Melody Richardson Posts

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: 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!

Tried and True Colors We Believe In

By: Melody Richardson

Color trends come and go, but within these fads emerge some classic shades that withstand the test of time (and style). Here are five paint colors we have found easy to translate into any space. They are classic, inviting, and incredibly beautiful.

Benjamin Moore White Dove 0C-17


We used this inviting white to bring cleanliness and warmth to this kitchen renovation. Some whites come off as sterile and cold. Instead, this bright shade is begging you to come host a dinner for two…or 20.

Sherwin Williams Unusual Gray SW 7059

Unusual Gray is an enigma. Does it have green in it? What about blue? Changes in lighting allow this neutral gray to transition with the day. We use it in a variety of spaces. Here it stands as the backdrop to a bold and chipper work of art in an open concept kitchen.

Farrow and Ball Studio Green No. 93

One of our absolute favorite colors to bring drama into a room is Studio Green. We love it so much we used it in the Cashiers designer showhouse this year! This versatile green-black is an experience in itself. Appearing differently depending on its surroundings, Studio Green lends itself to virtually any style.

Farrow and Ball Hague Blue No. 30

Hague Blue is the new and improved navy of all of our nautical dreams.This vivid and sophisticated blue is a statement wherever its used. A favorite for making a built-in the focal point of the space, this blue pairs well with warm and cool tones. So good, it should be considered a neutral.

Farrow and Ball Salon Drab No. 290

Salon Drab is anything but. This lovely mushroom shade evokes visions of tailored menswear and refined earth tones. Used here, it brings together a fireplace and built-ins and really grounds the space. Salon Drab gives intrigue to relatively neutral color palettes.

These colors stir up a range of feelings and give life to spaces that may otherwise be underwhelming. We have fallen in love with their versatility and beauty, and we believe they make all the difference. Whether you prefer clean and neutral or bright and bold, at the end of the day, choose whatever color makes you feel at home.

Spring Collection 2018: Bright and Bold!

By: The Balance Design Team

Join us as we unveil our new featured artists Crysta Luke and Emily Grant, and introduce our spring/summer collection.

We are thrilled to show the dynamic abstract art of Crysta Luke, some oversized and some petite — all fabulous!


We are also excited to introduce newcomer Emily Grant, showcasing her luscious and moody still life photography.


Join us Thursday May 24, 7-9pm for Latin inspired cocktails and tapas! See you there!