Curate My Life Posts

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!

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.

4 Vintage Designs That Are Still Pretty Genius

By: Danielle Clockel

While some things are best left in the past (like Aquanet hair spray, or wall-to-wall brown carpet), every now and then there’s a design innovation that stands the test of time due to its form and function. Here’s a few vintage interior pieces that we think are still pretty darn cool.

Photo courtesy of Mustard Vintage.

Popular in the 1960’s, mid century modern telephone seats may seem pretty useless in the digital age, but let’s rethink that. You’ve got a nice little sitting perch with an attached side table for storage. Pop a table lamp on top instead of a rotary phone and pull over a small pouf or ottoman, and you’ve got a sweet reading area to fit almost any size abode!

Photo courtesy of Home Made Lovely.

The secretary desk’s simple yet genius design is a space saver and the precursor to modern standing desks. Plus, it’s the perfect secret weapon for cleaning procrastinators. No time to tidy up your workspace? No problem! Just close up shop — we won’t tell anyone.

Photo courtesy of One Kings Lane.

Born in the Victorian era of manners and modesty, the tete-a-tete sofa pushed the boundaries a bit. It was a way for would-be lovers to sit close together (how scandalous!) while still maintaining  proper decorum. Nowadays, it’s a sculptural and statement-making lounge piece that fosters conversation.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Who doesn’t love pocket doors? They’ve been around since the mid 1800’s, but their drama stands the test of time. Whether smooth and modern or embellished with moulding, you never have to worry about swing clearance in a room with these guys. In fact, they save an average of ten square feet of floor space!

While we love staying on the cutting edge of new design trends and innovations, we think it’s important to examine existing pieces to see their potential. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s time to toss it! Look at function as well as form, and you might just realize you’ve got a gem on your hands.

Need We Say More? Lobmeyr Metropolitan Chandelier

By: Danielle Clockel

Photo courtesy of Atelier Courbet.

Looking just like a firework in mid burst, this chandelier has us in the spirit of the Fourth of July. We hope everyone has a great holiday!