out (pun absolutely intended) into a new plant families. Olive trees are a symbol of peace, and who wouldn’t want to bring that energy into their home? Plant a dwarf variety of this striking Mediterranean native in a cute planter and enjoy its visual energy in any style of room. Its sage-hued leaves compliment modern interiors and Tuscan-inspired sunrooms alike. Just make sure it can sunbathe a LOT — olive trees like 6-8 hours of sun each day.

Jennifer’s Pick: Concrete Lamp

Photo courtesy of Surya.

Concrete is one of those materials that’s better known for its structural purposes in the building world than in furnishings and decor. However, more recently, designers and architects alike have been drawn to its simplicity and versatility for styling interiors. Not only can this material add a soft, calming feel to a space, it also brings a bit of the outside world indoors. I’ve had my eye on this lamp from Surya for quite some time, being drawn to the beauty of its clean styling and the elegant pairing of the stone-like material with brushed metal accents and natural linen.

Melody’s Pick: Heirloom Tapestry

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie.

Having a large dog sometimes means sacrificing the option of having nice things close to the floor. But with a gorgeous wall hanging like this, I don’t have to worry that his nails will snag a loop or his hair will become “fur”ever incorporated into the weave. Often beautiful rugs (or even remnants) get stuffed into storage to avoid damage. I say appreciate them as art instead — tapestries are a gorgeous way to showcase more fragile pieces! This one reminds me of the Turkish rugs I’ve grown up around, and presents it in a beautifully different way. I love the old world feeling pieces like this can bring to a home.

Magnolia’s Pick: Original Art

Photo courtesy of Chairish.

Having just recently moved in to a new home, it’s taken months and endless hours of shopping/moving/organizing just to get my basic living necessities in order. Now that the space is functional, I can finally focus on making it my own! And what better way to do this than by adorning my walls with gorgeous works of art? This piece by Charleston-based artist Leslie Weaver (found via my new favorite vintage marketplace, Chairish) beautifully compliments the moody, expressive, and subtly feminine energy that radiates throughout my entire living space. In my opinion, there’s no better gift than something that truly resonates with me in the way that paintings like this do (not to mention, it’s a great conversation starter for guests)!

Are you inspired yet? If you still have a few people to find the perfect gift for, we recommend shopping local. Go out and about your neighborhood/city/town and find independent and small businesses to support!