Curate My Life Posts

The High End Ikea Life

By: The Balance Design Team

We love to mix things up in pretty much every way — patterns, styles, colors, and even price range. There’s room for every level of budget in our designs, and we’re here to show you how to mix your finally-got-that-raise purchase with your I’m-not-spending-more-than-$100-on-that staples. We thought it would be fun to show you how our designers pair a cool Ikea piece with some medium and high end items and create a complete designer look.

Shelby’s pick:

You have to admire the classic clean look of IKEA’s Hilver table — perfect for a desk. Pairing this piece with a mustard desk chair from Chairish and matching art print by Eva Magill Oliver creates a mid century vibe for an office space in a small ranch home. I love the teal/rose/white color combination on the wall in the above photo (courtesy of The Old Piggery) and a simple woven teal rug to balance out the pops of yellow. And how about that stunning silhouette on the CB2 brass desk lamp? A hanging Hoya plant finishes off the space and gives it the playful touch it deserves!

 

Melody’s pick:

Don’t let the style of one piece dictate the aesthetic of the whole room — mix things up to get a real global feel! I saw this modern woven pendant light from IKEA and instantly thought to pair it with a comfy shaggy rug. Of course you also need equally comfortable seating, and the rich rust cushion of this Anthropologie carved daybed brings out the pop of color in the CB2 rug. Deep teals and bright blues are perfect accents to such a warm tone, and the combination of a bold pouf from Etsy and intensely saturated grasscloth are just the thing this room needs. The cherry on top of this easy-going, worldly look is a fringed hanging planter from World Market. Get cozy!

 

Danielle’s pick:

What’s in a name? Sometimes nothing! Let the quality of materials speak for themselves rather than the brand name of the item. Here I’ve paired stunning sterling silver flatware from Tiffany & Co. and engraved Saks Fifth Avenue stoneware canape plate with a classic 100% linen tea towel from (ready for this?) IKEA. I love the combination of these vintage bentwood chairs with caned seats and an affordable-yet-durable French garden inspired rug. A brutalist end table made of charred, 100-year-old reclaimed wood from collapsed barns in Transylvania and inkblot-style wallpaper from Schumacher add the right amount of grit and edge to ground this delicate room. Plus, the table provides the perfect perch for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Delightful!

The moral of this story is: look for the hidden gems. Whether it’s a simple desk, a funky pendant, or a classic textile, you never know when a super special piece might jump out at you from the least expected places, even at Ikea.

5 Surprising Book Storage Solutions

By: The Balance Design Team

Summer reading materials getting a little out of control? Yearning for a way to celebrate your impressive collection of classic literature AND Marvel comics? Well why go the normal route when a storage solution can be part of the presentation? Observe:

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

We wouldn’t ordinarily tell you to keep your books on a staircase, but there’s no danger of tripping over them in this design that uses the protruding edges as shelves. This staircase/bookshelf is clean, modern, space saving, and honestly pretty genius.

Photo courtesy of Did Ya See?

This one reads right out of a Disney movie (pun intended). A ceiling bookcase is whimsical and orderly all at once, keeping the daily workspace free of clutter while creating a magnificent focal point.

Photo courtesy of Behance.

Minimalists, do you struggle to find a way to store your books that doesn’t make your head want to explode? These floating shelves are symmetrical and geometric, and don’t involve stacks and stacks of visual clutter.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Then again, maybe you like a little non-linear fun! This mandala bookcase is part storage solution, part full wall art, and all awesome.

Photo courtesy of HGTV.

It’s a lounge chair, it’s a bookcase, it’s the perfect all-inclusive reading nook! Don’t let the small footprint fool ya — this guy packs 27 square feet of storage space (plus a hidden compartment).

Whether you’ve got enough space to build your own custom library, or need something a little more compact, your bookshelves don’t have to be boring. What are some other non-traditional storage solutions for your reading collection?

5 Magnificent Modern Rugs

By: Danielle Clockel

In design, the word “modern” refers to a wide range of attributes. And for rugs, these qualities tend to be pretty bold, distinctly separating themselves from other styles. So what makes a rug modern?

Photo courtesy of Loloi Rugs.

Monochrome grid. Paired with similarly angular pieces or contrasting curved furnishings, this is a minimalist combination that’s always on the cutting edge of style.

Photo courtesy of 1st Dibs.

Bright, saturated color. Coincidentally, such hues are often found in vintage rugs — isn’t it interesting when something old still feels super modern?

Photo courtesy of Kyle Bunting.

Textural optical illusion. Combining different materials (or alternating shades of the same iridescent material) and arranging them in just the right way can play the most delightful trick on the eyes. Look closer…

Photo courtesy of The Rug Company.

Geometric shapes. The bigger and more askew, the better for a totally abstract, totally modern look.

Photo courtesy of Elsebeth Studio.

Irregular shape. Don’t be a square (or rectangle) — an unconventionally shaped rug is a surefire way to bring your space into the future, where there’s plenty of different shapes to adorn your floors.

While we love our oushaks and flatweaves, a truly unique modern rug is always inspirational. Sometimes you gotta ditch the well-traveled path and go your own way — and if that way includes funky, fearless rugs, we say all the better!

Let Us Illuminate You: 4 Unique Light Fixtures

By: The Balance Design Team

Often, a great room design starts with finding the perfect light fixture as inspiration. Whether it be modern, traditional, farmhouse, or eclectic in style, a light fixture can set the tone for the entire space. Here are a few unique light fixtures that we’ve been fawning over lately, anxious to use in a new design project.

Photo Courtesy of Allied Maker 

As designers, we can tire of the “popular trends” that you see so much of in the mainstream market. We love this pendant from Allied Maker because it is functional adornment — a visually interesting architectural accent that transcends the trends of the moment. There is a lot to love about it, like the mix of materials (glass/leather/metal) and how the frosted glass shade bathes a room with diffused light. The bulb actually shines light onto the inner wall of the glass to create this soft effect. Simple, classic, enduring.

Photo Courtesy of NextLevelStudio

Etsy is a go-to source for lighting inspiration. Artisans selling their one of a kind designs can be both personal and cost effective. This sculptural chandelier feels like a game of Jenga meets LED lighting meets Hygge. Can you even get more eclectic than that?

Photo Courtesy of Umat Yamac

We have absolutely fallen in love with the abstract lighting designs of London-based designer Umat Yamac. Inspired by nature and the clean lines and geometric forms of origami, all fixtures in the Perch Light Collection are constructed from synthetic paper and are complemented by brass metal accents. A special mechanism within the fixtures allows each bird to sway back and forth, creating an ethereal and immersive experience. Swoon…

Photo Courtesy of MadeByLuum

Oversized, bespoke chandeliers are typically thought of in grand, traditional settings and usually include crystal and sparkle. We’re here to tell you there are more options — and they work with a variety of styles! This chandelier by LUUM Lighting mimics the graceful filtered light of a forest canopy. The cut metal discs cascade down like leaves on a vine. This is certainly a statement piece, as it is as much artwork as it is light source. It’s the perfect marriage of grandiose and natural simplicity.

So whether you’re in the mood to spruce up your own space or looking to get inspired for a professional project, keep in mind that something as seemingly insignificant as a light fixture might actually be that missing link you’ve been searching for. And remember that great design stands the test of time — whether one year from now or twenty.

 

4 Standout Statement Hardware Pieces

By: The Balance Design Team

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by Instagram and Pinterest photos of your ideal home. Where do you even start on your own home!? Sometimes a little detail can go a long way. A drawer pull, for example, isn’t just a handle — it can also be a focal point. We celebrate when function gives way to beautiful form! Here’s just a few standout pieces that have caught our eye.

Photo courtesy of Lotus Dardware.

These modern pastel leather knobs and pulls are to DYE for! This collection would easily give new life to a kitchen bar area, a dresser, or even a mudroom. And they’re so reasonably priced!

Photo courtesy of House of Antique Hardware.

We love intricate details in unexpected places. Typically, one might overlook a humble door hinge, but this one’s beautiful antique living finish highlights the circa 1880 Eastlake-style floral pattern. Topped with an architectural steeple, this hinge turns a simple door into an intentional style detail.

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie.

Updating your exterior door hardware is a great way to instantly add character and curb appeal to your home (without breaking the bank). We absolutely love the clean lines and layered finishes of this art nouveau-inspired brass door knocker from Anthropologie. Door knockers are like jewelry for your front door, and this one in particular is a welcoming statement to visitors before they even set foot into your home.

 

Photo courtesy of House of Antique Hardware.

Window sashes are not necessarily a spot you’d think to put unique hardware. But adorn them with this stunning brass cast sash lift and you’re sure to elevate your windows’ style (haha see what we did there?). It’s ornate enough to catch your eye, yet classic enough to fit in more than one style of home. Fancy that!

When choosing hardware for your kitchen cabinets, your front door, or that special antique dresser, make sure to choose something that speaks to you and will be cherished for many, many uses!