2018 Posts

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!

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!

The Home for This Holiday: Christmas at Callanwolde Designer Showhouse

By: Melody Richardson

Feeling rather ambitious, the Balance Design team decided to take on not one, but two designer showhouses this year. Shortly after beginning our journey into the Cashiers showhouse, we were asked to be featured designers for Christmas at Callanwolde.

Fortunately, this one would be just down the road in Atlanta’s Druid Hills neighborhood, not across state lines. As soon as Cashiers wrapped up, designers Melody Richardson and Jennifer Carter began to conceptualize the winter forest lounge that would soon be brought to life.

We knew this design would be completely different from the al fresco dining room we created for Cashiers, especially with the Christmas theme. Garlands, lights, and ribbon were a must, but finding a way to balance all of the delicate festivity with the overwhelming masculinity of the room would prove to be our biggest challenge. With that in mind, we dove right into Christmas — in August.

Dark wood trim with black leather panels dominated the room. We immediately knew we wanted to design a space that would highlight these signature elements rather than detract from them. We began our design, like all good designs, with the rug. We were fortunate to find a unique, style-appropriate rug from Anadol Rug & Home, and its color palette and motifs helped to guide our design and create the ambiance we were looking for.

After numerous visits to various vendors, multiple floor plan configurations, and a few bumps in the road, Balance Design partnered with Lewis and Sheron Textiles for our upholstery pieces in an unforgettable collaboration. The quality of the pieces were incredible, with supple leather, rich woods, and sturdy frames. It was like love at first sight, and we knew they were the key to creating the perfect atmosphere.

The cherry on top was the discovery of Katherine Mialkowski. A local artist featured in the Candler Park Festival this year, her stunning oil paintings brought a touch of whimsy to round the whole space out.

So, what words of wisdom can we impart upon our readers after two huge Showhouses this year?

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew! — but if you do, just chew slowly. Cross your T’s and dot your I’s. Make sure you take the time to go through your processes. They are there for a reason. Pace yourself, you’ll do just fine.

2. Sometimes less really is more. In the whirlwind of decorations, sometimes we get caught up in adding more and more “stuff.” Scaling back allows the pieces you do choose to stand in their own light.

3. Collaboration is key! For both showhouses, collaborating with our favorite vendors allowed us to bring our visions to life. We couldn’t have done it without them!

The Christmas at Callanwolde Designer Showhouse is an absolutely lovely experience to get you into the holiday mood, and there is still time! Tickets are available at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center but hurry — this is the last week!

Wanderlust: Phoenix, AZ

By: Danielle Clockel

Although my heart lies in the icy north, I do have a strange love for the desert. I love the plants, hearty and fierce looking. I love the landscape, with its sudden rocky peaks jutting into the sky. And while I despise the hotter end of the spectrum, I deeply relate to the extreme range of temperatures from day to night.

As you can imagine, this sparse landscape was strikingly different from the “city in a forest” I call home. But my heart swelled with excitement upon seeing short, shrubby vegetation and jagged mountains.

The first expedition was to the Desert Botanical Garden, and it was basically a wonderland. Paved and unpaved pathways wound through giant cacti, breezy grasslands, and crawling succulent sanctuaries.

I’m not exaggerating about the giant cacti. They’re as tall as trees!

I wish I could tell you I trekked all the way to the top of Camelback Mountain later in the week, but I absolutely did not bring the right shoes for that hike, so I stopped about halfway up and took in some seriously beautiful views.

To be honest, I was much more enthralled wandering around in the valley, gazing up at the incredible rock formations jutting out from the otherwise flat desert.

There was plenty to explore in the actual city as well. Delicious vegetarian/vegan eateries, vintage record stores, an arthouse/indie movie theater, and this incredible David Bowie mural that spanned almost a full block near the historic bungalow that I stayed at for the week.

It was an incredible visit, but I left just in time — the forecast called for a high of 90 degrees the day I flew back to Atlanta, and this cold weather loving gal had had enough of that nonsense during the summer already. That said, would I go back? I’ll answer that with a photo:

A Heartfelt Thank You!

By: Stephanie Andrews

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  — John F. Kennedy

We each have our own personal reasons for entering the interior design field, but no matter what brought us here, we all strive to create spaces that make people comfortable and proud of their homes. We’re eternally grateful for the experience of working with our clients, their families, and their communities. In the spirit of the season, we thank you — clients, families, friends, artists, vendors, and fellow team members — for the incredible opportunity to do what we love. We hope our gratitude comes across through our dedication to all of you throughout the year.

Happy Thanksgiving!