Curate My Life Posts

Local, Custom, and Ready to Work!

By: Loren H. Pratt

In our digital age, we often think of “desktop” as ubiquitous with computers, but a physical, wooden desk is still my first love. As a teacher, I need a designated space for class preparation and grading papers, so back-to-school meant an opportunity to invest in a new desk as command central for the school year. Check out my new custom desk from Atlanta’s own Jack Ellis Company.

This desk is functional, spacious, and absolutely gorgeous in person. I love its live-edge and unstained finish and the fact that it floats in the room. It’s the perfect combination of classic cool and modern chic, plus it was made from reclaimed wood, so no trees were intentionally felled to make it. I can’t wait to nerd out with my husband and work a puzzle or play a board game on it after the semester ends. Thanks to Balance Design for helping me select this special piece of furniture for my home office!


Loren Pratt is a lawyer and legal writing professor who loves interior design. Her legal writing background influences her affinity for juxtaposing order and symmetry with personality and flair in decorating. Loren loves working with the Balance Design team when she’s stumped with a design challenge or when she needs a second opinion. Follow Loren to see what inspires her as she decorates her new Atlanta home.

Fall 2017: Runway-Inspired Interior Style

By: The Balance Design Team

We’re heading into seasonal closet-cleaning time where we take stock of what we have and note what’s needed to freshen up existing pieces. And if we’re doing this for our clothes, why not our homes as well? Here are some trends we’re loving from New York Fashion Week that can inspire both areas of your life.

Stephanie’s Pick: Pink and Silver Statement

Photo courtesy of Vogue.

Photo courtesy of Elle Decor.

At this season’s fashion week, pink knits paired with metallic silver accents were comfortable yet dynamic. In this sitting room, the splashes of pink in the pillows and armchairs keep you on your toes, while the shimmering rug and soft greys make you want to slip into a nap on that cozy long sofa. This combination is strong and vivid, layered and colorful, and even—dare I say—timeless? We shall see.

Elisabeth’s Pick: Lingerie All Day

Photo courtesy of Vogue.

Photo courtesy of Designer Rugs.

This season presents a multitude of sensual black garments: fur, leather, and lace layered in sophisticated swaths of ooh-la-la. Lorenzo Serafini’s collection makes wearing undergarments all day totally possible…right?! Let’s just put that gorgeous model right in this gothic veranda with costume designer Catherine Martin’s new black lace rug, shall we?

Shelby’s Pick: Red Red Red

Photo courtesy of Now Fashion.

Photo courtesy of Maison Valentina.

Red alert! Unsurprisingly, red is a favorite color for statement pieces, real show stoppers. Whether it’s a head-to-toe monochromatic outfit or a floor-to-ceiling built-in, red is an instant focal point. With the right hue, it’s a timeless classic (red lipstick, anyone?) that adds a splash of brightness to any look or space.

Danielle’s Pick: Oversized Natural Accessories

Photo courtesy of Vogue.

Photo courtesy of Remodelista.

There’s so much to love about Delpozo’s fashion week collection: the modern silhouettes, the airy sherbet tones, and of course the BIG OL’ BOWS. Contrasting the crisp colors and sleek shapes of their clothing, Delpozo topped off each look with a big ol’ honkin’ rattan headpiece. And what’s the home equivalent of this natural woven cherry-on-top? African wall baskets! Accenting a modern, neutral room with these warm tones creates a current but cozy look and adds character to an otherwise sterile environment.

Melody’s Pick: Patchwork Party

Photo courtesy of Vogue.

Photo courtesy of Rose Lawn.

Bold and intriguing. As we see in fashion week and in the rug world, patchwork is back! Curating pattern and heritage from a variety of sources, patchwork rugs comprised of antique kilim remnants give life to otherwise forgotten works of art.

Any of these trends, whether applied to your wardrobe or your furnishings, are sure to amp up your style factor. You and your home deserve to strut your stuff!

The Femme Flat

By: The Balance Design Team

While many of us happily share our homes with a spouse/partner/children/etc., this means we have to consider their needs as well as ours. We hear a lot about “man caves” nowadays and how men need them as a retreat in their shared space. As a currently all women team, we know how important this concept is for us as well! Each of us had our own idea of a perfect “lady lair.”

Stephanie’s pick:

Photo courtesy of Houzz.

I believe an amazing bathroom is the perfect wise woman retreat. Who doesn’t love getting warm with a bath and a cup of tea on a cold winter day? This minimal space with a maximum tub is calling to me. The waterfall faucet sound, the natural wall, and the bubble chandelier create ultimate zen.

Elisabeth’s pick:

Photo courtesy of Architectural Digest.

I covet my alone time and try try try to find space to create, paint, build whatever masterpiece is in my head, or just doodle in the sunlight. This dream studio only requires 2′ stone walls, a French countryside view, and an indoor mature tree…no problem! But seriously, every woman deserves to carve out some space for creativity with good light and greenery. Next step is to USE it: for strength and the soul.

Shelby’s pick:

Photo courtesy of Viral Nova.

An organic space for girlfriends to gather, feel comfortable, and celebrate each other is essential. If I had my say, this space would be a beautiful platform deck overlooking green grass, a gravel fire pit in the corner, and outdoor lights draped from the trees. This whimsical space would include a table setting with cold rose on ice and tasty bites on beautiful graphic/floral platters. The lawn would be comfortably strewn with blankets and pillows, all pointed towards an outdoor movie screen showing anything from The Notebook to college football. (I don’t discriminate!)

Danielle’s pick:

Photo courtesy of Domino.

I don’t think you can overstate the importance of the bedroom. Personally, it’s where I hang out most to read, watch Netflix, cuddle with my cat and dog, and just shut out the world to enjoy time alone (I think my fellow single gals can especially relate to this). That means this space needs to be all about comfort. We want to flop onto the bed at the end of a long workday and be enveloped in a swirl of soft linens and cloud-like pillows (a move I call the “blanket burrito”). Nothing says “snuggle in and forget your worries” like soft greys, deep blues, worn linens, and chunky knits. And let’s not forget a good fuzzy rug for your lil’ footsies.

Melody’s pick:

Photo courtesy of Echo Brickell.

Let’s talk about my dream closet. I know I’m not alone in saying my dream house includes a massive closet with organizational space for everything I own. A space for purses, shoes, jewelry, a spot to sit and read or paint my toes, and most importantly ample space for clothes. To really go over the top, of course, a massive chandelier and the stunning marble compliment the breathtaking view. It’s somewhere I would never want to leave.

Whether you’re a single gal with free design reign or a busy matriarch trying to carve out a spot for herself, it’s important to have a space that is yours and yours alone. This spot should bring you peace amongst chaos, and be a retreat for the mind and spirit.

On Our Turf: Atlanta Market Faves

By: Stephanie Andrews & Shelby Adamson Pawlak

Our team went to the Atlanta Market last week and, as always, we left with bountiful inspiration.

First up, modern rattan. This peacock chair would be a perfect statement piece for a sunroom with lots of light, a great rug, and hanging planters.  The 70’s are back!

Photo courtesy of High Fashion Home.

Speaking of the 70’s, let’s talk about macrame updated with a twist for this fabulous dining room chandelier. It goes a little beachy, but who doesn’t need a little bit of the ocean in their home?

Photo courtesy of Ro Sham Beaux.

We were lovin’ the black lacquer. So sleek. So refined. We swooned over this chair.

Photo courtesy of Mr. Brown Home.

Black cerused wood. Completely compelling (like this little number for in front of a fireplace).

Photo courtesy of Noir Furniture.

No design trip is complete for us without checking out rugs, and we were really blown away this time. This gem from Anadol Rug Company depicts a melting glacier — a beautiful yet tragic homage to our rapidly changing earth.

Photo courtesy of Rug News.

We are excited to show our clients these new trends in our designs — we believe many of these trends have real staying power. Stay tuned!

Top Five Pairings: Graham & Brown Wallpaper

By: The Balance Design Team

We’re constantly inspired by fresh and innovative wall treatments — wallpaper, murals, grasscloth, you name it! Each of us scoured Graham & Brown, one of our favorite wallpaper vendors, and chose something that sparked our imagination. Here’s what we like:

Stephanie’s picks

I imagine this Color My Heart wall mural and settee in a mudroom of a young family as a place to put on their shoes and drop their bags. There could also be a big basket for shoes and another for balls, gloves, and frisbees — perfectly placed for outdoor fun!

Elisabeth’s picks

Surround yourself with this super-hip palm wallpaper and escape into that summer reading list you’ve been neglecting. Perfect for a bright sunroom, this graphic botanical print pairs perfectly with this bamboo pendant designed by Edward Linacre. Made without glues or adhesives, this honeycomb-inspired light keeps your air quality as pure as the tropics.

Shelby’s picks

I love the idea of a young independent woman getting her first apartment in the city in a turn of the century building. She has great taste and can rock out her bachelorette pad in a feminine and impactful way. This fabulous gold polka dot wallpaper would be on the ceiling, with her walls in a white chalky paint. Under this amazing wallpaper is her coral tufted settee that she will lounge on, read, or make power deals while sipping her La Croix.

Danielle’s picks

Can I call this look “gruesome glam?” This black and charcoal skull print wallpaper is what my spooky little dreams are made of. But don’t get me wrong, I like a little elegance too! This gilded floor mirror is over-the-top in its style and size, perfect for making sure you’re dressed to kill.

Melody’s picks

The bold print of the World Heritage wallpaper gets me mentally prepared to delve into new lands while sitting in a relaxing hanging chair with an endless supply of books. It’s the perfect escape on a rainy day.

Deirdre’s picks

The Optimum White and Duck Egg wallpaper reminds me of the bold, sensual, and intriguing flowers of Georgia O’Keeffe. Paired with the antique brass of the Bryant Sconce, this is a match made in heaven.