October 2018 Posts

Halloween Forever! How to Keep the Spirit Alive All Year Long

By: Danielle Clockel

Today is the day: Halloween! This is the peak of the scary season, when there are carved pumpkins, fake skeletons, and giant spider decorations everywhere. For some of us, this kind of decor never really leaves our home — creepy chic is a way of life. But beyond plastic bones and wispy spiderwebs is a whole world of stylish, more subtle ways to embrace your darker aesthetic.

Clawfoot furnishings don’t always have to be paws. This side table from Blackhouse is giving us major Edgar Allan Poe vibes with its raven black bird claw base.

Vintage medical illustrations are not only an unexpected way to adorn your walls, they also add a bit of history to your home. Even though at some point you’ll probably have to pack up your dangling Halloween skeletons, these works of art can stay put throughout the year.

These quirky dolls heads planters are just cute enough to not be absolutely terrifying. (Can anything really be that scary when there’s a plant in it?)

Not only is this coffin shelf an eye-catching piece for your wall or dresser, there’s also a satisfying irony in using an iconic symbol of death to display elements of life: thriving plants, favorite jewelry, cherished treasures, etc.

Candles always set a perfect mood in the evenings, with their warm glow and dancing shadows. Bring that to the next level by displaying dark colored candles with woodsy scents, and live your haunted autumn fantasy even in the thick of summer.

So there you have it. If the thought of packing up your favorite holiday’s decorations after tonight breaks your heart, never fear! There are plenty of stylishly spooky ways to incorporate a little bit of macabre into your home and “creep it real” well past October 31st. (Happy Halloween!!)

Wanderlust: Turkey

By Melody Richardson

As a Turkish-American child, I remember splashing in crystal clear waters, enjoying spectacular food, and absorbing the fast paced culture of Turkey every other summer throughout my childhood. The country has always held a special place in my heart. My mother is from Izmir, a small town on the southwestern coast, but spent her teenage years in Istanbul, making both cities a home away from home for me. After the passing of my mother, my younger brother and I decided to make an annual visit. Despite having spent so much time there growing up, viewing Turkey through unaccompanied adult eyes gave me a completely different experience. This time I went off the beaten path, exploring islands, and smaller historical neighborhoods, while still finding time for our favorite places. 

When in Istanbul, we stayed with our Aunt in Kadıköy, a local neighborhood. Each day we gazed out from her balcony, across the water, to the Princes Islands. This time we were fortunate enough to visit those islands. We knew after a one to two hour hike to the top we would be greeted by a 200 year old church and beautiful views. We did not, however, expect to be met by wild horses! As we took in the beauty, we fed the horses figs and olives from the surrounding trees. The Princes Islands are often visited by locals for a day trip, and I have every intention of going back each and every time. 

After a few days in Istanbul, we travelled to nearby Izmir to visit my grandmother. Izmir has been dubbed Ataturk’s City and has a giant stone monument in his honor. Another thing it’s is famous for is the Karşıyaka Bostanlı Bazaar which is only a 5 minute walk from my Grandmother’s house- we never miss it! It is definitely not the ideal environment for the claustrophobic, but very rewarding if you dont mind a little hustle and bustle. The bazaar is always busy with vendors and customers bargaining for goods. From fresh fish and vegetables to handmade jewelry and traditional Turkish towels, you can find just about anything. I always end up bringing an extra luggage to fill up with treasures to bring back home. After a long day of bartering, a nice ride around the bay on the Bostanlı Ferry at sunset is a relaxing way to take in a once in a lifetime view. 

The final leg of the trip we ventured back to Istanbul to visit with our uncle and explore the more touristy areas of Taksim and Karaköy. I always like to visit these neighborhoods because of the incredible combination of new and old, foreign and local. There are modern, trendy shops and buildings alongside centuries old palaces, mosques, and architecture– including the second oldest underground transit system, inaugurated in 1875. You can see Turkish people and foreigners alike bustling through the areas visiting the shops and cafes. 

Being in that environment is an experience impossible to find in the United States, that I highly recommend to all that are able. Coming home to Turkey makes me feel closer to my mother, closer to my family, and closer to the culture that I so deeply adore.

Turkey is a magical place with incredible people, sights, and history. It truly is my happy place. If you get the opportunity to go, please don’t hesitate to contact me for information and tips. I’d love to share, give recommendation and wish you: İyi yolculuklar! (Have a wonderful trip!)

5 Looks We Loved at High Point Market

By: Stephanie Andrews

As designers, we are constantly looking for inspiration.  We want to be able to present new ideas with a fresh and provocative point of view.  This week we made a quick jaunt to Highpoint, North Carolina for the fall market.  We wanted to share a bit of what we loved during our visit.

Vibrant Patterns

We were drawn in by the vibrant use of patten and color that Julian Chichester used in their furniture and wall coverings.  They stayed true to their point of view and yet incorporated new silhouettes in a sculptural way!

Framed Flags

Bobo Intriguing Objects displayed white framed, huge nautical flags that contrasted beautifully against a rich dark background – a graphic way to add bright modern colors!

Outdoor Statues

Giant outdoor statues for the garden were another theme that we noticed at market.  We were so moved by the serenity of this statue sleeping in nature.

Natural Dining Chairs

By far our favorite dining chair at High Point.  The woven rope paired with smooth walnut wood displayed beauty in contrasting textures.  This chair was surprisingly comfortable and added a natural touch that could work for many different personalities.

Curved Sofas

The curved sofa was a delightful example of a fresh silhouette featured at High Point, and we fell in love! Organic curves really inspired us to rethink the usual floor plan and consider floating these beauties in the middle of a room. Either on its own or paired together, a great conversation piece for any gathering space!

We hope to make this Highpoint Market visit an annual tradition. Each year’s market introduces us to interesting shapes, bold patterns and innovative designers.  As always, we promise to share with you what’s new and inspiring in the world of interior design.  Happy Fall!

Design Inspiration: Paris Fashion Week

By: The Balance Design Team

The runways of Paris are an inspiration to many in terms of fashion, but to us they’re so much more. The stunning looks at the recent Paris Fashion Week have motivated us to step up our interior design styles in so many ways! Let’s dive in.

Casual Sophistication

Photos courtesy of Vogue and Nate Berkus.

Rich texture, bright colors, global vibe, slouchy yet sophisticated style — don’t you just love it when things look effortless? Get your home in the same spirit by incorporating bold upholstery, natural materials like wood or leather, and comfy-casual-classic pieces like a cozy throw. So easygoing and unpretentious, yet speaks volumes.

Darkly Sheer Embroidery

Photos courtesy of Vogue, The Jungalow, and Pinterest.

We love sheers, and we love embroidery, but something about too much of either one can feel like overkill. Pair them together, however, and you have an ultra sophisticated yet eclectic look for your outfit or your home. Sheer tiered panels alongside funky embroidered pillows are the household equivalent of gauzy ruffled skirts with a structured, embroidered jacket. We’re especially loving this concept in a dark ground with vivid accents — it adds that bit of edge to an otherwise soft look.

Basics Reinvented

Photos courtesy of Elle and Coroflot.

A chair is a chair, a shirt is a shirt…how many different ways can you alter the fundamentals? Fashion week always gets us inspired to rethink the basics, like solid clothing or the humble chair.  The tone on tone compliments, rich texture, soft fabric made crisp with pleats, and reimagined silhouette of this Valentino look makes it a work of art. Similarly, the gorgeous wood tone, visual movement, and unprecedented silhouette of this chair elevates a common item to a sculptural level.

Mixed Metallics

Photos courtesy of Vogue and Our Fifth House.

Keeping different metallic finishes separated is officially a thing of the past. This look from Miu Miu expertly mixes a gorgeous, sparkling white gown (with contrasting black sheers) with gold AND silver pieces — not to mention denim shoes (gasp!). Similarly, the possibilities are limitless when accessorizing your home. Check out these mixed gold/glossy black frames decorating a plain white wall. When it comes to taking standalone elements and arranging them into a stunning ensemble, sometimes it’s best to mix it all up.

Warm Industrial

Photos courtesy of Vogue and N. Beckstedt Studios.

In Jonathan Anderson’s ready-to-wear collection, we see rich leathers used as both surface and adornment, creating a look that is stunning yet practical. This warm, modernist style carries over into contemporary interiors through modern industrial architecture infused with warmth. A sense of ease is created by integrating organic materials and vintage pieces, resulting in a timeless yet approachable living space.

Glitter Goals

Photos courtesy of Vogue and KC Homes & Style.

Glitter is making a comeback! And no, we don’t mean the awful Mariah Carey movie circa 2001. Gone are the slinky, barely-there mini dresses — make way for long-lined elegance and glamour. The same goes for interior design; what was once almost solely associated with childhood arts and crafts has blossomed into the refined older sister. Sparkle accents done right can bring glamour and sophistication to spaces big and small.

As you can see, you don’t always have to commit to a complete overhaul to change things up. Sometimes getting creative and playing with your accessories and accent pieces can alter the mood and style of a room (or an outfit!).

Back to Black: 5 Shades We Love

By: Danielle Clockel

When you think of neutrals, do you only think of greys, whites, and tans? Let’s change that! Moving to the darker end of the spectrum, there’s a plethora of charcoals, off-blacks, and deep tones that are incredibly versatile no matter your style.

Sherwin Williams’ Witching Hour

Photo courtesy of One Kings Lane.

Cooler than the other side of the pillow! This deep dark hue looks ultra sharp against crisp white trim on interior walls. If the thought of painting your home black makes you nervous, this is more of a jeweled blue — fancy!

Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green

Photo courtesy of Chalkboard Living.

By now you know we love this neutral; it changes color throughout the day as light hits it and is a great way to neutralize green and evoke a classic look. Great paint option for built-ins, cabinets, libraries, or a dramatic dining room.

Benjamin Moore’s Mopboard

Photo courtesy of The Kitchn.

A true black that looks velvety and soft, not stark and scary. Live your Victorian gothic dream with this brooding-yet-comfortable black.

Farrow & Ball’s Mahogany

Photo courtesy of Farrow & Ball.

As the name implies, this is a black so warm it almost goes brown. Perfect as a grounding contrast with golden yellows, soft taupes, and even wispy blushes.

Farrow & Ball’s Paean Black

Photo courtesy of Farrow & Ball.

A passionate purple-black. It’s deep, romantic, and inviting in an unexpected, non-Valentine’s Day way. Ooh la la!

October is a unique month that automatically shifts us into a darker, more dramatic aesthetic. Maybe it’s Halloween’s approach. Maybe it’s the anticipation of shorter days and colder temperatures. Whatever the reason, we embrace it!