Curate My Life 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!!)

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!

4 Design Books to Inspire You

By: The Balance Design Team

There’s something about a beautiful, hardcover design book that all the internet browsing in the world just can’t compare to. If you’re on the same page (ha ha ha) as us, we think you’ll enjoy this list of some of our favorite inspirational sources!

If you love color, pattern making, and rugs, Absolutely Beautiful Things by Anna Spiro will inspire you to paint, mix color, and just create! As designers and entrepreneurs, finding space in our lives to be creative is essential. This time spent unplugging and pondering art and design is sacred, and this book takes us there.

Noted father/son architect duo Eliel and Eero Saarinen are most famously known for their neo-futuristic music halls, Finnish train stations, the Washington Dulles airport, and the St. Louis arch (just to name a few). Saarinen Houses is a fascinating look into their lesser known ventures designing and decorating houses all over the world with their signature style. It’s a classic study on mid-century modernism, rife with inspiration for newer generations of designers.

Nomad Deluxe is the perfect book if you’re looking to connect with the essence of the author and the subjects. Through gorgeous travel photography, this book links people and cultures on a deeper level, which we find helps guide our design process in a more meaningful way.

The Little Book of Cacti and Other Succulents may not be your typical “design book” (because it’s a plant book), but that’s what’s so inspiring about it. There are well known succulents as well as rare cacti with shapes, colors, and textures you’ve probably never seen before. It’s a welcome reminder that beauty comes in an infinite amount of forms, and that not fitting into the mold is something to be celebrated — not feared.

We think online resources for creative inspiration (like Pinterest and Instagram) are fantastic tools, and ones that we use every day! However, there is a deep joy in the tactile experience of holding a beautifully curated design book in your hands and leisurely flipping through the pages. It really is an art form all its own, and being able to proudly display the author’s work on your shelf or coffee table is a privilege.

5 Perfectly Cozy Book Nooks

By: Danielle Clockel & Magnolia Tripplett

Was your favorite part of back-to-school season the reading lists? Well fellow bookworm, feast your eyes on five fantastically cozy reading nooks we’ve rounded up for you!

Photo courtesy of Refinery 29.

Beautiful soft light and clean puffy bedding — a perfect blank slate to delve into your imagination.

Photo courtesy of Veesko.

A secluded hideaway in a cozy cabin arch overlooking pristine snow sounds pretty great right about now, especially for those of us in the thick of a 90 degree Georgia summer.

Photo courtesy of Country Living.

Okay, admittedly this is more of a “reading loft” than a “reading nook” but we’re still counting it. I mean look at that selection of books!

Photo courtesy of Elle Decor.

It’s a window seat! No, it’s a rounded bay window! No, it’s…both! Tucked quietly out of the way of foot traffic, this is the perfect spot for peace, quiet, and a classic novel.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

The perfect summer reading spot? Obviously on linen cushions overlooking the clear sea.

Whether you prefer a dark library corner or an airy window seat, your perfect spot to relax and forget the world with a good book is deeply personal and extremely important. We all need to tuck ourselves away from real life sometimes and explore imaginary worlds for a little bit!