Shelby Adamson Posts

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle’s Cashiers Showhouse

By: Shelby Adamson

We are incredibly honored to be chosen to design the dining room at this year’s Cashiers designer show house by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle Magazine! The Cashiers Historical Society hosts this event each year as its largest annual fundraiser. This year’s home is a Mediterranean style villa situated on 42 acres, graciously donated by Terry and Brenda Beye.

The dining room boasts 15 feet high ceilings and an Ouroboros inlaid into the stone floor by the homeowner herself. We embraced these serpents and gave the room a dramatic feel while incorporating the beautiful scenic landscape. We almost immediately decided to paint the walls Studio Green by Farrow & Ball (kindly donated by Verde Home), a sultry and moody black-green that makes the room feel cozy and comfortable. We really took advantage of the high ceilings (and brought the outdoors in) by flanking Steve McKenzie’s gorgeous black and white triptych painting with a pair of sculptural Japanese snowbell trees.

To complement the inlaid stone serpents and give a nod to the mosaic’s eastern feel, we adorned the grand table with coral and white ginger jars (loaned to us by our friends at Trinity Mercantile & Design) and flanked them with two jade foo dogs. The result is a dining experience that embodies a Mediterranean courtyard, where one feels that they are enjoying a meal alfresco in a dramatic space that tantalizes all of the senses.

Intuitive Design

By: Shelby Adamson

Many people ask us how we design such individually authentic interiors. In addition to asking lots of questions and creating idea books, there is also the process of intuitive design. Each design, like each client, is unique. At the first meeting, we assess the client’s habits as well as goals for the space. How will it flow? What feelings do they want it to evoke? Should it be bright and warm? Dark and moody? Modern with a curated collection from personal travels? Or a nod to traditional filled with family heirlooms, yet updated with some key pieces?

Photo courtesy of Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.

After this initial meeting we get the nitty gritty details. We sit in the room to see how the light filters in and determine how often the space will be utilized (and by how many people/pets). We note any existing pieces in the home that can help to build a collection, and let the bones of the building speak to us.

Photo courtesy of Christina Wedge for Balance Design.

Then it’s time to review the client’s wishlist, and have them explain what they love about each item on there. This is where we really listen and pay attention, because if we truly hear what they have to say, we are better able to intuitively create a functional space that they love. It’s what we call our “design filter”: creating something with our personal touch, but that still says something about the client. In this part of the process we really develop that “sixth sense,” and live inside clients’ heads to create the perfect space for them.

Photo courtesy of Christina Wedge for Balance Design.

It is honestly the most rewarding experience to create a beautiful showpiece of a room for a client, and at the end of the day feel their absolute joy for the new life breathed into their home. Nothing pleases us more than to know we’ve helped them cherish their space.

Timeless Design: An Oak Grove Kitchen

By: Shelby Adamson Pawlak

We recently had the opportunity to design a kitchen remodel for an endearing young family in Atlanta’s Oak Grove neighborhood. To accommodate their growing size, they needed storage and workspace, and quality materials to build it all. Our goal was to create such a space in their sprawling ranch home without it feeling compartmentalized, with a timeless style that would delight them for years to come.

A quartz countertop with minimal surface movement is beautiful, yet still durable for any food and beverage spills. A natural stone, Carrara Bella marble, creates a timeless backsplash without taking over the budget. As a contrast to these lighter accents, we painted the cabinetry a daring, chalky black.

We had some fun mixing metal finishes, choosing matte black for the faucet and brushed brass for the hardware and light fixtures.

But the piece de resistance is definitely the shelving suspended from the ceiling. This creates more dining space without sacrificing storage, and holds its own as a beautiful feature to display china and pottery. Its design is clean, delicate, and just the right touch of ornate.

This family deserved style, and we nudged them just enough to think outside the box and not be afraid of something unexpected and different. Functionality was key, but we’re also proud of the unique touches that make their kitchen a showpiece of their home.

Cherished Treasures + Custom Creations = Happy Place!

By: Shelby Adamson Pawlak

Photography by Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.

Our clients’ vision is the most important factor in our designs. While we want to fill their home with beautiful furnishings, we find the best way to keep the space true to their personality is by combining new pieces with their own cherished items. Books, art, keepsakes from travels, and family heirlooms are always considered as part of the final design. This client has an incredible collection of vintage kilim rugs, handwoven textiles, and even a plague doctor’s mask. With these curated pieces as a starting point, we selected a vintage over-dyed rug under a saddle leather lounge and created custom graphic window panels to pull the look together. We love to inspire our clients with art and furnishings, but we love it even more when they inspire us!

Wanderlust: San Diego

By: Shelby Adamson Pawlak

My husband and I recently had the chance to jaunt to the west coast, where I was a bridesmaid in a good friend’s wedding in San Diego.

Photo courtesy of San Diego Eater.

Photo courtesy of NBC.

Upon arrival we made our first stop at Liberty Public Market. Old navy barricades were transformed into eateries, bars, and craft vendors. What I loved about the space, besides the food and unique artful gifts, were the farmers market booths on the lawn and the vegetable garden growing out front. Spanish style architecture and bright paint helped us to appreciate not only the food but the detail in the structure as well. We loved it so much we went our first and last day in California.

Photo courtesy of California Beaches.

Photo courtesy of Traveldigg.com.

The next place on our list was Balboa Park. Rich in history, the park is home to multiple museums, performing arts venues, beautifully lush gardens, greenhouses, trails, and of course the San Diego Zoo. San Diego has the perfect climate for vegetation and it’s easy to lose yourself in the vast rose and cactus gardens. Our personal favorite was the greenhouse, which had an abundance of every plant you can think of. We even saw a staghorn fern that was close to 6 feet tall! Spectacular!

Photo courtesy of La Jolla Mom.

Photo courtesy of Hipmunk.

Our last leg of the trip was the wedding in La Jolla. The drive up was incredibly stunning with bright yellow and orange wild flowers climbing their way up the cliffs along the highway. We were lucky to have the venue directly on the beach, and allowed ourselves to get lost staring into the vast turquoise of the ocean and the beautiful topography of southern California. We treated ourselves to a night at La Valencia hotel, a Spanish style establishment built in 1926 that boasts original hand painted murals from the 1940s and is set right on the ocean. We did not want to leave!

We loved our visit to southern California and the only regret we had was not staying longer!